The idea that you will have absolutely everything along that you will need on your RV may be a bit optimistic. If you plan well, however, you should own some or most of these essentials and be prepared with some luxury items as well to make your RV’ing experience comfier and cozier. There are essentials that everyone would agree you should have along with you and then there are the “Niceties” or luxury items, that would be nice to have. We’ll try to outline both categories for you, the RV owner.
Here are some essentials to have for your RV:
- Surge protector
- Electrical adapters
- Toilet chemicals
- Sewer kit
- RV-friendly toilet paper
- Water pressure regulator
- Drinking water hose
- Leveling blocks
- Tire pressure gauge
- Extension cords
- Wheel chocks
- Electrical and duct tape
- Extra cotter pins
- Extra motor oil and transmission fluid
- Battery jumper cables
- Emergency road kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Large zip closure bags for documents, including license, registration, reservations, etc.
OK, now that we have those essentials covered, let’s see what the experienced RV’ers would recommend as the “Niceties.”
“Niceties” to have on board your RV:
- WATER FILTER – Any water that goes into the freshwater tank should be filtered. For new RV’ers, an in-line water filter is the simplest option. Not only does it reduce sediments and other contaminants, it can improve the taste of campground water You can use replaceable carbon filters with KDF, which contains zinc and copper additives that resist bacterial growth.
- WATER-PRESSURE REGULATOR – Campground water pressure is often much higher than what RV manufacturers recommend. To reduce the flow rate, attach a pressure regulator to the campsite’s water supply. You can get a brass model that is lead-free and safe to use with drinking water.
- FRESHWATER HOSE – Blue and white freshwater hose – Campsite water connections can be quite a way from your RV, requiring a freshwater-supply hose that can extend up to 50 feet or a couple of shorter ones that can be connected to go the distance. You get what you pay for when it comes to freshwater hoses, and, for that matter, many other RV accessories. The cheaper the hose, the greater the chance it’ll kink and leak.
- WATER-HOSE ELBOW – Water hose 90-degree brass entry elbow – Connecting the freshwater hose directly to the RV’s city-water intake can put stress on the hose and fittings. To extend the life of their hose, make a small investment in a 90-degree brass entry elbow. This go-between fitting lets the hose hang straight down from the intake, easing strain on it and preventing kinks.
- HOLDING-TANK TREATMENT– Porta Pak drop-in packet toilet deodorizer – Sanitation is one of the things that intimidates new RV owners, but it isn’t a big deal once you learn the proper dumping and flushing techniques and use appropriate chemicals. Holding-tank chemicals come in a variety of formulations and forms, and most work as advertised to deodorize and break down solids. First-timers can ask fellow RV’ers for recommendations and try different brands to come up with the treatment they like best.
- SEWER HOSE – Black and orange sewer hose – Invest in a brand-name kit that includes a high-quality sewer hose and a see-through connector so you can tell when the water is clean as the tank is being flushed. It’s also smart to pack a box of heavy-duty disposable gloves for handling the sewer hose and emptying holding tanks.
- SURGE PROTECTOR – Power spikes and dips are not uncommon at campgrounds. A surge protector can help keep unsteady electricity from putting an RV’s appliances at risk. For newbies, a portable model that plugs into the RV’s cord set does the job. Costlier hardwired electrical management systems that become a permanent part of the RV are also available.
- POWER ADAPTER – Commonly called “dogbones,” power adapters come in handy when the campsite’s electrical output is incompatible with the RV or the power plug doesn’t match the pedestal receptacle.
- FUSE KIT – RV fuses can blow at any time, catching many new RV’ers unaware and unprepared. For such occasions carry a set of replacement fuses in your toolbox. Some kits use LED technology, making blown fuses easier to locate on dark fuse panels.
- COAXIAL CABLE – Campsites with full hookups usually have a cable-TV connection, but to catch your favorite shows, a coaxial cable is needed. Get one with a high-grade RG-6 cable that extends 25 feet to link the RV’s cable inlet to the campsite’s cable connection.
