RVs arenâ€™t as big as an actual house or apartment so we canâ€™t really stock up on essentials as much as we can in our mobile homes, compared to people living in concrete houses. But now, more than ever, itâ€™s extremely important to have a well-stocked RV and pantry. Today, we bring you a list of RV household items, COVID Kit essentials and other knick knacks that are absolute must-haves during the pandemic (and even after), with the weight and space restrictions in a mobile home in mind.
Our Top 10 RV Household Must-Haves
Solar Panel Kit
Even if youâ€™re simply staying in a campground with full amenities, itâ€™s never a bad idea to have an all-natural backup source of power when sheltering in place. Of course, if you’re boondocking somewhere off the grid, then a Solar Panel Kit (preferably roof-mounted) would be a necessity, not a luxury.
One thing to note, if you are charging household appliances inside the RV, then you will also probably need an inverter for converting the solar panel DC power to AC power.
Eco-Friendly Soaps and Disinfection Products
Who knows where quarantine will take us. If you plan on boondocking in the wilderness, or even if youâ€™re just staying in a campground, the responsible thing to do is to try and lessen our footprint however we can, wherever we go. One way to do this is using eco-friendly soap, especially because we now wash our hands even more than we have pre-pandemic. But always make sure your eco-friendly soaps are effective and kill 99.9% of germs!
Water Filtration System
Unlike in a concrete house where we can store gallons of water or have an enormous water tank, we donâ€™t have this luxury in an RV. But we do have these absolute miracles, RV Water Filters! Theyâ€™re a standard for eliminating harmful contaminants in camp ground water. A powerful filter can strain out nasty grit and sediments, bad odor, chlorine, heavy metals and other unpleasant impurities.
Hereâ€™s an RV water filter guide you may find useful.
Depending on how frequently you use your water filter, it might also be a good idea to keep an extra on standby, in case one breaks but local stores are not open and your online purchase takes a while. You never know these days, and water is an essential that you wonâ€™t want to be short on supply.
Instead of having separate supplies for the kitchen, RV floors and the bathroom, itâ€™s easier to have an all-purpose, all-around function cleaner to help you cleanse the different areas and surfaces of the RV. (Bonus if your cleaner is eco-friendly too!) All-purpose cleaners can remove grease, grime, food stains, and scum just like any other. Choose one that has antibacterial action and can kill 99.9% of germs.
It’s just you and your family who will be using these rooms and surfaces, anyway. Compared to having separate kitchen, floor and bathroom cleaners, all-purpose cleaners are fast, hassle-free and wonâ€™t take up as much space.
Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Extender
With most companies now switching to virtual set-ups, we have to admit that Wi-Fi has become a necessity no matter how much we want to disconnect and just be with nature. And of course, if youâ€™re sheltering in place for weeks or months–even for the lucky ones who donâ€™t need to work–itâ€™s still wise to be kept updated on whatâ€™s happening in the outside world now.
Whether youâ€™re working remotely, streaming Netflix or watching the news, who wants to have slow unreliable campground Wi-Fi? A Wi-Fi Extender made specifically for outdoor use is a must-have. Ideally, your outdoor Wi-Fi Kit should include an extender, an outdoor signal receiver, antenna and water-resistant set-up.
Lightweight, Compact Camping Chairs and Tables
Weâ€™re talking about weeks (or even months) of RV-living. We donâ€™t want to be cooped up inside all day, but neither can we stand around outside or lounge around on our bikes. Having ultralight compact, camping chairs and tables is a no-brainer.
You can simply step outside, flip your chair open and observe the wildlife on a pleasant day. Not to mention all the lovely breakfasts, lunches and dinners youâ€™ll have outside in the warm sun or under the lovely stars.
Portable Fire Pit and Grill
A camping (or COVID isolation) trip wouldnâ€™t be complete without a bonfire. Shoot two birds with one stone with a portable fire pit and grill. Itâ€™s small, lightweight, and easy to set up in just under 5 minutes. You can have your campfire and cook dinner outdoors too.
