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34 RV Must-Have Accessories

(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)

Kelly Headshot

By Kelly Beasley

Yay, I just Bought A Camper! What RV Must Haves Do I Need?

Most people that buy a new rig face the question: "What RV must haves should I get?"

Your new-to-you RV (new OR used) will not come with all of the supplies for RVs needed for it to function correctly at your campsite. It doesn't seem fair, does it?

Well, suck it up, buttercup! You have to accept that buying your recreational vehicle was just the FIRST thing you need to get to operate your new rig.

Now you need a camper must-have list so you can get everything functioning.

The following gear list is separated into RV MUST HAVES, as well as a 'you will thank us' camper supplies section.

View List On Amazon

You can view all of our recommended items directly on Amazon by visiting the Camp Addict Amazon Storefront. You will find all the items we list below, as well as additional items that we recommend you consider taking on the road with you.

No matter what type of RV you have, there are certain RV gadgets that you MUST have for any rig to function correctly and safely when in an RV park.

(Some of these camping and RV supplies can be used whether you are a boondocker or love a good campground.)

More than just the best RV accessories, this list of items contains the basic camper accessories that every rig should have onboard for their camping trip.

Without further adieu, here are your RV must haves.

RV Must Haves

As mentioned above, there are certain RV supplies and accessories that pretty much any recreational vehicle owner needs. This first section is this list of camper must-have items that we've compiled.

Below this first section are things for a camper that we feel you should consider buying. Top RV accessories, if you will.

Surge Protector/EMS

This RV must have is the #1 thing you should NOT skip out on, nor should you skimp and go 'cheap.' 

Buying an EMS or a surge protector for RV use will save you the time, hassle, and cost of having an electricity 'event' in a campground. (They are more common than you think.)

An event (power surge, brownout, or improperly wired pedestal) could damage every electronic device in your electrical system.

To say that this would be costly would be an understatement. It could even total your RV. TRUST US. Get your RV protected. It's one of the biggest must haves for RV camping.

BE AWARE: An EMS provides greater protection for your electrical system than a surge protector.

To simplify which of these must-have RV gadgets you should get, read our page on surge/EMS devices.

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 must-have camper items risks flooding your RV. Water is an RV's biggest enemy.

You can get cheaper versions, but they don't regulate the pressure. They just reduce it, and often, too much or too little.

This water pressure regulator lets you 'dial in' the pressure coming into your rig.

Camper Fresh Water Hose

To fill your freshwater holding tank or to be connected to city water while at a campground, you need a dedicated drinking water hose.

These RV things are available in a few different lengths. Sometimes the spigot is a good way away, so you must be prepared with a long hose. 25 feet should usually suffice.

It might be a good idea to have two lengths of 25-foot hose just in case.

RV Water Filter

As you travel around in your RV, you will use water from various sources.

Some water you get is fine. Some you wouldn't let your dog drink.

Using an RV water filter will keep particles and sediment out of your camper pump and out of your body. This RV accessory can help keep you healthy.

Shore Power Cord (50amp or 30amp)

Some RVs do not come with an RV electrical cord.

If yours doesn't, you need an RV power cord to plug in at your campsite.

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.

RV Sewer Hose

Unless you have a composting toilet, you need an RV sewer hose. It tops the must haves for a camper list. How else do you think all the stuff going down your toilet will get into the sewer?

This is the least fun part of your RV trip, but it's a necessary evil.

If you have arthritis or have mobility problems, a Lippert Waste Master sewer hose will work better for you than this hose. Whatever you get, this is a must-have RV accessory.

Learn more on our RV sewer hose page.

Toilet Paper

Do we need to explain this one? Unless you are always using the campground bathroom, you need this must have for RV camping.

BEWARE- You MUST use TP either made for RVs or TP that is septic-safe. (Or do this and never have a clog!)

You can find septic-safe TP in the local grocery store or RV supply.

Know that some brands of TP are better than others. Be aware. (Can you use regular toilet paper in an RV?)


Not all camping spots are level. You MUST make your RV level if you have an absorption fridge, which most campers do. (Leveling a camper)

Otherwise, after time, it will damage your fridge. Besides, who wants to sleep on a slope?

The levelers to the left are effortless RV equipment and are one of our favorite products.

You can read our RV leveling blocks page to learn more about what's available.

This is one of the more unique must-have RV accessories out there.


Wheel chocks for RV use are must-have RV items that keep your rig from rolling away when parked. They are vital for any travel trailer/fifth wheel which doesn't have any kind of automatic brake.

This is not an RV gadget; it's what every RVer needs.

Don't waste your money on the small plastic 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, and others never do. This one really COULD be in the 'optional RV camping gear' category, but you never know until you try. Some people never use it and do just fine.

No one wants to deal with a clog, so using the best RV black tank treatment is one of the best camper products to avoid a catastrophe.

Not Available In California

Disposable Gloves

Use this RV gear when dumping your holding tanks. It's a necessary RV accessory. Enough said.

