Camper Packing List – What must be included as initial equipment when camping?


With our camper packing list (hopefully) nothing will be forgotten or bought too much. Our camping checklist – What do you have to pack for a motorhome vacation? What initial equipment do you absolutely need?

Please note, all tips and products are recommended from our point of view in Germany. In countries outside of Germany, other technical and legal conditions may apply. Links marked with * are Amazon affiliate links that help fund this website. There is no downside for you

Why a camper van packing list?

With quite mixed feelings I still remember the preparation of our first tour with the rental motorhome. On the one hand, totally curious and full of anticipation for the first camper trip, on the other hand, I was also extremely unsure how to travel with such a motorhome from pitch to campsite and what you have to pack and take with you in the motorhome. In preparation, I have googled countless packing lists, “tips for initial equipment”, “basic equipment motorhome”, … bought many things, some of which is now in the basement or has already wandered into the social department store and then also much too much packed and taken.

A camper – or motorhome – is actually a small household on wheels. Like any household, you need a certain basic equipment, which is somewhat different for the road than at home, but still you will not use things on the road that you do not use at home, even if they are on 3 packing lists as a top recommendation.

Our most important tip for the initial equipment

Wohnmobil Packlisten sind im Vorfeld praktisch. Und für frische Lebensmittel: fast überall gibt es Supermärkte wo Fehlendes gekauft werden kann.
RV packing lists are handy in advance. And for fresh food: almost everywhere there are supermarkets where missing can be bought.

As a euphoric “new camper” you have an incredibly large “need to buy” when you enter a camping store, leaf through the catalogs or research on the web. But especially in the beginning it is better to restrain the desire to buy, for the beginning the equipment must not be perfect (it will not be later) and you realize only in the course of time, what you really need and especially later still see new and interesting accessories in camping supplies, in the Swedish furniture store, from other campers, …
The most important utensil is a small pad with pen, so that missing can be noted and bought at the next opportunity – because even on the road there is always somewhere a shopping opportunity!

Our camper packing list

The following packing list is also our reference point for packing a motorhome. Although our Womi has just for spontaneous trips always a basic equipment and is ready to go, it is just before longer trips a great help to simply check off whether everything is there. The list is mainly for inspiration, and for all camper beginners or newcomers as a guide.

For better clarity – or also to give something to the co-packing partner – we have divided the things into different categories. In addition, there are “must-have” things that you should absolutely have with you and “nice-to-have” things that are only needed by those who use them or want to have them.

Basic durable food items

A small supply of durable food, a kind of basic equipment, has proven to be very practical. This means that Womi is always well prepared for spontaneous short trips. Although we usually prefer fresh food, we do have a small stock of convenience food.
Small tip: Even if it is “durable” food, so should still be regularly checked the expiration date, so that the emergency rations in an emergency is still “suitable for consumption”.

Spice shaker set *

Practical, small, and cool design. This set of spice shakers has done it to us and we use it again and again when cooking in the camper.


“Must-Have” – durable food items

  • Drinking water (for cooking and brushing teeth) – 1.5 liter bottles are practical
  • Drinks (water, soda, beer, …) – amount depending on needs and destination
  • UHT milk – 1-2 liters
  • coffee/espresso
  • tea bags
  • Cocoa powder
  • Salt – a little more generously, since e.g. for cooking noodles necessary
  • Sugar – a few sachets are enough for us here
  • Spices (pepper, salt and additionally, for example, a spice set* filled with favorite spices).
  • Vinegar and oil – available in small bottles, otherwise must be decanted.
  • A can of ravioli – if hunger is pressing and it has to go fast sometimes.

“Nice-to-Have” – durable food items

  • Muesli
  • Packed wholemeal bread
  • Jam, honey, Nutella
  • Biscuits/chocolate/gummy bears/chips
  • Flour – a small tin decanted
  • Pasta (preferably with short cooking time, saves time and gas)
  • Rice
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tuna
  • Mustard and ketchup
  • Bagged soups – slightly “pimped up” e.g. with noodles a quick warm and tasty meal
  • 5-minute snack – if you feel like a warm snack on the go
  • Mashed potatoes/fried potatoes
  • canned foods – vegetables, corn, beans, fruit
  • Canned ready meals – our butcher has a really tasty selection here
  • Hot dog buns – for the “traditional” womi hot dogs
  • Roasted onions
  • Baking mix – in case you feel like a fresh cake from the Omnia oven *

Packing list fresh food

Wir kochen im Wohnmobil mit frischen Lebensmitteln von regionalen Händlern
We cook in the camper with fresh food from regional traders

We both love shopping in foreign supermarkets and also smaller regional stores and so we prefer fresh food or fish fresh from the cutter or harbor fish store on the road. That’s why we pack fresh food – depending on the destination and weekend / holiday situation – only for the very first need, here vacuum-packed things have proven very successful. Of course, the “refrigerator remnants” from home usually also belong to the initial equipment.

