Drinking water hose, sewer hose, water pressure stabilizer, inline water filter, surge protector, first aid kit, wheel stabilizer, electric trailer jack, and Wi-Fi ranger are some of the most important RV accessories.
Among literally hundreds of accessories, you have to pick the ones that are the most important. Minimalism is a part of RV life. So, knowing which things are essential for you will allow you to decrease your luggage on your adventures while also coming in very useful.
1. Drinking Water Hose
It is said that you can survive longer without food than water. You don’t want to put that to the test, but drinking water is absolutely necessary for RVers. You have to connect to the water source to fill your tank or just for regular usage when parked in an RV resort. That’s why a drinking water hose is the first thing here on my list. I know you are already wondering what a drinking water hose is and what its differences are from a regular water hose. A regular hose, say a garden water hose, is made of materials that contain toxic substances harmful for human consumption. Garden hose contains toxic chemicals like lead, phthalate, antimony, etc. that might leak into the flowing water. A drinking water hose doesn’t contain any of this. The water flowing through this is completely safe to consume for both children and adults. That’s why you should get a certified drinking water hose. You won't know the distance of the water source from your RV. So, I recommend getting anywhere between a 25’ to 50’ drinking water hose.
2. Sewer Hose and Kit Cleaning the blank tank regularly is a part of the RV lifestyle. Nobody likes it, but you’ll have to do it nonetheless. If you don’t know, the blank tank of an RV is the tank where wastes from the toilet accumulate. You have to empty it from time to time. You will need a sewer hose competent enough to do the job. Fittings in RV campgrounds vary slightly. One hose may not fit in all dumping stations of every campground. That’s why you should get a sewer kit instead of just a hose. A sewer kit includes various adapters and storage caps so that they fit in every campground. You can always settle with a cheaper sewer kit but I don’t recommend that. RV sewer hose explosion is a common occurrence that is prevalent among cheaply built sewer hoses. So, I suggest getting a good quality sewer kit from a renowned manufacturer and with good user reviews. Get at least a 20 feet long hose so that you can empty the tank from a distance.
3. Water Pressure Stabilizer
When you are at an RV camping ground, you will connect to the city water inlet either for filling your tank or use the water directly through faucets bypassing the freshwater tank. Either way, the plumbing system of your RV will be subjected to a certain amount of water pressure. What you may not know is that the plumbing system of each RV is designed to work within a certain pressure range. Excess water pressure can damage the plumbing system of your RV. Even if the pressure is within normal range, sometimes a sudden rise in water pressure can occur. In such cases, the pipes might crack, faucets and other fittings can be extensively damaged. That’s why you will need a water pressure regulator. You need to attach the regulator between the water source and the water hose. This is to ensure that any excess pressurized water doesn’t even enter the hose. The dial will display the current water pressure and you can dial it down to the default pressure of your RV.
4. Inline Water Filter
Water is important for RVers. For day-to-day usage, the quality and safety level of the water shouldn’t be concerning. But for drinking, there should be no compromise with the safety of the water. Unfortunately, the quality of drinking water isn't always the same in different RV campgrounds. The safety level differs for various reasons. The source where the camp authorities are pulling the water dictates the quality. It could be from the city water line or a well on the campsite. Also, the method of filtration of drinking water varies from state to state. To have the safest drinking water for you and your family, you should leave no loose ends. That’s where an inline water filter comes in. It can drastically improve the safety and taste of drinking water. The water filter filters dirt, heavy metals, and all sorts of chemicals from the drinking water to give a great taste and ensure health safety.