View List On Amazon

You can view all of our recommended items directly on Amazon by visiting the Camp Addict Amazon Storefront. You will find all the items we list on this page, as well as additional items that we recommend you consider taking on the road with you.

You'll Thank Us For Suggesting 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 RV camping supplies are RV must haves for you. We use many of the products below and consider them camper equipment necessities.


You need plenty of tools when you go camping in an RV. One of the most crucial RV must-have gadgets is your tools. 

You're likely to figure out what you need as you go, but here are the most essential motorhome accessories and RV camper accessories when it comes to tools.

Replacement Fuses

Nothing's worse than blowing a fuse and being stranded without these necessary accessories for a camper.

These are essential camper products to have on hand. This assortment of fuses gives you a fighting chance of having the correct amperage rating to replace the one that just blew. These are what every camper needs sooner or later.

Tool Set

This is right up there with the fuses as far as being on your list of important RV things to buy.

A good tool set is essential if you drive to places that aren't very populated. Either way, a good set of tools needs to be on your RV necessities list.


This is one RV camping gadget that comes 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. A handy RV accessory indeed.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Your tow vehicle might already have this for itself, but you need it for your travel trailer or fifth wheel if it doesn't have it.

They are also handy for motorhomes and toads. You don't want to lose your investment down the road.

With it, you know ahead of time that you are losing pressure before it becomes an issue.

This is one of the most important supplies for campers that many people ignore and later regret.

Air Compressor

We know this one isn't very sexy in the world of RV and camper accessories. Sorry about that.

Still, when you need an air compressor, you will be thankful you put it on your camper accessories list. Tire health is so important, but it's often neglected.

Having a tire pressure monitoring system and an air compressor handy is key in preventing a blowout.

Check out our 12 volt air compressor page to learn more.

Walkie Talkies

Walkie-talkies are almost essential RV and camper supplies. (Unless you're a solo.) They are a priceless communication tool when hitching up, backing up, and more. Full-time RVers love them for their full-time RV living (they've saved some marriages, lol!).

These are the exact ones we use when caravaning together. It's safer than texting and easier than calling (especially when there is no cell service).

Comes with a charging stand. Also charges with a USB cable. For us, this RV camping equipment is essential when we are on the road.

Battery Jumper

What a fantastic product! This is one of the biggest must haves for RV living and regular daily driving.

No more having a dead battery and needing to wait for someone to jump you. With this, those days are over. Great stuff for campers and everyday drivers.

There are several different battery sizes available. Pick the one that fits the size (displacement) of your engine.

Torque Wrench

Talking about not being sexy, let's discuss torque wrenches. You should check the torque of your RV's tires regularly.

This is easier if you have a trailer as the torque amount isn't as significant 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).

Slide Mechanism Lube

If you have a Schwintek slide mechanism, then this is the lubricant that Lippert recommends you use.

Marshall has a Schwintek slide in his travel trailer, and this is the lubricant he uses. It's lasted him forever, into year 7 with the original can.

Lubricate per the manufacturer's directions, where they tell you. You don't have to go crazy with this stuff!

Outdoor RV Essentials

Part of RVing is enjoying the outdoors when you are at your favorite camping location. Here is a short list of must haves for camper living that allow you to enjoy being outside of your rig.

Outdoor Mat

One of the top items needed for RV camping is an outdoor mat. Having one creates an inviting outdoor space at your campsite and 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 we've shown here is great for sandy or dirty campgrounds.

Camping Chairs

It's only natural to want to sit outside when camping, and you may as well do it in comfort, but there are many different types of chairs for different needs.

Visit our page on the best camping chairs to see which will work best for your needs.

Camping Table

You may want to add a few types of tables to your outdoor setup.

Side tables for your drink, food, and food preparation tables.

Some campgrounds don't have picnic tables, and if you are boondocking, well, even a long log isn't a good substitute.

For other options, check out our camping table reviews.

Tire Covers

Again with the tires. The sun's 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 than it does putting miles under its tires.

Clam Tent

Expand your campsite living area with a Clam screened-in area. It comes with panels to create privacy or block the wind.

Great for cold evenings- put your propane fire pit inside and hang out with your family and friends. Easy RV accessory to set up and break down.

Motion Security Lights

These are another RV accessory must-have, especially if you want to boondock. They don't use any RV battery power as they have solar rechargeable batteries. Full-time RVers love these camper things, especially if they are boondockers.

They are great RV must-have items for peace of mind. They are especially great for when you are coming home after dark. Or if you are simply letting the dog out at night. Good RV stuff, for sure.

Creature Comfort RV Accessories

Just because you are camping doesn't mean you have to be roughing it. Here are a few must haves for RV owners that like creature comforts.


Don't think you need one? Are you camping in the East? Then think again. This is a NECESSARY camper gadget if you are in humid climates.

