RVs often come well equipped out of the dealership. All the basics like generators, inverters, microwaves, air conditioners, and whatnot are often included by default, though this will vary from RV to RV.
However, while RVs do come with the most essential things one would need for the journey, there are some things that you should get on your own.
There are plenty of items – minor or significant, big or small – that should be on you on your RV journey. Without them, your trip is perfectly possible. But with them, you will be much more comfortable and, if issues arise, secure.
There are plenty of things that you could get for your RV, but there are particular items that we think are must-haves if you are planning to do a more or less long journey.
And if you happen to be looking for the must-haves that would be able to make your journey more convenient and safe, then our list of 27 must-have RV accessories will most likely interest you.
Before proceeding to the reading, it should be noted that some RVs may actually come with the items we are going to talk about. Thus, before deciding what to buy, choose an RV first and then research what kind of amenities or whatnot it comes with.
Campsites nowadays do provide you with a variety of power source options, but they often aren’t as stable-performing as you may have expected. Power dips and spikes are a rather common occurrence at campgrounds, so you should be prepared for them in order to protect your equipment.
A surge protector is a device that would allow you to avoid electrical damage to your appliances. Newbies should probably go for a portable surge protector that plugs into the RV’s outlet set. Those who need something serious, on the other hand, would probably benefit more from a hardwired surge kit.
2. Fuse Kit
The source of power problems that may catch you off guard may be not only outside but also within your RV. One source of such issues is your fuse box – one or more fuses may blow in your RV at any time due to overcurrent.
Worst of all, this could be at a very unfortunate time when you do need your RV’s electrical system to operate flawlessly.
Fortunately, a simple spare fuse kit is sufficient to solve the fuse problem in most cases. If a fuse blows in your RV, you could just take a new fuse out from the kit and swap the blown fuse with it.
3. Power adapter
As we mentioned above, campsites do provide RVers with power sources, but what if the electrical output of the campsite you are staying in is incompatible with your RV? Or what if you just can’t fit the plug into the pedestal receptacle?
A set of power adapters would come in handy in the event of such an issue. Ideally, you should have a variety of power adapters so that you are best prepared for whatever power sources campsites may be offering. And, of course, the adapter needs to first and foremost be compatible with your RV.
Parking and leveling
4. Tire chocks
At a campground, you won’t necessarily be provided with a level ground surface to park your RV on. And on a sloped surface, the risk of your RV rolling away is pretty significant. A simple device called tire chocks would allow you to stabilize your RV and keep it in place while it is parked and unhitched.
There is a wide variety of tire chocks available out there, and we can’t really cover them all on this material. Not only that, but different chock types are mounted onto the tires differently, so you also need to learn how to use them.
It isn’t enough to just stabilize the RV in place – it is also essential that it is parked level. This will make residing in the RV more convenient for you, first of all. Besides, if your RV has a refrigerator, parking on uneven ground may incapacitate it.
For trailers that don’t have auto leveling systems, you’d need to use leveling blocks. These blocks are basically placed under the tires to level out the RV. Just like it is with chocks, there is a wide variety of leveling block available out there, so do extensive research before buying any.
6. Jack pads
If you camp on soil, grass, sand, or any other soft ground, then you will need to use jack pads as well.
Placed under the RV’s tongue jack and stabilizers, the jack pads increase their footprint and thus reduce the pressure exerted on the ground. This prevents the jack and stabilizers from sinking into the soft surface.
Whether you are planning to camp in sites with soft grounds or not, make sure that you have a set of jack pads with you just in case. You may need to use the jack pads even if the ground surface is paved – the RV may sink into cracks or whatnot if the ground is damaged.
7. Water pressure regulator
The pressure of water in campgrounds is often higher than what RV manufacturers design their RVs for. This is probably done in order to support a wider range of water needs. But if you don’t need increased pressure, you will need to reduce it not to damage your RV’s water equipment.
A simple water pressure regulator would be able to perform this task perfectly. You just attach the regulator to the campsite’s water supply in order to adjust the pressure to your needs.
8. Water filter
Not only the pressure but also the mineral makeup of campground water may be improper for use – in particular, for drinking. Water with contaminants is not only harmful but also tastes bad.
And to make sure that the water that gets into your freshwater tank is indeed fresh and suitable for drinking, you should get yourself a water filter. There are many filters available out there, but make sure that you get a good unit that can resist bacterial growth and is easy to clean.
