must have rv accessories

Upgrade Your RV Lifestyle with These 25 Must-Have RV Accessories

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Okay, so by now you have bought yourself a wonderful RV/motorhome and it’s time to think about some additional utilities to furnish your RV with. Your RV mostly spans a little more than a few footsteps in length, hence the need to optimize your living space to your liking while satisfying the basic needs as a mobile home.

Most RV owners – especially first-time owners – want to know what kind of accessories and must-haves that are common to each and every type of RVs out there. Here we pick out the 25 must-have RV accessories that are absolutely crucial to any RV lifestyle.

25 RV Must-Haves and Travel Trailer Accessories

This isn’t a life-and-death situation, but it always makes me feel assured knowing that my RV works smoothly the same way a company works smoothly, or a running track is smooth enough for a sprinter to be able to do their best. Sometimes, spending a little bit of effort on this will make your life much easier.

must have rv accessories
Photo: Thomas J. Story

What makes for a great trip is equally great preparation, here we recommend 25 of the best RV accessories that you should buy and install into your mobile home so as to make the most of your time (whether you plan to go full-time RVing or not) even as a first time RV-er.

#1. Freshwater Hose

As a matter of fact, everything isn’t always convenient for your RV, especially since you are sharing some grounds with other RV owners. One of the difficulties you face is the freshwater source being far away sometimes.

Just when you think you are having a bad day, let the freshwater hose come to your rescue. Campsite water connections sometimes require hoses that can extend up to 50 meters.

#2. Sewer Hose

Some RVs don’t come with sewer hoses (or sometimes they are not very well-made). You definitely will have to buy one of these sooner or later. High quality sewer hoses include the Valterra Viper 20-foot RV sewer kit (for first time buyers), or you can buy the Lippert sewers as an upgrade if yours already come with a sewer system.

Be sure to also keep a box of heavy-duty disposable gloves within your reach in order to empty the tanks and deal with the sewer problems. 

#3. Water Hose Elbow

What’s with this little piece of brass water-hose elbow? Why do we need it at all? Well, think of it like this. The freshwater hookup at the campsite may typically come from a municipal water supply so your freshwater hose might not be able to hold up very well against the stress placed on it by the water pressure.

A 90-degree water-hose elbow will come in handy in that it eases this stress early on by reducing the velocity of the water, and the water won’t taste funny since it’s made of brass. Make the $4 investment and all your problems are solved.

#4. Toolbox

Let me say this once, what RV owner doesn’t like camping in the woods? Sometimes you gotta let go of your most prevalent worries of paperwork, monthly bills, etc (even your kids maybe) and enjoy the stress-free trips back to mother nature. You will need a lot of tools for these camping trips.

If you want to start a fire with wood, go get your axe. When it gets too dark, you need a flashlight, so on and so forth. The toolbox is a place to keep all your tools: spare parts for your RV/trailer or hitch, hand tools etc. Try to get a toolbox that is of significant enough size that still fits in a corner of your RV.

#5. Tire chocks

Next up on our list are the tire chocks. Most of the time, you will find relatively level, smooth surfaces to park your car, like campgrounds. What if you are camping on some uneven or raised lands (parking down the hill or on the side of a slanted road). Of course, this is not recommended for anybody, but tire chocks are lifesavers in these situations. Tire chocks must be positioned downhill and below the RV’s gravitational center.

Depending on whether the RV is positioned uphill, downhill, or on level surfaces, you should put one or even two tire chocks at respective positions accordingly. For those with towable RVs (travel trailers), heavy-duty chocks and X chocks are must-have travel trailer accessories.

#6. Power adapter and surge protector

One of the most important items on this list of RV must haves for newbies is none other than the power adapter and RV surge protector. Compatibility is always key to a good relationship, and your electronics just can’t handle the electric current at the campsites.

Simple enough, with only 10 bucks you can have a nice little “dogbone” to rejuvenate your RV for your next ride as well as an adapter to plug the surge protector. The surge protector is not just to plug multiple electrical devices in, but also to keep them from unstable electricity. When your appliances aren’t at risk, neither are you.   