When I (Kelly) had my RV in Florida for just a few months, mold started to grow on my cabinets. I didn't have a dehumidifier. My mom has this model, and it is AMAZING how much water it collects.

Handheld Vacuum

One of the best RV gadgets you can have is a handheld vacuum. This Dyson is what I (Kelly) have had. Shark is also good. 

Even my favorite money-saving guru Clark Howard shows the proof that Dyson/Shark has the most satisfied customers in a study by JD Power.

If you have a larger RV, you probably want one of their space-saving long-handled vacuums.

Folding Step Stool

This is the perfect solution for both issues with space at a premium and high cabinets.

You will be surprised by how often you need it. It doesn't take up much space and helps you get to all your RV camper supplies.

Oxygenics Shower Head

Most RVs come with an extremely pathetic shower head that has very little pressure. This is one of those RV items that's too easy and inexpensive NOT to replace.

The Oxygenics line of shower heads gives much better pressure and saves 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.

New Mattress

Ask anyone. Almost NOBODY likes the crap mattress that came with their RV, even if it was brand-new.

It's an upgrade you are guaranteed not to regret. Custom RV mattress sizes available.

For additional options, check out our RV mattress reviews.

Coaxial Cable

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 park's cable outlet.

25 feet to be sure you can reach most sites. That said, this is one of those accessories for an RV that should pretty soon be a thing of the past!

Weird RV Accessories and Supplies, But You'll Thank Us!

These items may not be RV must haves, but they may end up on your camper necessities list!

Clear Sewer Connector

Why do you want to see your waste, you might ask? Because it's the best way to know if your tank is empty.

If you run water through (by flushing the toilet for a good 20-30 seconds or using your RV black tank flush kit 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. It's a must-have for RV camping if you ask Kelly.


Let's face it; an RV is a small space. Bathroom door or not, odors carry. Poo-Pourri to the rescue.

Be aware that you must fill your toilet bowl with water for this to work. Not so ideal for dry camping (dry camping defined), but a must for when you're hooked up to a water supply. This might become one of your biggest RV camping must haves because it's such a small space!

View List On Amazon

You can view all of our recommended items directly on Amazon by visiting the Camp Addict Amazon Storefront. You will find all the items we list on this page, as well as additional items that we recommend you consider taking on the road with you.


There you have it. There are many other must have RV accessories you may want to get, but these camper RV supplies will get you started. You can check out our luxe recommendations if you are the super glampy-luxe type of person.

Now that you know your essential camper items get out there and Camp On, Addicts!

  • Like this list? Want more ideas? Here on Camp Addict we have a few more accessories lists that may give you inspiration:
Kelly Headshot

I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.

  • Excellent list! We have been RV ing for almost 3 years and gradually purchased all of the “must-haves,” except those levelers. We will look into those. We have 4 out of 6 of the “creature comfort’s” accessories. Thanks!!!!

    • Hey Deb,

      You must be very smart and savvy shoppers! You’ve done your research and have the best accessories out there. Good on ya!

      Enjoy your travels… : )

  • Hi Folks! I’m thinking about running away, and have just started looking into RVs. I feel like you are providing me with some honest-to-God things to consider before hanging my bandana wrapped belongings on the end of a stick, and hitting the road, so to speak! Don’t worry, I’m 67 and there won’t be an Amber Alert! I signed up for your newsletter and that makes me feel like an almost member of a really cool club! Thanks for being! Debra

    • Hi Debra,

      Thank you for the great kudos! Hopefully, we will continue helping you as you go. We love RVing and love sharing with others how to make it easier and easier to understand all that comes with it.


  • Kelly:

    Just read your RV must have accessories list from the link in the story of Marshall’s unfortunate finger incident, and would like to offer the following thought. Looking past the obvious, (he put his finger/hand at risk, probably unnecessarily), the damage to his finger may have been reduced and extrication of the finger made easier had he been wearing a decent pair of leather work gloves, a good measure of protection against injury.

    Another point, it appears that the trailer is a tandem axle. Was any consideration given at the time to simply letting the air out of the offending tire to reduce the force on his finger? That may have allowed him to self-extricate or at least reduced the pressure on his finger.

    Really enjoy the site and the blogs, keep up the good work!

    • Hi Jim,

      Yeah, wasn’t that a SCARY AS HE** moment for us! Whew! Glad his finger survived.

      Gloves- sounds like a good idea, and might have helped a bit. However, I don’t see either of us putting on big work gloves to remove levelers, as it would be so clumsy. Good suggestion, just don’t think we would be able to do the job very easily with something that thick on. But it’s something to think about.

      Deflating- I think it did come across in the heat of the moment when we were all trying to figure out what to do, but then the option to jack it came up and figured it would go faster. That poor finger!! I really thought he would have issues with it. But only has some weird tingling sometimes. Annoying at best.

      Thanks for your comment, helpful tips, and kudos! We truly appreciate your taking the time out of your day to tell us!

