After living in an Airstream, we learned a lot about the good, bad, and the uglies of RV life. We also found that the RV community is welcoming and always eager to teach you tips and tricks. Airstreamers especially have a special bond with other Airstreamers.
If this is your first time, we made a list of essential RV accessories to make adjusting to life on the road smoother. A lot of these you can buy while you’re on the road, so we suggest you get out and experience RV life and get these as you go.
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Last Updated: January 5, 2020
Must Have RV Accessories
Every RV is different and every RVer is too. We all have our preferences on what we consider essentials and what we call luxuries. We went ahead and organized the accessories into different categories. If you think we’re missing anything, let us know!
Most RVs will come with the basic hoses and cables, but if you’re spending a significant time in your RV, it’s worth upgrading to longer, better ones.
- Premium Drinking Water Hose
- Heated Drinking Water Hose – especially if you spend a lot of time in cold weather spots.
- Sewer Hose Kit – includes a transparent Elbow piece which is a game-changer
- Sewer Hose Support
- Power Cord (30 Amp / 50 Amp)
- Surge Protector (30 Amp / 50 Amp) – Campgrounds don’t always have the most reliable electricity. This will protect your RV.
Pro Tip: If you’re still a newbie, try out what they gave you for a couple of weeks, and then figure out how long of a cable you need.
When you’re ready to set up camp and sleep, you want it to be level and to ensure your home will stay put. Be sure to check if your RV model has any built-in level system. If not, here are a few items you should consider getting.
Whether you have to work on your car and RV or have to dump your tanks, gloves are extremely handy. I’ve seen a lot of people recommend disposable gloves, but I always preferred having rubber gloves dedicated to dumping tanks. I keep the gloves with the dirty tubes separate from everything else.
It’s also helpful to have some work gloves for anything else you need to do outside that’s dirty but not poopy.
Pro Tip: We’ve read that some people don’t use RV Toilet Paper, but it is recommended by the manufacturers. Maybe we need to look into an RV bidet!
A water filter is a must. These are pretty standard and we always had an extra one on hand. They’re easy to use and make the water safe to drink.
Walkie Talkies are helpful when there’s no cell service, especially when you’re caravanning. It also helps when you’re first learning how to park your RV, a big source of arguments among couples (including us). Instead of screaming at each other from a distance, you can bicker over your walkie talkies.
If you’re trying to do any work, check email, or stay in touch with people, a Verizon Jetpack is one of the must have RV accessories.
As bloggers, we relied heavily on it while on the road. We even met some RVers who used two cell providers and some who used every cell provider to cover more area.
Pro Tip: We were able to lease an unlimited wifi pack from someone on eBay when we were looking for one. There’s no guarantee with it, but it was worth the risk for us.
There are a few different configurations for solar panels on an RV. Some people mount it to the top, but other people prefer having ones that can be placed anywhere so on hot days you can keep your RV in the shade but place your solar panels in the sun.
We recently picked up a Jackery Power Station + two solar panels that we use for car camping now, but it will definitely come with us RVing too. That way we can use the power station for anything we need while we’re boondocking.
Note: They have a brand new product coming out soon that we’re excited to check out.
Most of the time you’re on the road, you’ll be visiting beautiful places off the beaten path. That also means you most likely won’t have service in a lot of spots.
An RV GPS is really helpful because it helps you get around, but also takes into account things normal drivers don’t have to worry about, like steep grade, sharp turns, RV parks, low clearances, etc.
A headlamp is extremely useful when you’re trying to get stuff done outside the RV at night, or if you’re at a campsite trying to walk to a bathroom.
We discovered this new headlamp that is easily our new favorite! It has a social mode that dims when you’re looking at people but gets bright when you’re looking down.
We’ve been trying to create less waste when we discovered Swedish Dishcloths. They soak up a ton of water, dry quickly, and are easy to clean and reuse.
One thing you learn quickly is how limited space is in an RV. One of the best ways to save space is by using collapsible products in your kitchen. Here are some of our favorites:
Pro Tip: We also stopped using any glassware or things that could easily break while being tossed around in your cabinets.
We had no idea what a fridge fan was until a fellow Airstreamer gifted us one. RV refrigerators are known to have bad air circulation, which means the cold air stays at the bottom and food spoils.
These fans help keep the fridge equally cool and also helps the fridge cool faster when you have it on.
Instant Pots are great and easy ways to cook delicious meals. Plus they’re easy to clean and usually don’t require much else. Check out some of our favorite recipes.
We love campfires but sometimes they take too much effort to start and clean up one. This propane gas fire pit is perfect for RVing.
It’s compact so it doesn’t take up too much space, plus it’s CSA approved which means you can often use it during campfire bans (although you should always check local restrictions).
We loved spending time outside when RVing. Especially since inside space is very limited. Here are some of our favorite outdoor setups:
Now that we’ve established the outdoors is your living room, an outdoor mat can really make it feel like home. Especially since you don’t know what conditions the ground will always be.
Exploring the outdoors is even more fun when you have some equipment to get out there. Here are a few that we have:
- Inflatable SUP Board – packs down when you don’t need it
- Electric Bike – a great way to get around
- Oru Kayak – folds up when you’re not using it (this one is still on our wishlist)
Our friend introduced us to Dr. Bronners soap years ago, and we’ve been hooked since. It can be used for almost anything. We used it for showering, washing our clothes, dishes, and even for brushing our teeth from time to time (the brushing I don’t recommend).
Pro Tip: Make sure you secure all your toiletries that can spill. We left ours accidentally in the shower while we were driving one day and it fell over and spilled. Our place smelled like mint for days, which wasn’t bad, but we were sad about all the soap waste.
A basic tool set is always good to have with you on the road. Besides that, a lot of people recommend a torque wrench to check the torque on your RV tires regularly. You should have a wrench that’s rated for twice the amount of torque you need.
Tire covers are important in helping extend the life of your tires. They are especially helpful if you’re spending time in hot environments and when your RV gets a lot of sun exposure.
We didn’t use them because we typically move on from a destination if it was either too hot or cold. But we will definitely use them in the future if we plan on sticking to one spot long term.
RVs come with a mattress, but they’re usually not the best. If you plan on traveling long term or plan on being a full-time RVer, it’s worth upgrading to something nicer. Getting good rest is always important.
As much as we don’t want it to happen, car troubles happen on the road. It’s important to have an emergency car kit and it’s super helpful to have a portable compressor too so you can ensure your tires on inflated.
Apps are super helpful when navigating the roads in an RV. We used Allstays and Gas Buddy all the time.
National Parks were our favorite places to explore in our RV so an annual National Park Pass is a must. Even if you only visit 3 national parks, it’s worth it! Plus, you save time at the gate.
Pro Tip: If you plan on visiting a bunch, pick up a National Park Passport to keep track of where you’ve been.
Additional RV Accessories
- Water Pressure Regulator – to protect your pipes
- Hose Y – in case you need to split your water
- Hitch Lock – for RVs with trailers
- Holding Tank Treatment
- WiFi Ranger
- Video Doorbell
- Solar Powered Motion Sensor Lights
- Sound Grenade
- Fuse Kit
- Aluminum Drinking Cups
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Portable Propane Grill
- Tension Rods – to keep items in your cabinets and fridge secure
- Tabletop Ice Maker
- Reflectix – great for extra insulation
- Roof Vent Cover – lets you keep the vents open when it’s raining
- Bear Spray
- Telescoping Ladder
- Higher Hangers – saves space in the small closet
- Backup Camera
- LED Road Flares
- Dash Cam
- US States Map Stickers
Can you think of any other must have RV accessories? Any of these on your wishlist?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.