Driving RV

Outfitting Your New RV? Read This Before You Buy A Single Supply

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Driving RV

Ready to Accessorize Your New Ride?

So you’ve bought your RV. You’ve haggled with the salesman, you’ve pored over the financing papers, you’ve inspected and re-inspected, and you’ve had a certified mechanic check everything out. You’re roadworthy! 

But not so fast there, partner. Now that you’ve spent the money to buy that fancy rig, you are going to need to spend some money to fill it … and we're not talking about the gas tank here. You’re going to need some RV supplies.

See that bed? It needs sheets, blankets and pillows. See those cupboards? They need cups and plates. See those drawers? They need … well, they could need a whole lot of things. So here it is. Your definitive guide to RV supplies and accessories.

This article originally appeared on RVshare.com.

Bed of RV with a View

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Let’s start with the all-important bedding supplies. Let’s be honest, you bought this rig because you wanted all, or at a minimum most, of the comforts of home, and perhaps the most important is that cozy bed. Well, guess what? Your RV bed is going to need all of the same stuff your bed at home needs. Now, you can certainly use sheets from your house and carry them back and forth, but this RV is a getaway machine, friends! You may as well get some sheets, blankets and a comforter especially for your RV, right?

Related: How to Find the Best RV Bed Sheets for Your Camper

Bedroom inside camper van

Find the Right Fit

Before you go running off to the store, pay attention to a couple of things: Is your RV bed the same size as a residential bed, or does it have special dimensions to fit your RV? What is the thickness of your RV mattress? Is there a specific decorating motif you would like to follow? You'll want to make sure that you get bedding supplies that are comfortable and durable, but you may not want to buy the most expensive set of sheets on the shelf. After all, you are going camping and may be a little dirty or smell of campfire when you go to bed.

RV bathroom

Do Your Business

Well, would you look at that? Another one of the luxuries of having an RV: a working bathroom! Like your home bathroom, you’re going to need some supplies, and you should pay special attention to supplies for your RV toilet. First of all, let’s talk paper. Toilet paper, that is. It’s a good idea to purchase RV-specific toilet paper to avoid clumps and clogs. RV toilet paper breaks down more easily in water, so it is safer for your RV black water tank.

RV Water Tank

A Clean Tank Is a Happy Tank

Next, you’ll want to pick up some RV holding tank chemicals. These chemicals are designed to help with the unpleasant odors that can come from your RV black tank, and they are designed to help the process of breaking down paper and solids.

RV Kitchen Cooking

Dinner Time

And the luxuries just keep on coming! Your RV has a fully equipped kitchen, so let’s talk RV kitchen supplies. Many of the supplies you use in your home can be used in your RV kitchen as well, so there isn’t a ton of mystery here, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • You’re dealing with a moving kitchen, so try to avoid anything that can break easily. Plastic plates and cups might be a good idea.
  • You don’t have as much space as your kitchen at home, so try to pick utensils that have multiple uses. For example, cast iron pans are a great choice because you can use them both inside your RV, and outside over a fire.
  • While you are camping, you won’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning, so any kitchen utensil that cleans up easily is a bonus.

Related: 16 RV-Friendly Meal Hacks for Delicious Eats On the Road

Board Games
Alena Kravchenko/istockphoto

Let’s Play a Game

Into each camping trip a little rain may fall. You want to be prepared to spend some time inside the RV when the skies open up, and fun games are one type of RV supply that is sometimes forgotten. Think of the things you like to do at home on a rainy weekend with the family. Movies? Monopoly? Checkers? Pictionary. It’s a great idea to have some games or movies available in your RV for when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Many RVers will dedicate a cabinet inside their RV for games and rainy day activities, which is especially important if you have small children.

Related: Top Indoor Activities for Kids

Camper Leveling Block

Park It

Once you hit the road and make it to your campground, there are some RV park supplies that you’ll need to get yourself set up. For your RV refrigerator to run properly, your RV needs to be level. Your RV may have come with leveling jacks, but it’s a good idea, and good manners, to put boards under those leveling jacks so you don’t chew up the ground under your RV. If your RV didn’t come with leveling jacks, you’ll want to carry some wood blocks to make sure you can raise your tires on either side if needed.


Make Sure You're All Charged Up

Your RV probably came with an electrical cord to connect to the campgrounds electrical services, but is your cord long enough? Do you have the right plug for the types of outlets in the campground? It’s a good idea to carry an extra cord, along with a few electrical adapters, or “dog bones,” to make sure that you can connect to the electric services at your campground.

