In addition to our Christmas List post we wanted to discuss the items that you will want to have for your rig. Several of these items are made by multiple manufacturers, but these are the ones that we own and use where indicated. Look at reviews and such for the ones that would work best for you. I have included hot links to make it easier for you to find.
Note: We are not Amazon affiliates or of any other company for that matter. We don’t have any financial interest in any of these items and the ones we own we purchased ourselves.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
This has saved our bacon multiple times. Every time we get ready to travel our air pressure is automatically checked in all of the Silver Fox and Bighorn tires. Also, if we have a sudden pressure loss as we are going down the road, an alarm will sound on the dash unit. Each tire has a sensor that sends updates to the dash mounted unit. Our device, unlike others, does not require any kind of repeater installed in the trailer even though we are 53’ in total length.
Progressive Industries EMS Surge Protector
Another item that has saved us on more than one occasion. We now plug into the power pedestal even before we unhitch and view the error code readout on the portable unit. Campground electrical plugs do fail and if we need to move to another location, we will know immediately after checking this protector’s readout. The unit checks for open grounds, open neutrals, high/low voltage, reverse polarity, etc. Spend the extra money and get one that protects your rig if the power drops too low or gets too high. The unit automatically shuts off power to your rig to prevent damage to AC and other electronics onboard when the voltage reaches unsafe levels. There are 30 and 50 amp models. If your rig has a 50 amp cable, be sure you have the electrical adapters such as 50 > 30 amp, 50 > 20 amp, etc.
Water Pressure Regulator
This is another “must have” for campgrounds that have crazy high water pressure. They make adjustable pressure models as well which we don’t have and don’t feel that we need.
You will need these. They last a long time and are light, plus easy to store. We ended up purchasing a second set when encountering especially un-level locations. These are especially fun if you liked Legos as a kid.
Rhino Flex Sewer Hose
Be sure to purchase the type that compacts and stays that way. The “extreme” model does not and is much more difficult to store and work with. Also notice that the end spout is threaded making in much more secure at your campsite’s dump connection.
Slinky for Sewer Hose
This “slinky” for waste hoses keeps them off the ground and helps gravity do its thing. Some towns require this per local ordinance. I recommend that you purchase one longer than you think you will need as some sewer locations are inconveniently located and quite a distance from your rig.
RV Friendly Toilet Paper like Scotts “Rapid Dissolve”
This stuff really works. You can YouTube various “tests” to see how well your brand breaks down in water.
Clear Spout for Dump Hose
Sometimes you need to see what going on. This “see-through” spout lets you know when the tank has completely drained.
Voltage Meter AC/DC
This inexpensive meter is a quick way to check the voltage to your unit. We plug one into an outlet that is easy to view.
Another expensive item but well worth it. We don’t run the AC a lot and use the fan to keep the RV cool. This is especially valuable if you are not hooked up to shore power. Our Bighorn came with one but, if I were replacing one, I would probably purchase a Maxxair Deluxe with built in vent cover. Our current one has a built in rain sensor that closes the vent when it begins to rain. The drawback with our model is that if it rains and it’s warm, there is no ventilation throughout the camper and it can get quite hot inside.
We liked having this in our previous sticks and bricks home and the same goes for the Bighorn.
Light Step Ladder
We use one frequently.
Basic Toolbox Including Drill
We have a rechargeable drill that we use more than I thought we would. If you have manual leveling stabilizers, purchase the socket that fits them. The same battery runs our portable fan and large flashlight.
Nothing is more fun than changing a tire on the side of the interstate. Ask us how we know. These are very helpful in unexpected situations. We have a battery powered unit as well as the regular flare types.
4 Way Lug Wrench (be sure it fits trailer lug nuts)
This wrench makes changing tires much faster. Some campers also use their drill to speed things up.
Heavy Duty Bottle Jack
I purchased one much bigger than the one that came with the Silver Fox. It has come in handy several times. I found this one at Wal-mart.
Gotta Haves For Us
This is a personal preference item. If you travel out west, you will have more amazing opportunities to park in “boondocking” locations where you will need to charge up your batteries, etc. from your generator. We have portable ones but many rigs, have them built in. I am still debating on what would be the best decision (convenience versus price/weight). For those with Class A or Cs they are usually standard equipment, but for trailers they usually are not.
On our Christmas list post too.
Battery Powered Fan (uses same battery as drill)
I am envious of friends that have this unit. It is powerful even with the 12 volt connection, but it is pricey. Our G-rated Bighorn tires require 110 PSI so you will probably need something with some ump.
Coffee Maker (Non-electric)
A French Press is a good option and only requires that you boil some water. It is on our Christmas List post. A stove top espresso maker is also a good option. See Christmas List.
Cellular Hot Spot
A “must” if you want to connect your laptop, iPad, etc. to the internet. Most campgrounds WIFI is terrible. Many smartphones will double as a hot spot too.
Power Cord Extension
We carried an 50 amp extension for over a year without using it, then suddenly we had to use it twice in a row. If your rig’s electrical cord will not reach the power post, you will really need this. By the way, we carry numerous water hoses and regular extension cords, too.
You don’t have to spend a lot but some inexpensive levels will make parking easier.
Be fashionable when at the dump station, wear gloves! Some brands sold are called “nitrile gloves” and these are very convenient/necessary when you are emptying the waste tanks.
Tire Pressure Gauge
Don’t purchase a cheap one and be sure it reads above the maximum pressure of your trailer tires.
2 thoughts on “RV Full-Timer’s “Don’t Leave Home Without” List”
Great post! I’ve been hoping you’d do a post about all your favorite gear! Some things I’d expect and a few that I didn’t.
Thanks, I didn’t know for sure where to stop with items. I hope folks will take a serious look at the tire pressure system and electric EMS. We have many things that we use often that are not on the list, but they are not for everyone.
One of the comments we often get is “how can you have all your stuff in a RV and not have a storage unit somewhere”. Ironically, we have found that many things we brought along we don’t really need and spent the weekend going through items, again. In such a small space, you are forced to be organized. Funny thing, just like in our sticks and bricks house we misplace things and can’t find them!