12 Things You Totally Don’t Need in Your RV (But Be Glad You Have!)

12 Things You Totally Don’t Need in Your RV (But You’ll Be So Glad You Have!)

Think you know all the RV Must-Haves? We came up with some of our favorite RV items, all that we use often, but ones you might not think of when shopping for camper supplies.

things for RV

2 years ago when we bought our camper at a local RV Expo, we were just minutes away from telling the dealer to draw up the sale papers. Before we could tell him we were ready to buy, our son made it abundantly clear that we were about 2 hours past lunchtime thanks to the wheeling and dealing over this new camper. We decided to take a break, get some lunch, walk around, then come back and sign on the dotted line. As we walked away from that camper, the salesman insisted on reminding us that we needed to purchase that day in order to receive the SHOW SPECIAL.  No, he wasn’t talking about a huge discount on the camper or anything like that.  This dealership was giving away a free counter top ice maker with every camper purchase.

Long story made a little shorter, we got lunch and on our way to the bathroom, literally stumbled upon the camper we ended up buying.  In reality we were trying to avoid letting the kids see that there was a bounce house at the Expo as we had neither the time nor cash to let them jump. We found a row of campers that looked interesting and fell in love with the first one we stepped into. The camper was exactly what we had been looking for and the price was right.  We laughed the entire way home that we had missed out on the free ice maker.

It wasn’t until a year or so later that the ice maker in our freezer died. We came across a deal on a counter top ice makerOpens in a new tab. and bought one for the kitchen. We loved it.  Then we decided it might be nice to take on a camping trip to see if we really used it or not.  We used it so much, we ended up buying a second ice maker so that we have one in the camper all the time! LOL!! 

It turns out, it didn’t just end for us with the ice maker. Oh no.  Over the years, we have accumulated all sorts of “don’t really need it but boy is it nice to have” items that are completely unnecessary but welcome additions to our camper! Here are some of ours – what are yours?

12 Things You Totally Don't Need in Your RV (But You'll be So Glad You Have!) PIN 2

Our very favorite RV items! (These are great gift ideas for your favorite RV camper!)

Counter Top Ice MakerOpens in a new tab. – There is something downright luxurious about having your own steady supply of ice right in your camper! From chilly water and soda drinks to that afternoon iced coffee, we love our ice maker.

Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket, Stainless Steel

Instant PotOpens in a new tab. – Have you joined the Instant Pot craze yet?  If not, we highly recommend getting one. The pressure cooker function makes it pretty simple to get a hearty and delicious meal on the table with minimal effort, even after a long day of driving. There are so many amazing RV Instant Pot meals! One of our favorite traveling meals is this Instant Pot recipe for Pot RoastOpens in a new tab..

Instant Pot RV

Electric GriddleOpens in a new tab. – We have a rule in our camper: never ever ever cook bacon inside of it.  The smell just never goes away! Electric griddles are flat and easy to store, they heat up evenly and quickly, and are perfect for outdoor cooking on a table or outdoor kitchen counter. Griddles are perfect for cooking many types of food and they keep the smells and splatters associated with those foods outside.

Presto 07055 Cool-Touch Electric Ceramic Griddle

Camco Deluxe Folding Grill Table Opens in a new tab.– These tables are a great way to extend your prep space when cooking outside. The top platform fits a griddle or tabletop grill perfectly.

Camco Deluxe Folding Grill Table

Camp Cooking

Cordless DrillOpens in a new tab. and 3/4″ socket with adapter – Drop those stabilizers in seconds flat! Instead of using a non-powered hand crank, use a drill to drop anchor quickly and effortlessly.

Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/2 inch Compact Drill Driver Kit

RV Awning Mat Opens in a new tab.– There is nothing more annoying that the sheer volume of sand and dirt that gets dragged into the camper! Grab one of these mats and stake it down under your RV steps.  This area will give you a nice big spot to kick off shoes and knock excess sand off of your feet.

rv awning mat

Lightweight Stick VacuumOpens in a new tab. – Storage space is certainly premium real estate in a camper. These simple vacuums are light and won’t take up much room.  They are incredibly effective at cleaning up dirt and sand that gets dragged into the camper!

Eureka Blaze 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner, Handheld Vacuum Corded, NES210

Screened Tent Opens in a new tab.– You never know when you will find yourself parked at a campsite that offers zero shade from trees… or when you’ll end up in a mosquito or fly prone area. Keep a screened tent in your camper for those occasions when you still want to relax outside and take in the sights, but can do so in shade and free from most biting bugs.

