RV Camping Checklist: Bare Essential Items You Will Need to Buy, After you Buy

rv checklist for getting your rv on the road

We wish someone would have provided us an RV Camping Checklist. The essentials, a list of items that you really need to have that don’t come with your RV.

When we purchased our new Catalina Legacy, I just assumed that everything I needed was included. Especially, when paying $25,000. Unfortunately, it was not.

As soon as we signed the paperwork, the sales person walked us right over to the accessories store. He “suggested” that we purchase more items. We were actually shocked these things weren’t included. We could have saved a ton of money by having an RV Camping Checklist. The opportunity to purchase these items from Walmart or Amazon would saves tons.

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Therefore, I have put together a RV camping checklist. A list of items that you will need to purchase when buying a new RV.

RV Camping Checklist Essentials

Things you will need to buy after getting your RV

A Sewer Hose

RV Camping Checklist essential sewer hose and connections
Changing Sewer hose

Believe it or not, no, your brand new RV does not come with a sewer hose. So, if you plan on using water, the toilet, or the shower in your new RV, you will need to purchase one.

Most of the time, a 10 foot hose will do the job. Some times you need it to be a little longer. I have, and suggest, a 15 foot sewer hose, with a clear 90 degree attachment. A separate 10 foot extension.

The extension is just in case you roll up to a spot where the attachment is on the opposite side. This is for when you cannot get the RV close to where the hose needs to go. I suggest this 15foot hose for your connection, and this 10ft extender.

Planning on boondocking and you will not have any place to drain your tanks? It can be done!

Check out: emptying your tanks without moving your RV.

A Water Hose and Water Filter

If you plan on having water in your RV, you will need a specific drinking water hose. You can not use a garden hose or something that may cause you harm over time.

I suggest a 25 ft hose, as this will be enough in most situations. In addition, a charcoal water filter is also a must. I have been to so many places where the water didn’t smell, or seem very clean. Remember, even if you are planning on filtering your water once inside, or drinking bottled water, it is still wise to have a filter.

The water coming in is also your dishwater, shower water, etc. These are the ones that we use. I have also included the drinking water filter we use. In my opinion, best on the market.

RV Camping Checklist Essentials Continued

Wheel Chokes

I cannot stress this to you enough. Get wheel chokes and use them!! Use them as soon as you get to your camp site. Before you do anything else, as soon as you know where you want your RV to sit, put them in place.

Even before you detach your vehicle. This is an item that should appear on ANY RV camping checklist. You do not want your RV to move at any time after you decide where to place it. Without chokes, it can roll and potentially roll into or over something. You don’t need anything fancy. These are the chokes I use. I highly suggest getting 4 or one for each wheel.

Power Adapters

Most of the time, the dealership will provide you with a power cord. However, they will only give you the cord that is appropriate for your unit. So, if your RV runs on 30 Amps, you will get a 30 Amp Cord. But, if you drive up to a camping site that only has 50 Amp hookups, or if you want to plug in to someone’s home electric, you are out of luck.

So you will need to get power adapters, also know as dogbones. If you have a 30 Amp RV, get the 50 Amp dogbone, and visa versa. If you do not have one of these and need to buy it at the campsite, and you are lucky enough that they have them, the price is typically outrageous. We have a 30 Amp camper, so I have this 30 to 50 converter.

With these I can attach to someones regular home electric, or a 50 amp hookup if need be.

Leveling Blocks

I realize these are not quite as important as the items above, but I can tell you that it is more important than you think. It really stinks rolling out of bed in the middle of the night because you are uneven.

Also, the water in your shower, sink, etc, will not sit properly and therefore will not drain correctly causing mildew or potentially mold to grow. In addition, if you are storing anything in your camper, you don’t want it to be uneven and fall.

The leveling blocks are a great way to level out your camper, and I also suggest the levels below, so you can “proofread” your work. We have these leveling blocks, and this simple level.

Toilet Treatments

happy campers organic rv toilet treatment

There are a lot of things on the market for to place in your tank. It’s important to remember to keep this as natural as possible. We found this Organic tank treatment with no scent to work well.


