Tony & Peggy Barthel - StressLess Campers


We’re Tony & Peggy Barthel and we’re working to help you be a StressLess Camper.

RV Essentials for StressLess Camping

RV Essentials for StressLess Camping


After finally deciding on which new RV you want to purchase, the next question is what kind of accessories you’ll need to make the RV experience easier and more fun. There is no end to the number of cool things you can buy for your RV but this list represents all the things I believe you’ll need to maximize your RV experience. The other stuff’s up to you!

You’re always welcome to post comments below about the things mentioned on this list and not everybody will agree. But here is my explanation why this is the ultimate list of RV must have items. 

Hoses and water

On the list are a water hose, water pressure regulator and water filtration system. You’ll want to have a high-quality fresh water hose so you’re not tasting nasty hose rubber in your fresh water system. Even if you bring in bottled water for drinking, your skin is your largest organ and you don’t want to douse it with nasty water every morning. A high-quality drinking water-grade hose is just an essential. I also like having two of these in case one fails or in the event that I’m too far from the spigot for just one hose. 

You’ll also absolutely want a water pressure regulator. You can’t count on the fact that a campground’s water pressure is within acceptable range for your RV. Furthermore, the water pressure could be fine until everybody turns their faucets off in their rigs at the same time and then you get hit with a pressure surge that causes a plumbing leak. A water pressure regulator is cheap insurance for your plumbing. 

Finally, I really like the external Camco water filters. They simply screw in line with your incoming water feed and take a lot of the impurities out of the water. My RV has an inline filter in the plumbing itself but I still use one of these - it’s easier to replace than that filter and much less expensive to do as well. 

Lastly two lengths of a really high quality sewer hose is just a must. The last thing you want is a cheap sewer hose to ruin your day. The kit in the link to the Amazon list also includes a clear elbow in the system so you can see when your sewer is running clear and you can stop flushing it. 

There is one non-necessity in this area and that’s the Oxygenics shower head. Well, it doesn’t seem like a necessity until you’ve tried the terrible shower head that likely came with your RV. This shower head is so much better and yet still minimizes your water usage. 

Power protectors

I’ve covered this subject in the article here about RV surge suppressors. Suffice to say that we get enough people who don’t buy these and then suffer the consequences that I think this is one of the most essential basics for any RV. I’ve also included a lock for this that, while not the model for ultimate security, it certainly is a deterrent to the casual thief. Remember that issues caused by faulty park power are covered by neither your RV’s factory warranty nor your extended warranty. 

Lynx Levelers and Camco RV Levelers

In order for your RV’s refrigerator to run properly you’re going to have to have it within three degrees of level, otherwise you could actually cause damage to the refrigerator. In the article Camping on the Level I discuss these items in further detail, but you can use the Lynx Levelers under your stabilizer jacks and the wedge levelers just make leveling your RV so, so much faster and easier. 

While on the subject of level, having levels outside your trailer (or inside if it’s a motorhome) really makes the process of leveling the RV faster and easier. 


The Air

As a new RVer you’re going to hear/read a lot about “China bomb” tires on RVs, particularly travel trailers. Frankly, I believe the vast majority of these failures are caused by improper inflation pressure. In fact poor tire inflation habits caused the federal government to mandate tire pressure monitoring systems on automobiles built in 2007. 

On my list is a Ryobi tire inflator. The reason I like this particular one is that it uses the Ryobi 18 volt battery system. I also have lanterns, drills and other things. Furthermore it not only inflates tires, but also boats and mattresses and other things of the sort. My friend Joe brings a leaf blower powered by this same battery for blowing off the top of a slide room before retracting it. 

This unit also has a tire pressure indicator which makes checking the inflation pressure of the tires almost effortless and certainly much, much more pleasurable to being stuck on the side of the road with a blown tire and, potentially, a damaged RV. 


To sum it all up the final items on this list are the Magma stacking cookware. This isn’t so much an essential, but it sure saves space in your RV and I’ve been thrilled with the quality of these things as I detailed in the article Ideal Cookware for RVs. Of course if you have a huge RV or unlimited space you may not need these, but I’ve been thrilled with them such that, if I didn’t already have a very high quality set of cookware in my house, I’d buy them for the home. 

Oh, and last, but not least, who doesn’t want to cover the steps of their RV with fake grass? Actually, it does help keep the thing clean. 

There are some things that aren’t on this list including plates, serving utensils and cutlery. That it something you can choose on your own, of course, and there are going to be some folks who are very happy with what they find at the thrift store and others will spend a fortune. The one caveat I would interject is that the RV is a rolling earthquake so I tend to favor plastic plates such as Melamie plates. There are plenty of examples of ones that are traditional as well as RV-themed examples. 

Of course you’ll need sheets and towels and such. While your RV’s mattress is likely not a standard size I’ve found that regular queen-sized sheet work well for an RV queen mattress. No need to spend more on something specific. And the magnetic spice jars can be helpful, but aren’t necessary. 

Remember the “stuff” that is part of RVing isn’t anywhere near as important as taking your new rolling home to very special places and making wonderful life-long memories. Truly, that’s what RVing is all about!

Here’s a link to the Amazon list of the RV essentials: The Amazon List

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