Walkie TalkiesOpens in a new tab. – When camping in the mountains or other remote areas, cell phone signal is not always guaranteed.  Keep a set of walkie talkies in your camper so that you always have a line of communication available between the RV and whoever is exploring the campground.

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-way Radios with Earpiece 4 Pack

Throw PillowsOpens in a new tab. – Pick up some cute outdoor pillows that fit your particular decorating style.  Not only do these pillows look nice on the couch and chairs, but it’s very convenient to have extra pillows at night! I only have one pillow for my spot on my camper bed, but I usually take a throw pillow or two off the couch each night and use them under my pillow.

Outdoor Throw Pillows

Throw Pillows on Camper Couch

RV Bed

Retractable Laundry LineOpens in a new tab. – These laundry lines make a great addition to your camper (we have ours installed over the bathtub).  It’s nice to have an extra space to hang wet towels after a shower or swimming.

Retractable Clothes Line 1

Upgraded MattressOpens in a new tab. – We wrote an entire post on how to upgrade your RV mattress. If your factory RV mattress doesn’t give you a great night’s sleep, consider upgrading. It’s easy and not super expensive.

RV Bed

BONUS ITEM: AIR FRYEROpens in a new tab.!! Listen, we started out with our Instant Pot and figured that was good enough.  Then we added the griddle.  I need to tell you – our air fryerOpens in a new tab. is now probably used in our camper EVEN MORE OFTEN than the other two items!!  What can’t this amazing machine do?! Check out some of our popular air fryer camping recipes:

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks Plated

Recap of these RV Must-Haves

What would our readers add?

It probably won’t surprise you when you I tell you that this – but this post is by far, the most popular one on our site to date.  Not only do thousands of people read through our list each and every day, but many readers leave comments below with THEIR favorite must-have RV items. The comment section below has some excellent ideas and suggestions.

Here is a list of reader faves:

Tell us – what are your favorite RV items?

PIN THIS POST with our favorite RV items TO PINTEREST!

12 Things You Totally Don't Need in Your RV

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awesome rv accessories

83 thoughts on “12 Things You Totally Don’t Need in Your RV (But Be Glad You Have!)

  1. These are good suggestions, however as a solo RVer my needs are on a different scale than yours. Also I am living in the RV is work related. I have my trusty quart and a half crock pot and have not used it once 3 mths of living in my class C. But it’s always good to. Look over the fence and see how the other guy does it. My best.

    1. Great perspective and we appreciate you sharing! You’re definitely right that these items will vary slightly depending on the rig and who is camping. Happy travels to you!! 🙂

  2. Great article! We love our portable ice maker. Also upgrading the mattress is a must to save on those aching backs.

    1. Thank you! Couldn’t agree more – especially about upgrading the mattress. We spent the first few trips in our camper with sore backs. Upgrading was the best thing we did – we sleep like rocks now and wake up feeling great!

      1. I still have the original mattress that we bought the trailer with and just added a pillow top to it and I sleep better in my camper then at home and we have a sleep number at home. The other items I agree on is a crock pot, 3M hooks for bathroom or we use them in our garage for fly swatters and dog leashes, I also have a skillet and the flat skillet and we bought an air fryer and we take that also for quick easy snacks. And I found that using Suction cups works very well for outside the trailer to hang wet towels that come from the pool or swimming. And they’re easy to remove when you’re ready to leave. And my final decision was on the bugs was not only do a spray ant spray on the legs of my trailer on the tires but I also have a small Electric bug zapper that has a fan on it to suck in the bugs at the bottom of the bowl and I didn’t think it worked in the beginning but apparently it does when I went to clean it out it was full so that would be another suggestion and I hang it underneath one of the slides.

        1. That’s great that the pillow top worked well for you! We tried that before buying a new mattress and it still wasn’t comfortable enough for us. Great suggestions and input, thank you!

        2. The ice maker was an excellent choice for our camper. One thing I made sure to buy was our electric skillet. I use it everytime we go camping. I am able to use it inside or out. About item we can’t love without is our keurig. We have to have our coffee. We use the reusable pod and we each enjoy our favorite coffee. Our next purchase will be a air fryer/Pressure cooker and the electric griddle. We love camping and these items just make things easier.
          Thanks for your article, I enjoyed it and your suggestions.
          Happy Camping.

