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Essentials List for First Time RV'ers


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Hi,     I am about to purchase my first RV, its an Aria 36ft Diesel Pusher.  Looking for a comprehensive list of essentials needed for the RV (out of the box so to speak).  For example water hoses, power cords, etc.  Does any one have a tried and true list, lots of information out there on the internet but looking for a list that has been used by other members.   Appreciate any insight, this is for part-time use vs full time.  

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Power cords (get both 30 and 50 amp cords, 30') sewer hoses (enough for 50'), water hoses with regulator (1- 25;, a couple 10-15' ones) should all be negotiated and part of the purchase price.

Add 10-15' 30 amp and 10-15' 50 amp extensions

Surge protection, either pedestal or built in.

Chuck added to your air compression system to allow you to fill tires.

Adjustable long handle brush for washing rig

Tellescoping ladder to reach up beyond height of the roof

Roadside breakdown kit with flares, triangles, etc.

Knee pads for when you are down on the ground with your knees hooking up, etc.

Several pairs of good leather gloves for working outside

Small bucket for placing under wet bay to use when hooking up and unhooking sewer hoses.  There will be drips, best caught in a bucket and poured into toilet.   Tip - put a gallon size slider closing Ziplock bag around sewer outlet after cap is on.  When getting ready to attach hose, crack open the cap inside the bag to catch any drips, etc., that might have accumulated.  At one point or another there will be drips, etc., especially as the seals get old.

Duck tape, DW40,  teflon tape, electrical tape

Assorted bungy cords in all different sizes.

If you are going to have satellite tv connect with a tripod, etc., then 100' total in cable for those times when you are parked in/near trees (esp in the PNW).  

Water filters, sediment filter at a minimum

 

 

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! Also to the RV club and all of our activities.

What you carry with you is a pretty subjective thing in many areas, but some things are simply a must. Things like a quality water hose, a good water pressure regulator, sewer hose and fittings are absolutely necessary. But there is great disagreement on some other items. I have never seen a list that is indisputably accurate. 

I happen to be one who agrees with the need for some type of power line monitor, often called a surgeguard, but that is actually a trade name and is the brand that I have extensive experience with . I have used the Surge Guard by Southwire for many years. You will need to get one rated for either 30A or 50A, depending on the power requirements of your RV. Progressive Industries also makes a competing unit that has a long history and I'd probably choose based mostly on price. There is also one made by Camco that I have no actual knowledge of. I suspect that any of these would do what they claim to, but the fact is that many RV owners do not use one of these and do just fine for many years. I do use one but accept that not everyone agrees.

The same is true for tire monitoring equipment. There are several different companies that make them and like the power devices, they too are a risk mitigating device that many RV owners do not use and live fine without. I have owned RVs since 1971 and have never had a tire monitor device, but just keep my tires up religiously and have not spent the money to buy a monitor. They are kind of an insurance device, as is true of the power monitor.

RV type extension cords are very expensive and while I would think in terms of getting one for the long haul, I would only get 1 and it would be of the same ratings as your RV power cord. In addition to that, I suggest that you get the proper power adaptors to allow you to connect your RV cord to either a 50A or a 30A RV outlet. 

My suggestion is that you look through the various lists and select the things that you feel that you need. If you have questions about any items, post them here and see what members feel is needed. Most of the items previously suggested make sense, as do many of the lists, but some things will always be different base on opinions. 

Edited by Kirk W
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If you get your fresh water hoses from the RV Water Filter Store you will never have to buy a replacement. If you buy cheap water or sewer hoses expect to have to replace them sooner than you'd like. I, personally, like Rhino Hose for sewer.

Whether or not you need water filters depends on where you plan to get your water and your personal needs. All city water systems are tested for safety. Pets sometimes don't like changes in water. Some people don't like changes in taste of water. I stopped using my filters when I realized how much faster I could fill my fresh water tank without them.

For me, door mats are critical to help reduce what we track inside. I am not fond of cleaning floors all the time.

I hated our tire pressure monitor system because we kept getting false alarms. We luckily never had a tire emergency since I had Dave take ours off. Maybe if I didn't have hearing aids the sound would not have been so piercing.

We always used an EMS for our electrical system because we didn't want to take a chance on burning out any of our electronics. Ours saved us from both high and low power.

We changed out our fire extinguisher when Mac the Fire Guy told us we would not want to have to clean up after using an A type.

So, like so many other things in RVing the true answer is--it all depends. :)

Linda Sand

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The reason I suggest a 30 amp cord in addition to the 50 amp cord (since its a DP, assume it is 50 amp) that come with the coach is because the 50 amp cords are HEAVY and if you only have a 30 amp site, it is so much easier to use a 30 amp cord - - especially if in the PNW where 30 amps are common and it is often "damp" in the morning when you are getting ready to move.   Have always been thankful for having both of them. 