    • Hi Bob,

      Glad you found us! New RVer? EXCITING! I remember those days! Anyway, thank you for taking the time out of your day to drop us this sweet note!

      Enjoy your travels!

      • Hi Kelly

        Cathy Young here, I am going for a walk through Wed for a 23 Flying Cloud Airstream. Love your site it has been sooo helpful. we have had a motorhome and 5th wheel in the past, it’s been a few years though and I’m rusty at best.

        My question: is it better to go solar or generator? Need to do more investigating, any thoughts are appreciated.


        Cathy Young

        • Hi Cathy,

          I’m glad you are finding Camp Addict to be helpful!

          Solar or generator… Depends on how you will be camping. If you are going to be boondocking a lot, then the expense of having a solar system installed may be worth it. If you just need occasional power while not hooked up, a generator might be an OK option.

          I’d consider investing in some lithium batteries as they might be able to get you through a few days of camping without needing to be plugged in, without needing either solar or a generator. And lithium is a great option if you do go solar or generator as they charge way quicker than traditional lead acid. But lithiums are also expensive.

          Everything is a trade-off. You will just have to figure out what your style of camping will be and then figure out what is best for your power requirements.

          Best of luck and have fun shopping for a new rig!

  • Kelly, for those who have the “Camco” Rhino tote tank with just two(2)wheels. A steerable wheel kit for 28 & 36 gallon tanks at Amazon makes it easy to move, Price is $72.

    • Hi Chet,

      Thanks for the tip! I’m familiar with the kit you mention, and it’s a great option for those that find out that two wheels aren’t cutting it and are wanting some easier way to haul around the Rhino tote tanks. Certain sizes of the Rhino totes can be purchased with the wheel kit already. Not a bad option for the heavier/larger sizes.

  • I am about to buy my first travel trailer. This is a really cool list of a lot of things that never would have crossed my mind. Thanks for putting it together.

    • Hi Chris,
      You are most welcome! And thank you for taking the time to send us your lovely comment! We hope it helps you get your things in order after your purchase. Congratulations!

  • Hi Kim, Great list most of those items I do have. Happy to know Im on the same page with other happy campers.

    • Hi Bob,

      Not sure if you’re talking to me or Kim, the last commenter, but glad to hear you are mostly set!

  • That’s a great list- I’m happy to know I thought of some of them, but I will definitely be shopping more for the rest!

    • Hi Kim,

      Glad to hear you already knew some of them! Some are obvious, like a sewer hose and water hose. Others, not so much. All fo them will help you have a more comfortable, safe trip!

      Thank you for checking out Camp Addict, we greatly appreciate the comment, and happy camping!

    • Thank you, Joel! Glad you found this helpful. One missing item that is a MUST is a surge protector/EMS. (Adding it today. Big oops on missing this one)

      It is VITAL for protecting your everything in your RV that runs on power when connected to shore power. Read our surge protector reviews to learn more.

    • Hey Craig,

      We have not. Between getting severe weather notifications from our smartphones, and spending the vast majority of our time out West where there aren’t that many weather events that make a weather alert radio useful, this category doesn’t cross our minds very often.

      Thanks for checking out Camp Addict! Kelly and I greatly appreciate it!

  • Pardon me if I missed it, but I did not see a Surge Protector listed. That along with the water pressure regulator (listed) I believe should be the first two on the list .

    • Rick!!!!!! How did we miss this????? You are absolutely correct- we totally dropped the ball there and forgot to include a surge protector.

      We know better, we have them if/when we need them, but it’s very VERY rare. Going to add it today! Thank you so much.

  • Great list of RV accessories. I enjoyed the article. Well written and informative. I really appreciate your article. Thanks for sharing.

  • If I buy a low gem shower head, do we still need the water pressure regulator on the outside of our Rig? (15ft. Travel trailer)

    • Hi Laura,

      Yes, you still should use a pressure regulator while you are connected to a pressurized water source. It should keep, if you have a loose connection somewhere or a weak area, the water pressure from being so high it causes a leak in your pipes somewhere.

      Your low-flow shower head will use less water while giving you decent pressure to rinse with.

      We also recommend turning off the water (at the source) while you’re away (And turn off your water pump if you are dry camping). If you aren’t home, you won’t see or hear an active leak. It’s just a good preventative measure and habit to get into.


  • I love lists…
    Do you have a checklist that gets you ready to hit the highway? Want to make sure the retired hubby doesn’t miss something!

    • Hi Marge,

      Not sure if you are inquiring about ‘before you leave the campground and hit the road’ type of checklist, or a ‘get all the things you need to prep an RV for its first trip’ type of checklist.

      We don’t have a checklist for packing up from a campground as it is very dependent on the type of RV you have. But you can check out an app like The Ultimate RV Checklist, which is available for both Android and iOS.

      This page is a good place to start for the ‘getting an RV ready for its first trip’ style list.

    • Hi Ron,

      I have zero experience upgrading an RV’s suspension, so I’m not really of much use.

