When it comes to RVing, there’s always that one thing that is a must-have. Everyone has their preferences and some of the ideas are pretty unique. However, there are a few that overwhelmingly make the top of the list.
We gathered 100’s of suggestions from RV owners all across the US and have compiled them into one list. There were tons of recommendations, but we only listed the ones that were suggested by multiple people.
Maybe you will see something on this list that will make your next trip even better. Let’s get to it.
Outdoor Rug or Carpet
Outdoor rugs are an awesome accessory for RV owners. The main benefit of these rugs is how they help to keep your rig clean. Don’t confuse them with carpet, they are not like that at all.
They are designed to dislodge dirt and debris from your feet and then allow it to fall through the loose weave. Having something to remove dirt and keep it out of the way will help keep things much cleaner.
Tankless Water Heater
For anyone other than solo travelers, small hot water heaters can be a pain. Especially, if everyone tries to clean up in sequential order. It doesn’t take long before all the hot water is gone.
That’s where a tankless hot water heater comes into play. You don’t have to worry about letting your hot water warm-up, which can take up to an hour or more. It will also give you a constant supply, meaning you don’t have to worry about that cold shower when you are last in line to the bathroom.
Gas Fire Pit
Have you ever been camping somewhere when fire restrictions are in place? I’m sure you have, and it stinks. One of the things we look forward to is sitting around a campfire at night. What do you do if restrictions prevent this from happening?
Well, you can always use a gas fire pit. It seems a little excessive, but those who use them swear by them. Just set it up, hook it up to propane, and get going. There’s no smoke to deal with, not wet wood to fight, and no problems with burning a campfire. It’s a great option to help deal with burn bans.
Blackstone Griddles are a favorite of many folks. The big 36″ version was recommended over and over as being a solid option. You can set this up outside and keep the heat out and the cool in. Plus, with 36″ of cooking space, you can feed half the campground if you want.
For the rest of us, who don’t have the room, Blackstone makes much smaller versions. They even go all the way down to a tabletop version that most folks could accommodate.
A screen room can really help with this. The Gazelle G6 is highly recommended and can offer a bit of protection against mother nature. It’s simple to set up and take down and adds shade from the sun in addition to bug protection.
Depending on where you are camping, bugs (mosquitos) can be a huge downer. It gets really annoying when you are trying to relax and east supper in the evening and you are constantly having to swat the hordes of flying insects.
If you are looking for a little extra light outside your rig, Yo may want to consider adding some awning lights. They’re not for everyone, but the people that use them give them high marks. Be cognizant of your neighbors and how much light you’re putting off.
A small, quiet generator can be a lifesaver when the power goes out or when you are boondocking. Make sure to size it properly depending on what you want/need to run. Keep in mind, the more power it generates, the heavier it is. Make sure you take that into consideration when purchasing.
Sleeping on a standard RV mattress can be less than ideal, to say the least. For a lot of people, replacing the mattress is one of the first things they do. Keep in mind, it can be somewhat tricky due to RV mattress sizes being a little unique. However, some folks fit in full-size mattresses and just deal with a little less space.
Memory Foam Mattress
If you don’t want to replace an entire mattress, a lot of people add a memory foam “topper” mattress to what they have. This is what we have done and it’s awesome. It made an immediate difference in quality of sleep.
These come in various thicknesses and sizes. A common method is to buy a full-size and then cut it to length. Depending on the excess foam, you can always use the leftovers to make pillows. If you don’t want to cut it, try to narrow your search down to a queen ‘short’.
A basket to gather, collect, and store shoes is a great idea. A simple shoe basket will allow you to keep dirty shoes outside of the camper and helps keep the mess outside as well. You would be surprised how much this helps reduce the amount of sweeping you will be doing.
A fan is a must-have for us. It really helps to keep the RV feeling cooler inside and provides some white noise for those who like that at bedtime. Our personal favorite is the Holmes Mini. It really cranks out the air and takes up very little space.
Outdoors it can help keep bugs away if that is an issue. Btw…did I mention I hate mosquitos?
A lot of the items on this list work in cooperation with one another. A folding table for setting up outside works great for creating space to set up cooking appliances, etc.
You can set up your Instapot, Airfryer, and more on it to free up space inside. It also allows you to keep your RV cool by providing an outdoor workspace to cook. You can put your icemaker out there as well, to create even more room.
A table cloth is cheap, easy to store, and provides several benefits. They add a little pop of color to your campsite, make it personal to you, cover up dirty tables, and provide a sanitary place to eat. They’re also easy to clean up before putting them away.
A hurricane lantern can provide a nice source of light to your campsite if you don’t want to add electrical sources. Also, you can fill it with citronella fuel to help keep the “skeeters” away.
