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- FMCA Mar 2011  



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Handouts for FMCA Mar 2011 Convention 


 #1  Packing Tip Recap   

This 1st Handout Begins Below... See Links Inside ...  Outside ...




#2 What Do I Need for a Good Trip?






Stocking the RV for Travel Mode ...  Setting-up camp ... Outdoor Living ...

Outdoor Recreation ... Beach and Pool Attire ... Indoor Family Fun ...

Children/Family Extras and Hobbies ... Clothing and Shoes ... Packing the Kitchen ...

Food and Staples ... Bathroom and Toiletries ... Bedroom and Extra Beddings ...

Miscellaneous House Stuff ... Cleaning ... Laundry ... Tools & Maintenance ...

Trip Planning ... Children's Extra ... First Aid ... Important Papers  ...

Office Set-up/Supplies







Unless you design and build your own ‘Dream Machine’, most RV’s have many areas of wasted space.  With a little effort it’s easy to transform these out of the way places into creative storage spots DO NOT OVERLOAD – IF IT GOES UNUSED FOR A YEAR, REMOVE IT. Try to make as many areas as possible do double duty.  The following should help to peak your imagination. Since each RV is different, check yours to find more spaces.   



  1. Pack all cupboards tight so contents do not shift during motion
  2. Add a 6” square of non-slip mesh beneath each pile of dishes etc. – rather than line the entire shelf.
  3. Attach a square of plastic mesh to the bottom of all jars in the fridge to stop motion and scratched shelves.
  4. Plastic bubbles placed between each plate eliminate rattles and resists breaking. I do not use breakable dishes.
  5. Frequently the space inside the cupboards is high. So there is mega waste space above the first level of contents.  By adding an extra adjustable shelf, all space can be utilized.
  6. Store small items in a rectangular cake pan above the lower contents – either on a shelf or on top of dishes. The pan should stay put and travel well while doubling your space.
  7. Cutlery trays and long plastic trays keep drawer spaces organized.
  8. Organize your cupboard space with plastic tubs plus wire or wicker baskets.
  9. Square or rectangle lidded plastic tubs stack well - again doubling or tripling tier space.
  10. Remove cereal, snacks etc from boxes and store them in Zip Lock bags to control bugs. It also frees up wasted pantry space.  .
  11. Browse home design stores to find under-the-counter shelves and appliances.  Holders for Kleenex, paper plates, napkins, coffee pots etc are designed for this unused space.
  12. Wall mounted racks and holders eliminate magazines and map clutter.
  13. Magazines ‘hide’ under dinette cushions or over a board under couch cushions
  14. Containers are available for remote controls, alarm clock, drinks, remotes, and more.  Search Bargain stores, Discount Furniture places, Thrift shops etc for ideas.
  15. Check for spaces under a motorhome dash or on the passenger side of your tow vehicle to place plastic file holders for maps or campground directories etc.
  16. One friend added a medicine cabinet above their toilet.  See more options  tip 32
  17. I also added a decorative Plexi-glass shelf with a curled edge mounted on fancy wall brackets to a very blank wall above the toilet to hold makeup, tissue box etc.
  18. Another friend fastened a corkboard in the toilet area for her jewellery.
  19. I keep earrings in small 1.5 “ x 2” zip lock bags. All similar coloured bags are pinned together. Small bags are kept in a larger Zip Lock bag.
  20. Add storage space inside by building a shallow cabinet with casters on it. Wedge it beside the table during transit and move it to a blank wall when the slide is extended.
  21. RV friends built a two-drawer cabinet over the engine cover on their motorhome.
  22. We removed the built in TV in our last motorhome and covered the space with a door from the factory.  Our new large floor model TV nestled on the engine cover while parked and between the chairs during vehicle mobility. Jackets and blankets double as decorative throw pillows when stored in fancy pillow cases.
  23. On a previous motorhome the dealer removed our gas oven. I am not comfortable lighting one.  This freed up mega space in a large cupboard for pots and pans
  24. On our present LUXOR the dealer added an extra bank of cupboards over the couch. It covered wasted decorative space.  Friends added cupboards within the slide area. 
  25. There is also space under most couches that can be transformed into drawer access.
  26. Space around the bed for shoes is a perfect spot to mount curtain rods or special designed shoe pockets. One friend attached strips of plastic pocket shoe racks to the frame.
  27. Look for any small space that could be utilized to transform into a storage area.  Don’t forget the space at the top and back of closets.
  28. Below our night table drawers we found long 8” high spaces. Worked great as shoe storage.
  29. In most RV’s there’s about 6” of space available covering hoses wires etc. below kitchen drawers. It’s a super spot to store large pieces such as cookie sheets etc. Remove the panel for easy front approach or lift out bottom drawer for full access.
  30. We mounted a plastic shoe rack behind a cupboard door to hold items such as scissors, long knives, screwdrivers etc.  My friend hung one in the shower for toiletries. Elastic straps across the pockets screwed to the door added content support.
  31. Narrow, yet large items like sewing machines can usually fit snug beside the dinette wall.
  32. A narrow cabinet built for trays, photos, games etc. can also fit along same wall.
  33. The open decorative areas with small railings in many coaches can easily be framed to provide yet another cupboard.
  34. To extend working space in a kitchen lay a sink cover over an open drawer during food preparations. A special tray cut to fit over a drawer adds a night table in the bedroom.
  35. We keep important papers in top loading plastic page protectors to store in binders – the binders fit in upper cupboards.
  36. Metal baskets with an open front provide a perfect spot to keep writing paper, directories and reference books in an upright position.
  37. Tubs and trays can double as moveable drawers for socks, underwear & rolled T’s.
  38. Bread stays fresh when stored in a tub in an airtight oven or micro.
  39. Small plastic cutlery trays restrain RX bottles etc from falling into the toilet.
  40. Or wedge strips of Plexiglas across the front of each medicine chest shelf to keep things in place. Tape Plexiglas to the bottom of the shelf if necessary.
  41. When your RV looks like home you will not miss your other home.  