Water hoses at campgrounds may be out of the reach of your RV’s camping spot. In addition, you may not want to use the connection options provided by your RV and want to instead use your own hose.
Whether this is true or not, we’d recommend you to have a freshwater hose with you just in case. Opt for a longer up to 50 feet water hose or several smaller ones that can be coupled together for extended reach.
A hose may seem like a very simple piece of equipment, but you shouldn’t cheap out and get a $10 hose. The chances are that it will leak and break on you sooner. Go for a good hose, but don’t necessarily spend a fortune on it.
10. Water hose elbow
A water hose elbow can reduce the stress on your freshwater hose, as well as on any kind of hose you may be using in your RV. The thing is that if the hose is connected to an intake horizontally, its weight will be strenuous for it. As a result, kinks may occur in your hoses quite quickly.
A 90-degree hose elbow would allow the hose to hang straight down, relieving the stress on it and increasing longevity.
11. Sewer hose
All the waste in your RV needs to go out, right? Well, instead of taking it out with buckets, getting a sewer hose would allow you to do it much more cleanly and conveniently.
A good choice would be a high-quality sewer hose with a see-through connector, which would allow you to see when the water gets clean as you flush the holding tank. Again, don’t cheap out on a sewer hose if you don’t want a leak to happen somewhere.
12. Tank treatment
You’ve disposed of all the waste in your RV, but the tanks and the hoses are still filthy. The next step to take is sanitation, which is a thing that frightens many new RV owners. In reality, it isn’t a big deal once you learn proper techniques and, of course, use the right chemicals.
There is a huge variety of holding tank treatment chemicals that are advertised to break down solids and eliminate odors. However, some of them may work better for you than the others. For some initial reference, you could ask other RVers for brand recommendations. Plus, be ready to do some trial and error before finding the best tank treatment for you.
13. Shower rod
Not everyone will need a shower rod in their RV, but it indeed is a necessary accessory for many. Bathrooms in RVs are very often quite cramped, and a little additional room would certainly come in handy.
A shower rod basically allows you to move the shower curtain away from the shower in order to provide you with more wiggle room. Shower rods are also often collapsible, so when not in use, you could put it away for storage. Plus, you may use it as a hanging place for damp laundry and whatnot.
14. Bathroom storage
Did you know that there are door storage shelves available for RVs? Well, given that storage space is quite limited in most RVs, some more room certainly would be helpful.
Hanging on the bathroom room door from inside, a bathroom storage shelf would allow you to keep your bathroom essentials in a place where it makes more sense for them. You can keep your toothbrush and shower gel in one of the RV’s cabinets, but why not keep them closer to the place they are used in?
15. Towel hooks
Using the aforementioned bathroom storage shelf isn’t too reasonable with towels. Towels need drying and have to be in an appropriate spot for that.
If your RV doesn’t have towel hooks preinstalled in the bathroom, consider opting for a couple of them. You don’t really need to go for pricier hooks – a lightweight and cheap plastic hook set would be more than enough.
16. Toilet paper
Toilet paper is a no-brainer, but you shouldn’t just pick whatever toilet paper you are using at home. This especially is important if you are camping out in the wild.
The best choice for RV use would be a bio-degradable toilet paper that won’t pollute the natural environment after you dispose of it. Even if you are going to stay at a campground, you should use biodegradable toilet paper.
As for what kind of toilet paper to choose – two-ply or something else – things will come down to your preferences. Ideally, you should choose a toilet paper that is as close to the toilet paper you use at home as possible.
17. Bath mat
If the floor in your RV’s bathroom is made with an absorbent material, consider placing an absorbent bath mat on it. Absorbing water into it, it will prevent the moisture from reaching the floor and potentially damaging it.
You may want to opt for a mat made from microfiber since it is an exceptionally absorbent material. Not only that, but microfiber mats dry quickly and have a long lifetime, which makes them a rather good investment in the long term.
18. Dish drainer
Many people use racks at home to help with organizing just-washed tableware for drying. Such a simple accessory would come really in handy in an RV as well, but don’t just go and get a dish drainer that you’d use at home.
Instead, you may want to choose a foldable dish drainer. When you need to dry dishes, you just unfold it and place in the sink. And when you are done, you fold it flat so it doesn’t occupy too much storage space.
If storage efficiency isn’t a big concern for you though, you may go for any dish drainer that can satisfy your needs.
