Regardless of the type of RVing or camping you enjoy, everyone has something that they simply will not camp without. These “RV Must Haves” take the form of tools, kitchen items, leveling blocks, chairs, coolers and countless other items.
We hear about so many great RV must haves. Talking about the best products for RVing is something that RV owners find enjoyable to share with each other.
So, over the past few months, we’ve been keeping notes on the most common RV must haves we came across. We also connected with RVers on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to see what they thought were the best RV must haves. The responses were nothing short of amazing. Thanks to all of the helpful folks who offered their advice.
If you have your own personal RV must have, please let us know about it in the comments section at the end of the article!
The 35+ Most Coveted RV Must Haves
Mini Solar Device Charger
Power is always available when the sun is out, as long as you bring the right equipment. Keeping your gadgets charged has become an important part of our lives (or your kid’s lives). Products like this Solio Bolt Battery Pack + Solar Charger serve as an inexpensive way to keep devices charged as long as the sun is shining. If you’re new to solar power, read this introduction to RV solar panel kits and systems.
Portable Meat Smoker
RV grill chefs without lots of storage space for a grilling unit might consider the Cobb Portable BBQ Grill and Smoker. This device grills, smokes, bakes, roasts, fries and boils. The unit measures 14 x 14 x 14 inches, weighs 10 pounds and requires only seven or eight briquettes to get up to temperature.
Frozen Drink Maker
Who doesn’t love a cold, slushy beverage on a hot summer’s day? Whether you’re hooked up to electrical power or living off grid, you’ll find options in both corded and cordless portable frozen drink machines. The highest rated battery powered frozen drink machine is pricey, but it also delivers up to 80 drinks on a single charge! Boondocking piña coladas anyone?
We know a few folks who defiantly carry paper maps. But most RV’ers have converted to some form of GPS device. Some use their smartphones and tablets. Most decide on a standalone RV GPS unit that is purpose-built to find routes for you based on the height and weight restrictions of a RV. The most popular options are the Garmin RV 760LMT, Magellan RoadMate RV9145-LM, and the TomTom VIA 1605M.
Walkie Talkies (Two-Way Radios)
Two-way radios make for a handy RV tool. They can help with parking, keeping in touch at large venues, and they’re simply fun to use. Kids love them, too. If you’re in an area without mobile phone service, a two-way radio will still allow you to communicate outside of shouting distance.
For RVers short on storage space, a single-serve micro blender is a great addition to even the smallest RV galley. These powerful blenders perform a variety of kitchen tasks ranging from making breakfast smoothies to blending sauces. Some of the best-selling options include those from Hamilton Beach and Oster.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron pots are one of the most versatile kitchen tools around. They can be safely used on the stove, in the oven and over any camp fire without risk of damage. Season the skillets regularly to develop and preserve a nice non-stick surface.
Aero Press Coffee Maker
Move over French press, the Aero Press is the new champion of portable, high-quality coffee makers. This little one-minute coffee maker unit uses gentle air pressure brewing to produce one to four cups of richly flavored coffee. The micro filter removes almost all particulates, leaving you with pure coffee concentrate for lattes and espressos. Dilute the concentrate a bit to make your regular (American) coffee. At $25, it’s the perfect size and price for the frugal RV’er!
A bicycle comes in handy for more than short errands. If your vehicle becomes disabled, you can pedal away to get help if necessary. If you’re a casual rider, get an all-terrain, upright hybrid bike with street tires wide enough for any surface. Most folks are buying based on budget, but if space is a concern you might have a look at foldable bikes. Some of the most popular come from Schwinn, Dahon and Columbia.
Protect Your Sensitive Information
If you were caught in a disaster (or the home you left behind was), do you have your most important information stored and ready to go? Some RV’ers, especially folks on extended trips, are using an encrypted USB thumb drive, like this waterproof version available with military grade encryption from Integral.
Tankless Air Compressor
A portable tankless air compressor is handy for small jobs from filling bicycle tires to topping off a spare tire during a roadside emergency. Look for units that can pump to 150 psi and run on 12 volt and/or 120 volt. Tankless compressors can also be used to winterize your RV.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
At upwards of $200, a tire pressure monitoring system isn’t cheap. But having a blowout while driving on the highway could be a lot more expensive (and dangerous). Many seasoned RV owners install an add-on system if their rig didn’t come with tire pressure sensors. Read this article on how to properly measure the pressure in your RV’s tires.
