The style that everyone camps, or RV’s, is different. But this list of our 22 must have’s should prove useful for almost any type of RV’ing you’re doing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short trip, or your new forever home.
Making sure you have the right accessories, tools, and creature comforts can make a world of difference. Besides, you don’t want to be miserable. Make this a fun and exciting time.
22. Spare Parts
Take a walk around your RV and notice all of the things that could easily break. Remember, your new home rolls down the road and is going to shake like an earthquake hit it. Expect things to break. Having a few spare parts for those easily breakable items will prove invaluable. Waiting until it breaks may lead to items being backordered, or worse, extended stays which get expensive.
21. Tools and Maintenance Products
In addition to having the spare parts on hand, you are going to need the tools to do the job. Keep the tools that you’re comfortable using. And make sure they’re adjustable. For instance, an adjustable wrench will take up less space than a full wrench set. At the same time, keep standard maintenance stuff on hand too. Things like black tank treatment, spare water filter, and even some silicone-based lubrication for that one thing that keeps squeeking.
20. Emergency Stuff!
Just like your house, you want to make sure you have a first aid kit. Cuts, bumps, and bruises happen, we all need a bandage from time to time. If someone in your party suffers from some kind of medical issues, like allergies, make sure that you have backup’s of all of their medical supplies. Don’t stop at the first aid kit either. Having a fire extinguisher is important too. Even if you don’t use these things for yourself, having them may save your neighbor sometime.
19. Camping Memberships
These can save you a ton of money. Don’t have too many! Then you won’t be able to fully utilize any of them. Do your homework and select a couple that fit into your RV Lifestyle. Our favorite is Harvest Host with the Boondockers Welcome upgrade. But you want to choose a few that fit into your yearly budget to reduce your nightly expenses.
Using apps while driving down the road is great. But having a paper backup is crucial. The advancement in tech has made routing travels significantly easier. However, I can tell you from experience that your cell phone doesn’t get service everywhere. Make sure that you’ve mapped out your route with an app. Then pull out the paper atlas and get familiar with where you are on there too. Relying to heavily on your cell provider could lead you down a road you don’t want to be on.
Living in your RV means fuel and all different types. Have a spare gas can for your generator or ATV’s. You’re also going to want a propane tank for your outdoor cooking equipment. Keep both of these full. Like that, if you happen to run out of gas while driving, you have a little on hand. And the same thing goes for the propane tank should you happen use up what you have on board for heating.
16. Cooking Equipment and Dishes
First, you need decent cookware. But besides that you want to get outdoor cooking equipment that fits your RV’ing needs. And you want to be comfortable using it. Now that you’re living in the RV all of the time, you wont be treating it like a vacation and eating out all of the time. When it comes to your dishes, you need something lightweight. You can get something like hard plastic plates or even Corelle.
Yes… I’m talking about AA and AAA batteries here. These should always be on hand. You never know when that flashlight is going to die. Or the remote control for that matter. But more over, unless you plan to spend every single night in an RV Park with full hookups, you will need to make sure that you’re house batteries are good too. Depending on how much Boondocking you plan to do, as well as your budget, it will determine what type batteries you should get.
14. Internet Access
So Many Options! Just like the Camping Memberships, do your homework. You really need to know how much internet access you’re going to need to make the best decision. Our friends The Captain and Michele did a great YouTube video comparing the 3 major ones.
13. Spare Tires
Your house is on wheels now. Which means several tires to worry about. Unfortunately, not every new camper will come with a spare tire. Same goes for cars these days. The manufacturers have provided the space for the spare to go, but have cut the cost by no longer providing one. Make sure that you have a spare tire for your RV as well as your vehicle.
You need a quality sewer hose. And you also want a quality fresh water hose. It doesn’t matter if you’re boondocking all of the time, the sewer tank needs to be drained, and the fresh water tank needs to be filled. Having quality hoses for each of these tasks is necessary. You also want to get a good RV Sewer Hose Adapter.
11. Clothes for All Weather
Yeah, I know… You moved into your RV and you’re going to follow 70 degrees. I get it. We had the same plan. But you know what… That’s not what happened. Not only did plans change, but the weather is seriously unpredictable. The meteorologist and farmers almanac can tell you the average temperature for a specific time of year, but no one can tell you the future. Make sure that when you downsize everything that you at least keep some clothing for all kinds of weather.
