RVing

Essentials for Stocking Your RV for the First Time

Congratulations on your first RV purchase! This is a very exciting time for you and your family. You finally get to hit the open road and set off for adventure in a camper of your own. But first, you need to figure out what to bring.

Stocking your first RV can seem overwhelming, challenging, and even expensive. There is an art to it, and this checklist will help you take the guesswork out of it.

The key is to bring everything you need, and nothing that you don’t. After your new RV is all stocked up, check out these tips and trips to keep all your supplies neat and organized.

RV Basics

Image from Gander Outdoors

The first rule of stocking your RV is “less is more.” Keep in mind your space limitations and load capacity, and start with the basics.

If you purchased an RV from a dealer, it might have come with an RV starter kit, complete with RV everything you need to get set up on your first day of camping. If building your own starter kit, you’ll need the following:

Next, focus on stocking up your RV with all of the safety essentials. To make sure you’re covered in the event of the most common emergency situations, bring:

Kitchen Essentials

Image from Gander Outdoors

The easiest and cheapest way to stock up your RV kitchen is to raid your kitchen at home for any duplicate or underutilized items.

Most people more pots, pans, mugs, and cooking utensils than they need to be stuffed into in their kitchen cabinets. All those unopened Christmas gifts will finally have a home in your RV kitchen.

Remember, less is more. You won’t be spending that much time cooking in your camper, so there’s no need for a gourmet set of supplies. All you need are these essentials:

Of course, don’t forget your favorite creature comforts, like the coffee maker and crockpot. Nothing beats a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a warm bowl of chili in the evening at a campground. However, be mindful of your counter space and have a plan to secure counter dwellers while your RV is in motion.

Bath and Shower

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When stocking your RV bathroom, start your supply search at home. Upcycle old towels, rugs, and stolen hotel toiletries first, then buy the following items as needed:

Cleaning Supplies

With the limited space you have in an RV, there’s not much room for the traditional array of cleaning supplies. You just need the essentials:

It’s a good idea to keep cleaning supplies in a small caddy for easy access and to keep them from tipping or spilling when your RV is on the road.

Bedroom Essentials

Image from Gander Outdoors

The RV bedroom is a great place for old bedding to find a new home. You should be able to stock your RV bedroom without ever going to the store by bringing these items from your home:

RV Accessories

Even though space is tight, you can always make room for everything you need to have fun outdoors by utilizing your storage compartments. These are the essentials for making sure everyone in the family has a good time, whether inside or outside:

Pet Supplies

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If you’re traveling with pets, make sure your furry friends are comfortable by stocking your RV with a few of their favorites:

Important Items

Always keep the following items handy inside a secure compartment in your RV to make sure you’re prepared for any situation:

  • RV insurance
  • Registration documents
  • Spare RV and truck keys
  • Medications
  • Copies of prescriptions
  • RV owner’s manual

While this checklist might seem lengthy, keep in mind it only covers the basics. You might not even need to bring all these things, but it’s good to have an idea of where to start. On every trip, take note of what you don’t use, and take those items out of your camper when you return home. Make a list of things you want to add to your RV until you find that perfect balance of everything you need and nothing that you don’t.


What are your favorite RV essentials that you can’t live without? If you’re a seasoned camper, what did you think you’d need in your RV but ended up never using?

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