Folding Step Stool
If you had a nickel for every time something was out of reach then you would probably have enough nickels to purchase a folding step stool. These are great for reaching the high cabinets, washing the RV, messing with the awning, and countless other tasks.
Weather Radio/Device Charger
Having a weather radio and device charger might prove to be the most important of the RV must haves. If weather is going to get rough, at a minimum you want to know about it and perhaps even get out of the way. A weather radio can help. This device however, has a few tricks up its sleeve. It is not reliant on batteries as it also has a hand crank so you can use it in any situation. It also can charge your devices in a pinch. It can also serve as a flash light as well making it one of the most adaptable gadgets to have in the RV.
Flameless Battery Operated Candles
Flameless battery operated candles are great for decoration and even more so for light while camping. These flameless battery operated candles hold a small light and a battery to make for a great tool for safety minded lighting. – Rhonda G.
Insect/Mosquito Repellent (Citronella, Sprays, etc.)
Finally you arrive and get setup. You set your rear end in your favorite camping chair with a refreshing beverage, then your uninvited guests arrive. Tiny buzzing vermin flying by your ear. Some even poke you and draw blood. No thanks! Keep a highly rated insect repellent and/or citronella on hand instead. –Curtis E.
Mobile WiFi Hotspot (RV Internet)
All you want is a campsite in the middle of nowhere…. with WiFi right? Leaving the smartphone, tablet, and PC at home is becoming a thing of the past. Forget relying on undependable campground Internet access, now take your connectivity wherever you go with amobile WiFi hotspot (RV Internet). Many consider a strong WIFI connection to a defining factor in their travel plans! – Phil E.
RV Solar Charging System
There is something liberating about losing the reliance on the traditional power hookup. Harnessing the freely available energy from the sun can be extremely cost effective way to camp wherever you choose with out the need for campground or RV park power. RV solar power also tends to be great for the environment in comparison to running a generator! -Russell G.
27 thoughts on “The 35+ Best RV Must Haves As Told By Seasoned RV Owners”
An LED lantern. Zip ties, for everything! A good pair of scissors.
And for fulltimers: A dehumidifier (a real one). Bought one in desperation after a rainy week in Oregon when all my normal indoor moisture control habits were useless and it became more humid than the tropics in here, and now I can’t imagine how I ever did without it.
In the winter it will keep your RV warmer, and now I can do laundry any time I want. I already had the Wonderwash and the Nina Spin Dryer; now I hang laundry on a rod, aim a fan at it to keep the air moving, and since the dehumidifier is running all day (except rare times when I’m in the desert), clothes dry quickly.
Boil a pan of water for spaghetti and forget to open a vent first? No problem. Condensation on the windows in the morning? A thing of the past. Never worry about mold, mildew, or other interior moisture damage. I will never be without one again!
Exactly right, Deborah!! Along with a GREAT crock pot cookbook!!
A good addition to a first aid kit is a bottle of plain saline solution, such as is sold for contact lenses and nasal spray. This makes a great, sterile cleaning solution for something in an eye, or for cleaning a wound. Most of the bottles will spray a good stream with some pressure, or gentle drops if you don’t squeeze the bottle. I am an RN, and the saline is a lot better than water from the campground or your regular tanks.
Yes! I use my pressure cooker all the time when camping. It is especially helpful at higher altitudes, where potatoes, beans, etc. take MUCH longer to cook. Also saves on propane with the shorter cooking time. The pot is a nice, heavy pot that is useful just used without the lid, or with a regular lid, so it isn’t really taking up valuable space. We try to be sure our cookware serves more than one purpose.
A crockpot is handy to have if you have the space. You can set it up in the morning, go gadding during the day and come back to the campsite with dinner already prepared.
well organized and accessable tool kit & spare parts kit to include fuses, screws that are a common on your unit.
