RVing with a travel trailer has its own unique needs, and that means you’ll want the must-have accessories the experts rely on for safe, comfortable, and efficient camping trips.
To make it easy to shop and stock your travel trailer with the best products, I put together this list of the top 30 must-haves that will make an impact on how smooth your camping trips go.
This list contains gear specific to travel trailers, but some of the products will also work great for motorhome or fifth wheel owners, so everyone should give it a peek!
25 Must Have Accessories for Travel Trailer Camping
1. Surge Protector
A quality surge protector is your first line of defense against power surges or faulty electrical wiring that can destroy your RV appliances and wiring.
Don’t skimp when buying a surge protector. Ensure the unit can detect and shut down electricity running to your RV when it senses high or low voltage, reverse polarity, open neutral, or other issues commonly found at the power pedestals of campgrounds or RV parks.
2. Ultra Quiet RV Generator
A generator will keep your RV functional when boondock camping or if campground power goes out, which makes it worth the expense. Look for a model that can produce the energy you require to run your RV appliances, is lightweight, and has low decibel output.
3. RV Trailer Insurance
Most people assume the coverage they have on their tow vehicle will be suitable to handle any incidents with their travel trailer.
Trying to save money by not separately insuring your travel trailer can lead to significant financial loss if you have an accident during your trips.
Shop around for a comprehensive RV insurance policy that covers expenses for trailer replacement, repairs, temporary housing, and other issues that are exclusive to the RV lifestyle.
4. RV Standard and Heated Water Hoses
If your travel trailer has running water, you’ll want to have a proper RV fresh water hose made without the chemicals found in a standard garden hose.
An RV water hose will keep water coming from the municipal tap potable, but it won’t be helpful during freezing temperatures. That’s why it’s best to stow a heated RV water hose in your gear to prevent freezing or cracks in your RV plumbing lines during winter camping trips.
You never know when temperatures will plummet, even in temperate camping locations, so having both RV water hoses on board at all times will prepare you for anything.
5. Durable RV Sewer Hose
Dumping RV waste tanks is never a fun chore but is part of the lifestyle, so having a durable RV sewer hose is critical to get the task done with as little fuss or mess as possible.
Inexpensive RV sewer hoses will quickly crack and leak with regular use, leading to constant replacement. Therefore, it’s well worth paying more upfront for a sewer hose for an RV that withstands years of hookups, draining, and disconnects without failure.
If the beefier hose doesn’t fit within your RV bumper, use a bin and stick the hose and adapters in a storage compartment to prevent them from getting misshapen.
6. RV Bubble Level
Trying to level up your travel trailer is much easier with the help of a bubble level.
The shape of a bubble level allows you to see both front-to-back and side-to-side for a quicker leveling process. Many RVers attach one level permanently to the center of the exterior trailer bumper and place another in the center of one side just above the lower trim for quick reference during campsite set-up.
While old-school RV refrigerators must be level to function correctly, most newer versions can work when on an angle. However, the main reason you want your travel trailer level is for living comfort.
Even an inch or two out of level is very noticeable inside the trailer, making it hard to walk, cook, or sleep, so using a bubble level or two will ensure your camper is straight every time.
7. RV Water Filter and Water Softener
It doesn’t take long to realize the water you get at many RV parks or campgrounds isn’t the best quality.
Even “safe” water from local municipalities can have excessive minerals or an odd taste or smell that can ruin your RV components and your trip. The only way to combat these common issues is to use an inline RV water filter and a portable water softener.
Most RVers are unaware of how much damage mineral deposits cause to the interior of a travel trailer water heater. Even filtering the water may not stop the corrosion that will lead to early failure of the unit.
Installing a separate portable RV water softener is what expert RVers do to protect their water heater from an early demise. These tanks are quick and easy to set up during your attachment of the RV fresh water hose and filter to your trailer and are worth the extra investment.
8. RV Water Tank Filler Valve
If you fill up your travel trailer freshwater holding tank often, spend the $10 and get a handy RV water tank fill valve to make the job less stressful.
The adapter attaches the end of the filling hose and lets you control the water flow. The valve also provides an air gap that stops the annoying “bubble back” that slows tank refills.
9. Fresh Water Hose Elbow
RV hose kinks and fitting leaks can be a problem when you connect your freshwater line straight into your camper’s intake fitting as the heat of the sun and the weight of the water drag the hose down.
The best way to prevent those problems is to attach a 90-degree elbow fitting to the freshwater intake before attaching your hose. The elbow lets you attach the hose from the bottom, which allows it to hang straight down to the ground and avoids stressing the intake fitting.
10. Power Adapters
RV power adapters are another must-have RVing accessory for travel trailer camping so you can use a 30-amp or 50-amp power plug when the one you need isn’t available.
For example, if your campsite only offers a 50-amp plug on the pedestal, you can use your adapter so you can plug in your 30-amp travel trailer.
A power adapter is also known in the RV world as a “dogbone” and will come in handy more often than you think.
11. 3/4 Drill Socket and Drill
Manually leveling up stabilizer jacks using the lever arm seems to take forever and is hard on your back and arms.
Travel trailer pros avoid such hassles by packing a powerful cordless drill and a 3/4″ drill socket (or one that fits your specific jack stand) in their toolbox to adjust the brackets up or down quickly and easily.
Buying a universal socket is a great option for RVers to eliminate the need to carry a large number of socket sizes.
12. RV Water Pressure Regulator
There is always a chance of blowing out your RV’s plumbing system from overly-high water pressure at any campground or RV park.
