Congratulations! You bought a new RV!
You're finished with all the hassle.
Finished with dealing with the (UGH) RV salesman... finished haggling the price... finished with the walk-through, and you even finished getting your brand new (or new to you) RV home!
You're anxious to take your first trip!
Not. So. Fast.
There are some must-have items you will need first, if you want to have a successful and enjoyable outing.
Never leave home without these items.
ESSENTIAL MUST-HAVES FOR YOUR RV:
Sewer Hose: You have to empty your black and grey tanks! Always have a good quality RV septic hose on hand for the job.
Fresh Water Filter: You never know what is in the water where you will be parked.
Filter it from the start to keep your pipes clean and to know your water is safe for drinking.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System: If your motorhome or trailer does not come with this, you MUST get a system.
It should be your #1 safety concern- watching your tires for correct pressure and for leaks.
Gloves: For personal hygiene when you are dumping your tanks.
Extra Fuses: Your camper will have fuses.
Find them and get the right kind to store in your rig.
You will be overjoyed the day you need one of them.
Levelers: Your camping spots won't always be level.
Your rig NEEDS to be fairly level for your enjoyment and so you don't damage your absorption refrigerator.
Your rig should be no more than 3 degrees out of level to work properly.
Use RV leveling blocks to make your rig level.
You, and your refrigerator, will be happy. (How to level a camping trailer)
Hoses: You need a dedicated fresh water hose (two comes in very handy- a shorter one around 10', for when you are close to the water source, and a longer one, around 25' when your 10' doesn't reach.
You also need a sewer hose, such as a garden hose, for use ONLY with your septic tank.
Fridge Thermometer: Best to know early if you are having a problem with your fridge keeping temperatures where they need to be.
Tire covers: Your tires are easily affected by UV light.
When stored, it's a good idea to keep them covered so they will last longer and not fail prematurely.
CHECK YOUR TIRE SIZE WHEN ORDERING
Swim Noodles: What?
If you have a Class A with slides, these can be a lifesaver.
Simply cut them lengthwise and slide them over the edges of your slides, which can darn near take out a brain, and you and your friend's heads will thank us for this!
Chocks: The best RV wheel chocks keep your rig from rolling on uneven ground.
Even if you are on level ground, it's a good idea to keep these under your wheels.
Warning- if you buy the little yellow ones from Camco, your rig might easily roll right over them.
They look and feel like toys. That won't happen with this guy below:
Water Pressure Regulator: In a campground, when you have your water hose hooked up to your rig, the water pressure COULD cause your lines to break and leak if the pressure is too much.
The easy fix (cheap insurance) is simply to get a water pressure regulator.
Power Management System: Also commonly called 'RV surge protectors', these protect your electrical components and systems from being fried from a surge or from much too low voltage.
This, as well as a water pressure regulator, is cheap insurance.
Dog Bone Adapters: A camper plug adapter allow you to use your 50 amp rig at a 30 amp pedestal, or vice versa.
A typical adapter style is shown below - the dog bone adapter.
Coaxial Cable: At campgrounds, they usually supply cable, but they don't supply the cable to hook it up.
You need to have that on hand if you want to watch cable TV.
Lug Wrench and Jack: If you have a travel trailer or a small enough motorhome, this is essential in case of a blowout.
It's also a good idea to have some sort of roadside assistance.
Stick-on Level: If your RV doesn't come with levels on the outside (or inside) and if your RV doesn't self-level, you need to get some stick-on level indicators for the front and the side of your RV.
This way, you know which way you need to level when you park.
It is necessary to be level for your refrigerator to work properly.
Backup Camera: An RV rear view camera is not totally essential unless you are driving solo.
It's not ESSENTIAL if you are solo, but it sure makes things a lot easier for you to do as far as driving, backing up, and hitching up goes.
Extension Cord: An RV extension cord will come in handy in the event that your rig's cord doesn't reach the pedestal at the campground.
You MUST get a heavy duty cord like the ones below for effectiveness and safety.
Braking System For a Vehicle Being Towed: If you are towing a vehicle, (aka your 'Toad') it is against the law (in most circumstances and states) to tow without a towed vehicle braking system.
It's also bad for your toad to not have a braking system in place.
Weight Distribution Hitch: If you have a travel trailer that weighs 50% or more than your tow vehicle, you need a camper weight distribution hitch.
This keeps the weight of your trailer from overloading your rear axles on your tow vehicle, improving your traction, control and keeps your axles from being over-stressed.
Anderson hitches have a very good customer satisfaction rating.
WARNING: Check your specifications in order to order the correct size hitch.
There's your essential guide to all the basic necessities you will need to outfit your RV.
Author: Kelly Beasley
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.