Must Have RV Accessories List
Your new-to-you RV (new OR used) will not come with all of the RV accessories needed for it to function properly. Doesn't seem fair, does it? Well, suck it up buttercup! You have to accept that buying your RV was just the FIRST thing you will need to get to be able to operate your new rig.
The following RV essentials list is broken into RV MUST-HAVES, as well as a 'you will thank us' camper supplies section.
Must Have RV Accessories
No matter what type of RV you have - motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel, truck camper or other - there are certain RV supplies that you MUST have for any rig to function properly and safely when in an RV park. (Some of these items can be used no matter if you are a boondocker or love a good campground.)
More than just the best RV accessories, this list of items are the basic camper accessories that every rig should have onboard.
To fill your fresh water holding tank, or to be connected to city water while at a campground, you need a dedicated drinking water hose. Available in a few different lengths. Sometimes the spigot is a good ways away, so you do need to be prepared with a long hose. 25' should usually suffice. It might be a good idea to have 2 lengths of 25 foot hose just in case.
Water Pressure Regulator
All it takes is ONE TIME for the park's water pressure to be so great it bursts one of your lines. Not using one of these risks flooding your RV. Water is an RV's biggest enemy. There are cheaper versions you can get, but they don't regulate the pressure, they just reduce it, and oftentimes, too much or too little. This style of water pressure regulator lets you 'dial in' the pressure coming into your rig.
Shore Power Cord (50amp or 30amp)
Some RVs do not come with a shore power cord. If yours doesn't, you need an RV power cord. Don't be fooled that you can use a regular house extension cord or you will likely have a fire on your hands in no time, as well as not enough amps going through the line to use everything you should be able to at once. (Check which amperage rating you need before purchasing.) You can read our RV power cord page to learn more about this important RV accessory.
Unless you have a composting toilet, you need a sewer hose. How else do you think all the stuff going down your toilet is going to get into the sewer? This is the least fun part of RVing, but it's a necessary evil. If you have arthritis or have mobility problems, a Lippert Waste Master sewer hose might work better for you. Learn more on our RV sewer hose page.
Do we really need to explain this one? Unless you will always be using the campground bathroom... well then you need this. BEWARE- you MUST use TP either made for RVs or TP that is septic-safe. You can find septic safe TP in the local grocery store or RV supply. Know that some brands of RV toilet paper are better than others. Be aware.
Not all camping spots are level. You MUST have your RV level if you have an absorption fridge. (Most RVs do) Otherwise after time, it will damage your fridge. And who wants to sleep at an angle? The levelers to the left are very easy to use, one of our favorite products. You can read our RV leveling blocks page to learn more about what's available.
These are the things that keep your RV from rolling away when parked. Especially important for a travel trailer, which doesn't have any kind of automatic brake. There is also a block style you can purchase. Don't waste your money on the small yellow ones. Read our RV wheel chocks page to see what types are available.
Holding Tank Treatment
Keep from smelling up your RV. This stuff helps break down holding tank matter so it won't clog. Also, it deodorizes. Some RVs can smell, others never do. This one really COULD be in the 'good to have' category, but you never know until you try and some feel this is optional. No-one wants to deal with a clog, so a black tank treatment is just a safe preventative.
For when you dump your black tank. Enough said.
You'll Thank Us After Getting These RV Accessories
These RV camping accessories make your RV experience much more comfortable. Many people consider these to be must have camper accessories, but we will leave it up to you to decide. Everyone's situation is unique, so you decide which of these are camping must haves for you. We use many of the below products, and consider them to be necessities.
Nope, campgrounds don't supply this for you, so if you are keen on watching cable TV, you need a coaxial cable to plug into the parks cable outlet. 25' to be sure you can reach at most sites.
This helps to clean out your sink of food bits if your RV doesn't come with a pull-out sprayer. It also changes from a single stream to to a shower stream.
This saves stuff from falling out after traveling and can save spills as well. There is nothing worse than opening up your RV's fridge and having stuff tumble out. A refrigerator bar also keeps stuff arranged so you aren't rearranging after every travel day.
