Interior of Jayco North Point 390CKDS showcasing spacious living room.

34 RV Must Haves That We Cannot Live Without

When it comes to owning an RV, there are a lot of things you will need to consider purchasing that will be useful. It has taken us a good number of years to find the perfect accessories and items to include in the RV.

RVs have a limited amount of space, and this is something that you need to be aware of. Given this, wherever you can save space and travel light, this is encouraged. As a result you will only want to pack what is both necessary and useful.

In this article, we will be discussing 34 must-have items to bring with you in your RV. These are items we cannot live without, and that we think you will not be able to either!

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Man entering an RV in the evening.

34 RV Must Haves That We Cannot Live Without

Here are our favorite 24 RV must haves that we cannot live without. We are not exaggerating when we say that these items have been a game changer for RV life and travel. While some of these are fairly self-explanatory, they are important to take with you when traveling.

1. Surge Protector

One of the most important items to take with you in an RV is a surge protector. This will help to protect your RV from receiving too much or too little voltage. If the voltage levels become dangerous, the surge protector kicks in and trips the electrics. This ensures that you remain safe at all times.

An RV surge protector is one of the most important things to take, and it is something you will want to splurge on purchasing. You will need to consistently check that it is still functioning and working as it should.

2. Drinking Hose

When filling up your water tank it’s important to use a drinking water hose, these are made from a BPA-free, lead-free and phthalate-free formulation which means you won’t have any funny tasting plastic in your water.

When you are placing the drinking hose away after use, you will need to ensure that you are storing it in a safe and sanitary way to ensure that it does not become contaminated.

3. Sewage Hose

A sewer hose is something that is not pleasant to consider. However, it is a pivotal part of traveling with an RV. The vast majority of RVs contain a toilet, and the waste is directed into the black water tank. Eventually this will need to be emptied.

To do this, you will need to use a sewage hose. While these can be found in some dumping stations and RV parks, it is not always guaranteed, and you should always purchase your own.

4. PPE (for toilet cleaning)

In addition to the sewage hose, you will also need to ensure that you are purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear when you are emptying the black water tank. As it is raw sewage, if it is handled incorrectly, this can make you severely ill.

You will always want to wear gloves when emptying and cleaning the black water tank. We would also recommend a face mask, and an apron, or old clothes just to be on the safe side too.

5. Levelers

Levelers are important for when you are parking your RV and setting up your campsite. In some RV parks, the ground may not be completely level. As a result, by using levelers, you can allow the RV to remain static and more secure when it is not in use.

They are a safety option to consider as they can also prevent the RV from rolling backward if the brakes fail. When you are not driving the RV, levelers are always useful to use.

6. Portable Generator

When it comes to the power within the RV, we would always recommend carrying with you a small portable generator. These are particularly useful to have on the road just in case your main electricity fails. They allow you to be off grid for shorter periods, too, and are great to have for emergency situations.

If there is adverse weather conditions, you may need to rely on the generator, and it is always advisable to have a back-up option where possible. They are useful to have if you are looking to camp in addition to staying in the RV.

7. Charging Cables

Charging cables are so important to carry with you. The charging cables you will carry will depend on the types of electrical items you choose to bring with you. For example cell phone chargers, laptop chargers, and anything that needs to be charged should have its cable. This will allow you to recharge the items as and when they are needed.

8. Crockery

Crockery is important to consider when it comes to cooking. After all, you will not be able to cook without the correct pots and pans. In addition to this, you will not be able to serve the food without the correct plates, bowls or cutlery.

When choosing the pots and pans, we would encourage bringing just enough. You do not need to bring a whole set with you, the bare minimum is sufficient, especially when it comes to plates and dishes. Only bring with you what you need to help avoid your RV kitchen from becoming cluttered.

9. Cooking Utensils

In addition to the crockery, you will need to ensure that you have brought cooking utensils with you too. There are so many different utensils to consider, and it really does depend on the type of cooking you are carrying out.

Some of the essentials we have found useful include, chopping knives, measuring cups, pasta strainer, cheese grater, can opener, wooden spoon, tongs, spatula, and bottle opener. Before traveling, it is useful to make a list of all of the cooking and kitchen utensils you use regularly, to get a better idea of which ones you may need.

10. Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are something that you cannot travel without, and there are many different options to choose from depending on your personal preferences. To begin with, you will want to purchase a general antibacterial cleaner for the surfaces, and you can choose to purchase one specifically for the kitchen too.

You will also need to purchase bathroom cleaner, and all of the necessary cleaning products to empty the black water tank and sterilize it with. In addition to this, wipes, clothes and sponges are useful to have too.

We would recommend making a list of all of these products so that you don’t forget any of them. Remember that personal hygiene and cleaning items are important too, and you will want to carry clothes detergent if you are planning a longer trip too.

11. Spare Tire

Where possible, we would recommend that you carry in your RV a spare tire. This will allow you to replace a tire if any damage or a puncture is caused. This is particularly important if you are going to be traveling off-road, or in more rural locations.