#7. Tire pressure monitoring system

If you have experience in driving before, by now you should have acknowledged the significance of fully inflated tires. Now it is not always required that you buy an RV tire pressure monitoring system, since there are other manual ways to decide whether or not your car tire is reasonably inflated (feel the vibration, or push down on the tires, or even eyeball it if you are confident enough in your expertise), but in my opinion, RV tires are hard to gauge without a monitoring system.

Also, you have more to lose when it comes to driving a flat-tired RV. Travel trailer tires have thicker sidewalls to handle debris thrown at them, but things can still go out of control. This is one of the travel trailer must-haves.

#8. Water pressure regulator

As we have mentioned before, the water pressure at the campgrounds is likely to be higher than recommended. As a common remedy, the water pressure regulator/valve is often used to reduce the flow rate of the water coming from the freshwater hookups.

Also, be sure to buy products that are lead-free, examples include the Amazon’s choice Renator RV water pressure regulator valve that is made of brass. These regulators are absolutely crucial (and more or less pretty expensive) so buy or borrow one for your RV ASAP. Definitely one of the must-have RV gadgets out there.

#9. RV leveling blocks

This might be the most important item that will decide whether or not your stay in the RV is going to be comfortable. Why go out of your way to find leveling blocks when instead you can find the most level, flattest campgrounds to park on, how big of a deal might this be? Frankly, even the flattest surfaces might be uneven (since nothing is perfect) no matter how good of a job the engineers might have done.

Again, you have to come prepared. A Camco heavy-duty leveling block package will cost you $32.66. As a matter of fact, leveling your RV helps keep the internal systems such as the plumbing working perfectly, and also helps you get an accurate reading on the tanks.   

  

rv leveling blocks
Photo: Togo RV

#10. Spare tire carrier

If you have another car at your disposal, and that you are towing it with you or you are using a travel trailer, then keeping a spare tire on that car is a great starter. However, some of our friends have said that putting a spare tire on either of the cars makes it difficult and cumbersome to get them down when they need them.

Tires are heavy regardless of types. Buying a MaxxHaul Spare Tire Carrier will cost you just $37. Having a spare tire for both cars on all your trips is a good practice. A spare tire carrier is one of the best accessories for travel trailers for you to buy off the get-go.

#11. Air compressor

This is a very versatile tool that definitely makes the list of must have RV camping accessories. Air compressors are what you use when dealing with flat tires, by pumping them with the right amount of air (be sure to read the numbers on the owner’s manual).

Also, you can compress other types of air as well, examples include refrigerant air, nitrogen, etc for various household purposes.  

#12. Spare fuses

You don’t have to be knowledgeable in the field of electrical engineering on this one, trust me. You need to understand that fuses are there for the sole purpose of preventing the overflowing electrical currents from damaging the insides of your electrical devices (by burning the metal conductors).

Parts of the RV/motorhome that are at risk of malfunctioning due to this include: RV chassis, safety features, powertrain electronics, etc. To prevent that from ever happening, a box full of different fuses are rather necessary. You should go watch some youtube videos on how to know when your fuse got blown.

#13. Shore power cord

Most RVs come with a shore power cord that is compatible with the RV. You just need to buy spares of these in case the shore power cord is damaged.

The shore power cord is what provides the electricity for the electronics in your RV home, the power adapters and the surge protectors are just additional accessories.

However, all three must be present to keep the electrical flow steady and make sure that you don’t have to borrow the sockets from your neighboring RVs at the RV park.

Maybe you will also have to buy an additional RV extension cord, but that depends on the length of the shore power cord.

#14. Holding tank treatment

Surely, you need to know when to empty your tanks, and that can range from every weekend to every other day depending on the number of people living in the RV with you.

Aside from that, it is worth noting that you have to treat the holding tanks so that the smell doesn’t get too offensive and disgusting at some point during the week.

There are three types of tanks: the freshwater tank for freshwater, the gray water tank for dirty water (usually comes from the shower and kitchen sink, finally there is the black water tank that holds the dirtiest water of all (i.e., toilets).

The black water tank is meant to scare off first time RVers, but it need not be so intimidating. If you have some unscented household bleach, dilute it into a gallon of water and pour it right into the holding tank, and that should halt the decomposition of harmful chemicals inside the tank.

There are better alternatives such as the Happy Camper or the Camco brand treatments which are odor-free and organic.

