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Necessities for New RV

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I just bought my first RV yesterday and am so excited. Does anyone have a list of necessities that I should have to start out? I have been told a surge protector for the electrical is really important. What about tools, etc.

 

 

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Rather than just a surge protector get a quality EMS

 

An extra sewer hose is often handy as the connections can be in a lot of different places from park to park

 

Same thing with an extra fresh water hose

 

Sign up for a roadside assistance plan

 

You'll see what else you need as you go along.

 

Most important - have fun!

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Congratulations on the new motorhome. I carry a few basic tools: hammer, adjustable pliers, adjustable wrench, screwdriver,

multimeter, etc. A screwdriver with multiple bits can be helpful. RVs tend to have a variety of screw types. A good flashlight is a must. I have one by snapon that has a hanging hook and a magnetic back, making it useful in a variety of situations. As Dennis said, you will tend to add and subtract items based on your camping experiences and preferences.

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Good basic suggestions so far.

 

The various electrical adapters such as 50amp to 30amp, 15amp to 30amp, etc as appropriate for your RV really come in handy as does an appropriate size 25' extension cord. My most used flashlight is an LED headlamp. It puts the light right where I need it with both hands free to work. Duct tape/gorilla tape, Goop and a tube of Dicor lap sealant are also good to have for emergency repairs. If your RV does not have a water filtering system, then some type of filter/fitering system might be a good idea. If it does not have a leveling system, then some way of leveling it like blocks or boards will be necessary.

 

Congratulations on the new RV!!!

Edited by trailertraveler

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Maps and GPS. If you let the GPS pick the route double check it with a good map and get it firmly in your head in case the GPS does something stupid. Mine likes to overheat as I go through large cities.

 

In addition to those items listed above I recommend a good water pressure regulator to keep from blowing up your plumbing. And 3M Command Strips; it's amazing how many places you will find to use them.

 

Linda Sand

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Thanks! You have been so helpful and I have a lot of these things. Now I have a list for my shopping trip to Camping World.

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Lots of flashlights, especially a couple of the over the head kind. Keep one by the door and others within reach for emergencies.

 

Also, some orange triangles in case you have a flat or other emergency along the road are helpful.

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Rather than just a surge protector get a quality EMS

Good advice, but I suggest that there are two brands of power protection with both have excellent track records.The second choice and of equal quality would be the Surge Guard 30A portable line device. It is available from Amazon/Tweety's and this is a pretty good price. Amazon also sells the Progressive PT30C and both are available through prime.

 

For flushing the tanks I have used both the one suggested and the want type and I much prefer the wand that I also got from Amazon. While Camping World does stock many needed items, you can get most things for less cost at Amazon if you are not in a big rush.

 

On the tool list, consider the type of jobs that you may undertake yourself and base that list upon your skills. Tools are heavy and there is really no point in carrying any tool that you do not use. On the other hand the tools that you will use can save you a great deal of both money and inconvenience by doing small repairs and maintenance yourself.

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I am new to own a RV trailer. Currently I am located at Austin TX. I moved the RV from rockport to Austin to be repaired. Now that I can't find a reliable shop (all the review from people just make the shop looks really bad) or mechanic to work on it. The good one has 6 weeks of waiting period. I wonder where can I park my RV? Does anyone knows a good location to dry park RV trailer for 2 months. Another question is anyone knows a good repair shop to recommend near NW of Austin, TX or anywhere in Austin? Currently I have these problems. There are ripples in front of the RV trailer. My friend told me that indicate a leak on the seal. I need to reseal the front and top of the RV. The contractors that I hired to build a small house at Rockport never own a RV. They did number 2 on my RV and now that I need a flush on the grey tank. The grey tank indicator is stuck. My friend told me that there is a brush that shape like a snake that you push it down the grey tank to clean up the dry poops... Third, the electric power for the refrigerator is not working but the propane part does. Too bad my friend lives in Minnesota so he does not know anyone here to recommend me and he left home already. I wonder if there is any Escapee for hire or recommend me a shop or person here in Austin that I can bring my RV to. The RV has been park at Rockport for a year under the pine trees. Now it is very dirty and need a wash also. Who ever works on the RV need to check out what else is not working in the RV. Thanks in advance for all the advices you gave.

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Switch all the lights to LED.

I find it odd how many new models don't come with LED lights.

ERS definitely! We used ours the first week out. That 100 mile shakedown type deal shooked-n-shaked real well, but hit the tire the worst. Pop. Didn't have the things to change with yet so ERS came to our rescue.

