A couple weeks ago we received an email from Gaby Cuda at Catch the Cudas and RV Share. She told us that they were interested in doing a shared article with Sort of Homeless – how could we resist!? After some discussion, we decided on a top 5 RV essentials list. So, without further ado, I present to you Gaby Cuda’s top 5 list! Catch our top 5 after hers!
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RVing is one of the most practical and fun ways to explore the country and experience adventures in a way you may not get to by any other means. RVing is gaining popularity and even the RV economy is gaining momentum, with more RV supply companies popping up, and more expos that show off the latest gear and hottest RV tech.
On top of all that, there seem to be more blogs and Youtube channels coming out, with the intent of teaching you everything about RVing, what sort of items you’ll need, how to use said items, and everything else in between.
RVing is tricky business, but it can be made simpler. Even with all of the how-to’s and RV information out there, there are a few essential things you’ll need to make sure you have, in order for your time on the road to be as fluid as possible.
We can’t even begin to explain how important it is to keep a flashlight or two (and spare batteries) with you in your motorhome. Ideally, you should have a flashlight for every member of your travel group. Having a flashlight can be the difference between a small emergency and a big one.
If you always stay at an RV park, having a flashlight can still make a lot of things easier, especially if you have storage compartments located outside of your unit. If you like to “rough it” and you don’t happen to like staying in modern parks, flashlights become even more important. Imagine being out in the woods at night, without being able to see around you properly. Or worse, imagine breaking down on the side of a dark road.
Because RVing can be so unpredictable, it’s important to be prepared for the kind of situation that can quickly become dangerous if you’re “handicapped” by not being able to see.
There are a few basic kinds of flashlights:
Incandescent bulbs – These have been around for the longest time and are generally the cheapest. They’re bright, but they waste a lot of energy and get hot very easily. Bulbs won’t last too long.
LED Lights – These have a long life, as they waste very little energy. They don’t have glass or filament, so they’re very durable. Many find them to be very “natural” looking lights.
Headlamps – These offer hands-free light and are very popular among bicyclists and hikers. They’re especially good for when being hands-free is imperative, like when fixing a mechanical issue outside of your rig.
2. Tool Kits
RVs are amazing vehicles that blend comfort, technology, and camping. Every year, manufacturers improve their design and quality. Yet, anything in your RV can break given enough time. Besides, accidents happen. That’s why it’s so important to keep a toolkit with you. Especially because when RVing, you tend to be miles away from any real assistance.
Having a good toolkit with you can bring fast relief for many issues that come up when driving hundreds of miles in an RV. Not to mention, it can bring peace of mind as well. Even if you’re not the handiest person in the world, you should make sure to have the means to tape something down, or hammer something shut, at least until you can bring your unit to a proper mechanic.
Some of the most basic tools you should have are:
- Socket set
- A Sharpie
- Duct tape
- Wire cutter
- Small drill
- Wrench kit
3. Spare Tire
This is a major item you need to make sure you have before setting off on a grand RV trip. While on the road, there is no telling what can happen, so even if you’re the safest driver, a tire can still blow out. If you’ve been RVing before, you’ll know that you can find yourself in the middle of nowhere for long periods of time.
If anything should happen to your tire, you may not be able to have someone service your unit for miles. Even if AAA comes, it could take hours. Or, even if you do experience a flat tire in a busy area, sometimes finding a place that carries RV tires isn’t easy.
Consider carrying at least one spare tire, mounted on a rim, and already inflated to the correct air pressure, if possible.
As the storage tank for your toilet, you should definitely make sure you’re covered for anything that can go wrong as far as this part.
As a rule of thumb, don’t leave the tank open when hooked up to a campsite. It will cause liquids to drain, which will leave waste to harden on the bottom of the tank. When dumping later, it can cause your kit to get damaged.
Try to make sure that the unit you’re using has a good one, to begin with. Use a heavy duty. This is definitely not an item you want to be cheap on. You can find a good Viper brand kit for around $50 with a 15-foot hose.
One of the most important things to have on the road is the proper clothing. Many people overlook this, but it truly is important to be prepared in this regard. Because of the unpredictableness of being on the road, you should make sure to bring something for every occasion. More times than getting a flat tire, you may end up being in the rain, sun, cold, or other weather. Have peace of mind by bringing items like:
All of these essentials are meant to keep you safe and secure on your travels. If you’d like to rent an RV from a company that guarantees high-quality and safety from the minute you rent, until you bring the unit back. RVshare is the world’s largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace and we pride ourselves on making sure you’re equipped with everything you need to have a stress time, including 24/7 roadside assistance and a full walk through a demo by the owners themselves.
RVing really is an amazing experience. Don’t ruin what can be one of the greatest adventures of your life by not being prepared. Include our list of essentials and don’t forget to take the time to add some essentials of your own. Prepare and have fun!
Top 5 RV Essentials – Sort of Homeless (Ryan McCready)
Well, there is definitely no arguing that Gaby found five ESSENTIAL items. The only one that I don’t carry is a spare tire. While in a perfect world, I would, it just isn’t reasonable to carry that large (and heavy) of a wheel and the equipment necessary to make the roadside repair in our situation. So, I substitute by paying a healthy dose of money for Good Sam roadside assistance and knock on wood every chance I get.
