RVsTaking a trip in your RV is exciting. If you do it properly, you can combine the advantages of traveling with the comforts of home. You won’t have to spend your hard-earned money on restaurant meals unless you want to, and you can enjoy many of the same things you do when you’re not traveling.

The key to a successful RV trip is preparation. Obviously, you can’t bring your entire home with you. However, if you plan properly and pack wisely, you can be sure that you’ll have a great trip no matter where you’re going. Here are some things that can help you prepare.

Do a Maintenance Check

The first thing you need to do is a maintenance check. If you’ve already taken your RV out this year you may have done this, but if you haven’t you need to check everything, including:

  • Caulking on the exterior
  • Tires
  • Appliances
  • Batteries
  • Water
  • Liquid propane
  • Generator
  • Sewer hose
  • Waste tank valves
  • Awnings

RV (camper) travel with kidsIn other words, you want to check for any damage that may have occurred as the result of weather or extended use. The last thing you want is to run into a problem when you’re already on the road. Check all of your fluids and hoses to make sure that you have enough and there aren’t any leaks. Make sure all equipment is fully functional and make any repairs that are needed. If you doubt your own ability to do a thorough check, hire a professional to do it for you.

Make Lists of What to Bring

The next step is to give some serious thought to your trip and what you need to be comfortable and safe. Here’s what you need to bring.

  1. Kitchen and dining equipment. You may already have these items stored with your RV, but if not you’ll need to make sure to bring them. You’ll need one full set of dining ware for each person on the trip, including plates, bowls, cups, and utensils. You’ll also need basic cooking equipment, including pots, pans, and other cooking implements. To decide what you need to bring, it may help to plan your meals in advance.
  2. Pantry staples that you can use to make a wide variety of meals. For example, you might include salt, pepper, dried herbs and spices, cooking oil, flour, and sugar. You should also include some non-perishable food items like canned tuna, peanut butter, dry pasta, and cereal. Finally, include a few fresh items but don’t go overboard. You’ll have to pick up more of them as you travel, particularly if you are planning a long trip.
  3. Linens and towels. You’ll need clean sheets, pillowcases, and extra blankets for everyone on the trip. Depending on your plans, you may also want to bring along some sleeping bags. Finally, you need bath towels, hand towels, and wash cloths for everybody.
  4. Cleaning supplies. It’s easy to forget things like dish detergent, laundry detergent and other basic necessities but your life will be easier if you have them with you than it would be if you had to go out and find them.
  5. Basic first aid and medical supplies. You never know what’s going to happen while you’re traveling, but you need to be prepared. At the bare minimum, you need bandages, antibiotic cream, sterile tape, and some basic over the counter medications such as cold medication, allergy medication, and anti-nausea medication, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent. You should also make sure that all of your travelers have their prescription medications.
  6. Personal hygiene items, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, and toilet paper.
  7. Leisure items, including lounge chairs, books, DVDs or CDs, games for the kids, and anything else you think you might need to keep everyone entertained and happy.
  8. Maintenance and repair tools, including a jack, a flashlight, batteries, scissors, rope, jumper cables, flares, and so on. You don’t want to run into trouble and lack what you need to help yourself, so take the time to pack these things now.

As you purchase and pack items, you can check them off. The night before you leave, make a thorough review of your lists to ensure that you haven’t missed anything.

Setting off on a trip is always exciting, but it’s important not to get so carried away that you forget to pack the essentials. As long as you do a thorough check of your RV and take the time to prepare, you can be sure to have a trip that’s both fun and safe.

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