Touring in your RV is a fun and economical way to experience different parts of the world. We’ve traveled in RVs a lot, and we love how it gives you the chance to visit incredible places while having everything you need right at your fingertips.
Whether you’re planning a shorter RV road trip or looking for a long-term adventure, you’ll need a few items with you to stay warm and safe during the cold winter months.
To prepare well for your winter road trip, here is a list of our recommended top items to pack in your RV before you hit the road.
1. Dry Towels
No matter what time of year you go on a road trip, you’ll have to bathe eventually. This means you’ll need some clean, dry towels packed in your RV with you. Towels are also important to dry off if you get wet in snow or ice, so you don’t risk hypothermia.
You may not have a lot of space in your RV, so keep the towels small and limit yourself to only the number you really need. Some small hand towels will also be helpful for cleaning spills, drying hands, or drying dishes.
Look for towels that are ultra-compact and fast-drying, especially if you don’t have a dryer onboard. Since it’s winter, you don’t want your wet towels staying cold and wet, or even freezing if you aren’t careful!
2. Portable Generator
Having backup power is crucial, especially if you plan a road trip off the grid in the dead of winter. Having extra power with a portable generator will come in handy.
Portable generators can charge all your gadgets, so you never have to go without them. Many of them are also eco-friendly and provide reliable power, whether you charge it before you leave home or attach it to a solar panel for energy.
3. Power Extension Cords
Remember to include power cords in your winter RV packing checklist. You never know when you’ll have to plug something in far away, such as a small portable heater or a laptop.
Invest in a good quality power cord that offers you a power strip and surge protector. The last thing you want is for your power cord to break or cause a shortage in your RV.
4. Motion Sickness Patches
One reason why a road trip in your RV is so convenient is that your RV resembles your home. The main difference is that it’s on wheels, and moves frequently.
Unfortunately, many travelers experience motion sickness on road trips. Luckily, this is treatable!
A motion sickness patch can relieve nausea and ensure you enjoy the full road trip experience. After all, spending most of your time over the toilet isn’t the best way to enjoy the road trip. Especially when it’s cold outside!
5. Winter Recreational Gear
You’re not gonna be spending the whole trip in the RV! Plan to bring some gear such as sleds, snowboards, or skis to enjoy the great outdoors on your own terms. You’ll also want to pack the correct clothing, so you can stay warm and safe even while spending the day outdoors.
Be sure to pack items such as long underwear, coats, gloves, hats, and scarves before you head out. Even if you think it won’t be too cold, it’s better to have the items with you and to be safe rather than sorry.
6. Warm Bedding
Since you’re going on a trip in winter, you’ll want your RV to be packed full of warm bedding. You may want to pack warmer sheets and extra blankets to keep you cozy no matter where you park your rig.
Look for materials like flannel and fleece that retain heat well. You may even opt for a heated blanket, which you can plug into your RV or portable generator to keep you nice and toasty at night.
8. Neck Wallet
Having a neck wallet is actually really valuable for your trip. This wallet allows you to keep all your essential items together in one place, such as your ID, phone, and credit cards.
While you can always keep these inside the RV, you may want to bring them with you if you plan to go explore through climbing or hiking for safety purposes. It can easily be slipped under your shirt to protect it from the harsh winter elements.
We also recommend keeping your most important personal belongings with you at all times, especially when leaving the RV.
Nobody thinks it will happen to them, but RV break-ins have happened before. In case of a break-in, you want to make sure your most precious belongings (ID, cash, cards, and even small jewelry) are always on you. A neck wallet is an easy way to make that happen.
9. Windproof Portable Umbrella
There’s more to RV living than spending all your time inside the automobile. You’ll likely want to enjoy the outdoors, even in weather that isn’t the greatest.
In case you want to explore in the rain (or if you just don’t want to be caught unexpectedly!), invest in a portable travel umbrella. A windproof portable umbrella won’t take up much space, and is made with sturdy materials like Teflon and fiberglass to guard against rain and strong wind.
An umbrella like this will keep you from getting soaked in freezing cold water outdoors in the winter.
11. RV Levelers and Wheel Blocks
Wheel blocks help keep your RV steady when parked on uneven terrain. Though your rig has brakes, you can’t always rely on them, especially in slippery conditions.
Wheel blocks in your RV keep the RV stable by preventing unnecessary movement as you move through the unit at any given time.
Similar to wheel blocks, levelers keep your RV level and prevent it from rolling. This is crucial because when your rig is uneven, you can accidentally hurt yourself.
In fact, many appliances in the RV will only operate efficiently when level. For example, using the fridge when your RV is uneven could damage it in the long run because of how the refrigerant sits.
12. Tire Chains
Tire chains, also called snow chains, are put over your wheels to add more traction to them. These are especially important in snowy and icy environments where you can get stuck easily.
If you plan to be out driving in harsh conditions regularly, tire chains are a must to keep you moving on the road.
13. RV Insurance
Whether you’re going out for a few days or a few months, you’ll want some serious RV insurance. Depending on your coverage, RV insurance can cover certain damages to your RV as well as any injuries sustained from accidents involving your RV.
This is especially important for winter roadtrips. Roads can get icy and slippery, increasing your chances of an accident. You’ll definitely need collision coverage for this situation, and potentially roadside assistance.
You could also end up with damage from snow, ice, or other harsh winter weather conditions, and you may be covered for that. One common issue is pipes bursting if they freeze in the winter. Issues like these can be covered by comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage may also include damage to your windshield, damage to awnings or attached solar panels, or dents to your frame from non-accident sources. Additional types of coverage can include your personal property and even full replacement in the case of a fire or theft.
Always check with specific insurance companies to see what’s covered and not on your RV before hitting the road. An insurance expert can better help you determine what coverage you need before your trip.
14. Emergency Supplies
Accidents can happen when you least expect them. Whether moving in an RV or your regular car, it’s important to have an emergency kit.
Your kit should include essential items such as a pocket knife, bandages, ointment, a flashlight, a safety vest, spare batteries, and jumper cables. For winter trips, you should also include items such as pocket hand warmers and emergency blankets.
Though there are many more items you will bring with you on your trip, these are some of the most important for winter expeditions. Make sure you focus on items for safety and keeping warm, so you can stay comfortable for the entire trip.
For more helpful tips, check out our Beginner Guide to Campervanning in Winter. If you have other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!