Wondering what basic RV accessories you need for your brand new or new-to-you RV i.e. a travel trailer, motorhome, 5th wheel, A-frame, or even popup camper? This guide will help you with the functional and utilitarian side of RVing. There are thousands upon thousands of items you can spend your money on but for now, let’s stick with basic RV accessories that are absolutely necessary.
The first basic RV accessory you’ll need when you arrive at your campsite is wheel chocks. Wheel chocks are absolutely necessary for safety. They are used to keep your trailer from rolling while you are hitching, unhitching, and when not hitched to your tow vehicle.
I like these basic, well-made chocks. Heavy Duty Rubber Wheel Chock with Eyebolt, 2 Pack
For information about properly choking your wheels, check out this video.
Leveling devices are must-have basic RV accessories. There are a lot of choices for leveling. There are leveling blocks or curved levelers. You place them in front or behind your tires on the low side and drive up onto them until you are level. If you travel alone and have more than one axle, leveling blocks may be a good choice. Curved levelers are more difficult to use without another person.
I used Anderson Levelers for a couple of years and while they are so easy to install and get level, they are brutal to remove if you’re traveling alone. My wheels are fairly close together and the levelers get stuck between my tires. Mine also cracked. Anderson has a lifetime guaranty that I would take advantage of but I find a different type just works better for me.
I use these. RVMATE RV Leveling Blocks, 10 Pack
Each RV has a specific power cord requirement. Generally, 20, 30, or 50 amp are most common.
Your RV will probably come with a power cord. If you buy used be sure to inspect it for areas that are frayed or look burned or melted. If you see anything that is not up to par please replace it. If you’re not sure what you need, take the old one in with you and ask for help choosing the proper replacement. Cords with a 90 degree angled plug on the RV connection end last longer because there is less stress on the cord.
Electrical Cord Adapters
It’s always a good idea to have a power adapter or two in your basic RV accessories arsenal. Sometimes you’ll only have access to a 50 amp outlet but you have a 30 amp plug. In that situation, you can use a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter. You can also adapt your 50 amp power cord to fit a 30 amp receptacle using a 30 amp to 50 amp adapter. It’s also a good idea to have an adapter to plug into an ordinary household outlet just in case you find yourself moochdocking in someone’s driveway.
This is a 50 to 30 amp adapter. RVGUARD 50 Amp to 30 Amp RV Adapter Cord
This is a 30 to 50 amp adapter. CircleCord 30 Amp to 50 Amp RV Adapter Cord
If your RV runs on a 50 amp service but you are in a campground that only has a 30 amp hookup, you’ll need a 50 to 30 amp adapter. The same is true when you have an RV with 30 am service and the only hookups are 50 amp. This is a rare situation but it does happen and it’s a good idea to be prepared.
Other basic RV accessories to have are adapters for a regular 110 household outlet and a generator if you use one. I keep an adapter on hand for a regular household outlet. There are times when I’m in a friend or family driveway and I can plug into their power. Just be careful not to overload the circuit. If you can, choose a 20 or 30 amp circuit that is not being used for anything else. That can be a tall order but it’ll go more smoothly if it’s an option.
I like these little ones because they don’t take much space. The one below is for a 30 amp RV but they make them for 50 amp also. Power Adapter 3 prong 15 amp Male to 30 amp 110 Female RV Camper Plug Outdoor Electrical Power Converter
Additionally, look for cords and adapters that have a grip of some kind. They can be really hard to pull apart.
I also have an adapter plug for my generator. This allows me to plug my RV power cord into the converter then directly into my generator.
I like this one. CircleCord 3 Prong 30 Amp RV Generator Adapter Cord
Surge suppressors protect your RV’s electrical system from improper wiring, electrical surges, and fluctuating power levels from the main connection. Some of these devices have a lifetime warranty and I’ve had to take advantage of that warranty. While these are not inexpensive, without one you’re increasing your chances of frying your RV’s electrical system and that’s an expensive mistake.
I have this surge suppressor. Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector, Black
You can also have a surge suppressor hard-wired into your RV’s electrical system. Whatever you choose, make sure you match your RV’s amps to the surge suppressor’s amps. If your RV has 50 amp service, you’ll need a 50 amp surge suppressor.
Fresh Water Hose
Many types are available. I carry more than one in my basic RV accessories, but one will do to get you started. I generally have a 25′ white marine grade hose with me. I choose white because when your hose is sitting in the hot sun the water gets hot too. It gets even hotter when you use a dark-colored hose. I also carry a 25′ expanding hose. Sometimes your water source is more than 25′ away and the expanding hoses take much less space.
I use this freshwater hose because it has nice ends and it’s so much easier to get them connected and disconnected. SmartFlex HSFRV525, 5/8″ x 25′, 3/4″-11 1/2 GHT Fittings Water Hose
When you’re using your RV wastewater will accumulate in your holding tanks. Modern RVs have a black tank that holds human waste and a gray tank that holds water from the sinks, and shower. I’ve used many types of sewer hoses over the years but my favorite by far is the RhinoFLEX Brand. They are a bit more expensive but you get what you pay for. Less expensive brands tend to come apart and if they come apart when in use, well that’s not something anyone wants. RhinoFLEX ends don’t come off easily and the hoses are tough. You should also consider having a sewer hose extension with your basic RV accessories just in case your sewer connection is too far away.
Black Tank Flush Hoses
It’s important to have a dedicated hose for flushing your black tank. Make sure it is obvious by choosing a colored hose like black or orange. Never use your black tank flush hose for any other reason. You risk ingesting harmful bacteria which can make you very ill or even cause death.
I have this one and there’s no mistaking it for anything but the black water flush hose. Also, the on/off valve is really handy for tank flushing. Riemex Expandable Hose 25 FT Black
With these basic RV accessories, you’ll be able to get set up and powered up. Not to worry, we’ll do some more fun shopping at another time.
You might also like the following post. The RV Living And Travel Guide for Beginners
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