Whether you have been travelling around in your motorhome for years or this is your first trip, having a list of essentials is a must.
There are always a few items that everyone manages to forget. But don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of everything you can possibly need on your trip.
Of course, where you’re going will make a big difference to what you need to bring.
If you’re going to be travelling in September, you’re going to need some very different things than if you’re going travelling in July. But we have thought of everything, so you can have it covered.
We have split this list of essentials up into categories. So make sure to scroll down or read on right to the bottom so you know everything you will need.
Otherwise, you might find yourself halfway to your campsite without your toothbrush!
1. Weather-appropriate clothing. Plus some layers. There’s a high chance that you’re going on holiday in the summer.
So make sure to take some light clothing. But, no matter how hot it will likely be, it can always get colder, especially in the evenings.
So whether you’re going in 30°C or 10°C weather, make sure to pack the clothes that you will need. Plus some extra layers. Also we think there are options that are Better Than Down – Warm Jackets That Come Cruelty-Free
2. Pyjamas. This is something a lot of people forget. They will be so focused on their day clothes that they will forget their nightclothes.
Make sure to take enough pyjamas with you to last a good few nights. Even if you have a washing machine on your motorhome or you’re going somewhere with a laundrette, you want to spend as little time as possible doing the laundry. You’re on holiday!
3. Boots and Shoes. Make sure to take weather-appropriate footwear. But also remember to take footwear for other weather situations.
We’re not saying that you need to pack Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe closet. But a pair of shoes, some waterproof boots, and some trainers should keep you covered.
As well as this, make sure to take some thick socks suitable for walking in boots. These are necessary whatever the weather. Check out our article about lightweight walking boots
4. Swimsuits. Of course, this will only be for certain trips.
But, if you’re going away in the summer and there’s a chance of a dip in the ocean or the pool, you’re not going to want to forget your bikini. For when you want to go Wild Swimming in Rivers, Lakes and the Sea.
Home From Home Items
5. Bedding. Depending on how often you use your motorhome, you might have a duvet and pillow set just for your motorhome.
If this is the case, take it out of storage a day or so before you go. This will air it out.
If you don’t, then you’re going to be packing the bedding from your own bed the morning before you leave. So make sure you don’t forget!
6. Bedding covers. Yes, this is different from the last one! Don’t forget to take the covers and sheets with you too.
If you’re travelling for longer than two weeks, make sure to take an extra set.
7. Blankets. Our favourite camping blanket are by Voited. Packs into a pillow, good insulation, withstands damp and drizzle and made with the environment as a priority.
Use them as a blanket, a wraparound, a sleeping bag and a pillow. Lots of gorgeous designs and colours (I have the Bahia), as well as models with a fleecy lining.
8. Towels. This is another super important essential. There’s nothing worse than having to camping shower without a towel to dry you (or to have to go without showering!).
Make sure to take several with you, just in case you have trouble doing laundry or just don’t have the time.
9. Toothbrush and Toothpaste. This is the most important thing. If you forget everything else. Please remember your toothbrush.
10. Hairbrush/Comb. Other hair styling equipment can be considered luxuries. But a hairbrush or a comb is definitely essential.
These are important for the health and hygiene of your hair, not just how it looks.
11. Skincare Products/Makeup. We’re not going to tell you what products you should be using.
But make sure you don’t forget all of your body and face washes, lotions, and potions.
Food and Cooking Equipment
12. Food. This might seem obvious. But the kind of food you need to take with you needs some planning.
Of course, you’re going to want standard camping food, such as hot dogs and marshmallows.
But you should also take a good supply of tinned food. If your motorhome has a campervan fridge, then it’s a good idea to stock up on some fresh fruit and vegetables the day before.
As much as we would all like to, there is only so long you can enjoyably subsist off s’mores and burgers.
13. Pots and Pans. As these are such heavy and bulky items, try to take the very bare essentials. Two pans of different sizes and a frying pan should be enough. Always remember your kettle (it's further down!)