Sounds like Doug is camping in the 1800’s. Time to catch up with the modern day. Put away your covered wagon and be a modern camper.
you need tablets, WIFI, automatic coffee makers, etc? what ever happened to doing this to RELAX, SLOW DOWN, and ENJOY the out of doors….last year had a 35 foot motor home park next to our travel trailer.
he leveled it out, rolled down the awning, hooked up the LARGE gas grill, put the TV dish and brought the tv out under the awning ( after he had rolled out the indoor/outdoor carpeting) set up the chairs, turned on the TV, and then complained; his problem? all the camp ground regular, full hookup RV sites were taken; he had to setup in a regular camp site and use his holding tanks and park on grass…. ruined his weekend.
gave us a great laugh-made us even happier with our wood burning fire pit & our small, used travel trailer; ( his wife enjoyed time around our fire pit also)
so even if you are full timing-slow down folks, smell the roses
Anyone know what the smoothest ( floating feeling ) tires that are the best for a 22′ motorhome on a 1 ton chase. The current tires make our ride rough and we feel every groove in the road.
Thanks for your help !
LOL yep I think we all could use one of those 😉
only thing I would need beyond your list would be a credit card paid for by Warren Buffet.
Chocks, levelers, 1 1/4 in socket for winterizing waterheater, wrench, means of raising and lowering stables. If live in car. Pod parking space, trailer valet for moving to by hand, break system, 7 pin connecter, toilet paper, shelves, spice rack for storage. Knife. Pudgy pie makers. Hot dog and marshmallow sticks, lanterns Bug spray.
Thanks Jackie, glad you like it. You could click on the red Pinterest share button before or after the article, and it will let you Pin it to your board of choice.
This list is crazy good! How can I load this to Pinterest so I can keep it?
Thanks for sharing Carol!
My favorite kitchen appliance is my Instant Pot, electric pressure cooker. It does it all from cheese cake to pork butt and it does it quicker, cooler and retains more nutrients.
I guess it depends if these so called must haves are for vacationers, part-timers or full-timers.
Thanks for the good information. We’re getting our first RV within the next year so research research research! I found some other cool stuff on http://rvmusthaves.com as well. I agree with Emily about bringing a first aid kit. Definitely something you don’t want to overlook, especially if you’re boondocking far away from immediate medical help!
Thanks for the tip Lori. Simple works! 🙂
Yardstick-great for taping those gate entry cards to so you can reach them from inside your Rv. Also good to reach items that fall into tight places
Thanks for pointing that out. Link is fixed.
Just want to point out that when you click Two-way radios it sends you to amazon for a drill
Thanks for the great tip on the spare switch David
As for spare parts, having an extra < $20 trailer emergency breakaway switch may be helpful. We were driving along the highway at 70 mph when ours failed and we were sick on the side of the road (trailer brakes locked) until we decided to cut the failed switch out of the circuit. We drove to our destination and parked, but had to go back into town and look for one the next day. Being a DC part, it was easy to install, but it took a day or of our plans to drive to a parts store the next day.
Thanks for the great tip Jeff, nice DIY solution 🙂
If you use those small green propane bottles regularly,the cost can really start adding up…I got one of those adapters from Northern Tool that you screw on to the larger bottle on your RV…or you can carry a 5 # bottle just for filling the smaller ones..you also need a pair of hemostats..they have them at Harbor Freight…you screw the adapter on the 5# bottle,invert the large tank,screw on the small bottle,clamp the hemostat on the vent valve on top of the small bottle..open the valve on the large bottle about one turn,and pull UP on the valve stem..I do this by pushing the hemostat handle down and that pulls the valve stem up..you do this to bleed out the air and then the fill process begins…when fuel starts SPITTING out the valve then release the hemostat..close the tank valve and unscrew the small bottle..it will discharge a small amount of fuel when you unscrew it…put a small amount of water in the valve hole to see if it it leaking..if you see bubbles,then tap the stem a little and it will stop…drain the water out of the valve hole…I can’t remember the last time I bought a small cyclinder…this is a MUCH cheaper way to fill these bottles…cost is around 50¢..:-) ….
Check first aid kit every trip.Many things dry up and are not useful after some time. Take along medical information for you and your pet’s. Just in case.
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