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Creative Family Ideas in the Pacific Northwest

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Things to Bring for RV Camping with Kids

RV camping is a memorable experience and great opportunity to go on a family adventure. When we go camping in our RV, we are essentially bringing a small home into the great outdoors. Because of this, it’s easy to pack too much, or forget to bring basic camping essentials. Here’s a list of RV camping gear that has been helpful to bring for our family of five.

RV camping with kids in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest

Kids Bikes

Our kids bikes are at the top of my RV camping list. This is because it’s easy to put our kids bikes in the back of our RV, and riding bikes adds a lot of fun to a camping trip! My kids love riding bikes along the dirt paths around a campsite, or exploring the campground loop. We usually bring their helmets and sturdy shoes, although my kids have also been known to ride bikes while wearing flip flops. Overall, kids bicycles provide a relaxing activity for active children while parents hang out around a camp fire.

Kids bikes RV camping activity


Several flashlights are another great thing to bring on a RV camping trip. We use flashlights while going on a walk at dusk or exploring a shadowed hiking trail. Flashlights are also helpful to use in the RV at night when we don’t want to turn the overhead lights on. I’ve purchased some great mini LED flashlights for just a few dollars, which are perfect for kids. My kids like having their own flashlight to use to explore or play at night. Additionally, we’ve kept more expensive high beam flashlights in specific tool bins our RV to use as needed and put back.


While we’re out adventuring, it’s important to put on sunscreen to avoid the discomfort of sunburn. Finding a good sunscreen is a little tough for our family. I think the sunscreen lotion works well but it’s messy to put on, especially on impatient kids. The aerosol spray sunscreen can be applied in seconds and works great, but I’ve casually seen that it can contain harmful chemicals. I’ve liked using Bare Republic sunscreen products. The shimmer sticks are fun to put on and give skin delightful glitter using mica flakes. I’ve also tried the tinted face sunscreen and mineral spray sunscreen. I like using sunscreen that contains natural mineral ingredients and which is chemical-free and paraben-free.

Bare Republic mineral sunscreen things to bring camping

Bug Spray

An effective bug spray is another must-have for a family camping trip, whether RV camping or tent camping. I do use the mainstream bug spray from Costco that contains deet. This because it’s effective, and we only use bug spray minimally as needed to keep away mosquitos and black flies. Repel and Off brands of bug spray effectively help keep biting insects away. I sadly haven’t found the same success using other types of natural bug spray. Typically on summer nights while camping, we apply a minimal amount of bug spray, enjoy playing outdoors, and take a shower later that evening if it’s possible. Finally, I enjoy lighting citronella candles while camping, for both the ambience and keeping the bugs away.

Bring camp chairs for RV camping with kids

Camp Chairs

Sturdy and mobile camp chairs are another great camping essential. We often set up our camp chairs around a fire pit, or in a line beneath our RV patio awning. My husband and I like sitting in our camp chairs and watching the kids playing or riding bikes. We’ve tried out different types of chairs, and we’ve found the inexpensive fold-up camping chairs to be the most useful. For comfort and relaxation, travel lounge chair recliners are also very nice to bring camping.

S’mores Ingredients

Marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers are also important to bring for RV camping with kids. Making s’mores is a regular family tradition while camping, and our kids love roasting marshmallows over the camp fire. We keep our s’mores ingredients in a medium storage bin in our RV. We’ve even gotten a bit creative by adding dark chocolate, peanut butter cups, and chocolate filled marshmallows to our s’mores stash. In my opinion, nothing makes memories with kids quite like making s’mores in the great outdoors after an active day of exploring.

S'mores supplies RV camping gear

Extra Blankets

Soft and cozy extra blankets are another RV camping essential, which could easily be overlooked. Even though our family camps in a RV, it can still get chilly at night. We usually bring a stash of plushy blankets to cuddle up with at night and during the day. An extra lap blanket is lovely to use while sitting around the camp fire. When we are on an RV trip, our kids sometimes watch a movie in the bedroom. When they were younger, our kids used to take naps in the RV. Overall, we never regret bringing our cozy blankets along on a camping trip.

RV camping with kids bring movies


Speaking of movies, our family doesn’t mind mixing and matching camping activities. We often go on a hike or float down a nearby river during the day, followed by roasting hot dogs and watching a movie in the evening. Camping in a RV allows us to use electricity even in the middle of nowhere. Our last toy hauler RV had a built-in TV screen in the exterior storage space, for watching a movie outside. During one group camping trip, we hosted an outdoor movie party with friends at our group camp site. We have a TV and DVD player, and we usually bring along a handful of fun family movies. If we have a data signal, we sometimes use our phone hotspots to stream movies. While camping is a great opportunity to get away from technology, watching movies is also fun to make family camping memories.

I hope you enjoyed my basic list of things to bring for RV camping with kids. In addition to this list, its important to bring clothing, personal care products, and any fun camping toys and activities. If we forget something, we often find ways to do without or improvise. Happy RV camping!

Boardwalk trail with ferns family camping


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