Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RV Road Trip Checklist & Tour


Earlier this summer I was asked if I could give a little tour of our RV and go through the logistics of where everyone sleeps. This is our first RV and we've had it for a little over a year now. Up until last month all of our trips had been just 3-4 nights long at most, and not very far from home. I was a little nervous trying to prepare for the 3 1/2 week and 3,500 mile road trip we took this past month, but everything came together and we had an amazing time!  I took a few pictures as I was packing the RV, and during our trip, to share along with our packing list.



When my Dad purchased the RV (used) a few years ago, it did not have a table, just a couch under the window. My Dad took out the couch, cut it in half and then re-installed it as seats for a table. My mom was out of town at the time and she came home to find that one of the leaves to my great-grandmother's old antique table had been turned into a table for the RV... Whoops! Anyway, it looks beautiful and he set it up so that it can also be turned into a bed. 

We bring along a Crucifix as well to hang in the RV when we are parked. Oh, and holy water for blessing campsites! 

The RV is really small for our family and someday we would love to get a larger Class C Motorhome, maybe one with a table and a couch for extra seating and beds, but we are making this work for now and creating so many wonderful family memories! 


RV Packing List 

Kitchen & Dining Essentials

Pack the cabinets in the kitchen very tightly so that when the RV is in motion, the items won't fall all over the place. Avoid glass articles if at all possible. 

Paper/Plastic Cups and Black Sharpie for writing names
Styrofoam Cups
Coffee Mugs
Paper Plates, Trays, Bowls (large and small)
Napkins
Paper Towels
Plastic Utensils

I stock up on paper goods at Costco.

Trash Bags
Ziplock Bags (snack, sandwich, gallon)
Aluminum Foil
Saran Wrap
Crock Pot Bags (if bringing crock pot)
Clorox Wipes
Counter Spray
Dish soap
Glass Spray
Hand Soap

(I love the Mrs. Meyer's Counter Spray and Hand Soap.)

Potholders
Apron
Kitchen Towels/Dishcloths/Sponges
Small Broom/Dustpan
Tablecloth (outdoor)
Placemats (indoor)

The RV stove is not quite big enough for a family of nine, or my pots and pans... Cooking in batches!

Utensils
Spatula
Cooking Spoon
Slotted Spoon
Peeler
Salad Tongs
Ice Cream Scoop
Whisk
Cheese Grater
Bag Clips
Skewers
Paring Knife
Knives
Kitchen Shears
Matches and/or lighters
Tupperware
Bottle opener
Can opener
Corkscrew
Mixing bowls and spoons
Pots – large and small
Strainer
Frying pan
Griddle
Wok
Cutting Board (large and small)
Water Bottles
Disposable Aluminum Baking Dishes

Coffee Maker (We bought a Mini Keurig for the RV and it's perfect!) 
Crock Pot
Electric Kettle (This is the one we have. So nice for quickly boiling water when we have hook-ups.) 
Toaster (We don't have one for the RV yet, but it would have come in handy.) 



Additional Campsite Essentials:

Propane Stove (not necessary with RV stove, but definitely helpful at times with a large family!)
BBQ Grill (we also have the Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill as another option for camping trips)
Fuel for Stove/Grill
Roasting Sticks for Marshmallows
Extra Bin for washing dishes
Lanterns
Fire Wood

Cooler
Ice
Food (separate Food Checklist)
Water Bottles/Drinks

(We always buy a couple cases of Water Bottles at Costco, in addition to some gallon sized jugs that can be refilled, and store them in the bottom of the closet.)

Bathroom/Medicine Cabinet

Soap
Shampoo and conditioner
Baby Wash
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Mouth Rinse
Flossers (and Retainers!)
Shaving Cream
Deodorant
Bath Towels
Hand towels
Washcloths
RV Toilet paper
Brushes
Combs
Hair Dryer
Curling Iron
Mom’s Makeup Bag
Dad’s Toiletry Bag
Kids’ Toiletry Bags
Hair Accessories
Nail Clippers
Sunscreen
Insect Repellant

Allergy Medication (Zyrtec, Benadryl)
Fever Reducer (Tylenol)
Arnica
Zanfel, Tecnu, Calagel (for Poison Oak)
Emergen-C
Additional Vitamins and Meds

I'd love to find some nice containers to help keep things organized inside the Medicine Cabinet... We also packed along the potty chair since our 3 year old decided he was ready to potty train (or at least start) the day before we left! Thankfully we had the RV for the trip. 

