The 12 essential RV accessories you need to go camping

If you  just bought an RV and want to go camping, there are a few items that are essential for making your camping trip a success that are not included in the RV itself.  Why is that?   Some people have all the items they need already from the RV they are trading in, so they really don’t need to get duplicates, but the main reason is everybody is different.

That may seem like a flimsy excuse, but it really is true.  The type of camping you plan to do (boon-docking or full hook-ups?), the location of your site (Is there constant direct sunlight? Does your site provide chemicals and pump outs?), and the frequency of your trips (Something you use often is better if it’s sturdy enough to stand up to repeated use?) really determine what supplies you will need.

Additionally, not everyone wants a satellite on their trips, while others want to get all the channels of their favorites while out exploring.  It is all a choice.  What a great choice to have!

koa camping happy
(Courtesy of Kampgrounds of America; http://www.koa.com)

 

So, I’ve put together a list of the essential things you will need if you just want to get out there RIGHT NOW and you don’t have anything except your awesome new RV!

Let’s start with getting the water IN:

  1. Freshwater hose- self explanatory
  2. Pressure regulator- Not all campsites are the same water pressure, and some even have high pressure to meet the demands of many campers, so this is a must to not bust your pipes.
  3. Water filter- Even though the water may be municipal water source, the water filter will help eliminate sediments that can settle in your pipes and clog the foot pedal in your toilet causing it to not have water flow to flush. This can be a costly maintenance item, as sediment is not a warranty issue.  Some toilets have a replaceable toilet valve, and others require replacement of the entire toilet.  It’s best not to have to find out the hard way.

Now let’s get the water OUT (waste):

  1. Sewer hose- This is something that I recommend not going cheap. Invest in a quality hose with all the fittings included.  That way the fittings don’t get lost, and the hose isn’t going to crack and leak…on you…
  2. Tank chemicals- Always, always, always use a tank chemical to dissolve the waste in your tanks. Also use them in your gray tanks. Always.
  3. RV safe toilet paper- This TP is designed to break down in the tank with the use of chemicals. Just because it says “septic safe” doesn’t mean RV safe.  Think about it.  Septic systems sit for months, RV waste needs to come out in a few days.  Always make sure RV TP is the ONLY thing going into the black tank besides waste.  Clogs and solid foreign objects can cause cracks, leaks, drainage issues, and other smelly, messy problems.

Other important items

  1. Your RV needs a deep-cycle 12 volt battery to work, even if you are plugging in.
  2. Propane
  3. Fuses – 15 and 40 are the most common, and you need to keep a stash at all times.
  4. Surge protector- keep your electrical system safe from power surges
  5. Electrical adapter – What amperage is the site? What amperage is your RV?  They need to match, or you need to get an adapter.
  6. Wheel chocks- This can be as simple as a couple blocks of wood, or the kind that lock between your wheels.  Just make sure you have something.

A final note on the importance of surge protectors:

The necessity of this item cannot be stressed enough.  The surge protector is like the everyday one protecting your TVs and computers at home and work.  It will save all your appliances that run on electricity from a damaging power surge.  Think about it- what does your RV use for electricity?  TV, DVD, Radio, microwave, refrigerator, POWER CONVERTER (main power center in an RV).  A power surge is not a warranty issue, nor do campsites take responsibility for them.  If damage were to occur to these items, you would need to submit to insurance and go through that claims process, or come out of pocket to replace/repair the items.  It’s just a lot easier to purchase and USE a surge protector to keep using your RV and having fun.  You just plug the surge protector into the receptacle and the your RV into the surge protector.  Easy and done.

There are many other parts and accessories you can add to your RV to customize it to match your needs.  And that’s one of the best parts!  You get to make it fit YOU and YOUR LIFESTYLE, and you get travel the country with it.  Now that’s freedom.  The items listed above will get you started and as you learn what type of camper you are.  Research items that other campers suggest while out camping and our Parts Specialists can help you with parts and accessories, too.  It’s something we love!

Soon, you will have a dialed-in RV.

cougar_couple.jpg
Camping just gets easier as you use your RV! (courtesy of Keystone RV; http://www.keystonerv.com)

If you are a seasoned RVer, or have just got started and learned some things on the road, what are some of your MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED RV accessories for the newbies?

Please share in the comments.  Now, let’s get camping!

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