Maybe you have a new RV, or you’re new to RVing. Below is a collection of recommended RV equipment we found helpful over the years. These items are critical and essential for any RV, camper, or travel trailer. Other things are highly recommended. There are a handful of fun RV items here, too.
We break Recommended RV equipment into the following categories:
- Highly Recommended: These are items you will probably need but may not need on every trip, or they may not apply to your RV.
- Nice To Have: You’ll want these items but can undoubtedly go RVing without them.
- Fun To Have: You don’t need these items for RVing, but we found them to really amp up the RV experience and make it even more enjoyable.
- ***New Category*** Boondocking: Boondocking or Off-Grid camping is not as easy as a typical campground. It requires a few pieces of additional equipment to make the experience more enjoyable.
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Highly Recommended RV Equipment
This is the RV equipment that we highly recommend. Almost every RV, camper, or travel trailer will need this. This equipment may not be flashy or exciting, but you’ll need it for a safe, enjoyable RV experience.
I highly recommend the Blue Ox SwayPro. This is the hitch we used to pull our 33-foot Salem travel trailer. I have filmed a handful of videos on this hitch because I genuinely use and like the hitch.
You can watch my videos here:
- Blue Ox SwayPro Weight Distribution Hitch Demo
- Blue Ox SwayPro Weight Distribution Hitch Adjustment
- How to Connect And Disconnect a Blue Ox Weight Distribution Hitch
Weight distribution hitches in general, and the SwayPro specifically will make towing your trailer safer. Bite the bullet and buy one if you haven’t already. They are worth it.
I have changed to the Blue Ox TrackPro for towing my 33-foot Salem travel trailer. I have filmed a handful of videos on this hitch. This hitch doesn’t have the chains the SwayPro has, but I think I like it a little more. It seems to ride a little rougher than the SwayPro, but it feels like it is a little better at sway control. I’ll use this hitch this season and update my views as I learn more.
You can watch my videos here:
- Blue Ox SwayPro vs. TrackPro: Best Weight Distribution Hitch?
- How To Install A Blue Ox TrackPro Weight Distribution Hitch With Sway Control
You NEED an RV cover. There are a lot of quality options out there, but I prefer King Bird. I have used them for multiple seasons.
Even though I had one get shredded in a windstorm, I think they are the best out there. I’ve done multiple videos on my King Bird covers.
The blue “inline” filter is the most common water filter. We stopped using those a while ago. We found that they didn’t stop the sour taste of some campground water. If you go a few weeks between RV trips, that filter is sitting, dark, and wet and may have its own growth problems.
We use the Camco EVO Premium RV & Marine Water Filter. It filters down to 5 micros vs. the 100 micros of the inline filters. Also, the EVO Premium filter can be removed and dried between trips, so you’re not left with a filter that worsens the water.
Related Equipment You’ll Want:
- Camco 25ft TastePURE Drinking Water Hose
- Camco RV Water Filter Stand
- Camco Evo Premium Replacement Water Filter
- Camco RV Brass Inline Water Pressure Regulator
- Camco 90 Degree Hose Elbow
You may have full hookups, but you can’t be too careful with your city water hookup. It is straightforward to get bacteria and buildup in the RV lines or even your white drinking hose. Even if you use a good filter like the Camco, an extra filter can help. I also find this style filter even better for drinking water or using your freshwater tanks.
Epic makes a few styles, but this is the one I like the most. Fill it up when you first get to your location, and keep it in the fridge to cool it down. It can clean up to 150 gallons of water by removing up to 99.99% of contaminants.
The electric hookups at campgrounds are notoriously sketchy. If you plug your RV into shore power and there is an electric issue, you could do some real (and expensive) damage to your rig.
A quality “dogbone” will help prevent that. They provide surge protection and tell you if the shore power is wired correctly to start with.
You’ll want one that is sized for your specific setup:
It also helps to have a small assortment of auto fuses if you blow a fuse in your RV. They are cheap and will save you a headache if you need one.
You’re lucky if you’ve never had an RV tire blowout. It will happen someday. When it does, you’ll want to be carrying the Trailer Aid Plus if you have a dual-axle trailer. This ramp allows you to roll your good tire onto it to change the other tire easily.
The last thing you need to worry about when you blow a tire is if you can change the tire. This will set your mind at ease.
Remember to ensure you have a correctly sized lug wrench for your trailer.
We went on our first RV trip and forgot to buy a sewer hose… total newbie mistake.
If you have a black tank, you need a hose like this. Seriously, don’t wait.
Related Equipment You’ll Want:
- Vinyl or Latex Gloves
- Camco TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment
- Camco 15 Feet Sidewinder RV Sewer Support
It would be best if you had suitable, heavy wheel chocks. I know a lot of RVers will use pieces of wood. I guess that can work, but I prefer something more reliable. If you’re in your RV, walking around, and it is rocking a little, makeshift chocks may not be a great idea.
Also, basic wheel chocks may not work if you have to do some severe leveling on your RV. That is where X-Chock Wheel Stabilizers come in. If you have a dual axle trailer, these can help stabilize your trailer even if some of the wheels are elevated due to leveling.
I use both whenever possible.
