Our 20 Favorite Items For Full Time RV Living

By Steph | New To RVing

Apr 01

When we first started our full time RV adventure, we thought we knew what RV gadgets to take on the road with us. Little did I know that what I thought we needed and what we really needed for full time RV living were two totally different things!

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Over the course of our full time rv journey, we have come up with the best rv accessories we simply could not live without. We think all full time RV families should be in possession of these items (or at least have them on their wishlist!).

Some of these items are absolute necessities, and some are things that we just find super useful!

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RV Gadgets

1. Surge Protector/EMS

This is the number one thing we recommend you purchase before EVER plugging your RV into an electric source. We chose the Progressive Industries Portable EMS (PT50X) because it is easy to use, requires no professional installation, and it one of, if not the most dependable on the market. 

It will not only protect your RV from an electrical surge, but also will not allow power from a faulty pedestal power to your RV in case of high or low voltage or reverse polarity. Our EMS has protected our RV twice in the first 6 months of use and we wouldn't be without it!

While staying at a park in Lynchburg, VA over a Memorial Day weekend, the park was at capacity and it was very hot outside. Almost every camper in the campground had it's AC on full blast and the park's power was struggling to keep up. 

The voltage kept fluctuating and we would see our neighbors lights go bright, then dim, then bright again. That is never a good sign. Our EMS stopped the power flow to our RV 6 times that weekend. It would only let it come back on when the power was safe. 

It was nice knowing that the EMS was taking care of our RV and protecting our investment!

2. "Poo Stilts"

OK, they aren’t really called “poo stilts,” but that’s what we call them. Aka "stinky slinky", "poop chute ramp", etc.

I’m talking about the sewer hose supports. This awesome little invention allows your black and gray water to flow in the right direction when you dump your tanks. No worry of having to touch the hoses and no shaking them down into the sewer.

3. 90 Degree Locking Power Adapter

A lot of folks call this a “dogbone.” The reason it is so important is that after time, your RV’s 50 or 30 amp power cord puts pressure on the power inlet on the RV. The sheer weight of our large 50 amp cord caused the end of our cord to place too much pressure on the inlet. It seriously damaged our cord and we had to replace it, and good RV power cords are EXPENSIVE!

This device reduces the strain on the RV power cord and this particular model also has locking ends, which is really nice!

4. MorRyde Steps

The steps that traditionally come with an RV are bouncy, unstable, and just plain annoying.

I am SO GLAD we swapped our steps out for the sturdier MorRyde version. They are so stable! No more bouncing and it helps our dogs in and out easier as well!

 They are very easy to install. Just make sure to take very accurate measurements before hand. *The dealers will tell you that they should do  it for you. We did ours and had no reason for a dealer to it as they came with great instructions.

5. “Poo Valve”

We cannot recommend this item enough. Just picture it…You’re at a dump station. Maybe you’ve been on the road boondocking, or at a campground that there was no sewer hookup. You go to unscrew the cap on your “poop pipe” and all of a sudden, you are greeted with a gush of black water.

 Not pleasant. “But my valve was closed!!!,” you say. Well, it happens to the best of us. You now have poo on your hands, on the ground, and heaven forbid there was someone waiting behind you and they saw it…and smell it!

The product is actually called a Twist On Waste Valve but we call it the “poo valve.” You twist it on the end of your pipe and it gives you an extra layer of protection!

Best RV Accessories For Outdoors

6. A Outdoor Plastic Rug

We went about 6 months with no outdoor rug. And I must say…when I finally got my rug, I was literally mad at myself for not getting it sooner. It helps trap a lot of the dirt and debris from being tracked inside! It’s definitely one of the best rv accessories!

When it is time to move, simply shake it out and hose off if needed. These are made out of recycled plastic, so they dry super fast! Make sure to get the biggest one you can find. You’ll thank me later…especially if you have kids or pets!

7. Our Tool Kit

We got rid of all of our household tools when we sold our home and needed to invest in a small yet useful set of quality tools. This set of Kobalt tools that had great reviews. They have not disappointed us and have come in so handy.

The best rv accessories are things where everything is contained together neatly. These come in an awesome bag (or box) and there is room for a few extras if you need them!

8. Cordless Power Tool Set

Very soon after moving into our RV, we realized that we were constantly needing a drill or driver. We have done quite a bit of renovations and used this set for the entire process. Now that we’re done with renovating, we still are constantly finding things to use our power tools for.

***Hitachi offers several options. We recommend the set with the saw. You never know when you might need to trim a branch that has snapped and would damage the roof of your rv (yes, this has happened, and we were sure glad for that saw!).

9. Ladder

You never know when you might need to access something up high (like that branch I mentioned above), and your RV ladder just won’t cut it. It also comes in REALLY handy when giving your RV a bath!

10. Small Gas Grill

I would have never thought that this was one of the best RV accessories. But, I cook on it DAILY! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Best RV Accessories For The Kitchen

11. THE BERKEY

Of all the things you will have in your RV, water is probably the most important. If you travel a lot, water quality can be a great concern. Not all campgrounds have city water that has passed quality control tests on a regular basis.

