Since we bought our RV 5 1/2 years ago I’ve tried out all sorts of RV gadgets or add-ons of one type or another. Some have proven to be extremely useful while others end up in a drawer or buried in a storage bin.
To save new RVers some trial and error time, I’ve decided to list for you what are in my opinion the must-have gadgets and add-ons. These are items I use the most, and I would require if I were to buy a brand new RV. Maybe it will give you some ideas for your RV.
Note: All products were purchased by me except for the storage locks which were sent out free of charge for a review.
1) Screen Door Bar
After damaging the flimsy plastic hardware on our RVs screen entrance door a few times when pulling it shut, I wised up and installed a simple grab bar. A second use we have found for it, a perfect spot to dry a towel.
2) Twist-On Waste Valve
Most RVs, including ours, have their tanks waste gate valves buried inside the underbelly. That is an excellent feature to prevent freeze-ups in cold weather but has a drawback. Any nasty wastewater that leaks past the valves ends up at the end of the sewer output pipe and dribbles out when I remove the cap. Yuck! The Valterra Twist-On Wastegate solved the problem and is one of my favorite RV gadgets I’ve purchased.
3) Roof Vent Covers
We are from coastal BC so have extensive experience camping in cool, wet weather. The first thing I get for any RV is roof top vent covers. After they are installed the vents stay open all the time to help keep our RV ventilated against moisture damage.
The best vent cover I’ve found is one put out by the same company that produces my Fan-Tastic Fan. Though more expensive, I like it for two important reasons. One, the cotter pinned attachment hardware that makes removing it for cleaning a breeze. Two, it has a larger volume of air flow than most competitors.
4) Roof Gutter Drip Extenders
Another one for us wet weather campers is a set of RV gutter extenders. The OEM gutter spouts are so short so roof water just streams down the side of the RV leading to ugly black streaks. With a little bit of extension, the problem’s solved.
5) Water Regulator
In my mind, a water regulator is an essential item. It helps prevent damage to either your water hose or worse case the RVs internal plumbing from those campgrounds with excessively high water pressure. Some are over 100 PSI! I’ve witnessed the results of not using one with my own eyes. Last summer I observed three hose blowouts and one guy had a new rig ruined when a plumbing pipe burst while they were away.
Our Valterra brass water regulator has worked well going on about four years now. I set it at about 55 PSI. Beware the cheapie regulators, they often times won’t supply adequate flow.
6) Stabilizer Jack Socket
As I get older, I appreciate this inexpensive little RV gadget more and more. With the stabilizer jack socket, my cordless drill does all work and speeds up the tedious task of lowering and raising our rear stabilizer jacks.
7) Awning Protection Ball
RV awnings are expensive, mmkay. RV door edges are sharp, eh. This little rolling plastic ball gadget is cheap. Enough said. 🙂
8) EMS Surge Protector
As RVs pack in more and more electrical circuits and expensive electronics, I think some type of surge protection is a no brainer. Even though we are fully insured, I can just imagine the pain in the rear waiting around to have a rig full of burnt out electrical parts replaced. Not to mention always wondering if something was missed and may fail down the road.
I went with the Progressive Industries model EMS-HW30C and haven’t regretted it. They are a quality unit built by a reliable US company who stand by their warranty. I particularly like the remote digital readout.
9) Storage Bay Locks
Once I learned that anyone with a CH751 key could open my locked storage bays, I was inspired to change out the locks. The deal was sealed when the crap OEM locks began to get flaky to open only two years into owning the trailer.
Since replacing them with a uniquely keyed, higher quality cylinder style lock, I’ve been a much happier camper.
10) Rubber Wheel Chocks
My latest RV gadget purchase is a pair of heavy rubber chocks. For years I’ve put up with those standard yellow cheap plastic units. Wow, what improvement. They have sufficient heft to them to stay in place where I put them, whether that’s on the ground or in the truck bed. And, they stick much better to smooth surfaces.
I’ll never go back. Bonus, I won’t crush them the next time I have a cranial cramp and drive over them.