It’ll Fit! Packing Tips for Camping Trips

With a surge of new RVs hitting the road during the pandemic, many people are just figuring this whole camping thing out. Whether you just purchased your “home away from home,” or you have several camping seasons under your belt, there’s always something you can do to improve the camping experience. One of the best ways to ensure your upcoming camping trip is a success is to be well organized – and that starts before you even leave home.

Let’s talk meal planning.

Starting a trip without any idea of what you’ll eat for meals can end up being very expensive, very quickly. Think: fast food runs, trips to the nearest Walmart, marked-up groceries from the camp store…you get the idea. That’s why it’s important to plan out meals in advance. (And don’t expect to bring your whole fridge; there simply won’t be room.)

Consider easy-to-cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner items that don’t require a ton of different ingredients. (Again, space is at a premium!) One-pan dinners that can double as next-day’s lunch are great, as they require minimal prep and cleanup. Additionally, something like hard-boiled eggs can be made in advance and enjoyed with coffee for breakfast, chopped and sprinkled on a salad, or as a snack when you need a quick shot of protein.

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Speaking of snacks, pack plenty. Your days will probably be filled with lots of fun outdoor activities and you want to keep your energy up. Also, what’s a road trip without snacks?! Crackers, granola, and other non-perishables are easiest to bring along because they don’t take up precious refrigerator space.

Keep that kitchen tidy.

If you’re planning to cook many of your own meals (and for budget’s sake, you should) then, you’ll need a strategy to keep everything organized. After all, in addition to ingredients, you’ll need pots, pans, dishware, cooking and eating utensils, and a variety of other kitchen accessories.

It’s amazing what organizing a few key areas will do for the feeling of space in a camper. One of the most underutilized areas of storage space in an RV are the kitchen cabinets. Many RVs have tall cabinets without any sort of shelving or organizing. That’s nice if you’re trying to stash large luggage and need more room, but frustrating if you have a row of canned goods and a jumble of chips on top in with lots of headroom left. It becomes wasted space, and surely a mess of chips coming at you when you open the cabinet door after traveling.

Stackable containers, shelf risers, and hanging organizers are an obvious go-to, but don’t be afraid to get creative. A dish rack works great for vertically storing sheet pans or pot lids. And while tension rods can hold towels or items with hooks, they also do an excellent job of keeping pantry items from falling out of open cabinetry.

Think beyond the kitchen, too. A utensil caddy can double as a snack station for kids, while creating a sunscreen/bug spray/first aid station out of a three-tier organizer keeps important essentials handy, organized, and accessible.

Don’t ignore wall space.

Command Hooks are a camper’s best friend. Accumulated jackets, hats, keys, and more will have a place to hang, and if you need the space back, the adhesive removes easily with no sticky residue or damage left behind. If you’re not afraid of something a little more permanent, peg boards are an easy way to organize things like pots and pans, while wall-mounted magnetic strips make knife storage safe and secure.

When looking for places to hang items, don’t forget about doors. Over-the-door shoe organizers can work double duty, holding shoes and items like sunscreen, bug spray, hair brushes and dryers, Tylenol, and other toiletries. If you have a door on the bathroom and want a cleaner look, hang the rack on the inside of the bathroom door. Then your toiletries are accessible while you’re in the bathroom.

Organize the outside of your ride.

Consider utilizing a hitch on your travel trailer or fifth wheel to haul bigger items like bicycles, coolers, and even a kayak. (Always check your vehicle and RV’s weight and towing capacities before loading them up.)

Roof racks are great for hauling extras like outdoor gear, coolers, or maybe a canoe. Basket racks and other specialty rack/hitch items can even help you bring gear like chairs without having to utilize the underbelly of the RV for storage, saving you space for more important things…Cornhole, anyone?

Additional Things to Consider Before Hitting the Road
  • When it comes to packing, think about your trip. Things to consider are how long you will be going for, what the weather will be like at your destination, and perhaps any place you may be stopping along the way.
  • Will there be laundry facilities available where you’re staying? If so, you can cut down on how much you have to pack knowing you’ll be able to wash clothes.
  • Speaking of clothes, save room in your suitcase or bag by rolling clothes rather than folding them.
  • Keep items you may need in case of inclement weather during travel handy by packing them in the backseat or trunk of the car. For example, heavy jackets, rain jackets, boots, gloves, hats, etc.
  • Work from a list. Grabbing items and tossing them in the RV as you think of them rarely works out. Inevitably something is forgotten. Plan ahead, make a list and mark it off as the items are put in the RV.

Manufacturing all of its products in the USA since 1971, Surco Products Inc. specializes in well-constructed, reliable cargo management solutions. A family-owned business that stretches across three generations, the people behind Surco know how important it is that the whole gang and all their gear make it to the next destination safely and without hassle. The company carries a diverse line of automotive accessories with an eye on quality always first and foremost. For more information, visit