There are so many things to consider when you are actually going through the process of buying an RV, that you may not even realize all the RV accessories RV newbies will need. Of course, people assume that they will need to do a bit of shopping after buying an RV (that’s part of the fun, right?!). But I think many people underestimate all the things they will need (as we did) and how the costs will add up. So to help you get started, we listed many of the basic accessories you will need to purchase right away in order to get on the road and start enjoying RV travel & lifestyle!
To help you stay organized, we’ve broken out our list into sections for RV Set Up, Campsite Set Up & RV Tools you will need!
Accessories Needed for RV Set Up
Sewer Hose – When purchasing a new RV there might be some hoses that come with your RV rig, but you will want to make sure that they are still good before using them. Sometimes it’s not easy to know what kind of shape inherited hoses are in. So we just decided to start fresh with a new hose, so we knew that it was new and did not leak (you definitely don’t want to be surprised with a sewer hose leak!!!).
Sewer Hose Support – To prevent build-up and possible leaks in your sewer hose, we would highly recommend getting a sewer hose support. We admit, at first we thought this wasn’t a necessary expense. After all, Liz’s parents (RV experts) didn’t have one. However, after just a couple trips we had a leak break open in our NEW sewer hose because we didn’t have have a support. So we broke down and bought one of these.
Electricity Converter – You will want to have this as a back-up. Most RV parks will have 30 amp hook-ups, but if you wanting to hook-up to a house or a bigger amp converter, then you will want to have a converter.
Fresh Water Hose – This is something again you will want to probably start fresh with when you purchase your RV. Fresh water hoses are important to keep clean, as this is where you get all your water for your RV. We didn’t want to trust where inherited hoses had been…especially when it came to our drinking water.
Fresh Water Hose Filter – When getting your fresh water hose for your RV, we also recommend that you get a water hose filter. Again, we first thought that we didn’t really need this extra expense. But after visiting a couple RV parks, we noticed that the fresh water tasted funny (gross actually). So we decided to get a water filter…and what a difference it made (tasty water right away)! So this might be something that you think you will not need, but we are telling you that you will want one.
RV Water Regulator – Don’t blow your water hoses in your RV! It can cost you a lot of money if you hook up a campsite water source to your RV and there is too much pressure. Seriously…that would be very very bad. It is best to be safe than sorry in this case. So get a regulator so you don’t have to worry about this. I can tell you from our experience that water pressure varies greatly from park to park.
RV Porta Potty Packs – Don’t have a smelly RV!! When you are setting up your RV, you will want to set up your toilet as well. We usually add this to our RV Hook-up Checklist. Whenever you set off on a trip or just emptied your tank, put one of these in your black tank and be sure to use a good bit of water to help it dissolve. It will keep things fresh and help keep things from getting clogged / backed up.
Tire Gauge – You will want to make sure you have a tire gauge handy with you at all times because tire pressure is really important in an RV for your safety. You will want to check all the air in your tires before hitting the road and periodically as needed.
RV Level Block – If your RV does have an automatic level system (as ours does not), then you will want to purchase yourself a set of blocks. Most people should only really need one set of blocks. They make it a lot easier when leveling your rig before hooking up (very important to do this so everything runs properly and you are comfortable).
RV Campsite Set Up Accessories
Outdoor Rug – It may seem a bit silly since you are camping to explore the outdoors, but having an outdoor run will really make a difference in the comfort of your outdoor space, it it helps keep the inside of your RV more clean. The size and type of your rug really depends on your preference and RV size, just keep in mind whatever you get will need to be stored somewhere. So make sure you have space to keep the run when you are traveling.
Picnic Table Covers – Most RV Parks will have picnic tables there for you to enjoy, but we can tell you they will not always be clean! So having a picnic table cover is essential is getting your campsite set up comfortably. We also recommend that you get hooks to keep it in place — so that way you don’t have to worry about the wind blowing your table cover away!
Marshmellow Sticks – Nothing says camping like roasting marshmellows over a campfire. Not all RV parks will have marshmellow sticks for you to use. So make sure that you have your marshmellow sticks ready to roast.
Hanging Lights – When setting up your RV campsite, you will want to set the mood and hang some outside lights. They also really help so you can see outside without having to turn on a super bright lantern or outdoor light. This is good to include into your set up RV Checklist.
Outdoor Raised Pet Bed – Don’t forget about your furry friends if you have any. Not all campsites are perfect for pets. Blacktop can be extremely hot, and sometimes your site can have sand spurs. So an off the ground bet for your pet to hangout is a good investment so they can be comfortable. It also helps keep your pet clean because they don’t have to lay on the ground — which is great for keeping your RV interior clean too!
Camping Chairs – You will always have a need for camping chairs. Most campsites will have a picnic bench, but you will possibly need some extra seating. Plus, camping chairs are oh so comfortable! So having a couple of extra camping chairs is key to relaxing at your site.
RV Tool Kit
Small Tool Kit – Even if you buy a new RV, you will still need to have a small tool kit. Tools are a must for all RV’ers in general, the type and size really depends on what you think you may need. But this is a good one to start.
Small Wrench Set – As you get more familiar with your RV, you will likely discover that you need additional tools – like a small wrench set. Tools can be expensive – so we recommend that you start off small with the basics, and then as you learn more about your rig you add tools to it, like specific wrenches. Just be sure to test them and make sure they fit before you hit the road!
Headlamp & Small Flashlight – When camping you should always have your flashlight near by. We like to hang a couple flashlights just inside the door of the RV so they are easily accessible when we need them. However, there will be times when having a headlamp is vital for what you are working on at the time. Liz used to resist the idea of headlamps, but they really do come in handy when you are doing something outside and need your hands to be free! Investing in headlamp or two is something you will not regret!
First-Aid Kit – You never know, so always have a spare first aid kit handy in your RV. We’ve only gone out on a couple trips so far with our RV, and we’ve used the first aid kit more than once (for both of us!).
Leatherman Handheld Tool – I absolutely love my leatherman. It is the tool you can use for everything. As soon as I park and start my RV set up, the first thing I grab in my leatherman and put it in my pocket because I know I’ll be needing it at some point.
Duct Tape – Do you really need a reason to have duct tape? The uses are endless.
Spare Fuses – These are always great to have as a back up in case any of your fuses blow during your trip. You will want to make sure to have different sizes to fit all the different fuses in your RV. Being caught without could be a real bummer if something blows and you don’t have a back up immediately available.
A Good Start to Your RV Gear!
While this certainly isn’t a full list of all the items you will need in your RV, it’s definitely a good list to get you started if you just purchased an RV. We thought we had everything we needed before we hit the road for the first time in our rig, but we still discovered things that were missing or that we just didn’t think about! It’s better to be safe than sorry a lot of the time, especially when it comes to RV’ing. We really love RV travel and are sure you will too. So we hope this list helps you get started on your RV adventures too!
** And feel free to leave us any comments if you have additional items on your RV “must have” list!