How to RV with Less Stuff

By | May 8, 2018

One of life’s ironies is how we often go on road trips camp out in the woods or even live out of an RV for an extended period because we want to get away from it all but then we take it all with us! Surrounded as we are by so many things we’ve lost sight of what’s essential and what’s just nice to have and this is often reflected in how most of us pack for living in an RV be it for a short summer holiday or for a longer time. Sure living in an RV on its own does change one’s outlook towards life and changes the way we live. However trying to have everything you have at home within the limited confines of an RV brings its own set of frustrations. Fortunately the solution is simple – no guru or journey of self-discovery needed just pack light! I know it’s much easier said than done but it can be done.

Why You Should RV with Less Stuff

1. Your RV is just a vehicle and like any other vehicle it has to be well balanced.

2. If weight distribution inside your RV is not done well the vehicle will remain off-balance and it will be more difficult to drive. 

3. A disorganized or overstuffed RV will make it difficult to find what you need when you need it which is very frustrating.

4. More stuff means more work and that’s counter-productive to an RV lifestyle. 

5. If your RV is chock full of stuff the interior becomes really claustrophobic and you will feel uncomfortable.

RV Packing Hacks

  • Take the minimum you can get away with. Differentiate between stuff that’s necessary and what’s a nice to have. 
  • Bring as many multi-purpose items as you can from clothing to furniture. 
  • Organize your RV and arrange it with space-saving in mind . Storage solutions and utilizing all of your space (including vertical) is important. A dedicated storage place for everything helps.
  • Use a list – this helps cut down on the stuff you don’t actually need. 
  • If you haven’t used it ever or in the last year while camping you probably don’t need it.

While minimalist is the goal don’t compromise on absolute necessities. Here are some items you must have with you on board:

  • First aid kit (with any prescribed medicines)
  • Important papers and contact details
  • Your phone or other connectivity devices like an emergency radio
  • Navigational devices (such as your phone or GPS system or a good old-fashioned map)
  • Food – you don’t need to take enough to feed your family for a year but do ensure you’ve got some non-perishables to hold you over in case you run out or it’s spoiled
  • Clothing – while you should only pack the essentials make sure you have the essentials including warmer clothing and rain protection gear

Keep the RV Well Balanced

Once you’ve packed your stuff ensure an even load distribution in the RV. This will keep your RV well balanced and gives you better control. To achieve a balanced load:

1. Check on the details of your RV and be aware of how much load can be safely applied on each axle. 

2. Ensure that your packed items are evenly distributed over the axle of the coach. 

3. Keep the trailer bottom heavy. Heavy items should be evenly distributed on the bottom and the lighter items spread out evenly. Usually the washing machine kitchen appliances power generators water storage etc. make up the heaviest items. These you can arrange uniformly on the axles and then alternately pack the lighter stuff. 

4. Weigh the empty trailer before packing it and re-weigh it after getting it packed. If necessary make suitable adjustments.

Here’s to a happy clutter-free RV living!