If you have an oven, a baking tray or two will also be useful.
14. Portable Fridge. If your motorhome has a good-sized kitchen with a built-in fridge, then you don’t need to worry about this. Check out our Best Camping Fridge article.
But, if you want to make sure you have fresh food, investing in even a mini-fridge will help.
If your motorhome has a built-in cooker, then you might only want to take a portable grill with you.
You might find that your built-in cooker is enough. But a portable grill won’t cost too much and does make a much more enjoyable BBQ. We looked at the Cobb Barbecue Stove? Read Our BBQ Review.
If you don’t have a grill or a built-in cooker, then you can find very affordable single or double portable stovetops online.
16. Cooking Utensils. The specifics of these will depend on the kind of cooking you plan on doing.
But so long as you have a spatula, a wooden spoon, and a pair of tongs, you should be fine.
17. Cutlery. A few knives, forks, and spoons are all you need. You might be tempted to take plastic picnic cutlery.
But, as these aren’t great for the environment, we’re going to suggest you just take your regular everyday cutlery.
If you would rather not, try and find some recyclable wooden picnic cutlery. Or some reusable bamboo travel utensils.
18. Dining Dishes. You won’t need very many dishes. A plate and bowl for everyone on the trip should be enough. Our Eco-friendly outdoor tableware – Bamboo Plates, etc article is very helpful.
Plus some outside-safe dishes are a good idea for BBQs and picnics.
Not only do you not want to break your dishes, but they will also be much heavier than, for example, melamine dishes.
19. Glasses. As with the dishes, you don’t need anything special. You can take your everyday drinking glasses with you.
Just make sure to wrap them up carefully, as you don’t want to risk them cracking or breaking if you go over a bump.
It’s also a good idea to take some outside-safe glasses with you for BBQs and picnics.
20. Kettle. If you enjoy drinking tea, then a kettle is a must. But, it’s also a practical item to take with you.
If you run out of hot water or something happens to the power, a kettle is a useful backup. Which Camping Kettle? Our Guide To The Best
21. Washing-up Bowl, Washing-Up Liquid, Dish Sponge. This is essential whether you have a sink in your motorhome or not.
The sink shouldn’t be used to wash dishes as it will be too hard.
If a dining plate hits the sink, the plate will potentially break. A washing-up bowl will be much more practical.We've been busy and worked out everything For Campsite Washing Up…Including The Kitchen Sink
You can easily find a collapsible washing-up bowl online if space is an issue.
22. Flask. Even if you don’t plan on going for many picnics or BBQs when you’re away, a flask is a good idea.
As it won’t spill, it will be an easy way of keeping hot coffee or tea ready for when you take driving breaks.
23. Picnic Blanket. We mostly associate BBQs with camping and travelling.
But there’s nothing quite like a traditional picnic.
24. Tupperware. This will be useful for picnics but also for keeping leftovers safe.
They can also be used for storing other kitchen supplies, such as spices and herbs.
25. Cooler Bag and Freezer Blocks. These are essential if you’re going on picnics.
But will also be useful if you don’t have much room in your camping fridge.
26. Canopy. This will be a great addition for when you pitch up.
Even if you take a tent with you, having a dedicated outdoor seating space will be very welcome after being cramped inside a motorhome for hours. Check our Campervan Awnings and Shelters article
27. Tent, Tent Pegs, Tent Accessories. This might seem a little unnecessary as you will surely have plenty of space in your motorhome. Check out our best tents article for more information.
But, depending on how many you have in there, some people might want to spend some time sleeping outside.
Plus, it’s fun. It’s a great idea to take a tent if you have children, especially teenagers who want their own space.
Cleaning and General Maintenance Equipment
28. Cleaning Sprays. Try and find an all-in-one cleaner. This will save you a lot of space.
Otherwise, you can easily find small sprays for cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, and other areas.
