15 Must-Haves for Your New RV
Buying your first RV can be an exciting and confusing time. Whether you have never really camped before OR you are moving from tent camping to RV camping, you will find that RVs come with a bit of a learning curve.
The best thing that you can do before heading out for the first time with your new trailer, is to practice setting it up at home. It is also important that you do a little research and buy some of the necessary equipment that is not included with an RV purchase.
What to buy for your new RV
Here are the items you’ll need for your new RV. Get them before you go pick up your camper, so you don’t have to pay the inflated “we’ll just add these to your RV purchase” inflated prices. Another option is to make sure you buy them right after buying your camper.
The first must-have for any camping trip is getting there safely. A weight distributing hitch helps to distribute the weight of a camper to the towing vehicle for improved handling and braking. Some hitches have built-in sway control to prevent trailer sway, while others offer anti-sway accessories you can add. Do your research to see what works best for your setup and your budget, but don’t neglect safety.
When you disconnect your RV from your tow vehicle make sure it doesn’t go anywhere by using wheel chocks. Use at least two. One in front of the tire and one behind the tire. For best results use two on each side.
If your camper has two axles, consider using wheel locks between the tires. The wheel locks will add additional roll away protection in addition to your wheel chocks, but will help keep your camper from rocking and rolling while you move around in it.
Did you know the jacks on your new RV are for stabilizing your RV? They are not meant to lift the RV to level it. Not all campground spots are level. You’ll want to raise the wheels to level the camper with a sturdy item such as leveling blocks.
The little foot on the stabilizer jacks will dig right into the ground when you extend them out and put weight on them, this can even happen on blacktop. You’ll need to distribute the weight by using stabilizer pads.
To connect your RV to water you’ll want to use a water hose that is made for drinking water. The green ones you buy at the big box stores can contain lead. Make sure you have a quality hose to safely get water into your rig. A good tip is to have two or three shorter hoses. One fifty foot hose is great, but when the water is only ten feet away you have a lot of extra hose to deal with. Two fifteen foot hoses usually do the trick.
Your RV has plastic plumbing lines running throughout it. Nothing could be worse than a campsite with high water pressure breaking one of those connections and flooding your RV. A small simple water pressure regulator can prevent a lot damage and headaches.
If your new RV has bathroom, you’ll want to have black tank treatment chemicals. They’ll deodorize the waste and help it break down to keep your tank clean, fresh and operating properly.
Getting the turds out is going to be one of your new chores if you have a camper with a toilet. It has to happen. Don’t cheap out on a sewer hose, you’ll regret it later when you’re stuck in a dirty situation. The same principle applies to the sewer hose as the water hose. You’ll want enough to reach the sewer connection, but not so much that it is snaked halfway around the campsite.
One of the most important parts of dumping the dump is to be sure that it is all out. The easiest way to monitor this is to install a clear elbow on the outlet. You’ll be able to monitor the discharge and see when the tanks are empty and the lines are clear.
In order for the sewer hose to empty properly you’ll need the assistance of gravity. Turds flow downhill, but most campsites are flat (or nearly flat). These sewer supports take up minimal space in your camper and allow you to pitch your stinky slinky to the sewer connection.
Not all campgrounds have a sewer connection for each site. Be prepared by having a portable dump tank. The dump tank allows you to empty your waste water without having to tow your entire camper to the dump station. Some dump tanks even have hooks to pull the tote behind your car, so you don’t have to pull it by hand across the campground.
Campers are known to get smelly. The main cause of this is excess moisture inside the RV. Make sure to always have a dehumidifier opened up. They will keep the inside mold free and prevent the unwanted musty smells.
You’ll want to have your camper plugged in at home to keep your batteries charged and be able to use the outlets inside for cleaning. Most of us don’t have a 30 or 50 amp plug at home, and getting one installed can be quite costly. The simple way is a cord adapter. You can plug your 30 amp power cord into an household extension cord and keep things going. Remember to limit your power use or you could trip the breaker!
One thing you’ll probably be doing while camping is lighting a campfire. While most RVs have fire extinguishers, they’re usually the chemical type and your water hose is usually just long enough to reach the water connection. Having a water sprayer on hand is a great idea for dousing the fire before retiring or just getting some water on a fire sneaking out of the fire ring. You can also use it to mix soap and water for cleaning the RV.
There you have it! The must-haves for your new RV. Would you add anything to our list? Leave us a comment if so!