The Only List Of RV Accessories You Will Need
YES! You’ve got the rig, now it’s time for some RV Accessories! This is the good stuff, the fun stuff, the poop handling stuff! (Yup you need THAT too!) Below are our best recommendations for best in class RV must-have necessities.
Stop by any outdoor outfitter or RV supply store and you will find a million different ways to spend money. Almost any veteran RVer will tell you that they bought too much junk when they started out.
We all do it- all of that stuff looks so great- and the articles you read will be full of scare tactics regarding safety equipment or RV accessories that, if you don’t buy them, will certainly result in death or dismemberment somewhere along Route 66.
The truth is, there are some RV accessories you absolutely need, and a whole bunch that you don’t. This is the only list of RV necessities you will need! Everything on this list is a MUST HAVE or at least adds so much value to us that we would not do without it.
RV Hookups and Maintenance
RV Sewer Hose:
If you ever plan to poop while on an rv trip, this is a must have rv accessory. Yup. You need one (at least.) That poop isn’t going to get itself out of the tank and into the hole in the ground. I tend to carry 2 of them- 15 feet long. It is not often you need both, but when you do…WOOF!
There are a few different brands but I prefer RhinoFLEX Hoses. They telescope up nicely and are long-lasting. A bit more pricey, but I think it is worth it, at least for my main hose.
Sewer Hose Support:
When I was young, my dad was a Construction Superintendent. He would take me to work with him sometimes where I would meet the most interesting tradesmen.
It was from an old German plumber named Hans that I learned the 4 things I needed to know to become a plumber: “Hot goes on the left, cold goes on the right, s**t goes downhill and payday is Friday.”
Unfortunately for all of us travelers, many RV park owners never learned these rules. Therefore you will come across more than a few sewer connections that are raised off the ground leaving an uphill section at the end of your hose.
Plus, you don’t want your RV sewer hose laying on the ground. It gets all messy and is a pain to pack up on moving day. You will need an RV sewer hose support to keep your waste flowing in the right direction.
RV Surge Protector
This is one of those must have RV gadgets. Not all RV parks have good, stable power to their sites. You will hear horror stories of newer RV’s burning up their electrical systems due to power surges. Definitely get one of these for your motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailers.
Yes, you can use old bricks or chunks of wood, but a nice set of wheel stabilizers will keep your rig where it belongs all of the time. I hate that feeling of waking up in the middle of a downhill roll, don’t you?!
RV Leveling Blocks
Again, many people use a variety of wood bits to support their stabilizers, but you can’t pass up the opportunity to get some huge “man-legos.” They stack up nicely and neatly for storage and look a lot better than old 2×6’s. Plus when not in use, these RV accessories can be built into a fort! Now THAT’S a MUST-HAVE!
You will have need of a ladder from time to time, and it is really nice to have one when you need it. I found this great telescoping ladder on Amazon and have loved this purchase. It folds down to fit easily into my basement and makes washing and maintenance duties a snap. Also, kites stuck in trees, frisbee’s on roofs, etc.
I carry a pretty good supply of hand tools. All RV owners shoud as well. I keep most of them in a soft-sided tool bag and the larger, less used ones in a large Tupperware container. This makes it easy to grab both holders and set up on a picnic table, or the bed of the truck, or to the location of any repairs I might need to do.
Outside general hand tools, I keep a hatchet for splitting wood, hand saw for cutting up small deadfall branches, a caulking gun, tow strap, clamps, and tie down straps. Oh and Gorilla Tape– make sure you have some Gorilla Tape! Did I mention Gorilla Tape?
Assorted Cans Of Stuff
They make a special type of garden hose for Fresh Water RV hook up. These hoses are white/blue and should be labeled safe for potable or drinking water. If your rig has a black tank flush connection, you will want a second, standard type of garden hose for that hookup to prevent any possibility of black water backing up into your drinking hose.
I carry 2 hoses for each. A bit of overkill I know, but I have 25’ and 50’ for each so I am prepared for any type of hook up situation. These are must-have RV accessories!
RV Water Softener
Water quality varies greatly from place to place. Some campgrounds use well water for their hookups. This water can be full of minerals leading to rust stains in your shower, sinks and toilets. A water softener filters out these minerals and keeps your water flowing cleanly. Simply hook up between the supply and the RV.
RV Water Filter
Most RV’s come with one of these. This is one of those RV accessories you want to make sure you have. Some water you hook up to is going to taste as though it came from the local sewage plant.
We have one in the refrigerator so we get our drinking water through that. We were getting the replacement on Amazon and then we found it on Ebay for 1/2 the price! Of course, now we have like 74 water filters- anybody need one?
