19 RV Accessory “Must-Haves” for a New Travel Trailer

champion-generator-travel-trailer

If you’re in the market for a new travel trailer or camper, then this article is for you.  I just barely took out my brand new Rockwood 2504s trailer for 3 days of camping, and made a list of some necessities and “must haves” I had to buy for it, and also things I wish I’d bought.

Just thought this would be helpful for any of you who are looking to get a new trailer.  Enjoy the post.

A Quiet Generator (preferably with remote start!)

Okay, this one is obvious.  You already know that you need a generator for your trailer.  I purchased a Champion generator.  It’s a newer brand that is HALF the cost of the Yamaha/Honda generators and is getting rave reviews around the internet for the cool new features they are building into their trailers like remote start.

Check out my full review of the Champion 75537i generator, which has remote start and enough power to fire up the AC for under $1,000.

Toilet Bowl Brush

The toilets in RVs generally have a shallow bowl and don’t have much water at the bottom.  That means when you do your business, sometimes the “business” sticks to the sides of the bowl–even if most of it flushes down.  It’s really nice to have a toilet bowl brush in the bathroom of your camper so you can clean it when dumping your black tank.

Trouble with this is they are usually sold together with a plunger, and obviously a plunger is useless in a travel trailer, so I’d recommend this toilet bowl brush on Amazon (affiliate link) since it comes with a nice cover and has a hole for a hook in the handle so you can store it away in your bathroom and not have it bouncing around as you drive down the road.

Sheets for our RV queen mattress.

Sheets for our RV queen mattress.

Sheets for the Beds

Our new Rockwood trailer came with a quilt and some pillows, but it did not come with any sheets for the beds.  You’ll want to keep them nice, so remember to order some sheets before you go out for the first time in your new travel trailer.

I like these RV sheets on Amazon because they’re cheap, a good color for hiding a little dirt, look nice, and seem to be of a pretty good quality.  Those are the sheets I own for my camper, but any old sheets will do.

First Aid Kit

My wife is a little obsessive about safety.  Personally, I’d just rub dirt in my wounds and stand around looking like the Hulk if I were injured, but she thinks we should actually use bandaids.  So, a first aid kit.

My wife says that the Mueller brand first aid kits (aff. link to buy on Amazon) are the best ones.  Why? No idea.  But she insists that they make superior first aid kits.  I just obey and add it to my cart in Amazon.  Happy wife, happy life.

dump-hoseDump Hose

I know it’s a bit weird, but I agonize over purchases like this.  Dumping the tanks is NOT a fun job, so if I can get the right equipment to make it a more pleasant experience, I’m in.

When you’re buying your hose, keep a few things in mind.  First, I think 15′ is the right length for most applications.  You should be able to reach any dump tank, but it isn’t so long that you have problems getting the liquids to flow through the whole hose.  10′ is too short sometimes, and 20′ starts to be a bit of a pain.

Second, get a hose with a right angle bracket with a CLEAR view piece.  This allows you to be able to see what’s going through the hose.  It’s frosted clear so you don’t have to look at the gross stuff, but you can at least tell that liquid is still going through so you don’t pull out the hose prematurely.

You’ll also want a dump hose that ACTUALLY FITS in the bumper of your travel trailer.  If you get one with too large of connectors, it doesn’t fit, which means you have to store the nasty hose in one of the compartments of your trailer.  Gross. Many hoses are too fat.  Get one with the connectors that aren’t oversized.

Last, get a hose that will stand the test of time.  Nothing, I mean NOTHING is worse than finding a hole in your hose while dumping the black tank.  Many hoses crack easily if stepped on, so get one that is built a bit more durably.

I’m sure there are lots of good hoses and I haven’t done a head-to-head test or anything, but the one I ended up buying is this 15′ Camco dump hose and I’m happy with it.  It not only fits all of those criteria, it’s half the cost of what comparable hoses sell for at Camping World (the local RV place here in Meridian, Idaho).

Water Pressure Regulator

It’s worth spending a few dollars to make sure you don’t blow out the water system on your trailer.  Some RV campgrounds have too high of water pressure, which can cause undue stress and eventually leaks in your system.

Get a water pressure regulator that goes between your fresh water hose and the trailer or RV so you prevent that problem.  There are lots of good ones and some are extremely expensive, but Camco sells an all-brass regulator for about $10 on Amazon.

Hampers

The first time we went out in our trailer we didn’t have hampers or anything like that, so by the end of the trip, we had clothes stuffed in random places in the trailer and it made things messy.

You could certainly get a standalone hamper, but then it gets in the way.  I think a better way to go would be to just run to Walmart and buy a simple net bag hamper like a college student would use to carry laundry to the laundromat.  Then put it in one of your open storage compartments.

