travel trailer must haves

These new travel trailer essentials are must have camping gear. (Image: @rockfordroo Forest River Forums)

RVing is so much easier when you have the right gear. These new travel trailer must-haves are guaranteed to help you enjoy easy camping wherever you roam.

Travel Trailer “Must-Haves” for Easy Camping, All the Time

Recently I took my new Rockwood 2504s RV out for three days of camping. The taught me that investing in a few essential travel trailer necessities can make an RVing getaway so much better. If you are shopping for a new travel trailer, check out this list of essential RV gear for travel trailer owners and other campers.

Ultra Quiet Remote Start RV Generator

Your trailer needs a generator to keep batteries charged. If yours is an older model, these tips to quiet noisy RV generators can reduce the racket. But when that fails, consider buying a Champion generator.  This cheap alternative to the quiet Yamaha / Honda RV generators is the one I own. It costs half the amount as the competition. And the Champion also gets rave reviews around the internet, especially for the cool new features like a remote start.

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

RV Toilet Bowl Brush

RV toilets generally have a shallow bowl without much water at the bottom. When you do your business, sometimes the “business” sticks to the sides of the bowl–even if most of it flushes down.  An RV toilet bowl brush in the camper bathroom lets you clean it on the spot, and when dumping your black tank.

This small RV toilet bowl brush is my favorite. It has a nice cover and a handle hole for easy storage in the bathroom.

RV Bed Sheets

Our new Rockwood trailer came with a quilt and some pillows, but it did not come with RV bed sheets. Order some before you go out for the first time in your new travel trailer.

I like these cheap RV sheets on Amazon because they’re inexpensive, a good color for hiding a little dirt, look nice, and are good quality.

First Aid Kit

My wife is obsessed about RV 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 pack a Mueller brand first aid kit instead. She insists it’s qualifies for RV travel trailer must haves. I just obey and add it to my cart in Amazon.  Happy wife, happy life.

Durable RV Sewer Hose

I agonize over purchases like this. Dumping RV tanks is NOT a fun job. If I can get the right equipment to make easier, I’m in.

RV Sewer Hose Buying Tips

15-feet is the best RV sewer hose length for most places. With that size you should be able to reach any sewer hookup. A hose shouldn’t be so long that you have problems getting waste to flow through the entire hose. Ten feet is too short sometimes, and twenty feet starts to be a bit of a pain.

RV sewer hose with a clear right angle bracket is the best kind. It allows you to see what’s going through the hose. The bracket is frosted clear so you don’t have to look at the gross stuff. But, you can at least tell that liquid is going through so you don’t pull out the hose prematurely.

RV sewer hose that fits in the travel trailer bumper is convenient. Use care when choosing. Hoses with too large of connectors won’t fit in a bumper. This requires you to store the nasty hose inside a trailer compartment.

Get a hose that stands the test of time. 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 durable.

I’m sure there are lots of good RV sewer 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. I’m happy with the purchase. It fits all of the above criteria, and costs half of what comparable hoses sell for at Camping World.

RV 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.

RV Sized Clothes 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.

RV Water Hoses

Carrying two water hoses is essential RV gear. One of them will be a RV 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.

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.

RV Water 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 a cheap little RV water tank filler hose 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.

RV DVD Movies

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.

Portable RV Size 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. 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 portable RV size Black and Decker Pivot Vacuum.  It’s not terribly expensive and gets amazing reviews.

RV Kitchen Items

Give your RV kitchen a quick look and make sure you’re bringing all of the RV kitchen essentials that you may otherwise forget.

Gas Can for RV Tow Vehicle and Generator

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. Five gallons of gas will likely allow you to go a full week of camping.

RV Toilet Chemicals

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.

RV 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.

RV Trailer 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).

RV Door Mat

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 Travel Trailer Must Haves

Hope this post was helpful to you and that you have a very successful first trip in your camper! For more tips on essential gear, check out Camper Report’s must have gear articles!

Photo of author

Author Anthony Foxx

I am Tony, an RV designer and RV developer. I create bill of materials for RV manufacturers for travel trailers and fifth wheels. I worked as a freelance transportation consultant for Lyft. As an RV development consultant, I create customization trees for RV manufacturers who want to offer a solution to prospective customers to design their custom RV with variant configuration. Apart from this, I sell in Indiana trailer hitches, hitch balls, goosenecks and weight distribution systems where I provide advice to customers who want to know which is their towing capacity, which hitch ball should they utilize and how to deploy a weight distribution system. I do my best to explain all these processes and their installation, in the Lifestyle edition of Business Finance News.

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