By Lazydays

Packing an RV before a trip can be much like a masterful painting. Often it is best to start organizing with a paint-by-numbers kit until the basics come naturally. Once the basics are mastered, then venturing out on your own will be successful. And, with some practice, your own work of art will emerge

Getting the Most Use of Space in Your RV

By Staci Backauskas

July 28, 2015

Developing the skill of organizing while you pack your towable RV or motorhome will make traveling more successful.
Lazydays Illustration by Cat Scott

The following tips can make you a better artist whether you are new or an experienced RVer. These tips come from trial and error and inventive situations. They can all help you hone your packing skills.

Distributing Weight

The most critical and premiere component of the art of packing is weight distribution. It’s important to place the heaviest weight in the center when loading the RV. Those objects should be the front and rear axles. To keep a good center of gravity, heavy items can be placed in the middle of the lower compartments. This also helps conserve fuel.

Gas mileage is affected by the weight of what is inside or attached to the RV. Depending on the size of your RV, mileage can be reduced by up one percent for every 100 pounds.

The challenge in keeping the total weight to a minimum is to take only the food and supplies you’ll need before you get to your first stop. This same principle should apply to your water tanks. A gallon of water weighs eight pounds, so keep the water level high enough just to allow the chemicals you placed in the tanks to continue to work.

When you are all packed, it’s best to take your RV to a public scale and weigh it to be certain you are not exceeding its weight limit. Then, check your owner’s manual and put in the put in the recommended air pressure.


Saving kitchen space can be best planned by making a meal plan before leaving so you only bring the necessary items needed. Make notes in your kitchen at home of the items used everyday. This will make the process easier.

According to many RVers, using zip-top bags for storing items in the pantry like cereal and pasta make it easier to pack and takes up less space. You can also use the microwave and oven to store bread and other small items. Packing items tightly so nothing moves while traveling is key. Stack plastic storage containers on shelves to make efficient use of large cabinets. This method also keeps smaller items from shifting while you’re on the road.

Bubble wrap and paper plates can help prevent breakage and shifting.

The Living Area

Homemade pillows stuffed with extra blankets or towels can help maximize space in your motorhome. It is also a great way to stow extra linens. Few RVs have space for a filing cabinet, however, no matter how long or short the trip may be,


Lazydays Illustration by Cat Scott

you will still need to have important documents with you. To manage the paper file, sort the papers and place inside page protectors that open at the top. A small fire-proof safe is suggested for the closet.


A small plastic container will hold items necessary items like a cleaner, blow dryer and other toiletries. This container can be easily stored underneath your motorhome’s bathroom sink.


Shoe lovers will love a bed skirt shoe rack that attaches to the bottom of the bed. With the shoes under the bed, this leaves more space in your RV’s closet for wardrobe. Also, it is best to limit your wardrobe to clothes that are easily wash and wear or permanent press.

Remember your alarm clock!

Tools and emergency equipment

Lazydays Illustration by Cat Scott

Assemble a tool kit that has all the basics. Be sure to include leveling blocks. Major hardware stores sell ready-made kits that provide almost everything you will need. Some items in your kit should include a jack, lug wrench, flashlight and flares. A first aid kit, wheel blocks and fire extinguisher are necessary items. Be sure all emergency items are easily accessible at all times.

Some other items to bring along for the trip in your RV are motor oil, batteries, portable radios, rags and water hoses.

Once you are through packing, draw a diagram of the RV and where you have placed items. This will allow you to easily find things when you are in route or have reached your destination.

We have lots of other strategies and helpful hints. So, please visit us at our Lazydays Tampa or Tucson locations or log online to find out more information to help you further enjoy your RV travels.

Editor's note: The RV Authority welcomes your input. If you have an idea for a blog article or would like to write and submit an article about your RV adventures, please click here to email us your suggestions or questions.

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