These are a funny animal. They are supposed to be 'non-slip- type of pads, yet they slide. CA Kelly installed these the day after getting her trailer, but after a little time, they would just slide around, causing Kelly to have to reorganize everything in the cabinet after every single travel day. You can just glue them down to avoid this.
Hitch Lock For Travel Trailers
This (the Mega Hitch Lock) is an almost 100% foolproof hitch lock so nobody drives away with your nice new travel trailer. There are cheaper versions around, yes, but this one is the best. The others are easily hackable. Is it worth the price? Depends on how likely it is that you think someone may try to steal your travel trailer.
Clear Sewer Connector
Why do you want to see your waste, you might ask? This is a really good way to know if your tank is really empty or not. If you run water through (by flushing the toilet for a good 20-30 seconds or using your black tank flush if you are lucky enough to have one) then you can see if it's coming out clear or not. We will confess, there's also something strangely satisfying about watching it go clear. 🤷🏻♀️
Seems strange, right? But almost all RVs come with a pretty inefficient refrigerator which uses an absorption system. Having a battery powered fan in there will circulate the air to keep the temperature consistent inside the entire area, causing your fridge to have to work less hard to stay cold. Especially good for hot climates.
Nothing worse than blowing a fuse and being stranded without a replacement. These are an essential to have on hand. This assortment of fuses gives you a fighting chance of having the right amperage rating to replace the one that just blew.
This is right up there with the fuses as far as being essential to have on hand. A good tool set is especially important if you are going to be driving to places that aren't very populated. Either way, a good set of tools is a must.
This is going to come in handy a LOT. You simply need a quality headlamp. For camping trips, yes, but it can be handy to have in your vehicle or around the house as well.
Having an outdoor mat creates an inviting outdoor space and also helps keep dirt out of your RV. There are a bunch to choose from- check out our page on RV patio mats for the right one for your needs. The one to the left is great for sandy or dirty campgrounds.
It's only natural to want to sit outside when camping. You may as well do it in comfort, but there are a TON of different types of chairs for different needs. Visit our page on the best camping chairs to see which one will work for your needs the best.
Oxygenics Shower Head
Most RVs come with some extremely pathetic shower head which has very little pressure. The Oxygenics line of shower heads give much better pressure and they save water, which is good if you like to camp off the grid. This is the first upgrade MOST RVers do to their rig, because it's so easy. For other options, check out our RV shower head page.
There are a few types of tables you may want to add to your outdoor setup. Side tables for your drink and food, as well as food preparation tables. Some campgrounds don't have picnic tables, and if you are boondocking, well, even a long log isn't going to be a good substitute. For other options, check out our camping table reviews.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Your tow vehicle might already have this for itself, but you need it for your travel trailer or fifth wheel. Also handy for motorhomes and toads. You don't want to lose your investment down the road. Know ahead of time that you are losing pressure before it becomes an issue. This is a VERY important part of RVing that a lot of people ignore and later regret.
We know, this one isn't very sexy. Sorry about that. Still, when you need an air compressor, you will be thankful you have one. Tire health is so important but they are often neglected. Having a tire pressure monitoring system as well as an air compressor handy is key in preventing a blowout.
Talking about not being sexy, let's discuss torque wrenches. You should check the torque of your RV's tires on a regular basis. This is easier if you have a trailer as the torque amount isn't as great as it is with a motorhome. But either way, you should be checking. You need a torque wrench that is rated for approximately twice the amount of torque you need (you shouldn't be using a torque wrench at close to the lowest torque setting or the highest setting).
Again with the tires. The suns UV rays are the #1 killer of tires. Keep them covered so that your tires don't break down before their time. This is especially important if your RV does more sitting around then it does putting miles under its tires.
Picnic Table Cover
Campground picnic tables are notoriously dirty and gross. Cooking and eating on them without a cover is not a pleasant experience. Cover them for a much more sanitary and enjoyable experience. Don't forget to buy clamps to hold it down as well.
There you have it. There are a ton of other RV accessories you may want to get as well, but these camping must haves will get you started on a good foot. If you are the super glampy-luxe type of person, you can check out our luxe RV accessory recommendations.
Get out there and Camp On, Addicts!