  1. Large lidded tubs stack well in the basement storage areas. 
  2. Keep tools accessible from outside for emergency use. Maybe in a small tub.
  3. If outside space is available above the tubs it is a good spot for ‘pool noodles’, chairs, or unusual sized items.
  4. Hanging PCV pipes inside or outside the RV Frame can extend storage.  Depending on the circumference these can also be used for fishing poles, cleaning brushes, extra sewer hoses, folding ladders etc. I recently saw a class C with two mounted on the roof.
  5. Classy but costly Slide-out trays in the base of the pods assure everything is accessible. 
  6. We found two hollow areas under each step on our last motorhome. By adding a piano hinge to the back of the top step, two great storage areas opened up for our duck boots etc
  7. If your unit has a peg-board or a panel in an outside storage pod, remove it to see what is behind. Sometime the panel is there to protect installation of hoses etc but there is lots of useable space as well.


Look AROUND.  You will be surprised at all the easy access available storage places you’ll find.  Travel safe, Enjoy your RV and your adventures. 





Back to Top & to 1st Handout

Part two of these handouts is below...




What Do I Need For A Good Trip?   




Stocking the RV for Travel Mode ...  Setting-up camp ... Outdoor Living ... Outdoor Recreation ... Beach and Pool Attire ... Indoor Family Fun ... Children/Family Extras and Hobbies ... Clothing and Shoes ... Packing the Kitchen ... Food and Staples ... Bathroom and Toiletries ... Bedroom and Extra Beddings ... Miscellaneous House Stuff ... Cleaning ... Laundry ... Tools & Maintenance ... Trip Planning ... Children's Extra ... First Aid ... Important Papers  ... Office Set-up/Supplies

Handout story begins here...

Most of us have packed for a car trip or a getaway by air on more than one occasion and more often than not we usually pack too much or forget something important.  But on those jaunts weight is generally not a problem – although ensuring you are not carrying too much is top priority in an RV. So learning what to pack in an RV and how much is enough is what’s most important.  The suggestions below should twig your ideas as to what is a must for a perfect trip – you probably will not want all of these items. Many RVers prefer to work from a checklist so they do not forget anything. Some even laminate theirs and check each item off with a grease pencil.  A standard listing will not fit everyone.

Plan ahead so you won’t have to unpack your unit between trips.  Smart advice is to “Keep your unit ready to roll”. When you come home Sunday night, remove the perishable items – before you leave on the next trip simply re-add them before you take off.  Every campground has a Laundromat plus a grocery store is generally near-by.