  • Milk
  • butter/margarine
  • Bread – depending on the goal also a little more, which is then frozen
  • Eggs
  • Ham/sausage – best vacuum packed in smaller portions
  • Sausages – vacuum packed, for the “Womo-holiday hot-dogs
  • Pepper bites or similar
  • Cheese – sliced and grated, e.g. for pasta
  • Onions
  • Fresh vegetables – potatoes, tomatoes, …
  • Meat – 1-2 portions, best vacuumed

Basic equipment for cooking and eating in a mobile home

For reasons of space and weight alone, mobile kitchen equipment is not comparable with the kitchen at home. Nevertheless, with the appropriate accessories you can cook really super on the road. Since we like to stand sometimes without shore power and do not use an inverter or generator so far, we do without electrical kitchen appliances such as kettle, coffee maker, etc. in the Womi. – and really do not miss this.

Ballarini saucepan set 3 pieces including glass lid *

For us, this set of pots has been very successful. The pots can be stacked inside each other to save space. We bought it 5 years ago and are still happy with it.

“Must-Have” – according to personal assessment

  • Dishes * – preferably plastic or melamine, double the amount if possible.
    quantity, if there is no time/desire for washing up
  • Cups and glasses * – also preferably plastic / melamine
  • Cutlery – if possible also in 2-3 copies
  • Knives – for cutting bread, vegetables, …
  • Can opener, bottle opener and corkscrew
  • Bottle opener and corkscrew
  • 2-3 pots of different sizes *
  • 1-2 pans
  • Cooking utensils * – spatula, cooking spoon, pasta spoon (it saves the strainer and saves the pipes, because the hot pasta water does not have to be poured off directly)
  • Kettle *
  • Tea/coffee pot * – preferably unbreakable, e.g. stainless steel
  • Espresso maker *, alternatively coffee filter * with paper filters and pot
  • A toaster *, or alternatively a sandwich toaster *
  • Bag clips * – to securely close open food packages
  • possibly a bowl * which is preferably also a mixing bowl and measuring cup, alternatively a pot also serves as a bowl
  • mechanical hand mixer – for dessert or cakes
  • Dishwashing bowl *, which can be used to transport dirty dishes to the campsite for washing – we prefer to have a box with a lid *, where dirty dishes can also be stored sometimes

    Kochgeschirr - wichtige Erstausstattung für die Wohnmobil-Packliste
    Cookware – important initial equipment for the camper packing list

Packing list for sleeping and living

One of the best advantages of traveling with a motorhome is that you have your own home with living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom virtually everywhere. The comfortable furnishings ensure the right climate of well-being. And if you do stay at the campsite and use the sanitary facilities there, then this is even more pleasant with the right equipment.

“Must-Have” for sleeping and living

  • Bedding and covers, alternatively sleeping bags and pillows – we have our own set that is always in the Womi.
  • Possibly additional pillows
  • Fleece blanket * as a cuddly blanket, beach towel, …
  • Towels
  • Shower towels
  • Washing kit
  • Bathing slippers – or the traditional “camper shoes” *

“Nice-to-Have” for sleeping and living

  • Bag for showering at the campsite – we recommend the Mini-Maxi * backpacks from Reisenthel, light, lots of space, water-repellent and practical for hanging up in the shower/changing room
  • Hot water bottle * – quick warmth for cooler evenings or winter camping.

Basic equipment household and tools

Even if it’s vacation, your own household needs basic equipment and it also has a few special features for on the road.

