Restock the RV for the Upcoming Travel Season!

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Our son-in-law needed a place to stay for three weeks while working with a community clinic in a rural area. We offered our small RV as an option since we had stayed in a state park nearby. He readily agreed and Jim began his "Small-RV Ninja" training to bring him up to speed on the RV systems. 

For me, it meant de-winterizing the unit and then restocking it to make it ready for an extended stay. I thought you might like a quick run-down of what that restocking process entails (you will find the de-winterizing post here). 

I begin by cleaning the unit from tip to tip, inside and out. Then, I move from space to space considering every cabinet and what is needed to use that space. I make a list for each room and then stock the RV from back to front and finish up with a quick cleanup of the floors. 

My room-by-room checklist goes something like this:

Bathroom

Once you have cleaned the bathroom, then it's time to stock up on all those items you'll need for keeping you and the bathroom clean. 

  • Set up the medicine chest with first aid items, over the counter medicines, and toiletries.

  • Your shower will hold the body wash, soap, and shampoo.

  • Remember to stock up on dissolving toilet tissue and tank odor packets.

  • Then stash a bathroom clean up kit under the sink with appropriate cleaners and sanitizing wipes.

Wrap up the bathroom restock with fresh bath towels, hand towels and face cloths and set out a cotton rug that is easy to clean and provides sure footing on the floor outside the shower. 

Kitchen

The kitchen restock may be the most extensive with both equipment and food basics. 

  • Begin with the spice cabinet, restocking all your favorites and maybe a few new spiced to try.

  • Next is canned goods, flour, sugar, coffee, tea, and other cooking basics. You'll grocery shop for each trip, but having the basics on board makes shopping easier.

  • Turn your attention to your kitchen equipment, making sure your have the right mix of pots, pans, lids, and utensils.

  • A set of new pot holders, kitchen gloves, and dish towels is a great way to give a fresh start to the new travel season in your kitchen.

  • For clean up, stock a few new sponges, dish liquid, scrubbies, sanitizing wipes for the counter, as well as an adequate stash of paper towels and napkins. 

Of course, you'll want to check the cupboards to make sure you have the dishes, glassware, and appliances you need. This year, we added a tablet holder to the bottom of our cabinet for viewing our collection of recipes saved as .pdf files. It keeps the tablet off the counter and still close at hand.

Sleeping space

A good night's sleep is essential to any road trip. After a year on the road and multiple washings, we invested in new linens this year. What a treat to have crisp, new sheets! 

  • Restock your linen stash with clean sheets and pillow cases as well as freshly washed blankets to make RV camping more like "glamping"!

  • Treat yourself to a couple of new pillows and a clip-on reading light if your sleeping area doesn't have one installed.

  • Use "space bags" to store extra linens and pillows. If you're unit is really short on storage space, use space bags to protect the bed pillows and store them in the shower stall while traveling. 

When we are staying at a site with electricity, we use a simple night light in the bathroom to make night-time navigation easier in the dark coach!


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Lounging space

Most RVs have a comfortable lounging space with a sofa or recliners. But even the most comfortable spot could use a little "fluffing"!

  • Make your lounge space even more cozy with a couple of soft throw pillows and a lap blanket for afternoon naps.

  • A cooler can double as an ottoman or a coffee table and they come is every shape and size to fit most small spaces

  • Check the batteries in the TV remote and then attach velcro to the back and "hang" it next to your favorite viewing spot. 

While you are in the main cabin space, check the batteries in the smoke detector and any other accessory that requires batteries. And don't forget to give the fire extinguisher a quick inspection to see if it needs servicing or replacement before your next trip.

Cab/Driver's space

This is a great time to set up the cab area too. 

  • Put a road atlas in one of the door pockets and add a note pad and pen too.

  • We also keep a clipboard handy in the seat-back pocket for our travel itinerary and campground documents

  • Extra sunglasses store in the dash pocket or visor.

  • Check your favorite thermal coffee tumblers to see if they need updating - if you decide on new tumbles just make sure they fit the cup holders!

  • Check your RV documents to make sure you have the current registration and insurance cards. 

  • We also carry an extra phone charger in the glove box so the phone can charge while driving

Although we have a great GPS unit we also set up a phone holder on the dash to use Google Maps. We do't use it all the time, but it is nice to see an alternate route when traffic backs up. 

Some extras to consider keeping on board

You'll want a few items that don't neatly fit into the other categories or are things you like to take along for the ride. 

  • A bottle of DEF if you have a diesel engine.

  • Stock the service bay with hand sanitizer, a box of latex gloves, paper towels, and a small trash bag to clean up after dumping the tanks. 

  • Check on the barbecue to make sure you have all the accessories and utensils

  • Extra table cloths for the camp picnic table.

  • Refill or replace the necessary lubricants for the slide, awning, and step

  • Check to make sure you are carrying a good quality tire pressure gauge (yes, even if you have an automated system).

  • A welcome mat is a great addition to keep dirt out of the RV. 

Restocking the RV is a good weekend project and will make your first trip that much more enjoyable. Once stocked with the basics keep them on your trip packing checklist to make sure you have enough on hand for each trip.