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Make the Most of Summer: RV Prep in 7 Easy Steps

Published on June 29th, 2023 by Carol Carimi Acutt

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Summer officially started on June 21st, but for many RVing families with kids, summer begins as soon as school is out. Whenever camping season starts for you, these summer RV prep tips will get your rig ready for adventure and fun!

Spend Less Time Packing and More Time Camping

RV camping happens to be one of America’s favorite things to do during the summer. A recent RV travel trends study by RVShare revealed that:

  • 61% of Americans plan on going on a road trip or vacation in their RV in the coming year. That’s up 13% since 2022.
  • About 50% of American travelers now prefer RV travel to other forms of travel.

If you’re taking the RV out this season, there’s always a lot of preparation. We suggest organizing ahead of time so that summer RV prep will be less time consuming.

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The 7 Steps to Easy Summer RV Prep

Pro Tip: Keep your RV pre-packed with camping essentials. Then all you have to do is pack clothes and food. Here are seven easy ways to organize and prep your RV for summer fun at a moment’s notice.
Camping gear (Image: Shutterstock)
Get rid of camping gear you don’t use anymore. (Image: Shutterstock)

Step 1: Purge old camping and RVing gear

Look at your existing collection and see if you really need to own some of the items. For example:

Get rid of anything that is old, tattered and unused during the last two camping trips.
Have too many kitchen utensils crowding your drawer? Get rid of the ones you NEVER use.
Do you carry too many old, ripped or stained towels? Get rid of them!
Have old t-shirts you’ve never worn in your RV closet? Get rid of each one.

And if you have a hard time letting go of stuff, ask a friend to help you. You can donate your items or bring a bag full of old clothes to H&M to receive a 15% off coupon and they promise to recycle the material if they can’t donate them. It’s a win win! Get rid of stuff cluttering your life and prevent it from going into the landfill.

Step 2: Clean the RV top to bottom, inside out

Wipe down your counters, cabinets (inside and out), empty your drawers and wipe them out, wipe down the walls, scrub the bathroom, and save vacuuming and mopping for last.

Yes, it can take a few hours, but your RV will look and feel fabulous and it will make preparing for your next trip all the more exciting.

Step 3: Pre-Pack the RV Kitchen with Camping Essentials

After purging the old, take inventory of what is left and what you need. Here is our essential RV kitchen list that is packed at all times:

This long RV kitchen list will have you ready for any kind of camping fun.

Universal pan about 16” dia.
Medium fry pan 12” dia.
Large stock pot
Coffee Pot, French press or stovetop percolator
Electric tea kettle to boil water
Stainless nesting bowls with lids
Small and large cutting boards
Set of plates
Serving platter (1 to 2)
Stainless tumblers for hot and cold drinks, with lids
Heavy duty foil
Trash bags
Paper towels
Water dispenser jubs (bring your own water if you don’t have a good RV filter).
Salt, pepper, and favorite seasonings
Olive oil, avocado oil, and other favorites
Balsamic, white, or red vinegar
Ziploc storage bags & plastic wrap
Storage containers with lids
2 to 3 mason jars with lids (great for making salad dressings on the go or storing leftovers)
Scrub brush
Green scrubbies
Hand soap
Dish soap
10-20 kitchen towels (small and large)
Hot hands / oven mitt
Rubber gloves for cleaning
Stainless steel scrub (use baking soda & vinegar or a brand like Barkeeper’s White Vinegar for cleaning)
One sharpie
Masking tape
Twist ties
Rubber bands

Step 4: Pre-Pack the Outdoor RV Cooking Essentials

Whether you love cooking on the stove or cooking over a campfire, keep these RV kitchen supplies packed in your RV to be ready for camping at a moment’s notice.

Consider storing these items in plastic tubs to keep animals away from your supplies.

BBQ tool set
Hot hands / potholder
Waterproof tablecloth
Campsite lights, like solar lanterns and solar mason jar lights
Picnic table caddy
Long lighter
Outdoor rug
Fire starter, kindling and a fire stick
Outdoor camp chairs
Cozy blankets
Head lamps
Lito Luxury flower pattern solar lantern
Pretty solar lanterns light up the patio at night. (Image:

Step 5: Pre-Pack RVing Pet Essentials

Keep these items packed in your RV at all times

  1. Light Up Long Dog Leash
  2. Light Up Dog Collar
  3. Pet water and food bowl that is only for the RV
  4. Cat or Dog bed
  5. Dog hiking water bottle
A light-up dog leash for camping (Image:
A light-up dog leash for camping (Image:

Step 6: Pre-Pack Household RV Supplies

Every RV should have these household supplies inside at all times.

Broom and dust pan
Bathroom cleaner & scrub brush
Paper towels, toilet paper, tissue
First aid kit
Favorite cosmetics
Cozy blankets
Bedding (2 sets)
Extra disposable batteries
Black tank toilet chemicals
Disposable gloves
Hand sanitizer
Phone and computer chargers
Pens, pencils, paper, scissors
Basic household tool kit
Rope, zip ties, ratchet straps
RV levelers
Fire extinguisher

Step 7: Pre-Pack Outdoor Fun Essentials

Be ready for any outdoor activities. Keep these items packed in your RV at all times:

  • Water bottles
  • Picnic backpack
  • Swiss army knife
  • Compass
  • Small notebook and pen to write down your favorite hikes or activities
  • Head lamp
  • Wilderness first aid emergency kit

We know this is a long summer RV prep list. But once you’re done with basic summer RV prep, you will be ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice. Got a last minute spot via Spot2Nite or Harvest Hosts? You’re ready to go!

Enjoy the being on the road in your RV. It’s a big beautiful country out there.

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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