10 Basic Essentials You’ll Need for your Brand New RV

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I remember how nervous I was when Stef and I bought our first RV a dozen or so years ago. I didn’t sleep for a week as that thing taunted me from the driveway. Back then, there weren’t thousands of RV instructional YouTube channels like there are now, and I actually had to check out library books to learn how to do even the most basic things – like turn on my lights and dump my tanks. I remember Stef laughing at the pile of books stacked on my office floor.  I laughed along, but inside there was terror.

If you just bought your first RV, I’m guessing you can relate. It’s probably because of your new-RVer-jitters why you landed here in the first place. Well I’m glad you did, because I get the chance to tell you what I wish someone would have told me: You may know very little now, but you’re going to pick it all up as you go along. People much less capable than you have mastered RVing! It’s all about just getting out there and learning through experience. Trust me. You’ll be a pro in no time.

So let’s get down to business. You got the RV, check. (And by the way, CONGRATS!)  Now, you need some basic RV accessories to get you started. Here are some that I recommend.

Essentials you need for your New RV (and why you want them):

  1. A good quality sewer hose:  Your RV may come with one, but trust me, there are better ones out there.  This Camco RhinoFLEX hose is tough, and darn near an industry standard.  I’d recommend getting the longest one you can comfortably store.
  2. Electrical Adapters:  There will be times when you want to plug your RV into an electrical outlet it wasn’t designed for.  You’ll need adapters to do it safely.  Whether you want to plug your 30 amp coach into a 50 amp outlet, or into your 15 amp garage outlet, there are adapters to make that happen.
  3. Surge Protector:  While you’re plugging in, you should think about protecting your RV investment from power spikes and surges.  There are portable surge protectors that will do just that.  You just plug them in-line – no electrician needed!
  4. Pressure Regulator:  Sometimes, the water pressure at the campground is higher than your RV plumbing system is designed for.  So it’s a good idea to use a pressure regulator if you’ll be hooking up to campground water.
  5. Leveling Blocks (and Chocks):  There are a lot of benefits to having a level rig.  (Eggs won’t roll off your counters!)  Leveling blocks are an easy way to get there.  And while you’re at it, get some chocks to keep your wheels where you park them.
  6. Water Filter:  If you’d like to keep the water in your RV’s plumbing system fresh and free from contaminants and debris, a water filter is an absolute must.
  7. Elbow (to keep hoses from kinking):  Gravity always works down, but the water connections on your RV may go horizontally.  To keep your hoses from kinking where they exit your RV, a 90 degree hose elbow is just the ticket.
  8. Rubber Gloves:  For, um… obvious reasons… it’s a good idea to keep your hands protected when working with sewage.  Many folks use disposable gloves for this, but these heavy duty rubber gloves will do the job without creating waste.
  9. Holding Tank Chemicals:  RV holding tank chemicals break down waste and help control odors.  I prefer the convenience of the ones in dissolving pods, but there are lots to choose from!
  10. Dedicated Fresh Water Hose:  Keep your fresh water hoses white or blue in color, to avoid confusing them with other hoses, and make sure to get a drinking water safe one as well.  There are lots to choose from!


So there you go. With these 10 essentials, you’ll be all set to take your new RV out for a test camp. You can see all 10 of these must-have items in this YouTube Short below. Feel free to leave me any comments and questions down below!

And hey, if any other seasoned RVers swing by this page, feel free to share your own suggestions for accessories new RVers should consider—comments section below.

Congratulations on your new RV! Amazing adventures just ahead!



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    11 thoughts on “10 Basic Essentials You’ll Need for your Brand New RV

    1. Alfredo

      For the Porta-Pak, how do you get that into the grey water tank? Previously I’ve just flushed chemicals down the faucet to get them into the grey water tank, but those paks seem to big.

      1. James - Post author

        Most folks (us included) rarely if ever use a treatment in the grey tank.
        (Not that it’s a bad idea… just that the grey water never seems to be a serious enough problem to get on our radar!)

        If I wanted to add a “pod” to the grey tank, I’d probably dissolve it in a red Solo cup or something, and then run that down the drain – chased with water.

        There are specific grey tank treatments available, if you think this will be part of your regular regime.
        They’re usually liquids – like this one: https://amzn.to/3FT7I9G

    2. Jon Ault

      +1 to all of those.

      For the electrical adapters, I will say that I’ve used my 30-to-20 adapter quite a few times over the years & would strongly recommend having one. OTOH, the 30-to-50 adapter I’ve only used a couple times and only because the campsite’s 30A outlet was defective in some way; I could have plugged into 20A instead. I’m not sure I would miss the 30-to-50 if I didn’t have it, I’ve never run into a case where I absolutely needed it.

      I’d also suggest getting the dogbones with 90 degree plugs on the ends, they do a better job IMO of staying in the socket & will let you close the door on the pedestal.

      1. James - Post author

        We’ve used our 50/30 more than a few times, but I agree that it’s much less than the 30/20.
        The 90 degree dogbones are great. But I’ve started to dislike the ones with the big handles on them. They keep the doors of the park pedestals from closing!

        1. Jon Ault

          I feel the same way about those handles. I like what they did with the handle on the Smart Plug power cord, it folds down into the back of the plug.

    3. Rick Filcoff

      (typos corrected version 🙂 Thank you for the interesting and very useful article.
      Regarding #1: I would add a right-angle adapter to fit into and seal the sewer hose to the dump station receptacle. This will protect the end of your sewer hose from being damaged by the dump receptacle door. Some dump station require that you use a seal on the end of your hose and do not allow inserting the raw end of your hose into the receptacle. #3: I would go with an electrical management system (“EMS”) as opposed to a surge protector since the EMS will not allow electricity to flow to your RV if there is a problem (wiring, line voltage or line frequency) to connect to your RV. 2. I would add a dual-range non-contact voltage tester (“NCVT”) so that you can test for the dangerous and, possibly, deadly “hot-skin” condition on your RV. Even EMS devices cannot always identify all of the conditions that can cause these voltages to appear on the metal parts of your RV chassis. Not on the list, but essential: #11: Flashlight with extra batteries. Even better, add a headlamp. #12: Basic tool kit including a digital multimeter. #13: Basic repair items: Gorilla tape, assortment of nylon wire ties, assortment of stainless-steel hose clamps. clear silicon sealant and extra fuses. #14 Reflective safety vest.

      1. James - Post author

        Some good suggestions there.
        The sewer hose I linked to in #1 actually has the adapter you speak of as part of the kit, so yes! And the same for the surge protector I linked to – it has all the features you mention. We also carry many of the other items you mention as part of my tool kit. We did another video on the tool kit, listing all the contents, which you can catch here: Updating My RV Toolkit – What Do I Really Bring?

    4. Scott Black

      James, please, please do a “How To” video on lowering the spare tire under the Ekko.

      You “How To” videos are so helpful and no one has done anything to educate us new owners on how to lower the spare and change a flat tire.

      That’s what keeps me up at night.


      1. James - Post author

        That would be a good idea… if we had a spare tire! lol.
        We removed our spare tire when we installed air suspension some time back. Otherwise, I’d do it.

      2. Jim K

        I will be picking up my new Ekko next week. I wonder does it even come with a Jack and lug wrench? Either way I am not sure I would even attempt changing a tire unless I absolutely had to. I would try and call for roadside assistance.

        1. James - Post author

          The EKKO should come with a jack, wrench, and spare tire.
          But yes – changing a tire can be challenging on a vehicle this size.

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