Basic RV Accessories Starter Kit: RV Gear You Need!

Before heading to your first campground with your new RV, you’ll need some basic accessories before hauling out and setting up your campsite. This basic starter kit includes all the RV gear you need to plug into electric, hook up the water, empty your tanks and everything in between. 

So, let’s see what we’ve laid out as our most recommended camper accessories kit for RVs to help you get you set up for the road.

Basic RV Accessories Starter Kit: RV Gear You Need!

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RV Accessories: ELECTRIC COMPONENTS

Electrical System Surge Protector

Always On Liberty - RV Surge Guard Surge Protector

Some campgrounds are known to have dirty electricity or spikes that could damage all of the electrical components inside your RV or camper. But also, even being plugged into your own house can cause an electrical surge or spike in electricity. So, it’s important to protect your RV and all of its’ electrical components and appliances.

A surge protector provides that line side protection from the pedestal and provides protection on the load side. It also protects you from frequency issues.

This means that if you have power faults occurring from wiring issues or equipment failures, this system will protect your RV’s electrical system. Any elevated ground current issues in the RV will be detected and your RV’s electric system will be cut off instantly. 

For our big rig RV fifth wheel, we used the 50Amp surge protector. But for those with smaller towable campers, truck campers, caravans and tiny motorhomes like our Winnebago View,  you’ll only need a 30Amp surge protector instead. there are other electrical protection options as well.

RV Accessories - Surge Protector - Surge Guard 34951 50amp

50Amp Surge Guard Portable Total Electrical Protection

RV Accessories - Surge Protector - Surge Guard 34931 30amp

30Amp Surge Guard Portable Total Electrical Protection

These Surge Guard surge protectors have a lifetime warranty that includes connected equipment coverage. This mean that if this unit fails and damage occurs to equipment in your RV that Surge Guard may pay for those damages. (Always verify warranty information for details).

So, before plugging your RV, albeit motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer’s electric cord into any electric source or power pedestal, always test the electricity with a surge protector first before plugging in your RV electrical cord.

TechnoRV - Surge Guard Banner

Electrical Cord Adapters

RV Accessories - RV Electric Power Cord Adapter

Some RV parks and campgrounds may not have the exact electric pedestal setup needed for your specific RV. So, it’s smart to keep a couple RV electrical adapters (also known as dog bones) to convert power to your RV.

For a 30amp RV (vans, smaller motorhomes and travel trailers, truck campers), you’ll need a 50 amp male to 30 amp female adapter. You may need this to convert from 50amp electric source to accommodate your 30amp RV.

For a 50amp RV (larger motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers) you’ll need a 30 amp male to 50 amp adapter that converts from 30amp electric source to accommodate your 50amp RV.

RV Accessories: WATER COMPONENTS

Potable Water Hose

Always On Liberty - RV Potable Water Hose

In RV parks or campgrounds, it’s easy to tell which water hoses are for potable water. They come in either white or blue water hoses to signify they are for potable water only. This water hose is the one you connect to the water spigot and into your RV utility panel or your camper’s incoming water port.

We have a 50′ marine grade drinking potable water hose. We originally had the 25′ foot water hose however, we found that some campgrounds have different utility configurations which may require longer length of hose. Or, we may need to reach a potable water spigot that’s further away from our motorhome.

However, since trading in our fifth wheel for our small Class C motorhome, we also downsized to an expandable zero gravity drinking water hose that takes up less space in our small storage compartment.

Water Pressure Regulator

Adjustable Brass Water Pressure Regulator

water pressure regulator attaches to the campground water spigot. It reduces incoming water pressure to 50-55 psi that feeds from the water source, through your RV potable water hose and into your RV. This must have water hose accessory protects and prevents both your water hose and your RV’s plumbing from high pressure that could lead to your pipes bursting.

Also, the screened washer prevents debris from running through your camper water system and is easy to clean.

Read more: Why an RV Water Pressure Regulator is a MUST for ALL Campers

Water Filter

RV Accessories Starter Kit - RV Water Filter

Before connecting our potable water hose and water pressure regulator (above) into our RV utility panel, we also connect a water filter system to our hose.

A larger capacity RV water filter lasts an entire season. This 100 micron fiber filter greatly reduces bad taste, odors, chlorine and sediment as well as prevents bacteria growth in drinking water. Plus, it helps to eliminate hard water spots.