Also, get an inexpensive water pressure regulator to maintain a safe water flow into your rig.
Tire Pressure Gauge
You always want a tire pressure gauge on hand to check your tires on a regular basis. Whether you have a tire pressure monitoring system or not, you should have one of these to check between every camping trip.
We keep ours in the truck. Oh and by the way…check your tires on a regular basis- RELIGIOUSLY! Check at every gas stop while on the road.
Washing / Waxing Gear
I came across Wash Wax ALL looking for an easier way to keep my rig looking its best. This is high-end aircraft polish. Nice thing is, you put it on while the rig is still wet, wipe on, wipe off, DONE! No waiting for it to haze over. It really works well.
Expensive, but a huge time saver. These towels work awesome with the wax! Works well on the tow vehicle as well!
Holding Tank Treatment
When it comes to the black and gray tanks, there are a ton of different products on the market for keeping them fresh and flowing. Buyer Beware. Some of these products are not very good, and some will do more harm than good. After 3 years with no issues in my tanks, I decided to use one of these products. It created so much gunk in my tank that I nearly had to get it professionally cleaned.
That was when I switched to good old Rid Ex. This product has been on the market for septic tanks for about 1000 years, and it works just as well in your RV tanks. Put a cupful into each tank right after draining, and enjoy the freshness and lack of blockages.
If you plan to do any dry camping, do your research to find the right sized generator for your rig. We started with a Westinghouse generator but it died after a few weeks. Junk! We switched to a 4000/ 3500 Champion Hybrid. It is new technology allowing an open rack generator to behave like an enclosed Inverter (but at a much lower cost).
The generator itself IS an inverter and delivers pure sine wave energy so our electronics are safe. At normal operating, it runs pretty quietly, but I will admit – the cats run away when the microwave comes on!
Roof Repair Tape
Roof repair tape is an absolute ESSENTIAL to have on hand. With all that jostling down the road, it is not uncommon for seams to split around the roof. Make it a part of your regular routine to do a monthy chack of all the seams on your rig. If the roof splits, repair it with this tape. Super strong and durable.
Outdoor Living Accessories
Our bike rack is a Swagman Bumper Mounted 2 bike rack which is installed on the rear tube bumper of a 5th wheel or travel trailer. It has worked really well for us, however as the kids are growing it is getting harder to store their bikes inside for travel and we will soon need to find a new system to rack all our bikes.
Quintessential RV necessities. To each their own here. We have had the “O gravity” chairs and they were nice, but now we just use folding chairs like these Colemans.
We really like the attached table and portability. They have a handle at the top when folded up to carry them around easily. The kids use those simple bag chairs.
Portable Propane Fire Pit
Many places these days have open fire restrictions during a good part of the year. Not surprising with all of the forest fires that have happened over the last few years. This portable propane fire pit is great to have along. Most places allow this type of fire pit. While it is not a real wood fire, it is far superior to having no fire at all.
Awning Screen/ Tie Downs
Another of our best rv accessories. We simply LOVE this Vista Screen Awning Shade. It connects easily to your awning and then easily comes off and on with just a zipper.
It closes in your outdoor area, adds shade and privacy AND ties down the awning for windy days. No, you don’t NEED this item, but we would not do without it again!
Outdoor spaces get buggy. It’s just a fact. So it is nice when you have the room to create an outdoor space to enjoy the fresh air and not the skeeters!
We have had a couple of different models but just love this Coleman room, one person can set this up in about 5 minutes. Not too expensive and works great! If you like to be outdoors most of the time, a screen room is an essential accessory.
Games and Toys
It’s nice to have some outdoor fun rv accessories at hand. Especially if you have kiddos. We have ring toss, bocce ball, croquette, and the usual smattering of balls, bats, sidewalk chalk, fishing gear.
Just think about what you like to do and then think: high entertainment value, small space! I see the weekenders show up with huge cornhole games- not great for full timing!
If you like to grill, you will do it a LOT on the road. If you don’t especially like to grill, you will probably do it anyway on the road. RV’ing and grilling go together like hot dogs and buns. You will need propane or charcoal as well. Some rigs have propane hookups built in for a grill. Makes life pretty easy.
Inside The RV Accessories
No matter how much storage you have, extra hooks are a necessity in the RV. We use 3M Command Hooks all over. They hold up really well and come off nicely if you don’t need them anymore.
We use them to hang towels inside the shower when not in use, and added towel hangers in the bathroom. We use heavier hooks in the closets for hanging sweaters etc.
Over Door Storage
One great buy we made was this over the door hanging storage unit. RV Kitchens are notorious for not having enough storage space. We like to shop at Sams so we come back with big boxes and bags of dry foods like snacks for hiking, etc.
