Top 20 RV Accessories & Essentials in 2021 [Storage, Kitchen, Safety]

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Life on the open road is an experience like no other. Travel at your own speed and stop as often as you like with your very own cozy hotel on wheels.

Transform your RV into a practical living space with additional storage and customized kitchen accessories, and protect your essentials with tire covers, stabilizers, and so much more.

From your first cup of coffee in the morning to laying your head down at night, all of these accessories and essentials will keep you safe, warm, and well-organized.

RV Accessories and Essentials

1. Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide has no smell or taste and can be life-threatening if inhaled. It is also, unfortunately, virtually impossible to identify without the use of a proper detector.

While CO gas presents a risk wherever flammable gas is created, it is even more dangerous in small spaces such as RVs. To keep you and your family safe on the road, invest in a dedicated carbon monoxide detector that will alert you if dangerous CO gas is present.

Using either biometric or electrochemical sensors, these compact and discreet battery-powered devices will sound an alarm to wake you and warn you when levels becoming dangerously high.

2. Cookware

Cooking on the road is part and parcel of your RV experience. Compact but capable, most RV kitchens offer scaled-down spaces that include somewhere to cook, a sink to wash up in, and a small amount of storage space.

Make the most of your tiny kitchen with a selection of cookware accessories that are designed for life on the road. Look for kits that offer pots and pans with non-stick coatings, utensils for cooking and cutlery for eating, knives, chopping boards, can openers, bowls, plates, and mugs, too.

Basically, scale down your everyday cooking essentials and look for easy to clean and small items to store for use in your RV kitchen.

3. Dehumidifier

RVs can get hot and stuffy on the road, and in humid climates, you can easily find that mold and mildew start to form without constant ventilation.

A dehumidifier will help to rid your RV of musty smells and unhealthy damp conditions, as well as being easy to use and portable enough to take away with you. These space-saving appliances work by drawing in the damp air to produce a comfortable living environment.

Choose from refrigerant (or compressor) dehumidifiers that pull air across cold coils and into a tray before reheating it and sending it back out as warmer, drier air or a desiccant dehumidifier that uses an adsorbent material to extract water from the air.

Bottom Line: With lots of makes and models to choose from, it shouldn’t be hard to find a dehumidifier that runs quietly, is energy efficient, and is suitable for use all year round.

4. Doormat

As your RV is your home away from home, it is only right that you want to keep it clean. Protect the floors from dirt, dust, mud, and even water with an RV doormat that can be used to wipe your feet before you step on in.

Placed at the main entrance of your RV, choose from doormats that are made from absorbent materials such as microfiber or rubber mats with grippy surfaces and ridges for wiping away the debris on the bottom of your shoes. Beveled edges will protect against trips and help water run clean off, and non-slip bottoms will help keep your doormat firmly in place.

Ensure your RV stays dirt- and debris-free with a doormat that can be easily cleaned between uses, and most camping doormats can be made to look as good as new with just a broom and some water.

5. Garbage Can

With limited space to live in, it is super important to keep your RV tidy and garbage-free. Compact and space-saving garbage cans are just right for use in campers, and there are lots of different styles to choose from.

Look for rectangular-shaped trash cans as they are more practical for sliding into small spaces, and choose the largest capacity that you can reasonably fit so that you can go longer in between bag changes.

Trash cans with a pedal mechanism allow for hygienic and hands-free operation, and a flip-up lid helps to keep nasty odors locked in. For even more practical garbage storage, invest in 2 trash cans — 1 for kitchen waste and 1 for use in your bathroom.

When you are away, research where the nearest dumpsters are so that you can empty your compact trash cans for a sweet-smelling and well-organized RV every day.

6. Generators

RV generators provide power and act as a plug-in for 120v AC power outlets. To power up all of your modern comforts, determine your power needs by adding up the starting wattage requirements of every appliance you will run simultaneously. When you know how much wattage your need to work with, you can then find a generator that suits you.

Generators can run off of diesel, gasoline, or propane, so choose one that you can easily find the right kind of gas for, and decide whether you want to keep your generator tucked away inside your rig or plump for a bigger model that will need to be kept outside.

7. Heater

To keep your RV warm in winter, some RV models come with a built-in heating system. Simple but effective, these warm air systems run on propane gas and are designed to force air through the vents and out into the living space.

If your RV doesn’t feature a built-in warm air system, you can help to keep your rig warm with a plug-in fan heater that offers different levels of heat to keep the chill off. Electric oil-filled heaters are also a popular choice with RV owners, and they produce a good amount of heat while still being able to be moved around easily.

Bottom Line: Before you commit, choose a powerful enough heater to heat your RV without making it too hot and stuffy, and research how much power they will use to ensure that you have enough fuel to power your generator on the go.

