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9 Must-Have RV Items for New RVers

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of Escapees magazine.

Leveling blocks are a must-have RV accessory

As a fairly experienced full-time RVer, I am asked quite often by new RV enthusiasts what they should buy for their rig. I tend to give the same answers, depending on the specifics of the conversation, and I have narrowed the main list to nine items or kits. These 9 must-have RV items are what we consider essential in everyday RV living. I don’t include items such as propane tanks or refrigerators that are normal stock equipment in an RV. All items can be purchased from Amazon and most RV supply center.

Black Tank Enzymes

Instead of only treating the black tank, enzymes actually break down the solids and minimize the threat of “poop dams” or other nasty mishaps from occurring. We purchase a product called “Odorlos” quick-release drop-in packets, which liquefy waste, lubricate valves and deodorize the tank, but there are other products available, too.

Rig Security

I installed six solar-powered LED motion-sensor security lights high up around our RV that are bright. They only stay on for four to five minutes without further motion so that they potentially won’t disturb people in neighboring campsites. Also, I keep bear spray and personal taser devices as emergency intruder protection, be it human or wildlife. A high-lumen flashlight rounds out our security toolkit for night camping.

Strap & Tie-Down Kit

Bungee cords are a great item to have in your RV

My bungee cord set is among my favorite components in our fifth-wheel. I use a variety of bungee types and lengths, depending on the need, as well as a 50-ft. (or longer) rope and a 9×12 tarp when necessary. In addition, I have installed several tie-down loops around the living room and outside the trailer for securing various items while on the road.

Power Hook-Up Kit

Along with your normal 30- or 50-amp power cord, you should have the alternate adapter (30-to-50-amp or 50-to-30-amp) for those occasions that offer only the source that doesn’t match up with your cord. Also, a power cord extension will be necessary for the campgrounds that locate the power hook-ups farther than your 30 ft. cord can reach.

Water/Sewer Hook-up Kit

I highly recommend you include a water pressure regulator, with a gauge if possible, to prevent an unusually high water pressure in a resort from damaging your water supply system. Follow up with a fresh-water filter for your incoming street-water source, an extension hose for your sewer drain and, for those trips in potentially freezing climates, a heated water hose and heated trace for your water connections.

Stepladder

You can’t always reach problem areas on top of your RV or on top of your slides, even from the roof, so it’s vital that you have a stepladder to bring those spots within your grasp. My 12 ft. telescoping ladder squeezes down to a length that fits in the back of my pickup, but there are other types, such as folding scaffold ladders, that will work nicely. I often see them strapped to an RV’s rear ladder.

Wheel Stabilizing/Leveling Kit

Leveling blocks are a must-have RV accessory

Stabilizer blocks and landing pads, whether purchased or made from wood, are also necessary for leveling and stabilizing an RV when camping, and there are many types of chocks, from simple plastic wedges to more elaborate X-chock devices. In either case, you definitely do not want your RV to move before you’re ready.

Museum Gel/Putty & Anti-Slip Mats

I’ve found it time-consuming to take down and put away decor, small appliances and other items inside the RV when preparing to travel, only to retrieve items to set up once we arrive in a park. We found that museum gel and putty work great to secure small pieces to a counter, shelf or wall while still allowing them to be moved when desired. We also use silicone cookie sheets as anti-slip mats under appliances such as our coffee maker and ice maker, and even our silverware carrier and laptops rest on one and hardly move at all during travel.

Tool Kit

Having a small kit of hand tools can be helpful to keep on available inside the rig, eliminating the need to locate them in an outside compartment. Examples of tools you should include here are a hammer, level, screwdrivers, pliers, and  wrenches. 

I could mention a generator or other alternate power source but that seems to be more of a luxury than a need. Supply yourself with the items on this list and you’ll minimize inconvenience in your RV travels.

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Author

Jack Huber | SKP# 135651

One Response to “9 Must-Have RV Items for New RVers

  • A long time vehicle mechanic advised me that automatic transmissions have much more torque going forward than backward. Therefore, drive forward onto leveling blocks whenever possible. I’ll also note that the stepped leveling “ramps” shown seem good for 16″ tires, marginal for 19.5″ and unusable for 22.5″.

    For new motorhome RVers, remember that the parking brakes are on the rear wheels. Preferably keep both left & right rear tires “contacting the ground” when using leveling jacks.

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