So you took the plunge, bought a new RV and are ready to join the RV lifestyle. Now what? First thing is to equip it for your first camping trip. The following is a list of recommended items to outfit your RV with to make sure your first RV adventure is a good one.
Water Pressure Regulator – Occasionally you will find a campground with excessive water pressure. Blowing up your water system is not a great experience for your first RV trip.
Non Toxic Freshwater Hose – Don’t use a regular garden hose for your freshwater connection or for filling the freshwater tank. They are not approved for potable water and will leave your water with a “rubbery” taste. A 25ft non toxic hose will do in most situations, but it might be a good idea to carry an extra 25-footer for those times when you’re further away from the water connection.
Sewer Hose – If the designated sewer hose carrier on your RV will accept it, buy a Smooth-bor brand sewer hose. The inside is smooth and much easier to flush out than the collapsible type and they won’t crush like wire ones when run over.
Sewer Hose Fittings – You might want a couple of different types for the sewer-end of the hose. Many states require an airtight fitting between the end of the hose and the campground sewer receptacle.
Electrical Extension Cord – A 25-foot extension cord to match your RVs electrical rating (typically a 30-amp or 50-amp extension cord) for the times when you can’t get close enough to the campgrounds electrical outlet.
Electrical Adapters – A range of “park adapters” to be able to plug your RV into whatever electrical service is available. If your RV is set up for 50-amp service, you’ll need adapters to reduce down to either 30-amp service or 20-amp service. If your rig is 50-amp, there are also adapters that allow plugging in to both the 30-amp service and the 20-amp service to provide the 50-amps you need (depending on how the campground electrical service is wired).
Wheel Chocks – There are many options available on the market, but good old ordinary wheel chocks (like commercial trucks use) are always a good choice. Having your new RV roll out of your campsite is not the way to start living the RV lifestyle!
Leveling Blocks – You can buy leveling blocks from your RV dealer, but dimensional framing lumber cut into various lengths will do just fine. Don’t use your stabilizer jacks to level your RV. They are meant for stabilizing a RV that is already level, not leveling it.
Stick-On Levelers – Where you mount these will depend whether your choice of RV is a motorhome or towable type RV. Mount them where they can be easily seen by the driver.
Holding Tank Chemicals — If you want your first RV trip to be a pleasant RV adventure, don’t forget the holding tank chemical.
Matches — Or one of those butane lighters for barbeques for lighting the stove, oven, grill or starting your campfire in the evening.
Tire Gauge — It’s a good idea to check your tire pressure before each trip. Check both the RV and tow vehicle or dinghy.
Having the essential items listed above will help make your first RV outing a great adventure in RVing!
In the next installment we will look at stocking your RV with household items for quick and easy weekend getaways.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.