I take my portable power source with me on every trip. Not only can you use it to jumpstart a car or power your slide-in, but this one has a built-in air compressor for filling low trailer tires. I check tire pressure before every trip and never have to pull my trailer into a gas station.
I have featured mine in numerous videos and blog posts. It should be considered essential for any RVer.
11. Unowix Defender X100 LiFePO4 Battery
The Unowix Defender X100 is considered a budget battery; however, “budget” doesn’t mean bad in any use of the word. The X100 has a 1280Wh energy capacity, with 100Ah rated capacity. As a 12.8v LiFePO4 battery, it matches most of the market in this category.
It exists in the upper range of what we consider a budget battery, but the best news is that it comes with a 10-year warranty, twice the amount of most LiFePO4 batteries.
You can get more info on the best LiFePO4 Batteries for your RV for the money here.
Nice To Have RV Equipment
You’ll probably want these items but can undoubtedly go RVing without them.
We ditched the bumper grill for a Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove. We are so glad we did! We use it every time we camp, and it is way more versatile than any other solution we tried.
We also have a bunch of awesome accessories:
- Camp Chef Folding Side Shelves
- Camp Chef Carry Bag
- Reversible Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Griddle
- Camp Chef Patio Cover
- 18 FT RV Quick Connect Propane Hose for RV
I modified my Camp Chef to use my trailer’s onboard propane and had an 18-foot propane hose to move it around.
I’ve done a handful of camping chair reviews. This Freestyle Rocker from GCI always comes out on top. They are a breeze to transport for an RVer. Sitting by the campfire will be much more comfortable than cheap folding chairs.
Check out our chair review if you’re looking for a lightweight hiking chair.
I can’t say enough good things about this camera. You can watch my Reolink Go Plus unboxing and demo here. This camera has some great features that make it perfect for an RVer with a security concern.
- Solar Rechargeable
- Weather Proof
- 4G Enabled (i.e., No Wifi needed!)
- It has a great app for viewing video
In addition, an RV security camera would work perfectly as a trail cam or for an off-grid cabin. The combination of solar power and 4G capabilities make this camera highly recommended.
You can also check out more details directly on Reolink’s site.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive 4G data connection, check out EIOT Club. Their prices on data plans are the best I have found anywhere. They have data plans specifically for 4G cameras like this one.
It is nice to have a few lightweight aluminum tables when you’re sitting around a campfire. These GCI Folding Tables are strong, light, and fold flat.
I did a video review of them here.
There are two sizes:
You’re not going to have full hookups at every campsite. They are harder and harder to reserve. If you want to say more than a few days, you may want a “honeywagon.” This tank will allow you to empty your black tank without moving your RV.
It isn’t a fun job but will give more opportunities for better campsites. There are different sizes, so get the one that fits your RV.
Oh, get some gloves…
I installed the Roadmaster Active Suspension on my F-150 this year. It has made a huge improvement on my sway control and suspension when towing.
If you’re unsure what exactly the Roadmaster Active Suspension is or want to know, “How does Roadmaster Active Suspension work?” I have an extensive blog post that explains it.
A good pair of campfire tongs are very handy. These help you move logs around to just the right spot without burning off your arm hair. There are a few styles out there. These are the ones that work well for us.
We carry one of these ultralight camping chairs on our RV, like this one from Elite Refuge Outdoors. If you follow our channel, you know that we like to make day trips with our kids. Sometimes we want to go hiking. We throw these chairs in the car and take them with us. That makes our breaks much more comfortable.
This ultralight backpacking folding chair sets itself apart with an included mud/sand net that helps prevent the chair from sinking into soft ground. This version also has a folding table perfect for picnics or the beach.
Despite having an RV refrigerator, we still use coolers. We sometimes use them while we wait for the fridge to cool down or when we are taking a little road trip. Although we typically don’t need them for more than a day, an excellent soft cooler is still pretty standard for more RVers. Want to see how well these soft-sided coolers work? Check out our soft-sided cooler review here.
Fun To Have RV Equipment
You don’t need these items for RVing, but we found them to really amp up the RV experience and make it even more enjoyable.
This pop-up bubble tent makes a huge difference in early Spring or late Fall. It has allowed me to extend my camping season a month or more on either side of the regular season. The kids love it, too. We can set it up in the backyard for a chilly but warm movie projector night.
Get one, you’ll love it.
I love my countertop ice maker! Love it! Everyone makes fun of me for bringing an ice maker when they go camping with me. But then they love having it! There is nothing better than fresh, clean ice for campfire drinks.
Don’t settle for dirty, cooler ice.
I get it. It’s not “camping,” but my 33-foot trailer with AC isn’t either. Still nice!
We take these glow sticks with us on every trip. Our kids love them. They use them and share them with kids they meet at the campground.
Buy the big bulk pack instead of the small packs at retail stores. You won’t use them all, and they store forever.
Successful and enjoyable boondocking requires a few extra pieces of equipment. They may not be necessary, but they will make the experience much more enjoyable.
Portable power is a must for boondocking. Gas and solar options are available, but here’s the thing. If you’re going for the boondocking trip of a lifetime, do you want a noisy gas generator ruining your experience? Even the quieter ones can ruin the trip. Go solar!
I know they are expensive, but they are coming down in price and enhancing the experience.