- TIRE CHOCKS – Trailer wheels must be stabilized so they don’t move when the RV is parked and unhitched. Chocks for this purpose come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they deploy in different ways.
- TRASH BIN – New RV’ers often resort to hanging grocery bags from doorknobs or cabinet pulls to hold trash, but you can find a more elegant solution: a collapsible frame that holds plastic kitchen bags. Topped with a lid, the trash-bag holder folds to an easy-to-store size for travel and sets up instantly, indoors or out.
- DISH DRAINER – For drying just-washed pots, pans and tableware, you can find a smartly designed rack that pops up for doing dishes and folds flat for traveling. Some racks even have a movable spout so water drains into the sink, not onto the counter.
- DISH-TOWEL RACK – For hanging kitchen towels, you can use a clear-plastic rack that hooks over a drawer or cabinet door. The rack extends out far enough that damp towels don’t touch the wood cabinetry.
- KITCHEN MAT – An anti-fatigue floor mat can keep you comfortable while doing meal prep and washing dishes. The cushy PVC mat not only makes your feet and legs happier; it also keeps the kitchen floor dry.
- BATH MAT – To keep the bathroom floor from getting soaked, try a thin but absorbent microfiber mat. Unlike most residential bath mats, this one dries quickly and doesn’t take up much space when stored.
- SHOWER ROD – Although some RV’s have a decent-size shower, a little more elbow room is always welcome, so you can install a cleverly designed rod that extends the shower curtain outward. When no one is showering, the rod folds out of the way and doubles as a place to hang damp towels, swimsuits and laundry.
- BATH-TOWEL HOOKS – Even with the shower rod doing double duty, you may not have enough spots for wet towels in the bathroom. Clipping a couple of inexpensive plastic hooks on top of the bathroom door remedies that.
- TOILET PAPER – Two-ply Aqua Soft toilet paper – Quick-dissolving toilet paper is strongly recommended for RV use, and you want to take no chances. Stock up on a name-brand RV-friendly two-ply that is 100 percent biodegradable.
- OUTDOOR TABLES – Next to your outdoor kitchen, line up a couple of folding tables for dishing up meals, stacking supplies and plugging in appliances. These space-saving tables not only have legs that telescope and collapse, but the tops fold in half to fit in a storage compartment.
- CAMP CHAIRS – Outdoor seating is essential for happy camping, and some folks just wouldn’t be comfy without their folding rockers. Whether they rock or not, camp chairs should be comfortable, sturdy, weather-resistant and collapsible for storage.
- SIDE TABLES – After setting up your rocker, arrange a couple of small tables within arm’s reach for snacks, drinks and cell phones. A familiar site at RV campgrounds, these folding tables stand up to the elements and lay flat for storage.
- FIRE PIT – Gathering around a crackling fire is the classic camping experience, but if you aren’t keen on hauling firewood or cleaning up ash, instead, pack a portable fire pit that connects to a propane cylinder and lights up under a bed of lava rocks.
- GRIDDLE – Frying up bacon and flipping pancakes outside is another camping tradition that’s made easier with technology. For mouthwatering outdoor meals anytime, the try the portable table-top griddle. You can get one that is propane-powered if you like.
- ICE-MAKER – While a portable ice-maker won’t be on every RV’ers list of essential equipment, it’s a must for some. You can select a relatively compact stainless-steel model that plugs into a 120-volt AC power source and doesn’t take up much space on the kitchen counter or an outdoor table. It cranks out up to 25 pounds of frosty cubes a day, enough to keep everyone’s drinks on ice.
So, you may not agree that you need to own and bring along all these items above. However, for some people, these “niceties” make their RV camping experience much more comfortable with all the comforts of home!
Whether you have an old RV that you would like to upgrade or you’re considering buying your first RV, check out our selection of refurbished RV’s at El Monte RV Sales, and get ready to have the time of your life!