The luxury of having a fifth-wheel is the ability to hit the open road while still being able to take along all the comforts of home. Fifth-wheels are set up like small apartments, and the trick to fitting in everything you want to take with you is to think small. Once a fifth-wheel is packed, most items can remain inside it permanently, eliminating the need to pack and repack every time you are ready to take a trip.
Stock your kitchen cabinets with lightweight, non-breakable dishes and utensils. Bowls and other storage containers should be sized so that they fit inside one another for storage. Collapsible colanders and dish drainers are great space savers. Pack the smallest size packages of non-perishable foods that are appropriate for your family. If you normally buy in bulk at home, divide up the food into smaller containers with tight-fitting lids.
Under the kitchen sink, keep a variety of cleaning supplies, again in small containers. If you have powdered detergents or cleansers in boxes, put them into containers with lids so that they don’t tip over when traveling and create a mess.
Pack full-size versions of personal-care products you use daily, but pack sample or trial sizes of things you think you only might need. Remember to include prescription medications and common over-the-counter items such as acetaminophen and sunscreen. Prepare a first-aid kit containing antiseptics and an assortment of bandages.
In the bathroom storage area, make sure you have RV toilet paper, which degrades more easily than the multi-layered, fluffy toilet paper you might prefer to use at home. Fifth-wheel toilets use little water to flush, so pack a toilet bowl brush to clean spots that don‘t get rinsed with large amounts of water. Also make sure that you have plenty of toilet chemicals made to break down waste and keep your toilet tank free of odors.
Make the beds with comfortable pillows and blankets. Pack the closet with clothes that are easy-care and in colors that coordinate so you can mix and match a few items while still wearing a variety of outfits. Be prepared for a variety of weather. Consider keeping a set of clothes in your fifth-wheel strictly for traveling. If you return these items to your fifth-wheel closet after washing, you'll never have to pack for a trip again.
A laptop computer is a great way to stay in touch with people at home via email and to find any type of information you need while on the road. A directional antenna and a wireless access point will help you connect to Wi-Fi, which is available in many RV parks and countless other places across the country. A cell phone is not only convenient, but is imperative for emergencies. Be sure to have mobile chargers for all electronics.
Possible mechanical breakdowns are a fact of life when traveling. Be prepared with an assortment of tools. Include several sizes of wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers and a hammer. Bring extra hose for the tanks on your fifth-wheel, and blocks or jacks to level the fifth wheel if needed when you are parked.