Having your own RV is a cost-effective way of enjoying travels and vacations with your whole family. Being able to see the world without leaving the reassuring warmth and comfort of your home can be a thrilling experience that even your furry friends can enjoy.

For first-time campers, the perpetual dilemma is how to pack the bare minimum. The list of essentials can vary. For seasoned RV owners, these are some of the things that will ensure a comfortable, safe, and hassle-free travel.

Note: Food, water, medicines, and other personal necessities – the basics – are not included here. Asses the right amount of food and water you need and pack them accordingly.

1. Survival Kit

A personal survival kit tops the list. You should keep one in your trailer and one in each backpack. Secure basic first aid supplies, such as alcohol and povidone iodine preps, ice bags, scissors, and other products to manage sprains, cuts, burns, and fractures. Your RV must also have its own maintenance tool kit; it should include duct tape, a utility knife, gloves, and other items for electric repairs.

2. Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks or leveling blocks are used to raise the low side of your camper. It stabilizes the vehicle parked on a slanted surface. If you have a camping fridge inside the vehicle, wheel chocks are a necessity. You can choose between plastic wheel chocks and heavy rubber ones, although, both work just fine.

3. Cooking Tools

One of the small luxuries of traveling in a campervan is being able to prepare home-cooked meals away from home. Take your RV dining experience to the fullest by investing in indoor and outdoor cooking tools. Propane grills are popular outdoor cooking equipment. They double as a toaster and provide plenty of other cooking options as well. Nesting cookware sets are also good camping items that help you save storage space.

4. Hoses and Cords

It’s better to have too many than not enough hoses and cords. A potable water hose is extremely important in filling up your fresh water tank. You can use a regular hose but expect some nasty flavor added on your water. Potable water hoses, often white in color, will not leach funky taste and odor into your fresh water supply.

Dealing with black and gray water tanks is a tough chore for RV owners, but someone’s got to do the dirty job. You can rely on a high quality sewer hose in emptying out your tanks. Once you experience a ruptured hose while you’re doing the ‘noble task’, you’re going to wish you spent all your money instead on a heavy-duty sewer hose that will never let you down. To make the job more bearable, an RV flush valve is what you need. Many campers agree that this tool is a godsend.

5. Axe and Shovel

You can probably survive without them, but you’ll thank yourself later when you realize you need them. There are small, folding shovels available if you’re tight on space. Aside from their usual purpose, these simple hand tools will help keep your site clean, warm and comfortable. They are essential in clearing tracks, cutting firewood, digging a latrine if you don’t have a camping toilet, and burying your wastes to preserve a clean environment for everyone.

6. Lighter and Matches

Lighters and other fire starters are absolute necessities in camping trips. They are used to make camp fires and start grills. Waterproof lighters and matches are also good to have.

7. Folding Step

The uses are endless. You can sit on it while dumping gray and black water tanks, and it’s handy for making repairs and cleaning. Even a small one can do the job without taking up so much storage space.

8. Camping lights or torches

You obviously need them for seeing at night. Choose the energy-efficient variants that emit bright lights. Rechargeable torches are also great if your have solar charging systems. Headlamps are extremely helpful for late-night repairs and for walking the dog.

9. Collapsible Chairs and Folding Tables

A folding table serves a variety of purposes. It’s lightweight and you probably need just one unless you have a big family. These are great for sharing outdoor meals, playing tabletop games, and other hobbies. They may also come in handy during repairs and maintenance.

10. Other Miscellaneous Items to Consider

  • Solar panels or a camping generator
  • Jerry cans – for storing water and fuel.
  • Buckets – for washing dishes and laundry
  • Hammocks and reclining chairs if comfort is high on your list
  • Mobile WiFi hotspot