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10 hours ago, sandsys said:

If you get your fresh water hoses from the RV Water Filter Store you will never have to buy a replacement. If you buy cheap water or sewer hoses expect to have to replace them sooner than you'd like. I, personally, like Rhino Hose for sewer.

Whether or not you need water filters depends on where you plan to get your water and your personal needs. All city water systems are tested for safety. Pets sometimes don't like changes in water. Some people don't like changes in taste of water. I stopped using my filters when I realized how much faster I could fill my fresh water tank without them.

For me, door mats are critical to help reduce what we track inside. I am not fond of cleaning floors all the time.

I hated our tire pressure monitor system because we kept getting false alarms. We luckily never had a tire emergency since I had Dave take ours off. Maybe if I didn't have hearing aids the sound would not have been so piercing.

We always used an EMS for our electrical system because we didn't want to take a chance on burning out any of our electronics. Ours saved us from both high and low power.

We changed out our fire extinguisher when Mac the Fire Guy told us we would not want to have to clean up after using an A type.

So, like so many other things in RVing the true answer is--it all depends. :)

Linda Sand

Linda, Thanks for the feedback, what type of fire extinguishers did you buy and how many do you have and what locations in the RV do you keep them. 

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9 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

The reason I suggest a 30 amp cord in addition to the 50 amp cord (since its a DP, assume it is 50 amp) that come with the coach is because the 50 amp cords are HEAVY and if you only have a 30 amp site, it is so much easier to use a 30 amp cord - - especially if in the PNW where 30 amps are common and it is often "damp" in the morning when you are getting ready to move.   Have always been thankful for having both of them. 

Thanks for the feedback,  The RV is 50 Amp,  if the campsite only has 30 Amp Service, how does that impact the running of the RV?

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13 hours ago, rockylarson said:

""Knee pads for when you are down on the ground with your knees hooking up, etc"  X2 (wish I had bought them earlier)

Two Credit Cards

Couch Net Roadside assistance

Rand McNally Motor Carriers Large Print Spiral Bound Water Proof Atlas.

Jack Pads

Tire Covers

Thanks for the feedback,  on Coach Net Roadside assistance,  is that needed if I have Roadside as part of my RV Insurance,  the Insurance has a $2000 cap for towing, is that enough coverage for a Diesel Pusher?   How much does Coach net cost typically?

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Do the sewer hoses typically have to be elevated / supported and off the ground at most campsites?   Also looking for feedback on whether or not an RV GPS is a must have as I take delivery and bring the RV home (400 mile trip)?   I ordered the truckers atlas as a back-up an have seen the posts and feedback on the most recent GPS's.  Do you use one specific for RV's when traveling?   The RV has GPS built-in but would be surprised if it has the Height Restrictions & Road Grade information.

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1 hour ago, Mike Diesel said:

 The RV is 50 Amp,  if the campsite only has 30 Amp Service, how does that impact the running of the RV?

That is where the adapters come in. You can get an adapter that will allow you to connect your 50a cord or a 50a extension cord to a 30a outlet and operate just fine, but you will be limited to 30a from a single phase. With your standard 50a outlet you actually connect to 2 hot legs, each of which can supply up to 50a, while a 30a outlet has only 1 hot leg that is limited to 30a, so power will be more limited but it will work just fine. You probably will only be able to use 1 air conditioner on 30a where you can pretty much run everything on a 50a supply. To connect the 50a cord to the 30a outlet requires this adapter.

                            71HGepayWeL._AC_UL640_FMwebp_QL65_.jpg

1 hour ago, Mike Diesel said:

Do the sewer hoses typically have to be elevated / supported and off the ground at most campsites?

That depends on where you stay. In most locations it is not required but is convenient, but there are RV parks and also a few states that do require it. I carry one of the sewer hose supports but I do not usually use it unless I will be parked for more than a few days or if required to do so.

1 hour ago, Mike Diesel said:

Also looking for feedback on whether or not an RV GPS is a must have as I take delivery and bring the RV home (400 mile trip)?

If you know the route then you really don't need any GPS but make sure that you won't have any low bridges to pass under. The use of a GPS has become pretty much universal and the advantage to the RV versions is that they allow you to set in the height of your RV and it will avoid places you will not fit. They also have data on service facilities and things that you may wish to use. If you have a limited budget, like most of us, then you can prioritize the more costly items that you choose to buy. I really like my RV GPS, but the lack of one wouldn't keep me at home. You should be sure that you know the height of the highest part of your RV so that you can avoid low structures. 

1 hour ago, Mike Diesel said:

The RV has GPS built-in but would be surprised if it has the Height Restrictions & Road Grade information.

