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There is a reason why so many people love the open road so much – it symbolizes freedom. In fact, just packing up your RV with the appropriate RV essentials and taking it out on the road for a prolonged period of time is freedom.
You can go anywhere you like (with a road network). You get to customize your itinerary as you go, and you decide when to drive, when to just park the vehicle and enjoy the countryside. Heck, you even be able to decide how long you will be gone for based on how you feel.
Of course, how successful your RV trip is depends on your level of preparedness. If you are taking your first ever RV trip, you might not be as well prepared as those who are taking their 50th drive.
That, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t have just as much fun. With this list of RV essentials, you can be just as prepared and have just as much fun out on the road as veteran RVers do.
RV Essentials for Your First Trip
First things first, just because you are going to be driving your RV across the country, that doesn’t mean that clothes are optional. You still need to wear your usual clothing (not necessarily anything fancy but some t-shirts, jeans and other casual types of clothes will do just fine). You will also need the usual toiletries and whatever personal hygiene products you prefer.
You will also need things like silverware, dishes, cups, towels, bedsheets, pillows, and all those nice things to make your life comfortable. Let’s assume that you have all this covered and all you want to know is the other essential products that a first time RV owner or renter might typically forget or unwittingly not know that they need:
1. Leveling Blocks
You’re not always going to be on paved, level ground. The whole idea of driving an RV across the country is so you can enjoy “the country.” This often calls for going off the beaten track and taking some back roads.
The problem with this is that RV’s don’t do very well on unlevel ground. For starters, most RV refrigerators only work when the RV is level…so you definitely to consider that. Also, for your own comfort, you want to park your RV on level ground for the night.
That is why you need RV leveling blocks. Whenever you hit unlevel ground, all you have to do is drive your trailer over this to level your camper horizontally.
While it’s true that some RV’s come equipped with self-leveling gear, these level blocks come in handy if you are using one that isn’t as advanced and still come in handy when your unit does have leveling capability.
2. An Automotive Level
How do you know that your camper is actually level after driving your trailer over leveling blocks? You use an automotive level. You can get a couple of these and use one inside to measure how level the camper is side to side as well as one on the hitch to ensure that the RV is level front to back.
3. Wheel Chocks – RV Essentials
These are a MUST-HAVE for those who take their safety seriously. If you don’t want your RV rolling away when you unhitch for the night, then you need reliable, heavy-duty wheel chocks which will also help prevent your RV from rocking. Granted, you could DIY this by using random stones, but if you aren’t into all that scavenging work, then you need the right kind of wheel chocks.
4. Sewer Hose
The best, sewer hose for RV use have swivel fittings. This type of sewer hose can more easily connect to your dump port and empty your bathroom or sink. This sewer hose hooks into the side of your RV and needs to be screwed into the ground pipe.
5. Water Pressure Regulator and Fresh Water Hose
You will need a fresh water hose specifically designed for RVs to help bring in fresh water from your camping ground hookups. This is essential for showering, flushing the toilet, and for the sink. You will also need a water pressure regulator. This is essential. Otherwise, any kind of water surge from your hookups could end up damaging your pipes and flooding your RV with water.
6. Water Filter – RV Essentials
While it is true that you may choose to bring along bottled water for drinking and so on, it is also true that this only adds to the weight of your RV. One way to minimize this is to buy a reliable RV water filter. This will ensure that whatever water runs into and through your RV for bathing, cooking, and so on is clean water.
7. Tank Treatments
If there is one task that most RV owners would rather not do, it is dumping their tanks. If you are not careful, the ensuing smell can put a real damper on your RV experience. The good news is that, while you periodically have to dump your waste tanks, you don’t have to suffer these smells. With the right tank treatment options, you can all but eliminate this unpleasant odor and make dumping your tanks a breeze.
8. Electrical Line and Surge Protectors
You will need a safe way to run electricity to your rig. Depending on the size of your RV, you might need a 30amp or a 50amp electrical line to keep all your gadgets and the camper itself safe from power surges that could not only short your gadgets but also set your RV on fire in extreme cases.
In that case, you will also need a fire extinguisher. Granted, most RVs come with this as part of the package, but just in case yours doesn’t have one, you need to get it. Also, having more than one is never a bad thing.
Apart from all this, you will also need the typical personal safety gear such as flashlights or headlamps and a reliable supply of fresh batteries for your trip. This is just good practice.
You should also include a complete first aid kit, a basic tool kit, jumper cables, and some duct tape. In short, having a “general preparedness” mindset is the best way to approach your first RV trip.
Other than that, the above list highlights the most basic of RV essentials to get you started on what might be the best road trip of your life.
If you want some ideas for completing your kitchen, click here to read our kitchen accessories post.
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