Here’s the scenario, you’ve just bought your first camper and you’ve come to pick it up. You think you’re good to go when a salesman comes out to welcome you and says, “I’ll be walking you around the showroom floor to help you get all the things you’ll be needing!” WHAT?!?! I just spend thousands of dollars buying this camper and now I need to buy RV EQUIPMENT?! Yes, that’s what happened to us, and most likely anyone else who has purchased an RV from a dealership.
I’m sure I insulted my salesman, because I told him I would make a list and get back to him on that! Since I know I’m not the only one out there SHOCKED that a camper doesn’t come with everything you’ll need, I thought I’d make a quick list of some of the RV equipment you’ll need for your first camp. I’ve assumed you already have your vehicle rigged up to pull a camper to begin with. This list will mostly apply to motorhomes as well.
*DISCLOSURE: All of the titles and images are links to Amazon affiliate sales. If you choose to purchase from these links, it will cost you absolutely nothing extra, and I will earn a small commission from each sale. Thanks for helping keep the content on this blog free!
RV EQUIPMENT NEEDED BEFORE YOU CAMP
First things first, you’ll want to secure your camper and your trailer hitch as soon as you detach. We use this one to make sure no one steals our trailer hitch. I wish I could say people are generally trustworthy, but you just never know. I’d rather not have to run to the store to replace a hitch when it’s not in the budget! Don’t forget to make sure it fits whatever size hitch you have.
Here is another ABSOLUTE ESSENTIAL before you leave for your first trip! This little device will keep someone from hooking up to your camper and driving off with it. It basically makes it to where no one can even hook up to the RV until this lock is removed. It’s too big of an investment to not protect. DEFINITELY worth the money!
If your RV is not self-leveling, you will need one of these. We use a 6″ one, but it would be nice if it was just a little bit longer. We use ours to check for level both on the trailer hitch (placed lengthwise), and then check for level inside (placed widthwise, usually on our kitchen countertop).
This is not really RV equipment, but it sure makes life easier when you’re setting up and tearing down. Most people already have one at home, so you may not need to buy one. We use ours to put on/take off our stabilization chains (I realize that everyone doesn’t have these, but we do!), and to put up/take down the jacks under the camper. It makes SUPER fast work of otherwise tedious tasks. Plus, it never hurts to have a drill around! We keep the appropriate sized sockets in our storage cubby and keep a keyless chuck in the drill for quick socket changes.
This may or may not be COMPLETELY necessary (depending on your camp site) RV equipment, but we like to keep some handy just in case we need them. For less than $20, it’s an added peace of mind that my camper won’t roll off in the middle of the night. It’s not something we use every time, but when you aren’t on level ground, it’s best to use them. You’ll need at least two, depending on how many tires your RV has.
Leveling blocks will sit underneath the jacks of a tall camper. Sometimes on the bigger campers, the jacks won’t reach the ground. That’s what these are for, they basically bring the ground up to your camper. We don’t use them for ours because our camper is low enough to the ground. We’ve never had a problem with our jacks not reaching the ground. We have friends that camp with us that use them every time they camp. If you do need this, you may or may not need more than one set.
Maybe this one is a no-brainer, I’m not sure. At any rate, you’ll need a way to get fresh water into your camper. This is the one we got and I haven’t had a problem with it yet. In fact, we’ve put this thing through the wringer and it’s held up really well! If you don’t like this one, make sure that you get one that says “RV & Marine Hose,” and make sure it is kink free and drinking water safe. If you’re going to dry camp somewhere, you should still use this hose to fill your water supply tank.
This little nifty guy may not be for everybody, so you’ll need to look at your water input to decide if it would be beneficial for you or not. If we connected our water straight out of our camper each time, sooner or later, we’d have a worn out hose from it being bent in a 90 degree angle every time we hook up. Instead, we hook this bad boy up and hook our hose to it (we actually keep ours on the business end of our hose all the time). Again, not an ABSOLUTELY necessary piece of RV equipment, but it is handy to have.
