Our 11 RV Essentials – Fireside Traveler

We just passed our 4 month anniversary of full timing in our Motorhome. woo hoo!  I thought it might be time to share some our essential items for living full-time on the road in an RV.  This is by no way a comprehensive list and your mileage may certainly vary depending on your needs.

Thousand Trails near Hershey PA
Thousand Trails near Hershey PA

 

  1. Water Filters – We tend to be water snobs.  Water quality really varies from place to place.  So we try to make sure we can depend on the taste or lack of taste to the H2O.  We have gone back and forth with buying water, using the refill stations at Walmart and using filters. We have settled on and use a three filter system. At the water spigot we start with the cheapo Camco blue filter Camco Blue water filter two pack  to make our expensive internal filter last as long as possible.  Then in our water bay we have a Watts Flo Pur water filter
    Water Filters and internal surge protector
    Water Filters and internal surge protector

    which is also a whole RV / House filter. When we bought Franklin, we received a gift card from the dealership to spend on parts in their parts store, so…we loaded up on filters. Lastly, inside we filter again through a Brita Pitcher. The dual filter coming in is also great for our ice maker

  2. GPSspecific to RVing.  We plug-in our height, weight, how much propane we are carrying, our length etc. and it will route around any restrictions.  It has become really valuable recently when I-84 was closed in New York for a horrible accident.  We were off of the highway and onto a lot of back roads where there weren’t detours set up. We use redundant GPS systems from time to time, and the RV specific one has saved us a few times. Rand-McNally RV GPS
  3. 3M Dual Lock – This stuff is sort of like Velcro on steroids. It is super strong and holds more weight than command strips. The little bristles lock together and hold art or thermometers or whatever on the wall.   We usually find ours at Home Depot. Stick with the heaviest duty kind you can find, you will not be sorry. David used some to stick down his studio monitors to our desk and they have not budged in several thousand miles on the road. Dual Lock
  4. Surge Protector – This is really a must have. Power can be super unpredictable at campgrounds.  There are a lot of different models out there and it is really how much you want to spend depends on the quality.  However, we do have one built into our motor home.  20160721_103543So we have kind of a low to mid-range external to double up. We scout our campsites in our tow car and leave the RV parked somewhere in the campground while deciding on a site.  So, we take the surge protector and plug it in to a site we are looking at before we ever bring the RV over to check for correct wiring.  (we check the water too…making sure it works)
  5. Dog Bones – I know what you’re thinking… but not those kind.
    Dog Bone Storage
    Dog Bone Storage (held on with rivets)

    Get a full set from Amazon and be prepared for any level from 50 amp to 20 amp.

  6. Water Pressure Regulator – We like the kind where we can dial in the pressure.  No matter what kind you choose…don’t go without it.  We have been at a park that had a sign up at the check in desk because their pressure was at 70 psi and you had to sign a waiver that you were using a regulator.
    Valterra Water Regulator
    Valterra Water Regulator

    That could certainly blow out your RV pipes! Here is the one we use Valterra Water Pressure Regulator

  7. Rivets – What we don’t hang with 3M Dual Lock, we hang with rivets.  Small holes and with thin RV walls… it just works.  If the hole is bigger than the rivet just add a washer to the item you are hanging. poof done! (see above Dog Bone Photo)
  8.  Basic Set of Tools – Things happen in RVs all the time.  A basic set of tools is definitely an essential.  Doesn’t have to be super fancy.  We use this one from harbor freight tools: 130 piece tool set . You will probably need to add a few pieces specific to your situation along the way, but this is a good start. OK, full disclosure, we also still carry many tools from our sticks & bricks days..hmm…still need to pair some of the tools down. Put it on the to-do list.
  9. Walkie Talkies – We use these all of the time! So there are places that still have no cell service. We use them mostly when backing the RV into a campsite.  Certainly use hand signals too but these are worth it…trust me on this one. Also great when one person is driving the toad separate for some reason, or if you are caravaning with friends.
  10. Tire Pressure Monitoring – We do not have ones for the Motorhome and are thinking this might be an upgrade in the near future and any suggestions are welcome.  However, we do use them for our tow car which happens to be a Smart Car. The Smart Car is super lightweight at 1800 pounds.  If we blew a tire 36 feet behind us, we would not hear or see it.  This gives us peace of mind to monitor the situation from the cockpit.
  11. Comfortable Seating – our last RV just had a U-shaped dinette.  It had bench seating which consisted of cushions on top of plywood…not even a little bit comfy.  So when we got Franklin, we made sure it had a sofa that we could lounge in or lie in when we needed it.  Oh yeah, our outdoor chairs are the bomb and are really comfy and great on the back too!

    Comfy outdoor chairs
    Comfy outdoor chairs

These are for sure our top RV essentials at this point.  Thank for all of the support so far and keep an eye out of a YouTube channel coming soon!

Mara