      Though I have had friends upgrade their trailer’s suspension in the past by upgrading the shackles to something that you can lubricate and with better hardware.

      Not sure what kind of modifications/upgrades you want to do. I’d jump on some forums and see if you can find some help there (among the noise that you inevitably find online). If there is an owner’s forum for your particular RV, I’d start there.

    • Hi Rose-

      This is VITAL to RVing with pets. So glad you asked. We have the MarCELL listed in our must-have accessories for pets.

      I have been using a MarCELL for about 2 years now and in the last couple of months, it has saved my pups’ lives. I was staying in Florida to help out my mom, MID-SUMMER.

      Left for Lowe’s one day in the morning. Had temporarily turned off my AC a bit earlier and then forgot to turn it back on. Got an alert that it was 90 degrees in my RV. Rushed home. Girls were hot but ok!

      Had I NOT received the notification, I can’t even bring myself to imagine the cruel death they may have endured. And couldn’t live with myself.

      There are other ways people can check the temps- I used to have an old iPhone looking at my inside temp gauge. However, it doesn’t alert you. You would have to keep actively checking. And we are all human and we forget things. (Especially me)

      The MarCELL warns you of high or low temperatures (that you decide on/set) and also of power failure.

      It can mean the difference between life and death for your pets. It’s peace of mind for sure!

      Read our post about the MarCELL.

      I also have GPS trackers on both of my girls. I have the Whistle and the FI. I like the FI a bit better.

      All of these things have a monthly cost associated with them, but for me, it’s total peace of mind.

      I lost my Trixie in the forest for AN HOUR AND A HALF once. I’m lucky she was found. That’s when I got the trackers for both girls.

      Camping is even more fun when you can be sure your fur babies are safe!

      Have fun!

  • When it comes to buying a RV, you have to be aware that the unit purchase is bare bones and requires quite a bit of gear to be practically functional and another bit of gear to address trip interrupting issues. A lot of folks have published very good “must have” lists of 10 to 30 items, including the one above and comments below. We started with those lists and realized there was so much more “must have” gear to be comfortable and prepared. You have to decide what level of comfort, convenience and disruption you can tolerate. For us, we planned to take our two young children on the road for 7 weeks with reservations at national parks that aren’t forgiving. We wanted to maximize the experience and minimize downtime. The list below leaves off some of the items specific to our needs/tastes but I think encompasses items that most people would find extremely useful or necessary.
    Besides having the expectation of spending at least another $500 on RV add-ons, the other two pieces of advice I’d give you are: 1) if you’re not handy with small DIY projects and repairs, RVs may not be for you. They require all kinds of little handyman type jobs from the moment you get the keys 2) Don’t ever pay MSRP. Unit pricing is almost completely arbitrary and very much depends on the model you’re buying. Unlike passenger vehicles where you can pretty much figure out a truck’s selling price within a few dollars, RV prices vary over $10,000 depending on the dealer. After you find a model you like, contact every dealer within 800 miles to get pricing (plus/minus delivery, hitch, and brake controller as applicable). You’ll get an idea of how low dealers are willing to go for the sale. Obviously, they’ll never sell you a unit where it’s not advantageous to them so don’t worry about it being unfair. They get manufacturer incentives that sweeten the deal for them.
    Perhaps I’ll try to organize this better, but from outside to inside, here goes:
    – Second spare tire with spare tire mount (on models with dual axles. A front tire can blow and shred the good one behind it)
    – Wireless backup cam (can buy inexpensive models on Amazon for $75)
    – TPMS wireless (inexpensive on amazon)
    – Replace CH751 locks for all hatches (Use tumbler locks that key can be removed when unlocked. Have them keyed the same. ISS4Locks.com)
    – Motion sensing tap lights for storage compartments
    – Camping chairs
    – Outdoor carpet (synthetic beach mats work great)
    – Propane grill (we bought campchef setup) with quick connect hose, tongs, brush, lighter
    – 5 pieces pressure treated 2x8x8 for place under tongue jack (cheaper and more versatile than those buckets)
    – Hitch lock
    – Yellow Jack pads (for soft ground and leveling)
    – Drill with scissor jack bit
    – Mechanic gloves (saves knuckles and mess when dealing with hitching/unhitching)
    – Reflective Safety vest
    – Jack for tire changing (Often your trucks jack will suffice but actually check it)
    – Tire iron (often the trucks lugs are not the same size as the RV)
    – Tire covers for all exposed tires (sunlight is brutal on tires)
    – Socket that fits spare tire nut on spare tire mount (Tire iron doesn’t fit mine!)
    – Tool bag (extra fuses, vise grips, pliers, needle nose pliers, screwdrivers, duct tape, electrical tape, pocket knife. Harbor Freight is a good place to get this stuff inexpensively)
    – WD 40, Silicon spray for slideouts if applicable, Silicon with caulk gun, hitch grease
    – Portable air compressor (capable of inflating to your tire’s PSI), extensions/connections
    – Fresh water hose, in line water filter, 90 degree elbow, y splitter, pressure regulator, container to store hose
    – Grey water hose/back tank flush hose (“dirty”) and container to store
    – Grey water hose waste valve
    – Sewer hose expandable support
    – Box of gloves, hand sanitizer
    – Sewer hose with clear elbow (15ft), Sewer hose extension (10ft)
    – Standard 20 amp electric cord (at least 25ft)
    – RV electric cable (usually supplied), with downgrading adapters for 30 & 20 amp connections
    – Surge protector (I used a cable lock to secure them together)
    – 50ft coax cable if you want to tie into cable TV connection
    – Small bubble level
    – Drive on wedge levelers with chocks
    – Inside Door mat for every entrance
    – Electric space heater (if going anyplace that’s cool at night. Saves tons of propane)
    – Bathroom: Upgraded shower head (better pressure), black tank cleaning pods, quick dissolving/RV TP, TP holder (anchored mine to side of sink with small board on inside), 3m towel hooks, manufacturer approved cleaning solution for shower
    – Flashlight +/- headlamp (spare batteries, if applicable)
    – Trashcan, broom, dustpan, handheld vacuum, Swiffer style mop,
    – Collapsible laundry bag(s), laundry pods, quarters, dryer sheets, backup laundry line
    – Collapsible sink/dishwashing basin (good for when trying to minimize grey water), drying rack vs drying mat
    – 5 gallon gas can (either filled or for emergencies where you can’t pull into gas stations)
    – Small wood handsaw