Maybe I haven’t mentioned this yet, but RV parks and camp areas may not always have the best regulated water pressure and electricity. This will keep your camper’s plumbing safe from crazy high pressure water. Maybe we were an easy target, but we want to keep all of the working parts working on our camper. Our salesman recommended this little bit of RV equipment, and we bought (from Amazon!).
These handy little guys magnetize to your bumper, which can double as a sewer hose storage. They have an insect screen on them which keeps bees and wasps (and other pests) from using your sewer hose and/or bumper as their home. On the inside of one cap, there is a connector that fits into your sewer hose to make putting it away and pulling it out of the bumper easier. One of our BEST investments yet!
This little bit of RV equipment is ESSENTIAL, no matter what kind of camper you have! Every camper needs a way to get their waste from point A to point B. We’ve used the 20′ hose more often than not (as opposed to a shorter version), I HIGHLY recommend it! This one has everything you’ll need to make your connections, and works for both grey and black water.
This is no laughing matter. If you EVER have a sewer hose mishap, you will understand the need for these. Better yet, just take my word for it and spend the extra few dollars. It’s never happened to me, but it did to my youngest daughter once when she was camping with her grandparents. She assured me…it’s not fun at all to not have gloves when you change the sewer hose! Not to mention that a little under $10 gets you 15 pair! *Read packaging for any allergy warnings…they say latex free, but you never know!
When I used to tent camp, I always thought these were silly. I mean, really? You need a bridge for your dirty water? The answer is yes, yes you do! Now that we’ve finished our first camping season, I can tell you that there would have been many times we would’ve been in a pinch without this little guy! I will be honest and say we haven’t used it EVERY time we’ve camped, but I’d be willing to be we used it about half the time. The trick is, you don’t know you need it until you get there. Get it now, you’ll have it when you need it.
Our camper came with a sample pack of these. The company that makes them sells them in several different scents, but this was my favorite. Let me warn you though, we thought we didn’t really need them and didn’t use them on our first camping trip…BIG MISTAKE! Buy them, use them, love them! Your nose will thank you (and so will any friends that may be camping with you!). We were also told we could put these down the sink for our grey water.
Just in case you can’t get a Porta-Pak down your sink opening, you can use this for your grey water tank. Our young salesman said this does the trick to keep odors down and also helps break down any cooking grease or cleaning residues that accidentally get in there.
You’ll also need a surge protector to keep the circuits in your camper safe from unsafe electrical hookups. You just never know about RV parks. Some are modernized and well kept, others…not so much. This will keep a bad electrical hookup from frying the circuits in your camper. You protect your computer at home, why wouldn’t you protect your home away from home? Besides, we paid nearly $100 for ours…these are a little under $70. This particular one is for a 30 amp hookup. Click here for a 50 amp surge protector, it costs a little more.
Our little camper is a 30 amp. Our friends have a 50 amp. This isn’t a problem when we’re not camping with them, but when we are with them, we like to stay at a site next door to them. This converter makes it all possible. Apparently, terrible things will happen if we don’t have it…like the whole WORLD explodes! So far, every 50 amp site we’ve stayed at had a 30 amp plug as well, but this is nice to have and isn’t expensive.
Last, but not least, you’ll want to keep some rain gear nearby. We keep ours in our storage cubby near all of our setup/tear down equipment. We’ve only had to setup in the rain once, and it was only sprinkling at that. We’ve gotten so efficient at it that it only takes us a few minutes to do now. We keep a poncho in our storage container just in case, but I’m sure something like this rain gear would work just as well.
I’m sure this list is by no means exhaustive, but it’ll get you started. We spread ours out over several weeks to soften the financial blow. If this isn’t a concern for you, just add them all to your Amazon cart and check out! As mentioned earlier, each title and picture are links to Amazon sales pages. If you click them and purchase, I will receive a small portion of the sale at no cost to you! Once you’ve checked out, wait by your mailbox impatiently for ALL YOUR NEW STUFF!
Have fun and be sure to let me know in the comments if I’ve left anything out!0