Now that you’ve bought your RV or trailer, you’ll want to make sure you 1) take care of it and 2) make your experience as easy as possible. We went the rounds of researching and asking others for recommendations before buying the following items, and we loved them! Check out our must have RV accessories below:
1) Progressive Industries 50/30 amp Surge Protector – $250-375
A life and money saver, a surge protector is a must have RV accessory for any traveler. You never know the electricity conditions at your campsite and a rogue power surge can cause major damage to your electronics and electrical systems. Trailer repairs are costly and take time, thereby affecting your traveling schedule. And if you’re on the road, you could be forced to stay at a costly hotel in the meantime.
This may sound far fetched, but our first surge hit two weeks into using the trailer. Luckily, we already had the surge protector, so all it did was trip. Otherwise, replacing the fried electrical system could have cost between $10 – $20k for our trailer size. In the past six months, we’ve had it happen two more times.
2) Camco EVO water filter – $34 and refill filter – $12-14
For about $34 initially and $12-14 a month, you can get fresh filtered water throughout your trailer without having to worry about the quality or taste. We use this filter exteriorly so that it treats all of our water, from the sink to the shower. And as a result, we have little to no calcium build up and no weird odors to deal with. If you want to, you can also re-filter the water internally via an under the sink solution or a water pitcher filter such as a Brita.
Another must have RV accessory that we can’t live without — we literally went back to an old campsite to get it when we left it behind. You never know how high the water pressure might be at the site you’re staying in. Most RVs and trailers can handle up to 100 PSI, but it’s nearly impossible to keep an eye on that all the time. Once you get a regulator and place it right at the faucet outside, it limits the water pressure to whatever you want it to be. We’ve found that 50-55 PSI gives us a good amount of water pressure for showers without worrying about overloading the plumbing system in our toy hauler.
You’ll need a sewer hose regardless, but this version comes with a clear 90 degree elbow. When you’re flushing tanks, especially black ones, it allows you to see when the water is running clear. Some other accessories we use for the sewer system are the following:
- Valterra Twist-On Mess-Free Waste Valve – $25: THIS IS A MUST. Imagine that you forgot to close the valve to your black tank before moving the trailer and some toilet paper that held back wastewater shook free. You get to your destination and open the cap, only to have that loose — and gross — water rush out at you. While on a long trip, we found out we had forgotten to close the trailer valve before leaving. But because had this valve already installed, we were able to attach the hose without getting covered in wastewater.
- Valterra F02-2030 Rotating Wye (3″) – $16: We have two gray and two black tank outlets in our trailer. This allows us to hook up two hoses to one sewer ground inlet.
- Valterra T1020-3VP Universal Drain Hose Bayonet Drip Cap Set – $9: These usually come with the set, but if you need extra ones, the caps allow you to cover the hoses for storage.
- Valterra T1023 90 degree ClearView Hose Adapter – $10: Already have the sewer hoses, but interested in the clear elbows we mentioned? You can buy them separately on Amazon!
5) AMPLOCK U-LPCVR King Pin Lock (for fifth wheels and toy haulers) – $250
Weighing almost 9 lbs, anyone trying to steal your trailer would have a hell of a time trying to cut through this lock. Peace of mind is priceless when you’re in a place that’s unfamiliar and are able to leave your trailer safe while you’re out and about.
6) QuakeHOLD! Museum Putty – $4
Sometimes we forget just how much everything moves and shakes around when we’re going down the road, so having some QuakeHOLD! putty does the trick in keeping things in place where you want them to go. This is especially useful for decorations that would otherwise never move on their own in a stationary house.
While you can’t see the putty itself in the picture, it does show the QuakeHOLD! 4520 Universal Flat Screen Safety Straps we also use for our TV in the bedroom.
7) Truma Propane LevelCheck – $90
When propane tanks weigh upwards of 40-50 lbs, it’s a pain in the butt to disconnect everything and try to weigh it by hand. There is the option of buying tanks with built-in gauges, but new tanks typically aren’t cheap). So having a handheld device that quickly — and accurately — measures how much propane you have in your tanks is a godsend. In less than a minute, you can see what you have left to estimate when you’ll need a refill.
8) Blue Hawk Satin Nickel Metal Closet Rod – $24 + Blue Hawk Shelf Bracket – $6
This isn’t as immediate as the other must have RV accessories, but it certainly was a hassle to change after the fact. About two weeks after we fully moved into our fifth wheel, we noticed our main closet’s clothing rod starting to bend and buckle. We realized the manufacturer had installed a relatively thin and weak clothing rod and it didn’t take much for it to start warping. Unfortunately, we were so caught up in organizing the rest of the trailer that we forgot to replace the rod, and a few weeks later it broke completely. Luckily, we were in a city that had a Lowe’s and found the perfect metal closet rod set, that we cut to length and easily installed into the existing area without much fuss at all. No more worrying about waking up to all your clothes on the ground!
9) Garmin Dezl 770LMTHD 7-Inch GPS Navigator – $390 + SquareTrade 2-year protection plan – $11
Depending on how tall your RV or trailer is — ours is just under 14 feet — having a dedicated GPS is a lifesaver. The Garmin RV version isn’t nearly as good, but the trucker version has been great. You get free map updates for life and about 95% of the time, we get better navigation results than we could have expected. The one time we didn’t was on a road in Louisiana — it was bumpier than we anticipated. But it notifies us about low clearance crossings and helps us stick to established trucker routes — which means less low hanging fixtures that could hit our AC units. You’re able to switch from towing mode to car mode too, so it works in multiple settings.
There’s a lot of things you can do to make your trailer feel more like home, but it’s important to protect your investment while making your time maintaining it more enjoyable. Our list of must have RV accessories have certainly helped us from day one and have been the first items we recommend to other — whether weekend warriors or full time travelers.
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