This unit is fantastic for holding all of this. Then it comes down easily to lay on a bed during travel days. NICE! If you want to know more about saving money through bulk shopping, read our blog post ‘How to buy in bulk and save money.”
You will need a nice powerful, yet compact vacuum. We love this Shark Rocket unit. It is really powerful, has a revolving brush for carpets, and all of the attachments for sucking dust out of all the nooks and crannies. RV’s are a hotbed of nooks and crannies! BONUS: the kiddos love to use this vacuum and change out all of the attachments. WHOOP!
We use our crock pot a TON! As mentioned earlier, we like to shop in bulk. A crockpot allows us to take advantage of deals on BIG MEAT. Pork Loins, beef roasts, chicken. Whatever is on sale we can stock up on and then cook several days meals in the crock.
We consider our slow cooker an indispensable rv kitchen accessory. Saves money, saves time!
Space Saver Bags
Clothing is always a difficult subject. What to bring, what to have available. These space saver vacuum bags are a godsend for this very reason. Most RV’s have a large storage area under the master bed. We vacuum seal our out-of-season clothes in these bags and store them under the bed.
This allows us to be ready for any weather without needing to shop. We can also take advantage of great seasonal sales on kids clothes by purchasing sizes a little too big, then storing them for later. Good for extra blankets, pillows etc. Oh, and guess what, the Rocket vacuum works perfectly for these bags too!
Technology Accessories (RV Gadgets)
Depending on your internet needs, there are a lot of options here, from utilizing the never reliable RV Park wifi’s to getting your own hotspot to ensure a good signal. We are online a great deal, our business is online so we cannot be without good internet. For several years we had an unlimited plan with Verizon.
The service was very good all over the nation, but unfortunately, Verizon has gotten greedy and eliminated the old unlimited plans. The new ones are much more expensive. SO we switched to ATT. So far so good and it’s cheaper!
We were able to work, download Netflix and stream when necessary. We don’t stay in places that don’t have a good signal.
Much more portable and much less space-consuming than a desktop. I have seen some folks who have desktops in their rig, but for us, laptops work much more easily. They also allow us to change places to work, if we want to be outside, etc. Who wants to be in a park near Yellowstone and be strapped to a desk inside?
Get good photos! Today’s cameras and even phone cameras can take really nice photos. You don’t have to have a high-end DSLR and a bag of lenses. If you are into it, by all means, go for it, but for us- we want to be light on our feet.
Do some research on your phones. If you can get into a phone with a great camera (LG, Samsung) that is a good first step.
We also use a NIKON Cool Pix super zoom point and shoot which is portable enough for hiking and takes super photos. We have gotten some awesome wildlife photos and videos with it (see our Facebook Page). The zoom gets way out there and remains clear. We highly recommend the Nikon Coolpix cameras.
The camera is the biggest thing for us. We used Sprint as a service because it is inexpensive. The coverage sucks, but our plan includes a good deal of roaming minutes so we pretty much always can make a call.
Everyone has an opinion here, so suit yourself. I used an LG for years because the camera was so good. It takes really nice photos in a rush or when we don’t want to carry the larger camera along.
RV Camping Accessories For Travel Day
Food in the car. It is nice when traveling to have some sandwiches ready and cold beverages so we don’t have to stop as much. Our Igloo MAXCOLD Cooler is quite old, but still works great and fits perfectly between the seats.
When it is closed, it makes a perfect platform for the dog to lay on. Just have to watch our fingers trying to get in for a sandwich.
Almost a MUST HAVE. So much nicer than using a map. I also like to be able to look for gas ahead when the time comes. We have not subscribed to the dedicated GPS as yet. We just use a phone and Google maps.
We put a mount on the dashboard and plug in the phone so the battery stays charged. Works just fine for us. However for those who do want a dedicated unit, this Garmin is the best seller on Amazon.
We do not allow our kids to spend a ton of time on electronics, so travel days can be a bit difficult. We try to get ahead on school work, do word searches, or magnetic puzzles and IQ games. Keeping the kids occupied and quiet is an absolute necessity when hauling the RV.
Soft Sided Cooler
This is really more for grocery shopping days. As I mentioned earlier, we like to bulk shop so Walmart and Sams Club are our friends. However, you are not always camping right next to one of these establishments so there may be a road trip involved.
Rather than clean up after a frozen food meltdown, we use a collapsible insulated cooler bag which holds a TON of frozen/ cold foods and keeps them cool for up to a couple of hours. That is always enough time to get us back home. You can check it out here, we purchased ours at Sams Club. Also here is a similar one on Amazon.
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