Packing and UnPacking Your RV

 Steve Snodgrass/ Flickr Creative Commons

I know some of you will disagree, but I think packing and unpacking the RV is so much fun. I am a huge note writer. I write notes for everything in my life. In all my years of RVing, I have always had a small notebook dedicated exclusively to the RV. In this notebook, I write down where I am going, camp name, site number I was in, site I wished I had been parked in and other helpful hints about the park. When I am heading home, I make a list of any items I may need to pack for the next trip. Some of these may be the items I need for maintenance or supplies and some may be the non-perishable items and toiletries I need in the future. No matter what it is , I write it in the notebook.

This makes it so much easier to pack for the next trip. I would have never remembered a month later that I needed trash bags, or a light bulb for the bathroom. Then, right before the next trip I check my list and get ready for the next adventure.

This is a sample of some of the things I try to keep in mind when packing for an adventure.

  • How many days will you be gone?   What activities are you doing?
  • Prepare for a change in weather.
  • Try not to over-pack.
  • Plan or tentatively plan your meals.
  • Toiletries/Medicines – I have one hanging carry bag that holds all of this compactly and can hang on a hook in the bathroom.
  • Use collapsible storage boxes to store can goods, dishes, plastic ware, etc. in the upper cabinets.
  • Use zip lock bags for all small items.
  • I use plastic reusable grocery bags to load everything in the RV.
    • Food in one
    • Snacks in one
    • Perishable items (fruit, bread, tortillas, chips, cookies, muffins) and keep them all together in one cabinet so you don’t forget to unpack all of them.

Here is my little story about perishable items…

Store all your perishable items like bread, tortillas, muffins, and cakes in one cabinet. It’s so easy to stash grocery items in various places around the RV to make it clean and neat while you’re camping. I know that when I get home, I unpack dirty clothes, clean the cabinets, unload the fridge and freezer. Then I close up the unit until I’m ready for the next adventure.

Fast forward two months later. You’re packing the pantry and fridge getting ready to go on the road again, just as I did just this past weekend. I kept smelling something odd; not bad, just not fresh. As I was putting towels in an overhead above the sofa, I discovered the source of the smell: A loaf of bread in the back of the cabinet. it wasn’t molded, believe it or not, but it was strong smelling.

Moral of the story: if you store all your perishables in the same place, you will have a much better chance of not leaving bread in your RV.

Writing in your notebook has it’s own unique rewards too. We have been keeping these little notebooks for the past 15 years. I had no idea why I had saved them until I was cleaning out my office. Finding these notebooks was like going on a walk down memory lane. Right there in my closet I had a complete diary of our RV life. There were funny notes about the adventure or the park and then some things that jogged my memory and made me laugh…and a couple brought tears. I would have never imagined that these silly little notebooks would ever be such a wonderful gift!

Have fun on the road!!!