The last thing you will want to happen is to be left stranded without a solution! Alternatively you can choose to purchase a tire repair kit instead if you are looking for a slightly more compact option.

12. Pillows and Bedding

Given that you will be sleeping in the RV, pillows, a duvet, and suitable bedding is needed. The size you choose to bring with you will depend on the size of the RV beds. Even if you are renting an RV, we would still recommend bringing your own bedding, sheets, and pillows because they will not always be provided.

13. Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is something that you don’t want to run out of, especially when you are on the road and in a more rural area. This is why we would recommend bulk buying toilet paper to take with you. This is especially important if you are planning to go off grid for a number of days. Toilet paper is also useful to have if there are any spills in the RV too.

14. Trash Bags

This is another essential item that is needed, but something that many people often forget about. While we remember to take the important things, such as surge protectors and generators, the small and obvious things are often left behind.

When traveling, you are going to create trash, and you will need to use trash bags to store all of this. We would recommend purchasing small trash bags, rather than large ones. This makes throwing the trash away easier, as the bags can be placed in small trash cans as you are traveling.

While you do not need to purchase a trash can, we would recommend a small one within the RV. This keeps the trash secure while on the road.

15. Insect Repellent

Insect repellents are something that are essential when traveling. Even if you are staying in an RV and not camping, you are still prone to being bothered by insects. This is something you will want to avoid, as insect bites are irritating and can also be potentially dangerous if left untreated.

There are many different types of insect repellents that can be purchased, from cream and sprays, to citronella candles and insecticides. These are all useful to carry with you, and you can even install insect screens on the RV windows if you need to keep them open during the evening or nights.

Insecticides are also useful to carry if you are experiencing any issues with insects inside the RV as they will help to eradicate them

16. Rechargeable Batteries

If you are using devices that require batteries, we would recommend using rechargeable batteries. These are far better than using single use batteries, and they are easy to charge when they run out. It means that you will never be short of batteries, and they can be used for a number of different purposes.

17. Towels

Towels are certainly needed when you are traveling in an RV. Even if your RV doesn’t contain a shower, you will still need towels when you are using the showers in an RV park. Towels are needed to dry off, and you will not get very far without them.

We would recommend that you pack a few smaller towels, and a few larger towels, to ensure that you have enough for the journey.

18. Clothesline and Pegs

For longer RV trips, we would recommend carrying a portable clothes line and pegs with you. This will allow you to dry any of your clothes easily. They are handy to pack away when they are not in use, and they are not too expensive to purchase.

While you can choose to use a laundrette to wash and dry your clothes, a clothesline and pegs is still useful to consider if there are only one or two items that need to be cleaned. In general, they are useful for drying clothes that may have gotten wet in a river or the sea too.

19. Spices and Condiments

A big part of traveling in an RV is cooking on the go. While you want to keep things simple, we think it is important to pack your favorite spices and condiments. These help to improve the taste and flavor of your meals, and they are always useful to have.

As spices and condiments are long-lasting, you don’t have to worry about them going bad quickly. The same can be said for canned and dried food too. You will always want to ensure you have enough of these to last for your journey, and they are better than only purchasing perishable foods.

20. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a necessity when traveling in general, and the great thing about traveling in an RV is that there is room to pack more first aid essentials. What you decide to pack in your first aid kit will depend on what you specifically need.

However, there are some items that are always useful to carry, such as band-aids, sterile wipes, sterile gauze dressings, bandages, safety pins, tweezers, and sterile gloves. Medications such as paracetamol, and aspirin are also useful to pack as they will provide pain relief if this is needed.

If you are someone that needs specific medication, these will need to be packed. You will want to ensure that you have enough for your entire journey. We would even recommend that you take a few extra days of medication, just to be on the safer side.

21. Matches

Matches are always useful to carry around, especially if you need to light anything, such as a fire or a gas hob. They are useful to have in an emergency, and will allow you to light things such as candles. If you are camping in addition to RVing, they will prove to be useful.

22. Portable Stove or Grill

A portable stove or grill is useful to have, especially if you are looking to cook and eat outside. They are a great back up option, and some RVs may not have a stove that can be used. Before traveling, you will want to make sure that you have all of the cooking equipment you need. Grills are particularly useful to use, especially if you enjoy barbecues.

23. Scissors

Scissors always come in useful. Whether they are needed in cooking, or your first aid kit, you should always have one to hand in your RV. They are also useful when it comes to opening different packages. While a knife can be used in a similar way, this is not as safe. You will be surprised to find that you will reach for a pair of scissors quite often.

24. Swiss Army Knife

If you are looking to save space when it comes to gadgets and accessories, a Swiss army knife is a useful item to consider. As they are multipurpose, they will always come in useful. They typically contain things such as screwdrivers, blades, and other useful tools.

It can be used for so many different purposes, such as gutting fish, opening packages and even carving wood. It is useful to have in your RV. Some will even contain bottle openers and tweezers too.

25. Map

A map is something that a lot of people will not even bother carrying with them in their RV anymore. With the rise of Sat Nav and maps on smartphones, this is understandable. However, you don’t want to be caught out in an area you are unfamiliar with without a map.