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Having owned several types of RV, trailer, 5th wheel, Class C, I have a couple more things to add.

1. Tire gauge to check tires every morning when you are traveling.

2. Covers for the tires if you are staying in one spot very long.

3. Awesome cleaner from the Dollar Stores for getting road tar etc off of the RV.

4. Extra white water hose for when only one won't do.

5. Highly recommend a 25ft 30 amp extra electrical cord. When you need it is when you need it. The 15 amp ones are okay for a short while and I carry one of those also.

 

We buy most other things at thrift stores so we have duplicate of things like pots, pans, silverware, dishes, etc you name it. Don't have to lug these things back and forth from the house.

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I kept a record of what we did and what it cost us to prepare our used 5th wheel for full time living. The blog entry is here. If you look down about half way through the blog you'll see the list of upgrades we did. The list includes things like a weather radio and high quality chocks. Maybe it will be helpful to you.

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Make sure you have the highest quality tires and check the pressure every day.

 

Change to LEDs if you plan to do much boondocking or dry camping. Otherwise, they are not necessary.

 

Most RVs can use additional batteries. See if space is available. Everyone has their own opinion on type of battery. It is as bad a truck wars (e.g. Ford versus Chevie versus Dodge, and even Chevie versus GMC?)

 

Weigh your rig on CAT scales at truck stop at the start of every trip. A very large percentage of RVs are overweight and around 10% or more are critically overweight: blown tires, to much weight for proper braking, to much weight for frame, RV axles/tow axles (if trailer or 5th wheel).

 

Reed and Elaine Cundiff

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This helps so much and I never would have thought of a lot of these things. Some of these things are new to me, but I will figure it all out. I tend to try to do things myself. I have emergency road service set up, so I am covered on that. It's sure nice to have so many experienced and knowledgeable RVers here. Thank you.

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I am new to own a RV trailer. Currently I am located at Austin TX. I moved the RV from rockport to Austin to be repaired. Now that I can't find a reliable shop (all the review from people just make the shop looks really bad) or mechanic to work on it. The good one has 6 weeks of waiting period. I wonder where can I park my RV? Does anyone knows a good location to dry park RV trailer for 2 months. Another question is anyone knows a good repair shop to recommend near NW of Austin, TX or anywhere in Austin?

Welcome to the Escapee forums. We are always happy to have new members join us. I do think that you will get many more answers if you would re-post this by starting a new thread and so avoid taking over one that another new RV owner has begun to get information. I am sure that we have some members here who live or spend time in the Austin area and so would be able to help you.

 

When you do start a new thread I suggest that you also post the make/model of RV that you own and a little bit more about your situation. Things like if you are living in the RV now would help us to give you useful suggestions.

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. Some of these things are new to me, but I will figure it all out. I tend to try to do things myself. I have emergency road service set up, so I am covered on that.

On the LED lighting, if you usually have shore power it may not be justified to convert all of your lights immediately, but I would still do so on a phased in process because they are not inexpensive, particularly when spending money to equip a new to you RV. I would look first to the lights which you use most and to areas where you could use more/better light. Because an LED does not create heat like other lights, it makes much more light with less energy. That allows you to put in a range of possible replacements for the incandescent bulb which was there and so you can increase the amount of light quite easily at that time with no danger. The LED lights draw far less current so are in no danger of too much for the wiring and incandescent lights eventually cause heat damage to materials above them while and LED is only warm to the touch when in use, not hot. I consider the LED lights to be more safe and they typically last much longer.

 

On extension power cords and extra water hoses, that too depends a lot on where you plan to park. Most commercial RV parks today have connections that are within pretty easy reach and one 25' water hose and the RV power cord are usually enough, but there are still exceptions. I do carry an extra water hose but keep it in a zippered bag to protect it as it can be used in the rare case of needing one, but more often it is a replacement when the one used primarily begins to leak.

 

On electric extension cords, you have a number of choices. As a minimum I would carry a high quality, 14 gauge, 3 conductor, power cord that would be rated for 15A125V. I would not buy this cheap but get a contractor rated one as it will last far longer and be safer. Realize also that if you do this you should not use the air conditioner when supplying power with this cord. If you do need to run an air conditioner on an extension cord and have a 30A receptacle available but it is just too far from the RV, then you should get a 30A rated extension cord to do this. Most of us rarely have the need for that so do not carry one as these cords are quite expensive, they are heavy and take far more space. In addition, the lighter weight, 15A cords are useful for other purposes at times while the 30A one is almost never used and so takes up space. I carried one for about 5 years when we first went on the road, then sold it to another RV owner because in that 5 years I had only used it one time.