Be aware it is very unwise to drive your unit in an overloaded state or when it is not packed evenly side-to-side or front-to-back. If it is not properly balanced, handling the RV on the road could be difficult.  Before you take off on a trip, load your unit, add fuel, propane, ¼ tank of fresh water plus passengers - then find the nearest public scale. It is important that each axle and tire does not exceed the vehicle and axle weights posted on the RV.  Do not overload.  Items are listed in categories to simplify what is needed.


Stocking the RV for Travel Mode Eliminate what doesn’t apply to you  



Bungee Cords

Cell Phone(s)

Co-Ax cable – park cable TV

Computer (Desk/Laptop)

CO & Propane Monitor

Dish – TV, Internet

Distilled Water

Extra Bulbs/Fuses

Emergency Road Service

Fire Extinguishers  (2-3)


GPS System


Rubber Gloves


Smoke Alarm w/working battery


Technical toys (iPod,MP3 etc)

Voltage Meter

Water Pressure Regulator

Weather Radio


Setting-up camp

When setting up your unit it’s not wise to use a 15-Amp extension cord to connect to power. If you must do so in an emergency be sure to spread the cord out to dissipate heat.  Having access to all of these items may not be necessary but the listings should twig your memory.


30 Amp Extension – (plus 1-2 extras)

30 to 50-amp, 50 to 30-amp adapters

       (round and long dog bone styles)

15 amp extension cords for a

       radio/fan/small electric appliance etc.

Blocks/boards for levelling the unit

Bubble level (for fridge)

High Pressure wash wand

In-Line Water Filter

Sewer Hose plus connectors - Extra 10’ & 20’

Sewer Hose Support

Spray Nozzle for water hose

Water Hose –  insulated (plus 1-2 extras)

Water hose non-insulated for vehicle washing

Wheel Chocks when site is not level.

Volt-A-Metre Ground Monitor  to check power


Outdoor Living

RVers carry a wide selection of extras to enhance their getaways. Below are the most popular but feel free to modify this list to ensure your RV adventure is outstanding.


Ant Bait

Bug Spray

Bar-B-Que – charcoal/propane

Burner Igniters

Chairs (2-6 folding styles)

Citronella candles


Cooking burners/grills

Duct Tape


Fire Starter/ Matches

Flashlight & batteries

Fly swatter

Goo-Gone – to remove sticky residue

Ice chest

Patio rugs/mat

Patio tables (small 2-4)

Silicon spray (OK for rubber)

Small tables (2 or more)

Table cloth/clamps

WD-40 (never use on rubber)

Back to Top



Outdoor Recreation

The hobbies shared by RVers are numerous. Several even tow a lightweight covered trailer behind their motorhome – others add extra brackets in front or back to transport their toys.  Those who want to ‘play’ will usually find a way to have access to necessary equipment.


Bikes, (peddle and motorized)



Fishing tackle and rods

Games, cards

Golf club/bags

Rainy day amenities

Tennis rackets




Beach and Pool Attire


Spending a day at the pool, the lake, the ocean or just lounging on the beach is always a high point to an RV getaway.  Pre-purchase all necessities – stopping at the drug store en route to your day in the sun is a hassle. Quantity depends on length of your trip.


Air mattress

Beach umbrella

Blow-up floaters

Boogie board

Camera w/batteries & film

Chairs (beach style)

Crafts/handiwork such as knitting

Drinks or juice  

Floatation device


Letter writing paper + pen

Lip balm


Sunscreen waterproof


Swim fins (wet suit etc)

Sand toys for kids

Snacks, food




Towels/blankets (guests too)


Zip lock bags for shells etc.


Indoor Family Fun

Unfortunately rain and cold are part of most RV getaways. It is wise to plan for things to keep everyone happy and having fun. Below are only a few indoor pastimes.






Video games


Children/Family Extras and Hobbies


These less than perfect days are even more imperative when you have young grandkids or kids on board.  Overall more activities are needed.


Arts and craft supplies


Board games

Colouring books

Deck of cards




Musical instruments

Picture books

Scrap booking

Song books


Technical toys

Video games


Clothing and shoes


           When it comes to clothes and shoes it is easy to overload. Most extended travellers offload all the stuff they haven’t used in the past year. As a general rule pack clothes for three seasons – most RVers are usually exempt from snow or winter temps. 

            One solution to store shoes - add café curtain rods on brackets around the base of the bed – insert the toes of each shoe behind the rod. To help keep clothes hangers on the rod in your cupboard, place the hangers back to front. Always use plastic hangers because metal ones rust in the dampness at many RV locations. Foldable clothes store within easy access in clear plastic buckets on shelves in the narrow bedside shirt closets.