While technology is a fantastic thing, when it doesn’t work correctly, you want to ensure that you have a back-up so that you will still be able to find your way. Depending on the areas you are planning on visiting, we would recommend purchasing a map to help you if you are lost.

26. Sleeping Bag

While you will need to take standard bedding with you in an RV, it is always useful to carry a sleeping bag with you, just in case it is needed. This is particularly useful to have if you are planning to camp when traveling. It is always useful to have a back-up sleeping option.

27. Jump Cables

Jump cables for your RV are necessary, especially if your engine stops working. While this is something that you should always carry with you in any vehicle, it is important that you are checking you have these before setting off on your journey.

28. Fire Extinguisher

A small fire extinguisher is certainly a must-have when you are traveling in an RV. However, it is something that many people may not think to carry with them. It is important to have just in case there is a fire on the RV. This will help you to keep it under control, and will give you peace of mind when you are traveling.

29. Fun Activities

When traveling, you want to ensure that you are taking with you some fun activities. After all, you need to keep yourself entertained. You can take with you whatever you enjoy doing. Things such as books, games, board games, and paints are useful to have.

The only thing we would recommend when it comes to fun activities is that you ensure that you are not over packing. It is easy to over pack when it comes to the things you enjoy, but only take as much as you know you will use and need.

30. Sporting Equipment

Sporting equipment is a must-have if you are an outdoors person that enjoys sports. Depending on where you are traveling, and the sports you want to carry out, this will vary.

Howrah, things such as kayaks, surfboards, and even soccer boards are useful to have. If you enjoy biking, you will want to ensure that you install a bike rack on the RV to save space inside. Things such as surfboards and kayaks can also be secured to the top of the RV if needed. If you enjoy hiking, you will want to ensure that you have packed a good pair of hiking boots too.

31. Camping Chairs

When you are using an RV, they will typically have places where you can sit and relax inside. However, there will not be anything included to allow you to sit outside. While RV’s are great, you won’t always want to sit inside.

As a result of this, we would recommend purchasing some comfortable and good quality camping chairs. These are easy to transport, and allow you to have the freedom to relax outside of the RV too.

Camping chairs are not too expensive to purchase, and we would also recommend carrying with you a portable camping table too. This will come in useful if you are looking to cook and eat outside. It can also be used for activities such as board games too.

32. Torch

A torch is something you always want to have to hand when you are traveling in an RV. If your lighting fails, you will know that you always have the torch as a back-up. While there are typically torch settings on smartphones, it is worth having a good old-fashioned torch. As they use batteries, it is useful to pair a torch with rechargeable batteries.

33. Storage Boxes

Storage boxes are always useful to have when traveling in an RV. They allow you to keep all of your items organized, which is important in a small space. The last thing you will want in an RV is clutter, and storage boxes help to prevent this.

As storage boxes come in a wide range of different sizes, there will always be a suitable size for the purpose you need it for. For example, you can purchase larger storage boxes for the bigger items in the trunk of the RV, and smaller boxes for kitchen items in the RV.

It is also useful to label the storage boxes so that you know what is in each box. They will help prevent you from over packing, too.

34. Notepad and Pens

Last but not least, we would recommend that you take a notepad and some pens with you. They always come in useful to have, especially if you need to jot down any instructions or directions, for example.

Again, while you can do this on your phone, it is always useful to have things physically written down as a back-up.

Other Items To Consider

These are just a handful of different important must haves to pack when you are RVing. However, this is not an extensive list, there are still so many other great and useful items you will want to consider taking with you.

The most important thing to remember is that there is only a certain amount of weight that an RV can hold. As a result of this, you will need to take this into consideration if you are packing heavier items. While the items in general may not be overly heavy, when all of the weight is added up, this can have an impact on the RV.

When you are packing the RV, you will need to make sure that everything that is packed is spread out evenly. This allows the weight of the items to be safely distributed. If the weight isn’t even, this can cause issues with the suspension of the RV.

It is always useful to have a clear idea of what you will need to take and the things you want to take, as there is a big difference between the two. We would recommend starting with the things you need first. After you have done this, you can reassess and focus on the things you want to take to make up the rest of the items.

Always remember that you need to think about the little things too, such as soaps, and toothbrushes. These can be easily forgotten about if you are focusing on the larger items to bring.

The more you RV, the easier it will be to plan and organize what you want to bring. It is only natural to over pack to begin with, as you will be unsure of what you need. But, over time, you will soon learn of the things you really did need to bring, and the things you didn’t find very useful.

Safety is always important, and as a result, you will need to ensure that everything is in working order before starting your journey. The safety measures are certainly things we cannot live without when traveling in an RV.


We hope you have found this article useful. As you can see, there are so many useful and interesting items to consider when you are traveling in an RV. While all of these items are different, they serve an individual purpose, some of which have multiple purposes.

Always remember that you will want to save as much space as possible when traveling in an RV, and it is always better to pack slightly less, than too much! The items we have included are must haves for the vast majority of people, and are things we would certainly recommend looking into in more detail.

What’s on your list of RV must haves?

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