The Essential List of RV Life Starter Gear
Updated: Feb 21
"Hey Cozy Camper! Before we meet for our new owner consultation, is there a list of items you recommend purchasing?"
We received that message from one of our Cozy Camper Clients after a recent inspection. They'd also booked a new owner walk through and after picking up their RV from its former owners, they realized that every bit of gear had been stripped out. Our clients were starting from scratch and had no idea where to get started. I remember being similarly confused when our RV journey first started. Below is a list of all of the items we recommend. Every item on this list is currently on-board our personal RV and was offered on our rental units.
Progressive Industries Electrical Management System Surge Protector (50 Amps)
Progressive Industries Electrical Management System Surge Protector (30 Amps)
Electrical Management System Surge Protectors (or EMS for short) protect you and your RV from dangerous electrical conditions like high or low voltage and incorrect wiring. It can also protect you from the potentially deadly hot skin condition. They are among the costliest items on this list, but an EMS can save you thousands in repairs. You don't need to buy both, just matched for your RVs electrical service.
Camco Heavy Duty Extension Cord (30 Amp)
Camco Heavy Duty Extension Cord (50 Amp)
If you're planning to be parked from electrical service, a heavy duty extension cord is a must. We do not recommend using a normal 15 amp extension cord with a dog bone under most circumstances.
Dog bones are adapters that allow you to plug your RV into receptacles that don't match your power adapter. For instance. You have a 50 amp power adapter for your RV and when you arrive at your RV spot, you find that it only has 30 amp receptacles. You take your 50 amp - 30 amp dogbone, plug one end into the pedestal receptacle and one end into the power adapter (or EMS).
PS: They're called dog bones because...well...they look like dog bones.
50 amp- 30amp
50 amp – 15 amp
30 amp – 50 amp
30amp – 15 amp
Set Up, Leveling and Chocking Accessories
Leveling Blocks (Dual Axle)
Leveling Blocks (Single Axle)
Leveling blocks are used to help level your RV. The most common application is to drive your RV tires on top of them in order to level your RV. You can also use them under your tongue jack, leveling feet and stabilizer jacks. We use them as a platform for our outdoor shower too! It's a good idea to buy multiple sets. Some campsites require a lot of leveling blocks to get level - especially when boondocking.
X-Chocks or Cross Chocks are devices that are placed in between dual axle trailer tires. They perform a dual function of stabilizing the RV and chocking the tires. Note: it is not recommended the X-Chocks be used in place of standard wheel chocks. It is recommended they be used together.
Rubber Wheel Chocks:
Rubber wheel chocks are placed behind a tire to prevent it from rolling away. You may wonder why we recommend them over plastic chocks. It's because plastic chocks have an expiration date.
Correctly leveling your RV is critical. We recommend installing a bubble level on your RV whether it has an auto-leveling system or not. Slides, refrigerators and more can be damaged if operated while the RV is not level.
Stabilizer Drill Adapter
Manually cranking your stabilizer jacks is a pain (literally). The stabilizer drill adapter greatly reduces the time and energy needed to use your RV's stabilizer jacks. The adapter is compatible with all power drills.
Fresh Water Accessories
Premium Food Grade Water Hose
You need at least two hoses for your RV. We recommend having separate freshwater and black water cleanout hoses. The freshwater hose should be food grade and provide water suitable for human consumption. We recommend this one because the ends are heavy duty and will last longer than competitors.
Water Filter System
Campground water can be...questionable. Let Mrs. Cozy Camper tell you the story of drinking sulfur water coffee after the Baby Cozy Camper was up all night. This water system simply attaches to your water hose and improves the quality of your drinking water.
Did you know that some campgrounds have extremely high water pressure? We didn't either until it blew out the black tank flush vacuum breaker. Thankfully that was an easy fix. Attach a pressure regulator to your fresh water hose to prevent costly damage to your RV's plumbing.
Fresh Water Tank Filler with Shutoff Valve
For those with gravity fed fresh water tank fills (in layman's terms: a hole in the side of your camper you pour water into), this makes it much easier to fill the tank and prevents back flow.
Black and Gray Tank Accessories
Black Tank Clean Out Hose
This hose is used when using the black tank flush system on your RV. These are not food grade hoses but are highly durable and are painted orange. Think of the orange paint as a warning that means "hey this hose isn't for drinking water." We recommend, in the strongest sense, having separate clean out and drinking water hoses.
In-Line Pressure Regulator
The in-line pressure regulator is just like the one we recommended for the freshwater system. We have found this model to be less reliable than the one mentioned above but it is less expensive and smaller. Thus we use them on our orange hoses but not our freshwater hoses.
Rhino Sewer Hoses (AKA: The Stinky Slinky)
When it comes time to dump...your dumps...we recommend a high quaility sewer hose. You don't want to be surprised at the dump station. This kit includes 20 feet of hose, end caps and a see through elbow adapter. Come to one of our Cozy Camper Classes or book a one on one new owner consultation to see why we feel thats important.
Sewer Hose Y Adapter
If you have multiple gray or multiple black tanks this product is a key. It's common to find RVs that have a termination valve for a galley gray tank and a separate termination valve for a restroom gray tank. The Y adapter allows you to join the two gray tanks at dumping time. By using this, you wont have to move your sewer hoses from tank to tank. If you have a single gray and a single black tank, this product is not for you.
Sewer Hose Supports
The sewer hose supports keep your sewer lines off the ground and can help you route your sewer lines over uneven terrain. As they say, it rolls downhill! Some campgrounds actually require you to keep your sewer lines off the ground making these a must.
Tank Rinse Wand
It happens. Eventually, you're going to get solid matter stuck on the side of your black tank. The tank rinse wand helps you spray the inside of your black tank to get that gunk into the sewer where it belongs.
Sewer Tank Rinser
This product allows you to spray high pressure water into your black tank from the termination valve side. We have fixed many clogs using this device.
Unique Tank Treatment
This is the best waste tank treatment on the market. It will liquify all organic material in a gray or a black tank to help prevent clogs. We have switched our rental units from the pods to this product. It also introduces healthy bacteria into the system which keeps smell down. They make a concentrated version that can help undo clogs.
RV Waste Tank Tote
This is perfect for those times where your site does not have a sewer connection but the RV Park has a dump station. You simply dump your tanks into this tote, attach it to a vehicle, and drive it to a dump station. We have one and it works great!
RV Waste Tank Tote Bumper Rack
This product allows you to mount your waste tank tote onto your bumper during travel.
RV Keyless Entry System
This is an upgrade we've been planning for our rental units for awhile. The RV keyless entry system comes with a keypad and a fob. We do recommend having a hide a key stashed somewhere in the rig in case this fails.
Moisture is the enemy of RVs. We run dehumidifiers when our RVs are in storage. We recommend that you use a dehumidifier in your RV. According to some, running a separate dehumidifier will make your AC run more efficiently.
Coat your hitch ball with this product to prevent damage to the inside of your coupler.
WD-40 White Lithium Grease
White Lithium is great for most metal on metal applications. We use it on stabilizers and couplers.
These products represent our best guidance on required gear for your RV. There are certainly more products and varying opinions on each of them. We encourage you to do your own research and decide what's best for you. You can always reach out to us if you have any questions.
Stay tuned for Cozy Camper Classes! We'll be hosting our first RV 101 course soon! Contact Cozy Camper ATX today to schedule your RV Inspection or Repair!