10. Water Pressure Regulator
Every single place that you connect your hose to get water will supply a different water pressure. If the water pressure is too high it can lead to leaks. No one wants to have a leak in the underbelly of their camper. Placing a water pressure regulator between the RV and the spigot can prevent that from happening.
9. Food and Fresh Water
Once you get yourself to a camping site, you can run out to the grocery store to pick things up. But what about when you find that you can’t quite make it as far as you were hoping. Or you get stuck in traffic for hours and end up in a rest station. Make sure that you have at the very minimum a bottle or 2 of water for each person and pet in your party. And make sure there is some kind of food that you can be eaten without the full function of your RV.
8. Your Favorite Bedding and Linens
Once you’re living in your RV full time, you want to make sure you treat your bed the same as you would in a house too. If your mattress is old, your back hurts. Get a good mattress and your favorite linens for it. On those days when you aren’t feeling well, staying in bed in the camper will feel like your staying in bed at home. No need to make the misery of being sick worse than it already is.
7. Power Cables and Adapters
We’ve done our fair share of Boondocking. But very few people Boondock 100% of the time. Eventually almost everyone needs to connect to a pedestal. Make sure that you have the necessary power cable for your rig. But also make sure that you keep an adapter, or ‘dog bone’, to go between 50 and 30 amp. There are other sizes, 20 and 15. But the most common these days are 30 and 50 at an RV Park.
6. Wheel Chocks and Jack Pads
Every single time you park your rig, you want to make sure the wheels are chocked. Go on any RV Full Time group on Facebook and you will find a story of someone not chocking their wheels when they parked and find their camper rolling. No one wants that. Make sure you have chocks. Jack pads are just as important. For our 5th Wheel, there are times that we need multiple pads under each of the jacks to get ourselves level. Besides just leveling, you don’t want your jacks sinking into hot pavement in the summer. You may find yourself a permenant site that you didn’t necessarily want when they get stuck in there.
5. Surge Protector
We all know to make sure that our computer, TV, and heavy appliances connected to the outlet with a surge protector inside our homes. But did you think about the fact that your entire home is now connected by a plug to a power pedestal? Guess what, ya want to make sure that you get a surge protector to connect to the pedestal and then to your camper. You never know when the power is going to go out, best to be protected than lose everything electric in your camper.
4. Proper Insurance
Transitioning from using your RV recreationally and full time requires different insurance. You need to change your insurance policy to a Full Time RV Policy. This is a different type of policy than that of a part timer. It works more like a home owners policy with a few variations for the RV’er. Check out my article on knowing the difference.
Even if you make all of your bills available via email and online, you still need a mailing address. And even if you never call for your mail, you still need to establish your domicile. Which is basically declaring a state and address of where you’re from. Go ahead and try to get a driver’s license without an address. You can’t vote, or file income taxes either. There are several options out there. The top 3 states selected for establishing your domicile are South Dakota, Texas, and Florida for taxing purposes. But you need to make sure that you have this set up and put in place before you start your journey as a Full Timer.
2. Your Band
I’m not talking about your drummer and bass guitarist here. Having a solid support group is so important. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes overlooked. When you follow the social norm of growing up in a house, moving out, and buying a house, the band is still together. Your family and friends almost always support this decision because it is the socially accepted next step. But when you make the leap into Full Time RV’ing you may find yourself with a lackluster band. Sadly, not every family member and friend is going to support this crazy off the wall decision that you’ve made. Not having the support from those that you love and whose opinions you truly value can be overbearing and downright hard. But don’t lose sight of your goal because they don’t understand. There are SO many other people out there doing the same thing that you want to do. Get yourself over to Facebook and look up Full Time RV’ing groups. Support, on support, on support.
1. Positive Attitude
You kept reading and you made it to the top of the list! This is BY FAR the number one thing needed to head out on your RV Full Time Adventure. Not everything is going to go right all of the time. Take one look at any of our YouTube episodes and you can learn that fairly quickly. Things break, tornados happen, you blow your budget. The number of unknowns is so large it can’t be honestly counted. Keeping a positive attitude and being extra resilient to negativity will bring you further along on this journey than any combination of the items listed above.