When we bought our first RV and chose the RV Life, it was like buying a second home. We full-time RV in the summer months. And camp on the weekends during the “non-summer” months. So, we didn’t have the need to “move” into our RV like some full-time RV families.
Buying an RV is a lot like purchasing a second home if you are not selling your home and RVing full-time. Being the thrifty type that I am, I am always determined to not spend a fortune on the things we need. I visited our local second-hand thrift store to purchase things like silverware, pots, pans, towels, washcloths, can openers, etc. We had plenty of extra blankets and sheets so some of what we already had w put into our first rig.
I thought I had outfitted our RV pretty well as we set off on our maiden first voyage. Once we got to our campground, we started looking around at what other RV’ers were using. And we realized that we still needed a few things to make RV life work for us. It seemed every time we went to Walmart, we found more that we needed and we made (felt like) 10 trips to finally feel like we were “outfitted” for RV Life!
It would have been nice (at the time) to have an RV-specific checklist of what we really needed. And since research is telling us that approximately 50% of RV buyers are first-time Rv’ers, I wanted to make a list to help both new and seasoned RV’ers. Below is a list of some of the things we found ourselves purchasing in our first few weeks of RV ownership.
BONUS! All of these items you can get for cheap – at your local Walmart (or on Amazon)!
Patio Mat/Rug for Outside the RV
Having a patio rug helps to keep dirt, grass, leaves, etc outside of your RV. Plus, you’ll want to walk outside of your rig in the morning, with a nice cup of coffee WITHOUT having to worry about stepping on rocks, twigs, etc.
(Adjustable) Water Pressure Regulator
Having a water pressure regulator is a must! Have you read horror stories about blown-out water lines in RVs (and then flooded RV interiors)? Just pop onto an RV Facebook group or two. It won’t take long to find stories about damage from water pressure that was too great. However, we also have personally experienced very low water pressure (so much so, we’ve used our water pump when being hooked up to a water connection) from non-adjustable water pressure regulators. Having an adjustable water pressure regulator is now a must for us. Being able to make sure the water pressure is between 50-60 PSI seems to be the sweet spot for our rig. We get great water flow at this PSI and our water lines are protected also.
Septic Safe (RV/Marine Specific) Toilet Paper
This is a MUST! You do NOT want a clogged black tank! Your RV’s black tank works much like a septic tank found in some homes. Waste and water from the flush then go into a holding tank where it breaks down. RV or sometimes “septic safe” toilet paper will break down and dissolve quickly. Here is a tip about your RV black tank. When you are hooked up to a sewer drain – leave the black tank closed. This helps the toilet paper break down and you do not get dried up (BLEEP) in the tank. Pull the handle and drain the tank AFTER it’s at least 1/2 to 3/4 full. This will help the RV toilet paper to break down.
Holding Tank Treatment
Speaking of poo…Another “must-have” is some sort of treatment for the holding tanks. These tank treatments will help the TP and any other solids to break down into the liquid in the tank. These tank treatments also help to eliminate odors. Trust me on this one – you will KNOW by the smell if you forgot to add the tank treatment.
RV Water Hose
You want to have a separate hose for your freshwater. We found the Camco Drinking Water hoses are best. Most of them won’t leave a rubber taste and are plenty long and flexible. We’ve been at campgrounds where the water hooks up and is several feet away from the rig. So it’s best to have a nice, long hose for water hook-up.
Be sure to check out our Glamping Essentials post for more of our favorite RV gear.
We are missing anything? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a comment or visit us over on our YouTube Channel!