5. Surge Protector
Before talking about surge protectors, let me first explain how the electricity inside an RV works. An RV runs on two electrical systems. One is a 12-volt DC electrical system run by a battery and a 120-volt AC electrical system. The 12-volt DC system conserves electricity in the battery which you use when on the go. Everything you use such as the refrigerator, air conditioner, water heater gets its power from the 12-volt battery. On the other hand, the 120-volt DC system supplies power to the RV when connected to a power outlet or generator in an RV camp. That’s where you will need a surge protector. The nature of electricity in RV campgrounds can be unpredictable. A sudden spike in power or influx of high voltage electricity can burn up the entire circuitry of your RV. An inline surge protector connects to the power outlet in the RV campground and works as a bridge between the outlet and your RV. In case of a power surge, the surge protector will take the heat and your RV will be safe and sound.
6. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is not only mandatory for RV traveling, it’s a must-have accessory for any degree of solo traveling. Injuries when traveling in an RV are mostly limited to minor cuts and bruises, so a first aid kit should be enough to handle the situation. If you have first aid training, then it's even better. A usual first aid kit contains around 150 pieces so it's no child's play. The pieces can include suture materials, scalpel, iodine, etc. that require expertise to apply. So, basic training would be really good. Aside from the first aid kit, you should also keep some OTC drugs for sudden medical emergencies. The drugs may include pain killers, antihistamines, cough suppressants, etc. However, these drugs shouldn’t be used randomly. Take them only if you feel necessary.
7. Wheel Stabilizer
This accessory is crucial for travel trailers. There are two types of RV's based on whether they are motorized or not. Motorized campers just like any vehicle, you drive them wherever you go. Travel trailers, on the other hand, do not have any engines. You have to tow them in the back of a vehicle like a pickup truck or something. When you are camping, you disconnect the trailer from the vehicle. So, there is a chance the wheels might start to roll as there is no handbrake, unlike motorized RVs. If you have a travel trailer, you will definitely need a pair of wheel stabilizers to keep the trailer in place. There are various types of wheel stabilizers. They are also called wheel chocks so don’t be confused. Look for the best quality chocks. Don’t compromise with cheap quality products for the sake of price. Even if you own a motorized RV, a good-quality wheel stabilizer would still be a really good investment.
8. Electric Trailer Jack
This one applies to travel trailers as well. When you connect or disconnect the towing vehicle with the trailer, you need to raise and lower the front of the trailer. It is needless to say that it is impossible to lift the trailer by hand. You will need a crank jack to achieve this feat. Many trailers come with a manual crank jack. Manual ones do the job pretty well, but an electric trailer jack can do the job faster and more smoothly. If you are a frequent traveler, using a manual trailer jack can be really annoying. Electric trailer jacks draw power from your trailer so you won't have to worry about recharging, changing batteries, and whatnot. An electric trailer jack can make your RVing a lot smoother and enjoyable. Note that the front of the RV trailer is also called the tongue. The electric trailer jack is often called a power tongue jack so don't be puzzled.
9. WI-FI Ranger
RV campgrounds have Wi-Fi, but given the fact, there are hundreds of RV travelers it's difficult to get a strong Wi-Fi signal. Moreover, you won't always get the chance to park near the Wi-Fi router. Oftentimes, your trailer will be at a fair distance from the camp's Wi-Fi router. So even if there are fewer participants in that particular campground, you won't get a satisfactory Wi-Fi experience. A Wi-Fi range extender increases the strength of any Wi-Fi signal. You just need to be close enough to get connected. The Wi-Fi ranger will take it from there. It will boost the signal and you won't even feel that the source of the Wi-Fi is far from you. There are many types of Wi-Fi range extenders. Some extenders tether multiple Wi-Fi signals to give you a greater boost in the signal. Lots of devices connect to the same router in a campground. So, the data safety of your device is an issue. Some range extenders encrypt your connection and protect your device from malicious attacks. I suggest getting an advanced one if that suits your budget.
