RV Camping Survival Guide – Travel Smarter by Packing Better
The old travel advice, "Bring half the clothes and twice the money" can be extended to RV camping. Just substitute "stuff" for "clothes." While you can rely on hotel shampoo when you're staying at a Best Western, you don't have the luxury of forgetting essential items when your hotel is an RV. Knowing that you are your own concierge can lead to packing paranoia and turn otherwise sane people turn into road tripping packrats.
To stay within the safety zone of your RV load limits and have room to breathe, knowing what not to bring can be as valuable as your tool kit - your small, emergency-only tool kit, right? Remember, every 100 pounds of cargo you tote eats up an extra percent or two of your fuel budget. Sure it's cheaper to bring your own firewood than buy the overpriced logs at the camp, but it's a false economy, especially with rising gas prices.
What to leave behind:
- Gourmet Gadgets: Unless you're a full-timer, stick with a couple of pots, a frying pan, a good knife and basic kettle. While hot waffles are a camping treat, leave the waffle iron at home. It won't miss you since the bread maker, espresso machine and food processor will be keeping it company.
- Cases of "in-case" food: Don't bring enough tinned beans and jars of spaghetti sauce to feed an army or outlast your trip. Unless you're boondocking in the backcountry, you can buy groceries along the way. This will free up space and lighten the load.
- Trim the tools: While a basic tool kit is necessary, you don't need an entire hardware store at your fingertips. All tools should be appropriate for your RV (a slot screwdriver won't tighten Philips hinges) and in good working condition.
- Weighty water: A single gallon of water weighs more than eight pounds. If you do the math, your 100-gallon tank can hold almost half a ton of water and even a modest 20 gallons will equate to transporting an extra person. To keep your fuel costs down, carry only as much water as is necessary and rely on camp hookups for fresh water. Be sure to dump your grey or black water often, especially if you're going to be logging a lot of miles between sites.
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Outdoor Adventure Expert