Ready to break the RV hoarding cycle and become a world class efficient traveler? Read on for a list of the most common gear RVers would be better off leaving behind.
1. Excess Canned Goods1 of 9
Food you might eat is nothing more than extra weight. Taking extra cans of soup and chili for an emergency stash is just going to take up space. If your trip is fairly short or if your vacation is in a secluded area, try to plan your meals and only take the things you won't be able to buy wherever you're going. For longer road trips where you'll be making multiple stops, there will be plenty of time to pop into a store and buy food along the way instead of having to lug it around. This will make your kitchen less cluttered and shed pounds from the weight of the vehicle.
2. Kitchen Appliances2 of 9
When planning your meals, identify which appliances you'll truly need for the kitchen. Like food, keep the dishes, pots and pans to a minimum. One plate for each person and a few silverware pieces should suffice. Leave the rice steamer, waffle iron and other luxury items at home; instead, aim to make meals that are simple and quick to cook and won't require a full kitchen (remember, you'll be cleaning that kitchen afterwards). Think of it this way—the whole point of a getaway is to relax and enjoy some time away from your daily responsibilities, not to spend hours cooking your next meal.
3. Firewood3 of 9
Yes, we know. Depending on where you are, firewood can get pricey. But a few extra dollars for a bundle of wood still probably won't cost you as much as it would in gas to tote it around. Since firewood is also messy and takes up a lot of space, it's better to leave it behind and buy it near the campsite.
4. Electronics4 of 9
While for safety reasons we'd never advise you to fully disconnect and leave the cellphone at home, don't lose sight of the fact that an RV vacation is the perfect chance to get away from the grind and slow down the pace of life. Video games, iPads, Kindles and other unnecessary electronics can be left at home. Think hiking, cycling, Stephen King paperbacks and board games that can be played together with the whole family instead. Monopoly anyone?
5. The Tow5 of 9
On a budget? Imagine the sound of a cash register every time you consider towing something. If a car, trailer or boat is absolutely necessary (cha-ching!), try to make your tow as light as possible. Take the smallest vehicle you own instead of the family car or even consider renting a car near your campsite instead. Comparison shopping on sites like Priceline can uncover some killer deals, leaving your RV infinitely easier to maneuver. Unnecessary items like large water tanks should also be avoided if at all possible.
6. Outfits for Every Occasion6 of 9
The key to successfully living the #RVlife is to keep things simple. Taking your entire wardrobe will not only take up space, it'll also create more laundry (and who wants to do laundry on vacation, anyway?). Instead, bring clothes that are easy to layer and versatile for a variety of activities. A Buff, for example, can go from a neck warmer to a running headband to a UV protected hat in a matter of minutes. And kiss those bulky hiking boots goodbye—popular running shoe brands like New Balance and Nike are making lightweight trail shoes that excel on a variety of terrain. That, plus a pair of sandals, and you should be good to go.
Traveling in the dead of winter? Look for packable down jackets that take up minimal space while keeping you seriously warm. If you still get cold, you can always pick up a spare sweatshirt or light sweater on the road to layer with the rest of your clothing.
Beauty products, hair driers and other luxury items can be kept at home, too. Travel kits complete with travel-sized toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant are one good way to bring everything you need while taking up little space.
7. The Tool Shed7 of 9
Yes, you may need tools while you're out on the road. However, there's a fine line between bringing a basic emergency tool kit and having your entire tool shed on hand. Tools are heavy and take up lots of space, so be honest with what you'll be able to repair on the side of the road. Just make sure you don't leave behind Duct tape or a Swiss Army knife.
8. Negativity8 of 9
No matter where you're going, the goal should be to have fun and relax. Leave the stresses of daily life behind, and always remember to bring a good attitude with you on the road. Things will go wrong along the way—it's inevitable—and there will be comforts you'll have to do without. But how you respond to these challenges can make the difference between an experience you'd rather forget and a hilarious tale from the road, told over beers with friends.