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New to RVing? Well, it’s a pack rat’s paradise! Owning an RV means owning a small warehouse of tools and accessories to go with it. You’re in this for better or worse, richer or poorer, until a blowout tire do you part!

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We have selected tried n’ true products from well-known manufacturers such as Camco, Valterra, Champion, Rhino, RVLock, Happy Campers, and so forth.

And yes, we’ve used almost all of these ourselves!

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Table of Contents

Vehicle & Towing: Essential RV Gear

Weight-Distribution Hitch

A weight-distribution hitch with integrated sway control is the No. 1 safety requirement for safely towing a travel trailer. While more expensive than some, the unique Andersen WDH has risen above the pack: no bars, just chains. Easy install, and easy to back up!

Leveling Blocks

RVs use leveling blocks underneath tires to aid in leveling. Place the blocks, ramp-style, 2-3 feet ahead of your tires and drive onto them. You should support the full footprint of the tire, even with dually axles.

Tire Chocks

Tire chocks prevent your trailer, motorhome or tow vehicle from shifting while parked. While stackable ones are easy to transport, solid chocks are much more effective. Commonly used when parking on a slope, such as a lakeshore.

Tire Inflator

RV tires are typically run at or close to their maximum inflation pressure. Don’t let your tires overheat and blow out due to underinflation! With a portable 12V tire inflator, you can top off your tires from anywhere, anytime.

Bubble Level

Leveling your RV side-to-side and front-to-back is critical for operating your absorption refrigerator and ensuring your pipes and tanks drain properly. Slap a bubble level on the tongue and never wonder again!

Safety & Security: Must-Have RV Accessories

Receiver Hitch Lock

The typical cotter pin and 5/8-inch bar used to secure a hitch receiver can easily be pulled out by a thief. Upgrade to a barrel-style locking and keyed hitch pin to help keep your RV safe while you’re away. This item is used on your tow vehicle.

Coupler Lock

The yin to the hitch lock’s yang, a coupler protects your travel trailer from being towed away while you’re not looking. The solid steel construction of the Master Lock is more effective than cheaper locks. 

Keyless Entry Pad + Deadbolt

Did you know many RVs, even from different brands and manufacturers, are all keyed alike? Protect your belongings – and your family! – by upgrading to a programmable entry pad and deadbolt combination. 

Motion Sensor Lights

Don’t leave your RV in the dark! Campers swear by these solar-powered, motion-sensing LED lights mounted on your RV sidewall. Don’t become a victim of theft. Remember, lights scare off the roaches.

Tire Security Chain

Most other RV security devices are best described as theft deterrents. But a heavy-duty security chain running around your axle and threw your tire rims, paired with locking lug nuts, renders your RV all but impossible to drag away.

Roadside Safety Kit

An RV is a big creature. If you have an accident or a blowout, keep you and other drivers safe with orange security triangles and roadside flares. When you have a tire blowout on I-40 in the dark, you’ll be thankful.

Want to learn more about RV safety and security?

Freshwater: Accessories for First-Time RVers

Replacement Shower Hose

Most OEM RV showerheads are cheap pieces of junk. Oxygenics has long been the market leader for aftermarket RV showerheads, increasing water pressure while minimizing water use.  Full-timers swear by Oxygenics. They have just about shower head and wand combination you could ask for.

90-Degree Water Hose Elbow

Most RV city water inlets face upwards or outwards, putting stressful kinks in your water fill hose. Eliminate that stress with a simple 90-degree or 45-degree hose elbow. You’ll extend the lifespan of your freshwater hose, so consider the part free!

Water Pressure Regulator

RV supply plumbing, normally PEX or braided vinyl, is designed to be operated at pressures ranging from 40-55 psi. High pressures can damage your plumbing or connected components, like a shower head. An inline water pressure regulator protects your plumbing from damage.

