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Must-Have RV Accessories List

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

Yay, I Just Bought an RV! What RV Accessories Do I Need?

Most people that buy a new rig are faced with the above question.

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 need to get to operate your new rig. 

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

No matter what type of RV you have - motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel, truck camper or other - there are certain RV gadgets 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 you 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.

Must Have RV Accessories

Surge Protector/EMS

This 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 RV. 

To say that this would be costly would be an understatement. It could even total your RV. TRUST US. Get your RV protected with this must have RV accessory. 

An EMS provides more protection than a surge protector. 

To simplify which one 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 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.

Camper Fresh Water Hose

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.

RV Water Filter

As you travel around in your RV, you will be using water from a variety of 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 RV water pump as well as 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.

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 Drain Hose

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 will work better for you. Whatever you get, this is definitely a must have RV accessory.

Learn more on our RV sewer hose page.

Toilet Paper

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. (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 RV toilet paper are better than others. Be aware. 

Levelers

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.

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

Chocks

These are the things that keep your RV from rolling away when parked. They are especially important for any travel trailer/fifth wheel, which don't have any kind of automatic brake.  

This is not an RV gadget, it's a necessity. 

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 using the best RV black tank treatment is just a safe preventative. 

Disposable Gloves

For when you dump your holding tanks. A necessary RV accessory. Enough said. 


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 are camping must haves for you. We use many of the below products, and consider them to be necessities.

Kitchen

Silicone Ice Trays With Lid

RV refrigerators = small. Conventional trays only fit if you place them 'long'-ways in the fridge, taking up lots of precious space.

These trays don't take up much room and easily fit either way. Silicone makes it easy to remove the ice and the lid is good in case you fill right before travel.

Countertop Ice Maker

Ok, so you use a LOT of ice or don't want to make any? An ice maker is one of the TOP things RVers love having.

It does take up a little counter space, but if you love your ice, the trade-off is 100% worth it.

Stemless Wine Glasses

These are perfect for RV life as they won't break when stored.

Doesn't hurt to have a grippy exterior too, in case you have a little too much. These RV accessories make your trip a little more fun!

Swivel Sprayer

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.

Kelly used one of these for almost 5 years before replacing her kitchen faucet.

Collapsible Kitchen Bowls

You won't have much storage in your camper unless you have a giant fifth wheel. 

Kitchen storage space is at a premium- an expanding storage RV accessory is one of the best investments you can make for your storage needs.

Ratcheting Paper Towel Holder

Don't learn the hard way that a normal paper towel holder, after a trip down the road, will have unraveled your entire roll of paper.

This stops that mess from happening. It also stops 8 sheets from flying out when you try to rip one off. Great for home and RV use. Marshall and Kelly both have one.

Refrigerator Bars

This absolute must- have RV kitchen accessory saves items from falling out and from spilling during travel.

An RV refrigerator bar also keeps contents arranged/packed in  so you aren't rearranging after every travel day.

Refrigerator Fan

Seems strange, right? But almost all RVs come with a pretty inefficient absorption refrigerator.

Adding a battery-powered fan 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.

This RV kitchen accessory is especially good for hot climates.

Berkey Water Filter

Marshall had a world-renowned Berkey for a few years and loved it. SO many camping friends of ours have one and love them.

Check sizes- many available. Consider your size needs and placement before buying.

Instant Pot

Nope, neither of us use this. However, it's GREAT if you DO like to cook and also if you like to boondock. It cooks meals in a jiffy.

RVers and homesteaders both rave about this thing. Zero negative reviews heard. Takes up little space and replaces a huge variety of otherwise needed cooking accessories.

Cabinet Liners

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.

Extra Fire Extinguisher

This one's not sexy but yes, your RV should come with a fire extinguisher. Especially if you bought new. Either way, having extras stashed around the RV is a great idea.

I (Kelly) keep my extra one in my bathroom in the event I am in there and a fire starts. Hopefully this little thing can get me to my exit door or  window.

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 outdoor RV kitchen experience. 

Don't forget to buy clamps to hold it down as well.


Tools

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.

Replacement Fuses

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.

Tool Set

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.

Headlamp

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. 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.

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.

Air Compressor

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.

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

Walkie Talkies

Walkie-talkies are almost essential items. (Unless you're a solo.) Priceless tool for communicating when hitching up, backing up, and more.

These are the exact ones we use when caravanning together. Safer than texting. Easier than calling (especially when there is no cell service).

Comes with charging stand. Also charges with USB cable.

Battery Jumper

What an amazing product! Marshall has this- it's tiny and light compared to Kelly's decades old extremely heavy battery jumper.

No more having a dead battery and needing to wait for someone to come jump you. With this, those days are over. Great safety device.

There are several different battery sizes available. This one is the largest available and is intended for large gas and diesel engines.

Torque Wrench

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).

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 Accessories

Outdoor Mat

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 we've shown here is great for sandy or dirty campgrounds.

Camping Chairs

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.

Camping Table

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 Covers

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 than it does putting miles under its tires.

Clam Tent

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

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

Motion Security Lights

These are another RV accessory must. Especially if you want to boondock. They don't use any RV battery power as they have solar rechargeable batteries.

They are great for peace of mind, and for when you are coming home after dark. Or simply letting the dog out at night.


Creature Comfort RV Accessories

Dehumidifier

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

Heck, 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

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 have 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

With space at a premium and high cabinets, this is the perfect solution for both issues.

You will be surprised how often you need it, while being glad it doesn't take up much space.

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.

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 sizes available.

For additional options, check out our RV mattress reviews.

Coaxial Cable

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.


Weird RV Accessories, But You'll Thank Us!

Clear Sewer Connector

Why do you want to see your waste, you might ask? This is the best 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.

Poo-Pourri

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

Be aware, you must fill your toilet bowl with water for this to work. Not ideal for dry camping, but a must for when you're hooked up to a water supply. 


Conclusion

There you have it. There are a ton of other must have RV accessories you may want to get as well, but these camping must-haves will get you started. If you are the super glampy-luxe type of person, you can check out our luxe recommendations.

Get out there and Camp On, Addicts!

  • 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.

      Enjoy!

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