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16 must-have items for RV travel

Although downsizing is necessary when living full-time in an RV, there are many items that are either very useful or quite necessary to have available at all times. A few of these are listed below.

  1. Gorilla glue — Useful whenever superglue is needed. It has been used to seal leaks around windows in my motorhomes, to hang hooks for small items, reattach tiles, molding, plastic parts, etc. It is very easy to use.
  2. Professional size Velcro tape — Wider than the regular size Velcro, this is strong, tenacious and sticky. It held the awnings and tailgate in place on my diesel pusher; it keeps my printer from moving on my computer desk; and it holds the refrigerator door closed while traveling.
  3. Mailing tape dispenser — Dispense scotch tape for sealing boxes, letters, etc.
  4. Nonskid matting — This prevents dishes and other objects from sliding in cabinets and drawers. It also holds my coffee maker in place on the countertop while traveling.
  5. Crockpot — For a single guy who is much less than a gourmet chef, and barely able to cook, the small crockpot is a blessing. Briefly, if you are a crackpot, get a crockpot. The crockpot can be filled with meat, veggies, some water, seasoning. turned on and left for hours. Several RVers have related that they plug their crockpot into the inverter and cook while driving from site to site so the meal is ready when they arrive.
  6. Breadmaker — A good friend has provided a breadmaker by Oster. This is the best breadmaker that I have ever used. There are recipes for many types of loaves, but the 58-minute white bread has turned out very well for me in several tries. My past efforts using other breadmakers, have usually resulted in heavy, flat or sunken, non-rising loaves. The 58-minute bread uses rapid rising yeast and has proven successful every time.
  7. Road service membership — Although I have traveled for many years in RVs, I am happy to say that a recently purchased Good Sam membership and road service has paid for itself within a few months.
  8. SkyMed — Should you suffer a critical illness or injury, this air evacuation service will arrange and pay to transport to you to your home hospital in the United States or Canada. Plus, SkyMed can even return a spouse or companion, your children, your grandchildren, your stranded vehicles and your pets.
  9. Stop/turn lights on the toad (towed vehicle) — For several years, I used a lighting harness hooked directly from my RV to the toad. About two years ago, I switched to the separate lighting system with large tail/directional lights attached by magnets to the rear of the towed vehicle. They are easy to connect, give large, clear light signals and are less expensive than connecting to the car lights.
  10. Calendar — My RV resorts, boondocking sites, daily stops and some activities are recorded on a calendar, along with the cost of each stop. This continual record reminds me of where I have stayed and my monthly cost for lodging.
  11. Various hooks and hangers — Used to hold keys beside the entry door as well as fly swatters and other miscellaneous items in handy places.
  12. Fulltiming and RV repair books — Books of this type can save an RVer both time and money. Although not all questions are answered, nor are all problems solved, there are many useful clues and hints for a happy RV lifestyle inside those soft covers.
  13. Fire extinguisher — This necessary item is located right beside the entry door, is accessible from inside or outside the coach and is one item that I hope that I never have to use.
  14. Small inverter — An inverter transforms 12-volt DC power to 120-volt AC power. My 400-watt inverter is connected directly to my coach batteries and is located in an easily accessible area near the entry door. It can be used to power a small crockpot, laptop computer or similar electric item. Their use is a convenience, but it does drain the battery.
  15. A battery powered flashlight — A friend has used and recently gifted me with a Trie light which features 3x Cree LEDs. This light has a magnetic base, rubber non-skid feet, a full rotational head for directional lighting and which closes for lens protection. It is, of course, rechargeable and is easily carried using the attached lanyard.
  16. A campground membership — Various memberships are available at reduced rates at the I bought a membership for Thousand Trails at that site and it has served me well for more than two years.

Every RVer likely has additional favorite items that are absolutely necessary for their survival in the RV lifestyle. I have listed my faves, what are yours?

About Dr. Bob Gorden

Dr. Bob Gorden is an RVer, hiker and writer. He has a PhD in microbial ecology from the University of Georgia in Athens. He is a retired research scientist from the University of Illinois Natural History Survey. He has owned and operated more than 55 RVs of various types, and has visited every state, except Hawaii, in his RV. He also traveled by RV in New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. He currently owns and travels in a 1978 GMC 26-foot Class A and 2013 Thor ACE 30.1 Class A motorhome. He has a compelling desire to be “On the Road Again!”

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