Heading in and out of your rig all day provides all kinds of opportunity for flying and crawling bugs to get in. For those who don’t like to get up and personal, a fly swatter may be appropriate. Even if you don’t want to kill the bug, you can use it to scoop those little critters up and toss them outside.
A clothesline will allow you to dry clothing and linen any time you perform a little sink ‘washing’ session. In the right weather, you can dry a batch of clothes in no time. Keep in mind, hanging clothes can be an eyesore. Be cognizant of that. Also, there may be restrictions in place preventing you from hanging up a line, so you need to be aware of that as well.
Nice, comfortable camp chairs are worth the cost, space, and weight. If your most comfortable seating is inside your rig, guess where you will spend most of your time.
In addition, no one wants to spend much time at all sitting on a hard park bench or at an uncomfortable picnic table. Do yourself a favor and get something comfortable to lounge in. You will end up spending more time outdoors…I promise.
K-cup Coffee Maker
A lot of folks drink coffee and being on the road is no exception. While it’s not for everyone, the Keurig is one of the most popular choices. It’s quick, convenient, and requires little cleanup. It’s a solid coffee option for those who want a quick cup of joe.
Our personal favorite brewing method is the French press technique, and our favorite French press is made by Bodum. I like the robust construction and the double-wall stainless steel keeps coffee hot for quite a while.
We make lots of coffee and this thing has held up wonderfully. Add your coffee and hot water, wait 4 minutes, and plunge. It’s too easy to make excellent coffee.
For those who want to up their coffee game, there’s the ROK Espresso maker. This neat little device allows you to make a nice, hot, crema rich espresso on the road. The size makes it perfect for travel, especially when counter space is at a premium.
Outside of mattress upgrades, a countertop ice maker was at the top of the list. A lot of people use and recommend these devices. It can save a lot of money if you look at the cost of a bag of ice at the campground store.
The version we recommend by Igloo, can make 26 pounds of ice in 24-hours. That’s a lot of ice.
For smaller travel trailers, just use a folding table to set it up outside. This can save counter space. Not to mention, you can set up other outdoor cooking “gear” outside as well.
To store some of the extra, just bag it up in Ziplock bags and throw it in your freezer. If your freezer doesn’t have the room you can just leave it in the icemaker.
Adding a mini, or RV size, dish drainer to your arsenal is a good choice. The obvious choice is to dry dishes after washing, but what else can it be used for?
Try using it for dish storage as well. During transit, you can add cushioning in between plates to keep them from banging into one another.
I hate to admit it, but we love our air-fryer. It’s clean, easy to use, and cuts cooking times down a lot. Our favorite is from Cosori, and we use it all the time. When you combine this item with an Instapot, there are a lot of meals you can knock out with little effort.
An Instapot is another one of our go-to kitchen accessories. Especially on the road, the things make light work of meals without messing up the entire kitchen and a lot of dishes.
Sure, it takes up counter space, but it can also be set up outside on a folding table. Besides, you’re in the outdoors, try to do as much of your cooking outside as possible.
If you have the space, a Berkey Water Filter is awesome. Let’s face it, some campgrounds have water that tastes like anything from chlorine to a rotten egg.
That’s where the Berkey comes in. We love Berky Water Filters and use them all the time. Just fill-up the reservoir tank and let gravity do the work. In just a little time, you have safe, great-tasting water.
Camping near a water source? No problem. If allowed, just use the water source to fill your Berkey and you’re good to go. Just make sure it’s not full of sediment or you will clog up the filters.
Electric Water Kettle
We use an electric water kettle all the time. Like I mentioned above, we prefer to brew our coffee using a French press method, and in order to do that, we need hot water.
We also make hot tea from time to time and it comes in handy there as well. Simply press the button and in a couple of minutes, you have hot water at the perfect temperature.
If you do a lot of cooking, consider picking up a collapsible colander. From washing veggies, to prepping salads, to draining pasta, everyone needs colander. The problem is how much room they take up.
Problem solved. Grab a collapsible colander and just stick in a cabinet or drawer when not in use. They pretty much fold up flat and take up very little space when collapsed.
Adding some motion-activated LED lights inside your cabinets can be an awesome upgrade. We all know how dark the interior of most RV cabinets can be.
To mitigate this problem, mount some battery-operated, motion-activated lights inside problem areas. The batteries in LED lights last a long time and the pros far outweigh the cons.
Regular Size Trash Can
Mini trash cans made for RVs seem to fill up in no time. There’s a constant process of dumping and replacing bags. A full-size 13-gallon trashcan helps cuts this process way down. Spend time enjoying your trip and not just dumping trash all the time. If you have the room, give it a shot.
I don’t even know if this needs to be said, but everyone needs storage tubs. Storage space in RVs is at a premium and organization is a must. Be sure to size your bins according to your storage space dimensions. Also, make sure you storage options “nest” together to make them easy to stack and store.