Sleeping

Sheets for all the beds
Pillows and pillowcases
Extra blankets and/or sleeping bags
Mat for on the floor
Tents, poles, stakes
Tent footprint (ground cover for under tent)
Extra tarp or canopy

Extra blankets and pillows get piled on the bed in the back of the RV. 
Where do we all sleep? Usually, when we are camping locally, we pitch tents for the older boys and then there is plenty of room. However, on this last trip, everyone slept inside while we were at Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Sean & I (and sometimes our 3 year old) had the bed in the back, our two teenage boys had the bunk over the cab, the three girls had the table bed, and the two youngest boys were on a mat on the floor. It doesn't leave much (any!) room for walking around. :)

Relaxing & Playing Outside

Lounge chairs
Books
Cards and Games
Pens and Paper
Journals
Coloring books and crayons
Sunglasses
Hat or visor
First Aid Kit
Backpacks
Bikes and Scooters (we have this bike rack)
Helmets
Frisbee
Football, Soccer Ball, Volleyball
Lawn Games
Binoculars
Fishing Poles
Beach Towels
Life Jackets

Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride, Say Anything Family, Farkle, Spoons, NHL Spot It, and Pass the Pigs were some of the games the children choose to bring on this road trip.

Beach towels & sleeping bags are stored in the cabinets under the table. 

RV Essentials

Flashlights
Batteries
Scissors
Fire extinguisher - Rechargeable
Ropes
Shovel
Water hose
Tool kit (hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, etc)
Road Flares
Trash and recycling cans and/or bags
Leveling blocks
Outdoor Rug
Extra Washers
Propane
Duct Tape
Gloves
Jumper cables
Tire pressure gauge
Light bulbs
Extension cord
Tarp
Oil for your RV, a gas can, rags

Plastic Containers are great for organizing batteries, flashlights, and other small items. 

Electronics

Camera, Extra Lens, Battery Charger
Laptop, Charger, External Hard Drive
iPad, charger
iPhone, charger
Walkie Talkies
Audio Books
DVDs

Each of our children has always had their own little suitcase. On this particular trip they used those for all their clothing, except for their Mass clothes which was hung in the RV closets. The older children also pack a backpack as well with some of their other personal items. The suitcases are stored up above the cab and in various other places in the RV.

Clothing

For this particular trip we were on the road for twenty-five days, from July 1st through July 25th. The first 10 days of our road trip were spent in National Parks and the remaining two weeks our children attended summer camps. I wasn't sure how often I would have access to laundry facilities so we packed enough clothing for 10 days. I ended up doing three loads of laundry before leaving Grand Teton (Day 6), two loads of the older boys laundry just before their summer camp began (Day 12), four loads at an RV park in Idaho in preparation for the girls camp, and then another 4 or 5 loads at the same RV park sometime after the boys camp ended. It all worked out and seemed to be just the right amount of clothes. 

For the Girls:
2 Mass outfits
1 Chapel Veil
6 skirts and tops or play dresses
1 nightgown
1 pajama/sweats
1 sweatshirt
1 jacket
1 swimsuit
10 pairs of underwear
4 camisoles
4-6 pairs of socks
3 pairs shoes (Mass, sandals, hiking)
1 pair flip-flops (for camp showers)

For the Boys:
2 Mass outfits (collared dress shirts, dress pants, belt, tie)
7 bottoms (5 shorts, 2 jeans)
1 belt (older boys)
10 tops (8 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
2 pajamas/sweats
1 sweatshirt
1 jacket
1 swimsuit
10 pairs of underwear
8 pairs of socks
3 pairs shoes (Mass, sandals, hiking)
1 pair flip-flops (for camp showers)

Dad’s Clothes/Shoes
Mom’s Clothes/Shoes
Laundry Soap
Laundry Hamper and/or Basket (I didn't have this and it's on the list of things to bring next time!) 

My husband and I use the cabinets above the bed in the back for our clothing and for storing some extra blankets, baby diapers, etc. This last trip we hung all the boys/men Mass clothing (and our 8 year old's First Holy Communion outfit!) in the smaller of the two closets. All of my tops and skirts, along with the girls' Mass outfits, went in the larger of the two closets along with the water bottles and other kitchen supplies. 

Baby/Toddler

Diaper Bag (Diapers, Wipes, Plastic Bags, Hand Sanitizer, Extra Sunscreen)
Potty Chair
Other: Toys, Pack-n-Play, Baby Carrier, Stroller, and Sippy Cups (We only brought a few toys... My baby isn't such a baby anymore!)


Before we leave:

Schedule someone to feed cat/check house, water plants
Stop Mail
Cancel Trash P/U
Pay bills/set up online bill pay
Turn down water heater and a/c
Lock the house

Don’t Forget:
Purse/Wallet
Daily Planner, Mama’s Notebook
Mass Bag – packed with veils, missals, etc
Rosaries

Maps, area information
Campsite reservation confirmation #
Campsite phone numbers


Helpful Information/Apps:

Avenza PDF Mobile Maps (PDF Maps of Parks, this is so awesome!)
GasBuddy.Com (Check for cheapest gas, download the App here)
SaniDumps.Com (RV dump locations, download the App here)





15 comments:

  1. Wow! You are so organized, and it looks like it all went very smoothly. What fun summer memories!

    2015-08-06 13:13:43

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    1. Thanks, Janelle! I wasn't feeling very organized in the days just before our trip - in fact I didn't even know what day we would be leaving! Originally we only planned to be gone two weeks - taking the children to the summer camps - and my husband's leave had been approved to start on the 9th, but then some friends asked if we wanted to meet at Grand Teton for the 4th of July! We had hoped to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone at some point this year so it was the perfect time to make a big loop, IF my husband could meet his deadlines and take that extra week off... He worked Saturdays and extra late nights the two weeks before our trip, and I was doing the same at home! Whew! We were both exhausted before we even got out the door! ;) It all came together though and everything did go very smoothly once we got on the road!

