We all look forward to camping trips with our RVs but unfortunately not everything always goes as planned. Whether it's an emergency situation or something to make your camping life a bit easier, we've compiled a list of 25 must haves while RVing. These tools will come in handy wherever you go and make your trip much more relaxing.
Solar Device Chargers
Whether you're bringing along a smart phone, tablet, GPS, or any other device, battery power can be pretty scarce when you get out in the woods. You don't want to used too much of the RV's energy as you obviously need it for other things but, for most of us, these devices can be hard to live without. Getting a solar charger for these devices allows you to use the power of the sun to charge them and save that RV battery for the lights at night! There are many great chargers out there like the Nomad 7 Solar Panel by Goal Zero. This charger is lightweight and very portable. It's weather resistant so you can lay it out and get your devices charging and not have to worry about the temp or showers. It even has two ports so you can charge two devices at once!
Portable Meat Smoker
If you're a meat and potatoes kind of person, then a portable meat smoker is the way to go. There's nothing like the taste of freshly smoked BBQ no matter where you are. The Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 14" by Weber is great for taking on camping trips. This smoker has a porcelain enameled bowl and lid, a glass reinforced nylon lid handle, built in thermometer, an aluminum damper, a rust resistant aluminum fuel door, and 286 sq in of total cooking space. If you need a larger one there are two more models that offer more cooking space
When you're on a long road trip, getting lost will only prolong it and shorten the amount of time you get to actually spend enjoying yourself. Make sure that you get all those turns right with an RV GPS. Garmin has ben on the map for GPS units for a long time so there's no secret that these guys make a great product. The Garmin RV 660LMT is a perfect GPS system for an RV. It's specifically designed so you can input the size and weight of the RV and it will give you a custom route according to these specs. This way you don't have to worry about bridge heights, road weight limits, or really sharp curves. If you happen to deviate away from the custom route for whatever reason, it will warn you ahead of time if you will encounter any of these. This GPS comes stocked with a directory of RV parks and services as well and you can even filter the list of campsites based on the amenities you want to have. The large touch screen display makes it easy to see and navigate when on the road.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is a versatile form of cookware that you can use not only in your RV kitchen, but in the campfire as well. These types of pans are great for things that may need to be started on the cooktop and then transferred into the oven, or to plunk right in the fire without having to worry about a melting handle. Loge Cast Iron is a great manufacturer when it comes to these types of pots and pans. They have everything from skillets, to Dutch ovens, and griddles. You can get them pre-seasoned, enameled, and they offer a ton of great accessories you can get along with them.
Portable Coffee Maker
If you're a caffeine junkie, you know that going anywhere that there will be no coffee is dangerous for everyone around you. Don't leave home without a portable coffee maker so you can keep your self sane and your fellow campers safe. These coffee makers vary in size and start with making a single shot of espresso and go up to making a full pot. We really like the Coleman Coffeemaker PPN. Just put your coffee rounds into the basket, add water, and push the button to ignite the matchless ignition. You'll have a full pot of coffee in no time with no cords or electricity to worry about, and the design ensures that the temp will remain consistent no matter what the conditions.
Frozen Drink Maker
Weather you like margaritas or just making a Kool-Aid slushy for the kids, a frozen drink maker will help you relax and cool down at the end of a hot day. The Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker is a great machine that will have you sipping these tasty beverages in no time. This awesome machine will give you restaurant quality frozen drinks and can make up to 60 oz! The most awesome part of it is that it makes each drink on demand so they're fresh as you want them instead of a pitcher sitting around melting.
Keeping things dry when you're out camping can be a challenge. Sometime rain can get in the way or you may want to get out in a raft or canoe but bring along things you can't get wet. A waterproof bag will come in handy and Sea to Summit has a ton of options. The Lightweight Dry Sack is their most versatile bag and is available in 7 different sizes and 5 different colors.
Bringing along bikes can add an extra activity while camping but also an extra mode of transportation. Especially if you have a motorhome, you don't want to have to drive to the store if you realize you need something. If you bring bikes you can take off for a trail ride or head up to the local corner store when you need to. There are even plenty of bikes out there that are foldable such as the Onway 20" 6 speed, which is even an electric bike for those longer trips.
Having proper air pressure in the tires of both the RV and the tow vehicle can greatly affect your gas mileage and your safety on the road. Equipping yourself with a portable air compressor can save you a lot of headache when trying to find a gas station with an air pump. The Craftsman 120V Portable Inflator will make filling up those tires a cinch as long as you have AC power. The 11 ft. cord gives plenty of room to plug in and still reach your tires. It even comes with tools to help you fill things like air rafts, sports balls, and other inflatable things.