8. Hose

An RV hose performs the simple task of connecting to the water hookup to ensure that freshwater comes flowing out of your taps and shower head and pours into your toilet. There are lots of benefits to using your own RV water hose on the go. They usually come with quick-fit connections and are easily replaceable and highly portable.

You can choose from various lengths and even different pressure settings to mimic the water flow you would have at home. Most portable hoses are made from BPA-free material to ensure that the water is safe for consumption, and you can choose from 15 to 50 feet. You can also upgrade from the basic models and invest in a heated water hose that comes complete with a heating unit to prevent the hose from freezing in low temperatures.

9. Kitchen Accessories

The space in your RV kitchen can be limited, so you will need to wisely choose your kitchen accessories. Look for items that are lightweight, easy to stack, fold or compress, and compact enough to be stored out of the way when not in use.

Much like your kitchen back at home, there will be essentials that you won’t want to be without, and if you choose clever designs and multi-purpose options, you can still compile your own perfectly portable kitchen collection.

Make RV life easy with items like washing up bowls that fold down to use as chopping boards, sharp knives with metallic storage strips, pot holders and grabbers, collapsible bowls, reusable plates, stackable storage, splatter guards, roll-up dish drying boards, and of course, gas and a lighter.

Hot Tip: If you’d rather rent an RV instead of owning one, you can often save money using a website like RVShare or Outdoorsy.

10. Leveling Ramps

Leveling ramps are designed to stop your trailer from rocking and moving when stationary. Easy to use and highly portable, they will prevent not just the annoying side to side motion caused by movement in your trailer, they can also stop your trailer from sinking in wet ground.

There are several different types to choose from, but most are designed to be used with single wheels, double wheels, hydraulic jacks, tongue jacks, stabilizer jacks, fifth-wheel jacks, and even tandem axles with tires measuring up to 32 inches. Drive your RV onto your jacks and raise the level in 0.5-inch increments, or choose buildable blocks that are compact to carry but incredibly strong.

Hot Tip: For maximum stability, look for jacks that come with chocks to reduce the movement of the tires and anti-slip mats for a more secure grip on the go.

11. Outdoor Rug

Turn the area directly outside of your RV into an extended living space with the use of durable and great-looking outdoor rugs. Unlike mats for wiping your feet on, these rugs are attractive to look at, strong enough to withstand the elements, and large enough to be used for playing, eating, or relaxing on.

Made from water-resistant materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene, or recycled plastics, they can also offer protection against sand, mud, and sharp stones underneath your feet. When choosing an outdoor rug for use on your next RV adventure, look for one that is large enough to suit your needs when laid flat while still being small enough to roll up neatly for easy storage.

You should also only buy rugs that are easy to clean with a broom, soap, and water, as being used outside it is likely to get quite dirty quite quickly.

12. Propane Tank Cover

Propane tanks are a must-have when traveling in your RV, so it is important that you are able to keep them well protected on the go.

Designed to offer a layer of protection when stored outside, a tank cover will protect your tank from freezing conditions, UV rays, dirt, debris, and even heavy downpours. A well-fitting tank cover will also help to keep your propane tank rust-, mildew-, and fungus-free.

For use with your RV, choose a tank cover that offers a snug fit to ensure that your tank is efficiently protected, and if you use it, often look for models with an easy-open flap for sliding the hose through to let you attach it without having to remove it from the cover. Keep your tank protected in all weather with these useful additions to your RV kit.

13. Stabilizer Jack

RV jacks are metal arms that are attached to the bottom of your RV that extend onto the ground to keep your jack stable and level. Easy to retract when you are on the road, these clever additions to your motorhome should also be simple to extend when you are parked up.

If you are lucky enough to own a top of the range motorhome, you may have automatic jacks already built-in that a button on your dash can operate. If you are the proud owner of a regular type of RV, you can attach your own jacks that will require a handheld crank or power drill to extend when stationary.

Before you buy, check that the jacks you choose can hold your RV’s weight and that they are simple to install and easy to adjust, to ensure roll-free RV living on every journey.

14. Storage

Tiny mobile homes offer very little in the way of storage, but there are clever ways to offer more without losing much-needed floor space. From your kitchen to your bedroom and everywhere in between, there are lots of ways to keep your RV tidy and well-organized.

Look for options that can be tucked away inside closets, fixed to walls, or hung over doors, or choose racks and boxes that can stack or fold to increase storage without taking up too much room.

Overdoor hanging storage is perfect for spices, toiletries, or even jewelry and personal items, while clever wall-mounted shoe racks will keep floors clean and mess-free. In the kitchen, stacking racks can be used in cabinets or on countertops, and folding boxes can be tucked away when not in use.

Bottom Line: There are many innovative ways to add extra storage to your RV from bathroom trash cans with built-in toilet brushes to tension rods that can be used to hold towels, stack boxes, or even for hanging clothes.

