How to Get Out of the Driveway: A Guide to Packing Your RV in Record Time


Growing up with an RV, simply getting out of the driveway always seemed to be the hardest part of our trips. Once we got on the road, everything was good. If we didn’t have something, we could either get it on the fly or really think about whether or not we really needed it.

There are several things you can do to reduce the amount of time it takes to get out of your driveway. Here are a few of my favorites:

#1: Have RV-Specific Supplies


The first and easiest way to reduce the amount of time it takes you to pack your RV is to stock it with supplies that are specific to your RV. In other words, fill it with the kitchen accessories and bathroom items that you’ll need. Then, leave those items in your RV. If you have to take a bunch of stuff out of your kitchen and bathroom every time you’re getting ready for a trip, it’s going to add a significant amount of time to your packing process.

As a general suggestion, your kitchen and bathroom should be close to 100% stocked with the utensils, appliances, and supplies you prefer at all times. That way, you know those items are there when you’re preparing for a trip. In addition, you can also think about keeping your RV stocked with extra towels and linens so that those items don’t have to travel back and forth from your house to your RV.

#2: Pre-Pack


One set of items that it’s going to be hard to leave in your RV at all times are your clothes. But it really shouldn’t take you that long to get your clothes packed and situated in your RV, even if you do it at the last minute. A good suggestion to save some time, however, is to pre-pack the clothes you’ll need for your trip into a laundry basket or duffel bag the night before you plan on leaving. That way, you’ll simply have to make the transfer the next day.

If you don’t keep a laundry basket in your RV at all times, transporting your clean clothes from your house to your RV in a laundry container also meets your need for a place to put dirty clothes during your trip. When it comes to efficiency and packing your RV in record time, there’s nothing that helps more than tasks that accomplish multiple purposes in a single trip.

#3: Multi-Task (Carefully!)


Multi-tasking is another great way to speed up the process of packing your RV, but it should be done with caution. Things like making sure the holding tanks are empty and filling the water tank with fresh water can be set up and allowed to happen while you make another trip or two from your house to the RV with other items.

However, if you’re not careful these items can cause messes that take extra time to clean up. When it comes to multi-tasking as you’re packing your RV, just be mindful not to forget about any tasks that you had running in the background while you were tending to others. That will help you avoid creating more work than you originally would’ve needed.

#4: Divide and Conquer


If you’re packing your RV as a couple or as a family, it’s important to remember that there’s strength in numbers. I always remember my parents dividing up the interior and exterior tasks so that everything could happen more efficiently. One person can be stocking the fridge and organizing the pantry while the other is filling fresh water, dumping holding tanks, and making sure that all the outdoor camping supplies are still underneath in their appropriate storage compartments.

As kids, I remember my parents always making us responsible for our own clothes, any books or reading materials that we wanted to bring on the trip, and any recreation items we desired as well. This saved them a lot of time that they didn’t need to be spending packing for us.

#5: Don’t Forget This Rule-of-Thumb

The rule of thumb we always seemed to come back to after we got on the road and realized we had forgotten something sounded like this: “If you don’t have it, you’ll find a way to work without it!” So often, our trips involved a “layover night” in a retailer’s parking lot before we reached our final destination.

I’m not sure if my parents planned this or it just happened to work out that way, but it always gave us an opportunity to grab any last-minute supplies that we had left behind. And, at the end of the day, we had each other and we had a solid roof over our heads. Those things, in and of themselves, were enough to make all of our trips comfortable and memorable.

So that’s my quick and dirty guide to packing your RV in record time! It’s not rocket science and I highly encourage you to find systems and practices that work best for you and your family. These are the simple suggestions I’ve learned growing up around RVs and as a proud new RV owner myself. 

How do you get on the road quickly? Let us know in the comments.


  1. I always have an RV checklist. We review it as a family. It has everything from meal ‘suggestions’ to snacks, dvd’s, cd’s , passports and dog vaccination certificates.

    1. The checklist is essential!

      1. Cheat sheets are great in every category of life!
        Nice job Tucker!

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