RV Essentials – What You Need For Your First Trip
Buying a motorhome can be a stressful time especially if you’re new to RVing. There are so many components and gadgets and checklists that you may feel a bit over your head in the beginning. When Katie and I made our big purchase we were greeted by even more stress just trying to figure out what RV essentials we had to have before our first trip.
We put together a list to help you get started if you find yourself with a new (or new to you) rig, but not sure what to fill it with. It’s easy to get carried away but we opted to buy basic and then upgrade as we go.
RV Essentials – What You Need For Your First Trip
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I should let you know the items below are not your fancy technology driven products, but more of your everyday can’t live without basic necessities. Hope it helps!
So, your out on the road and you’re getting ready to level out your rig. The only problem is the ground you’re parked on isn’t exactly level, that’s where the leveling blocks come in. They will help to give your jacks a flat surface to come down on, making your leveling process that much easier, yay!
You have your RV and are getting ready to hit the road, what’s one of the most important things you need to be aware of?
That’s right, your tires! Along with making sure they aren’t too old and are safe to drive on it’s also very important to make sure they are filled to the appropriate PSI. In the future we will highlight an automatic tire pressure measuring system like this one, but for now we wanted to include the manual version.
When we first tried to get our tire pressure readings I realized it was pretty much impossible to get the normal tire pressure gauge angled right for a reading. So we went with the dual headed gauge that allows you to get a proper reading. It has worked like a charm!
3. Toilet Paper
This one may very well seem like the most obvious, but sometimes it is the most obvious items that get overlooked. As far as RV essentials go you don’t want to let this one go by the wayside.
Let me first say that you DON’T have to use RV specific toilet paper.
A lot of RV’ers we know will use single-ply or double-ply septic-safe toilet paper. You can even find tests people have done on Youtube to see how long it takes for certain brands of toilet paper to dissolve in water.
Just make sure you’re using the appropriate bathroom tissue so you don’t cause any extra problems in your plumbing and black tank system. And be sure to add lots of water to help things dissolve in your black tank.
This one is very important! Dumping your tanks isn’t a fun task to begin with, but add smells to that and it’s something you’ll dread. What’s crazy, is that for the first year we actually thought it was normal to have these smells while we dumped.
This is the BEST stuff we have tried and think you’ll love it too! No more smells. Seriously. It’s like magic, plus it’s economical and environmentally. You can read our post all about it here.
You should absolutely give it a go rather than spend time on money on other treatments that don’t work nearly as well, or keep the smells at bay.
For us it was important to know what had travelled through the hose that brings in our fresh water supply. So, one of the first items we purchased was a new hose to bring in that clean delicious water.
By getting a new hose we were able to use our old one for cleaning the dump hose and rinsing down the RV. Much better to know the hose for your fresh water isn’t contaminating your water supply.
This is another item that may seems pretty obvious, but too many times I have heard horror stories of individuals who have forgotten their disposable gloves.
There are tons of reasons you’d want these little guys around, but none more important than when you are draining your grey and black tanks. Sure you could get them all emptied without ever coming into contact with the nasty, but why risk it. Get some disposable gloves and keep yourself clean!
Better safe than sorry.
This little guy has made emptying our tanks much easier. It allows for your dump hose to rest in a downward state, creating a teammate of gravity. How’s the saying go, crap flows downhill, I think I will take gravity as my go to helper!
It’s going to still be important to clean your hose but in the long run this support system will make everything that much easier.
This is the sewer hose we purchased right after we brought our RV home. We went with the swivel fittings as well because it allows for the hose to more easily connect to the dump port you will empty into. The hose also extends a really really long way in case you park a little farther away from the dump station than you’d planned ;).
You hit the road in your RV, pick a spot to stay for the night and plug up to the city water. The only problem is you don’t know how much pressure is coming into your unit, and it may be too much. If the pressure coming in is too much it could have drastic consequences that are difficult to notice and very costly.
That is why getting a water regulator should be high on your list of items to pick up before that first trip. The water regulator will control the pressure coming into your unit. We currently use the regulator pictured above, however they do have larger more advanced regulators out there. Look around a bit and decide what will work best for your needs.
10. Water Filter
As far as RV essentials go, a water filter is definitely one. You can choose for yourself wether you will drink the water through your RV or not. Even if you decide not to, isn’t it still important to shower and do your dishes with the cleanest water possible? We thought so too.
We bought our RV used and it already had one of these shower heads, but we are going to be upgrading to a newer model very soon. The Oxygenics shower heads are very well reviewed because they use much less water while also creating much better pressure.
Update: We replaced our old Oxygenics Shower Head with an EcoCamel Jetstorm and you can read our post and watch the video here to see if it may be right for you.
Ok, so this was one of the very first items we purchased for our RV, however I didn’t use it until recently since our RV was parked while we did renovations.
I had to use it because there was a bit of a smell coming into the RV when we would dump the tanks. Not fun. What I found out is that the hose was dirty and when I would dump some of the smell would come back into the RV (it was a tough lesson to learn the hard way).
I attached this rinser cap to the end of a water hose then connected to my dumping hose. Once every thing was connected I used the toggle switch on the rinser cap to spray the water. It rinsed out my hose and I no longer have a smell coming in when we dump our tanks.
13. Surge Protector
Luckily, our RV came with a built-in surge protector, and we do use extras inside as well. There are various options all with different price points, but I would highly recommend making sure you have a reliable surge protector installed.
Whenever purchasing products for your RV it’s important to do your research. Look into a couple of different products that do the same thing, and pick the one you feel fits your needs best. It’s better to spend a little extra time up front and get exactly what you need.
At the same time, there’s no need to stress about what you need. If you forget something you can likely find what you need, even if it’s just a temporary solution, at your local Walmart, Camping store, or Amazon.
We hope this list helps you on your way. While we’ve purchased serval RV products over the last year these are what we consider to be the essentials for your first RV trip. In the future we plan to share different products that make our lives easier in the RV.
What products do you own that you’d consider to be RV Essentials for your very first trip? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!