The COVID Emergency Kit
This COVID-19 RV Household Must-Have list wonâ€™t be complete without the COVID Kit. This should contain important details and items should someone in your RV household exhibit symptoms or test positive. The COVID Kit is also an all-around medicine kit that is nice to have during and after the pandemic.
Emergency Contacts and Phone Numbers
Your (1) doctorâ€™s name and phone number, (2) the name, address and contact details of the nearest hospitals, (3) emergency numbers, etc. All these must be found inside your COVID kit.
Another important information to have: Call your physician’s office or the nearest hospitalâ€™s help desk and ask if they have any protocol or guidance on what to do and who the best person to contact if you or someone in your RV household starts to show symptoms of COVID-19.
Itâ€™s also best to find out and take note of the contacts and location of the nearest testing facilities ahead of time.
Extra Supply of Prescription and OTC Drugs
It wonâ€™t hurt to have an extra supply of medicine, especially for prescriptions. Ask your doctor if they could advise a month or two worth of extra refill, just to be ready.
In addition to prescription medicine, stock up on over-the-counter drugs as well, such as cough drops, paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Ideally, you will have OTC medicines for the following: minor aches and pains, cough, fever, colds, sore throat, diarrhea, and allergies.
Donâ€™t forget all the other medicine cabinet essentials, especially your first aid kit with antiseptics, wound care products, antibiotic ointment, Band-Aids in several sizes, and the like.
Disinfectant Sprays and Wipes
Nowadays, itâ€™s highly advised to disinfect daily, especially frequently touched surfaces and after venturing outside in public on a grocery errand or some such. Having a disinfectant handy for a quick spray and wipe beside doors, steering wheels, etc. and inside your COVID kit will make life easier.
Extra Face Masks
You never know when youâ€™ll need to go out for an emergency errand run. It would be a bummer to find out last minute that youâ€™re out of fresh masks. Itâ€™s best to keep a few extras available that you can just fish out whenever the need arises.
Soup and Tea
You may also want to have a few packets of instant soup, broth, tea, and electrolyte drinks, just in case. Or in other words, ready to cook or easy to prepare comfort food and drink. Illness or not, COVID or simple colds, itâ€™s important to always stay hydrated, anyway.
Since we have a space limitation to consider, instead of a monthâ€™s-worth of food supplies, you can trim it down to a 14-day, or even a weekâ€™s supply. Buy only what you need and what you can realistically fit in your pantry and fridge. Here are some samples of stomach-filling but space-friendly food items:
Filling carbs – Pasta, rice, bread and cereal – these carbs are very filling, gentle on the stomach and donâ€™t take up much storage space. They keep for a long time, are quick and easy to cook, and can be paired with a variety of dishes/flavors.
Dried and canned fruits and vegetables – not only are dried and canned fruits and veggies nutritious, they keep for a long time but donâ€™t take up much space. Not to mention that dried fruit makes a healthy and yummy snack.
Shelf-stable milk – We are of the opinion that shelf-stable milk is the best thing since sliced bread. This is milk that keeps for months and months without refrigeration. Every milk-drinker RV-er should stock up on shelf-stable milk. But remember to still keep it in the fridge after opening, where it will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
Frozen foods – canâ€™t go crazy on this since RVs generally donâ€™t have a huge fridge, but you can keep some frozen meat, fruits and vegetables for variety, as well as treats like frozen pizzas to keep the morale high.
Theyâ€™re not necessarily must-haves but you can definitely make RV life even more comfortable with these recommended accessories!
Did this list add an item or two to your must-have list? Did we forget anything? Whatâ€™s the absolute RV household must-have, in your opinion?
If youâ€™re still on the fence about whether or not sheltering in place in an RV is a good idea, this article might help: Benefits of RV Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
If you’re not sure what type of RV is best to spend the COVID hiatus in, hereâ€™s a comprehensive guide you might want to check out: Best RV to Buy in the Coronavirus Pandemic.