12 Things You Totally Don’t Need in Your RV (But You’ll Be So 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 must-haves for your camper? 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 maker 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?

Counter Top Ice Maker – 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 Pot – 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. One of our favorite traveling meals is this Instant Pot recipe for Pot Roast.

Instant Pot RV

Electric Griddle – 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 – 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 Drill 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 – 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 Vacuum – 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 – 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.

Coleman Instant Screenhouse, 15 x 13 Feet

Walkie Talkies – 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 Pillows – 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 Line – 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.

LuckIn Retractable Clothesline Stainless Steel

Upgraded Mattress – 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


12 Things You Totally Don't Need in Your RV

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  • Reply 21 Easy Instant Pot Recipes to Make in Your RV - Glamper LifeGlamper Life July 18, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    […] the Instant Pot. Our Instant Pot earned its spot on our list of things you don’t need in your RV but you’ll be really glad you have. That’s because cooking with one requires the same skill level as using a slow cooker (you […]

  • Reply Janell Evans August 3, 2018 at 12:18 am

    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.

    • Reply devon August 3, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      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!! 🙂

  • Reply Peggy August 4, 2018 at 9:27 pm

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

    • Reply devon August 13, 2018 at 3:04 am

      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!

  • Reply Kim August 13, 2018 at 2:54 am

    I love the bedding theme you have! Where can I find it?

    • Reply devon August 13, 2018 at 3:03 am

      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! 🙂

  • Reply 7 of the Best Reasons to Go Camping in the Fall - Glamper LifeGlamper Life August 15, 2018 at 1:33 am

    […] Rates – It’s always nice to save some money!  (That just means you can buy some more cool stuff for your camper, RIGHT?!). Many campgrounds raise their rates based on peak season, which is typically summer. […]

  • Reply SANDRA NELSON August 17, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Great ideas! I have to ask: Where did you find your bedding set? It is EXACTLY what I have been looking for!

  • Reply RV Video Tour: Coachman Apex 288BHS Ultra Lite - Glamper LifeGlamper Life August 23, 2018 at 2:14 am

    […] hats, etc.  We have cute welcome mats inside each of the two doors.  We have learned some AWESOME things to have in an RV, even though they’re not really considered […]

  • Reply Michele August 30, 2018 at 12:33 am

    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!

    • Reply devon August 30, 2018 at 12:40 am

      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!

      • Reply Christopher Smith January 18, 2019 at 7:35 pm

        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?

        • Reply devon January 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm

          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.

  • Reply Jeanne August 31, 2018 at 2:12 am

    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

    • Reply devon August 31, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your must-haves!

  • Reply Lisa September 17, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Very helpful, thanks! We have the electric skillet and use it all the time. I’ll have to try some of your other suggestions.

    • Reply devon December 27, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      Glad to hear it was helpful!

  • Reply Gregg October 11, 2018 at 3:55 am

    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

    • Reply devon December 27, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      Great suggestions – thank you for taking the time to share them!

  • Reply Linda Engler November 18, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    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.

    • Reply devon December 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Great advice!

  • Reply Granni G March 3, 2019 at 1:13 am

    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 …

    • Reply devon March 4, 2019 at 2:05 pm

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

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