An extensive list of everything you’ll need, gear, and necessities for setup and camping in an RV trailer or camper with the family.
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Related: The Quietest Portable Generator for Family Friendly RV Camping
Everything You Need for Your RV or Camper
Coming in a teeny tiny bit late with this post, but rest assured, it is a comprehensive one that will come in handy for years to come!
It’s mid August and summer isn’t quite over yet. Here in Canada, we have one more long weekend that we always look forward to, before the start of school and the cooler weather. It’s our last chance to spend time as a family and add to those summer memories!
What better way to do that than RV camping?!
Family Camping List With Kids and Set-Up
And of course, there’s all the things that make camping that much better, especially with little ones running around.
Related: Campfire Trail Mix for Kids
Maybe you’re more of a glamper (glam + camping = glamping). Regardless of the type of camper you are, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with this extensive list of necessities for a successful week of camping!
From gear to easy and convenient set-up, to safety necessities like a first aid kit and much more–it’ll all be covered right here.
Feel free to bookmark this page to come back to as a checklist for your next camping adventure!
50 Camping Must-Haves for an RV Trailer or Camper
RV Wheel Chocks
When setting up your camping trailer, make sure it’s on a level lot or ground. These RV wheel chocks are great for securing your camper in place, preventing the wheels from rolling especially if you’re parked on uneven ground.
RV Wheel Covers
We use our wheel covers any chance we get, even while camping. As long as your camper is parked, they protect your RV’s wheels from sun damage, dirt, rust, and corrosion.
Again, if you’re parking your camper on uneven ground, these Lynx Levelers are great for raising any side of your trailer to level it out perfectly. They’re super lightweight and easy to bring along. Use a magnetic level measuring tool for complete accuracy. When your camper is level, it will have a much more stable, comfortable feel.
Bring a drill with you for setting up your camper with ease. We use our DeWalt Impact Drill, along with a socket drill adaptor to adjust the scissor jacks of our camper. This is a must for correctly levelling your camper.
Levelling Scissor Jack Socket Drill Adaptor
When you are lifting the levelling jacks underneath your trailer, a socket drill adaptor can be placed on your drill to lift your levelling jacks up and down with ease.
Power Extension Cord
You can always reach where the hookup is for your hydro with an extension cord. Remember to purchase one that your RV camper is compatible with (20 amp, 30 amp, 50 amp etc). Always have an extra one on hand if the hookup is even further away, to set up with ease.
Amp Adaptor Cord
You will need an adaptor cord if your camper is a 30 amp and you are hooking up to a 50 amp power connection. It will convert the power source to what your specific camper needs.
Power Adaptor for 15 amp
If you are connecting your camper to a home outlet, you’ll need a power adaptor to convert the power source to a 15 amp.
BPA Free Fresh Water Hose
In order to connect fresh water to your camper safely, you’ll need a special kind of hose called a fresh water hose. This is the only hose you can use for fresh drinking water and is BPA free, toxin free.
Pressure Regulator Valve
To lower the pressure of city water, a regulator valve will keep your pipes from bursting by limiting the pressure from the fresh water hose. This will keep your mind at ease when your fresh water is connected to your camping trailer.
If camping beside friends and family whom have their own camper, and there is only one water hookup, a hose splitter will come in hand for allowing multiple connections.
20′ Sewer Hose
This 20 ft sewer hose will allow you to drain your black water tanks when you’re done camping or when your tanks are full. If you’re camping for long periods, it’s a good idea to leave the sewer hose hooked up permanently for constant drainage.
Sidewinder Sewer Hose Support
A sidewinder sewer hose support is for a nice even flow when draining your tank. No surprises. No plug ups. You’ll want as little mess as possible to avoid contamination.
Gas Powered Generator
You’ll need a powerful generator like this 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series by Champion. It’s lighter and quieter than your average generator and provides up to 17 hours of run time, powering up your whole RV camping trailer. All you’ll need is gas to power it up and it’s ready to go.
Grey Water Odor Control
After flushing your grey water tank, pour some of this odor control into your sink or any drain leading to your grey water tank to keep odors out.
Drop one of these tank deodorizers into your toilet, after flushing out your black water tank. This will keep odors from coming back out into your camper as well.
RV Toilet Paper
Just like buying toilet paper that is septic safe if you have a septic system for your home, special RV toilet paper is a must have for avoiding tank issues in your camping trailer.
Aluminum Folding Step Stool
When reaching into high cupboards, for cleaning, or setting up gear, you’ll need a solid stepping stool to access all of the unreachable spots. This one has a weight capacity of 1000 lbs and can be used for many other purposes around the home as well. The built-in level helps when setting up your camper!
RV Awning Screen
Provide UV protection for your family when hanging out outside with an awning screen. Easy to install, simply make sure you order the right length measurement for your awning.
