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The 35+ Best RV Must Haves As Told By Seasoned RV Owners

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Waterproof Lighter and/or Matches

Having a way to start the grill and fire is just a flat out necessity for most camping trips. At the very least carry a cheap lighter or matchbook. If you are serious about it, then spring for a waterproof lighter that will still produce a flame in up to 80mph winds and is refillable. –Travis N.

Serving Tray for Outdoor Dining

Moving food items from your RV kitchen to the picnic table outside is a task all its own. It makes it so much easier if you have a serving tray to load up to transfer things back and forth. They come in all shapes and sizes, most folks prefer the serving trays that are dishwasher safe! – Lynda T.

Extra Hoses and Cords

Whether it is water hose, sewer hose, or a 30/50 amp extension cord, it is better to have too much then not enough. The best bet is to carry and extra 50’ of water hose, 50’ of extension cord, and 30’ of sewer hose to be safe. – Adam S.

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Outdoor Stove and Ovens

Cooking outdoors can be one of the most gratifying aspects of RVing. Making breakfast, lunch, and dinner while taking in some fresh air doesn’t hurt! Outdoor propane grills are extremely popular, especially the Weber Q series (-Gerry P.). Other reader favorites include Camp Chef Dutch Oven (-Richard W.) , Camp Chef Outdoor Oven (-Gretchen M.).

Indoor Cooking Tools

Thought outdoor cooking is preferred by many, weather and preference keep folks inside the RV. Some of the favorites for indoor cooking are the NuWave Oven (indoor/outdoor use) and the electric skillet. –Rhonda B. and Cathy M.

Memory Foam Mattress

Just because it is camping does not mean you need to be uncomfortable right? Many RV owners choose to swap out the bulgy unforgiving mattress that comes standard in lieu of something a little more consistent with a good nights rest. The most popular options come from Tempurpedic, Sleep Innovations, Lucid, and Spa Sensations. The options vary widely in quality and pricing based on your budget. Keep in mind that many RV’s feature a mattress size that is not available from most mattress manufacturers. Be sure to measure twice and buy once. The nice part about memory foam is that it can be trimmed to the size to suit your needs. – Chris L.

RV Satellite Dish

Camping certainly means different things to different folks. Some like to leave technology at home while others like to bring the creature comforts along for the ride. Having RV satellite TV service allows for entertainment where ever you are and can be one of the most entertaining aspects of the RV lifestyle. –Kenneth T. and Ray L.

Minor Repair Gear

When you have something as mobile as a RV, it is bound to have a few issues. Having the items handy to make small repairs is very important.

  • Many of the RV owners we heard from touted the necessity of a tool kit (basic at a minimum), duct tape, and work gloves. It is probably worthwhile to have them all! (-Tom B.)
  • Throw in a small axe and shovel along with keeping a stash of items for electrical repairs such as fuses, electrical tape, wire connectors, etc. (-Gary P.)
  • It doesn’t hurt to keep a cordless drill around for all kinds of uses. Repairs, lowering and raising stabilizers, some folks even use it to wash clothes in a bucket! (– Hugo P.)
  • Keep some Silicone Rescue Tape available for quick fixes on fuel lines and hoses. It will only be temporary for some applications but it can be a permanent solution for water lines and hoses. – William L.

Music

Every single person has a unique taste when it comes to their musical preference. So whatever it is that relaxes you and puts you in a good mood, have it handy. But to do that you will need a way to get that music to play at your campsite. It is popular to have a accessory speaker that connects to your particular mobile device (android, iphone, or tablet) via cord or Bluetooth. You could also bring a portable boom box that connects to your smartphone, plays CD’s and even the radio. If you are musically inclined then perhaps leave the technology behind and pack your guitar! – John T.

Stuff to Sit/Lay On

We received more messages and recommendations on this topic than any other. RV’ers are passionate about this topic and rightly so! The most popular variations were camping chairs and hammocks.

Auto Sewer Flush Valve

Dealing with the realities of the black water tank can be a little tough for some RV owners to deal with. It is important to keep both your black and grey water tanks clean for a plethora of reasons. With a flush valve this process becomes far less of a chore. Great video here on how it works if you are curious. – Vicki C.

Portable Ice Cube Maker

Freezing cube in a RV can be a pain. Many folks end up making trips to the general store to keep coolers full of ice. The alternative is to keep a portable ice maker handy that can pump out as much as 50lbs. a day of ice! – Ray L.

Cleaning Wipes

Some people swear by the baby wipes while others prefer the Wet Ones, or Lysol wipes. They are wonderful for almost any cleaning project and ready to go when you are. Regardless of your chosen wipe, Jim W. said it best “They will clean anything but a fish.”

Head Lamps/Flashlight

If you exit your RV at night for any reason then it makes sense to have a light. Whether it is to check someone outside the RV, walk the dog, or to walk to the front office. Most RV owners keep a high quality flash light at a minimum. The folks who are more active outdoors at night or those that bring pets along seem to enjoy head lamps. Head lamps can help you avoid issues with your walking path and make a nighttime repairs SO much easier. – @MarginallyNice

Tablet (iPad, Android)

It seems that more and more RV owners are leaving the laptop and PC behind and bringing their tablets instead. If you have one then you probably are already aware of the dozens and dozens of things a tablet can do. Some of the favorites of our readers are using it as a mobile library where thousands of books can be stored on a single device (-Fred C.), a digital recipe book, mapping system, internet browser, a digital photo album, movie screen, camping checklist, music player, and countless other functions. The majority or tablet owners choose an iPad as far as we can tell. The more budget minded and tech-savvy choose a tablet running Google’s Android Operating System.

Safety Stuff

When you are traveling and away from home enjoying the outdoors it is a “when” not “if” situation when it comes to safety and injury. This inspires many RV campers to carry a thorough first aid kit, life vests (for children primarily), and reflective vest (roadside emergency). – Mary C., Jose D., and Bree W.

RV Must Haves – What Did We Miss?

Did you think of a few RV Must Haves while reading this list? See Something that was not mentioned here that should be? Please share it with everyone in the comments section below!

27 thoughts on “The 35+ Best RV Must Haves As Told By Seasoned RV Owners”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. well organized and accessable tool kit & spare parts kit to include fuses, screws that are a common on your unit.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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 !

  9. only thing I would need beyond your list would be a credit card paid for by Warren Buffet.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. This list is crazy good! How can I load this to Pinterest so I can keep it?

    Many thanks,

    J

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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¢..:-) ….

  18. 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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