Camping / Resources / RV

Outfitting your new RV (A consumer guide to the gear you need)

travel trailer at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

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.*

* Prices listed may change.

Freshwater Fittings

Drinking water hose. At least a 50-foot drinking-water-safe hose. (I also carry a 25 feet hose and have used both.). Do not use a standard garden hose. $23.26 on Amazon

Water pressure regulator. Prevents surges in pressure that can damage pipes inside your RV.  $8.97 on Amazon.

Water Filter w/Flexible Hose Protector. Filter campground water before it enters the trailer. $17.87 on Amazon.

Wastewater Fittings

Sewer hose. Minimum 15 feet. $30.79 at Amazon. 

Foam rubber sewer collar. Required in most states. $8.72 at Amazon.

Clear 45-degree sewer fitting. Optional, but useful to see when tanks are empty.  $9.30 at Amazon

Sidewinder Sewer Hose Support. Aids flow of wastewater to sewer hookup. 15′, $27.60 at Amazon

Gray water sewer fitting. Drain gray water only to sewer hookup or tote tank with garden hose. $12.72 on Amazon.

Swivel stick holding tank rinser. Provides pressurized rinse of black water tank through your toilet. $16.12 on Amazon.

Holding tank back flush with valve. Flush the tank from outside with a garden hose. $35.54 on Amazon.

Blue Tote Tank. Towable tank to cart wastewater to the campground dump station.

RV Disposable Dump Gloves and Dispenser. For handling the sewer hose. $7.35 on Amazon.

Toilet paper. Rapidly dissolving TP for marine and RV toilets. Don’t use household TP.  $4.04 at Amazon.

Power Supply

30-amp extension cord. I carry a 25-foot extension, just in case I need it, and I have. $33.99 at Amazon.

15-amp to 30-amp adapter. For those times only a 15-amp power supply is available. $10.77 at Amazon

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

Trailer Equipment

Graduated Levels. A pair of stick-on levels for setting up camp on uneven ground. $10.88 at Amazon

Stabilizer pads. Protects stabilizer jack pads (or use scrap 2×4’s.) $13.89 at Amazon

Electric tongue jack cover. Protect your electric jack from weather. $10.67 on Amazon

Tire Lock Wheel Chock. Locks tandem wheels to prevents trailer from rolling. $39.78 on Amazon. Otherwise, basic wheel chocks will do. I carry both.

Patio Gear

Patio carpet — Keep off the dirt or gravel pads. Various prices and colors on Amazon. Also, see the patio mat collection at Camping World. I bought mine at Wal-Mart.

Picnic tablecloth and bench covers — For dirty campsite picnic tables. $14.28 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.

Tools

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.

Cleaning Supplies

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.

Storage

DampRid. Moisture, mold and condensation are an RV’s worst enemy. DampRid helps keep the interior dry. $4.97 on Amazon

Wheel Covers. Protect your tires and spare from the weather and the sun with wheel covers. $33 on Amazon.

Hitch Coupler Lock. Whether parked in a campground or in storage, prevent your rig from being towed away by a stranger. $26.17 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! 🙂

Related Florida Rambler articles

Buying a travel trailer: What the salesman should have told you

RV Camping: Tips for booking campsites in Florida this winter

Free RV Camping: Wallydocking

Other Useful Resources:

Tips for Buying a Used RV – AARP

Your recommendations and comments are welcome below.

Share your thoughts!

%d bloggers like this: