Must Have RV Accessories for Your Next RV Trip
When you get an RV, you have the tough choice of choosing the must-have accessories to buy due to limited space. More precisely, it is the decision of striking that balance between what’s essential and what’s too much for your RV since that’s the whole reason most people downsized to be on the road.
If you’re a part of any RV group, you’ll hear this question all the time: what RV accessories do I need?
I think the question a lot of times depends on how you camp with your RV. What activities do you enjoy the most while RVing. For us, being outdoors as much as possible was the whole reason to live in a RV.
Being able to enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather was the main emphasis for purchasing many of the following products. The other reason was to feel like we were able to enjoy some small luxuries and weren’t totally roughing it all the time.
Below are some accessories that have made our camping experience much more enjoyable.
Quick NavigationOutdoor RugColeman Screen HouseALPS Mountaineering King Kong ChairEnos HammockAwning LightsThermacell Patio TorchWireless SpeakerRSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Table Cloth ClipFire StarterOutdoor Clothes DryerOutdoor FanOodles of Noodles Foam Pool NoodleAmerican Red Cross RadioRCA RIC102 Silver Compact Ice Maker
Outdoor RV Accessories
While living in our RV, we spent a lot of time outside. We have experienced some of the most beautiful scenery while traveling this great country. Our best memories have been made sitting outside our RV. To truly enjoy the outdoors in your RV, there’s some accessories that make it more enjoyable and comfortable.
No matter where you go RVing, an outdoor rug is a must have accessory. It stops most of the sand and dirt from getting inside.
We camp a lot near the beach and without an outdoor rug, we’d have a mini sand dune in our rig.
We’ve bought several rugs and have seen many more from friends with RVs. Don’t ever use a rug with a backing. The rug will fill with so much sand, that it becomes so heavy that you can’t roll it up anymore.
The rug we loved the most and still use 5 years later is the Fab Habitat Outdoor Rug made from recycled plastic. I loved the fact that it was made from recycled plastic and have been surprised by how durable it has been. It’s lightweight and with a good shake, is free from all sand.
The colors held up under the bright sun as well as having stakes through it to keep it down with strong winds. If you spill something on it, simply rinse it off with water.
We camp a lot in Florida which means no matter the time of year, there will be bugs, sun and rain. Without the Coleman Screen House, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the outdoors in Florida nearly as much as we can with it.
The screen keeps the bugs out without constantly spraying ourselves down with deet. It helps protect from the blaring sun and occasional shower that pops out of nowhere in Florida. You can relax outside as long as you like, safe from any unpredictable weather.
It is easy to set up in about three minutes, unlike a proper tent. This might just be its greatest advantage. Set up includes three steps that anyone can follow and it is as easy to take it down as well. You don’t even have to fear a strong gust of wind, blowing it away. It has a grip lock technology that you can adjust without creasing the fabric.
The screen house is spacious enough if you want to have friends with you. It offers 90 sq ft. of space with a vaulted ceiling. If you don’t want to feel clustered, there are two openings that you can unzip while keeping your food protected under the shade.
The fabric is a delicate nylon taffeta so be easy with how you handle the fabric. If you leave it out in the sun too long, it will break down.
- Easy to setup
- Transparent fabric
- Spacious interior
- Vaulted ceiling
- Delicate fabric make that wears down easily under too much sun
Camping chairs are an essential for enjoying the outdoors under your RV awning or essentially any outdoor event.
I’ve bought many different camping chairs over the years. The cheap ones last for about one camping season while the expensive last longer, but that doesn’t mean the expensive chairs are more comfortable.
I hate when you sit down in a camping chair and it folds together giving you no back support. A good camping chair should be sturdy and comfortable.
The ALPS King Kong chair has a sturdy steel frame with a powder coating which helps to support a significant amount of weight without crumbling down under pressure.
In fact, it has a weight capacity of 800 pounds which is more than enough and you can sit back without worrying about the flimsy infrastructure that usual foldable chairs come with.
The fabric is a tough polyester that matches the framework in its sturdiness. It won’t dip down too much and you can have a firm support to relax on.
It is a bit bigger than regular camping chairs and is pretty easy to carry for shorter distances. It is easily foldable and comes with a carrying bag that allows it to be carried like a backpack.
If you want a drink while relaxing, but don’t want it enough to set up a table with the chair, you can use the cup holder on the arm rest. This way, you don’t have to bend down and pick up the cup every time you have a sip.
