What to expect when you’re expecting… a new RV!

I am often asked by first-time RV buyers: what else do I need to buy with my camper? This is a GREAT question! I remember how surprised I was in 2015 when I bought my first teardrop, I was floored at all the additional expenses that I didn’t expect.

So while there are tons of cool gadgets for camping, start with this short list of necessities to make your first outing a successful one. Check out the video, and then find our Amazon links below.

Cheers! Mandy Lea

Watch the Video


#1: Chocks

If you have a single-axle camper, you could get away with just 2 chocks. But, since they are relatively inexpensive, I like the extra security in having 4 chocks – one for each side of each tire. Regardless, these will help you stay put on that uneven ground!

#2: Blocks

Leveling your camper from front to back is simple with the jack, but if you are uneven from side-to-side, you’re going to need blocks to make sure you’re level. And if you’re wondering; yes, being level is very important! It will help while cooking and sleeping, and your refrigerator does not like to be uneven!

#3: Power Cord

Most new RV’s should come with a power cord. Just in case, you want to make sure you are equipped with the proper cords for your first outing.

#4: Adaptors

If you want to be equipped to plug into most outlets, make sure to get an adapter for your power. Most smaller campers run on 30amps. We recommend a 30amp to 15amp (110 outlet) so you can plug into a standard wall outlet. They also make a 30amp to 50amp adapter, however I have not found this one to be particularly useful.

#5: Surge Protector

If you often stay at campgrounds around the country, the power in many places can be unreliable. Power surges can cause costly damage to your electrical system. Always use a surge protector when plugging into unsure power.

#6: Wheel Lock

All locks can be broken, but they still make a great deterrent – especially when you have multiple. This is our favorite wheel lock. It is strong, easy to use, and easy to store. Place it on the front facing side of your wheel.

#7: Coupler & Hitch Locks

You may think “it will never happen to me”… but it’s so simple to secure your camper, why take the risk? This is our favorite lock set as all three locks use the same key! Yay!

#8: Sewer Hose

Surprisingly, some campers don’t actually come with a sewer hose. If you plan to use your bathroom, this is an absolute must-have to empty your tanks. It wouldn’t hurt to get a box of rubber gloves either!

#9: Fresh Water Hose

You never want to mix gray and fresh water, so make sure you have a dedicated hose just to fill your fresh water tank. We love this Flexi Hose because it is a lengthy 50 feet, but also folds down for compact storage!

#10: Water Pressure Regulator

Just like you can’t control electricity, you also never know what the water pressure from a source would be. If the pressure is too high, you run the risk of damaging your water pump. When hooking up to city water, always be sure to use a regulator.

#11: Sway Control

I am often asked if a sway bar is necessary. Can you tow without one? Sure. But for less than $100 you can help prevent your camper from fishtailing, and possibly save your life. Seems like an obvious answer to me!

#12: Brake Controller

Finally, I had no idea that to use the brakes that came on my camper, I would actually need a controller! Some newer vehicles may come with them built in, but if yours doesn’t, here is an easy solution!

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Bobbi

    August 29, 2020

    Woo hoo Mandy! I hope to buy an RV here in the next couple of months. I sold my house and at this given moment I am homeless! I love your videos and all your help.
    Bobbi Kolby

    • Reply

      mandylea

      August 29, 2020

      Thanks Bobbi! I think of you often and I’m sorry I never made it to visit in Montana. Are you staying up there or going to CA?

  2. Reply

    Phyllis Price

    August 31, 2020

    Hi Mandy Lea: As owners of a new-to-us 2015 T@G, we appreciate your list of recommendations for must-have equipment. We’re about to start chipping away at the list. We’d love to give you the commission for your recommendations but, as Canadians, need to order from amazon.ca . If you gave the links for both, would it benefit you if we went directly from there. Just a thought….

    • Reply

      mandylea

      August 31, 2020

      Hi Phyllis! Thanks! I always forget that Canada Amazon is different… and you’re right, we have a lot of Canadian followers so that would help. I’ll look into it and see if I can find the links!

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