1970 Avion C11 truck camper parked on overlook in Canyonlands National Park

I’m sure we’ve all been there. It’s been a busy build up before vacation. You have major responsibilities and small details to clear up at work and home before taking of for an extended trip. And so, when the day to depart arrives, it’s a mad dash to fill suitcases, collect necessities, and get going. There is always something that gets forgotten. And the more there is to pack, the more there is to forget.

There are few activities that require more preparation than a road trip with a camper. Not only do you need clothes, you need equipment for everything from cooking to recreational equipment. After one too many trips with forgotten items, it’s time to make a packing list..

This is our packing list. We all have different necessities when packing for the road. As extended road trippers, overlanders, and hikers, our must haves may be very different from yours but maybe we can help get you started on your own checklist.

It is also a work in progress. Did we miss something that you think is a must? Let us know in the comments!

The Checklist

Day Before departure

  • Download music / podcasts (You never know when you will be in a no service area with no ability to stream)
  • Fill a gallon bottle with water and freeze it (it will chill the cooler and provide for a water source as it melts)
  • Charge batteries (camera, computer, drone, drone handset, drone headset, lights, tools)
  • Mount camper on truck (this can take us anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours.)
  • Prepare and install porta potty (you don’t want to wait till you need it to get the deodorant and water in the tank.)


  • Atlas
  • Inverter
  • Battery jumper (We, fortunately, learned this one after our batteries died just before we were about to voyage out into the middle of nowhere)

Overland gear

  • Chainsaw
  • Clippers


  • Computers
  • Computer bags
  • Charging cables
  • Mobile hotspot
  • Notebook
  • Pencils / pens
  • Envelope for receipts

Camera gear

  • Memory cards
  • Slr camera
  • Charged batteries
  • Camera bag
  • Tripod
  • Drone
  • Drone headset

General goods

  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Bandaids
  • Neosporin
  • First aid kit
  • Backup battery packs
  • Multitools
  • Hammocks
  • Chairs
  • Table
  • Inflatable kayaks
  • Water bottles
  • Hiking backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Lantern / Flashlights / Headlamps


  • Two towels
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • Heavy coat
  • Light coat
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Pillows
  • Bedding
  • Extra blankets
  • Porta potti
  • RV toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Disinfectant hand sanitizer
  • Lantern (we use our hardware lamps)


  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Brush
  • Hair ties
  • Lotion

Kitchen gear

  • Dutch oven
  • Iron skillet
  • Metal spatula
  • Four sets of plates, bowls, forks, knives, spoons, cups
  • Butcher knife
  • Pairing knife
  • Two wine glasses (ours are stainless steel but there are plastic ones that also fit the bill)
  • Paper towels
  • Propane stove
  • Propane
  • Meal replacement shakes, bars, and freeze dried meals for backup
  • Canned baked beans
  • Quick cook rice / quinoa
  • Nuts
  • Soda, beer, wine
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Plastic bags
  • Tin foil
  • Roasting forks
  • Cooking grill
  • Kabob sticks
  • Cooler with gallon of frozen ice (from the earlier section)
  • Three gallons of water
  • Scissors

*we have gone through many three gallon jugs with built in taps bought at supermarkets. Don’t do it. Each has broke in the course of our road trip. Instead, we stick to the “screw top rule.” Anything holding a liquid or paste should have a screw top. In the course of a road trip, it’s almost inevitable that, at some point, by pressure from elevation or weight of something on it, a container will pop open unless screwed shut. Water, toothpaste, sunscreen, juice? Screw it!

Lexi lives in a truck camper down by the river.

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