So, you’ve looked at RVs for sale, and you’re thinking about taking to the open road. When looking at travel trailers for sale, you may think all you need to consider is vehicle maintenance, and you’re good to go. But, there’s a lot that goes into traveling in an RV. Some things are must-haves, and others are a matter of making your life easier. In this article, we’ll cover what every RV needs and a few nice conveniences too.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have everything starting. While there are some non-negotiables, other items can be saved for or acquired over time. When considering what to buy, you’ll want to ask yourself:
Once you’ve asked yourself these key questions, you’re ready to make a purchase. So what exactly do you need?
All campsites are not created equal. Many sites do not offer water hookups, so you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with plenty of water for drinking and cooking. Be sure to keep in mind how many days it will be before returning to a site with water hookups. If you’re boondocking in sites like the Bureau of Land Management, you’ll need to stock up on at least two gallons per person per day.
When you return to a site with water hookups, you’ll need a way to connect your RV to the water supply. A potable water hose is a specific type of hose. You can’t use any old hose you have lying around. A garden hose will not do. This item is a must-have for lightweight travel trailers and full-size RVs alike. A potable water hose is easily recognizable at any hardware store as it’s always white. Be sure to pick up a spare, as cracks in the hose will happen eventually, and you don’t want to be stuck without a way to connect.
Many new RVs for sale have fancy automatic leveling. If you’ve bought a used RV for sale that’s an older model, you likely won’t have that feature. Unless you want to sleep all wonky, with your feet higher than your head, you’re going to want leveling blocks. Leveling blocks will allow you to level out your trailer when you’ve parked on uneven ground. You might be inclined to think that these are a matter of convenience, but they’re a must-have. Running your refrigerator when your trailer isn’t level can ruin your fridge. Pick up leveling blocks at a trailer supply store or a hardware store before you set out to travel. Store them in an easy-to-reach place because, by the time you park at the end of a long day of travel, you won’t want to have to go hunting for them.
Ahh, it’s not a fun job, but somebody’s got to do it. Eventually, you’re going to have to empty your RV’s wastewater tanks. You’ll need the proper hose to allow a large volume of water to flow easily. Supports for the sewer hose are necessary to keep water from pooling up and back-logging the system. The supports will enable the water to drain freely, efficiently, and quickly. Best to get the job over with.
Speaking of waste, let’s talk toilets. Nothing is worse than the foul odor of an unkempt bathroom smelling up your RV. To help break down solid waste in your RVs blackwater holding tank, you’ll need RV toilet chemicals. These specialty chemicals reduce odors and extend the life of your holding tank. If you’re having images of measuring out toxic chemicals, don’t. These chemicals come in handy, easy-to-use pods that you simply drop down into your toilet and flush. When you empty the blackwater, the chemicals go with it, so you’ll need to replace the pod after each cycle.
While we’re on the topic of toilets, it’s important to mention that you can’t use regular toilet paper in an RV. Ordinary toilet paper doesn’t break down quickly enough and will clog up your system. It bunches up in the hose when you try to drain your blackwater, resulting in a nasty mess, the likes of which you’ll never forget if you ever have to deal with it. Do yourself a favor and don’t find out what that’s like. Invest in Rv-friendly toilet paper from the start. While it’s a little more spendy than regular toilet paper, it’s worth the investment.
Okay, so when you were gazing at the RV dealership for sale signs, you didn’t have visions of emergency flares and a first-aid kit. But guess what? Being a traveler of the great wide open means being prepared for the unexpected. You never know when you might get a flat tire and have to pull off on an incredibly narrow shoulder. You’ll want to have a hazard sign for the road. Likewise, RV adventurers tend to love to do a lot of hiking. Sprains and scrapes happen, and you’ll need a first-aid kit to handle them. Don’t be caught off guard. An emergency kit is a relatively inexpensive investment that you’ll be grateful to have when the need arises.
Now that we’ve covered what every RV needs, let’s talk about some things that can make your life easier on the open road. While these things don’t count as must-haves, they’ll add comfort and convenience to your life. Considering how much time you will be spending in your RV, investing in convenience and comfort is worth a few extra dollars.
Wait, what? Yes, that’s right, I said glass jugs. These are incredibly inexpensive to come by. You can find gallon glass jugs of apple juice at most natural food stores. Once you’ve drunk the delicious juice, save the jar. These jars come in handy when you’re boondocking somewhere without electricity. Fill the glass jar with boiling water and seal the lid tightly. Wrap the jug in a towel, place it in your bed, and it will keep you toasty warm all night long.
Speaking of sleeping in comfort, you haven’t slept until you’ve slept on a foam mattress topper. Nothing is better on your back after a long day of driving than climbing into a supportive, firm but soft pillowy topper of comfort. Investing in quality sleep is investing in waking up in a good mood. A foam mattress topper will change your bed from a basic place to flop down at the end of the day to a den of coziness you look forward to resting in.
Sometimes the wind carries sticks, leaves, and other debris onto your slide out, and you need to climb up there and clear it off before bringing it in. A collapsible ladder will take the struggle out of an otherwise challenging job, and they don’t take up much space. When you’re not using your ladder for climbing, they can make a convenient place to hang beach towels outside the RV. Who doesn’t love a multi-purpose purchase?
The most precious commodity in your RV is space. Pots and pans take up a lot of room in your RV’s kitchen. Nesting cookware fits nicely inside itself, offering large, medium, and small cookpots that stack together. These pots are technically a matter of convenience, but once you’ve experienced the glorious joy of having every cookpot you need take up one cupboard, you’ll never go back.
The instant pot is a staple of the RV community. Nothing beats being able to park after a long day on the road, throw some ingredients together, and have a hot delicious meal ready in twenty minutes. Your instant pot is another great way to save on space because it can replace the crockpot and large cookpots. Unlike the pressure cookers of old, the instant pot is safe and easy to use. It won’t turn on if the safety lock isn’t correctly in place. It cooks stews, beans, soups, rice, and any meat.
If you’re worried about affording your RV essentials, begin your RV adventure by shopping around. Look at used travel trailers for sale from a reputable dealer like RV Wholesalers. They offer reasonable prices on trailers for sale and carry used travel trailers in great shape. When looking at used campers for sale, remember that buying used provides the option of paying cash outright. Paying cash outright means you won’t have payments down the road, which can help you afford your RV essentials.
Once you’ve purchased your RV and you set out to travel, be sure to make a budget each month. Pencil in money for fuel, maintenance, food, internet/cell phones, entertainment, essentials like RV toilet paper, and unexpected/miscellaneous. We hope this list of RV essentials will help get you ready for fun adventures on the open road. Whether you’re taking a short vacation or RV full-timing, we wish you happy travels!