It’s evident that some things are much more enjoyable when you have the right gear. It’s no different from RVing. How do you determine which gear is the “right” gear? After spending a lot on your RV, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by all the available accessories. How can you tell what is just fine and what you really need?
These are the essential RV camping accessories that we have found. This list will be helpful for anyone who is new to RVing or someone who has been doing it for some time. To make this as comprehensive as possible, we’ve even asked our friends who own fifth wheels and trailers for their input.
This is the complete list of accessories that new RVers must-have, but not in any particular order.
Camping Accessories -Technology
You’ll be taller, wider, and longer than any other vehicle when you tow a trailer or motorhome. An RV GPS is a great tool. The GPS can be used to determine the dimensions of your RV and will then route you to avoid dangerous roads.
Many horror stories have been written about Google Maps and other non-RV-specific software that leads RVers down narrow roads and under bridges. Most mapping software assumes that you will be driving a regular-sized vehicle, such as a car or truck.
We wouldn’t have thought of travelling anywhere in our Class A motorhome without our RV-specific GPS unit. It was simple to use and plugged right into the 12v battery lighter.
WiFi Booster & Repeater
The combination of a repeater and a WiFi booster allows us to park farther away from the tower while still receiving a signal. This is especially useful in RV parks, where the best sites are usually at the edges or back of the park. This is also helpful if you travel in a small town and need to access the WiFi at a local cafe.
Cell Phone Signal Booster
You may recognise this one. A cell booster works in the same way as a WiFi booster. It boosts or amplifies a signal. In this instance, it is a cell signal.
Electrical Management System (EMS)
An RV’s electrical system is not designed to withstand power surges and drops. An electrical management system, or EMS, is essential to protect your RV from damage.
Surge protectors are something you’ve likely heard of. However, they do precisely what their name suggests, nothing more. An EMS (like the one by Progressive Industries) protects you against high-risk situations.
Although an EMS is more expensive upfront than surge protection, I believe they are worth the investment. Your RV is a costly investment. It’s also likely your home. This insurance is a great way to protect yourself against campsites with faulty or overloaded electrical outlets.
Portable Solar Panels
A few portable solar panels can prove very handy if you travel a lot. While you can mount fixed solar panels to your RV’s roof, portable panels offer many advantages. Portable panels are great for hot days when you need to park your RV in the shade.
They can be easily moved around as the sun moves so that you always have the best charge. They are also easier to clean when they are on the ground.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
The TPMS monitors the temperature and pressure of your tires and will sound an alarm if you notice a sudden drop in tire pressure or temperature. This is particularly important for RV towing. However, it can also be helpful regardless of the type of RV you have. Although it sounds odd, you may not be aware that you have blown a tire. These units can help to protect your rims as well as your RV from severe damage.
These radios can be used to communicate with your travel companions while backing your RV into a spot or when you drive two vehicles in an area without cell coverage. These were very useful when towing a motorhome. We were able to use the NOAA weather channels built into our radio during tornado warnings.
Satellite Communication Device
There is a high chance that cell phone service will not be available when you are out in the backcountry or dispersed camping within the national forest. Accidents like the one that I described in the RV safety article can happen. Satellite communication devices can save lives.
Pet Safety Temperature Monitor
A temperature monitor can be an excellent option for those who travel with pets and depend on the RV’s cooling or heating system to keep them safe. The temperature monitors are connected to a cell network and alert your phone when the temperature drops or rises according to the parameters you have set.
General Accessories for Camping -The outside world
Roof Vent Cover
This is one of those things you don’t need until you have it. Vent covers let you leave your roof vents unobstructed even when it rains. Vent covers allow you to run fans in hot weather while cooking without worrying about rain. You also get extra protection from the sun as well as debris that can collect on vent screens.
A Basic Set of Tools
Possessing a basic set of tools such as screwdrivers, spanners, nuts and bolts, hammers, and more can save you a trip to the local hardware store while camping or RVing. But sometimes you may be in a remote area and don’t have access to a hardware store, so this can save a headache and your sanity while on the road.
Portable Air Compressor
You might be thinking, “I don’t need a compressor.” You might think that you can just use the one at your gas station. Our travels taught us that larger load-bearing tires on trucks and RVs require higher PSIs than those in passenger vehicles. These tires are not available at most gas stations. One has even helped us lose PSI.
Even though our home is small, we still consider the Coleman camp stove indispensable. It is great to be outdoors cooking on nice days. Also, it keeps messy or strong-smelling food like fish and bacon outside of our small indoor kitchen. The adapter is also available to connect our stove and our large propane tanks without needing to transport those small green bottles.
Dicor Lap Sealant
Ok, so dicor technically isn’t a gadget. It’s an essential tool that you should always have. The sealant on your roof can crack and degrade over time. Leakages in your roof can cause water damage to RVs. Multiple RVs have had leaks. A little lap sealant can quickly stop them. It’s essential to have your roof resealed every few decades. However, it can be worth having some dicor to prevent significant damage from happening.