Keeping moisture out of your camper will save you a lot of time, money, and effort over the years. There are small portable dampness removers to choose from. We like these reusable plug in dehumidifiers. We usually place these in the small storage spaces like kitchen cabinets and dining area.

There are bigger dehumidifiers, still small, but for tiny living, but helpful to treat the whole RV. Being from Florida, this is definitely something we need, we’ve stopped moisture and beginnings of mold in their tracks using these simple and essential tools.

In conclusion, there are many other items that make camping in your RV much more enjoyable, safe, and healthy. The items above should get you out on the road right away after purchasing your new RV.

Reference Guides

Having guides is essential to organizing your time and where you want to spend it. There have been many times when phones and devices don’t work while in remote locations. Some of these guide books are a tremendous help. Good Sam makes a nice guide, as well as several on the national parks.

Complete National Parks of the United States guide book and essential for RV Life

RV Camping Checklist – Creature Comforts You May Enjoy

Comfortable Chairs

Anti gravity camping chairs perfect for camping out at your favorite spot

There’s nothing better than setting up at your campsite and taking your first relaxing sit with an ice cold beverage to enjoy the beauty of your scene. After a long drive it’s extremely helpful to put your feet up. That’s why we recommend these anti-gravity chairs. They help elevate your feet after a long drive or long walks, it’s heaven.

Comfortable BED

A comfortable memory foam mattress topper is an essential add on to your RV
A comfortable memory foam mattress topper is an essential add on to your RV

Replacing your RV mattress is almost mandatory, you will know once you’ve slept one night on that rock mattress that normally comes with your camper. A cheap solution we’ve found is adding a mattress topper to it. There are many toppers to choose from, we like the memory foam style.

Organizing Your Stuff

Next, you will want to organize your stuff. First, so it doesn’t slide around everywhere. Second, so it is easy to access. From command strips to hold your brooms, to keeping all of your cans organized.

Laundry – Where do you put it? It seems like a small thing, until you have piles of laundry everywhere. We found this slim design laundry basket a nice space saver. It’s tall, thin, and,….bonus…it has wheels.

First Aid Kit

A good first aid kit is so important to have. I have a standard kit to keep in the camper and a mini one to take out on hikes. Even for a tiny scratch, it’s helpful to have some basic medical supplies with you. When you are traveling those rural roads in the middle of no where, you realize the value of having these basics on hand.

You can easily find a first aid kit on Amazon, or Check out this company that sells really great kits for first aid. They are called My Medic. Check out their site.

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9 thoughts on “RV Camping Checklist

  1. Jeannie Lester says:

    Getting ready to go full-time RVING and cannot wait. Need some assistance on how to go about selling everything and hitting the road . Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    • rvboondocker says:

      Thank you so much for reaching out! This is an awesome question that I actually currently writing an article about now. Definitely check back in about a week or two and I should have a full article about it. But, I would be happy to give you a few basic suggestions. First, be sure you get your current home situation settled. If you are selling or currently rent and are just leaving where you are, then you don’t have to worry about this. But if not, be sure you get a reliable renter or a management service of some kind. We have been fortunate enough that we rent to people that we know and trust, so this was a big plus for us. It is very nice knowing that the house is taken care of. Be sure you have everything settled like who is going to mow the law, etc. Your mail is another thing. At first, we had our mail forwarded to someone we trust, and that person would just text us a picture of the actual mail if anything important came along. That can be a lot to ask for a long period of time. We are currently using a mailbox at a ups store. You ask 50 people about this, you will get 50 answers, and most situations are different. Next is the internet. If you need/want the internet, you will have to prepare yourself for this. It is a topic that you don’t realize is so difficult until you are out there. Wrote an article about it here. I do have a guy that I can direct you to that offers unlimited data for hotspots. I really like this plan cause its cheap and as long as you have cell service, you are good. PACK LIGHT!! Once you leave your house and all of your stuff, you will realize how much you don’t need all of that stuff!! I am amazed at how little I don’t have something that I need. Hope this gives you a little help, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

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  3. Eden says:

    Most RVers are considerate of fellow campers when staying at a campground. A good rule of thumb is to treat others as you would like to be treated. If we all follow these simple campground etiquette tips, everyone in the campground will have an enjoyable and safe camping experience.

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