Why risk damage to your pipes or fittings that can lead to water leaks when it only takes a few dollars to purchase and install an RV water pressure regulator with a gauge.
The pressure regulator fits between your water hose and intake valve and allows you to adjust the incoming water PSI to a safe level for RV plumbing systems.
13. Coaxial Cable
Most newbie RVers are unaware that most campsites in private RV parks offer cable TV hookups, but without a coaxial cable, you can’t access the programming during your stay.
A cable 25′ long is a good choice that should cover the distance from your RV to the pedestal that holds the cable connection.
14. Leveling Blocks and Jack Pads
Every RVer dreams of a perfectly level parking pad to avoid the often frustrating task of manually leveling their camping trailer. However, flat parking areas are rare at even the nicest RV parks, and not all RVs come with automatic leveling jacks.
The only way to level up your trailer in most instances is to use RV leveling blocks under the wheels of the trailer’s low side.
Leveling blocks generally are of durable plastic with a design that snaps together into various shapes so you can drive your travel trailer wheels on them to level out the side-to-side tilt.
For travel trailers that come with hydraulic leveling jacks and for placing stabilizer jacks over soft ground, you’ll also want to carry jack pads. RV jack pads are more solid to withstand pressure and not sink into the ground, so the jacks stay secure.
15. Tire Chocks
For safety, travel trailer wheels shouldn’t move when you park and unhitch at a campsite, so you must always chock the wheels.
16. Spare Gas Canister
If you carry a generator for your travel trailer, it’s wise to have a spare gas can full of fuel in the event of emergencies or for camping locations far from a gas station. Look for a design that reduces the chance of spills and is easy to pour even when full.
Buying a generator that runs on the same fuel as your tow vehicle allows you to use the fuel in a pinch if your truck or SUV starts running low. A five-gallon gas can is an ideal size that isn’t too large or heavy to transport but will run a generator for many hours.
17. RV Tool and Maintenance Kit
All kinds of things shake loose when you hit the road in your travel trailer, so having a tool kit and essential supplies on hand at all times will allow you to make small and large repairs promptly.
While you don’t want to overload your trailer, you do want these items in your RV maintenance kit:
- Screwdriver or drill set with different bits
- Electrical tape, duct tape, and awning tape
- Roofing caulk and silicone sealant
- Adjustable wrench and channel locks
- Extra plumbing and electrical fittings
- Screws and nails
18. Portable Air Compressor
RV tires can deflate at any time, and rarely will that time be in a convenient location near a gas station that offers an air compressor.
Traveling on RV tires with low air pressure is dangerous, so you need to carry a portable air compressor with you at all times to take care of issues immediately.
Ensure you purchase a compressor with enough power to handle heavy-duty RV tires that often need a higher PSI than standard automotive tires.
19. Tire Presssure Monitoring System
A tire pressure monitoring system for your travel trailer (TPMS) and tow vehicle will give you peace of mind during RV trips.
If any tire gets low or rises in temperature, the alarm will sound and alert you to the danger, so you can deal with it immediately before a blowout or accident occurs.
20. Roof Vent Cover
RV roof vent covers allow you to leave your vents open even during rain, so your travel trailer can have a continual flow of fresh air.
The covers also help delay the deterioration of the plastic lids from UV rays, snow, and debris, so you won’t need to replace them as often. Look for a model that is easy to open or remove so you can clean your vents or work on your RV roof.
21. Two-Way Radio
Two-way radios are the best way to communicate directions from the spotter to the driver when parking your travel trailer at a campsite.
The radios are also a great option when traveling in a group to stay in touch with others if you’re in areas with spotty cell service or when exploring the area around your camping location.
22. Outdoor Camping Mat
Campsites don’t always have a cement patio outside your trailer door, which means dirt, grass, and messes will track into your camper without an RV camping mat.
The mats are large but lightweight and easy to fold up for storage. In addition, the material allows rain, dirt, and sand to fall through the weave, so your camper stays cleaner.
You can find mats in several sizes and a wide range of colors and designs so that you can match your camper.
23. Portable Fire Pit
Not every campground gives you a firepit at your campsite, and many counties do not allow campfires at all unless they are in a covered fire pit that sits several inches off the ground.
If you love gathering around the campfire on your RV trips, bringing along a portable fire pit is the only answer.
You can buy a propane, wood, or charcoal fire pit that suits your camping needs best.
24. Portable Solar Panel Power System
If you boondock often or just want extra power at any campsite, a portable solar power station is an excellent investment. You can purchase a complete kit with panels and a charging station to generate all the energy you need.
The solar panels free stand outside your camper, so you don’t have to worry about permanent installation on your travel trailer roof or the sun’s location. The energy from the sun then transfers to a power station that allows you to plug in lights, small appliances, or charge up your mobile devices.
25. Electric Jack
A travel trailer power jack or power tongue will save your back and time as it automatically lifts and levels your trailer with the push of a button.
The cost is reasonable and worth looking into for such a convenient piece of equipment, especially for older RVers who appreciate help with physical leveling chores.
There’s no reason to go camping for years in your travel trailer before you learn which accessories you can’t live without.
By using the list of the 25 must-have accessories for travel trailer camping in the guide above, you can select, purchase, and pack the ones that appeal to you right from the start.
You can RV like a pro when you have all the best gear for travel trailers, so check out the list and enjoy a safer, more convenient, and extra comfortable camping experience!
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