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A Beginner's Guide to the World of RVing: Necessary Accessories

With our brand-new Travel Trailer in our driveway, we set about purchasing a few items we will need before going on our first journey.

Our brand-new Travel Trailer is in our driveway, and we are in the process of purchasing a few items we will need for it. We have our lock in place, and we have purchased wheel chocks and an adapter for the electrical hookup that will allow us to connect to a normal 120V A/C plug-in at either an RV camp or at home to an extension cord. What else will we need?

A Cover Would Be Nice...

Yes, we will need a cover to keep it protected from the sun's harmful rays in the heat of summer—and to protect it from the rain, hail, sleet, and snow, all of which can cause problems. How do we go about this?

In the RV store, a cover that fits our trailer can sell for upwards of $550. As we try to save as much money as possible, we are going to go online and search the Internet for a good one at a lower price. Our trailer is 25' 6" long, from the rear bumper to the front of the trailer itself, not including the tongue and jack area. In reading reviews of the item we decided on, I became moderately confused by the comments. Some say the cover fit like a glove, exactly to the size advertised on their trailer. Others say it was either too large or too small. Hmmm.

We decided that it's better to have a bit too much than too little, so we stepped up to the 26' to 28' size, deciding against the 24' to 26'. This way, when we get the spare tire and carrier we will have enough to cover it with no issues. In addition, if we choose, we can include the LP tanks on the front of the trailer as well. We ordered it on Sunday afternoon and it was delivered Thursday around noon by FedEx. We will be opening it up and trying it out Saturday. We purchased it on and got 15% off our first order, which dropped the price to $180. Cha-ching!

We took that savings and went onto eBay to purchase tire covers. These came in under $30, so basically, it was buy the cover, get four tire covers free. I'll take that!

Ah, the RV life!

Ah, the RV life!

What Else Do We Need?

Well, we need a sewer hose to connect to the dump stations we travel to. Speaking of sewer hose connections, have you seen the film RV? The scene where Robin Williams tries to hook up for the first time? Nasty!

Again, in the stores they start at around $10 for a standard strength 10' hose with no accessories (we really need accessories for our poop line!), while online we can obtain an entire system devoted to carrying one's, ahem, "defecation materials" out and onward. And so we found a system that includes a 15' length of hose, a 90-degree turn (to allow the hose to fit into the hole in the ground), a seal for said hole, and several other items I am really excited to learn about and how to use. Cost? $17 total for a heavy-duty (dootie?) hose sent from Amazon. And with Prime, it arrived in just two days.

Next, we need a hose—a water hose. So we found a 25' super hose that shrinks when empty, complete with brass fittings online for $20. Ebay again. Delivery in just three days to our home.

Okay, what else? Oh yeah, we need a water pressure regulator to halt the overpressure, which apparently runs rampant at RV parks. Evidently, the pressure is so high that it can blow out your water system in the trailer. Thus, the need for a regulator. We found a brass one with a gauge for $10. Amazon Prime, two days.

Cover? Check. Tire covers? Check. Sewer hose? Check. Water hose? Check. Water regulator? Check. What else? Hmm?

Well, we have an AM/FM/CD/DVD player but what about WiFi and BluRay? Not that we HAVE any BluRays yet, but you never know. And we will need WiFi, won't we? So off to the 'net, and we find a Sony CD/DVD/BluRay/WiFi player for $30. Cool.

What About the TV?

Wait, we forgot about the TV! At the local big box store, a 19" flat screen runs $100 or so. Don't we have one that no one's using? Well, we've got this monitor that our little one can use as a gaming unit, so we take that 22" and put it in the trailer. Now we need a mount for the wall. It's $25 in the store; $15 online. Done.

So, we will be installing the wall mount this weekend, then install the TV and hook it up to see how she plays.

Okay, got it installed Saturday and watched The Long, Long Trailer for a while IN the trailer with little britches. He thought that was pretty cool (me too!).

We Went A-Visitin'

Saturday morning we took a drive to the local RV park just to get a feel for how they are set up, how the hookups set, and such. We met a lovely couple who were staying there 13 weeks for the man's current job. He works for the local hospital at present in some capacity, which allows them to travel constantly. According to them, they have basically been on the road non-stop for years, traveling from here to there with his job. Wow, what a life. They are about our age and have no kids at home, only seven dogs.

Yes, seven. That's S-E-V-E-N as in 7, Mickey Mantle's number. And they're not all little ankle biters, either. There were two Bouvier des Flandres, which were about 100+ pounds apiece; one Golden Retriever; two Standard Poodles, and two little Maltese-type dogs. All well behaved, all well cared for. These were the first Bouviers I have seen, and they were great. Not sure what they look like? Think of the dog that was in Harry Potter, the one that Harry's guardian Sirius Black turned into. Big, black, scary looking. Yep, that's pretty much what a Bouvier des Flandres looks like. These were wonderful dogs, well mannered, and both my son and I loved petting them.

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The couple was very welcoming to our questions, happy to answer this and that, offering suggestions up for us as newbies. And so we learned another wonderful tip from them.