    • Hi Lily,

      Your’e most welcome! Best not to overbuy- there are certain things you can get along without. Try camping then figure out if you need x, y, or z. I was given a few things I never needed since I ended up full-time boondocking. For instance, a picnic table cover. Never have one, so never needed it. Didn’t know until I hit the road to know how I would camp. But refrigerator bars? Definitely get refrigerator bars. : )

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you for the heads up! Sorry for the inconvenience.

      We tried it and the link is not working for us either. We appreciate the heads up! We will replace it ASAP.

      (I am due to do a monthly link check. You just saved me one!). : D

  • Hi! I enjoy reading about your adventures & have learned so much about maintaining my RV. As I was reading through your list of “Must have” & “You’ll thank us” lists, I clicked on the link for the TPMS and in the description on Amazon, the company said this – “DO NOT USE ON RUBBER VALVE STEMS OR TOWED VEHICLES OR TRAILERS“. Are their any tires that don’t have rubber valve stems? Isn’t that a direct contradiction to the purpose of the product? Or am I not reading it correctly? TIA!

    • Hey Kimberly,

      Not for use on towed vehicles or trailers? Yeah, that makes total sense! Or not…

      Regarding not using a TPMS system with rubber valve stems, I’m completely on board with this. The sensor is a weight on the end of the valve stem. Rubber valve stems can flex. Some easier than others, but they all can flex. A spinning weight on the end of a flexible object can introduce fatigue in said object. That’s why they say don’t do it. I agree.

      My current tow vehicle has metal valve stems. Not sure if it came from the factory this way as I’m the second owner, but I suspect it did.

      My trailer came with rubber valve stems. I put a TPMS system on it when I first got it 6 years ago. But before I did, I took it down to Discount Tire and had them install metal valve stems. Process was very quick and VERY affordable. Under $30 for four tires. Actually I think it was closer to $20, but I believe they charged me less than they quoted me over the phone.

      Either way, it’s simple to get rubber valve stems swapped out for metal. Do it! Before you install a TPMS.

      Thanks for the question, and Camp On!

  • Our first camping/RV adventure begins (we’ve been live-aboard boat cruisers) and need resources to find campsites and parks in southeast USA. I’m sure you have ideas.

  • We have a 32 ft class c. We want to do all we can to extend the life of our tires, so we have tire covers.

    The Anderson system looks like a very useful tool for leveling. Does it serve the dual purpose of keeping the tires off the ground? Is there any problem using the system when we are already fairly level, or for extended periods?

    Also, is there any problem if we only support the the front and rear outer tires and leave the two rear inner tires hanging for a long time?

    Or, would we better off using the plastic square pads?

    We will have auto leveling jacks engaged at all times.

    This is a very useful website…thank you!

    • Hi Pup,

      Because you have the self-leveling system, the Andersens might be pretty unnecessary. We think the Lynx Levelers would be of more use for you. You could also use Snap Pads under your levelers if preferred.

      Using the lynx levelers would keep your tires off the ground perfectly, and you can use them in various other ways as well for your setup.

  • Is there a reference that spells out where (road) you should NOT attempt to drive an RV on? Planning a cross country trip and don’t want to end up picking a bad route.

    • You could try using an RV specific GPS systems that are supposed to be able to route you around bridges and such that aren’t RV suitable. But low bridges should be the only issue you would have if you stick to primary and secondary roads. And this is really only an issue when you are in a part of the country with older roads that were built before higher vehicles AND you have a tall RV.

