It’s RV season and it’s going gangbusters here at the RV dealership. We’re selling plenty of 5th wheels and trailers even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, camping allows us to maintain our natural distancing just by the way the campsites are set up.
Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to test out the setup for the season at least once. After all the de-winterizing and pre-trip checks, it’s time to stock the rig with all the gear that you’ll need for the season. We wanted to share a list of just a few of our favourite gadgets to ensure that you have in your RV kit. Some of these are almost mandatory and some are modern gear that will make your life just a little bit easier, giving you more time to relax in nature.
You might have a few of these already, but it might be time to upgrade to a newer type or model. Enjoy!
This could save your whole rig. When hooking up to camp power can’t guarantee the stability of the connection. Sometimes there are miles of cable running all over the site which could surge or spike at any moment. Some hookups are skookum and sturdy, but you don’t want to leave your vehicle’s wiring up to the integrity of whichever socket you plug into. There are a ton of options out there. However, don’t go cheap. Choose one that’s weather-resistant and universal with the appropriate grounding pins. Do your research, you’ll use it every single time you hook up.
Lithium Battery Boosters Jump Starter
RV’s and travel trailers have a lot of electrical gadgetry. When you’re in remote areas, you might end up accidentally running your batter a bit to low to start the vehicle in the morning. This can be pretty stressful so remove all the stress with a proven lithium battery booster or jump starter. Again, don’t by the cheapest hunk of garbage from Walmart. Spend the money because how much is it worth to you to recover from being stranded. The jumpers from NOCO have a very good reputation.
Related Article: Different types of motorhomes, campers and trailers.
Dual Wheel Stabilizers
You know the feeling when you step out of your camper and it rocks from side to side? This is primarily caused by the wheels shifting slightly from the weight. You can all but eliminate this rolling by using a device that braces against the dual tires. One such product that is frequently mentioned is called the X-Chock. It’s like a sideways scissor jack that sits between the tires and expands outward, thus bracing the rubber and stopping the tires from slight movement. Go search it out.
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
This is just an excellent safety feature. The air in your tires is susceptible to temperature. The air pressure expands in the heat and contracts in the cold. Given the weight that the tires are carrying, this can be a very important safety item to monitor. There are quite a few monitoring systems out there that wirelessly communicate to smart valve caps that you add to your wheels. You can monitor the pressure from the safety of the cab and get warned when one starts to drop in pressure, which could indicate a slow leak or a soon to be a blowout!
Given the last item in this list, the next logical gadget would be a good quality air compressor. Since these rigs come with all manner of auxiliary power capabilities, you can simply plug it in and let it go to work. With a slow leak, this little lifesaver will save you a very expensive tow, in case you’re not able to drop the camper somewhere safe to pull the wheel and drive to the nearest shop.
Bluetooth Automatic Leveling Systems
This is a bit of a luxury and would need to hook up to a pre-existing self-leveling system in a newer RV. How nice would it be to be able to press a button on your phone app and have your rig automatically level itself while you organize the campfire or yell at the kids?
Leveling Blocks or Kit
This is a bit of a classic product and we’re sure you likely have some manner of leveling system for campers without integrated leveling systems. There are the traditional stackable lego-type levelers and then there is the wedge type that works like shims. They’re most excellent and allow the finest level of adjustment as the two wedges slide against each other with the tap of a mallet. They also don’t require you to drive onto them or jack the camper up too high to get them started. Check them out.
Hopefully, you already have a water filtration system in your camper. They’re easy to install and are one of the most cost-effective safety features that you can add. The water that you find at campgrounds and hookups can be of varying levels of purity. An inline filter will also clear your drinking water of a lot of other contaminants like metals and bacteria. Be sure to bring a couple of spares in case you get into some gnarly water situations.
Water Pressure Regulator
To go along with your water filter, you will definitely want to incorporate a water pressure regulator. No joke, this could save you from a significant plumbing blowout. Some campgrounds have crazy high water pressure that will blow apart older plumbing. When hooking up to your water line, start with the regulator, then your inline filter, then your mainline. This ensures that your entire system is managed to a pressure that is appropriate for campers and trailers. Remember, you’re camping. Running water is a pretty wicked luxury.
Back up Camera
Backing up trailers is an art. It takes confidence and experience. Even so, having eyes in the back of the rig can save you a bit of embarrassment as you drop your buddy’s motorbike or crank into the picnic table. Your spotter isn’t always that good at their job yelling all manner of confusing directions. With a backup camera, you’re back in control and can drop the rig as far back into the spot as possible. Enjoy.
Wifi Booster & Hotspot Device
We live in an over-connected, over-stimulated society. Most of us can’t handle not being ‘unplugged’. It’s a shame since that’s one of the reasons a lot of us end up in nature. However, there are safety concerns as well, so we can all blame safety for validating that internet signal. There are a TON of wifi-boosters and products that create stable hotspots using weak cellular signals. As before, do your research, read reviews and spend a little more on a good quality unit. Happy surfing.
Good Quality Sewer Hose Kit
Poop! There we said it. It’s just a fact of life and, in particular for RVs, it’s something that you’ll have to just deal with. Fortunately for the RV community, there are a lot of products and equipment that make this task a bit easier to manage. When you find a dumping station, one thing that really comes in handy is a high-quality hose kit. You certainly don’t want your sewer hose blowing off your coupler or bayonet or whatever. Don’t get stuck and go all in for a 4 in 1 dump station fitting kit.
These are a really handy tool that packs down small. When you need to get up on the roof to examine a vent, pull branches or leaves or check for any damage after a storm. You don’t see full-size ladders any more once these beauties hit the market. If you don’t have one, you owe it to yourself. You’ll never go back!
Yes, when we talk about solar, there’s also a conversation about batteries and weight. If you’re considering upgrading an obnoxious old generator, consider going solar. We’ve all been there when that one old generator is blaring all night long. The owner doesn’t have any consideration for the people around them trying to sleep. You don’t want to be ‘that’ person. There are some very quiet generators out there now, but consider supplementing your power with clean, free energy.
There you have it. Just a few of our favourite gear to carry along when we head out with the RV or Camper. There are certainly a whole host of useful tools that we haven’t mentioned and there are a ton of great articles and videos out there on this very topic.
Shop for New RVs and Fifth-Wheels for the Camping Season
We have many new (& used) RVs or fifth-wheel motor-homes to choose from, and we are always willing to give a helping hand with any questions you may have as well. Shop our new RVs, and contact us today for more information about all our options.