Preparing a Camper Inside For Travel

by dustytoes

Before you plan a vacation, or book a site at the local campground, here are some basic items that will help keep the camper organized, and your items safe inside for travel.

Right after we purchased our 28 foot Grand Design RV, we headed to Walmart and scoured Amazon and bought a ton of items for the camper. I had done massive research at camping forums and websites, and gleaned unique and good ideas from experienced campers. Mostly I searched for how to pack and organize the inside of the camper. It is a house the is moving around constantly, so packing it takes some ingenuity.
This page will share what I learned and what we use in our RV. These useful items I can personally recommend because they have worked well for us for nearly two years.
Be aware that once the RV is purchase you will have to outfit it like it's a second home! You won't need to buy furniture, but you will need everything else. Many things are obvious, like pots and pans and dishes. But this home moves... it shakes and rattles as you go on down the road, so things are a bit different inside the camper. Keeping things safe and organized and in place is very important to avoid unwanted surprises. It's easy to do this if you have some simple items.

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Before Your First RV Camping Trip

My review of products we purchased and use consistently in our RV.

inside the RVAll of the items on this page are things we bought and use with success inside our RV.  We have not gone overboard, and all items are relatively inexpensive, but do help with organizing inside the camper.

It is not close to being a full list, just some things to consider. Down the page I have all the items listed in the Amazon module because that is where I purchased nearly everything.

It is important to note that we only bought these things once we had the camper in our yard.  Measurements must be taken, and it's much easier to envision what you'll need by being inside the unit.

Keeping Food in Place in the Refrigerator

Spring loaded curtain rods help secure food on shelves.

Tension rods for refrigerator When you pack for a camping trip, you will probably use the refrigerator to store at least some of your food.  I have read horror stories about campers finding their fridge doors open when they arrive, and contents spilled all over the camper floor!

Someone somewhere mentioned that she bought spring loaded curtain rods (paid link to Amazon) and placed them in the fridge to help hold items on the shelves.  So that is what I did, and it's such a great idea!  

My camper fridge is small so I got the smallest size. Make sure the rod size is a little larger than needed so it will fit snugly.  

Before we leave for a trip, I add the rods to any shelf that contains food.  I also add kitchen towels on the shelves to help hold the items in place (and the freezer).  A good idea is to put all the food on one shelf and then fix things once you get to the campground.

Another good suggestion is to not put too much on the fridge door.  Our door tends to not close well when loaded down.  Another option is to use coolers to bring all, or some, of the food along and fill the fridge when you arrive at the destination.  Keep the cooler in your vehicle and not the camper!

Command Hooks Won't Mark the Walls and Can be Moved

A lot of wall space was wasted in our RV so I put these hooks up everywhere.

Command hook on wall in camperMost camping couples and families will tell you that storage is important when buying a camper.  No matter how many cubbies and cabinets you have, you will probably need more places to put things.

We have a lot of unused wall space in our RV. I bought a lot of various Command products to use because they don't leave holes or marks on the wall.  The two Command products listed on this page have worked out the best for us.

The double-hook metal hangars (paid link) are perfect.  They easily hold light weight things like hats, empty shopping bags, a small purse, and light jacket or clothing like a swim suit or pajamas.  It helps to keep things off the hooks while traveling.

Collapsable Dish Washing Basin

Save gray water usage by not filling the whole sink to wash dishes.

rubber collapsable sink basinA recent addition to our camper is the basin for the sink.  Our camper sink is one big rectangle.  We wanted a smaller container because we usually don't have many dishes to do.  The rubber, collapsable container has a drain in the bottom, so it's perfect for washing just a few dishes.

(Click the image to see the product on Amazon - paid link.)

Many campgrounds around here (Florida) do not have gray water hookups at the campsite.  This means that the water used at the sink is held in our tank for disposal at the dump station. We have to watch the water usage at the sinks so the tanks don't fill up. ( We have two gray water tanks in our RV). 

This little rubber basin folds down by pushing on the top.  That green area just folds up and you have a flat item for storing, which is pretty cool!  I like that it has a drain in the bottom too.  It could be used outdoors too.

Bathroom Wall Caddy For Small Items

These little plastic Command caddies have held up.

command caddy on bathroom wallOur RV bathroom is pretty awesome.  Many RVs have tiny, claustrophobic bathrooms and this camper model has a bathroom I love.  I noticed that there was space on the walls and I bought these little plastic bins (Amazon paid link) to hold small things.

This has turned out well because I can find smaller bathroom items easily.  Also they don't have to be packed away before moving. 

I've had this holder on the wall for nearly two years.

Dish Towels Seem Obvious But We Use Them A Lot

Get plenty of these little towels because you may use them for more than drying dishes.

dish towelsLittle dish towels come in handy for more than just drying dishes, so buy a lot of them.  

I stuff them into the freezer and fridge before we move the camper for travel.  They help keep the food in place.  They can be used in food cabinets too, and any place that items need to be secured for the ride.

If you run out of hand towels in the bathroom, they can be used in there. I just stack them up in the corner of one of the kitchen cabinets.  They don't take up much space and are very handy to have.


Free Standing Toilet Paper Holder

This all in one stand works well.

toilet paper holderOur camper did not come with a toilet paper holder.  We chose to get a free standing holder (paid Amazon link) that would store extra rolls also.  Everything is in one place and there is no need to take up precious space in the cabinets.  

Ours is similar to the one I have linked to in the Amazon module on this page.  Because it simply stands on the bathroom floor, it must be stowed for travel.  I simply toss the whole thing onto the bed before we head out on the road.

