When we bought our first travel trailer, we were new to the camping game but we equipped our camper with the bare minimums- we had a few pots & pans, paper and plastic dishes, and blankets for our beds along with the necessities for a camper like a sewer hose, water hose, electric plugs, etc.
It wasn’t until we got our second camper after we had our son that we realized there were some things that would make our RV experience ten times better—and it was then when we started making a list of those things that we didn’t know we needed in our camper until we started really going camping all of the time. Often, when we here friends get a camper or are taking the plunge to start enjoying the outdoors along with us, these are some of the things we tell them we love, or, we give it to them as an “RV-housewarming” gift!
Without further ado, here’s our Top Ten Things To Get for Your RV
1. MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS– When we purchased our most recent camper, the first thing we decided to do was throw out the mattress that came with the camper and invest in a new one. We purchased a memory foam mattress from Amazon for around $300 and it has been amazing. It came to our house all rolled up and we unrolled it and let it expand in the camper. By far, this was one of the greatest investments we made in our “vacation home” as it is incredibly comfortable and luxurious. We also purchased a new quilt and sheets as well because, as you’ve seen in my past posts, I’m not really a fan of all of the brown that came with the camper.
2. POP UP TRASH CAN– This was one of those things that we didn’t realize we need until one day I happened upon one and we started using it. Before we invested in this, we were using a trash bag tied to the awning. It drove me insane. This trash can starts out the size of a garbage can lid and then pops open to hold a large black trash bag. It fits in our outdoor storage compartment when traveling but holds a lot of trash! And it is easy to clean as it is made of a waterproof fabric. The one tip we have is to keep a few clothespins handy to clip the bag onto the can when needed.
3. PORTABLE FAN – Even though our camper is air conditioned, sometimes the air doesn’t circulate as well as it does at home. Since you can’t mount a ceiling fan in a travel trailer, the next best thing is a portable fan. We are a big fan of the Honeywell Table Fan; we use it to pull air into the rear slide at night because the air doesn’t circulate on its own back there. It is perfect, also, for putting outside on the mini table to cool off when the temps are warm.
4. ELECTRIC GRIDDLE– A few years ago, right after we got our Surveyor, our grocery store was doing an appliance giveaway deal where if you got so many points, you got a free appliance. Since we already had all of the other appliances they were giving away, I opted for this electric griddle. At first, we weren’t sure what we were going to do with it, but once we decided to keep it in the camper, we were sold. We use our electric griddle often when camping; to make bacon, eggs, and pancakes. We also use it to make grilled ham & cheese sandwiches or sometimes even hamburgers if we can’t get the grill ready in time. It is really a useful tool when camping, and a pretty inexpensive option to keep in your camper for easy to make meals!
5. SLOW COOKER– When we purchased an Instant Pot to keep in our home, I brought our slow cooker to keep in the camper and we use it all of the time. One of our favorite things in the fall/winter months is to cook chili all day and come back to camp and relax. It is also great in the summer to cook baby back ribs, hot dogs, or even bake a chicken in without having to heat up the inside of your camper. Stay tuned, maybe someday I’ll share some of my favorite camping slow cooker recipes!
6. MINI FOLDING TABLE- Our camper has a small outdoor kitchen, but when we want to use our electric griddle, slow cooker, or our utensils and spices when cooking, this little table is the perfect size to keep those items while we are cooking or even to place the fan on when trying to cool off.
7. CERAMIC HEATER WITH THERMOSTAT – In the winter months, the rear slide can get a little bit chilly since there is no insulation within the slide’s walls. Also, we don’t like to use the propane heater all of the time in our camper, so we often will use an electric space heater to warm up our camper when the temps drop. We purchased this little heater two years ago and it puts out a lot of heat and does not take up a lot of space. We were really surprised at how well this small heater warmed up our whole camper!
8. AWNING LIGHTS – Whether you choose the traditional globe lights or a simple LED strip, awning lights are a MUST when camping. When we got out first travel trailer, the only light we had was the tiny little yellow light outside the door. If you wanted to sit outside your camper for a bit to hang out in the evening for dinner, etc. There wasn’t much light around to help out. These lights help tremendously for providing ample light in the evenings! We have the big globe style and love them!
9. HAND VACUUM- Last year, in March, we went camping during what was apparently gnat season at Percy Quin State Park. They didn’t really bite us during the day, but they somehow snuck into our camper quite a bit at night. You could hear them buzzing around and it drove me nuts! It was on that trip that we decided to get a hand vacuum to keep in our camper. It comes in handy when you have bugs flying around your lights, if your kids leave little crumbs in your dinette cushions, or if you want to try to control how much sand or dirt gets into your camper carpets when you come in from the campsite. We often use ours when we are unpacking to do a quick clean up before shutting the camper up until our next trip!
10. OXYGENICS SHOWER HEAD – One of my biggest complaints about our first two campers was that the shower heads were too low (I’m tall!) and that they didn’t put out much in the way of water pressure. With limited hot water output, the water pressure was a trickle and took forever. Along with the mattress, one of the first things we changed when we bought our Outback was this shower head. It provides an adequate stream of water without sacrificing all of the hot water in the tank, it is excellent and a great investment!
So, there you have it- some things we had no idea we needed until we had our third travel trailer. While these are our top 10 items, there are more that I could have added to the list…. Tell me, do you have any specific things you would have on your top 10 that weren’t included here?