      2015-08-06 19:39:53

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  2. It is such a big task for moms of big families to pack and travel. You look like you have the planning down perfectly! We live in the Mid West but travel to the East Coast to visit family and rent a beach house as frequently as we can. So much fun, so many good memories. Kinda tiring too - I need at least 3 days to recuperate from the driving!!! (ours is only 2,800 miles round trip though!) Anyway, I was wondering... do you shop for groceries when you stop each night? Is there a fridge for perishables? We have an Econoline... so I can only pack a (very large) rubber maid box filled with non perishables and one cooler for drinks. We also always try to get suites for the kitchenette at the hotels along the way. Love your photos of your trip, it looks like you all had a wonderful time! I hope you are refreshed and ready for the school year ;-)

    2015-08-06 15:17:46

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    1. Thank you, Kim! I'm in denial that it is already August and our school year will be starting in a few weeks! ;) It's taken me the past year to get the planning down for the RV trips... Thankfully the two short trips we did at the beginning of summer really helped me figure out just what I was going to need for the long road trip, and also get a jump start on filling the cupboards with supplies. Even though we've been home a couple weeks now, I think I'm still recovering from the drive! Groceries... Yes, there is a small fridge and freezer in our RV. It runs on electricity when it is plugged in to hook-ups and on propane when we are driving or dry camping. If you look at the second picture in this post you can see it right behind the table seat. I did take some pictures of the food in the cabinets, but completely forgot to take pictures of the fridge and freezer once they were filled for the trip! We left with a full fridge and cupboards as well as an extra rubbermaid box in the back of the mini-van filled with snacks that I can have on my diet. We stopped at grocery stores a few times during the trip to restock the fridge and cupboards.

      2015-08-06 19:58:46

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  3. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into your RV! My husband and I love to camp and it is our dream to one day have a motorhome. Currently we have an 8ft Rockwood pop-up camper and that is fine for the 4 of us and we love to camp! We currently use the table area for the pack and play and my husband rigged up a system where the pack and play is secured to the base of the table by bunge cords so we don't have to worry about our daughter getting too excited and flipping the pack & play on its side. LOL! Can't wait to see more pictures from the trip!

    2015-08-06 18:38:14

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    1. Thanks, Marie! I never thought we'd end up getting a motorhome, but it sure has helped make traveling doable and more affordable for our large family! The pack and play set up you have sounds great! lol I keep telling my husband that we need to make one of those hanging cots for across the cab area to use as an extra bed. Have you seen those?

      2015-08-06 20:04:31

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  4. Do you drive the mini van separately or tow it behind the RV. Looks like a lot of work but also a ton of fun making great memories!

    2015-08-06 21:03:54

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    1. In order to have seats and seat belts for everyone, I drive the mini-van and my husband drives the RV. There were a couple days where I didn't think I could drive any further (around the time we stopped for a break at Craters of the Moon at the end of Day 2) and again during the final drive home (11 hours straight with only two stops - one for gas and one to make lunch!) but we made it and it was definitely worth all the work (and gas!).

      2015-08-06 21:19:13

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  5. Those backpacks your kids used for their clothes, may I ask what brand those are? They look perfect for what I've been searching for my own littles to use.

    2015-08-20 05:31:11

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    1. They are little upright suitcases from Target. We purchased them quite a few years ago but they probably still have something similar. They have been great!

      2015-08-20 05:56:11

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  6. Elizabeth CarreonJune 5, 2022 at 11:22 PM

    Jessica, We drove out to Dallas this August (where I got to meet Charlotte, mark that off my bucket list hahaha) in our 24ft RV. We are a family of 7, so I know how cramped you all must have been! Ours was a 3 week trip so we had to make our space count. My SIL gave me some awesome ideas, if you are interested I can share those with you. You may already use them, but who knows.

    2015-08-31 15:56:43

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  7. Irish Red Cross BlogJune 5, 2022 at 11:22 PM

    Amazing! You are so sorted out, and it would appear that everything went easily. What fun summer recollections!

    2015-12-07 07:05:38

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  8. Wow this is one of the most through RV checklists I've encountered! It'll definitely come in handy. Thanks!

    2015-12-31 05:44:55

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  9. Having a checklist like this is essential to getting out the door with everything you will need for an RV road trip. I have had to stop several times on the road to purchase forgotten needed items. The next step is properly organizing all the supplies so everything fits, just as you have done here.

    2016-02-01 09:52:25

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  10. Many thanks for compiling these checklists. I am a first time RV owner, 201 T@B CS-S, and didn't know where to start. These were extremely helpful!

    2016-03-18 07:18:40

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