A Beginner's Guide to the World of RVing: Necessary Accessories
Our brand-new Travel Trailer is in our driveway, and we are in the process of purchasing a few items we will need for it. We have our lock in place, and we have purchased wheel chocks and an adapter for the electrical hookup that will allow us to connect to a normal 120V A/C plug-in at either an RV camp or at home to an extension cord. What else will we need?
A Cover Would Be Nice...
Yes, we will need a cover to keep it protected from the sun's harmful rays in the heat of summer—and to protect it from the rain, hail, sleet, and snow, all of which can cause problems. How do we go about this?
In the RV store, a cover that fits our trailer can sell for upwards of $550. As we try to save as much money as possible, we are going to go online and search the Internet for a good one at a lower price. Our trailer is 25' 6" long, from the rear bumper to the front of the trailer itself, not including the tongue and jack area. In reading reviews of the item we decided on, I became moderately confused by the comments. Some say the cover fit like a glove, exactly to the size advertised on their trailer. Others say it was either too large or too small. Hmmm.
We decided that it's better to have a bit too much than too little, so we stepped up to the 26' to 28' size, deciding against the 24' to 26'. This way, when we get the spare tire and carrier we will have enough to cover it with no issues. In addition, if we choose, we can include the LP tanks on the front of the trailer as well. We ordered it on Sunday afternoon and it was delivered Thursday around noon by FedEx. We will be opening it up and trying it out Saturday. We purchased it on Jet.com and got 15% off our first order, which dropped the price to $180. Cha-ching!
We took that savings and went onto eBay to purchase tire covers. These came in under $30, so basically, it was buy the cover, get four tire covers free. I'll take that!
What Else Do We Need?
Well, we need a sewer hose to connect to the dump stations we travel to. Speaking of sewer hose connections, have you seen the film RV? The scene where Robin Williams tries to hook up for the first time? Nasty!
Again, in the stores they start at around $10 for a standard strength 10' hose with no accessories (we really need accessories for our poop line!), while online we can obtain an entire system devoted to carrying one's, ahem, "defecation materials" out and onward. And so we found a system that includes a 15' length of hose, a 90-degree turn (to allow the hose to fit into the hole in the ground), a seal for said hole, and several other items I am really excited to learn about and how to use. Cost? $17 total for a heavy-duty (dootie?) hose sent from Amazon. And with Prime, it arrived in just two days.
Next, we need a hose—a water hose. So we found a 25' super hose that shrinks when empty, complete with brass fittings online for $20. Ebay again. Delivery in just three days to our home.
Okay, what else? Oh yeah, we need a water pressure regulator to halt the overpressure, which apparently runs rampant at RV parks. Evidently, the pressure is so high that it can blow out your water system in the trailer. Thus, the need for a regulator. We found a brass one with a gauge for $10. Amazon Prime, two days.
Cover? Check. Tire covers? Check. Sewer hose? Check. Water hose? Check. Water regulator? Check. What else? Hmm?
Well, we have an AM/FM/CD/DVD player but what about WiFi and BluRay? Not that we HAVE any BluRays yet, but you never know. And we will need WiFi, won't we? So off to the 'net, and we find a Sony CD/DVD/BluRay/WiFi player for $30. Cool.
What About the TV?
Wait, we forgot about the TV! At the local big box store, a 19" flat screen runs $100 or so. Don't we have one that no one's using? Well, we've got this monitor that our little one can use as a gaming unit, so we take that 22" and put it in the trailer. Now we need a mount for the wall. It's $25 in the store; $15 online. Done.
So, we will be installing the wall mount this weekend, then install the TV and hook it up to see how she plays.
Okay, got it installed Saturday and watched The Long, Long Trailer for a while IN the trailer with little britches. He thought that was pretty cool (me too!).
We Went A-Visitin'
Saturday morning we took a drive to the local RV park just to get a feel for how they are set up, how the hookups set, and such. We met a lovely couple who were staying there 13 weeks for the man's current job. He works for the local hospital at present in some capacity, which allows them to travel constantly. According to them, they have basically been on the road non-stop for years, traveling from here to there with his job. Wow, what a life. They are about our age and have no kids at home, only seven dogs.
Yes, seven. That's S-E-V-E-N as in 7, Mickey Mantle's number. And they're not all little ankle biters, either. There were two Bouvier des Flandres, which were about 100+ pounds apiece; one Golden Retriever; two Standard Poodles, and two little Maltese-type dogs. All well behaved, all well cared for. These were the first Bouviers I have seen, and they were great. Not sure what they look like? Think of the dog that was in Harry Potter, the one that Harry's guardian Sirius Black turned into. Big, black, scary looking. Yep, that's pretty much what a Bouvier des Flandres looks like. These were wonderful dogs, well mannered, and both my son and I loved petting them.
The couple was very welcoming to our questions, happy to answer this and that, offering suggestions up for us as newbies. And so we learned another wonderful tip from them.
A water purifier system for the hose. Something that will filter the impurities and such from the water, thereby allowing the system to last longer and stay cleaner. Thank you, sir!
And now, I think we have just about everything we currently need to begin our journey. Oh, I know there are other items that will jump up and say "buy me!" or maybe something that we will forget until it's time to need it. An online friend advises me to keep a list in the trailer of things we forget and will need to purchase before our next trip. I think that's a great idea! Kind of like a shopping list on the fridge at home, only this will be in the RV, and we will take it with us when we go shopping.
For now, we are eyeing an overnight stay at a local RV park in the next couple of weeks or so, about the time spring break hits. Hook up and head out to somewhere fairly close, set up and explore; then spend a night in the trailer for the first time. How exciting it will be! Cooking, sleeping, sight-seeing for the first time out of our new home on wheels, looking forward to the time when we don't have to head home by dark. A time when we can just drive somewhere else and see another part of the country we haven't yet seen.
We can't wait.
- Beginning RVing: Our Florida Road Trip and Four RV Parks
Planning. Thought. Months of work detailing our first real RV trip, and we still made mistakes. Learn from what we went through to make your trip even better. Where we went and stayed: an overview.
- A Beginners Guide To RVing - Part 3
We have the new trailer, we have about everything we think we need (but we're still learning) and are now making solid plans for our first honest to goodness RV trip. Does this sound like a good trip?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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