RV sitting in woods in the fall

Expert Advice

Packing for a Fall Family Camping Trip

Packing for a fall family camping trip is similar to regular RV packing, but certain items will help make your fall trip extra special.

Fall is a beloved time of year for family camping trips, offering cozy campfire gatherings and trick-or-treating at the campground. Your RV may still be well stocked from the summer camping season, but this packing list for fall camping will help you think through some extra items you might want—and need—to enjoy the autumn activities and weather.

What Makes Fall Camping Special? 

Many campers enjoy the change in scenery, as the woodlands shift from green to gold in spectacular bursts of color. The cooler weather is more inviting for some outdoor activities, like hiking and fishing. Plus, many RV parks offer special themed weekends, with seasonal celebrations and activities for both kids and adults.

Fall is also extra cozy for campground cooking. It’s the perfect time to break out a pot of chili, a dutch apple pie, and a special seasonal-flavored coffee or cocktail to warm your bellies by the campfire. Don’t spare the pumpkin spice. The campfire is extra welcoming in the fall, when summer’s heat and mosquitoes have been replaced by a slight chill in the air. Do s'mores taste even better in the fall? You’ll have to try them to find out.

Some RVers especially love camping on weekdays in the fall, as campgrounds quiet down with kids back in school. You might find conditions perfect for relaxing while taking in the views if you are able to camp mid-week. Weekends are another story, however, as many campgrounds fill with those enjoying the fun of the season.

Despite the benefits of fall camping, the season may involve extra considerations for cooler weather and for limited campground services, especially if you are camping during the park’s off season. Some RV parks begin limiting services on November 1, while others may cut back earlier or stay open all winter. Always check with the campground while booking.

Start with a traditional RV packing list. Then use these tips to adjust for a fall trip. 

Table of Contents

  1. Plan for variable weather: Will it be 50 degrees or 20 or 70? Fall weather may be unpredictable, especially in some regions of the country. Depending on where you are camping, you can encounter winter and summer conditions, alongside fall—all on the same trip. Take along clothes for both warm and cool weather, as well as rain gear.

  2. Prepare for freezing temperatures: In addition to properly outfitting your body, you need to make sure your rig is properly outfitted if temperatures drop below freezing (depending on your camping region). Make sure you have plenty of propane and/or an alternative heat source. During the fall season, some campgrounds shut off water spigots, even when freezing temperatures are not in the forecast, while others have heated spigots or close them when conditions warrant.

  3. Understand what amenities will be available: Some campgrounds offer limited services and amenities during the fall season. For example, shower houses may be closed, and camp stores may have shortened hours. Make sure to check ahead and pack appropriately.
  4. Decorate for the season. There’s no reason cute fall decorations must be limited to your house. Pack those pumpkins! Prepare a spooky Halloween scene! Some campgrounds even host decorating contests.
  5. Prepare for seasonal activities. Check out the RV park’s event calendar or call ahead to see if seasonal activities such as special crafts, trick-or-treating, and other themed celebrations will be offered. Prepare to join the fun. Also, pack everything you need for the outdoor activities you enjoy in the cooler weather.

In addition to the items you will generally pack in your RV, check out the RV fall packing list to discover the additional elements to consider for an autumnal outing...

 RV camping in the woods in the fall

1. RV Tools and Safety Gear

Prepare your rig and campsites for the cooler fall weather by packing these items:

  • Heated hose (if camping in freezing weather and water spigots are on)
  • Full water tank if water hookups are not available
  • Full propane tanks to operate your RV’s heating and cooking systems
  • Electric heater (as an alternative/extra source of heat)
  • Campfire supplies (check to see if firewood will be available onsite if camping in the off season)
  • Lanterns and headlamps (since the sun sets earlier)

Canoeing in the fall

2. Camp Furniture and Outdoor Gear

If you plan to celebrate the fall season and holidays, consider bringing:

  • Seasonal decor
  • Costumes, buckets, and treats (if participating in Halloween-themed activities)
  • Hobby gear for outdoor activities

Halloween decor in the fall

3. Kitchen (Indoor/Outdoor)

Consider bringing the following for a “taste” of the fall season:

  • Meal prep for soups/chilis/other comfort foods
  • Warm drinks, such as coffees, hot cocoa, and cocktails
  • Dishes and treats with fall flavors, like apple, pumpkin, and spices


Fall decor sitting in the sun.jpeg

4. Bathroom

Appropriate supplies for washing up (if water/shower houses are not available)

RV in the woods on a fall day

5. Bedrooms & Closets

Plan for variable weather conditions by bringing along these items:

  • Jackets
  • Layers of clothing for variable weather
  • Rain gear
  • Shoes that can get messy/muddy
  • Extra blankets

RV sitting in woods in the fall

Fall camping is one of the best ways to enjoy your RV. If you haven’t tried it yet, make your reservations and use this RV fall packing list to plan your first autumn outing. Chances are, it won’t be your last fall trip to the campground. And–if you’ve already discovered your love of fall camping–this packing list may make your next trip even better. Grab a flannel and a pumpkin spice latte, and settle in around the campfire.

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