          1. The Keurig is so convenient for camping! Ours died a couple years ago and I still need to replace it. Just used our air fryer camping last weekend and it came in handy multiple times!!

          2. I am a solo rv’r. I got me a mico/
            Convection/airfryer combo. ….. I LOVE ITTT. . as for a matress get a foam one. They are sized like a regular bed. The few inches is at the foot of bed. .. I also found. The perfect trash can for inside. It is rectangle 12×18 with touchless lid.

    1. Thank you!! Believe it or not, it’s just a random comforter I found at Walmart. I liked the colors and the pattern so I bought the comforter and then just picked up some sheets that would match! Same thing with the pillows – they are actually outdoor pillows that Walmart had for sale in the garden area last summer! 🙂

    1. We have most of these conveniences. Some you need and some you don’t depending where you camp and how long. The ice maker is a huge help in not having to buy ice for extra coolers and things.
      We also have a Keurig coffee maker with us. So easy and no mess.

  3. Really, the screened tent just turned into a bug catcher. More bugs inside than outside. There has got to be something better! Ice maker, Keurig, outdoor mat, Thermacell to keep mosquitos away ( ahhhmazing) extra stabilizers, step stabilizers, x- chocks, dual faucet attachment, accordion sewer hose lifter, soap and shampoo wall dispenser are our top ten not needed but make your camping life easier list!

    1. GREAT suggestions, thanks!! Totally going to look into Thermacell!! We did pretty well with our screened tent and keeping bugs out, though with the kids constantly in and out of it, some definitely flew right on in the door as it flapped in the breeze!

      1. I’ve found that even though bugs can get in the screen house that they tend to hang out on the inside of the screening and stay there. My experience can’t be unique can it?

        1. They definitely do. When we are in a particularly buggy campground, sometimes it’s just a matter of time before the screen tent has bugs in it. Frustrating b/c we really enjoy sitting outside whenever possible.

  4. Those refrigerator dividers keep stuff from falling out and give us a shelf for water bottles. hooks and hanging baskets, snap close lidded waste baskets, Wonderboom to Bluetooth Pandora, extra sturdy handrail for interior entrance, extendable squeegie window washer, etc

  5. Hi, we have been fulltime RVers for a few years now. When we started we had just moved out of our 2 story house and kept everything. First in storage then slowly started shifting everything into the RV. Wow, what an experience. Kitchen, we had an appliance for everything. Anyway, after buying our new 5th wheel we decided to go with the flow and get things that are multi purpose. Mostly due to storage and weight. Our new and improved kitchen has 8 portable appliances; ice maker, coffeemaker, waffle maker, smokeless grill/griddle, oiless fryer / elite oven, crock pot deluxe (the same functions as yours with a different name) , rice cooker (on 24/7), and an electric wok for outdoors. With these appliances we were able to get rid of 10 other single function appliances. Are vacuum cleaner is built in same like our washer and dryer units. I use to use my electric impact gun for our stabilizer Jack’s, now they are hydraulic and electric operated. However I have a complete set of Milwaukee cordless tools because they are so handy with so many different repairs or modifications. They are as Los alot lighter than my pneumatic tools. There are a couple things that have worked great for us for years now, our 2 portable electric heaters. One is about a 6″ cube, a honey comb ceramic heater and heats up about the front 20′ of our RV with no issues ( have to open the ceiling vent sometimes due to the heat it puts out). The other one is a cheapy that we picked up in Walmart to keep the bedroom warm. The savings on propane is great. The other thing is to replace those cheap hand crank vents for some electric vent / fans, what a difference, they don’t only circulate air but they also help remove dust from your inside air. Great article, currently I am hooked on infomercials and am always looking for that great deal. That is where we got 2 of our kitchen appliances. Before winter starts to hit us here in Southern California….. I have a few slide-out awnings to install, our bedroom air conditioner, electric roof vents/fans, a few sunscreens then refinish the entire roof before I start mounting our solar kit. Happy travels

  6. This is more of a necessity but I’ve yet to see it on any list. Make sure everyone has a whistle to wear around their neck when hiking or going off on their own. If you get separated, you can find each other. It can scare away a bear should you encounter one. Don’t leave home without it. It could save your life. Skiers need them too.

    1. If you have an outside fan it works really well for the bug issue. Bugs can’t hang around were there is a constant breeze. It also keeps you cooler on those hot days.

      1. Thank you for the bacon tip! I am new to living in an RV and was just thinking today about wanting to make teriyaki chicken but don’t want my home to smell like that for days… same with the Crock-Pot… However I live in Texas so I think the Crock-Pot outside during the summer day will make my food extra well done… Thanks so much for all the ideas!!!