           Over the season it is wise to keep a camping wardrobe in your unit from trip to trip – as I said, every campground has a Laundromat, so you do not need excessive amount of clothes available.  If there are more than two RVers on board, extra travellers can keep their foldable/rolled clothes or underwear in stackable plastic tubs.



Casual and dressy shoes

Shower/beach sandals

Sports – beach, tennis shoes

Duck boots – wet days


General Attire

Casual clothes

Comfortable loose fitting

Colour co-ordinate

      - to reduce amount required


Light jacket\

Machine washable clothes

Shorts casual


Sleep wear

Rain gear




For Hot Days

Bathing suit(s)


Hats – baseball or straw



For Dress-up

1-2 Sunday-go-to-meeting outfits

Dress shorts

Dress slacks/pants/skirts etc.

Semi Formal Attire


For Cool days

Lightweight gloves

Long sleeve jerseys

Fleece pullover

Medium weight jacket


Several sweaters

Sweat pants


Packing the Kitchen

              Finding space is not really difficult. There are numerous places to ‘hide’ oversized objects such as cookie sheets (below the kitchen drawers) or ways to extend work space by adding a shelf. Open bottles of oil, mustard etc should not be stored for a long time in a warm unit – replace them frequently.

             Some RVers use a single electric burner outside to diminish inside heat and cooking odours – saves on propane use as well. To reduce rattles and breakage, separate all dishes plus pots and pans with a circle of bubble wrap. Add 6” square of non-slip mesh below each pile. Fragile items like delicate wine glasses can travel in their boxes or nestled in a sock.  Pack cupboards tight so items don’t shift during transit.  Before travelling, some fifth wheel owners stuff a pillow in front of breakable dishes.

        This next two sections list items required for meal planning including picnics


Basic Items

Aluminum foil

Cooking spoons



Measuring cups/spoons

Nesting baskets/bowls

Recipes/cook books

Saran wrap

Set of sharp knives


Stacking storage boxes (variety)

Serving spoons

Thin plastic cutting board

Toothpicks for patio finger food


Various candles/holders

Wax Paper

Zip lock bags in several sizes

Appliance of your choice


Bread maker

Can opener – electric/manual

Cast iron frying pan

Cheese grater

Coffee pot


Cork screw

Crock pot

Electric frying pan

Food processor

Micro-safe dishes

Pots/pans (2-4)

Pot  (large) – corn/pasta    

Tea pot


Toaster oven 

Water filter/purifier

Water jug (5 gallon size)

Dishes etc (minimum 4-6)
Dinnerware (quality)


       Coffee cups


       Glasses/wine glasses

OR Unbreakable dishes

       Paper plates

       Plastic cutlery



Dish cloths

Dish detergent

Dish towels

Napkins – paper/cloth

Paper towels


Pot holders

Table cloth inside




        I always remove packaged food from each box and add the contents along with the instructions to a Zip–Lock bag.  This way I eliminate any chance of ‘creepy crawlers’ eggs from hatching. Sprinkling bay leaves on the shelf where you keep foodstuffs also keep most ‘roach’ style insects away. Suggested basics needed to stock a kitchen.


Baking soda


Bottled water


Cake mixes

Campfire treats/marshmallows

Canned food



Family favourite food



Coffee filters

Coffee-mate/half & half

Cooking oil



General foodstuffs


Meat for BBQ



Packaged easy-cook food


Peanut butter

Pet food if needed

Salt &Pepper



Spices/special condiments







Bathroom and Toiletries


The choice here is so personal – this list is designed to tweak your memory. Include enough for each person on board. For instance if there are three people, the minimum bath towels required will be three plus an extra set for emergencies.

Antibacterial hand sanitizer

Baby wipes

Blow dryer

Body lotions/moisturizer


Cotton balls/Q-Tips


Gel or mousse

Hair dryer

Hand lotion

Hand mirror

Holding tank chemicals

Hygiene products


Nail care

Night light


Razor/shave foam

Shampoo/cream rinse (Regular &

    Trial size for  public showers)

Soap (bath and/or sink)


Toilet brush / holder

Toilet Tissue (Biodegradable)


Towels/washcloths  (guests too)




Bedroom and extra bedding for all beds

            Amount req’d depend on number of people in the RV. Add extra set of sheets for guests, plus on cold nights – a set of flannel ones for main bed adds a cosy touch.

