Your next RV camping trip is coming up, and you’re pretty well prepared.
You’ve got your food, kitchenware, towels, linens, clothing, and sunscreen. You’re even stocked on those essential RV equipment “extras” that somehow don’t always come along with the rig, like sewer and potable water hoses.
But it’s still there: that nagging feeling that something is missing.
Well, if you’ve already looked over your checklist twice but still aren’t sure which RV accessories you might have forgotten, check this out. Our team put together this list of 10 must-have RV supplies you don’t want to leave home without.
1. RV-specific navigational gear
When you’re driving your car around town, you can use Google or Apple Maps for everything… but RVs have some specific concerns that those applications don’t always keep in mind. For one (obvious) thing, they’re a whole lot bigger — which means low-hanging branches, tight curves, and steep grades take on a whole new level of precariousness.
You also probably won’t be driving as quickly as other, smaller vehicles, which renders a normal navigation system’s ETA all but meaningless.
There are a number of ways around these problems, however, depending on your preferences and budget. You can find RV-specific navigational smartphone apps available for about $50, or make a larger investment in a separate, stand-alone GPS system geared towards RV travel. Either way, you’ll definitely benefit from not encountering a tunnel too short for your rig to clear!
2. Cellular data or WiFi boosting equipment
As much as we want to distance ourselves from “the grid” while camping, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s 2017 — which means some very important stuff (work, finances) usually requires at least occasional internet access.
Staying connected while RVing isn’t as simple as it seems, but it also isn’t as complicated as it was a few years ago. You can gauge how much research and investment you want to make based on how important internet connectivity is to your lifestyle, but you’ll likely want to make sure you at least have a cell phone plan with a mobile hotspot or some other source of mobile data. Alternatively, if you regularly stay in resort campgrounds that feature free WiFi, you might consider investing in equipment that can boost your connection to the campground’s signal.
Chris and Cherie of Technomadia have a ton of great resources about staying connected while living on the road — it’s their livelihood!
3. A first aid kit
It’s old, but good, advice: Safety first. You don’t want to find yourself in a compromising situation without any access to bandages, burn relief, and the other minor medical gear you might need in an emergency.
You can gather these items yourself, piecemeal, or simply purchase a pre-built first aid kit. They’re not usually very expensive, and don’t have to take up very much storage room, either!
4. Warning triangles
If there’s one sure thing in RVing life, it’s that our rigs, unfortunately, do break down from time to time.
Being on the side of the road is no one’s idea of a party, but just in case you do find yourself stuck there for some time, warning triangles will make you much more visible — increasing safety for you and your vehicle.
5. WD-40 or silicone lubricant
You want to keep things nice and easy on the road — and that goes for your locks, hinges, slide extenders and other moving parts, too! Keep a spray lubricant on hand to give a quick spritz to anything that seems to be getting sticky. It’ll help keep your RV running effectively for many trips to come.
6. Dicor or other sealant
Another unfortunate near-guarantee of the RV world: leaks. Whether it’s through your sewer vent, your slide-out seams, or the seal along your window, you’re pretty much bound to encounter some unwanted water sometime during your camping career.
Keeping an RV-friendly sealant on-hand can make the difference between an expensive water damage disaster and a quickly-fixed annoyance. Just make sure you choose the right kind of stuff for your particular rig to ensure the sealant will bond properly with whatever material your roof is made of.
7. Sticky stuff
Your RV, as you may have noticed, is pretty frequently in motion. And sometimes, there are small items — like your cell phone, pocket change, or sunglasses — that you’d like to stay in place.
A good solution to that problem? Dashboard sticky pads, which help keep your spare goodies exactly where you put them.
And if you have home decor items, like flower vases, that you’d rather not take down every single time you move your rig, give museum putty a try. It can be a total lifesaver for full-timers!
8. Velvet hangers
Oooh — fancy, right?
Actually, these are a good idea for the same reason the museum putty is: It’s a pain in the you-know-what to continually have to pick up all the clothes that fell to the floor of your closet after moving your RV! Velvet clothes hangers have just enough soft grip to keep your garments hanging, even on the move.
9. An LED lantern
Even if your RV comes equipped with lots of bells and whistles and included light sources, it’s never a bad idea to have ready access to some extra illumination. LED lights are super dependable, run cool, and last approximately forever. This one’s even inflatable and waterproof, and can be used as a portable, clipped to a backpack, or set up as an ambient lantern.
10. Extra potable water
It’s always a good idea to have more drinking water around than you think you need, no matter where or how you’re traveling. (Heck, it can even be helpful at home.)
But in an RV, keeping spare drinking water could help you stay put at that picture-perfect boondocking spot for longer, since you won’t only have your main water tank to rely on. (Psst, here’s another stay-extending tip: consider recycling your gray water for use in your toilet!)
This 5-gallon water carrier is cheap, easy to use, and totally collapsible, so it won’t take up much room after you’ve had your fill.
So, that’s our final checklist… now it’s your turn.
What RV supplies, accessories, and equipment do you refuse to leave home without?