I would think that a built in GPS would be of the RV type and allow you to set things of that type, but probably it won't be programed for you. It should come with instructions/operator manuals to allow you to do this. 

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9 minutes ago, GR "Scott" Cundiff said:

Even if it's not required it just might keep the guy with the weed whacker from nicking your hose.

X2 on this... or a rock poking through the bottom. I find that the holders also help the stinky slinky drain since most of them are slanted from the rig end to the sewer end.

Rob

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6 hours ago, Mike Diesel said:

Linda, Thanks for the feedback, what type of fire extinguishers did you buy and how many do you have and what locations in the RV do you keep them. 

We bought them from Mac the Fire Guy years ago so they are no longer with us. I think they were BC ones. In my van I only needed one. In our Class A we had more placed around the rig. We brought one home with us when we left the road but, like I said, it became too old to use.

 

6 hours ago, Mike Diesel said:

looking for feedback on whether or not an RV GPS is a must have as I take delivery and bring the RV home (400 mile trip)?   I ordered the truckers atlas as a back-up an have seen the posts and feedback on the most recent GPS's.  Do you use one specific for RV's when traveling?   The RV has GPS built-in but would be surprised if it has the Height Restrictions & Road Grade information.

The Gamin dezl line lets you enter your vehicle data. Ours is the 560 LMT model we bought back in 2008 and we're still updating maps twice a year so as to not lose our Lifetime Maps option. The T part is for traffic and ours has routed us around backups and/or construction a few times.

 

5 hours ago, Kirk W said:

You should be sure that you know the height of the highest part of your RV so that you can avoid low structures. 

Putting a note that reminds you on your dash can be a lifesaver. There's nothing like pulling up to a low clearance spot and trying to remember what your number is.

Linda

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9 hours ago, Mike Diesel said:

Thanks for the feedback,  on Coach Net Roadside assistance,  is that needed if I have Roadside as part of my RV Insurance,  the Insurance has a $2000 cap for towing, is that enough coverage for a Diesel Pusher?   How much does Coach net cost typically?

About $250 / year.  Sorry, that and gas prices are something I do not concern myself with.  All three times Coach Net towed me they first located a shop that would fix the issue and then towed me there. And I am on my second engine and second transmission.  Is your cap per event or annually? And do they tow you to a final destination for repair it first drop cannot fix the problem?

Good Luck.

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On 12/3/2020 at 6:46 AM, Mike Diesel said:

what type of fire extinguishers did you buy and how many do you have and what locations in the RV do you keep them. 

I have two, dry charge (powder) extinguishers.  One is kept on the kitchen counter when not traveling, and the other in a corner in  the bedroom.  Dry charge extinguishers work on grease/liquid, electrical and just general fires.  I do not keep them in designated clip holders because I want them handier to the problem and my kitchen and bedroom not have handy wall space for an extinguisher.

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On 12/3/2020 at 7:04 AM, Mike Diesel said:

Also looking for feedback on whether or not an RV GPS is a must have

There are folks who love them.  I don't like relying on a GPS because I've found too many glitches over the years.  I'm convinced that GPS systems share a twisted sense of humor. I plan routes using several sources:

Rand McNally Road Atlas for general route planning

Mountain Directory for detailed grade/mountain road information

AllStays Camp & RV for low clearances and more.

Google maps for detailed planning, including going to ground level to preview locations that might be problematic such as big interstate interchanges

Then I write down the trip for my navigator.

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15 hours ago, rockylarson said:

About $250 / year.  Sorry, that and gas prices are something I do not concern myself with.  All three times Coach Net towed me they first located a shop that would fix the issue and then towed me there. And I am on my second engine and second transmission.  Is your cap per event or annually? And do they tow you to a final destination for repair it first drop cannot fix the problem?

Good Luck.

Thanks for the additional information,  I have a bit more homework to do.

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4 hours ago, Jinx & Wayne said:

There are folks who love them.  I don't like relying on a GPS because I've found too many glitches over the years.  I'm convinced that GPS systems share a twisted sense of humor. I plan routes using several sources:

Rand McNally Road Atlas for general route planning

Mountain Directory for detailed grade/mountain road information

AllStays Camp & RV for low clearances and more.

Google maps for detailed planning, including going to ground level to preview locations that might be problematic such as big interstate interchanges

Then I write down the trip for my navigator.

We use the same resources and use US Highways and Interstates for moving from one destination to another and then explore in the toad.  I have no interest in exploring, or making stops along the way - that's why we have the toad.  Known roads is how we go with the rig.  Have had a TomTom for years and do like the feature of getting information on roads from traffic reports when near a big city.  But now get the same on our Maps on iPhone,  so will be using that next spring if we finally get to travel again.  

Our rig is 12' 7" at its highest point, so 13' is a minimum for us and even then I'm very weary.  

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