IT IS THE LITTLE THINGS
We've been on the road for three months now, and are still learning something new everyday. The road isn't always easy, but there are some little things that can make your life on the road a lot easier. As new full time RVers, I wish we had purchased all of these products BEFORE we hit the road, but we have them now and want to share them so that other people starting their RV journey might have a little bit easier of a beginning!
This post contains affiliate links with Amazon. We participate in the Amazon Associates Program to help earn money through advertisement so that we may continue on this fabulous journey. You may click on the highlighted links throughout this post to connect to the Amazon purchase page and if you purchase through that link we get commission. We WILL NOT recommend products that we have not tried! All of the products we are recommending we have purchased and are currently using during our RV experience. We hope that by providing quick links we can help others that plan on beginning their camping/RV journey!
THE MUST HAVES
1. Sewer Hose Kit - You are going to need one of these no matter what - unless you plan on never using the toilet in your RV - so you might as well have a good one. Poop stinks, literally, and I'm thankful that I have a wonderful husband that takes care of our sewage problems. So when we bought our RV we made sure we read as many articles and reviews about dealing with this stinky part of RVing. We purchased the RhinoFLEX Sewer Hose Kit and it has worked amazingly for us. It is clean (well as clean as a sewage hose can be), efficient, and we have had no problems so far! The hose folds up easily for storage and is easy to clean! We purchased the 15' hose kit, but they do come in different sizes. We haven't had a need for a larger hose yet, so I don't recommend spending the extra money on longer hoses.
2. Leveling Blocks - We found out the necessity of leveling blocks the hard way - by being on a hill and the grey and black tanks not dumping properly - oh, and getting in the shower on a hill is just not amusing! We ordered our blocks so that the next time we were on a hill, or even just a slightly uneven site, our life would be much easier. We ordered the Camco Leveling Blocks because they didn't break the bank and they were easy to organize and store. Life in the RV has been much more balanced with these around!
3. Water Hoses and Filters - You need water - obviously - and your RV isn't going to just create water on it's own, so you need a water hose to hook up to the water sources at campgrounds or fill stations. This will be your water for showers, flushing toilets, washing dishes, and more, so you want a water hose that is lead free. We purchased a Camco Lead Free Drinking Water Hose to make sure we were getting clean water! Now we originally purchased a 25' hose (which is what the link above is for), but have been to places where the water source was in awkward places, and ended up having to purchase another 25' hose to reach. So you may just want to go ahead and spend the money on a 50' hose right off the bat so you don't run into this problem during the middle of the night and there is no where open to purchase an extra hose (because that is exactly when it will happen)! We also purchased a Camco Water Filter, which isn't necessary, but helps insure you're getting clean drinking water. This one is easy to hook-up and we haven't had any problems so far!
4. A 30/50 AMP Adapter - Since we purchased our RV used, we didn't have someone to tell us all the ins and outs of every little thing on the RV. One of those things was that we would be better off running on 50 AMPS - especially if we are using our A/C during the summer! While we will be okay with just 30 AMPS, it is much safer to plug into a 50 AMP site. We ran into a bigger problem at a campsite in Tennessee where the 30 AMP would not run anything in our RV at all, and our power cord wouldn't plug into the 50 AMP box, so we had to purchase an adapter. We purchased the NU-CORD Adapter and are so thankful we did! This is something we never found information on, and so we want to emphasize how handy this adapter can be since all campgrounds are not the same!
5. Shower Bags - This seems silly, and probably doesn't make it on most other RVer's must have lists, but they seriously make life easier! When you have a family of 3 or more, and different shower stuff for everyone, keeping it all in the shower is impossible. Plus, you can't drive down the road with stuff on the shelves in the shower because it will ALL FALL DOWN! And leaving it in the cabinets just takes up space. Plus, if you're anything like us, you will use the campground showers as often as possible, so you'll want something to lug everything back and forth. We purchased these simple and cheap toiletry bags since they are easy to hang while showering. When we are done, we hang them on the back of the bathroom door, for easy storage.
6. Electric Griddle - We are so glad we purchased one of these before we got on the road! We had multiple people that RV part-time recommend an electric griddle. The griddle makes life so much easier, especially if you are RVing full time. First you don't have to use the stove, which makes for a much cooler RV in the summer, and less propane used! Second, clean-up is ten times faster and you are off enjoying life much quicker! We bought a Black and Decker Family Size Griddle because it didn't break the bank and had five stars on Amazon. We use it all the time, especially for breakfast, so we are well fueled for the grand adventures that RVing provides!
7. Outdoor Camping Mat - This is something I REALLY wish we had purchased before we left, but we decided not to spend the money on it at first. However, I also didn't realize how dirty RVing actually can get (see my post "Life is Dirty"), and we now have one of these mats. These mats keep shoes and feet clean, and a place to LEAVE DIRTY THINGS OUTSIDE! While these mats aren't technically a necessity, they will make your life so much easier!
8. Camping Chairs - While we love being in our RV, it gets cramped sometimes, so a chair for sitting outside is a must! Plus, who doesn't want to sit by a campfire, gaze at the stars and breathe in fresh air? We didn't want to spend a ton of money on camping chairs, so we purchased the basic Coleman Outdoor Chair in camouflage (because we don't want to be seen). We will actually be needing to purchase a new one of these because my wonderful husband left one at a campsite recently. So some lucky camper just got a free outdoor chair in great condition!
9. First Aid Kit - If you have kids, this should actually probably be number one on the list. I know we have used ours several times (see social media posts for injury reports). My parents gifted us ours before we left because they are amazing like that! They purchased us this super cool Waterproof First Aid Kit that is easy to travel with and comes in handy way too often! Since we normally place this one in our backpacks or in the car, we have a bigger First Aid Kit that we keep in the RV at all times. Both of these are easy to refill once you've used most of the items in them - which may happen more often then imagined if you have kids like ours!
10. Roof Vent Covers - You won't know how amazing these are until you have them and you can open your roof vents while it is raining! Especially when everyone is crammed inside during the rain and someone has to go #2 in the bathroom. You will thank the high heavens that they can open the roof vent in the bathroom! We have the Camco Roof Vent Covers and I am so thankful we do! I think we all might have passed out from the horrendous SMELLS that come from the bathroom if that vent wasn't opened!
DID WE MISS ANYTHING?
Hope this list helps and that the links make it easier for you to find what we recommend! Did we miss any other products you consider MUST HAVES for first time RVers? Have other recommendations? Please leave your comments and suggestions below!
I am a mother and stepmother, fierce slayer of mental illness, writer and traveler. I love the constant change of the road, and the experiences it brings our family. We have learned so much being full-time RVers, and love the freedom this lifestyle gives us.