Screened Pop-Up Shelter
We all know how bad the bugs get when camping! A screened pop-up shelter is easy to set up and will provide protection from the sun and from pesky critters. Kids will love to hang out inside of it, to cool down in the shaded area, or to shelter on a rainy day. It’s large enough to set up a picnic table inside.
We love the Coleman Instant Screenhouse too!
Pop-Up Camping Trash Can
This is ideal for any camping situation. A pop-up trash can is easy to store, lightweight, easy to clean, and makes cleaning up your area that more convenient. The handles allow you to carry your garbage to wherever need be to dump, and having it outside of your camper helps to keep the inside of your trailer clean and tidy.
There’s a blue one for recycling as well!
You know that metal lip that’s by the front door of your camper? Thats for brushing everything out without using a dustpan. All you need is a basic broom to get everything out before coming in with a Swiffer (next item below). No more crumbs from the kids!
With kids running around, spills are bound to happen. A Swiffer WetJet makes cleaning your RV camper floors easy, especially the vinyl floors that most campers have. This will help keep your trailer smelling fresh and your floors not sticky, if you know what I mean.
A folding table comes in handy to place outside, under your awning or pop-up gazebo. You can use it to place your table top BBQ on, to serve food, or simply for extra counter space. We use ours to eat outside, keeping food and crumbs out of our camper. It’s also great for cards or family game night!
Portable Propane BBQ
We just purchased our Weber Q1200 portable BBQ this summer and are so happy we did! It has enough surface area to feed a family of four. We bring it everywhere with us, from camping, to the beach, or lake, or cottage! You can purchase the compatible foldable stand, but we place ours on our foldable table when camping.
Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
Ideal for roasting marshmallows by the campfire, these campfire roasting sticks can also be used for cooking anything on the fire! Cook sausages, hot dogs, corn, steak, etc. The kids will love to cook with their own coloured stick, and stand back safely as their stick extends far enough out.
An electric kettle comes in handy for boiling and purifying water from your camper’s taps before drinking or cooking with. You’ll need one if you need to make baby formula, and for mornings when you’ll be making Tim Hortons Instant Coffee.
Premium Tim Hortons Instant Coffee
I have to throw this one in there. There’s nothing like a Tim Hortons coffee, and the premium instant blend is a must for quick coffees at the camper. We usually grab ours in a huge bottle from Costco, but it’s also available on Amazon!
These tumblers are durable and convenient to use with their magnetic lids. Perfect for camping or any outdoor adventure, you’ll be able to keep your drink hot or cold because of the superior insulation and best of all, it’s easy to clean!
Rambler Drink Insulator
Similarly to the tumblers mentioned above, these insulated stainless steal colsters are vacuum sealed and perfect for keeping canned beverages ice cold. Enjoy a cold beer that stays cold longer, or any other canned beverage. They have ones for tallboys too!
Portable Ice Maker
We have yet to buy one of these! Who doesn’t want an endless supply of ice when camping? We somehow always forget to grab a bag of ice at the store beforehand and have to make an extra trip back to get some. This portable ice maker would be a life save when camping.
It’s always important to use environmentally friendly supplies while camping–these paper-like plates are made with sugarcane fibre (no trees were cut down) and can be composted (biodegradable), or burned in the campfire without exposing any toxins. They’re safe to reheat in the microwave and to have around kids.
Similar to the biodegradable paper plates mentioned above, this disposable wooden cutlery set is also biodegradable, compostable, and renewable. They’re non-toxic, and too can be thrown into the campfire because there are no toxic chemicals in the product. A great alternative to using plastic when camping.
Durable YETI Tundra Cooler
Although on the pricier side, there are numerous reasons why you should invest in a YETI Tundra Cooler for you and your family. These coolers are durable, heavy duty, weather resistant and bear-resistant. It offers extended ice retention with superior insulation compared to others on the market, and the thing is virtually indestructible. Great for keeping your food and drinks safe outside of your camper, or for any outdoor adventure.
This is definitely a quality, luxury item. If you’re looking for something much more affordable and still functional, try going with this rolling cooler on wheels which has 75 qt storage space, or the Coleman 100 qt cooler which is comparable to the Yeti mentioned above and half the price!
Water Jug or Container
If you’re able to fill up a water container from home, with filtered water, that would be ideal to bring over to the camper so that you’ll have fresh water for drinking and cooking. These containers come in handy with their convenient valve for pouring water out.
Folding Director’s Camping Chairs
These director’s chairs was our gift to John for Father’s Day and he absolutely loves them. We got ours in a 2-pack from Costco and we love how they are are extremely sturdy and durable, with a weight capacity of 350 lbs! The tray comes in handy as well with a drink holder and a cell phone holder.