10. Mobile Phone Signal Booster
A Wi-Fi range extender is crucial, but a mobile phone signal booster can be lifesaving. If you go on a hike from your RV, your Wi-Fi signal won't go with you. There you will have to depend on your cell phone network. But losing signals in remote areas is very common. If the signal is weak, you won't be able to call, send texts or access the internet. However, if you use a mobile phone signal booster, you are highly likely to get a cell phone signal even in remote areas like deep in the jungle, etc. Mobile phone signal booster has similar properties to that of the Wi-Fi range extender. It searches for existing cellular signals then enhances the signal. If you put one near where you parked your trailer, it will cover a pretty big area for you to go hiking or explore. This equipment can be lifesaving, so my recommendation gets a good quality one with as big coverage as possible.
11. Road Safety Flare
You have probably seen one of these in movies or TV. If your RV stalls amid your journey, there is no alternative to repairing, unless you are at a cycling distance. If not, you have to repair it which can be dangerous if it's night and you are in the middle of the road. Road safety flares signal other drivers that there is a big vehicle on the road and an overhaul is going on. They will safely pass your RV without causing any trouble. It will also create a safety zone around your vehicle. Road safety flares will signal others about the current situation, create a safety zone and allow other vehicles to navigate their way passing your vehicle. If you need to call chopper service, the pilot will notice the flare from above and easily find you.
12. GPS Navigation System
While you can follow paper maps or Google maps when riding your RV, having a GPS navigation system makes the whole scheme ten times easier. Driving your RV through rural areas or tight roads is much more difficult than driving a regular vehicle. You need more cognitive awareness when driving an RV because of its sheer size. If you have a GPS installed, you can achieve any of these feats with ease. It will guide you through every inch of the road, tell you where a turn is coming up, when to take the turn, and even more. You can always depend on your co-driver, but pairing your driving skills with a GPS navigation system makes it better. A GPS will also prevent you from going into areas where it's difficult to scurry out. A paper map or Google map won't tell you that. It will give heads up as you are approaching a tunnel that does not allow vehicles above a certain height. Or any road that is too narrow for your RV to drive ahead.
13. Bike Rack
A bike rack will allow you to carry a bicycle at the back of your RV. If your RV is big enough, you can carry a bicycle or two on the inside. But having a bike rack provides a separate room for carrying bicycles, sparing enough space on the inside. Biking is a great way to explore the surroundings. It is also a great form of exercise. A hitch-mounted bike rack is the most common solution. However, a non-motorized travel trailer uses its hitch to connect to the towing vehicles. If you have such a vehicle, you can’t have a hitch mounted bike rack. In that case, you can mount the rack on the top of your trailer. For motorized RV's hitch mounting is the best option. Bikes are not only meant for exploring and exercising. In case of any emergency, you can ride your bicycle faster than your RV to bring help. They are also great for traveling a short distance from the RV campground. Either for safety purposes or just entertainment, I can bet you won’t regret attaching a bike rack to your RV.
14. Lithium Battery Jump Starter
A jump starter is paramount for any vehicle. If the battery depletes, a jump starter connects to the battery of another vehicle or power source to give the battery some power to kickstart the engine. A lithium battery jump starter has some differences from a traditional jump starter. A lithium battery jump starter can give the RV battery enough power without connecting to another vehicle, thanks to its built-in lithium battery. The lithium battery within the jump starter is pretty powerful to crank the RV engine. It is compatible with a wide variety of engines. Considering you are out in the wild exploring nature; a lithium battery jump starter is exactly the thing you need. There, you are not likely to find other vehicles to use traditional jump starters. So, a lithium battery jump starter can save you a lot of hassle.
15. Walkie Talkie
Cell phone and Wi-Fi signals are always an issue when you are traveling. That’s why I emphasized Wi-Fi range extenders and cell phone signal boosters above. With a pair of walkie-talkies, you won't need any of that. Walkie-talkies are great for communication among a group of people. They operate via radio signals, so cellular or Wi-Fi signals won't matter. Walkie-talkies also have a fairly long range. If you are traversing the wilderness away from the campground, a walkie-talkie can be the best way to maintain communication.
