Ultimate RV Camping Pack List for the First-Time Camper


For the first time camper, the thought of packing for the unknown often leads travelers to pack everything … and the kitchen sink! When you have limited space, overpacking can make your RV rental feel a little crowded. We pulled together the ultimate RV camping pack list to get you on the right track. 


Once you have an idea of how much space you’ll have, start your packing list with the simple, bare necessities. If you’re truly looking to embrace the laidback spirit of camping, consider leaving extra, non-essential items at home. 

General Supplies:

  • Dish Soap 
  • Cleaning Supplies 
  • Sponges or Rags
  • Trash Bags
  • Food Storage (i.e., Tupperware, aluminum foil, plastic or reusable bags, etc.)
  • RV Toilet Paper (yes, that IS a thing)
  • Paper Maps (remote areas may not always have cell phone service)
  • Flashlights (or other portable lights)
  • Batteries


  • Toiletry Kit: shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, tweezers, etc. 
  • Pharmacy: allergy, anti-inflammatory, cold, prescriptions, etc.
  • Earplugs for the light sleeper
  • Insect Repellant
  • Device Chargers and Outlet Adapters
  • Sunscreen and Lotions
  • Hair Needs: brushes, combs, hair ties, clips, hair dryer, etc.
  • First Aid Kit

This is where some of the more optional items come in. If you’re going to do a digital detox by leaving your electronics at home, be sure to bring lots of options for entertainment, including:

  • Indoor Activities: card games, board games, magazines, books, puzzles, etc.
  • Outdoor Activities: Frisbees, sports equipment (football, soccer ball, baseball), portable horseshoe game, etc.
  • Rain Gear: jackets, umbrellas, ponchos and boots
  • Swim Gear: swimsuits, inflatable rafts or tubes, sandals, etc.
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Hats or Visors
  • Firewood : for making s’mores over a campfire

The key to building the perfect RV camping pack list is to stick to the essentials. If you can go a few days without an item or accessory, leave it at home. And, pass on bringing your portable WIFI and laptop if you’re looking to really disconnect. RV camping is all about the less-is-more mentality. You might consider packing an “if it fits” box that you can take with you to pick up your RV rental, but can leave in the car if you just don’t think it will fit. 


Pro Tip: Check with your RV campground ahead of time to see if they sell firewood for campfires so that you have one less thing to bring with you.


One of the benefits of renting from an RV provider like Cruise America is how easy we make preparing for your upcoming camping trip. You can go in person to one of our many RV rental locations and scope out the size of the different vehicles, helping you accurately gauge just how much space you’ll have available. Or you can take a 360* virtual tour of each camper van online. 

cruise-america-rv-rental-packing-list3-(1).jpgDepending on the model, Cruise America RV rentals have lots of nooks for storing your luggage.

Don’t want to purchase or pack a whole bunch of camping items for your trip? Another perk of renting from Cruise America is the kits available to our renters to add to their RV package. We recommend reserving these at the time of your RV rental to ensure availability.

Vehicle Provisioning Kit ($110 each): 

  • Broom
  • Can Opener
  • Carving Knife
  • Coffee Cups
  • Colander
  • Cooking Fork
  • Cooking Spoon
  • Cookware
  • Dinner Forks
  • Dinner Knives
  • Dinner Plates
  • Flashlight
  •  Mixing Bowl
  • Paring Knife
  • Soup Bowls
  • Soup Spoons
  • Spatula
  • Steak Knives
  • Tea Kettle
  • Teaspoons
  • Tumblers

Personal Kit ($60 each):   

  • Bath Towels
  • Dish Towel
  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase
  • Sheet
  • Sleeping Bag/Comforter
  • Wash Cloths

Like with most adventures, you might not get your RV pack list perfectly right on your first trip – but that’s just part of the adventure! Consider going for a short trip your first time to try it out. Check out our RV rental deals to get you going!