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Hubby and I got our first travel trailer last September and were only able to take it out once before we put it into storage for the winter, but I’ll tell you what, I wish I would we would have had the list of 25 Beginner Tips and Accessories for Travel Trailer Camping before we went out for our first venture! LOL!
We have rented pop-ups in the past when we would go to our annual family reunion in Michigan, and they usually came with everything that we needed. If they didn’t, there was always someone at camp that had what we needed since we travel over 1400 miles one way to spend the week with all of our extended family.
I want to share with you a very short, but important list of items that you will want to make sure you have before you take your travel trailer out for the first time. I would suggest writing everything down. I know we all like to think, “oh, I’ll remember that!” On our first trip, we had 1 full sheet of things we wanted to make sure we put in the trailer, but thank goodness we had that same pad of paper with us in the camper! We ended up writing down another half page of items we want to make sure we bring on the next trip.
Rinsing our black water tank after dumping has always been a hassle. It took forever to fill the black tank with water to flush it out. We would have to hold the toilet valve open or drag a hose through the RV window to fill the black tank through the toilet.
But now flushing the black (and gray) water tank is super easy. We just use the Rhino Blaster and connect a hose to it to quickly and easily fill and flush the black water tank.
The key is to buy the Rhino Blaster with the Gate Valve. RhinoFlex sells the Blaster without the gate valve for less money, but without it, you can’t fill your black tank because the water is pouring down the sewer hose at the same time you are shooting water into the black tank. Anyway, this is a great item that has made maintaining our black tank way easier. We absolutely recommend this product!
2. Gas Can
If you are going to be dry camping and not “glamping” you want to make sure that you have enough gas to keep your generator running when it needs to be running. We like this gas can because of its no-spill spout. It may cost a little bit more, but it’s worth it. You can tip the can vertical, insert the spout into the generator opening, then press the button to begin and control pouring. To stop pouring simply release the button. Practically eliminates spills and overflows.
3. Cordless Drill and ¾ Inch Socket
We suggest having a separate ¾ inch drill socket and cordless drill specifically for the travel trailer. It is essential that you keep the battery charged all the time and have it located in a place where it can be easily accessed when you pull up to your campsite. We have our cordless drill placed in the under-belly storage so that when we park we can hop out of the truck and know exactly where the drill is so that we can lower the leveling jacks. Bring your cordless drill with this bit attached to it and you can zip your jack stands up and down effortlessly.
We found these excellent leveling blocks that my husband really likes. They are more convenient than wood blocks because they interlock with each other and are easy to store. These leveling blocks allow you to stack the interlocking blocks to the desired height for easy leveling.
5. Wheel Chocks
Wheel chocks are very important! Once you have your travel trailer parked, you want to make sure that you have your wheels chocked, so the trailer doesn’t roll on you once you disconnect it from your vehicle. We found these wheel chocks, they are heavy-duty, solid rubber.
6. 3 Foot Level
Once you have your travel trailer parked, you want to make sure that it is level, so you are not rolling off the bed while trying to go to sleep. We suggest getting a 3-foot level to make sure you are level front to back, and side to side. A 2-foot level is too short to measure accurately and a 4-foot level is too long to store easily. We find that a 3-foot level is perfect. Also, check out our articles called How To Level a Travel Trailer on a Slope for some great tips on how to quickly and easily level up your travel trailer.
Unless you want to follow everyone in and out of your travel trailer around with a broom, you should invest in an outdoor RV or travel trailer outdoor patio rug. We chose this one because it is large enough to cover most of the side of our trailer. We take our Skye Bird with us and as I’m sure you know, dogs can and will drag in lots of dirt and grass on their paws. By putting this large outdoor patio area rug out in front of our stairs and under the awning, she will lay here instead of on the dirt, weeds, or grass helping to keep that stuff from traveling into the trailer with her.
Same goes for our shoes, right? When we go camping, we are walking around on dirt and gravel for the most part, and having the outdoor RV rug to wipe our feet on before entering the trailer helps keep most of the dirt out. Another great thing about this particular rug is the carrying bag! This allows for easy cleanup and storage.
Whenever you are dumping your holding tanks you want to be sure to wear gloves to avoid contact and keep clean. The cheap latex gloves you can buy at the pharmacy or your grocery store just won’t cut it.
There are a few things to consider before buying gloves. First of all, they should be nitrile and not latex. Nitrile is more puncture resistant than latex and there are no latex allergy concerns with nitrile, which is a synthetic rubber product.