I was doing most of the dumping while we were in our Class B. However, when I removed the cap from our sewer line, it would get sprayed with some sewer water that had been lost in transit. It ended up leaking into the compartment as well, which was an additional cleaning experience that I did not want.
Drinking water hose
You will need a hose that can be used to fill your RV’s fresh water tank.
Water Pressure Regulator
Water pressure regulators can stop over-pressurised water from bursting your RV’s pipes. Before you purchase one, make sure to check your RV for a built-in water pressure regulator. Without one, you should not connect your water hose with the city water supply.
Outdoor Camping Mat
It’s a great thing to have in sunny weather, but it becomes necessary if your campsite is covered in mud. A mat for the outdoors can help to keep dirt and debris from getting into your RV.
Clear Sewer Dump Elbow
Although it sounds terrible, you need to be able to see the contents of your tanks as you dump. To do this, you will need to have a clear elbow. You can see what you are dumping to make sure there isn’t a backup or blockage. It will also show you how often your tank has been flushed.
Hose splitters can be handy as you can connect your water hose to the water tap at a campsite while still washing your shoes or filling a dog bowl. You should make sure it’s rated for drinking.
Camping Accessories -The inside of your RV
When we camp, we find that dirt and other things can get tracked into our RVs. We often vacuum our RV daily with dogs, so a handheld vacuum is a must-have.
Shower Shut-off Valve
You will be able to tell how important it is for RV hookups to be conserved if you have ever stayed even one night without them. Showers can use a lot of energy, so we decided to just not shower when we dry camped …. We are kidding!
Our motorhome had a shower head with a “pause”, but it was hard to use with soapy hands. We installed a shut-off valve for the shower, which worked great. We love the idea of taking “Navy Showers”, which allows us to conserve water and stay off the grid for longer. The little bit of RV gear ensures that the water is hot because we aren’t turning it off entirely at the tap. This means that we don’t have to find the perfect temperature every time.
Another one of those gadgets we cannot imagine life without is the water purifier. The water purifier allows us to travel anywhere with the peace of mind that our water is safe and clean.
However, we recommend that you use an inline water filter along with the Berkey. An RV water filter is a trendy piece of camping gear.
Camping Accessories – Miscellaneous
We consider RV travel a big part of our experience. It is crucial to visit National Parks and spend time in the wild. We learned the importance of having a pair of good binoculars when we are visiting remote and mountainous areas such as the Great Dividing Range. They were added to our list as one of the top gadgets for RV camping.
Accessories for motorhomes
You may require items specific to motorhomes, regardless of whether you drive a Class A, C, or B. This is our list.
Spare Tire Carrier
The majority of Class A motorhomes do not come with a spare or mount for one. Although we considered getting a Jeep Wrangler roof rack to hold a spare tire, it was too heavy and difficult to transport.
RV Accessories for towing and reversing
Since we have never been required to tow an RV, we sought out the advice of friends who own travel trailers and fifth-wheels to complete our list.
Weight Distribution Hitch
The weight distribution hitch is a great way to improve stability when towing. The trailer’s tongue weight is taken from the tow vehicle’s rear axle (the ball hitch) and distributed more evenly on both axles. This helps to stabilise the trailer and tow vehicle and prevents sway.
You can use levelling blocks, pads and levels to combat uneven terrain when parking your trailer.
Reversemate™ Reversing Aid
Every RV or campervan owner knows how difficult reversing into a space can be. If you get it wrong, it can mean severe damage to your precious RV or someone else’s property, which can mean extra costs and money is thrown out the door. Reversemate™ is an excellent alternative to RV reversing cameras and can be set up quickly and have you reversing in no time like a pro.
While newer motorhomes come pre-equipped for a backup camera, most towables require one. A backup camera with a wide-angle view can be helpful for back-ins and changing lanes on the highway. It allows you to see the traffic around your fifth wheel or trailer.
Electric Drill and Scissor Jack Adaptor
This essential RV accessory is a must-have. It makes raising and lowering manual jacks easy. Your scissor jacks will only be brought down by hand once, and if you have sweaty palms and are looking for a better solution, Start saving time and getting an adaptor to your electric drill.
It is a good idea every now and again to inspect the torque of your wheel lugs. A torque wrench is a handy tool that can be used to inspect your wheels and tighten them if necessary, especially if you have just had your tires rotated or if you are on a long trip.
A set of high-quality rubber chocks is a must, especially if your trailer is long and heavy. Although we have not towed a trailer yet, we are confident that it will stay parked there.
RV Hitch Lock
Because a determined thief can bypass them, hit locks are supposed to keep honest people honest. It is worth the small investment to have some peace of mind.
There it is!! Our list of top RV gadgets. We’d love to hear from you if we have missed any essentials. We are always looking for the best gear, and we would love to hear your thoughts on the best RV gadgets and the best RV gadgets of 2021.