Buying a new (or new to you) RV for the first time can be both exciting and stressful. Which brand and floorplan? How do I dump, use propane, turn the lights on?! Once you figure out which one works best for you, it is time to decide what you really must or cannot go without while RVing. So, after fulltime travelling in our RV for a year, here are the things we would not leave home without!
1. Extra Sewer Hose or Extension
This probably goes without saying, but you need to dump. The standard sewer kit from either Rhinoflex or Camco is 20ft. in length. That’s great for newer RV resorts that might have taken this into consideration when plotting out their spaces and septic connections. However, about 50% of the time, we are glad to have at least one 10-15ft extension. Sometimes we have even needed two!
2. Heated Hose and Pipe Insulation Wrap
Better safe than sorry. Especially if you choose to even experience fall or spring. Coupling a heated hose that plugs into the electric box, along with wrapping both ends of the hose (plus the tap), will ensure your water line does not freeze. Pipe Insulation is sold at Home Depot or Lowes.
3. Cellular Data Plan
Yes, I know, you want to be One With Nature! However, especially for those who work remotely, connectivity is key. How do we get connected? Campground WiFi (or starbucks) or Cellular Data Plans. I will leave it up to you to decide which plan works best for you, but having a data plan that does not throttle is key! Personally we have both Verizon (Beyond Unlimited Plan and Jetpack) and AT&T (through unlimitedtogo.com) data plans.
4. Range Extenders
Ok, this one gets everyone confused. I will be brief here and go into detail in another post. Cellular range extenders and wifi antennas are two different things. One extends your ability to capture and broadcast to cell towers. The other gives you the ability to get a stronger signal from campground or other free wifi. Either way, if you plan on streaming Netflix, gaming, or doing a webcast for work, having one or both is a necessity. If I had to choose one over the other, I would choose the cellular range extender.
We use the Weboost for a cellular range extender. It typically, in laymen’s terms, gives you 2-3 more bars of 3G or 4G.
5. Curved Jaw Grooved Joint Pliers
This is the one tool I use at least twice at each campground. Why? It works so much better at tightening your hose to the spigot and at the RV. It has a much tighter grip than adjustable wrenches that allows for you to get a tight connection at the RV end.
6. 50 or 30 Amp Adapter
Especially if planning to go fulltime, spots at campgrounds in popular locations fill up fast. Also, if you boondock, most inverter generators do not have a 50amp outlet. About 25% of the time we have had to use a site which has only a 30amp outlet.
7. Power Station
This may come in handy, not only for you, but to assist others.