Hoses

You’ll probably want two garden hoses for your trailer.  One of them will be a fresh water hose that is only used to get city water into your trailer, or to fill the fresh water tank.  The other hose should be a different color so you don’t mix them up and should be used when you’re at a dump station to sprinkle out the black water tank (assuming you have a sprinkler system for your black water tank.

People get really funny about water hoses.  Some people INSIST that the fresh water hose has to be white to be safe.  Not really true.  It’s really just more functional to help you to not mix up your hoses.  Just be sure it’s a lead-free hose so it’s safe for drinking, like this white hose on Amazon.

The ideal length of hose depends on what your setup is, but I find a 25′ hose to be about right.  Anything longer than that starts to get annoying to take out from under the trailer and unkink.

water-filler-attachmentWater Tank Filler Valve

Just about everyone uses a filler valve when filling the fresh water tank on their trailer.  It takes FOREVER to fill if you don’t have one because of “bubble back.”

You just attach this little $10 valve (Amazon link) to the end of your hose and put the other end of the valve into the fresh water intake on your trailer.  That’s all it takes.

Movies

Okay, you really don’t need my movie recommendations, but just a quick reminder to remember to bring a DVD with you the first time you go up in your trailer.  No, camping is not all about watching movies, but it’s a nice activity during the hot part of the day and you’ll want to test out your sweet new tv in the trailer 🙂

And since you asked for my movie recommendation (right?), I highly recommend laughing the hours away at Dwight Schrute on The Office.  Or, watch the comedy movie “RV” with Robin Williams and Cheryl Hines.

A Hand-Held Vacuum

A camper trailer is a pretty small space.  It also has mixed flooring with some areas being carpet and other areas flooring.  So a broom really doesn’t solve the problem of so many dirty feet and shoes coming in and out from the campground.

I really like this Black and Decker Pivot Vacuum.  It’s not terribly expensive but gets amazing reviews.

Kitchen Items

We forgot a few kitchen items like a spatula and cooking spray.  Just give your kitchen a quick look and make sure you’re bringing all of the essentials that you may otherwise forget.

Gas Can

You might as well buy a new gas can for filling up your generator so you can keep the can in the trailer.  I bought a 5 gallon, which is enough to run the generator continuously for 28 hours since I fill the generator itself before leaving.  My generator (which I LOVE) uses 2 gallons every 8 hours of use.

Unless you’re camping in Phoenix in August, you really shouldn’t need to run the air conditioner more than a few hours a day, so 5 gallons of gas will likely allow you to go a full week of camping.

toilet-chemicalToilet Chemical

It’s generally recommended that you flush the toilet for 45 seconds or so when you take out your trailer before anyone goes to the bathroom so you can get some water in the black tank.  This prevents anything from sticking to the tank.

You’re also supposed to put in chemical that can break down the toilet paper and prevent smells.  A lot of people use these porta packs because it’s a convenient little bubble of chemical that you just drop down the toilet and you’re set.

Bubble Level

It’s tough to get your trailer exactly level when parking on uneven ground.  It is also possible (though rare) to damage your fridge if you aren’t parked level.  Solution?  Get a little bubble level and put it somewhere on the trailer.  You can get super fancy and buy one of these really highly-reviewed levels, or just go with the $5 bubble level.  Whatever works for you.

2 and 5/16″ Trailer Ball

Before buying my travel trailer, I had a pontoon boat.  I loved my boat, but traded it in for my travel trailer.  Anyway, boats usually use a smaller size trailer ball than travel trailers, so I had to buy a new one.

3/4 Drill Socket and Drill

This one is worth spending a second to buy.  The stabilizer stands on the four corners of your travel trailer are a PAIN to put up and down manually, and the powered jack stands take FOREVER.

The solution is simple.  Bring your cordless drill with this bit attached to it (link to Amazon) and you can zip your jack stands up and down effortlessly.

Insurance

For most people, insurance is a good idea for your travel trailer.  Not only does it cover the RV in the case of an accident, but it can give you coverage if someone gets injured while visiting your home on wheels.  I wrote a detailed post about the average cost of RV insurance here.

This is a really nice RV mat that’s available on Amazon. It’s quite large so it keeps more dirt out of the RV, is durable, cheap, and looks nice. Perfect! Click the photo to see it on Amazon (affiliate link).

A Mat for Outside the Steps

You’ll definitely want a nice big mat for outside the steps of your RV.  If you don’t get one, you’ll be sweeping up the RV incessantly from all the dirt and sand tracked into the RV.