      2. And if you add a piece screen to the fan it will catch the bugs. Just use a scraper to remove them (it squashes them if they aren’t dead) and store with fan for your next stop. On a box fan use a magnet or velcro dot in each upper corner of the fan housing and on the screen piece to keep it in place but the auction will do the rest.

  7. LOL We have owned RVs for many, many years and when I opened your page I started to laugh.. We have every one of those in our current RV and use them regularly. Because we live in Canada our RV is only used in the warm months but we still use every single one of the items we don’t need but sure like …

    1. Isn’t it funny how they aren’t necessary, but they sure do make RV life easier/more convenient? 🙂 Happy camping!

  8. You know you own those throw pillows now so it’s ok to rip or cut off the ugly white tags. 😉 Great advice though!

    1. LOL!! That really made me laugh. I have a terrible habit of not cutting tags off of pillows. Totally going to take some scissors with me the next time I go out to the camper! 🙂

  9. Friends gifted me with an ice cream freezer many years ago and while I appreciated the thought was “where am I going to put it & will I really use it.” I’m on my fourth one. The kids have loved to make a frozen treat on rainy or really hot days and is a really good icebreaker with the new neighbors. Will never be without one & have never had to actually freeze it. Always a kid wants to help!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, here! we don’t have an RV, but, we do have a motor yacht. A lot of these actually can work in our boat and I see a few that I really like. Thanks again for sharing!

  11. we had a toaster oven in the camper and used it to make cinnamon rolls. we also have a toaster in the camper. we upgraded to an air fryer toaster oven. didn’t think we needed it but camped for a week and it got used alot. my kids toasted bagels, we made cinnamon rolls, warmed up hamburgers and fries at the same time on air fry.

  12. I have 6 grandkids. Bought a rival snow cone maker at Walmart for our camper cost 20.00 best thing ever. I make simple syrup add a pack of Kool aid. Snow cone city! Will be getting the countertop ice maker for sure! Thanks for that tip.

  13. We got an adjustable step stabilizer and it makes such a difference. My in laws camped with us last and they are avid campers. My father in law took one step kn ours and said what the heck did you do to these steps?? We showed him and he was on Amazon buying one before he forgot.

    We also have a small counter top dehumidifier that is very noticeable on those sticky days and to cut the chance of mold.

  14. Lots of good suggestions. I don’t leave home without my toaster over and my crockpot. When the kids were younger we had an electric skillet that had a warm feature. We used it to “keep” their breakfast until they woke up. It was perfect. They knew to come outside and check the skillet for breakfast. We like an oscillating fan on a stand aimed at the door too. It keeps bugs from getting in the camper and also gives you a cool breeze. It can be hard sometimes to get a camper freezer to actually freeze your items. I usually freeze them before I leave the house and it helps get the freezer up to the right temp quicker.

  15. I use our throw pillows to cushion the dishes and other items in cabinets so they don’t shift around when we’re on the road.

  16. Absolutely love my Insta Pot and Air Fryer, You can now buy them combined. We also have alot of fun with our Pie Irons (for the camp fire) sure makes some tasty treats.
    Happy Glamping All

  17. For longer glamping trips its nice to have a breadmaker. Trying to take enough bread to last without going moldy is impossible on those hot summer days. Also, one of the first things we did was change the accordion door on our tub/shower to a hinged rod that swings out to allow more elbow room.

  18. Our number one item is a Thermacell–Amazon and Walmart have some great ones that look like lanterns and they work AMAZING!

    Another item we have that I use all the time is a stick blender that has a whip and mini-chopper attachment–makes quick work of chopping things for the pressure cooker and can use as a mixer for those times when I feel the need to bake–LOL.

    For the pick n’ table, i purchase two tablecloths that match and the second one I fold lengthwise and cut in half. then i fold each of those in half with the print side out and that is what I use on the seats of the table. I also use Sewing Elastic to keep everything in place. Most seats are about the same size, so the first time out I put the seat covers on take a piece of elastic and wrap around the seat snugly and cut the elastic with a little extra. Then i just glued the “extra” to the other end to make a loop and let dry. I make four of these “rubber bands” to hold the seat covers in place. Tried using the clips, but not comfortable to sit on.

    1. I love the idea for your seat covers! I’ll bet they look cute and how nice to not have to sit on a dirty wooden bench seat. We have a Thermacell and you’re right – works great!