15. Surge Protector

Power surges can be dangerous for your RV’s electrical system and, in the worst-case scenario, could even fry your valuable electronics. Stay safe with a surge protector that will protect your electrical devices from voltage spikes. Straightforward to use, an RV surge protector can be plugged in between your RV and the power pedestal or hardwired into your RV’s electrical system.

Hooking up to the power supply at camping grounds can leave you open to the failures of faulty set-ups in their electrical system, and surge protectors offer portable protection against surges and power spikes, including those caused by lightning strikes.

RV surge protectors have different varieties that correspond to the differing power levels, so be sure you know your RV power rating before you buy.

16. Tire Covers

RV tire covers are designed to protect your tires against both the harsh rays of the sun and freezing cold temperatures, as well as helping to prevent rust and corrosion.

Your RV may spend many months of the year sitting outside before being thrust out on the open roads, so your tires need to be taken care of even when they are not in use. Tire covers are made from weatherproof and UV-stabilized materials, with premium models coming with thick cotton linings to protect them from the cold.

Most makes are elasticated at the rear so that they will fit different sizes of RV wheels, but be sure to check your measurements before you buy.

17. Toilet

If you are staying in a small trailer or camper-type van, you may not have easy access to a toilet. If walking a long way to communal bathrooms in the middle of the night doesn’t appeal to you, you may want to invest in a portable toilet instead.

An RV toilet uses much less water than a regular household toilet, and they usually feature a foot pedal to operate the flush. Gravity toilets are the most commonly found styles in RVs and offer a raised seat height, solid plastic construction, and simple installation.

You could also consider a composting toilet that uses less water and is environmentally-friendly or the ever-popular commode-style toilet that produces raw sewage that can be dumped at the camping ground sewage disposal.

Before you buy, look at all the options available, and consider how long you will be traveling for and the facilities available when you camp.

18. Vacuum Cleaner

Keep your RV clean and tidy with a dedicated RV vacuum cleaner. Less bulky and powerful than the ones you use back at home, these highly portable appliances will still make light work of dirty and dusty floors.

While some RVs have a built-in central vacuum system that takes up very little space and a well-hidden dust collection bin, other RVers tend to favor cordless, rechargeable models that offer efficient suction power and enough run time to vacuum your rig without draining too much power.

Stick models and handheld models take up very little space in your closet, and even lower budget models tend to come with a selection of attachments for hard floors, carpets, and even upholstery. Look for lightweight and compact models that are powerful enough to offer a good level of suction.

19. Vent Covers

RV vent covers are an inexpensive and easy to install modification to your rig that provides many benefits. These plastic vented covers allow the air to circulate inside your RV and help to push odors out. With the raised and vented design, you can also use these while driving and they will prevent rainwater from getting in on the go.

Keep humidity at bay and reduce the risk of mold or mildew with the ventilation they offer. If you want to upgrade from the basic models, you can choose sporty-looking aerodynamic designs or vents that come with built-in fans, remote controls, and darkened screens to protect against UV rays.

Bottom Line: There are vent covers out there to suit all models and all budgets, and they all offer an extra level of convenience for your next big adventure.

20. Water Filter

Water hookups can offer a variety of different-flavored water depending on where you are hooked up to. As clean, fresh drinking water is a must-have on every trip, protect your taste buds and your belly by investing in a dedicated RV water filter.

Designed to clean out any grit and dirt in the water system, you can choose from a space-saving internal filter that should be fitted at the point where your hose enters your RV, or opt for an external filter that can be fitted directly onto your hose.

Many avid RVers opt for a hybrid system of both to ensure pure, fresh drinking water every time. Before you buy, investigate the micron measurement to tell you the smallest particles that will be filtered out and consider the flow rate to see how many gallons you can expect to receive per minute.

Finally, every type of water filter will need to have the filters replaced on a regular basis, so ensure you buy a make and model that is easy to maintain.

Final Thoughts

Upgrade your RV experience with a combination of cleverly-conceived accessories that offer greater convenience on the go. For a truly authentic home-away-from-home feeling, invest in items that are purely for use in your RV, so you can feel as comfortable on the go as you do back at home.


Frequently asked questions

What RV accessories do I need?

While the list of RV accessories can differ depending on your personal tastes and length of travel, there are some accessories that everyone should have, such as surge protectors, carbon monoxide detectors, leveling ramps, stabilizer jacks, and water filters.

Where can I buy RV accessories?

A popular place to buy RV accessories is Amazon, but you can also try Walmart, REI, Camping World, and Brookstone.

What size generator do I need for my RV?

RV generators typically offer between 2,000 and 4,000 watts. Your rig’s size is not the factor to consider here, but the overall watts you might need to run all your appliances. Add them all up, add a buffer, and you have the wattage you’ll need from a generator.

Do you really need leveling ramps for an RV?

Leveling ramps are essential for stopping your RV from rocking and minimizing stress to the frame and structure of your rig. An unleveled RV can also cause damage to your fridge and give inaccurate fluid readings.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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