16. Tire Pressure Monitoring System Tires are what keeps the vehicle rolling. Any problem with the tires can be disastrous and there can be many reasons behind it. The most common occurrence is the heat of the sun and the temperature of the road destabilizing the pressure within the tires that can result in an explosion. A tire pressure monitoring system constantly monitors the air pressure inside the tires. Then it relays the information to a digital display that you place on your dashboard. Thus, you will always get a heads-up on what's going on with your RV tires. If there is any abnormality in pressure and temperature, you will know instantly and take the necessary steps to prevent further trouble. RV tire pressure monitoring systems are slightly on the expensive side. Even then, you shouldn’t pass on these.
17. Membership to AAA or Good Sam
What Makes These Accessories So Important?
Health, safety, security and repairs are essential for RVers on the road. All of these tools provide something from these 4 criteria that make them essential. As an RVer, there are countless accessories you can take with you. Whether you live in an RV or just travel around the year, there are obviously more accessories than the ones I have mentioned in the list above. So, you might wonder what makes these accessories so important? If you look closely, all the accessories in this list can play a lifesaving role, either directly or indirectly. When traveling, you have to come back to your home which means your RV needs to keep going. That’s why I have added products like a surge protector, battery jump starter, etc. Communication is the key to survival. If you are stranded in the middle of nowhere, you need to communicate with your fellow travelers or local authorities for help. Cell phone and Wi-Fi signals can be an issue if the place is too far away. In such situations, cell phone signal extenders become crucial. If there is no signal at all, walkie-talkies can take their place. For repairing, road safety flare, wheel stabilizers, electric jack are irreplaceable. If you are lost in unknown terrain, a GPS navigation system can help you get back on track. Also, if your RV is damaged beyond repair, you can ditch it and return to your locality with a bicycle. No matter how many days you spend out there, you will need water. Hence, there is a drinking water hose. So, as you can see, everything I have mentioned here is not for mere entertainment. All of them can prove to be crucial in certain scenarios so you shouldn’t disregard them at all.
Some Additional Accessories to Consider
Besides the ones I have discussed above, there are tons of additional accessories that you can always consider. Not that they are super important, but having them with you can make life a lot easier and bring along the fun. Here are some additional accessories to keep with you when traveling in your RV:
Radio: A radio will let you hear regular broadcasts and stay updated on current affairs, both national and international. You can also listen to various programs, listen to sports updates, etc.
Rice Cooker: For fast cooking, there is no alternative to a rice cooker. You can quickly cook your favorite dish in it. Rice cookers are run by electricity, so you won't have to search here and there for a power source. You can hook it up in your RV.
Showerhead: Taking a proper shower can wash all the stress away. The showering space inside the RV is very small and claustrophobic. The showerhead attaches to the outside of the RV and you can take a shower when you are parked.
Solar Power Bank: A power bank will help you keep small electronic gadgets charged. It is a very popular accessory among travelers. A solar power bank does the same thing harnessing the power of the sun! If the sun is shining, you won't have to worry about electricity.
Portable Games: Portable games will give you a great pastime. Playing cards, ladder toss game set, Kan Jam, etc. can be a great addition to your RV accessories.
Wheel Cover: You won't realize the importance of the tires until you face something dreadful. Wheel covers will protect the RV wheels from UV rays and the scorching heat of the sun. It will also repel animals like raccoons etc.
Utensils Set: A set of utensils is great for cooking. Whatever you cook, whether barbeque or pasta, you will need one of those. Utensils set contains various types of instruments. So, whatever you need, you will find one there.
When on the go, small anomalies can have a greater impact. The devices I have discussed above, can be the savior in such conditions and ensure a safe return to home.
Here is list of cool thing you need to know about pop up campers in this article.
Go camping and enjoy life.
The do not weigh much, less than 3k lbs, so a car can tow one. They cost about $5k used. I have seen new ones for $15k.
I towed one with my 2012 ford escape just fine.
There are lots of places to camp along the coast. Be sure to watch out for gators.