We’re passionate about RVing, so we keep our RV packed and ready for fun. Whether it’s a quick weekend road trip with the kids in search of the world’s biggest ball of yarn, or a long-anticipated camping adventure to meet up with family and friends and enjoy nature, when you’re traveling in an RV, getting there is as much fun as being there. And even though you’ve probably focused on “fun” when planning what to take on your trip, being prepared and ready for fun, and the unexpected, when RVing can make a big difference. To help you get prepared, the What To Pack checklist beginning on page 14 of RVing Basics is a good place to start. Plus, here are some of our favorite must-haves for every RV trip . . .
Ready For Fun And The Unexpected When RVing
On The Road
If you have a 2 or 3 hour drive ahead of you, the kids may get restless. If you’re traveling in a motor home, you can prepare for even the most bored, are-we-there-yet moments to keep everyone focused on fun. I like to pack a deck of Trivia questions so that even the driver can participate. In case it gets chilly during the drive, keep a cabinet full of cozy throws that the kids can snuggle in during the drive. You can also surprise everyone during the trip with pre-made snacks that are easy to eat on the road, like mini sandwiches, salad-in-a-jar, mini bags of popcorn and other favorites. And to keep refreshments from spilling while traveling, give everyone their own insulated covered cup. And with a couple of permanent markers, the kids could even personalize them during the trip.
Once You’ve Arrived
Whether you’re at a KOA just out of town or a wilderness site miles from nowhere, you can always make good use of these extras:
- Flashlights: Pack a couple of large, bright lights for general use, plus consider giving everyone their own small LED flashlight or headband. Headbands with several light settings are under $10 and because you wear them your hands are free for more important things. Always make sure you have extra batteries for all of your lights.
- Compass: Whether it’s your cell phone’s compass or a stand alone option, when you arrive at your destination have everyone calibrate their compasses to ensure that the local position is the same on every device.
- Mosquito Bands: Instead of wearing a heavy pest spray, I prefer the wrist bands. They come in fun colors, you can wear as many as you want wherever you want (wrists, ankles . . . ) and there’s no icky odor or mess.
- Outdoor solar lights, available at home stores for about $5 each, can be set around your campsite to soak up the sun during the say, and provide extra lighting at night — plus a little ambiance to help you stand out in the crowd.
I recommend a good First Aid/Emergency Kit that stays in the RV at all times. If you don’t have that, you can collect a few things from your home and place them in a large food storage bag so you’re prepared for the unexpected. Things to be sure to include:
- Band-aids, large and small plus butterfly and steri-strips
- Latex (or non-latex) gloves
- Liquid hand sanitizer
- Gauze pads and rolls
- Alcohol wipes
- Medical tape for dressings
- Scissors and Tweezers
- Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Itch creme or spray
- Benadryl or other allergy medication
- Pain medication (Advil, Tylenol, etc.)
- Anti-Diarreal Medicine
- Eye Drops
- Cold compress (store this in your RV’s freezer)
- I also include a list of personal information, my family’s health conditions and medications, and Emergency Contact information. This is placed in a baggy just inside the kit.
Once you’ve said your goodbyes to new friends, be sure to leave your campsite a little better than you found it. Throw away all trash, ensure that any campfire is fully extinguished, and generally tidy up the area. The next campers will appreciate it.