“Must-Have” – household and tools

  • Notepad with pen – for trip planning, shopping list, etc.
  • Flashlight – and possibly a headlamp *
  • lighter/matches
  • Garbage bags
  • Dishwashing kit – for the camper and/or the campsite
  • Dishwashing bowl or box for transport * if washing up at the campsite.
  • Dish towels, potholders
  • Moist all-purpose cleaning cloths
  • Disinfectant spray – for whom this simply gives a better feeling
  • Kitchen roll – about 2 rolls per week
  • Small broom with shovel
  • Sewing kit *
  • Rubber gloves – e.g. disposable gloves for disposal
  • Toilet paper * – from the camping need because better with the disposal, in addition possibly still another role normal paper, since there is none on some place or camping sites
  • Small tool set *
  • Duct tape *
Blick in das Planungstagebuch
View into the planning diary

“Nice-to-have” – household and tools

  • A travel diary *
  • Multitool *, Swiss Army Knife * or screwdriver.
  • Twinkey tool * – for turning on faucets without a “tap” or opening gates, etc.
  • Clothesline – the rubber line * with clips is super practical
  • Freezer bag – for storage or freezing
  • Old towel – can be the foot scraper in the car if needed
  • Paper handkerchiefs

Camping software

We enjoy it when we can just let ourselves drift for a few days with Womi and every day of the trip is not meticulously planned before departure and the campsites are already pre-booked. But the right tools support this spontaneity with the right tips and hints when needed.

  • GPS or corresponding app for smartphone – e.g. Waze with traffic jam info
  • Camping app – we mainly use the Promobil Stellplatz and ADAC apps
  • Map – as an offline alternative to the navigation system, e.g. ADAC Tour-Set
  • Pitch and camping guide – alternatively an app
  • Camping-Key Europe card – necessary for Scandinavia and often gives discount

Initial equipment for camping and pitch

Ohne Kabel kein Landstrom am Stellplatz
Ohne Kabel kein Landstrom am Stellplatz

Outdoor tools

Certainly no “must-haves” of the packing list, but depending on the weather and tour but quite pleasant are

Sicherheitsausstattung für alle Fälle, die man hoffentlich nicht braucht
Safety equipment for all cases that you hopefully do not need

Roadside assistance and safety

  • Regulation and of course ready to hand: warning triangle * , first aid kit *, warning vests *
  • Warning sign for the rear – Attention, different versions for Italy and Spain. Observe national regulations!
  • On-board tools of the base vehicle
  • Screw-in towing eye (we already needed it twice – not for us, but to help others)
  • Towing rope
  • Spare wheel or repair kit, depending on personal philosophy
  • Spare fuses *
  • Smoke detector
  • Gas detector
  • Fire extinguisher – we don’t have a large extinguisher around car, but at least opted for the extinguishing spray from Abus *. Better than nothing.
  • Fire blanket *
  • Mobile vehicle scale * – better weigh before departure, otherwise it can be expensive

For internet in camper

Either we use our smartphone in hotspot mode, or we use a mobile router, e.g. the

In winter for winter camping

Last but not Least

Scooter für kurze Wege

A few utensils that you do not necessarily need, but which are quite practical or pleasant to have with you:

  • A car USB charger * that can be used to charge cell phone, tablet or even the powerbank(s) while driving.
  • A powerful powerbank * charges cell phone, tablet and co reliably even when standing free
  • Headlamp – if you have to go out in the dark, then hands-free is best
  • Scooter – for short distances instead of bicycles
  • Waterproof doormat when it’s dirty outdoors
  • Lockable box for dishes – saves washing up because you can collect them
  • Hot water bottle(s) * – for when it’s colder outside
  • Fan heater – our recommendation is the Ecomat
  • Warm underblanket – makes the bed cozy and warm in winter
  • Some detergent – in case you need to do some major laundry at the campsite
  • Dishwasher tabs – if the campsite attracts with a dishwasher

Do not forget

Wie bei jeder Reise gibt es ein paar Dinge, die man unbedingt einpacken sollte:

  • First aid kit * (can also be taken along on tours), first-aid kit and personal medication
  • Charging cable and possibly necessary adapters, a multiple power supply * helps if there are not enough power outlets
  • sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Anti-mosquito repellent – if it is too late, then we prefer the Bite-Away *
  • Umbrella – you need the least if you have it with you

Personal needs

If there is still a little space left in our packing list – and above all air in the weight – then please pack your personal things:

  • Clothes
  • things for hobbies
  • books – alternatively e-book reader

Do you have any comments or additions? Then just write in the comments!


*: These links are Amazon affiliate links that help fund this website. There is no downside for you.


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