Important Papers You Need to Take With You When RVing

Updated on May 1, 2018
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I have traveled extensively throughout the US for many years and enjoy helping people to make the most of their RV vacations.

When organizing an RV vacation, it’s important to take paperwork with you that can become important to have in the event of a health crisis, accident or other major problems that might occur when you’re on the road.

Many people don’t stop to think about the importance of doing this, but given the right circumstances, having this information with you can literally be a lifesaver.

The first big RV trip my husband and I took found us with a tow vehicle that died deader than a doornail about 200 miles from home.

With help, we were able to hook it up to our motor home and tow it to the nearest dealership about two hundred miles North of us.

We discovered that the problem would have been more costly to repair than was reasonable, so traded it (as is) for another car.

Not having our title with us and buying a vehicle across state lines became a real problem and caused us to spend four days waiting for license and registration transfers.

This taught us a hard lesson, which caused us to take more care when packing for future vacations.

To help you avoid similar problems, I’m providing information below that advises you with regards to papers you really should keep on board when RVing.

Please note that it will be important to take copies of this information when possible and keep the originals at home.

Taking important information with you when RVing is more important to do than most people realize.
Taking important information with you when RVing is more important to do than most people realize. | Source

Health Related Information

While it would be awkward to take your health records with you, it is easy to keep them on a on a flash drive. This way, if something happens, a doctor can plug the drive into any computer and pull up your basic medical history if need be.

This is especially important if you are unable to speak for yourself and doctors unknown to you need to find out about allergies and such.

You should also keep hard copies of the names of your current doctors, the medications you take and any health problems you have.

This can all be done on one sheet of paper.

By looking at it an ER physician can quickly know if you are Diabetic, have strong reactions to certain medications or have implants.

There should be a carefully labeled sheet like this for each member of your family so that access is easy and fast.

Just as important is for travelers to keep a small card in their wallets or purses that lists their current medications, allergies and doctor contact information.

Insurance Information

You always should carry insurance cards for

  • vehicles,
  • real estate and
  • health.

This way, if you’re traveling and a fire, tornado, flood or other hazard strikes your home while you’re gone or any RVers who are with you on the road, you’ll have what you need to deal with serious issues that may occur.

You should also keep your vehicle registration cards with you so that you can prove you are the owner.


Keeping a hard copy of people’s names and addresses can be very helpful while you’re away from home.

You never know when you might need to contact a neighbor to check your mail or a business to straighten out a billing problem, so it’s good to have this information with you.

If you have a smart phone you no doubt have email addresses already saved, but bear in mind that you might be somewhere that does not have a signal so if you need that info immediately for some reason you won’t be able to access it without having a hard copy.

Pet Information

If you travel with animals, you must have their inoculation information with you as well as the name and phone number of your family’s veterinarian.

Your pet is no different than you are when it comes to needing info about general health, so make sure to keep a health history sheet on him or her as well.

Having your pet's paperwork with you on an RV trip could save his life.
Having your pet's paperwork with you on an RV trip could save his life. | Source

Legal Papers

One big thing that people rarely think to take with them is legal information.

You should always take copies of Birth Certificates, Marriage Licenses, Divorce Papers, Durable Powers of Attorney, Wills, Living Wills and Health Care Surrogate papers with you, and don't forget to carry your vehicle titles with you as well.

Additionally, you should include the name of your attorney and people who should be contacted in the event of an emergency.

If you or someone traveling with you should pass away, you will need these papers in order to take care of the issues that deal with this problem. Without them, you may have no authority to do so, which could create a messy and extremely expensive situation for you.

I know of one situation where a man’s wife passed away in her sleep. He didn’t realize it until she didn’t come to join him in the cab of their coach. He was on the road in the middle of strange territory and had to deal with her corpse, so having the pertinent information with him was extremely helpful.

With it he could contact the local authorities, legally transport her body and make funeral arrangements. Without it, doing these things would have been almost impossible.

Most people don’t realize that it is legal for an immediate family member to transport a corpse across state lines if they have paperwork signed by the local coroner’s office.

However, to get those papers, they have to be able to prove who they are and what their relationship is to the deceased.

This piece of information can save people thousands of dollars in transport costs, but only if they can have with them the papers that allow them to do it.

As noted in the video, you should keep these documents in a fireproof safe unless the papers you have with you are copies instead of originals.

Accidents happen quickly and without warning.  It pays to keep health information handy when they do.
Accidents happen quickly and without warning. It pays to keep health information handy when they do. | Source

Tech Information

You will also need to carry a list of your passwords as well as information about your virus protection program and computer brand, model and operating system.

If you don't have this information with you, you're going to find it difficult to go online or get the help you need with technical problems.

RV Guides and Info

Be sure to include the manufacturer's manuals for your coach with you. This can be invaluable if you have mechanical problems while you're on the road.

You'll also need a good campground guide, such as The Good Sam Travel and Savings Guide which my husband and I always carry with us during RV vacations so that we can access information about campgrounds, repair shops, fishing licenses and other important information. We've been using this guide for 50 years, and it still has proven itself to be worth every penny.

Another book you should keep with you is The RVer's Friend. We started using this guide years ago when we were cross country truckers, but quickly learned that having it when RVing would let us know where every dump station in the country was and also how to reach all state and national parks if we needed to make reservations or get directions.

Finally, if you belong to a camping club, you'll want to keep their catalog with you so that you can easily find their affiliated parks.

Prepare Yourself Properly for RV Travel

It’s always a mistake to assume that bad things won’t happen to you and yours when RVing.

The truth is that problems occur often, and when they do, people need to be prepared to deal with them. Over the years, my husband and I personally have

  • slammed fingers in doors,
  • passed out and needed emergency care,
  • fallen out of our RV,
  • had tire blowouts that damaged and disabled our motor home,
  • forgotten to bring medications with us, and
  • had our engine blow up while driving on the interstate.

More than this has happened, but this gives you some idea of things anybody can be facing when traveling in a camper, travel trailer or motor home.

These all are examples of why you need to do a good job of organizing before you leave home for your RV vacation.

The items mentioned earlier in this article are extremely important. While you may never need them, it only takes one time when you do to create serious problems for you.

If you take these issues seriously and follow the above guidelines, you’ll have with you the important papers you need that will help you to avoid problems when your traveling in your recreational vehicle.

Do you think it's a good idea to take this information with you when you take RV vacations?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Sondra Rochelle


    Submit a Comment

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      2 months ago from USA

      Audrey Hunt: You're welcome. Glad you found this helpful.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thanks for this informative hub. Great advice for all of us!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      4 months ago from USA

      Dora Weithers: You're certainly welcome.

    • CaribTales profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Such common sense advice, yet many including me could easily overlook them. Thanks for sharing.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      4 months ago from USA

      Mary Wickison: Agreed. I sometimes think that people get so wrapped up in the "fun" aspect of RVing that they forget that bad things do happen, and if they're not prepared for them, the results can be quite serious.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      Having the necessary documents might seem like a hassle but when you think how many problems it could save, it's worth the time it takes.

      Another excellent resource and reminder for travelers.


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