Packing in a Motorhome

For those of you who’ve just started following the Wandering Dolphin and haven’t read back to the beginning blogs, I wanted to share a bit of traveling info.

What does it mean to pack-in the RV?

“Packing-in” the RV is the process we go through to get on the road. We have things that sit out while we are stopped and living in the motorhome that cannot stay in the same places when we drive. So we go through a process of packing things up.

This process can take anywhere from a half an hour to an hour, depending on how much cleaning we need to do. If we’ve recently vacuumed, cleaned the litter box and taken out the trash, it’s closer to the half an hour side of things.

We clear off our bedside tables, lock the sliding door to our bedroom, and put sticks through the wardrobe drawers to block the drawers and doors.


We make sure everything is on the floor of the shower and all things on the bathroom counter are put into the sink.

We put the dog toys and water dish underneath the dining room table, as well as anything that might be on a counter near the table.

We turn around the shelf holding the coffee maker and toaster, securing it with bungee cords. And we take down the shelf holding our tea and sugar and put it in the sink, alongside anything else on the counter.


The living room plant gets put in the space behind the end table, and anything else that’s loose gets put back in a secure spot.

Now, we have a full fish tank to deal with, so we drain most of the water out of the tank and filter area until it is about 1/3 full. Some of the water we save in the betta’s original jar to put back in later, but most of the water goes down the drain. The tank gets set on the counter until after we are done unhooking our water and sewer lines (so we can still wash our hands), and then it gets put in the other side of the sink.

Pica’s cage gets taken down from its mounted spot in the front window and gets secured with a ratchet strap to the dining room table. Her water dish gets brought down to half-full (as well as the dog dish under the table).

We use dishcloths to tie the drawers and doors shut in the kitchen — you know, so our silverware and dishes don’t go flying.

Also new this time around: we have wine glasses in our cupboard that we didn’t have on the way out. So that they don’t break, I have two towels lining different parts of the cupboard.

When we stop, it is always a dangerous thing to open a cabinet. You never know what has shifted and what will come flying at you. You want to duck and put your hands over your head, but you have to catch whatever is about to come tumbling out.

So far, we have lost one flying wine glass (big glassy mess), and I got a pretty awesome black-and-blue mark on my knee from a cascade of books.

We retract the leveling jacks and put up the outside step.

We also hook up the Jeep, attaching it to our hitch and connecting the safety chains to the RV. We’ve gotten pretty awesome at doing this in one shot — my aim has improved!


I drive the Jeep as Andy attaches it. Then I have to make sure the key is clicked forward and the transmission is in neutral so that it’ll track behind the RV.


We also set our locking hubcaps to “free.”


After stringing up the lights and double-checking our handy work, we are ready to go!


We have it down to a science, but that doesn’t mean that things don’t go wrong. Even though we wedge the drawer of our end table shut, it still tends to go flying open around sharp corners. We also lock the cats in the bedroom/bathroom area so they don’t go running around while we are driving, but the door likes to pop open with large bumps. So, even though I shove a dog toy under the door to help keep it shut, we still have to keep an eye on it. And every so often, the vent cover and filter for our front A/C unit likes to come falling from the ceiling.

While Andy drives, I run around and fix anything that we may have forgotten or that has decided not to stay put. I’ve gotten pretty darn good at it, too. The only problem: Teddy likes to sleep on my lap the entire time we drive!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark Welsh says:

    Do you do anything to secure items in the refrigerator?


    1. We do not, although I know they make shelf attachments and we do own a milk/water jug stabilizer that we always forget to use! We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had a lot of problems with the fridge as long as we stock it well. But things always shift around a bit.


  2. Jackie Landin says:

    Haha! Jetson slept in the passenger’s lap when we drove around the southwest for two weeks last week!

    Liked by 1 person

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