52 Must-Haves For RV Camping
A list of everything you will need to make your camping experience run smoother and have more time for fun.
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Related: RV Camping Apps for your phone to help find your next adventure
Spring is sprung and we are getting closer to warmer weather, which means getting ready to go out camping and exploring more! It is so exciting, and although we might be doing a little more tent camping this year, we are still so excited and want to be prepared for a stress free camping experience. I put together a list of essentials and a few fun things to have while camping in your RV.
As some might know, I took my family of 4 around the U.S. the past two years and have had so much fun. I like to be prepared and some of this we didn't even know we needed in the very beginning. So while out on the road we had to make some pit stops along the way to add to our camping experience.
I made this list to give you some ideas of what you may need while traveling in a RV or add a few extra fun stuff to make your camping experience a little more entertaining or comforting.
It does not matter what type of camper you are, a glamper (glamourous camper) or a simple one, regardless, here are the essentials and extras to add to your list of things to gather before going out on your trip.
Feel free to bookmark this page to come back to for your next camping adventures!
52 Family Camping Must-Haves For RV Camping
RV Water Filter
It is important to have fresh clean water during your campouts. An RV Water filter is a perfect addition to your safety and for reducing the amount of water bottles to purchase.
Water Pressure Regulator
I would get yourself a water pressure regulator so you do not blow up your water lines inside the rig from different water pressures when hooked up at a campground. Kind of serious LOL
This is a must have when you want to fill your fresh water tanks for any reason. We filled our fresh water tanks with a water meter to make sure we never overfilled the tanks because that is a waste and it can damage your tanks. Super easy to read and easy to store in a small space.
Quick Hose Connector
This item is an extra for those who are more glam. You just know these quick connect hoses are literal freedom when it comes to setting up camp. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. That is all I can say, quick connect water connectors make things quick. We have these on our fresh water hose.
Flexible 50 Ft Water Hose
We love this water hose, it is flexible, easy to store and the best part- kink free! LOL I really hate water hoses when there are so many kinks and hot plastic melting in the sun. Anyways, this is a great hose for your drinking water on your next camping trip.
50 AMP Surge Protector
A highly suggested item you should purchase before going on any camping trip. A surge protector for your electrical cord going from the RV camper to the pedestal at a campsite. This one is for 50 AMP rigs, but if your rig is 30 AMP get a surge protector for that. This protects your camper electrical system from mishaps and possible fires so super important for your safety.
Adapter 50-30 AMP
This might sound a little confusing if you are new to RV camping. Most of the time when you buy a new or used RV camper, it will come with a electrical cord. Either a 50 AMP or 30 AMP cord to plug from your RV to a pedestal at a campground. There are times when you need to dumb down the electrical cord. Say you have a 50 AMP rig and park in a site that allows 30 AMPS to come through. You will need to get an adapter from 50 AMP to 30 AMP.
Adapter 30-15 AMP
This adapter will be needed if your RV is a 30 AMP powered rig and you would need to adapt to a 15 AMP electrical outlet. This would be needed if you are parking at a friend/ family member house and they do not have an RV plug. You would also need an extension cord with this adapter.
This one might be obvious or not, but an extra extension cord can be handy while out camping. We have used ours to plug in extra items outside. I would work on my laptop outside sometimes, so this was useful with our outdoor plug on the rig. This is also useful when mooch-docking at a friends or family members house. Plug into the house to get some extra electricity if they do not have an RV plug.
Everyone needs a stinky slinky if you have a sewer system in your rig. Just get one, you will thank me later.
This item goes along with the stinky slinky, this clear elbow helps you know that the tanks in the RV are empty. A little gross to see the stuff coming out, but will help you know its empty and time to move on.
Donut: Flexible Sewer Seal
Not the donut you were thinking... this flexible sewer seal is an attachment to the sewer hose and helps seal the hose to the RV inlets at a campsite or dump station. This eliminates the smell and the need to hold your hose to the hole during dumping. Very good to have to keep things sanitary!
Another essential for the sewer system. This is a valve cap to close up the sewer part on the RV. Keep things sealed and sanity for good reasons.
RV toilet treatment drop in's are good for keeping the odors down and help break down toilet paper and waste. Keep it clean people. For best use, empty and clean waste tanks weekly.
Sewer Hose Supports
Depending on the campground you go to, this isn't necessarily a need but a lot of campers have sewer hose supports when staying longer term in a campground. Keeps things flowing without any clogs in your waste tanks. We moved so often it was not on our list of "must have's" although we did go to a campground where it was required so we just didn't get our stinky slinky out and waited to dump at the end of our visit.
Adding a new door lock is essential when camping with young kids, or getting rid of the hassle of always carrying your keys. This lock has helped us out in so many ways. Before we got a new door lock, one of my kids locked themselves in and didn't know how to get out. We somehow locked ourselves out of the camper as well, and had to get one of my kids to climb through the window. Lastly, when we go to the beach or out and about I don't need to worry about bringing the keys and losing them or the risk of them being stolen. It's a win win in my book.