Folding Step Stool
To ensure you can reach everything in those overhead cabinet spaces, it's a great idea to have a folding step stool like the Camco Aluminum Platform Step. This step supports op to 1,000lbs an folds down for easy storage when you're done. This step may also come in handy for other things while you're out camping such as trying up a clothes line or you could even use it as an outdoor footrest!
Whether you want to get some light without using your power system or you want to create a romantic environment, nothing beats candlelight. Unfortunately candles can be pretty dangerous as they pose a fire risk if knocked over. Flameless candles can give you the same ambiance as real can without the risk. LED Lytes makes great flameless battery operated candles in all sizes and colors and many even come with a remote so you can turn them off and on no matter where in the RV you are.
First Aid Kit
They say "hope for the best and prepare for the worst" and this is a great philosophy when camping. You don't want to be out in the middle of nowhere and experience an injury you aren't ready for. Ensure you have a first aid kit with all the essentials. You can make your own or Coleman has some really nice kits that you can buy.
Insects, especially mosquitoes, are a nuisance but can also carry disease. Ensure you bring some insect repellent to keep them away and avoid the itching. You can do this in the form of bug spray, mosquito traps, or citronella tiki torches around your campsite.
Serving trays come in very handy when camping to help you move food from the grill/campfire to the picnic table or someone's lap. If you have a site without a picnic table and you want to eat outdoors, serving trays can make it a much less messy task. There are many different shapes and sizes to fit whatever you may need.
Sometimes your lighter can let you down so you want to make sure you have matches on hand. One frustrating thing about them is that they wont work in wet conditions. Coghlan's makes great waterproof matches that will light no mater what the weather.
You never know what your campsite will look like or how the parking will be at a sanitation station or place to fill up on water. Having extra hoses will help entire that you will be able to reach the place you need it to without hassle. You will want to make sure you have an extra fresh water hose, a garden hose for rinsing out your black tank, and sewer hose for dumping.
A long time ago camping was all about sleeping on the ground under the stars but now there are a lot of luxuries available that can make things much more comfortable. Folding camp chairs come in many varieties and have tons of options like cup holders and built in coolers. When it comes to sleeping you can get memory foam mattresses of the RV or comfortable air mattresses if you want to sleep outside
Unfortunately sometimes it rains when you go camping and cooking on the fire isn't exactly an option. Whether you have a small RV that doesn't have a cooktop or just want to save on the LP, an electric skillet can come in very handy. Oster makes a great electric skillet with a non stick coating to make cleanup easy.
Two-way radios work good in many situations where cell phones don't. In the woods it can be pretty hard to get a signal so investing in decent two-way radios can ensure that you can keep in contact with your fellow campers at all times. They are especially helpful when trying to back the RV into a tight spot, so you can better communicate with someone outside the rig as they guide you in safely.
This is another area where you want to prepare for the worst and hope you won't need to use it. Having basic tools can be a necessity in the event you run into a problem. You should stock things like screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, a small axe, a shovel, duct tape, and a hammer.
Auto Sewer Flush
You want to keep those black and grey tanks cleaned and one thing that can come in really handy is an auto sewer flush valve. This valve forces water back up into the lines to clear clogs and flush out the tanks. The Camco Dual Flush Pro is the perfect tool for keeping the tanks spic and span and clog free.
Internet & Wifi
No one leaves home without their smart phone or tablet these days. The internet is pretty much everywhere but when you're out camping you can usually find those places it isn't very easily. Many phone services offer mobile Internet for customers, so you can link your devices up to the Internet even when you are on the go! There are also additional antennas you can get that will help grab and amplify a weak signal if you're near one.
Portable Ice Maker
Out in the summer heat ice can make a world of difference when it comes to your beverages and cooling down. You can't always count on the ice in your cooler since it can melt pretty quickly. Most RVs either have a small freezer that's not conducive of adding ice trays or an icemaker in the fridge that can take forever to make it. A portable icemaker can make large quantities quickly so you're less likely to run out.
You need a flashlight for camping and it's always a good idea to have a radio so you can listen for weather updates. Why not get a radio that has a flashlight in it!? This way you only have to worry about storage space for one and you can rock out to your favorite tunes while on your way through the campgrounds.
RV Toilet Paper
You cannot use regular toilet paper in an RV. Regular toilet paper doesn't break down well and can stick to the sides of the tank as well as in the tubes and cause some serious clogs. You want to get an RV or septic safe toilet paper that is rapid dissolving such as the Scott brand for RVs and boats. We hope this list will help make your RV trip fun and worry free. Leave a comment and let us know what your personal Must Haves are!