A water purifier system for the hose. Something that will filter the impurities and such from the water, thereby allowing the system to last longer and stay cleaner. Thank you, sir!

Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres


And now, I think we have just about everything we currently need to begin our journey. Oh, I know there are other items that will jump up and say "buy me!" or maybe something that we will forget until it's time to need it. An online friend advises me to keep a list in the trailer of things we forget and will need to purchase before our next trip. I think that's a great idea! Kind of like a shopping list on the fridge at home, only this will be in the RV, and we will take it with us when we go shopping.

For now, we are eyeing an overnight stay at a local RV park in the next couple of weeks or so, about the time spring break hits. Hook up and head out to somewhere fairly close, set up and explore; then spend a night in the trailer for the first time. How exciting it will be! Cooking, sleeping, sight-seeing for the first time out of our new home on wheels, looking forward to the time when we don't have to head home by dark. A time when we can just drive somewhere else and see another part of the country we haven't yet seen.

We can't wait.

  • Beginning RVing: Our Florida Road Trip and Four RV Parks
    Planning. Thought. Months of work detailing our first real RV trip, and we still made mistakes. Learn from what we went through to make your trip even better. Where we went and stayed: an overview.
  • A Beginners Guide To RVing - Part 3
    We have the new trailer, we have about everything we think we need (but we're still learning) and are now making solid plans for our first honest to goodness RV trip. Does this sound like a good trip?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2016 Mr Archer


Mr Archer (author) from Missouri on March 24, 2016:

Thank you Cheyenne; those "doodie" hoses are vital!! You know, I never thought about Ricky and Lucy being in that bed together for the movie; I knew they weren't on TV but just never realized they were in the film. Funny how you can watch a film and miss something that is so obvious. Thank you!! Take care and stay safe!!!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 18, 2016:

I'm so glad you found your heavy doodie hose, Mike!

Wow, it seems like there's a whole lot more to RVing than getting behind the wheel of a truly mobile home and putting it in drive. Taking it for a test run to an RV camp is a great idea. And you're already discovering the camaraderie of fellow mobile campers. You're going to find a whole new group of people who love the outdoors, meeting up with strangers, sharing tips, tipping the bottle and maybe even singing around the campfire. What a life!

I think the video you showed of Ricky and Lucy RVing is the only time they were ever shown on TV in the same bed. Little Ricky must have come to be during that trip. Just sayin'.....

Mr Archer (author) from Missouri on February 24, 2016:

Mike, we think so too. At some point we will just "head off into the sunset" with no particular place in mind but in the beginning, I think we will hit a few spots we have always wanted to see. From there who knows?! Thanks Mike; take care!

Bill, yeah we took the plunge a couple of weeks ago and are now preparing to see where we need to go. We will be out to visit you at some point so look for us when you see us! Have a great day, my friend.

Don, great ideas for us. I really appreciate your insight and know you know what you're talking about as you are an RV'er as well. Just read your Keys post and passed it along to my wife; she desperately wants to visit there. Someday, for sure. We've already gotten most of the items you suggested except for the voltage meter: I didn't realize this could be an issue. Our trailer has an awning that comes out from the side and we have a 13' x 20' three room tent we will set up where we can to keep our clothes and shoes in to keep the trailer as clean as possible. I'll be talking to you more as we near our first real trip this summer. Maybe we'll see you sometime as well! Stay safe Sir!

Don Bobbitt from Ruskin Florida on February 23, 2016:

Just a few things for you;

1- A 10-foot sewage hose is not going to be long enough, at times. OH, and get a sealable tote for your sewage hoses and connectors to avoid contamination of other things.

2- Get a clean freshwater hose, and pack it separately from your sewage stuff. I prefer having several 25-foot white hoses.

3- Get a cheap in-line water filter for those campground water sources that will have sand and dirt in them.

4- Get an inline water pressure regulator for those times the campground water supply goes crazy.

5- Get a cheap voltage meter to monitor the campsite 110-VAC, or get a good Surge Protector for your power input cable.

6- Get a good outdoor camping rug that allows water to pass through so your site will stay clean.

7- Take your shoes OFF before entering your camper to help keep it clean. Keep your screens closed at all times to keep insects out.

8- Keep plenty of Ant Spray, and Mosquito Spray in your camper.

And more, and I suggest that you join Camping World. They have hundreds of RV and Camping stores all over the US and they stock pretty much anything you might think of needing.

And, check out my Hubs on RVs and camping as well as my site

Good luck on your travels.


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 23, 2016:

Mike, I had no idea you had started in on the RV craze. It's something Bev and I have discussed from time to time, but honestly, we just love our urban farm so much we don't want to be away from it. Anyway, I'm excited for you....have fun!!!!!

Old Poolman on February 23, 2016:

You my friend have opened a whole new chapter in your life. I have many friends who have RV's and use them frequently.

One couple claims their favorite trips are those with no specific destination in mind. When they come to a fork in the road they flip a coin to decide which way to go. They claim they have found some really great places they never would have visited if they were following a plan.

The other great thing is if you find a great spot you can stay for as long as you like. Or if it turns out to be a mosquito infested swamp you can leave the next day.

Have fun my friend and keep us updated on your adventures.

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