Trailer Coupler and Receiver Lock
This is a safety feature we felt like we needed on our full time travels. A trailer coupler and receiver lock set is important to have as a safety precaution. You never know what shenanigans will get into when you leave your RV parked in the middle of no where or campground. We have this exact one and has worked for us every time. One goes on the RV trailer and on the hitch side of the truck.
This is another truck hitch lock we have used to keep our hitch safe while we drive our truck out on adventures. You never know who maybe interested in our hitch. We use both of the locks for our safety.
I think campgrounds are relatively safe where ever you go, but there are instances where people do steal. So grab some bike locks to keep your stuff secure just in case.
When you go out on a camping trip, snag yourself an impact drill because they are great for many reasons. It can help you raise and lower your RV stabilizers, take off wheels to replace a tire, manually open a slide, and manually lower or raise your hitch if needed. The only reason to manually open your slides or lower/raise your hitch is when you are boondocking and don't want to use your batteries for that part.
Socket Drill Adapter for Leveling RV Jacks
One of my husband's favorite much needed items on this list: a socket drill adapter for setting up the RV jacks around our camper. Add this to your drill and set up your camper in no time. More time for fun!
A must have to bring on your camping list for setting up camp and tear down. A torque wrench is used for torqueing down tires and hitches- because you don't want those things falling out on travel days.
Slide-out stabilizers are dependent on what type of rig you have. We have a very long travel trailer and felt like we needed some extra support. If you have a fifth-wheel or Class A, this might not be necessary because the rig might already have some of these built in.
We bought our backup camera for the RV and truck as an investment due to how large our travel trailer is. It is simple and easy to use when backing into a site or checking the roads while driving with the RV. This include night vision and interference free reception up to 65 ft.
Leveling your camper might be different than ours, but on our travel trailer we need Anderson levelers to help level the camper on a uneven camp site. You drive up onto these levelers and chock it and boom done.
A must have item! Do not ever forget your wheel chocks please please please. This essential to not loosing your RV. Seriously, no one wants your camper going down a hill because you forgot to chock the wheels. YIKES!
An easy essential for leveling your camper during setup. Our bubble level is used everytime we set up at a new camping spot. We use it to level the RV left to right and front and backward. If you have ever felt the uneasy "boat" feeling in a uneven RV, this will be your best friend.
RV Level Mate Pro
Along side with the Anderson levelers, we use this RV level Mate Pro to help guide us to the camper being level. You add an app to your phone and attach the level to the RV and with a be able to level the RV on solid ground. An extra addition to your set up process.
Jack pads are great for your RV jacks to not sink into the ground. We have used wood blocks in the past, or nothing at all depending on the ground situation. If you are on a concrete camp site in a campground, then these are not 100% necessary. If you were in the grass or gravel these are your good friends.
Another must have for travel days to keep you prepared for anything to happen. My husband will check all the tires with this tire pump on the RV and truck before we leave a campsite just so our tires are happy and ready for the road.
Tire Pressure Monitor System
Oh, man my husband wanted one of these soo bad! Tire pressure monitoring system for campers, RV's, Trailers or Trucks. Real time display of tire pressure and temperatures. When it comes to traveling with a large camper on the road, tires are the most important. No one wants a flat tire half way through a road trip. This is pretty pricey, but super helpful in the long run.
I would say this one is mandatory. I mean you want to keep your RV tires spick and span while traveling. The sun will eat them alive if left in the hot sun for days.
RV Side Awning Shade
This might not be a must have, but we did end up buying a side awning shade when we stayed in Florida during a long term stay. The sun was in the perfect position everyday all day shining into our site and our normal awning shade could not angle to where the sun was. It was a little annoying, but once we got this it was perfect.
Screened in Pop up Shelter
I have seen these pop up shelter's all over campgrounds around the U.S. It is great to put around your picnic table and keep out all the bugs. We often did homeschool with my two kids outside in our shelter as well. Great add on to your camping trip or full time RV road life.
Now a generator is usually a nice backup to have when you go camping out in nature instead of a campground with hook-ups. Ideally we should have gotten one, but they are an investment and are pretty large to lug around. I wanted to add it to the list though because we will invest in one in the future, but during our two years of traveling around the U.S. 95% of the time we were in campgrounds and never needed a generator, tbh. ( To be honest)
Another luxury that isn't 100% needed, but for us I loved ours because it did catch a lot of dirt and mess before we headed into the RV. I often played with the kids on the outdoor rug with toys and not needing to worry to much about bugs and itchy grass.
This is an obvious one, camping chairs for a trip into nature is always necessary. What surprises me is the huge variety of camping chairs in the world, it's nuts! I've always liked these classic one's and we will soon be upgrading to these bad boys.
Broom and Dust Pan Set
Yes, I had to put this one in the list. Sometimes while packing for an RV camping trip- a broom can often be forgotten. I did not know how useful this thing was on the road. When we go out on adventures near or far- dirt, sand, mud, rocks, etc. come following into the RV. so get yourself a broom & dust pan for easy clean up, and don't forget it!
Propane Fire Pit