I recommend a nice big one like this one on Amazon to keep things orderly and clean.  It’s not a huge expense by any means, and really helps.

If you have two sets of steps, don’t forget to buy an extra!

Conclusion

Hope this post was helpful to you and that you have a very successful first trip in your camper!  Check out the other sections of my blog for more tips on travel trailer’ing.

Comments

  1. We have the Rockwood mini lite 2504s June 2016, ours did come with a bunk ladder and electric stabilizer jacks, otherwise it is the same as yours. We also ordered our with a storage ottoman, for comfort when sitting on the couch … and more storage. We love our trailer. Our dealer in Dever added a water hose, sewer hose, water regulator and toilet chemicals. We previously had a 2003 Trailmanor that we owned for 11 years, so we had many things already for our trailer. We did change out our kitchen faucet immediately for a much nicer one with a pull out spray nozzle. We also added an inverter to run off batteries, and we added a second battery. We bought solar panels. We can charge on a sunny day and run our TV and lights off the batteries at night, and never run out of power. We just felt it was much better for the environment. We live in Colorado and camp in the mountains, so we did add sway control, we wouldn’t travel without it. We tow with a 2016 Ford F150 it can tow 11500 lbs and tows this with no problems. We have made 11 camping trips since buying it, no issues. We did buy the two year warrantee, have had good luck so far. Congrats on your purchase.

    1. Thanks for the blog. I will follow you. I am thinking of getting one in a year or so.

  2. I forgot , we bought a pillow top matress cover , and bought queen sheets from Walmart, they fit fine. We have never had issues with them.

  3. Thanks for some great information. We have a Durango with a max 7,200 towing capacity and we are looking at the 2506S model which is similar in size/weight to yours. From the one picture you show with the trailer attached to your Durango, it appears your are not using a Weight Distribution Hitch. Is that true and how does it tow with or without. Have you towed long distances in wind, mountains, freeways with trucks etc. Thanks for sharing.?

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  6. That’s interesting what you mentioned about how it’s recommended that you flush the toilet for about 45 seconds or so when you take out your trailer before anyone goes to the bathroom so you can have water in your tank. I’ve heard that it’s helpful, too, to have a bowl that can be filled with additional water by your toilet in case extra water is needed to clear out the waste. I’ll have to remember all these different accessories to bring the next time we take our trailer out.

  7. Super helpful. We pick up our trailer on Friday and will be ordering the sewer hose you recommend!

  8. We have just retired and purchased our first camper. Newbie campers in our 60’s. Love this information. Thanks.

  9. I would recommend a fitting on the black hose that has a hose fitting. After dumping the black tank this will shoot water straight into the tank and wash out those items that may be stuck in it. I got one from Walmart for under $20. A great investment.

    1. What exactly was the part called that you bough from Walmart? So much to choose from.

  10. Jim,

    Thanks for the info. I just purchased my first trailer for myself and my boys. 2018 Rockwood 2509S. Some of the items on your list i would not have thought of until i needed them.

  11. I am going to make a RV trip and this is the first time ever for me and my family. We are so excited about it but looking for such a post to get ready perfectly. These things are really required and I am going to buy those were not with me. Excellent awaring post!!

  12. I have a 2015 dodge durango with the v 6. 6200 pds towing capacity would you recommend this trailer for towing how well does your dodge it if you don’t mind me asking. Thanks

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  14. Jim,
    Looking to start our first rv adventure, and your a down to earth helpful blog is appreciated. I have a question, concerns the details about grounding the electrical system is how important or is it necessary? Thanks

  15. We?re thinking of getting the backup camera for our 2104s but concerned about the fact that it stays on. Do you have any more information or advice about this?

  16. Travel trailer is really important thing for a traveler. I like travel trailer. I want to buy a travel trailer for my family. Your post is very helpful for right choose. Thank you for share a beautiful and helpful information.

  17. Interesting And informative post about traveling. Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. Thanks, dear for this amazing informative post. You know what, i like travel trailer and want to buy for mine along with my family !!

  18. Thank you for this article. I’m in the process of thinking about purchasing a light weight camper trailer and your article has been tremendously helpful. Keep up the good work.

  19. Hi…we’re in our 60’s and new to travel trailer camping. We just bought new Gulfstream Vista 25’….we dont know what to do about AC since it is terribly loud…also there are overheads literally over our heads over the bed…we have actually hitbour head on them while sleeping and getting up suddenly…any suggestions??? Thank you!

  20. Thanks for the post. I’m looking to get a camper in a year or so and thought a lot of these items would come with it (hoses, sewer lines, valves, etc. I went to Amazon and put these items in my save list for future purchase.

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