Similarly, you can store your mobile phone or earphones in the side pocket as well. It won’t fall off your pockets and you won’t lose them if you forget to check when you pack up and leave. This has happened so many times with my earphones and this design helped me keep them safe.
- Sturdy steel frame
- Strong polyester fabric
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Cup holder and storage pockets
- Bit too heavy to carry too far or too long
We have enjoyed many lazy afternoons lounging in our hammocks. Specifically in Austin, I would volunteer at McKinney Falls State Park from 8-12pm. I’d get home, we’d make lunch and then go relax in the hammocks tied outside our campsite. The campsites were huge so we each had a Enos hammock tied between two trees. We purchased the straps that made it tree safe and it was so easy to hang and take down. The fabric is soft to the skin yet durable and double stitched to withstand the outdoors without fraying.
Go to any RV campground at night and you’ll see a plethora of different awning lights. They range from whimsical to merely functional but they are a must for enjoying the outdoors sitting under your RV awning at nighttime.
Most put out just enough light so you can walk around without it being too bright and disturbing your neighbor. Some are plug ins while others are solar. The solar is certainly easier since you don’t have to worry about a bunch of wires everywhere, but they can also be very dim and depending on where you parked, getting enough solar to charge the lights may be a problem.
A lot of the new plug ins are LED which put out quite a bit of light with very little power consumption. Honestly, the lights we are using right now on our rig is the IKEA Skruv outdoor lighting. They have held up being outdoors and are very easy to pack and unpack when needed.
As ideal it is to pull out the Coleman Screen Room, sometimes we feel too lazy and just want to enjoy the outdoors after a tiring day of driving. On those days we break out the Thermacell lantern instead and it takes care of the problem of bugs and even offers a little light for comfort in the dark. It creates a 15×15 bug free zone.
The fumes of this repellent do not have any odor and that is great because we hate the smell of mosquito repellants. This is especially useful as you have to keep this relatively near. You can turn off the light and the repellent will still function independently.
Apart from not having any fumes, it is also silent and does not have that irritating noise that some products have when all you want is some peace. It comes with 12 hours of refill as an added advantage. The LED light has 4 setting that you can tweak to your convenience. It also has a runtime of 40 hours which will last you a while before you need a recharge.
However, there are some fumes that you have to deal with and they are not entirely safe either, even if you can’t smell them. So, if you are eating or even relaxing, don’t set it up downwind. We like to keep it close enough but in a direction that is not directly in front of us. That way, it keeps the mosquitos away, but staves off the fumes. Moreover, while the LED is strong enough to provide some light in the dark, it’s not a really bright light which we like while sitting outside.
Some RVs have outdoor speakers but they seem useless when you have to go inside if you want to change the radio channel. Now days, most people use wireless speakers instead since they can stream music from their cell phone. It’s convenient and the speakers continue to get better and better. The JBL Charge 3 is waterproof and durable enough to handle being dropped which is why we like it for RVing. I am pretty rough on my electronics so when I say it’s durable enough to stand up to my use, then it should handle pretty much anything. It is also easy to set up and has amazing sound.
This accessory is a small must have for anyone that wants to use the standard picnic table that is found at most all campsites.
If you’re like me, I don’t like to put anything down on the picnic table without a tablecloth. You never know what’s been spilled on that table as well as the many bird droppings that have accumulated over the years.
But you can’t put a tablecloth on without having something to keep the cloth from blowing off. Most people use the standard plastic clips that start breaking almost immediately or the metal ones that start rusting after only a few uses.
The clips we use are stainless steel which will never rust and spring loaded to keep the tablecloth down no matter how many times you take them on and off. These are the most durable picnic tablecloth clips I’ve ever seen.
How many times have you set up camp and tried to start a fire with no luck? You’ve got the wood all set up and have tried some newspaper or any other type of paper you have on hand and while the paper will burn, it won’t catch the logs on fire or it takes a LOT of paper and a long time for it to finally catch.
Maybe you’re reading this thinking that never happens to me and she must not know how to start a fire. Both may be true but after discovering the wetfire tinder, I can start a fire within five minutes no matter how windy or wet it is.