#15. Dehumidifier/Moisture Absorber

There are plenty of reasons that you would want a dehumidifier for your new RV. For one, no one actually wants a humid atmosphere in their own home since it can turn out to be quite uncomfortable.

It is actually easier to get dirty in a more humid atmosphere, and clothes dry more slowly that way.

Also, if you want to get rid of that musty smell, then the dehumidifier should get the job done. For me, the most important benefit that a dehumidifier can give you is actually to keep the food from going stale and moldy.

Dehumidifier price can range from $10 to $200 depending on the quality of the product and the type of product.

#16. Solar Panels

What if you and your family prefer boondocking to parking at campgrounds and RV parks? Then solar panels are obviously one of the must have RV accessories. What is more exciting than generating your own electricity. Besides, the best thing is that it is free, and who doesn’t like free electricity.

solar panels for rv
Photo: Voyagerix

#17. RV GPS

Nobody wants to get lost during a trip, especially in the middle of nowhere. Not all RVs come with an RV GPS, so if you don’t already have one, buy an RV-specific GPS right now. RV GPS is best for the camping lifestyle, at the same time ensuring your safety above all.

What separates an RV GPS from the regular models that are suitable for other types of automobiles is that it can protect you from too-low overpasses and roads that aren’t RV-friendly.

Try the Garmin RV 785 GPS Navigator, it is guaranteed to give you the best experience on the road. Definitely one of the best RV products.  

#18. Toolkit

Everybody has a toolkit somewhere in their homes. You don’t have to be an engineer to be able to fix the little things in your RV.

In my opinion, some of the things you can keep in your toolkit are the duct tape (which can probably fix anything), a hammer, screwdriver, tire pressure gauge, utility knife, a wrench, power tools and you can probably learn about the rest of them given experience fixing your RV.

#19. Camping Accessories

Camping is a regular thing for RVers. To bring out the most relaxing sensations while camping alongside your family, I recommend buying the best camping chairs, stoves, and tables.

You can find the best chairs and tables on hiking websites, like cleverhiker. You don’t have to go out of your way to spend a ton of money on a chair alone, buy a bundle of products for the best price that you can handle.

#20. Backup Camera

This is mostly aimed towards the travel trailer families. Having to guess what is going on behind the RV is tough, but you probably know this better than I do.

A good camera with a wide-angle view is going to prove very useful whether you are changing lanes, having a look at the back, or trying to back up the RV into the parking lot.

#21. Weight distribution hitch

Stability is key when talking about towing a fifth wheel. The weight distribution hitch provides just that. You are essentially taking the towing force (which is normally put on the connection between the tongue of the trailer and one single point on the rear of the towing vehicle) and distribute it evenly onto both axles of the towing vehicle.

#22. Roof Vent Cover

What if on a rainy day, you suddenly hear the sound of droplets dripping from the roof of your RV? What an annoying feeling, am I right? Well, a roof vent cover is an easy way to fix this issue. Roof vents can make the inside of an RV more comfortable and keep the rain out.

#23. Apps for RV

Most of the apps you are looking for are apps that help you find RV parks and campgrounds. A quick search on google play or whatever app stores on your cell phone will reveal countless results. Opt for the highest rated apps such as Togo RV.

Togo RV is your best bet for a full-package RV life assistance that is free and easy to use. If you want to keep everything organized, go places that will surely captivate you and your family. Better than that, Togo RV is where you get inspired to go RVing.

#24. Cell Phone Signal Booster

If you are asking if a cell phone signal booster is really worth it, then the answer is yes. A cell phone signal booster can mostly boost LTE, 4G, 3G signals.

However, it must be pointed out that this signal booster is only effective for relatively weak signals and cannot produce its own signals. Now you can surf the web, run your online businesses while boondocking.

#25. Wifi Signal Booster

This device helps you boost the signal when you are a little bit distant from the RV park or campground’s Wifi tower. We all have that kind of issue with Wifi sometimes.

The good news is that you don’t have to fall back on your cell phone internet ever again, since the Wifi signal booster amplifies whatever little trace of a signal it can pick up, and then broadcasts it inside the RV.

Final Words

All in all, it is best that you buy whatever you think is necessary for you and your family, but if you don’t know where to start, then this list of must-have RV accessories will certainly be of help. Happy RVing. 

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