A folding drying rack can be a lifesaver when you need to dry wet clothes from swimming or if you “washed” a few things in the sink.
They collapse down for easy storage and just pulled out when needed. You can also set them up outside for quicker drying, but be sure to anchor it down or the wind may blow it over. Wet clothes and dry dirt don’t mix.
A small, skinny, strong, canister vacuum makes light work of the unbelievable amount of dirt that finds its way into campers. If sized properly, they can squeeze behind tight spaces to suck up hard to reach dirt. They also work great for those who travel with pets.
Broom and Dustpan
If a vacuum is not your thing, consider a broom and dustpan. Either way, you need a method of cleaning up dirt and other debris. A broom and dustpan does a fine job and will save you a chunk of change when compared to a quality vacuum.
Microfiber towels work great for cleanup, can be washed out easily, and dry quickly. Clean countertops, floors, handles, knobs, doors, carpet, walls, windows, and more. They are just a great all-around tool to have.
Composting toilets are something a lot of folks are hesitant to embrace. However, they aren’t that bad at all. As a matter of fact, the people that use them love them.
Long story short, they’re awesome if you don’t like dealing with your black tank, don’t like dumping, are environmentally friendly, and like saving water. If anything, it’s worth looking in to.
Wall-Mounted Shampoo/Soap Dispenser
With the small size of most RV showers, a wall-mounted dispenser is priceless. For one, it prevents your shampoo, conditioner, and soap from rolling around everywhere and always being in the way. It also frees up valuable space in the shower/bathing area, which is a huge plus.
Pro Tip: Make sure the dispenser is mounted enough so you don’t put a knot on your head when raising up your head.
Dealing with dirty laundry in an RV is always a pain. How do clothes, towels, etc., pile up so quickly and where should we store it?
A collapsible, pop-up laundry hamper can help solve this problem. It’s out of the way when you don’t need it and there when you do.
Toss all your dirty stuff in there and either transfer it to something at wash time or just take the whole thing to do laundry.
A clear shoe organizer is an often overlooked addition to RVs. They are organizational wizards. Make sure you get one with clear pockets to make it easier to identify contents.
It can, of course, hold shoes, but also first aid, hygiene products, hair spray brushes, razors, toothpaste, and more. Whatever fits can be thrown in there. It’s up to your imagination.
Curved Shower Curtain Rod
Anyone who has tried to shower in an RV will tell you how confined it is. It seems you always end up fighting the shower curtain. Adding a curved shower rod takes care of this problem. You don’t know what you’re missing until you try one. It adds an awesome amount of “working” space!
I probably don’t need to tell you all the benefits of baby wipes. Quality baby wipes can be a game-changer for anything from a bathroom break, to cleaning faces, to cleaning up messes. They really do have a place in your supply list.
Being able to perform hands-free work in the dark is a huge plus. I can’t even begin to list the number of tasks where a headlamp proves to be useful. Whether you are on the road or at a campsite, you will be glad you have a quality headlamp.
An impact drill can be one of those controversial items that some people love and some people hate. However, if you have to manually adjust your stabilizers and aren’t physically able to do it, consider a cordless impact. It will make light work of set up.
If you have a leak that needs immediate repair, you will be glad you have some flex tape. It works wonders for temporary fixes and even long term fixes in the right conditions.
Tire Repair Kit
I took a trip years ago in a little popup trailer and had a wonderful time. However, on the way back home I had a flat. No big deal. I threw on the spare and went on my way. The problem is, a few hours later I had another flat and I was out of spares. I was dead in the water in the Texas Panhandle on a Sunday evening. Not good.
Ever since then, I carry a small tire repair kit and a compressor. It doesn’t work on everything, but a lot of things it does. For me, it offers peace of mind. Remember, if you plug your tire you need to fill it with air. See below.
Small Air Compressor
A small air compressor can be a life-saver if you have a flat tire, fix it, and need to fill it up. A tire repair kit won’t do you any good if you can’t air up the tire. Also, they work great for inflating balls and other accessories related to water activities.
A hitch lock is designed to prevent wannabe thieves from stealing your camper trailer. If this is a concern of yours, you should consider getting a hitch lock. They are not foolproof but can provide a deterrence to someone looking for a quick steal.
When you start plugging in multiple devices, charging cables, etc., you will quickly find yourself running out of outlets. A quality, appropriately sized power strip takes care of this issue. Grab a couple, throw them in your rig, and forget about them until you need one.
If you made it this far, you deserve an award. We’ve covered a lot of items across a broad spectrum of applications. Surely there’s something in there that will make your next trip just a little better.
If there’s a must-have you can’t do without, be sure to mention it below. Maybe it’s something we need to add to our collection.