RV TIP: ONLY procure water from POTABLE WATER sources only. Never fill your RV water tank using the water spigot located at the dump stations unless there is a separate spigot labeled “Potable Water”.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive water filter system, take a look at our 2-Stage RV Water Filter System we had in our fifth wheel.

RV TIP: Before hooking up your RV water hose to any water source, we recommend spraying the spigot threads and handle with straight bleach and wiping with a clean cloth to remove anything you don’t want to ingest.

Always On Liberty - Clear Source Water Filter Dan

Read more: Clear Source RV Water Filter System

RV Accessories: SEWER, BLACK TANK & GRAY TANK

Sewer Hose and Connectors

RV Accessories - Sewer Hose Connectors

You’ll need a sewer hose and proper fitting connectors whether you’re hooked up to sewer at your site or when you have to empty your tanks at the dump station. We use an RV sewer hose kit which includes a swivel fitting, translucent elbow with 4-In-1 dump station fitting, and storage caps.

By the way, if you’re short on storage space in your motorhome or trailer’s basement compartments, check out how we store our RV sewer hose storage tube.

Check out our Valterra Sewer Hose Storage info video below:

Disposable Gloves

Always On Liberty - Rubber Gloves

Anytime you deal with your black tank and sewer chores, you need to stock a box of protective gloves. They are nice to have if you have to repack wheel bearings or do messy maintenance tasks. It’s smart  to have them on hand to clean out the fire pit or pick up trash before you pack up to leave. But, make certain you get the correct size. 

It’s also a good idea to keep a few pair of disposable gloves in your toad or tow vehicle to use at fuel stations, working under the hood or picking up trash.

Black Tank Treatment

Most RV owners use a black tank treatment because to eliminate the odors and break down the poop in the black tank. The two most popular brands are Happy Camper and Camco TST ultra concentrate black tank treatments. Whichever you use, it’s important to know how to properly clean and maintain your black tank before even setting out on the highway.

Sometimes though, we may use the geo method as recommended by a leading holding tank specialist in our video on RV holding tanks and water system maintenance. 

RV Toilet Paper

Let’s just say, all bathroom tissue is not created equal. There is such a thing as RV toilet paper. However, as you’ll find out from other RVers, it’s expensive for ‘what it is’. So, take it from others (and us) that you don’t need to waste your money on specialized paper that’s going down the crapper.

To be on the safe side, just purchase toilet tissue that specifies as septic safe. Personally, we use Scott rapid dissolving toilet paper. Because the last thing we need is clumps of toilet paper clogging up our black tank. Rapid dissolving or septic safe toilet paper breaks up almost instantly. It’s actually the same stuff.

Seriously though, since you’re not going to be needing large quantities, you can usually find regular septic-safe toilet paper at your grocery or big box stores in single rolls or four-packs. We use Scott’s brand 1000 sheet rolls. 

RV TIP:  NEVER flush anything other than septic safe toilet paper into your black tank. Never flush feminine products, personal hygiene or baby wipes down your RV toilet. Always flush LOTS OF WATER!

RV Accessories: MECHANICS

Basic RV Tool Kit

RV Tool Kit - Tool Bag

We talked about having basic tools in a previous article. To find out what we put in our RV tool kit, check out our ideal Top 10 RV Tool Kit Must HavesAlso, you should include these in addition to your RV accessories starter kit:

RV Accessories: STABILIZATION

Leveling Blocks and Wheel Chocks

RV Accessories - Camco Leveling Blocks

Our stackable leveling blocks were the very first thing we ever purchase for our RV fifth wheel. And, for good reason! They are a multi use leveler for under RV leveling jacks.  But also, they can be placed under tires for those hard-to-level sites. And, for trailers, they can be used as a tongue wheel support

The best part is they are virtually unbreakable. They can hold up to 40,000 pounds gross vehicle weight on a firm level ground or 10,000 pounds per wheel. 

Read more: How to Stabilize Your RV – Leveling Tips and Tools

Yellow Plastic Tire Chock

Also, in addition to a set of leveling blocks, it would be a good idea to keep a couple lightweight wheel chocks to place in front of or behind your RV tires wherever you park or camp. they will help to keep your camper from rolling forward or backward while parked. Wheel chocks are also a must-have for towable RVs when conducting your pull-test before getting underway.