Comfy Padded Folding Camping Chairs
We’re all about snuggling with our little ones and staying cozy, especially when camping. These cushioned camping chairs are huge, durable, with a ton of comfortable padding. It’s just like sitting on a couch while outside! Glamping at it’s finest. They even have a wine glass holder. Cheers!
Grey available on Amazon here.
Kids Camping Chairs
These Coleman Camping Chairs have lasted our girls for years! They come with carrying cases and the chair fabric itself is extremely durable. They even glow in the dark! Our girls are 5 and 7 now, and they still use them when camping.
Portable High Chair
A portable high chair comes in handy for feeding babies outside! Fold up for easy storage and transport, and keep food and mess out of your camper. Easy clean-up too!
RV Outdoor Reversible Camping Rug / Mat
These extra long outdoor camping rugs are made to run alongside your camper, under your awning. They help prevent dirt from entering your camper, as it’s a place to wipe your feet and leave your shoes before going inside. It’s also fabulous for kids to play on (since they never wear shoes anyway), soft on the feet, and are breathable for grass underneath. We love how the colours on ours match our camper!
You can buy this exact camping rug over at: Home Depot, Amazon, and Walmart.
We have yet to purchase these, but we know people who have the inflatable loungers from Amazon and their kids love them! They’re really cute and the kids always love to inflate them themselves and hangout on them.
RV Mattress Topper Short Queen
This summer, we purchased a memory foam mattress topper in the size short queen (RV size) which fits on most RV mattresses. It makes a world of a difference, especially if you have trouble sleeping while camping (those damn chirping birds at 5 am!!!) This will help, I promise.
Waterproof Mattress Protectors
Accidents are bound to happen, especially with kids! Your child may accidentally wet the bed or spill their chocolate milk (heaven forbid) on those foam bunkbed mattresses. We have mattress protectors on our master bed and bunk bed mattresses. We even have extras to lay down on the turned-to-a-bed-couch or turned-to-a-bed-dining-table for when guests are camping with us.
Note: With out short queen mattress, the queen size mattress protector fits perfectly.
Cinemood Portable Movie Projector
If you follow me on Instagram, you know we use our Cinemood all the time, especially when travelling and camping. It has preprogrammed cartoons for the kids (and Disney!) as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime integrated. We can watch a movie on our ceiling, set it up on the wall for the kids by their bunks, or outside on the side of our camper to simulate a drive-in! Definitely a must have for families.
Waterproof Shockproof Bluetooth Speaker
Wherever you decide to camp, accidents are bound to happen. With this waterproof and shockproof bluetooth speaker, you can listen to your favourite tunes just about anywhere, without fear of dropping it into the lake or pool, or onto rocks. Durable, compact for packing (just throw it in your trunk!) and works great in conjunction with the Cinemood for a better quality sound when watching movies!
Wifi Range Extender
If you are parking at a camping ground, you may be in a spot with a weak wifi signal. This wifi range extender comes in handy for strengthening your wifi signal. We use ours when camping in our own backyard!
If you are looking for high speed internet in a remote area, you’ll want to read Starlink Satellite Internet in Northern Ontario – Set Up, Install and Review.
Essential Oil Diffuser
Yes, this will come in handy when camping! Camping trailers tend to get stuffy, especially if you haven’t opened the windows to air them out. An essential oil diffuser will help to freshen and purify the air in your camper, as well as offer a ton of benefits such as aiding in a good night’s sleep and promoting calmness and relaxation. Additionally, essential oils such as Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Cedarwood will help to ward off insects and rodents!
Collapsable Laundry Hamper
The secret to hiding dirty clothes in the camper is by putting them in a collapsible laundry hamper, in the tub in the bathroom. Out of sight, out of mind! And when not in use, it collapses into basically nothing, taking up very little space and easy to store away.
Flashlights or Lanterns
We absolutely love having these collapsible lanterns around while camping because they’re compact and easy to store in our camper, taking up very little room. They’re perfect for walks at night, when you’re out in he woods or around the campfire. When you’re not camping, they’re great for emergencies like power outages at home.
First Aid Kit
You never know when someone might get hurt. With kids, a scraped knee here and there will happen, so it’s always good to be prepared. We carry a first aid kit in the back of our SUV for when on the go, and another one in our camping trailer.
There is definitely a lot you’ll need when camping in an RV or camper, but it’s much better to be prepared so that there isn’t any stress and tears when you’re trying to enjoy a camping family vacation.
My husband recommends all of the technical gear–the hoses and plumbing and electrical stuff–because that’s all we use for quick set-up with our camper. Trust me, you’ll want set-up to be easy and fast, so you can get that AC running, and little bellies full of food fast! And maybe even enjoy a cold one.
I hope this list comes in handy for you and your family, and again, go ahead and bookmark the page for future reference. If you have anything else you swear by using with your own camper, I’d love to know!