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RV Wardrobe: It’s all about the accessories!

If you take more than just a one week trip or plan on traveling for an extended amount of time, trying to shove a full wardrobe into a tiny RV closet(if you are lucky enough to have one) can be a daunting task!  Also, camping/RV’ing doesn’t require you to dress like one of the 7 dwarves.  So, there is no need to sacrifice your style while RV’ing.  Here are a few tips to keep you looking good without sacrificing too much of your storage space.

First there are a few simple rules to go by:

  1. If you have not worn it in the last 4 months, get rid of it! (seasonal items don’t count)  Most of us are way too comfortable with cluttered closets and holding onto items past their prime.
  2. Versatility is key!  Pick a few color schemes and stick with them.  Clothes need to be interchangeable as well as your accessories.  Choose fabrics that can be worn year round and don’t require dry cleaning.
  3. If you buy something new, it must replace something old.  The most important shopping tip is; if you don’t love it, don’t buy it!  You have to love it from the moment you put it on, if you have any doubts, walk away!
  4. Don’t knock the basics!  The perfect black dress got its name for a reason.  Simple pieces are easier to mix and match.  A few fun pieces are important just make sure not every item you own is printed and patterned.
  5. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!  This is where more is ok.  Simple outfits can be transformed with a great hat, scarf or belt.
  6. Weather is at the root of every clothing decision and it is not as predictable as the weatherman makes it out to be.  When RV’ing you never know what the weather will do, it’s best to carry a little something for any environment.  You never know when that freak storm is going to hit.

For a 3-6 month trip, your packing list might look something like this: (if you are full timing, increase everything by 25%)

His

  • Underwear – 14 pairs
  • Socks – 7 short (you don’t want tall socks with shorts), 7 long (2 wool for colder weather)
  • Jeans – 2 casual, 2 dressier
  • Chino’s – 2 different colors (Kaki/cotton/twill/linen pants look nice but are also very comfortable)
  • Shorts – 7(mix the colors…tan/white/grey/brown/blue/black/patterned)
  • T-Shirts –  4 long sleeve, 7-10 short sleeve (mixed colors and styles)
  • Polo’s —  4 (mixed colors/patterns)
  • Casual Sweater – 4 (mixed colors/styles)
  • Pajamas – 3 lounge pants / 3 lounge shorts, 6 t-shirts
  • Slippers – 1 pair
  • Dress Clothing – 2 slacks, 4 button downs, 2 nice light sweaters
  • Shoes – 2 sandals/flip flops, 2 around town (1black, 1 brown)
  • Belts – 1black, 1 brown (at a minimum, if you have something fun, bring it!)
  • Coats — 1 light, 1 heavy
  • Swimwear – 2 swim shorts, 1 beach shirt
  • Hiking/Active – 2 wicking short sleeve shirts, 1 long sleeve wicking shirt, 1 polar tech sweater, 1 quick dry/nylon pant, 1 pair of synthetic ‘long-johns’, 1 hiking/active shoe

Hers

  • Underwear — 14
  • Socks – 7 short, 7 long
  • Bras – 1 black, 2 nude, 1 black strapless, 1 nude strapless
  • Jeans — 2 casual, 2 dressier
  • Chino’s —  2 different colors (Kaki/cotton/twill/linen pants look nice but are also very comfortable)
  • Shorts — 4 (mix the colors…tan/white/grey/brown/blue/black/patterned)
  • T-Shirts/tanks – 4 long sleeve, 7 short sleeve (mixed colors and styles)
  • Blouse – 7 (mixed colors/styles)
  • Sweater – 4 (mixed colors/styles), 2 open front or button up (for layering)
  • Casual dress – 2 summer, 2 winter
  • Skirts – 2 summer, 1 winter
  • Dress Clothing – 1 pair of black slacks, 2 nice blouses, 2 dresses
  • Pajamas — 3 lounge pants, 3 lounge shorts, 6 camisole/t-shirt
  • Slippers – 1 pair
  • Shoes — 2 dress shoes (small heel), 2 sandals, 1 flip flop, 2 casual (comfortable walking), 1 boot (tall or bootie)
  • 4 belts – 1black, 1 brown, (at a minimum, if you have something fun, bring it!)
  • Coats — 1 light, 1 heavy
  • Swimwear – 2 swimsuits, 1 cover up
  • Hiking/Active – 2 wicking short sleeve shirts, 1 long sleeve wicking shirt, 1 polar tech sweater, 1 quick dry/nylon pant, 1 pair of synthetic ‘long-johns’, 1 hiking/active shoe
  • Accessories – this is where you can have fun and pack almost as much as you want!