Speaking of which, check out how towing specialists CURT demonstrates how to properly couple your fifth wheel and perform a tug testusing wheel chocks to ensure your fifth wheel hitch system is secure and ready for towing.

 

On the topic of RV tires, it’s important to know how to care for them properly on the road as well as when you’re RV is parked. In our Proper RV Tire Safety and Maintenance article, we talk about some basic tire safety tips and other RV gear essentials you’ll need.

RV Accessories: RV CLEANING GEAR

Broom and Dust Pan

Once you get to your campsite, you’ll soon realize the need for a broom and dust pan. While a vacuum cleaner may be nice, who wants to lug it out just to do a simple sweep? You can also use the broom to sweep off your RV roof and slide tops as well as the bed of your truck if necessary.

Read more: RV Roof Inspection, Cleaning and Maintenance

Wash Bucket

RV Accessories - Collapsible Bucket

From washing your kids dirty feet before entering the camper, washing soiled clothes, dishwashing or hand-washing your RV, a bucket is a must for every RVer.

Since regular buckets take up valuable space in your camper’s storage compartments, we have grown to love those collapsible buckets. We’ve tried others but we found the 3 gallon size bucket is perfect for doing our chores. But also, they are great for fishing or just toting supplies.

Clean Shop Rags

We always keep a good supply of microfiber cleaning cloths for all of our chores inside the RV or outside. When we order, we try to get a multi-color pack to divide into our specific chores. These soft and lint free cloths are perfect for dusting, polishing, multi-surface cleaning, etc.

If they get soiled or oily, just toss them in the trash as to not get any chemicals on other surfaces. However, our light-use cloths are simply thrown in the washer to clean.

RV TIP:  Be aware! A lot of campgrounds and RV parks disallow RV washing. To keep your motorhome or camper looking great, see how we keep our RV sparkling using Waterless Wash Wax ALL for RVs and Automobiles

Don’t forget to read about other RV gear that you may need:

Best Practical Gifts for RV Owners for Under $10

100+ Ultimate Best Gift Ideas for RV Owners

Outdoor Camping Gear for Small RVs and Campers

Must Have RV Emergency and Roadside Safety Gear

Epic Tailgating Gear for Weekend Camping

If you’re looking for more great additions to your RV starter kit to equip your RV with, we’ve put together a collaboration video with some of our favorite full-time RV friends who talk about their favorites:

Lastly, here’s a video we put together with 10 other experienced RVers on what RV accessories they DON’T recommend! Check ’em out!

That’s a Wrap on our RV Accessories Starter Kit

So that wraps up what RV gear you need to stock your RV with before getting underway. Regardless if your motorhome or camper is new vs. new-to-you, you will need these basic essentials so you can enjoy camping. 

I’m sure there’s more you can add to your own list but this what you need to get you started on your RV adventures. We do caution you to not go out and buy every RV gadget out there when you first get your motorhome or camper. You’ll only end up wasting your money on things that you seriously don’t need or won’t fit your RV. Just go with our gear recommendations to get started on your camping adventure. 

Always On Liberty RV Accessories Starter Kit

Amazon RV Parts Accessories

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4 Replies to “Basic RV Accessories Starter Kit: RV Gear You Need!”

  1. Thetford Aqua Kem has formaldehyde in it. Many campgrounds don’t want people to use chemicals like this in their tanks as it is bad for septic systems. Formaldehyde is also a carcinogen. Here is the MSDS on it. https://www.bac-online.com/…/pdf/AQUA-KEM-32OZ_SDS.pdf

    1. Thank you for that note, Darol. In our 6 years on the road, we’ve never run into any campground or RV park who has put any stipulation on what is dumped into the sewer except for baby wipes and foreign objects.

  2. Excellent info…we have spent alot of time in the Southwest where the water is VERY hard. We bought a Flow-Pur RV-PRO 10,000 Portable Water Softener, and you can recharge it with table salt

    1. Hi Chuck & Deb, we had a similar one when we owned our fifth wheel. However, now with our small Class C motorhome, we’re not in one location long enough plus, storage is at a premium. But yes, those are pretty awesome! Thanks for reading! -Dan & Lisa

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