29. Toilet Cleaner and Toilet Brush.
30. Cleaning Gloves. These are important when using any cleaning products but especially the chemicals used for waste.
31. Cloths. The best option is a pack of reusable cloths that can be easily cleaned. These will save you money and be better for the environment.
Plus, it will mean you won’t have to take the rubbish out as much. Plus, you can’t run out.
32. Sweeping Brush/Dustpan and Brush. These might take up a lot of space but they are absolutely essential.
If you can, there are lots of brushes available that will fold up or close up like a telescope. It’s also a good idea to take a dustpan and brush for small areas.
33. Bucket and a Mop.
34. Portable Hoover. These are super affordable and will change motorhome travel. They can get into small spaces and are easily stored away. Our best campervan and caravan vacuums article, goes into to more detail.
They can also be charged in a standard socket.
35. Recycling and Bin Bags. Even when you’re out on the road, you should recycle as much as you can.
If you have the space, make sure to separate the general waste from the recycling.
36. Rubbish and Recycling Bins.
37. Tools and Toolbox.
38. Motorhome Cleaner. As well as cleaning the inside of your motorhome, you might find yourself wanting to clean the outside.
Especially if it has become especially muddy or dusty.
39. Sterilising Tablets.
40. Toilet Paper. This is of the utmost importance so stock up!
41. Fresh Water Tank Cleaner.
42. Doormat. Definitely don’t forget this one, especially if you give your motorhome a big clean before you leave!
43. Clothes Line and Pegs. The best option for this is a retractable clothesline that can be attached to the side of your motorhome.
44. Laundry Detergent. This one should go without saying. But there is nothing too important to be left off the list!
With 72 items that are just the essentials, we don’t want you to risk forgetting anything.
Especially if you’re travelling somewhere with few shops. Unclean clothes can definitely spoil a trip.
45. Portable Washing Machine. Just in case you don’t have access to a laundrette!
46. Levelling blocks or chocks. These are really important and will make pitching up much easier. We wrote an article about the Best Levelling Ramps for Caravans and Motorhomes.
47. Water Carriers. A 10 litre carrier will do well. Our Water Containers And Storage For Camping, will help you greatly.
48. Hose Pipe and Fittings. The length depends on your motorhome but a 20m hose should work well for most. The fittings will also depend on your motorhome. This isn’t 100% necessary as most campsites will have a hose.
But, it’s easier to bring your own and you can trust the quality of something you have bought yourself.
49. Electrical Cable and Fittings. The length of the cable will depend on where you are pitched up. So it’s a good idea to get something relatively long. Around 25m is good, just in case you’re situated on the edge of the campsite.
50. Carpet or Groundsheet.
51. Outdoor Table and Chairs. Try to find a table and chair set which fold easily, rather than patio furniture that is intended to be left out. Check out our extensive guide to the best Camping Chairs.
52. Spare Vehicle Fuses and Spare Bulbs. Just in case! It’s much better to be safe than sorry.
53. Sat Nav. Not everyone will consider this an essential, especially if you’re travelling somewhere you have been before. (Or perhaps you are more of a classic map person).
But, if you’re traveling somewhere new, or just want to explore somewhere unknown to you, a sat nav is a simple piece of tech that will help you out.
Even if you have GPS maps on your phone, sat navs are much safer as they are hands-free devices. We've actually made a guide to our Best Motorhome and Carava Sat Navs already.
Best Motorhome and Caravan Sat Navs
54. Camera. This is definitely an essential if you’re a keen amateur photographer.
Even if you have a great camera on your phone, there’s something much more special about taking photos on a proper camera.
If you like the retro look, taking a film camera or a Polaroid is great fun.
55. T.V. and Remote. We’re sure that you can make your own entertainment. But, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to catch up on your favourite shows. Our Guide to TV for Caravans, Campervans & Motorhomes (Best setups) is here
56. Wi-Fi Router. The best option for this is a portable router. These generally don’t have more than 5GB or 10GB.
But they can be topped up and are very useful for both in the motorhome and outside. They are very small and can be kept in your pocket. Staying connected – data roaming in Europe.