Air mattress/pillows– guests

Alarm clock – battery/elect.

Blankets/1-2 –guests & cold

Mattress anchors (elastic straps to secure sheet corners)

Pad - egg shell style foam pads

Pillows +two cases per person

Sheets (cotton and flannel)

Sleeping bag –kids/grandkids

Back to Top




Miscellaneous House Stuff

            Of course you have to have the basic necessities to keep house.



Fire Extinguisher (s)

Flashlight w/batteries

Garbage bags

Polish oil spray






            Peruse grocery stores/discount stores for the latest product that simplifies this task.


Cleaning cloths

Concentrate Products

Spray cleaners ( a variety)

Pre-motioned cleaning clothes

Scrub pads






            One of a few less than perfect ‘duties’ that everyone must make time for.


Fabric softener


Laundry bag

Mini sewing kit

Plastic hangers

Sewing machine

Stain remover

White vinegar –soften clothes




Tools & Maintenance

            Every handyman has favourite tools they won't be without – even non tech-type RVers. The basic list below should be the minimum in every RV. No problem if you do not know how to use each item, your RV neighbour probably does.




Jumper cables

Jacks (if required)

Minor spare parts (belts, etc)    

Pliers - variety

Screwdriver selection


Socket Set

Tape measure

Tire gauge

Tire lug wrench

Voltmeter to test wiring

Wrench (several)




Trip Planning

The Internet is also a good source of trip planning info such as  http://maps.google.com/ 


Campground Directories

  *Club directories

  *Membership directories

  *Trailer Life

  *Woodall’s, etc.

  *Discount Park directories

Park discount

Destination maps

Guide books

  *Provincial & State

  *Mountain Directory

  *Next Exit

Maintenance Books




Children Extras

         Those travelling with school age children have more ‘must-have’ items to consider.


Favourite toys/blanket



Picture books


School work assignments

Stuffed animals

Whistle for signaling




First Aid


            Again here too what you put into your First Aid Kit will be very personal depending on your 

families health concerns


After-Bite – for bug bites

Antibiotic ointment for    bites/rashes

Antiseptic wipes

Baby Aspirin – (heart pain)



BP cuff

Burn ointment

Compact Kit – tow vehicle

Cotton swabs

Epee-Pen for allergies

Gauze rolls/pads - assorted

Hydrogen Peroxide

Lotion for dry skin

Latex gloves

Manual of first aid

Needle for slivers

Pain reliever – non-aspirin.

Petroleum jelly (or lubricants)  

Rubbing alcohol (to disinfect)

Safety Pins


Snake bite kit – poison snakes)

Sterile Bandages – wide variety

Sun tan lotion

Sun screen


Towels (moistened - disposable)

Tweezers (for splinters & ticks)




Important Papers

            I keep important but not necessarily valuable paper in the freezer – it would be the last place

to burn. Although it IS the first place a crook would look. Annually we also make copies of passports, 

driver’s licence plus a list of each of our wallet contents. One of a kind/important items not in the 

freezer, we keep in our on board Safe. 

Blank cheque books

Birth Certificate.

Club Membership cards

Emergency Contact Info

Doctor contact(s)

Insurance Cards

Medical Records

Medical Insurance

Mortgage papers

Registration Papers


Pet papers

Power of Attorney for medical P of A for banking – contact  while we are away




Office Set-up/Supplies

With the advance in technology, setting up an office in an RV is taking on a new meaning. 

  Supplies to consider…

Address Books/Email Addresses



Expense Log

File Cabinet if you have space

Journal for stops, gas/fuel/mileage

Letter writing supplies

Pens, pencils etc


Scotch tape





Back to Top

            This story is written to remind you of what may be necessary. Everyone should make personal 

checklist as to their requirements. It will be more functional if you laminate your checklist – this way

 each time you pack your unit for a trip nothing will stay behind. Hope this helps - enjoy your getaway.



RV WebLinks  Updated May 2014: Meet Your Hosts;   Getting Started;  Articles;  

Destinations-(Canada, Mexico, USA);     

Many Recent Updates - Advice and How To;  Book Nook; 

(As of Oct 10) RV Shows;   Travel to Canada:  Travel to USA; (Oct 10);  

  Q&A;   Contact UsSite ContentsGallery Picasa Web Albums