Water Filter

Generally, OEM water filters are only mechanical filters, mesh screens that only protected against sediment and bulk debris. For better protection, use an inline water filter that also helps eliminate harmful bacteria, chlorine taste, etc.

Freshwater Fill Hose

You need a dedicated food-safe fill hose to add water to your freshwater tank[s]. Should be NSF-certified and kink-resistant. Common lengths are 10, 25, and 50 feet.

Wastewater & Plumbing: Essential Gear List

Sewer Hose

Don’t skimp on your sewer hose! It should be at least 20 feet, reinforced, with a swivel fitting. You’ll use your sewer hose to drain both your gray holding tank and your black waste water tank (black first, gray second). 

Clear Sewer Elbow

Nothing is a better gauge of your holding tank condition than your eye! Use a clear fitting to see exactly how clear your rinse water is. You can purchase 45-degree swivel elbows for your sewer hose or swivel adapters that mount directly on your waste valve.

Sewer Hose Supports

Recommended for all medium- and long-term stays, sewer hose supports stake into the earth and raise your Stinky Slinky above the ground. They keep your sewer hose safe from punctures and being trampled.  

Black Tank Treatment

Eliminate the stank! Organic blank tank treatments use minerals and enzymes to break down waste and prevent sludge buildup in your RV black tank. Avoid treatments full of caustic, toxic, or non-biodegradable chemicals.

Electrical: Must-Have Amenities for Beginner RVers

Surge Protector EMS

Arguably the most important accessory you can purchase to protect your RV! EMS surge protectors shield your electrical system from voltage surges, spikes, blackouts and brownouts, as well as miswired pedestals and other dangerous electrical conditions. Never leave home without one!

Learn all about RV surge protectors here.

Power Adapter Dogbone

A 90-degree dogbone relieves stress from your electrical cord. You can purchase a dogbone as an adapter as well, allowing you to plug into 50A, 30A, or 15A service, no matter your RV. Pay close attention to your inlet and outlet type! Not all 30A outlets are the same.

Fuse Assortment Kit

The 12V circuits in your RV are protected by blade fuses in your power distribution panel. You may also have inline fuses in any solar charging lines or other accessories. Also, your 7-way trailer connection is protected by fuses in your tow vehicle as well.  Don’t get caught unawares!   

GFI Outlet Tester

Outlet testers detect potentially hazardous wiring issues such as open ground, open neutral, open hot, etc. Works with 120V outlets. Make sure the outlet tester of your choice is compatible with GFCI outlets!

Coax RG6 Cable

You need an RG6 coaxial cable to connect your RV to satellite and cable services, wireless signal extenders, and other electronic devices. Recommended minimum length is 25 feet, and it should be weatherproof as well!

2-Way Radios Walkie Talkies

Walkie-talkies come in handy when you’re backing up in tight territory, exploring remote areas, navigating campgrounds at night, and when your cell phone batteries run low. Once you buy them, you start finding uses everywhere!

Comfort: RV Essential Gear List

Mattress Topper

The typical RV mattress is a 4-5 inch thick piece of cheap foam. Want an upgrade? Invest in a breathable, soft mattress topper. Pay close attention to your actual bed size! For instance, a “queen” may only be a short-queen, about 75 inches long, and maybe just 58 inches wide rather than the full 60.

Mattress Protector

Moisture is death to any mattress. Keep your mattress dry and free from dust mites with a hypoallergenic mattress protector. A fitted sheet style is easiest to install, but a six-sided zippered protector offers maximum protection.

Organization: Required RV Amenities

COMMAND Hooks

Screws and nails don’t hold in RV walls. Enter the self-stick Command hooks, boon of every RV traveler! Easily applied and easily removed, Command hooks allow you to organize your wall space without ruining the factory finish.

Paper Towel Holder

Paper towels are any RVers third hand. This convenient paper towel holder can be mounted in any orientation, under-cabinent or wall-mounted, and the internal ratchet allows you to tear off a towel using only one hand.