19. Dish towel rack/hooks
Like it was with bathroom towels, we’d recommend you to get a rack for your dish towels as well. You aren’t going to hang your dish towels from the hooks in the bathroom, right?
A dedicated dish towel rack would allow you to keep your dish towels isolated from your other towels. Plus, when placed near the kitchen counter, the rack would place the towels within your reach.
By the way, instead of a rack, you may go for plastic hooks as well. But since there often is space for putting a rack in the kitchen area, a dish towel rack would probably be a more convenient choice since it is a one-piece item.
20. Trash bin
Many RVers – new and experienced – go for the classical method of hanging trash bags from cabinet pulls or doorknobs. And while this can work perfectly fine for you, it isn’t the most elegant and efficient solution.
Why not keep all the trash in a place dedicated for it, a trash bin? A traditional trash bin would make the trash more organized and your RV tidier.
For space considerations, you could go for a collapsible trash bag, which is comprised of a collapsible frame that holds trash bags. Such a trash bag not only occupies little space when folded but also is easy to carry.
21. Kitchen mat
One of the must-have accessories we mentioned above was a bath mat. Well, when washing dishes by the counter, you also run the risk of spilling water onto the RV floor. So why not do the same thing as in the bathroom and protect your kitchen floor from moisture?
Aside from water absorbency, we’d recommend you to look for a mat that is lightly cushioned. When prepping meals or washing dishes for extended periods of time, you’d probably be appreciative of the softness under the feet.
Outdoors & entertainment
Can you imagine camping with no meals or having no fun outdoors? Probably not. And while campgrounds may have spots designed for group meals, you’d probably want to have a more private time beside your RV.
There are several items that you’d want to have for outdoor pastime, and one of them is an outdoor table. Maybe a couple of them if you really need it. An outdoor table would allow you to keep all your stuff organized and in one place, be it meals, appliances, or supplies.
And since you probably don’t have much free room to spare in your RV, you should go for a collapsible table with telescopic legs.
23. Side tables
A side table can’t really replace a large outdoor table, but it nonetheless can be a great supplement for it. You probably wouldn’t want to go back and forth between your chair and the table for snacks every time, would you?
Well, why not keep all the necessary stuff by you on a side table?
Folding side tables are especially great for RVing since they aren’t too big, and you can take as many as you need with you. Plus, if necessary, you may improvise a bit and use a side table as a stool. But that wouldn’t be too comfortable, and we’d advise you to go for camp chairs for seating instead.
24. Camp chairs
Camp chairs are the last item among the absolute must-haves to take for outdoor entertainment. There are more items that we are going to recommend, but so far, we’ve looked into the top 3 most crucial outdoor items to have.
It doesn’t matter too much what kind of chairs to take on your RV trip. However, we’d advise you to opt for chairs that are foldable, sturdy, weather-resistant, and, of course, comfortable. Some people also prefer to take rocking chairs for RVing, and you may also want to go for them.
Meals are an essential part of RV camping, and if your RV doesn’t come with a grill of its own, you may want to go and get a grill yourself.
Which grill to go for would heavily depend on your needs, as well as on how much other stuff you have on your RV. You really don’t want to exceed the RV’s carrying capacity, so you should make sure that the weight of your grill doesn’t push the combined weight of your stuff beyond what your RV can hold.
Plus, go for a more compact grill, preferably one that can be fully or partially disassembled. Fortunately, it is rather easy to find good RV grills since there are plenty of compact models available out there.
A thing you will have to consider with grills is what kind of fuel they run on. This is a rather in-depth subject, and we again can’t cover it in full on this material. Do extensive research to find out which kind of grill would be appropriate for you.
For flipping pancakes and frying bacon, a griddle is a nice addition to your outdoor kitchen. Not everyone is going to need one, but if you’d really like to have a variety of meals while on the journey, one of the appliances to take with you is a griddle.
Just like it was with grills, fuel choice is essential with griddles. Again, do the research and make sure to get the griddle that is going to be convenient for you in terms of fuel.
And the last must-have item we decided to recommend is a toolbox with all the essential stuff that one would need for RV maintenance. While we placed this item last, it actually is one of the most, if not the most important item on our list.
Now, what would your toolbox need to have in it?
Well, you should have items like hand tools and spare parts for the RV, especially the hitch since it is crucial to your journey. Of course, your toolbox needs to be big enough to hold all the essentials, so pick appropriately.