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Monday, April 12, 2021

10 Items You Should Have On Your RV Camping List

Before you head out on your RV road trip, check to see if you packed the 10 items you should have on your camping list.

Are you still deciding where to go on your road trip? Check out our State By State Guide to State and National Park Campgrounds, before you make your camping reservations.

We have basically been working with the same camping list ever since our first camping trip, over 30 years ago.  And because we have our list, we have never forgotten to pack our camp chairs which we definitely need because we know we will want something comfortable to sit in while we enjoy our evening campfire.  We also haven't forgotten the matches or lighter we would need to get the fire started.  

In those days we were a family of five and camped in a tent,  Today we are a retired couple camping in an RV.  We still need most of the things on our original camping list but since we got our trailer and have started camping more than we ever did, we have found things that make outdoor life more convenient, comfortable and safer and have added them to our list.  We can't imagine not having them with us when we are camping and can't believe how we never missed them in the past.

This is our list of items we think you, also, should have with you on your next camping trip.

1.  Outdoor Cooking Station - Instead of putting our stove on the end of the picnic table, we now have a table that makes cooking so much easier.  The station is higher than a picnic table and there are side tables on either end of the section we put the stove on that we can use to put our cooking utensils, food and more on.  I love the holder on the end of one of the side tables that keeps our paper towels within reach and also keeps them from rolling off the picnic table where we used to keep them.  There's also a spot we use to put the tub we use for dirty dishes and room for everything else we want to keep handy for cooking and eating.  The station folds up to a slim 5 inches which makes it very portable and easy to store in our shed when we are not camping.

2.  Solar Walkway Lights - When we camped years ago, we made sure to bring a string of lights to hang outside of our tent so that we could see it, and the zippered door to get into it, when it got dark out.  We also made sure the kids all had their own flashlights and we had our flashlights and a lantern.  Camping with our trailer makes what we need for lighting a little different.  We no longer need the string of lights as we have lighting that runs across the top of one side of trailer.  We don't normally use our lantern because we spend the evenings inside the trailer but we do still need our flashlights for bathroom and shower trips after dark.  As we get older we are finding that it is getting harder for us to see in the dark so we have added solar walkway lights to our camping list.  They work great to show us exactly where our site is when we are walking back from the bathroom and we use them to light up bumps and ditches around the site that are hard to see in the dark.  We have two lights and that is working for us right now but will add more if we seem to need them.

3.  Portable Space Heater - We thought that if we camped in southern part of the US in the month of February we wouldn't have to worry about it being too cold especially in the trailer.  Well, we found out that it can get very cold in the middle of winter in some of the southern states.  There were days when it was so cold both day and night that we didn't give our little heater a break.  Thank goodness for the portable heater.  If we would have had to use our trailer heater I don't know how much propane we would have gone through.  P.S.  I love the safety feature that turns the heater off if it is accidentally knocked over.

4.  Charcoal Chimney Starter - Neither me or Soko knew anything about this handy item until we went camping recently with friends who had one.  If you, like us, have never seen one of these, the way they work is, you put paper, which you will light a match to, in the bottom section of the cylinder and put charcoals in the top section.  In about 10 minutes you have coals ready to go.  What we really love about the charcoal starter is that we have essentially replaced lighter fluid with paper.  Besides for saving on the cost of lighter fluid, it relieves the stress I have with carting lighter fluid around.  My son gave us some of his newspaper to use as a fire starter.  A friend suggested using the paper in our paper shredder which sounds like a great idea.  We'll try it next time.

5.  Trash Bag Holder - One of the happiest moments of our camping trips for me is when I see that our campsite has a lantern holder.  It lets me know that I have a place to hang our garbage and I don't have to search for a tree branch or take the time to try to figure out how fasten it to the end of the picnic table or somewhere else where it might stay until we are ready to throw it into the garbage bin.  How did I never know there was this amazing garbage holder!  It is a perfect holder for any size garbage bag and we like it for the small plastic grocery bags we like to use to hold our garbage.  It not only gives you a place to hang your garbage bag, it also holds the bag open which makes it very easy to dispose of your garbage. 

6. Yeti Rambler Mug - This was a gift from son Mike and DIL Chrissy.  We didn't know how much we needed this mug until we got it, but I guess the kids knew.  Not only does it hold a perfect amount of coffee, if you use the top it comes with like I do, Soko doesn't, it keeps the coffee hot until the last drop.  Another reason I love this mug is that we also use it to have a cold drink in and we use it to eat anything we would use a bowl for like soup, stew, chili, etc.  Because this one mug is so versatile we don't have to bring extra bowls and cups and can fill our small cabinets with other things we need.

7. Packing Cubes - We don't have any closets or drawers for our clothes in our small trailer so we have experimented with different ways of traveling with our clothes.  We started out by bringing our suitcases and leaving them in the car but the suitcases took up too much room and made it hard to get to anything else we needed to leave in the car.  On our next road trip, we put them in hamper bags in the car which took up less space and worked a little better but really wanted a way to have our clothes in the RV with us.  The only space we really have for them in the trailer is on the one long and one short shelf.  But our clothes had to be more secure than just piled up on these shelves as we found out after one quick turn and one bump in the road.  So we tried the packing cubes.  We got a set of four each which makes it easy to sort and find the apparel we are looking for and our bags are different colors from each other which helps too.  We think have finally solved our clothing dilemma.

8. Insulated Lunch Bag - We plan a lot of activities into our road trip itinerary.  Making lunch in the morning and bringing it out with us saves us the time and trouble of finding a place to eat not to mention the time it takes to be seated and served.  Of course, eating the local cuisine is sometimes one of the activities of the day, then that is a different story.  But most days are filled with places to see or trails to hike.  In that case, having a prepared lunch is ideal for us.  We are either eating it in the car as we travel from one sight to the next or enjoying our picnic lunch outdoors before a hike.  We found out, however, that sometimes plans change and we end up eating lunch very late or not at all so we would be drinking warm soda or throwing food away.  Now that we have our insulated lunch bag with us on our trips, the wasted food and warm drinks are a thing of the past.

9.  Yeti Cooler (cat not included) - Yes.  We have always brought a cooler on camping trips so this is not a totally new item.  What is new about this cooler is that it saves us time and money on getting and buying ice.  The Yeti cooler is really expensive, though, and we would not have it had it not been gifted to us by our kids.  


10. Portable Radio - Actually, this radio is not new at all.  It is really, really old.  It has been packed in with our camping supplies since our early camping days.  We didn't bring it on our first trip with our RV because the trailer was equipped with a radio.  We found out quickly that the radio in the trailer didn't work at most of the campgrounds we stayed in.  Luckily we didn't toss this little radio out and we packed it on our next road trip.  It picked up stations when our trailer radio couldn't.  It also makes sense to bring a portable radio when you are camping on a site that doesn't have electricity.  

Check out this blog post for more items you might want to add to your list.

10 Father's Day Gift Ideas For The Traveling Dad

What items do you have on your RV camping list that we haven't mentioned. We would love to add them to our list!


  1. Lots of great ideas. Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Monthly Link Party 23!

  2. Definitely a great list and reminders. Thanks for sharing your list and have fun on your next trip. #HomeMattersParty

  3. Yep, I got a few great ideas-- thanks!