Second, your gloves should be heavy-duty and long enough to cover your wrists. I suggest at least 6 mils in thickness but 8 mil is better. The last thing you want is for your glove to rip while working with your sewer hose. And I also recommend the 9 1/2″ length of the glove so it covers your wrist, as well as, your hand.
Third of all I recommend disposable gloves. They are very inexpensive and you won’t have to clean them after every use. Just use them and lose them.
I like the neon orange 8 mil nitrile gloves by Gloveworks. They have great reviews and they have a diamond grip pattern in the glove too. They work great.
You can’t always pull into your campsite during the daylight hours, so it is good to have a rechargeable LED headlamp. The key is to make sure your headlamp meets these four criteria.
- It’s Rechargeable
- It’s Waterproof
- It has a strap that goes over the top of your head so it doesn’t constantly slide down your forehead.
- It has a red light so you can use it when star gazing or fishing at night.
Trust me I know! I’ve owned about 5 different headlamps over the years.
We suggest getting an outdoor table for the convenience factor. For instance, if you have stuff that doesn’t need to be brought in every night, i.e., coffee maker, stainless steel coffee cups, paper plate holders, flashlights, etc. you can leave them on the outdoor table, and they can be easily found the next time you’re ready to use them.
And you can put your cooler full of cold beverages underneath it. The outdoor table is also convenient for prepping your meals. We chose this outdoor table because it is lightweight, durable, and collapses small enough to go into a carrying bag.
I don’t know about you but we definitely do not have enough countertop space in our RV. The sink is right next to the stove which leaves about 4″ of countertop space. Yikes! So, luckily we found this stovetop cover and now we have a place to set up the coffee maker and toaster in the morning or a place to put our cups if we want to pour a soda.
The great thing about this stovetop cover is that it is universal so you don’t have to guess if the stovetop cover will actually fit on your stove. We bought ours and used the template on the back to measure where to install the rubber cups that stick to the burner grates. It was very easy to install and now we have extra countertop space. And the rubber cups that hold it in place prevent it from squeaking too!
We all love the convenience of paper plates, right? Especially if we are just doing burgers and hot dogs on the grill. It is easy and convenient to grab paper plates for these quick and easy meals. As we all know, some paper plates are not of very good quality, so we got some of these plastic paper plate holders. Please keep in mind, paper plates are better than styrofoam plates. Yes, styrofoam plates are a little sturdier than paper plates, but they are not good for the environment. Plus with paper plates, when you are done eating you can just throw them into the fire pit, put your plastic holders on your outside table, and move on with your day!
We know how convenient the paper plates are while camping, but if you decide that you want to grill up some steak or boneless chicken, you should have a set of plates and bowls so that you can cut your meat without cutting the paper plate along with it. My grandparents were avid RVers years ago and when we got our travel trailer my grandma highly suggested getting a Corelle Dish set. This is the set she gifted us with for our “house warming gift” for the travel trailer. The Cornelle dish set is made with a break, and scratch resistant patented Vitrelle glass technology. They are lightweight and very durable. My grandparents had their set for over 30 years before they stopped traveling.
No campsite is complete without a coffee maker! We are passionate coffee drinkers, so we had to make sure that this was one of the first things we bought for the travel trailer. Many coffee makers are electric but this Coleman propane coffee maker runs on the stovetop so you don’t have to power up the generator to make your coffee. Just light the stove burner and you are good to go. Mike here at RVBlogger loves his coffee maker and says he doesn’t have to worry about quiet time to make some coffee.
We did not have a cast iron skillet set on our first venture out in the travel trailer, but I sure wish I did! Thank goodness our friends/neighbors had one! We were able to have sausage, bacon, and eggs for breakfast on our last morning out.
We didn’t even pack a regular stove skillet, but we brought all the stuff for breakfast! This is another reason why it is essential to have a written down list! Lodge cast iron skillets are pre-seasoned and they really are the best. I suggest a dutch oven skillet combo for your first set because the lid for the dutch oven is also a frying pan. You’ll have all the bases covered.
We may have forgotten our skillet, but we were sure to bring our kitchen utensil set on our first outing! We found this excellent 38 piece utensil set that has everything you should need in your travel trailer. Don’t forget to get measuring cups too!
If you are anything like me and cook to feed an Army, there are sure to be left-overs! We are a family of 7, and you want to make sure there is enough for everyone, and now that most of the kids are gone from home, I am yet to learn how to cut down my portion sizes to make just the right amount for the 2 of us.
