Packing for Couples | Summer RV Trips

What is the most daunting part of camping? Packing!

If you are looking for the digital checklist, you can find it here.

If you'd like the printable, click here.

Forgetting something important can take a trip from great to terrible in the blink of an eye. It's enough to stop some people from taking a trip at all. I completely understand how the thought of getting everything packed can be overwhelming.

I am an organizer and make a list for everything, so I am here to take the stress out of getting getting on the road. My checklist covers everything you need for a successful trip, without the worry of forgetting something.

Find a Section:

Thoughts & Tips | Toiletries | Clothes | Fridge | Pantry | Pets | Linens | Misc.

Thoughts on Packing

The number one tip I can give you on packing for a trip is to make it simple. Have a go-to routine for getting your gear out to the camper and stick to it. Once packing becomes a habit, you can get ready for your trip on autopilot and hit the road without that feeling of forgetting something.

I utilize a lot of collapsable tubs, plastic bins, and baskets to make packing as easy as it can be. You'll need to find bins that fit your camper, so I suggest making a note on your phone with the dimensions of every drawer, cabinet, and space you want to use for storage. That way when you're out and about and find good containers, you can know if they'll fit the rig or not! An example of the list I keep is on the left. It's pretty extensive, I wanted to be sure that, if I found something I thought might work in the camper, I had those dimensions.

Once you have containers that fit your rig, it's easy to pack them up in the house and carry them out to the camper. I have the kids help me carry out each tub so I don't have to do so much back and forth. I cannot stress how much of a difference a good system makes. Maybe containers don't work for you, but throwing things in a laundry basket and making only 2-3 trips out to the rig is the system you need. Find what works and stick to it!

The List

Let me break down each area with things to consider and a few tips. If you are looking for recommendations for items to purchase, click here!


These are your basic needs. What I bring on each trip varies greatly for each area depending on what we are doing and where we are going. If our camping trip is a weekend at a local campground to relax, I probably won't bring much past a toothbrushes, toothpaste, and bug spray. If we're going on a week long trip where we are sight seeing and venturing out a lot, I'll bring pretty much the entire medicine cabinet. Gage what you need, and leave the rest. Be prepared so you can be comfortable, but if you know you won't use your make up for a trip--I'd say leave it at home. The less you have to drag back and forth the better!

One of my favorite tips is to find bins that fit the medicine cabinet in your camper and store your toiletries in them in your house. Then, when it is time to go camping, all you have to do is grab the containers and go! You know you've got all of your necessities because that is where you always keep them! You can easily label your containers to help you be more organized. This way I don't have to have 2 of everything and I never forget things.


My favorite container for clothes are collapsable fabric cubes. I have enough for each of us to have up to 3 containers. The nice part is when we aren't using the camper I can collapse the cubes and store them in one, so they don't take up much space at home. Sometimes I can get away with using only one tub per for each of us (in the summer!) when we are going on a weekend trip!

I pack enough pants, shirts, socks, undies, and PJs for all of the days we are gone, plus one extra set just in case. Then, I usually pack a sweatshirt, rain jacket, and sweatpants for both of us no matter the time of year. It’s not fun to be cold when the sun goes down!

If you have hanging space, I usually leave everything that is normally on hangers on the hanger to save me time. Then, if something is still clean when we get home I just move it right back to it's spot in the closet.


The fridge is an area much like the toiletries for me. Get containers that fit your rig to store things in at home, then you can just grab the containers of the items you need and go! I've got examples of the containers I use in the fridge here that you can grab on Amazon.

Always make sure your fridge is on ahead of time to start the cool down process. Depending on its size and type, an RV fridge can take over 24 hours to cool down to temp. Also make sure you don't pack it so full there isn't room for air to flow. An RV fridge works by circulating the air, so if the air can't circulate the fridge is going to have a hard time getting cool and staying cool. They do make fans to help with this that you may want to consider if your fridge has a hard time getting down to temp.

Finally, if possible, pack your fridge with items that are already cold. I like to take all of my camping food straight from the store to the camper to eliminate the extra step of bringing it from the store to the house, and then the house to the camper. For example, try to buy cold drinks so warm ones don't bring up the temperature of the fridge.


If you haven't figured it out by now, how you store things in your home to make it easy to transition to your rig is THE key to making your camping trip easier. So, just like for toiletries and the fridge, I try to keep items I bring with us camping in containers I use in the camper AND the house. We have a whole tub dedicated to S'mores. ;)