The bed is a good place to store anything that might tend to move around the camper.

Water and Electric Adapters Are a Must

Use these protectors while hooked up at the campsite.

Just like at home, when you tow your home on wheels to a new place you will want to protect everything inside against a surge in power.

The electric adapter hooks up at the plug in provided at the campground.  The water filter hooks to the camper where the water comes in.

These items are not used inside the camper but affect the inside, so I am including them as necessary items.

Use These Adapters Outside the Camper to Control Water and Electric

These items are must haves and you will use them at every campsite.
Camco TastePURE Water Filter & Hose P...CARMTEK RV Surge Protector 30 Amp - R...

Florida RV Owners Must Deal With Humidity

A big bucket of Damp Rid can help.

Damp Rid bucket for humidityBeing an RV owner in Florida means dealing with humidity pretty much year round.  Our camper sits in the yard with all the windows closed for most of the year.  

For that reason I bought a tub of Damp Rid (Amazon affiliate paid link) and set it inside the camper on the table.  Windows need to be shut so the humidity comes out of the air inside.

I don't know if this is necessary, but I like the idea of keeping the RV as dry as possible.  This big tub has lasted for months.  It is about ready to be thrown away, and I have a new one ready for next summer.

RV Camping Checklist

Your camper checklist may be a long one, but the items on this page may get you started.

RV camper at campsiteEvery RV model is different, and yet they are a lot the same.  From tiny trailers to massive fifth-wheel toy haulers, all camping people require the basics.  

I hope this page has helped first time campers with ideas for outfitting the inside of the RV.  You will need a lot, but don't let it make you feel overwhelmed.  Once you get out there and camp, other needs will arise, but eventually you'll be a camping pro.

Happy camping!

Updated: 10/16/2023, dustytoes
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Any unique suggestions for camper organization?

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DerdriuMarriner on 10/16/2023

There are a couple three more questions that come to mind concerning camper organization.

The computer could crash any minute so I probably could do the first question, related to my previous cooking-related comments.

Does microwave- or oven- or stove- or toaster-heated food end up with food smells all, little, most or none of the time inside the camper? Or might open doors and windows sufficiently air them outward?

DerdriuMarriner on 10/14/2023

The computer crashed before I completed my comment concerning camper life from the inside perspective.

Does indoor-preparation of camper food allow for some versatility, such as baking or boiling or cooking or frying or grilling?

For example, might it be possible or reasonable to enjoy boiled eggs one time, fried eggs another, quiche yet another time? Or must one be limited to boiled eggs?

DerdriuMarriner on 10/14/2023

The first image gives an airy, attractive, comfortable, light-filled, persuasive look at camper indoor life.

The dish-washing arrangement looks completely doable. But what is the arrangement for indoor-heated food?

dustytoes on 10/13/2023

Most campers don't have a lot of color selections. They have a wide selection of layouts, but color palettes tend to be brown or gray. For example, we bought our trailer for the layout and there were no color choices. When we camp we are mainly outside - and do all cooking outside too, unless the weather is bad. So the camper stays pretty clean.

DerdriuMarriner on 10/12/2023

All the images feature light ceiling, floors and walls.

This area is dominated by darker to lighter gray-bodied campers entering and exiting the interstate and parking during entertainment, grocery-store, rest and restaurant forays in area business lots.

What colors inside and what colors outside seem to require the least upkeep to keep everything looking clean and attractive?

I would opt for light colors inside but sometimes they result in so much weekly if not daily cleaning. I would opt for dark colors outside but sometimes they project a seriousness inconsistent with joyous camping.

DerdriuMarriner on 10/09/2023

All my feline sentients have my family-history names -- such as Lydia Sharpe Winterbotham -- from my maternal and paternal lines. They also have nicknames, such as Brindi (Lydia's because of her brindle-patterned coat).

I have the utmost confidence in your feline sentients loving the camping life with you all. I really worried that I never would get Brindi -- who was quite stubborn about some things -- inside even as she was so wonderful about her husband Morse (M on the forehead and anglicized Morse from my paternal Mors line) -- ;-D -- and four kittens preceding her becoming a house, indoor sentient too.

dustytoes on 10/09/2023

I hope they will come to enjoy it and be happy. Lydia sounds like a character!

DerdriuMarriner on 10/09/2023

Me too, I agree that feline sentients are adaptable to what their human family appreciates.

My latest arrival, Lydia, mother of my four latest kitten sentients, bolted through the living-room window but came back through it an hour later. She displays no interest in open doors and windows. In fact, she moves deeper and deeper into the house. This after perhaps much of a lifetime spent ferally until finally accepting my three-years' worth of imploring.

You and your longer-term abodes, be it camper or house, matter to them. Wouldn't it seem that they will end up loving the camper life at least as much as you?

(Wouldn't it almost seem that they might love it more than you all do because it's the best of two worlds: safe exposure to nature and vacation time with you and your and their human family?)

dustytoes on 10/07/2023

One cat tends to get carsick and the other meows non-stop while riding... They don't ride much these days, so they would have to acclimate - quickly! I've noticed from being a cat owner that cats can adjust to their environment. So who knows, maybe they will love camping.

DerdriuMarriner on 10/07/2023

Feline sentients add so much to indoor and outdoor, mobile and stationary lodgings and vehicles.

My feline sentients began early with becoming comfortable with van-type vehicles. One of them in particular never bolted when doors and windows were open. She drew so much attention from drivers and pedestrians the way she'd so comfortably settle on the tray between the two front seats and on the dashboard.

Will you have to start from scratch acclimating them to a mobile lifestyle?

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