We always have leftovers, so we decided to get these collapsible containers so that they don’t take up too much space in our already small cabinets. I like these ones, in particular, because they are silicone and are BPA free.
An RV water pressure regulator is a small, but useful, device that keeps the psi of the water entering your RV down to a safe level to prevent plumbing pipes from developing pressure leaks. What is the proper psi for your RV? The recommended water pressure for newer RVs is around 60 psi, and 50 psi for older ones.
The water pressure can vary quite a bit from campground to campground and without a gauge, you will have no idea what the water pressure is when water is entering your RV. You can try to guestimate the amount of pressure by adjusting the water spigot but you will regret that decision once you see a leak pop up.
Don’t make the mistake of just buying a water pressure gauge though. You want to buy an adjustable water pressure regulator with a gauge so you can know the water pressure and adjust it if necessary. Also, you will want to make sure you buy a safe brass product that meets the low lead requirements for safe drinking water.
19. Water Filter
A good water filter will not only make your water taste better but it will also make your water safer to drink. Water filters can remove the taste of chlorine, and also remove contaminants and sediment too.
When looking for a water filter try to find one that is in line, which means it connects between your freshwater hose and your RV. Also, try to find one with a flexible hose protector to prevent stress and strain on the hose connection points.
We like the Camco TastePure Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector. It comes with the flexible hose protector and it’s a great value that will last all season!
I know, sounds silly to even have to write this down. However, this is another one of those things that we said, “oh, we should remember this!” We didn’t remember until we were getting ready to leave the house! Thank goodness it is a queen sized bed, and we actually had some queen size sheets in the house.
FYI – a travel trailer queen sized mattress is actually a short queen so your queen sheets form the house will be too long to fit properly. If your good with that then great. If not check this short queen sheet out. And a blanket is always good to have for those cool summer nights.
This doesn’t have to be for just shoes, either! Yes, we had some shoes in it, but it is also a great place to store other things like flashlights, bathroom supplies, or even for adding a little bit more to your pantry space. We like this shoe organizer because it is made for narrow doors and for the oversized mesh pockets.
We are camping, right? Everyone needs to have their own chair to sit and relax in. I even suggest getting one for the little ones too! Camping chairs are collapsible and easily stored in the underbelly of the trailer. Zero Gravity Camping Chairs are great for sitting around the table and playing cards in the afternoon or sitting around the fire in the evening to roast your marshmallows for s’ mores! And in case you’ve never tried one, zero gravity lounge chairs are the best for relaxing!
Whether you are dry camping or glamping, there is no guarantee that there is going to be firewood there and ready for use. We suggest getting a few bundles for just-in-case. The big problem is that most of the camp wood bundles contain unseasoned damp wood! But if you use a couple of Duraflame fire starters they will help the damp wood to ignite and burn better.
Most campers will want a fire in the evening or maybe in first thing in the morning when the temperatures are lowest to help warm up or keep them warm. The fire pit is my favorite place to hang out in the evenings with music playing in the background and just catching-up or meeting new friends.
24. Fresh Water Hose
If you are going dry camping, you need to make sure that you have a good, clean fresh water hose you can use to fill up your freshwater tank. You want to make sure that you tag this hose so that it can and should not be used for anything else.
25. Sewer Hose
I know we don’t want to talk about it, but we all do it. That’s right, we all use the toilet. If you are going to be filling up the black tank while you are camping, we would like to suggest this RhinoFLEX black tank sewer hose with clear elbows so that you can see when the tank has been dumped and cleaned out. This set comes with everything you should need to clean out your tank.
Going out your first time in a travel trailer can be so much fun. We want you to have fun on your trip, and this is why we want to help make sure you have everything you need. Like we mentioned before, it is imperative that you write it down. We all think we can remember everything, and I am sure I have forgotten something in this blog, but we will all forget something.
For more great info about Travel Trailers check out these articles below.
- The Best SUV for a Towable Travel Trailer
- 250+ Perfect Names for Your RV or Travel Trailer
- Travel Trailer Depreciation: What’s My Travel Trailer Worth?
- Travel Trailer Turning Radius Tips
- What Size Generator Do I Need For a Travel Trailer?
- Toy Hauler vs Travel Trailer – 19 Differences Explained
- How To Level a Travel Trailer on a Slope
We would like to know your thoughts and if you forgot something on your first trip out in your travel trailer. What would you recommend someone take with them that we did not mention here? Please leave your thoughts or suggestions in the comments section below.
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