Ask For Extended or Additional Hoses

Take a Load Off

One of the most important RV plumbing supplies that you’ll want to carry is a sewer hose. Whether you are at a campground with full hookups, or you’ll be dumping your tanks as you leave, at some point those black and gray water tanks needed to be emptied, and you’ll need a good sewer hose to do the job. One more thing: Carry an extra sewer hose. Trust me on this one.

Cleaning RV

Keep It Clean, Mister

If you want to have a long and prosperous life with your RV, it’s important to keep it in good working condition. Part of that is the sometimes unpleasant fact that you must clean your RV. While there are specific RV cleaning supplies that you can find at many RV-related retailers, using your regular household cleaning supplies is also a good option. Dish soap, dusting spray, glass cleaner, toilet cleaner, degreaser. All of these things will come in handy in your RV. It’s also nice to have a container of disinfecting wipes on hand for those times when just a quick clean-up is needed.

Related: Easy RV Cleaning Hacks for People Who Hate Cleaning


Like a Boy Scout, Always Be Prepared

With all these luxuries comes the harsh reality that sometimes in an RV, things break. You have all kinds of RV equipment and supplies on board, and it’s important to be prepared to deal with them in the unfortunate event that something breaks down on you. So you need to carry some RV-repair supplies along with you, just in case. It’s a good idea to have a good set of tools along with you in the RV — screwdrivers, sockets, hammer, pliers, and wrenches. If those sound like the same tools you have in your garage at home, you’re right. You just never know what you are going to need or when you are going to need it, and a good tool set is your friend in those cases.

Related: 100 Useful Products for the Ultimate Camping Trip

filling the water tank of a campervan

Avoid Water Worries

You should also carry some back-up RV-plumbing supplies. It’s a nice option to carry a Y-splitter so that you can split the water service at the campground. By doing this you get water in your RV, and you can also hook up a hose to use outside your RV. Speaking of which, you should carry an extra hose. An extra hose is a good idea in case yours springs a leak, or if you want to wash something outside of your RV. Another thing I always carry is plumber’s tape. When you find a small leak in a gasket or fitting in your RV plumbing system, you’d be surprised how often a few inches of plumber’s tape will take care of the problem.

Buy Extension Cords

Stay Connected

And don’t forget the RV electrical supplies either. Extra extension cords are always a good idea just in case. Most importantly, carry extra fuses. An overload on any of your electrical circuits can often easily be remedied by a new fuse, so make sure you have fuses of all the different sizes that your RV uses along with you as spares.

checking RV tires

Don’t Get “Tired”

Whether you have a motorhome or a travel trailer, a pop-up camper or a truck camper, your RV tires are a key element to getting you to where you want to be. And when it comes to keeping your tires in good shape while you are on the road, it doesn’t matter if you have a huge diesel pusher or a small pull-behind, you need to have the right motorhome and RV trailer supplies for your tires.

Always carry a tire gauge so that you can make sure your tires are at the proper pressure. As a note, always be sure to check the pressure on your tires when they are cold, or before you have driven anywhere. Tire manufacturers set their recommendations based on the pressure in the tire when it is cold.


Cover Your Tracks

It’s also a good idea to carry tire covers to protect your tires when you get to your destination. Harmful UV rays can do damage to your tires, and these inexpensive covers can save you money in the long run.

Online shopping
Rasulovs / Getty

My Mama Told Me, You'd Better Shop Around

Like most things when it comes to RVing, the supplies can get expensive, so don’t be afraid to shop around. Most major manufacturers, such as Camco RV Supplies, will have an RV supplies catalog that lists everything that they have available, and often you can find the same RV supplies online.

It’s a good idea to shop your local RV supplies store, a big box retailer, as well as to compare prices online. There are a lot of different websites where you can buy RV supplies that you may not even find in your local store. You may even be able to find secondhand RV supplies that still have plenty of use left in them.

Related: 18 RV Accessories to Buy at Costco

RV driving


With all of the expense of buying an RV, followed by the expense of outfitting it with the right gear, supplies, and back-ups, you might be overwhelmed at this point. Sometimes an RV can feel like another chore that you have to take care of. Believe me, I’ve been there.

But now is the time to remember why you bought all of these things in the first place: to get away. You’ve got years of enjoyment ahead of you with your RV, and the supplies you’ve purchased make all of those RV luxuries usable and worthwhile. Keep perspective on why you thought this RV was a good idea in the first place, and take some time to slow down and enjoy it. So, find yourself a rig, then load up your supplies, hit the road, and find a nice spot to relax!

Related: RVs and Camper Vans With Style for Miles