9 RV Emergency Kit Essentials
It’s always a good idea to have an RV emergency kit in the event someone gets hurt while camping or you get lost or break down while towing, or you use your RV as a temporary home during a mandatory evacuation. Here are our 9 RV emergency kit essentials:
- Important Documents
- First Aid Kit
- Non-Perishable Food
- Seasonal Clothing
- Cell Phone Charger
- Personal Toiletries
- Basic Maintenance Kit
You should keep paper copies in your RV emergency kit as well as digital backups of all important documents, including:
- Insurance documents
- Bill of sale
- Identification (driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, et cetera)
- Health care information
- Banking information
- A list of important phone numbers
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is essential for any RV emergency kit - though you’ll probably be using this part far more often than anything else thanks to the rough and tumble that goes with camping. Your first aid kit should include:
- Bandages (different sizes)
- Sterile gauze (different sizes)
- Rolled bandages
- Triangular bandage
- Cleansing wipes
- Safety pins
- Skin rash cream
- Anti-itch cream
- Antiseptic cream
- Sunburn cream
- Cough medicine
- Distilled water
- Water disinfectant
- Ice packs
- Emergency blanket
- Pocket mask
- Disposable sterile gloves
- First aid manual
- Emergency phone numbers including your doctor, pharmacy, poison control, and other health-related numbers
You should also have any prescription medications on hand.
A flashlight is essential to help you get around in the dark. It can also be used as a signal. As a camper, it’s likely you have a few flashlights already in your RV. Make sure you keep at least one per person and have extra batteries.
You may already have food stored in your RV - the fridge and freezer found in most RVs certainly make it easier to bring food. However, you should still have a stock of non-perishable food in case your fridge/freezer isn’t running or isn’t stocked. This can include:
- Canned food, including vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, beans, et cetera
- Protein, fruit, granola bars
- Dry pasta
- Dry beans and peas
- Sauces and condiments
- Trail mix
- Chips or candy
- Nut butter
- Baking and cooking items such as flour, sugar, oils, et cetera
Most of these food items are useful to have in your RV, emergency kit aside. Make sure you check expiry dates and store this food in a solid, sealable, animal/rodent-proof bin or only store food that can’t be tampered with.
Of course, you’ll need a can opener at the minimum. Keep your regular kitchen equipment (cleaned and you may need to store it in a container to discourage pests) in your RV to help make food preparation easier in the event of an emergency.
As most RVers don’t keep their water tanks filled (especially if your RV has been sitting or is being towed), you should always keep an emergency supply of water. The general recommendation is 4 litres per person, per day.
Seasonal clothing is very important. You should also take into account the climate of wherever you’re going. Layers are always important, as many places can get quite cold in wet weather or at night. You may simply pack this every time you go RVing, but keeping a few extra articles of clothing is never a bad idea. Here’s what clothing an RV emergency kit should include the following for each member of your family:
- Warm sweater
- Warm jacket
- Waterproof jacket
- Sturdy footwear
Cell Phone Charger
Cell phones are incredibly useful in emergency situations - you can communicate with loved ones, seek emergency help, figure out where you are, and get important information and updates. Always keep a phone charger and charged power bank in your RV emergency kit.
Personal toiletries can provide comfort and be functional during an emergency. Here are some of the items you should keep in your RV emergency kit:
- Hairbrush or comb
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
Likely, you already keep many of these items in your RV. It’s always a good idea to have a few extras in case you run out.
Roadside Maintenance Kit
While you’re not expected to be a full RV mechanic, having basic tools and knowing how to change a tire can go a long way. Here are a few maintenance items you should keep in your RV emergency kit:
- High visibility cones, reflectors and/or vest
- Wheel chocks
- Tire repair kit
- Tire pressure gauge
- Extra gas
- Assorted wrenches
- Assorted screwdrivers
- Duct tape
- Patch kits
- Work gloves
You should also keep a tow rope, jumper cables, and extra fluids (windshield washer, oil, and coolant). If you’re driving in winter you should also keep an ice scraper, shovel, and traction aid (cat litter or sand).
If you have RV insurance, some policies offer roadside assistance as a perk. We offer basic and elite emergency roadside assistance coverage.
Other Items for your RV Emergency Kit
There are a few other items that can be included in your RV emergency kit, too:
- Waterproof poncho
- Garbage bags
- Waterproof matches
- Fire extinguisher
- Paper and pen
- Extra blankets
- Tarps and ties
- Local maps
Pet RV Emergency Kit
If you have pets, you shouldn’t forget to include them in your RV emergency kit. Here are a few things you should add if you’ve got animals:
- Pet food
- Collapsible food/water bowls
- Cat litter and pan (if you have a cat)
- Leash, collar/harness
- A list of phone numbers for your veterinarian, local animal shelters, boarding facilities, and pet-friendly hotels
- A copy of your pet’s vaccination and medical records
Assembling Your RV Emergency Kit
As a camper, you likely have many of these items in your RV already. Even if you do, it’s important to ensure you have everything and have it organized so you know where it is. Whether you’re starting from scratch or are double-checking you have everything you need, here’s how to assemble your RV emergency kit:
- Make a list.
- Identify the items you have and what you’ll need to buy.
- Assemble all items on your list.
- Pack them in your RV - you may store some items together in a bin or broken up into different places in your RV, depending on how frequently you’ll access the different parts of your kit and your storage limitations.
- Regularly check on the food, first aid, toiletries, and pet items to ensure they haven’t expired. Switch them out as needed.
While you hopefully won’t need to use many items from your RV emergency kit, it’s a good idea to have it at the ready in case it’s needed.
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