57. Fire Extinguisher. Really, you should have a small fire extinguisher everywhere.
In your home, your car, your motorhome, and anywhere else you spend a lot of time. Fires can start very easily and grow very quickly.
A fire extinguisher, and a fire blanket, are incredibly important essentials. A fire in any kind of motor vehicle is incredibly dangerous due to the presence of fuel.
But in a motorhome, you will potentially have propane gas for the grill, a stovetop, a refrigerator, and various other items that will quickly ignite or cause a fire to spread further.
58. First Aid Kit. Again, you should have a first aid kit anywhere that you spend a lot of time. You can buy one that is already filled from the drug store.
Or you can easily put one together yourself. The basic essentials are bandaids, bandages, and painkillers. But any other items that you will specifically need should also be included in this kit.
59. Medication. You might think that you will never forget your medication. But it’s worth including on this list just in case.
Even if you’re reading through to make sure you have everything, just go double-check that everyone has all of their medication.
60. CO2 Alarm.
61. Smoke Detector.
62. Warning Triangles.
63. Yellow Vests.
64. Breathalyser. These are a requirement for driving in France.
65. Torches. Make sure to invest in a large, good-quality torch that will properly light the way if you’re out walking in the dark. We love a good Rechargeable Lantern.
It’s also a good idea to take a small torch with you too. This will help if you need to check any wiring or anything in small corners.
66. Food Bowl and Food. Most people will be taking their dogs with them in their motorhome.
So it’s important to make sure to remember all of their essentials, as well as your own.
68. Pet Shampoo. Normally, you probably don’t wash your pet more than once a week or so.
But, on a campsite, muddy paws are going to be a much more common occurrence.
69. Board Games, Playing Cards, etc. These might not seem like essentials but once you have been sitting inside avoiding the rain for a few days, they will be life-savers. Check out Camping Toys And Travel Games
70. Guide Books and Dictionaries. These are definitely essential if you’re travelling somewhere new, especially if it’s to a country with a language you’re not familiar with.
71. Sewing Kit. This is something everyone always forgets. But if you’re going to be spending time out and about in nature, there’s a good chance you will catch your clothing on something.
72. GB Sticker. This is required while travelling through Europe and the EU.
73. Leisure Battery Chargers For Caravans and Motorhomes. Are so important we wrote an entire article about them.
Now you know exactly what you’re going to need, here are some top tips to make sure you pack these essentials in the most efficient way.
- Don’t overpack. After showing you a big list of only the essential items (remember, you only need these items, there are going to be a lot of other things that you’re going to want to take with you). Remember that your motorhome has a maximum weight limit. We’re not saying that your extra pair of boots are going to tip the scales. But every little thing adds up. So make sure you have the essentials before you move onto the luxuries.
- Save this list! Whether you copy it to the notes app on your phone or print it out, keep this list handy! When you’re packing, you can then tick off all of the items so you can be 100% sure you have everything. Then, when you pack up to go home, you can tick everything off again to make sure you haven’t left anything. The beauty of a motorhome is that you can’t accidentally leave your phone charger in your hotel room. Your room is travelling with you! But, you can easily leave an important cord in the grass at a campsite. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Make good use of post-its. There will be a few items that will need to be packed the day of your trip. These will mostly be toiletries and other items that you’re going to need in the morning. To make sure you don’t forget these, place a few post-it notes on your bathroom mirror so you pack them as soon as you’re finished with them. If you’re especially concerned about forgetting certain things, it’s a good idea to also place post-it notes in your motorhome so you can have a last-minute check.
- Take your time. Make sure to pack well in advance as you’re going to need a lot of items. For a motorhome, you’re essentially going to need everything you need every day but on a much smaller scale.