Your new RV is remarkably ill-equipped when you leave the dealership. You still have to buy accessories and fittings that cost hundreds of dollars.
Sometimes dealers will throw in a few “extras” to make a sale, but you will still fall short of your needs.
Most dealers will have a store where you can buy some of the gear you need, often at a premium price. The smart consumer looks at all the options. My go-to retailers are Amazon, Walmart and Camping World.
Walmart carries basic RV supplies in their automotive section, and most stores allow you to park overnight. Ask a manager. (Experienced RVer’s call it Wallydocking.)
Camping World carries everything you can possibly need or want to outfit your RV. Just browsing around the store will give you ideas.
Amazon has a broad selection of RV accessories and fittings online. With Amazon Prime, your purchase is delivered in two days, no matter your location within the 48 contiguous states.
Destinations with high concentrations of RVers may also have mom-and-pop RV supply stores. Marine supply stores may carry items common to RV’s and boats, such as water hoses and disposable toilet paper.
Checklist for outfitting your new RV
Some of these accessories may be included in your purchase as part of the deal you negotiate, but you are otherwise left to your own resources.
We’ll try to help you find what you need at competitive prices.*
Note: The longer the chord, the the thicker it should be. I use a 14-gauge extension cord for connecting to standard (15-amp) outlets when the connection is distant, and I’ve used it when parked in driveways for the night. $38.72 on Amazon
Patio Chairs — We have a fold-up rocker, a gravity chair, and fold-up camp chairs. Buy at a store so you can try them out.
A cordless drill is handy for stabilizers. Use a 3/4″ hex-drive socket. Basic tool kit containing a hammer, screwdrivers, etc., and I often use a rubber mallet. Note that you may need a special screwdriver for interior screws. You probably have most of the tools you need in your garage or basement.
Dish soap is a multi-purpose, inside and outside the trailer. I also carry a spray bottle of water and vinegar for quick cleanup, and a second spray bottle with bleach and water to sanitize hose ends before hooking up. McGuire’s Marine One-Step Wash and Wax removes tough stains and black streaks that won’t wash off with dish soap.
Bucket, sponge and brush mop with expandable handle for reaching high sides of the trailer and cleaning the roof. A foldaway broom and Swifter are perfect for cleaning interior floors.
DampRid. Moisture, mold and condensation are an RV’s worst enemy. DampRid helps keep the interior dry. $4.97 on Amazon
Disclaimer: FloridaRambler.com receives a modest commission when you click on these links. We recommend, however, that you compare prices to get the best deals. And if you are near a Camping World, go in and browse. Sometimes you never know what you need until you see it! 🙂
Author: Bob Rountree
Bob Rountree is an outdoors travel writer, exploring back roads of the authentic Florida. Co-founder of FloridaRambler.com, Bob contributes to the monthly Florida Rambler column in the South Florida SunSentinel and Orlando Sentinel. His work has also appeared in the Miami Herald, Guardian UK and other publications.