Before you hit the road, there’s a critical part of RV ownership that you must know: how to pack efficiently. RV packing is a unique skill that RV owners develop over their years of use – especially owners of smaller RVs. It’s not enough to just learn what you need and don’t need; the best packers also know how to make the most of every inch of their RV. If you’re looking for tips to maximize your RV space, read our RV packing tips to learn helpful tips for your next trip.
How to Save Space on Your Trips
Make a List, Then Check Off What You Didn’t Use
One of our top RV packing tips is to make a list of everything you need to bring. Then, after you get back, look at the list a second time. If you packed anything you didn’t use, you probably don’t really need it. Remove those from the list for next time. This way you don’t forget anything important, and you can help reduce your packing for next time.
You Don’t Need to Pack Everything
Especially for new RV owners, it’s not uncommon to try and pack for the whole trip. While this works for short weekend excursions, it’s not a great idea for longer vacations. Overpacking meats and other perishables will lead to wasted food, money and space. Other supplies that can be easily purchased at a store during your trip are better left on an “as needed” basis. Unless your goal is uninterrupted dry camping, you can always pick up additional supplies during your trip.
Easy Tricks to Get More Space
Make the Most of Your Doors
There are dozens of ways you can turn doors into extra storage areas. The simplest is through over-the-door products like hooks and garbage cans. These small tools are usually pretty cheap, and let you use space that would otherwise be empty. Over-the-door hangers, storage containers and more just take a minute to place and can give you more room to store your necessities.
Use Peel & Stick Hooks
Another way to convert surfaces to space is with the use of peel and stick hooks. These easy-to-install hooks can go practically anywhere, and many are rated to hold up to five pounds of weight. Many veteran RVers find that these hooks are a lifesaver in the kitchen. Anything you can secure over a hook can be hung instead of stored away in drawers and cabinets, such as:
- Keys, sunglasses and hats by the door
- Towels or bathing suits in the shower
- Cleaning fluids, spray bottles or dustpans in the closet
The extra space adds up quick, and it can even make them more convenient to access!
Where You Can’t Use Hooks, Use Magnets
Hooks aren’t the only way to save space. If you’re particularly handy, you can turn many of your favorite tools into magnetized versions. One great idea we saw was attaching magnets to the edges of a cutting board and under a kitchen cabinet. When you aren’t using it, just hide it away underneath the cabinet! But that’s just the beginning. Magnetic spice racks, utensil boards – you name it! If you look hard enough, you can find a way to incorporate magnets into your storage. This turns any surface, including your walls and ceilings, into new potential places to store your stuff.
Buy Nested & Collapsible Containers
Some campers run into a conundrum on their trips: where do I store my storage containers when I’m not using them? If you purchase nested or collapsible containers, you won’t have to worry. A quick peek online opens the doors to nested containers, measuring cups and more that can drastically decrease their storage footprint in your vehicle. For families packing dog or cat food, this can be a lifesaver! Likewise, collapsible trash bins or plastic tubs can go nearly flat when you don’t need them – allowing you to store them in much smaller spaces until needed.
Convert Media to Digital
Everyone has their favorite ways to unwind. Whether you love to read, watch movies or listening to music, it can all take up a lot of space. Books stacked upon books, shelves full of DVDs and Blu-rays, or towers of music CDs. The more of these that you can convert to digital, the more space you’ll regain in your RV. Of course, it’s always a safe idea to keep a few books and other traditional ways to pass the time – just in case you want to really unplug or even just to save power.
General Packing Tips
Avoid Glass & Easily Broken Items
If you pack anything that can break, it will eventually break. RVs are constantly in motion, and you’ll be going in and out of your RV all the time during your trip. The last thing you want to worry about is broken glass. Your kitchen should be nothing but paper, plastic and metal. That includes everything from utensils to cups. The less you own that can break, the better your chances are of not having to clean and replace important items in the middle of your vacation.
The More Non-Perishables the Better
When you’re camping, plan to change your diet a little bit. While RV kitchens offer most, if not all, of the same amenities your home kitchen has, your fridge space is precious. For longer trips with the whole family, non-perishable foods should be your go-to. They can be stored anywhere and you won’t have to worry about spoilage. After all, you don’t want to have to pack up early because you ran out of food, right?
Less is More
It may be a cliché, but for camping, it couldn’t be truer. Your goal should always be to bring only what you need and nothing more. You’ll pack and unpack faster, have more room in your RV and experience less stress. Depending on where you travel, you’ll leave room for souvenirs and other fun stuff to bring back too!
Bring Versatile Clothing
For longer trips, clothing can be a big source of packing space. Depending on how you plan to handle laundry (if at all) you may end up having a lot of storage dedicated to outfits. The best way to minimize clothing needs is to bring versatile clothes that can be layered or mixed to fit the occasion. This is especially true on trips in more extreme weather – either winter trips or hot summer excursions.
Make a Meal Plan
If your trip will last more than a day or two, a meal plan can make a big difference in your packing situation. Many RVers bring a variety of essentials and just figure things out as they go. Instead, plan your food packing down to the ingredient and save that other space for your snacks or emergency rations. This has the added benefit of improving your budgeting – after all, there’s no reason to let food go to waste when a few minutes of planning can ensure you only bring what you’ll eat.
Don’t Skip the Essentials
When you’re trying to reduce your packing list, it may seem tempting to cut back on items you would typically bring. However, it’s going to be better in the long run to keep a healthy stock of any essential items like toiletries, medications, first aid and the like. It’s more inconvenient to run into a shortage of these items and take an impromptu trip to the store than it is to try to find food or pickup some entertainment along the way.
Entertainment Is Essential
For longer trips, in-route entertainment options are critical to enjoying your trip. While some people may be happy to enjoy a road trip staring at the scenery or listening to music, being bored can happen quickly. A few books, a tablet, or a few board games won’t fill up the space in your RV and can go a long way to making sure you don’t fall into the trap of packing so light you forget to have fun!
The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (419) 786-1126
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