It is truly a great time saver to simply grab one of the individual wrapped tinders into the fire ring and light it and have a blazing fire shortly afterwards. No more fussing with paper or having to use lighter fluid. I’ve never liked lighter fluid to start my charcoal grill and certainly don’t like traveling with it in my RV since it’s so flammable. The wet tinders will last a long time stored safely in your RV.
This is also a must have accessory if you camp at beaches, rivers or campgrounds with pools a lot and have children. If you like to swim while RVing, then you need somewhere to hang your wet bathing suit outdoors. Yes, you can hang it in your bathroom shower, but it’s going to take a long time to dry before being able to use it again and you won’t be able to fit more than two or three in there.
Maybe you like putting on wet bathing suits, but I strongly dislike that feeling. This clothes dryer eliminates all the above. Simply hang your wet clothes on the dryer and in no time, they’ll be dry and ready to use again. It’s durable, can hold many clothes and it folds down to only 6″ wide making it easy to store away while traveling.
If you’ve camped enough times in a RV then inevitably you have run into one of the awning arms that stick out from the RV. If you’re lucky, you didn’t hit it too hard but if you’re like me, you’ve banged your head hard at least once.
To alleviate this problem, someone came up with the genius idea of cutting a foam pool noodle lengthwise and sticking it on the awning arm. This is great when you have small children running around the awning arms and/or adults who are enjoying several adult drinks while watching the kids run around.
After you purchase the noodle, leave it outside for a bit since it has a strong chemical smell and to let the sun soften it enough to cut it lengthwise.
- Comes in assorted colors
- Dense foam that offers good buoyancy
- Easy to store in an RV
- Has a chemical smell
You should never go camping without a radio to alert you to dangerous weather conditions especially if you’re boondocking in remote places.
When you are on the road, you have to be alert about the weather. While roaming the countryside, you do not want to drive into a storm accidentally. This one can automatically switch to emergency alerts if there is any being broadcasted in your vicinity. It can be your best safety net.
You can also use this as an alarm clock which saves you from having to buy a separate one. The LED flashlight is also useful if you happen to get to your campsite at night and need some light to help get parked.
It is easy to recharge. You can use your USB smartphone charger if you don’t want to carry anything else. In case there is an emergency there is the nifty advantage of a solar recharge as well.
It is a hand crank radio which is great when there is no electricity or the battery is dead but it’s not easy to set it with the hand crank.
- Emergency storm alert
- LED flashlight
- Alarm clock feature
- Catches FM/AM frequency
- Hand crank system which is hard to set
RV Essential Kitchen Accessories
This accessory is certainly in the small luxury category. You can make ice with ice trays but considering that most RV refrigerators are small, it’s hard finding space to even sit the extra ice trays and once you are out, then no more cold beverage for several hours. You can certainly buy ice and stick it in a cooler, but that ice won’t last too long and then you’re stuck going to get more. Having a separate ice maker is truly wonderful since it makes ice almost instantly. Below is the ice maker we enjoy.
Say you want to make fresh lemonade or ice tea after setting up your campsite. This icemaker will have made the ice in the same time as it took you to make your drink. It can produce ice within 6 minutes.
The perk I found about this ice maker is that you don’t have to break up the ice cubes if you want smaller sizes. It is equipped to make two sizes of cubes and you can use them according to your preference. I like to use the smaller ones for my drinks and store the bigger cubes for any emergency first aid.
This ice maker is easy to fit in in a corner of your RV due to its compact size. You won’t even have to deal with the usual noise associated with refrigerators and ice makers. The compressor cooling system produces as little sound as possible and won’t interfere with your music.
This ice maker is capable of producing 26 pounds of ice in one day. It will store about 1.5 pounds of ice at a time. You can have ice ready whenever you want throughout the day and then set it up for the next batch. However, while it can store a relatively large amount of ice, I would recommend you to produce the quantity you need when you need them. The only flaw that this ice makes has is that the ice can melt too fast and that makes it incapable for storing ice even though it is designed to do so.
- Produces ice in 6 minutes
- Produces two cube sizes
- Compact size
- Low noise
- Ice can melt too fast in some cases
- Cannot store ice for too long
The Bottom Line
Roaming in your RV is good, but unfortunately, we are too attuned to our luxuries to let go of all of them. So, to choose a few portable ones is the key. These are some recommendations that I can’t go without. You could also get some signal booster apart from these so that you are not completely out of touch with your friends and family.
However, it is important to stick with the necessities so that you can enjoy the freedom of having a life on the road, for at least a little while.