RV Like a Pro With Our Weekend Warrior Checklist
If there’s one thing we’ve already learned from renting motorized RVs in Season 10, it’s this: being a weekend warrior comes with a whole new set of challenges that we aren’t used to as (mostly) full-timers.
As it turns out, moving into a different rig for a few days at a time doesn’t just mean adapting to a new set-up and tear-down process, or getting used to how the new rental handles on the highway.
It also means forgetting lots of stuff that usually lives in our Airstream—like a leash for Charlie, for instance.
If you’re a weekend warrior (or anyone who lives in a sticks-and-bricks home but owns an RV), you probably come up against a lot of these same challenges. We’ve heard from so many people who got to their campsite, pulled out a bottle of wine, and promptly realized that their corkscrew was at home. Along with the s’more ingredients, towels, toothpaste, dog leash … you name it.
We’re big on using checklists for things like setting up and tearing down camp, even after years of doing it full-time, because having a list means never having to worry that you forgot something important. And even the little things, like forgetting your phone charger, can use up a lot of mental and emotional energy—especially on a short trip.
That’s why we created our Weekend Warrior checklist to help you pack and prepare for the most enjoyable adventure possible, without the hassle of trying to MacGyver replacements for things you forgot.
Sure, checking off a list is an extra step. But trust us—it’s well worth the peace of mind.
You can download the checklist at the bottom of this post. And as a bonus, here are our top three tips for packing as a pro-level weekend warrior.
#1: Treat your RV as a second home
We know the small stuff adds up, especially if your RV is new and you’re still reeling from the sticker shock. So don’t nickel and dime yourself into debt doing it—but as much as possible, treat your RV as a second home.
By that, we mean buying a complete set of everything you need and leaving it in the rig.
Ideally, the RV will have its own dishes, silverware, toiletries, cleaning supplies, pet bowls (and leashes) … you get the idea. That way, you never forget anything, and you have that much less to worry about when you’re packing for a weekend getaway.
You can even leave a set of clothes in the rig, depending on the size of your closet.
Decide what makes the most financial and practical sense for you. If you don’t mind loading up the RV with certain things every time you travel, great! The checklist will help with that.
But if you travel a lot, try to keep a second set of items in the RV permanently, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle.
#2: Personalize your checklist
We’ve created a KYD Weekend Warrior Checklist (linked below) to get you started, but depending on what you leave in your RV and what you consider essential, you’ll probably have some adjustments to make for your own list of RV essentials.
For example, we don’t travel with babies anymore—but if we did, you can bet that diapers and a stroller would be high on our list!
So use this checklist as a starting point, and then make it your own. When you’re on a trip and notice that you’re missing something, write it down. (And then don’t lose the note! Not that we’ve done that …)
You can even laminate your list and use an erasable marker to check things off or add items as you go.
#3: Don’t expect perfection
Even with a great checklist, you’ll probably manage to forget something, or realize days into the trip that you didn’t even consider taking something you’d love to have. (At least, this happens to us!)
We talk a lot about staying flexible and enjoying the adventure, and we can’t provide a packing checklist without a quick reminder that those things are still super important!
By all means, plan ahead and prepare for your trip. Use checklists to remember the essentials and to stay safe on the road. But don’t get so wrapped up in the perfect plan that you forget to enjoy the journey!
Things won’t always go perfectly—and in fact, they almost never do. Years in, we still forget things and make mistakes. We have mishaps on the road. But we enjoy it all because the most important thing to us is spending time together and enjoying every trip for what it is.
Also, even small towns have stores that carry essentials—so whatever you forget, you can probably buy. Or discover in a storage bay of your rental RV …
So pack wisely, enjoy the journey, and get out there!
Click the checklist below to open and print.