Take it from someone who has had a parasite from a water source…you NEED CLEAN WATER!!!

The Berkey is one of the best rv accessories to have! It can even turn dirty pond/lake/stream water to clean drinking water when boondocking. (If you HAD to)

Just get one…it’s worth EVERY PENNY!

12. Collapsible Dish Drying Rack

The best RV accessories are things that can be stored in small spaces! These collapsible dish drainers are amazing.

13. Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a miraculous invention. OK, maybe not miraculous…but it is definitely one of the best RV accessories!

 I can put ingredients in, set a timer, and leave all day going on adventures. When we come home, dinner is ready!

The BEST part though…it doesn’t heat up the RV! If you have never cooked in an RV…your oven (and microwave even) heats up the RV tremendously!

14. Collapsible Strainer And Bowls

Holla! Space saving stuff makes the best RV accessories. No more explanation needed…

15. Break Resistant Dishware

After a few broken dishes (and a few choice words), I decided that we needed durable dishes. But I still wanted "real" dishes and not plastic. 

So Corelle was my go to choice. It has held up well. It is lighter weight than regular dishes and we have not broken a single piece!

Other Items We Love

16. A REAL MATTRESS

I know, I know…all RVs come with a mattress. However, hear me out…you DO NOT want to sleep full-time on a mattress that is made to be slept on a few weekends out of the year. Our RV came with an “orthopedic quality” mattress. After a few months, I had back and hip pain that was starting to interfere with my life. (Read more here.)

If you are going full-time, invest in a good mattress. A REAL mattress.

*Most RVs are not made to accommodate a residential size mattress so you have several options…

A. Custom order one to fit..they are VERY EXPENSIVE (and usually have a no return policy).

B. Order an “upgraded” model from the RV dealer…these are a little better, but still not intended for full-time use.

C. WHAT WE RECOMMEND… Get a quality memory foam mattress. We have a Nectar and we LOVE IT! They offer a 365 night trial so if you don’t like it, they’ll come get it!

*It did not fit our RV perfectly so we had to alter it a little. We have a tutorial on that coming SOON. It is easy to make it work for your RV, no matter the size, or shape.

**And the best part is…it comes compressed so you can actually get it INTO THE RV!

***CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE AND GET $125 OFF PLUS 2 FREE PILLOWS!!!

17. Washer/Dryer Combo

For our full-time family of 5 (plus 2 dogs), I always have a pile of laundry! The ability to wash clothes in our own home is at the top of my list for best RV accessories.

We reviewed all of our options when it came to washer and dryer options. Stackable, combo, just a washer and line dry, using the laundromat, etc. After all the math we did, we decided we had to have our own unit.

Upfront, I said I did not want a combo. But, in the end, we decided a Splendide Vented Combo was what fit our space best.  After 18 months of use…I will admit, I love it.

We load it in the morning, leave for the day, and when we return, all the clothes are dry. No spoiling!!! 

Save by purchasing on Amazon WITH FREE DELIVERY! AND...you can install it yourself. It is fairly straightforward and does not need the RV shop (contrary to what they'll tell ya.)

18. Mini Clothes Steamer

We do not have room for an iron and ironing board. However, we do occasionally need to get the wrinkles out of something. This little steamer has come in super handy on many a Sunday morning!

19. Stick Vacuum

We had a wonderful Dyson Animal vacuum that we gave up when we moved into the RV. But we still needed a small vacuum. Let me just go ahead and save you the trouble of searching or wasting your money on stuff that won’t last. The Dyson stick vacuum is one of the best RV accessories!  I wondered how I would like the cordless vacuum for an rv but it really does a great job! It also does our 43 foot rv on one charge.

*TIP…these guys aren’t cheap. (But they last FOREVER!) We bought a refurbished one on Amazon for much less and when it arrived, I thought it was brand new by mistake!

20. Dehumidifier

This was an item we kept putting off purchasing. That was a huge rv newbie mistake. We ended up with moisture in a wall that we couldn’t see. So do yourself a favor…get one before you even drive your RV off the lot! There are many sizes available.

We like ours as it can run for a whole day or two before dumping, it isn’t overly big, rolls on casters, and fits in the shower for travel. 

Honorable mention...the Rocket "Everlast" Notebook

This one may sound a little silly. But, if you work or homeschool while living full time in your RV, this thing is awesome.

No piles of notes or random spiral notebooks everywhere. Just one, handy little notebook that uploads notes to your email, phone, text, etc. Then you just wipe it clean with water! It’s definitely one of the best rv accessories.

That looks like a lot

We know all full time RV families are different and some of what we love might seem just plain silly to you…but these are truly the items that we love the most and that make our life on the road so much easier!

We slowly acquired all these items throughout our first year of RVing full time and they have been the things that we use the most.  

Its amazing what all we thought we would need that we tossed the first trip, and what items we now know are the best RV accessories!

HAPPY RVing!

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About the Author

Stephanie (Mom) is the crafty one. She puts up with everyone's nonsense with a smile...and a glass of wine.

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