  19. We camp with our 2 French Bulldogs. Both sleep in kennels at night. Our first camping trip we realized that the 2 kennels took up way to much floor space in the living room (plus I got tired of carrying them in and out of the camper, to get them out of the way during the day) we took the storage compartment under our bed and made 2 separate kennels in it. We divided the compartment and added a vent on each side for air flow and each have their own area with a nice metal door that fit perfect. Both dogs love it, they know which kennel belongs to who. Wished I could post a picture on this comment of it.

    1. That is SUCH a cool idea! Sounds like you found a perfect solution! We have one dog and he most definitely takes up too much floor space when we bring him along. Sometimes he joins a kid on the lower bunk bed, but the nights when he sleeps on the floor? I have to take extra care not to trip over him on the way to the bathroom!!

  20. We take an electric kettle camping. We use it to heat up water for french press coffee. We also use it to heat up water to put in hot water bottles to keep warm at night.

  21. I take a single electric blanket for my handicapped sister and a nice long extension cord.. that way she is always toasty at night.
    A wasp trap for placing away from the table.. keeps them happy else we’re. And a biz zapper the kids love zapping . Yes
    A wash station for outdoors .. easy to do a quick hand wash on the little grans.. and a small swimming pool for a quick bath as only a shower in my unit.
    And my small dog fence that makes my chiwahwas own safety spot.
    Quick dry towels… life saving

  22. We have an EMRIL LAGASSE POWER AIRFRYER 360. Our daughter chose it as a gift because it has so many diferent functions in one unit. We set it up on an outside table near an outlet. It has 12 diferent functions and can reheat and warm. We have yet to try all the features but what we have used our great. There’s many other brands out there. Certainly gives you a multitude of cooking options. We now have one in our home also. Well worth the looking into.

    1. We have one too! Best purchase ever. We also bought a shelf from amazon that gets it up off the counter because we all know counter space is like gold lol

  23. I love using my crock pot. I actually plug it in outside when we leave to do something. I have not had any problems with people taking it. We have a propane campfire. It’s nice that we don’t have to purchase wood and we don’t need to wait for a wood fire to die out. We can still have a wood fire if we want but it is nice to have this option.

    1. We definitely could have used a propane campfire last week! We were camping for 5 days about went through about 6 bundles of firewood because we had so many campfires! 🙂

  24. A pop up hamper….can be used to hold dirty clothes, transport them to the laundry, carry folded stuff back to camper after washing. We also use ours to accumulate things that need to be taken out to the camper such as new registration tags, dog immunization records etc. Also our George Foreman grill which keeps spatters from bacon, burgers etc at bay…

  25. Add a lightweight blower to your rig. Every time we camp with friends or family they end up buying one!! Beats sweeping that mat! Love your blog post.

  26. Wonderful suggestions! We have all except the air fryer. I would probably add a portable fan that can be used inside to dry things if it’s raining outside. I would also add a very large Rubbermaid tote and lid for storing dirty laundry under the camper while you are camping. And lastly, I always take extra clothes pins and zip ties. From chip bag closures to extra security on our dog crate these things come in handy!

    1. Oh I LOVE the suggestion for using a big tote for the dirty laundry!! We use a mesh laundry bag and it’s always in the way, no matter where we put it.

  27. I’m simply going to post what we (I) carry in our 36’er that we need…
    Collapsible patio heater (propane), griddle, pop up hampers, clothes line, electric fireplace (yes, with the fake flames), cordless drill, counter top ice maker (and I have a functioning one in the freezer) crock pot, electric blanket, fire ring, throw pillows, riveter, ez up with full screen coverage AND privacy screen, 4 person dome tent (spare room), 3 extra propane tanks, 2 burner camp chef stove with single bbq and double griddle attachments, air fryer, tower fan X2, tower (ceramic) heater, personal fan/heater, upgraded mattress, air mattresses for the spare room, sleeping bags (why?), and an old Coleman three burner stove converted to propane. I also carry a 4’ Coleman table with a wire rack/stand, and a folding 6’ table. I’m in the process of getting a basin sink to wash greasy and bigger items. Sadly, we don’t use the rig as much as I would like to, but all of those are MUST HAVES for us.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I laughed about your “(why?)” behind the sleeping bags. Our kids actually use sleeping bags on their beds as their bedding! We put a fitted sheet over the mattresses and then just plunk a sleeping bag on top. LOL

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