I could very easily copy the majority of her list, but what fun would that be?? So, I’ve come up with some original items that are underappreciated, but really important to my sanity when it comes to driving your house down the road.
This encompasses a lot of products and variety, but I’ll steer you in the best directions that I’ve found. This stuff is great for keeping things stable during travel, staying organized, and minimizing the amount of stuff that needs to locked down for travel. Prior to going Velcro-crazy, I had approximately 1 bazillion little items that needed to be laid down, put into drawers, and/or locked up. Now, many of these items have been Velcro’ed down and stay stationary nearly all the time, but can be moved if necessary. It’s also far from a permanent solution, so if the desire arises to undo your placement, just peel up the sticky backing!
What have I used Velcro on? Lots of stuff! TV remotes, Sleep Number Bed remotes, weather station, Amazon Echo, trash can (to the wall), hand sanitizer (to the wet bay wall), the list goes on. It can be used for so much – even hanging pictures!
Just regular old Velcro? Yes and no. Some of the items I listed above are being stuck with standard Velcro, mostly the items that aren’t heavy and I want to stick and unstick frequently (TV remotes are a great example). My secret weapon in the Velcro world is made by 3M and called Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener. If you’ve had an EZ Pass for toll roads, then you may have used this to stick it to your windshield. It’s like Velcro on steroids! As the name implies, it LOCKS together using rubber/plastic knobs on both sides, not fabric hook and loop. This stuff is great for heavier items and for holding things to the wall (I use it for my Amazon Echo and a glass flower vase as they are tall and susceptible to tipping over – they’re rock solid during transit). 3M makes several varieties of their Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener and the best I’ve found is TB3561/TB3562. It uses two different sides to mate and seems to hold tighter than the types that use the same strip for both unmated sides. I’ve begun purchasing it by the ten-foot roll – that’s how awesome it is!
I also use a lot of non-adhesive Velcro strips to wrap up cables and general organization. So versatile!
2. Museum Putty
This does a very similar job to my Velco, but for items that aren’t well-suited to having adhesive Velcro strips applied. I use this on the feet of my printer, the Keurig coffee maker, a toiletries caddy on the bathroom counter, an air freshener, etc. It keeps all those items exactly where they’re at, but they can easily be picked up when they need to be.
I think these are really obvious and popular, but that’s because they’re ESSENTIAL. With having a very limited space, you have to make every inch count. It is also becomes increasingly important to stay organized. Plastic bins help accomplish both of these. It allows much easier use of vertical space by being stackable. By putting similar items together in the same bin, it can make finding infrequently-used items much easier. Most folks have a liquor cabinet, I have a liquor bin!
If you want to take your “bin game” to the next level, invest in a label maker. Labeling the contents of each bin is super helpful, especially for larger bins!
4. Cup Hooks
Being able to hang things clears a lot of drawer and counter space – this is a good thing. Similar to the bins, this is all about using vertical space. These are great for way more than cups! I use them for hats, my backpack, lights, and of course, my copper mugs. Just make sure that you’re screwing them into something that is sufficient to hold whatever it is that you want to hang from them.
I keep three different sizes on hand for whatever project may present itself. They range from 1.5″ to half inch.
Often times we have a sewer connection, so water conservation isn’t necessary from a logistical perspective, even though I think it’s always good to use only what you need. During those stays when Lucky isn’t at a site with sewer, these things aren’t just a water-saver, they’re a life-saver (that’s a bit dramatic).
Basically, they only allow water to flow when the bar hanging down from the faucet is actively depressed. I think tooth brushing is a prime example of when these are useful. Many people keep the water flowing during the entire time they’re brushing their teeth. This is extremely wasteful since they are only using a small amount of that water. Over a period of time, such as a week, small things like this add up to 10’s of gallons of water.
It takes a small amount of time to get accustomed to using the water savers, but nothing do worry about. The biggest habit to break is leaving on the sink on at the end of your task since no water is flowing. This isn’t always a bad thing, but if it’s a sink that uses a single handle, or you were using both hot and cold water, then it allows your hot and cold water to mix in the pipes. This dilutes your hot water with cold water and produces warm water in the hot water tank. So, just be sure that you turn off the faucet when you’re done. (Side note: the water saver can be locked “open” for tasks that require water to continuously run without anything actively holding the bar – such as washing a large pot)
I installed these in Lucky’s kitchen and bathroom before we went full-time, so I don’t have a direct comparison to what it’s like without them, but I can say that we’ve regularly stretched our 50-gallon grey tank to over a week, easily. The current record is 13 days and the tank still didn’t show full.
There is a definite trend for organization, space saving, and stabilization. I guess that’s because those traits summarize life in an RV. It’s a small space, relatively speaking, and it experiences severe earthquake conditions frequently. Each little thing that you can take care of once and then forget about it, the more enjoyable your life will be – trust me!
As always, comment or Contact Us with any questions, comments, and/or concerns!
See you on the road!
Ryan, Kim and Jet