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For storing a water hose, I coil it in such a way that I can attach the two ends to one another so no creatures can crawl inside it.

 

Linda Sand

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Everyone's experiences are different and their opinions and subsequent decisions are generally based on their experiences. In the past ten years, we have stayed at over 250 different public and private RV parks and campgrounds and it has been over a year since I bothered to try to count them up. It has been a very rare occassion that a park only had 15 amp service. In fact, what many refer to as the 15amp connection on many pedistals is actually a 20amp GFCI outlet protected by a 20amp circuit breaker. When there was only a 15amp/20amp service, I used an adapter to connect my 30amp cord to it. I carry a 30amp extension cord in addition to the cord that connects to the RV. I don't carry an outdoor rated 15amp cord. The cost difference between the 15' 15amp cord and the 25' 30amp cord linked to in a previous post is $13. Whether that is a big cost difference considering that they are not even the same length is a matter of opinion. A 25' 20amp rated cord is only a few dollars cheaper than the 30amp cord. Running the air conditioner is not the only time you will need more than a 15amp cord and service. According to my EMS, if I run the water heater on electric, I often see a draw of 15-16amps when that is combined with other items like the converter, battery charger, etc. Depending on its power rating, a microwave in combination with other loads can exceed 15amps. If your RV has a 50amp service, then in my opinion the cost and weight of extension cords becomes more of an issue.

Edited by trailertraveler

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I get the RV on July 24th and will definitely find out what all it has. I know it is 30amp. I have made notes of all these suggestions and they have been really helpful. Thank you, Kirk, on the explanation of LED lights. That isn't something I knew about.

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Just a reminder about getting an adapter that allows you to access a 50 AMP service with your 30 amp plug. I got one off Amazon and already used it once. Best of luck to you!

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Get one to adapt your 30 to a 15 also, with the tow in hand you'll be able to get power from any outlet that will work with your RV.

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There are many reasons to also carry a 15/20 electric cord besides to plug the RV into a post. To use a vacuum out a truck, to connect Xmas lights or displays, etc.

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Lots of great suggestions here. Something we learned with trial an error - anything with the word RV or Marine prefixing it quadruples the price. We try to get what we can non-RV specific where ever possible or even adapt items now. Walmart/HD etc have become our go to's first always!! Amazon is a great place to shop for many items you might add over time depending how you roll.

 

Trying to think of some things we've found useful that are not mentioned yet:

 

Toilet paper was expensive to us, thinking we had to buy the RV type for years. This is not true - we now buy regular toilet paper just selecting the one we think will break down the easiest. Also many like to use a clear plastic connector/section for dumping so they can see when things are running totally clear.

 

We carry 8 wooden square blocks 6x6in with mini rope handles hubby stapled on for ease in pulling back out from under the rig = use them a lot under the jacks when levelling.

Wheel Chocks are used by some folks as well - we don't use them personally

We also carry a spray for the jacks to keep them lubricated, as they will start to stick over time with dust etc.

An axe for chopping firewood or if low overhanging branches need a wee trim to avoid damaging our rig/ACs

An outdoor easy clean large Mat = keeps a lot of dirt and sand outside the RV, and makes the site feel more homey

Slow Cooker = we often fill it with veggies and meat then plug in outside whilst away for the day - great to come home to a cooked meal

Couple different size buckets = they come in real handy on the road. Long Handled Brush & Squeegy/scourer for windscreen/bugs. Some Old Rags. Step Stool/retractable ladder. Good Reliable Torch. Bug & Sunscreen Sprays, Medical Kit, Moth Balls/Repellants for critters = lights for under/around rig if camped where known packrat area etc.

 

As has been said, you will add as you go with experience. Wonderful thing is there's usually a Walmart not too far away from most folks first times out. Also don't make the mistake of buying every "Looks Good Idea" RV gadget you think you will use. We've all done that and been there - follow the forums and you'll be surprised the tips and tricks you will learn from those before you, and they'll save you a small fortune usually in the process.

 

Don't forget those fun items either: Bikes, games, fishing gear, tennis rackets, dinghy's/kayaks, snorkel kits, movies, jigsaws/cards for a rainy day or two.

 

Most importantly don't forget to always take with you a great sense of humour and a huge smile. Things happen, but it's how we handle them when they do.

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