      Out west, where Kelly and I travel exclusively, we don’t have bridge height issues. We do have issues of non-paved roads that you wouldn’t want to take an RV down, but this is just a matter of being smart and not driving someplace you don’t have knowledge about.

      But we have smaller RVs. If you have a 40+ foot motorhome, you are going to have issues even in ‘OK’ areas. Especially navigating tighter gas stations and places not made for monster RVs. Again, you just have to be be smart and get some experience knowing where you can take your rig and where you steer clear of.

  • i have a question we just bought our first RV. I’m a stickler for doing things right the first time. Can you plug a 30 amp male to 30 amp female surge protector into a 50 amp electrical box at the campsite? Isn’t the prongs angled different on the box as to the prongs on the surge protector?

    • Yeah, it’s kind of funny when you think of it that way! I LOVE being houseless… but I definitely have a home! ????

  • Looking for a (venal) weatherproof cover for the Motorized RV Hitch on a Husky 4500. So far what i located are too small. Would need to be 17″ tall with a draw string closure at least at the bottom x 6 1/2″ wide at least x 10 1/2″ front to back.

    • Hi Mary,

      Amazon offers a wide variety of electric tongue jack covers. You’ll just have to find one that fits the Husky 4500 tongue jack.

      Looks like there are some possible candidates just glancing at the dimensions given.

  • Has anyone ever heard of if I have an RV trailer at a campground that I must have a truck parked next to it that can tow it in case of an emergency

    • Hi Vernon.

      We have not but we never stay in campgrounds (For many reasons, but this one would be one more reason to add to the pile.)

      I think I understand the need to have transport though. I’m guessing because of lawyers and such, they require it so they won’t be liable for you losing your stuff if a fire or the like happens.

      Just another joy of camping in campgrounds!

  • We have a new 22 ft travel trailer, and planning a long trip.
    Do you have recommendations for WiFi coverage?
    We have unlimited Verizon but find that most campgrounds have poor coverage/too many users.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Linda!

      Thank you for the question- however, we don’t touch on internet technology as it changes so much/so fast and there is already a great resource for all things mobile technology.

      For the best/latest info, go to “RV Mobile Internet”. https://www.rvmobileinternet.com. They will have all the answers you need! Have fun on your trip and Camp On!

  • We Just bought our first traveling trailer. 2019 Palomino Real Lite 181. First time RV buyer we have no clue what we are getting ourselves into but are so excited to our new adventures. I am trying not to over do it buying essential items for our rig, but I really need to know what would be the correct bare minimum to get us started.

    Never driven my truck with a camper, kinda scared.

    Your thoughts

    Many Thanks Michael and Rita

    • Hi Michael and Rita-

      Congratulations on your new purchase! It’s a little hard to say exactly what you will need without knowing all the details, but we will try.

      Definitely get a sewer hose. And a fresh water fill hose along with a non-potable water ‘regular’ hose.

      If you are in campgrounds all the time, no generator needed. If your trailer weighs at least half of your trucks weight, you will need a weight distribution hitch. We highly recommend the Andersen.

      Get fridge bars. You can thank us later. ????

      We highly recommend preventative maintenance as in get a tire pressure monitoring system. I use the EEZ system like this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009BF9S4E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=campaddictbutton-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B009BF9S4E&linkId=8f52f41b04661c01f94267dcfe8a5fa6

      Towing mirrors if your truck doesn’t already have them.

      If you’re staying in campgrounds all the time with full hook-ups, no need for a generator or solar. Otherwise, you’re gonna need to do one or both.

      Going to need levelers. Recommend the Andersens.

      Shore power cord if there is not one already connected to your RV.


      I hope I covered most of the things, but you will figure out what else you need as you go!

      Thank you for trusting Camp Addict!

  • Finding this site to be SO helpful. My husband, fur babies, and I are currently researching and planning to become full time RVERS!!! Will hopefully be debt free with a little money in the bank when we leave. We are realizing now how much we have to plan ahead for. Thank you for all of your helpful information!!!

    • That’s so exciting Trisha! Being debt free is a huge load off of one’s back, as you know.

      Plenty to plan for and many exciting adventures in front of you! Good luck, and we’re glad you found this resource.

      Happy planning!

  • I am beginning my rv summer adventure soon this was very helpful. I found your blog from the best camping discount provider. Look forward to the new experiences.

    • Hi Bruce,

      Ooooh, an RV summer adventure! That sounds wonderful. Thank you, we are very happy you found us. Have a ball this summer and we hope we helped you with the questions you had.


    • Hey Barb,

      I’m of the opinion that two sets of wheel chocks is better than one. Then again, I go a little bit overboard by using two sets of x-style chocks and two sets of normal chocks on my 24 foot travel trailer. This is from the experience of having it move on me when I didn’t want it to (on more than one occasion), so I’m not messing around anymore.

