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How to Prepare for RV Camping with Kids for Beginners (Full Packing List and Useful Tips)

Updated: May 7, 2021

Going to RV camping with kids for beginners, especially during pandemic time, there will be a longer packing list.

Before going to RV camping with kids, finding campsite is the first step. For example, you may find available campsites here:

If nothing available, call parks for overnight parking (no hookup or facility available but water & dump site for $10).

Besides, for beginners who are going to RV camping with kids, useful tips such as what kind of lights to buy, how much & what kinds of food to bring could be very helpful. Please check this post for the full packing list and some useful tips.

Part I: List of things

1. Beddings:

a. Comforter/Quilt: One for each adult, and a smaller one for each kid

b. Bedspread: Use one sheet or one blanket for each bed in the RV, or use

comforter/quilt instead

c. Pillows: One for each person (can use substitutes such as thick clothes or


2. Kitchen Related:

a. Cooking wares: One turner,one 10” frying pan (for frying meat or

vegetables), one 2.5 Qt pot (for cooking water), and one 5 Qt pot (for cooking


b. Paper: At least two rolls of paper towels, a box of tissue & one big pack of


c. Plates, bowls, cups and silverwares: Use plates, cups, bowls and silverwares

from home if you want to protect the environment, or use paper cups, plates

& bowls, and plastic silverwares. One pack of paper bowls (if you have

enough bowls, no need of extra plates), one pack of cups and one pack of

plastic silverwares (including forks, spoons & knives) from Costco are enough

for the whole trip

d. Cutting related: One big knife for raw meat,one steak knife for cooked

meat, one small knife for vegetables, one sissorie and a cutting board

e. Seasoning and oil: cooking oil(small bottle or spray), salt, soy source, black

pepper, or anything else

f. Storage: one pack of storage bags (plastic) & several container

3. Cleaning related:

a. For kitchen: dish soap, sponge, disposable gloves & garbage bag, hand soap

b. For table and floor: one pack of disinfectant wipes, a broom & a dustpan

4. Food (need to check RV floor plan for figure out how big the refrigerator is):

a. Meat: one pound meat everyday for each adult & half pound meat everyday

for each kid, better to be washed and marinated such as short ribs, shrimps,

sliced beef and so on

b. Vegetables: one pound vegetable everyday for each adult & half pound

vegetable everyday for each kid, but need to be easy to wash vegetables

such as salad spanish, tomatoes, cucumbers

c. Dairy: eggs, milk(small boxes of milk, no need of refrigerator), cheese

d. Grains (including breakfast, better to be ready to eat): bread, oat meals,

dried noodles

e. Sweets: cookies, Madeleines, candies, etc.

f. Instant food: instant noodles

g. Snacks: nuts, crackers, marshmallow & chocolate for bonfire

h. For Drinking: instant coffee, soda, wine (also bring bottle opener), bottled


i. Example (for 2 adults & 2 kids -- 4 & 7 years old for four days, enough to pack

the refrigerator in a standard Cruise America RV 23 feet): 4 pounds of beef

spare ribs, two pounds of sliced beef, two pounds of chicken wings, two

pounds of shrimp, one & half pounds of cooked beef shank, 16 corns on the

cobs, two pounds of asparagus, 3 cucumbers, one pound of cooked spanish,

one & half pounds of cooked tomato and egg

5. BBQ related (put everything in this category into a separated box):

a. Foil: one big roll

b. BBQ tools: tong, & big BBQ fork

c. Charcoal

d. Paper plates/bowls & silverwares (some, put rest of them in the kitchen)

e. Charcoal lighter fluid

f. Newspaper or other paper (or used paper plates) for set up the fire

g. Long forks/skewers for sausages or marshmallow

h. Cooler

6. Water (since it is difficult to control the quality of fresh water, you need to

bring drinking water for washing & cooking food): A gallon of water(in the

gallon bottle) and two bottles of 16oz water for each adult everyday. Half of the

amount for each kid. This amount of water includes cooking & washing regular

vegetables such as corn on the cob, cucumber, and easy to wash salad greens. If

you need to wash dirty vegetables such as muddy potatoes, please bring or buy

more water

7. Clothes (depend on weather)

a. Jackets

b. T shirts

c. Pants

d. Underwears

e. Socks

f. Sunhats

8. Bath related

a. Slippers

b. Towels

c. Shampoo & bodywash or soap

d. Toothbrushes & toothpaste

e. Body & face lotion/cream for adults and kids

f. Several rolls of toilet paper

g. Diapers for young children

h. Female napkins for women

i. Comb & hairband

j. Shower cap

9. For Entertainment (optional):

a. Books

b. Board games

c. Cards

d. Phone power cord

e. Phone audio converter

f. telescope

10. First aid and supplements:

a. Multivitamins & calcium

b. Alcohol wipes

c. Bandages

d. Pain killer

e. Masks

f. Bug repellent

g. Adult & kids Flu medicine (to reduce fever)

h. Adult & kids daily medicine (if any, for example, iron , eye drops)

i. Hand sanitizer

j. Digestive probiotic

k. Lip cream/stick

11. Beach accessories:

a. Tent

b. Foldable Beach chairs

c. Sunscreen

d. Bath Suites

e. Sunglasses

f. Sand toys (for young children)

g. Beach shoes

h. Floater (for young kids)

12. Night accessories:

a. Flash lights (one for everyone)

b. Headlights or LED light with magnet base

13. Others:

a. Cash

b. Eyeglasses wipes

c. Backup eyeglasses

d. Nail clipper

e. clips

Part II:Tips:

  1. Adults better NOT to defecate in the RV, it will be difficult to flush it. Kids are OK

  2. Things need to be taken out from box ASAP: soap, kitchen paper towel, toilet paper (RV may have a new one in the restroom) & tissue/napkins

  3. It will be better to have a small basket for a toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, soap, face washer and other stuff.

  4. It will be better if taking some of the paper bowls, forks/spoons, napkins, paper towels into the RV closets & set the rest in the trunk.

  5. If taking shower in the campsite shower room, do not put in all the tokens at one time. Put two in, and wait to see whether time is enough or not.

  6. Bring your own small grill for meat in case there is no grill on the campsite. A lot of campsites only have fire rings, not grills. Some sites even do not have fire rings available.

  7. Used paper plates can also be burned in the fire

  8. Prepare some overnight diapers for kids since kids may pee in the bed because of cold weather

  9. Bring an axe with you for splitting the logs since some logs are too big to burn. Or you may go to Home Depot/Lowes for free small wood pieces (need to be careful since there may be nails on the pieces)

  10. Bring a wrench with you if you book a full hookup site. The sewer water cap on the ground may need a wrench to open for sewer water hose.

Part III: How to Improve:

  1. Solution to adults being difficult to defecate in RV: Portable toilet

2. Solution to being difficult to hold flashlights all the time: Light (rechargeable &

with magnet base

3. Solution to organize toiletries: a small carrible organizer

4. Solution to not enough hot water for shower: Showerhead with pump (can cook

hot water for shower)

& a folding bucket

How to use: You may use stove top to cook hot water & dump both hot and cold

water into the bucket, hook the showerhead with pump in the shower place &

take a shower

5. Solution of splitting big logs: an axe

6. How to open the sewer cap in full hookup site: a wrench

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