Compact Broom & Dust Pan

You can’t waste space on a full-size broom! A compact set is perfect for brushing countertops, wiping up crumbs around the dinette, and cleaning outdoor table surfaces.

Fridge Organizers

Food doesn’t stay put in an RV fridge. You have to MacGyver your own solution. These short tension rods are a common organization tool. Other ideas include clear plastic bins and clip-on wire braces. 

Mounting Putty

As a quick n’ dirty alternative to self-adhesive Velcro, mounting putty (also known as museum putty) allows you to secure items and lightweight appliances to countertops, shelves, even walls!

Bungee Cord Assortment

Need to secure drawers? Hold up a cargo door? Conduct an emergency repair? Strap down rooftop cargo? Look no further than a trusty bungee cord!

Maintenance: Essential RV Gear List

Insect & Pest Screens

No one wants mud dauber wasps or mice taking up residence in their furnace compartment! Use these insect screens to protect your furnace vent, water heater vent, and other exterior penetrations.

Non-Sag Sealant

You should inspect your exterior sealant every 90 days and replace at least once a year. Non-sag sealants are used around windows, doors, wall vents, and other thru-wall penetrations. Crystal Clear Geocel Proflex is an easy-to-apply clear sealant that can be tooled with a soapy finger.

Self-Leveling Sealant

You should inspect your exterior sealant every 90 days and replace at least once a year. Self-leveling (aka flowable) sealants are used around roof penetrations such as your A/C, vent pipes, and ceiling fans. Dicor has been the industry leader for many, many years.

RV Roof Repair Tape

If you thought duct tape was cool, check out this stuff! RV roof repair tape can be used to seal roof penetrations, emergency fix water tanks, hold wires, etc. EternaBond is the brand leader, but Quick Roof Extreme and Dicor Seal-Tite are worthy competitors.

Learn more about RV roof repair tape here.

Tire Covers

Tires should never be stored in direct sunlight or exposed to road grime. Always keep a cover on your spare tire, and if you’re storing your RV outdoors, make sure all the tires are covered! This will significantly extend your tire life.

Zip Ties

Don’t laugh! In an RV, zip ties are as useful as duct tape. You can use them to secure shelves, hold wires, secure plumbing, organize interior closets or fix your pant’s broken button. Never leave home without ’em!

Outdoors: Stuff You Just Gotta Have!

Camping Chair

What’s better than the classic Coleman camping chair? How about one with a built-in 4-can cooler and side pocket! This new and improved camping chair packs up small and lightweight and can hold up to 325 lbs.

Blackstone Griddle

The Blackstone griddle has taken the RV world by storm! You can cook up hamburgers, pancakes, bacon, sauteed veggies, whatever your fancy. Available in 17- and 22-inch widths. For a cheaper alternative, look to Camp Chef and Coleman.

Internet: Staying Connected on the Road

WiFi and Signal Booster

Signal boosters and extenders amplify the cellular or WiFi signal around your RV, so you get better coverage and more consistent high-speed access. A must for workampers and remote workers!

Power Generation: For Dry Camping & Boondocking

Inverter Generator

You can’t run your A/C, microwave, or other 120V appliances off-grid without a generator. 2,000- to 3,500-watt inverter generators are quiet, portable, and fuel-efficient! Our recommended brands are Champion, Honda, Yamaha and Generac.

Solar Power

Solar power recharges your battery using the power of the sun. 100W is the smallest useful system; 200W is better. Permanent-mounted is easiest, but you can also purchase a portable solar suitcase or panel with kick-stand. Good brands include Renogy, GoPower!, Zamp, etc.

Inverter

An inverter transforms 12VDC battery power to 120VAC power so you can run your 120VA appliances. A 1000-watt inverter is the smallest useable size to run small AC appliances. For larger appliances, like an A/C, consider a 3000-watt inverter – and more batteries, of course!

Want to learn more about RV power generation?

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