      Your Class A has a parking brake (I assume) and maybe even some sort of leveling system. Assuming this to be true, both of these will help keep your rig in one place (assuming you aren’t parked on some crazy uneven surface), so the chocks are just a backup (rather than primary system like they are on my rig). So, depending on the setup you have, one set of chocks might be enough. Really cannot say without knowing exactly what your rig is (or what equipment it has).

      Having said that, chocks are cheap. And you should have plenty of storage bay space on a 35 foot Class A. So more chocks the better…

      Happy camping and here’s to a rig that stays put when stationary!

  • I just found your site. My wife and I have bought our camper, 25ft, RockWood Mini and we hope to start camping soon.
    The info that I have read from your site is helpful for our first adventure. Hope to see you soon.M&M

    • Hi Mike and Mona,

      Thank you for your sweet words! Congratulations on your camper, we hope it serves you well. We may see you out there, so camp on, summer will be here before you know it!

  • I have been admonished before and again here about the refrigerator risking damage if not level… Understood. But nobody ever gives any quantitative assessment of just how much or how little the refrigerator can be out of level before it risks being damaged. Can anyone give a rough estimate of the degrees of inclination (or grade ratio) that would begin to be detrimental to a refrigerator?

    • Hey Chris,

      Yeah, it’s 3 degrees out of level if looking straight on at the fridge. There is a bit more leeway in the other direction, but 3 degrees is a good number to remember.

  • Hi I’m new to camping/RV life. We are purchasing a 5th wheel this October and I’ve been doing my homework. I do have a question that may be obvious but its not sticking out at me.
    The Frig……….When you are pulling the RV down the road is it powered? I’m wondering if I can load the frig and freezer up at home rather than packing coolers or shopping when we get to where we are going?

    • Hello Estelita,

      Great question! Your new 5th wheel (congratulations on the upcoming purchase) will have a refrigerator that can run on propane (as well as shore power – 120 volts). That is assuming that you aren’t getting an RV with a residential refrigerator. I’ll assume that you are not.

      Because your fridge can run on propane, you most certainly can leave it on all the time, including while traveling down the road. No need to put your food into a cooler or shop only when you arrive (which isn’t practical in a lot of locations, including where Kelly and I camp).

      HOWEVER, there is a school of thought that says you shouldn’t have your propane on (at the propane bottles) while in transit. Because of a risk of fire if there is a tire blowout, etc. This is certainly a risk if your propane lines goes near where the tires are and are in the ‘open’ and susceptible to damage in case something goes wrong.

      So you have to weigh the pros and cons, and know where the propane lines, etc, are in your rig. I personally keep the propane on and fridge running when traveling. I think Kelly is half-and-half.

      Your fridge will keep items cool (it’s a big cooler after all) for several hours (dependent on the outside temperature, of course) so you should be able to get away with only running it when you are stationary. You are going to have to figure this out as you go along. One of the many joys of getting to know a new RV.

      Hope that helps and here’s to many great trip in your new rig!

      • I have to disagree. My belief is the propane should be shut off for travel. Get stuff as cold as you can make it and lock it down, Get a burrito at the next stop, for lunch. Burritos are good for you if they’re not pre-made. Carnitas for everyone!!!

    • I personally wouldn’t travel with the propane on. Unless you are going from coast to coast, your fridge will keep stuff cold during a trip of, say, less than 8 hours. When you get to your destination for the night, you can turn it on for the night.

    • We travel with the propane on, but if you don’t want to, you can put bottles of ice in your fridge in various spots to keep things cool while you travel.

  • Great Info! Several additional “must have” things come to mind: 1) a set of mesh sink screen strainers. We have these in our kitchen and bathroom sinks and they prevent a lot of gross small food and other particles from washing down into the grey tank 2) yard clogs. Easy slip on/off shoes help keep down the amount of dirt we track into our RV 3)small bins or plastic containers. These really help keep things organized and in place when we travel. I use them in my pantry, bathroom cabinet, drawers, and closet. My hubby uses snap-lock containers in the garage to organize fuzes, loose nuts/bolts, etc.

    • Hi Diana- Thank you, glad you have found this useful. Yes, the strainers are great help. I use what came with my sink- the typical sink strainer, but I used to have the kind you are talking about. Also, I had one pair of Crocs, but they were a little too small and I couldn’t get them on easiest so I gave them away. Good idea though. Thanks for the extra tips and Camp On!

  • Wow, many things I never knew! I might get a couple of these things for my regular car and keep planning for my trailer dream!

  • Good suggestions, I am going to get a couple things such the refrigerator bars, refrigerator fan. Thx for preparing a comprehensive list

    • Awesome, Bob! You’ll love the fridge bars. Man, they have been a lifesaver for me. Or at least for Gizmo. Might have saved a can of coke from literally killing her by now. I have opened the fridge after travel, and things have fallen out- a can of coke COULD kill her. ? Not anymore! Hope we see you down the road again sooner than later!

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