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So you bought an RV — now what?
RV rentals and purchases have skyrocketed in recent months, as people search for ways to safely travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. But if this is your first time owning a home on wheels, you might be wondering about a few things — like what every RV owner needs, where to buy (or rent) RV equipment, and how to upgrade an RV experience in easy ways.
Hardcore RV-obsessives, (my uncle included), have tips they swear by, ranging from the practical (installing a cell phone-range extender and having extra food on hand) to the extremely prepared (taping the measurements of your rig to the dashboard because “you don’t want to be waiting in front of the Lincoln Tunnel wondering if you’ll fit”).
Still, most motorhome enthusiasts agree that before hitting the road, you should cover the basics in a few ways: finding the right camper hoses for water and sewage, having reliable RV jumper cables, finding a sturdy spare tire, and a stocking up on a must-have set of tools for your RV that include wrenches, a tire pressure gauge for an RV and a flashlight. (And don’t forget a spare set of keys — because you never know.)
If you’re prepared on the functional front but are still looking for fun RV accessories and gadgets to upgrade your home on wheels, we’ve got you covered. We spoke with outdoor and travel experts from Arrive and Outdoorsy for their advice on the RV accessories that will make life of the road more comfortable.
Here’s what they had to say.
What does every RV owner need?
When it comes to the accessories every RV owner needs, you’re going to want to start with the perfect chair, cooler and lantern, according to Rachelle Snyder, CEO and Cofounder of Arrive Outdoors, a camping gear rental marketplace.
A lesser-known item you might want is an RV GPS, which can give you customized routes to avoid things like narrow roads and low bridges, said Jen Young, CMO and co-founder of Outdoorsy, a global RV rental marketplace.
Beyond a GPS, a Wi-Fi hotspot will also prove useful so you can stay connected wherever you go.
When it comes to your RV’s water setup, you might consider investing in a water pressure regulator, Young said. With it, you can adjust the flow of water into your rig, potentially saving you from busted water pipes and expensive damage. An RV water filtration system is also important.
“Never worry about funky drinking water again with a water filtration system, Young said. “They’re easy to install, will give you the crisp hydration you deserve, and won’t take up room in the fridge like a Brita pitcher.”
What about fun RV kitchen accessories?
In a small RV, space is a premium. Make the most of your motorhome’s space with practical and space-saving kitchen items that utilize your RVs wall space, like collapsible bowls and cups, a produce hammock, wall-mounted racks for spices and a magnetic knife holder, Young said.
Whether or not your RV comes with a fully equipped kitchen, Snyder recommends the Wolf & Grizzly outdoor grill for cooking over an open fire. It’s adjustable in size and is easy to assemble.
Though you might eat a few of your meals on the road, you’ll usually be parked while you munch. In that case, you might also want a lightweight and collapsible table that can be used for meals, playtime for the little ones, and even “work from home” office hours.
And you can’t forget accessories to make coffee and tea in an RV. For your morning caffeine fix, grab an enamel percolator to try your hand at making campfire coffee in the morning.
How can I make my RV more comfortable?
Getting some sleep on the road can be a challenge, especially if you’re not used to an RV mattress. In fact, RV mattresses differ from regular mattresses in a few ways, namely in that they might be shorter and narrower. You can find RV mattress replacements from places like RV Mattress, Camping World and even Overstock.
Young also recommends investing in better everyday essentials to use in your RV, like nicer linens and sheets.
“Upgrade your RV bedsheets and pillowcases to help you feel like you’re sleeping in your own bed, but better,” Young said. “Anything in a higher thread count, that is moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic, will help you get a good night’s rest. Most nicer linens are also wrinkle-free, which will help keep your set up looking nice and polished each night.”
In other RV decor ideas, Young recommends placing a small rug at the entrance of your camper to prevent sand or dirt from getting in the vehicle. You could also plug in a nightlight (preferably one that doubles as a USB phone charger) by your bed for some bedtime reading, add a diffuser to create a relaxing ambiance, and toss a bright-colored throw blanket to your couch to make the space feel more inviting.
More RV and camper accessories
Below, we’ve rounded up a complete guide to the RV and camper accessories that will come in handy while you’re on the road.
Take a look:
An adjustable campfire grill
An RV GPS
An RV water filter
A magnetic knife bar
Cast iron skillets
RV water pressure regulator
A camping dinnerware set
These compact cups that won’t break
A battery and USB-powered lantern
Toilet paper that’s RV friendly
A fruit hammock
An easy-to-carry cooler
A range extender for phone calls
A enamel percolator
A cozy hammock
A solar powered flashlight and charger
Collapsible cups and bowls
A collapsible table
A comfy camping chair
A cool camping backpack
A nightlight that charges your phone
A mug that keeps drinks hot and cold
Reuseable ziplock bags
A cute camping table that folds flat
A compact camping grill
This first-aid kit
A comfortable camping chair
A mini coffee maker
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.