Make your own packing list and edit it after your first couple of trips.  Just remember not to over pack, when RV’ing less is more!

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (10)

  • vidhan

    Thank you for the helpful Post.
    Wardrobe for camping is what most ple don’t take seriously and it troubles them during camping.
    You mentioned the essentials so wisely that it will help many in packing for vamping and will help make their camping comfortable.

    reply
  • Joy MCDowell

    I love you guys. Have you guys heard of project 333? It’s a type of capsule wardrobe. Just thought you might think it’s cool.

    reply
  • Marmie

    Hanging the long dress. How about hanging folded at the waist like pants. That is also fold it to roll. When you plan to it, hang it in the bathroom while you shower to help get the wrinkles out.

    reply
  • Polly Wild

    We go south for the winter, and I like to take a dress along that is too long for my closet so the bottom of it gets very wrinkled. Should I roll it in tissue and put it on my shelf or what would you suggest to keep it from wrinkling?

    reply
  • nancy meiners

    That’s a lot of clothing! We camp in a truck camper, so we have to be minimalists. Here’s what I carry. Granted, I wash every 4-5 days with our EasyGo washer. I only purchase quick-dry performance fabrics so I can wash by hand and they will drip dry in a few hours.
    6 pairs ExOfficio briefs, 4 ExOfficio bras, 1 ‘structured’ bra, 2 sets of silk long underwear, 6 pairs crew socks, 2 pairs liner socks, 2 pairs long winter boot socks, 3 pairs shorts – grey, 3 pairs pants – grey, 5 short-sleeve shirts (front pockets so I can wear the thin ExOfficio bras), 2 lightweight long-sleeve shirts with roll-up sleeves also with front pockets, 4 microfiber flannel long sleeve shirts also with front pockets, 2 LulaRoe Carly dresses, 1 pair Orthoheel flip-flops – grey. 1 pair lightweight hiking shoes – grey, 1 pair winter shoes – mid height – grey, 1 pair black ballet slippers – to wear with the dresses, 1 softshell Columbia hooded rain parka that is slightly fleeced inside, 1 polyester fabric rain poncho – not plastic, 1 fleece vest, gloves, fleece gaiter/hat, crushable sun hat. I wash sheets and towels at laundromat, and can go two weeks between visits.

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  • sam

    This is a lot of clothes for a tiny RV closet–especially if two people have to share it! We get by with about half that for each of us, keeping an eye out for laundromats when we have the time, and rinsing things in the sink when necessary. We don’t use jeans much–they take too long to dry. We’ve done several multi-week trips this way, and seldom have any troubles. One way we stretch our wardrobes is by using multi-use items, like reversible belts and hiking clothes that look more like regular fashion items. We also try to plan ahead what the focus of each trip is–will we mostly be visiting museums and fine restaurants, or wonders of nature? If we take a trip mostly for hiking, we can get away with only one pair of slacks & nice shirt,etc; If we’re travelling in August we can leave the heavy coat at home (unless we’re heading for Aspen).
    Our best trick, though, is having a few sets of “travel clothes”–easy to wash, wrinkle-free and colors that mix & match well—that always get put back in the RV after laundry day. This way we can literally go on a trip at the drop of a hat!

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  • mary van

    What a helpful post. Love it!

    reply
  • kitty kat

    I think that may be more than I have in my closet now! Great post keep up the great work!

    reply
  • Love the list. I go nuts without my lists. Love the slippers. My family makes fun of me and my slippers but I hate wearing my shoes in the camper.

    reply

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