Must Have Supplies for Your New Camper and Towing Vehicle That You May Have Never Thought of
Ensure an Enjoyable RV Camping Experience with these RV Supplies and Towing Vehicle EquipmentDisclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support! Life with an RV will be easier with just a couple additions for safer towing and onboard RV accessories. Yay! We were so excited when we finally found a travel trailer that would fit our family, had all the amenities that we wanted and was within our
RV Towing Vehicle Equipment:The tow vehicle for either travel trailer and a fifth wheel will need some new equipment for hauling. With a new truck and trailer set up, some of this may come as a package from the dealer so make sure to ask what is included in your purchase and what cost extra. Hopefully, you are reading this in the shopping stage!
Hitch – necessary tow vehicle equipment if you plan to take the trailer with.A quick lesson in RV camper speak: A motorhome is a complete unit mounted on the truck frame. The motorhome is a camper and tow vehicle all in one. A travel trailer is a bumper pull camper. It connects to the bumper hitch of the towing vehicle. The tow vehicle can be truck, SUV or van, as long as it has the correctly matched towing capacity. A fifth wheel requires a truck because it connects to a fifth wheel hitch mounted inside the bed of the truck. You need to make sure to have the correct hitch for the trailer you have. For a travel trailer, the correct size ball hitch will be required. The size of the ball and the weight rating must match the travel trailer. The hitch installation is easy – it will slide right into the hitch in the back of the vehicle. But you can always check with your local trailer shop for help. In addition, a stabilizer and sway bar will help distribute the weight evenly across the trailer and the tow vehicle. The sway bar will add stability, helping to tow straight. A fifth wheel requires a fifth wheel hitch installed in the bed of the tuck. Fifth wheel hitches can be a basic hitch or, if the truck bed is short, a sliding hitch may be required. Another
Trailer brakes for safetyIn general trailer, brakes are required on any trailer greater than 3,000 pounds. AAA has a good summary of each state’s requirements for trailer breaks. A brake controller is mounted in the driver side and connected to the tow vehicle braking system. It engages the trailers electrical braking system, either time delayed, or in proportion to the tow vehicles brake engagement. The trailer should come equipped with the braking system that will be activated with the controller in the vehicle. The controller will need to be installed in the tow vehicle and connected to the trailer brake system. Trucks and SUVs with towing capabilities generally have a plug for the controller. When we changed tow vehicles an adapter was needed for a different plug, but we used the same controller. Otherwise, additional wiring may need to be installed.
Transmission Temperature Gauge and Cooler for the Tow VehicleUnless you tow in cool weather and going on flat land only, this might be a good idea. We initially towed with a gas truck and were towing in the mountains of Colorado, going
Tow Vehicle and RV supply: Wireless
Back up cameras are becoming very popular
Back Up Camera
RV SuppliesA few additional accessories will make your RV camping experience more enjoyable.
Generator to Supply Power to the CamperYour RV will come equipped with an two power systems. One that runs off 110V alternating current (AC), just like everything in the house. Anytime the camper is plugged you have a constant supply of electricity for the air conditioner, appliances and 110 outlets. The other is the system that runs off the battery or direct current (DC) system. This system operated when you are not plugged in. The problem is the battery has a limited amount of power – you can’t run an air conditioner or other large appliances- and limited life. If you want to power your appliances, hair dryer and possible air conditioner, when a power outlet is not available, you will likely want a generator. Generators can be loud and that mechanical noise drives me crazy in the peaceful outdoors. So we opted for this quiet generator with enough Watts to run everything we wanted. This site has a good tutorial to help you figure out how large a generator to buy.
Batteries the other Power SupplyWhen not connected to power outlet the camper will run on the 12V DC system from the batteries. New campers should come with one 12 Volt deep cycle battery. An older camper will likely have an older battery as well. You may want a new battery or more power requiring more batteries. You can choose a new 12 volt battery or two or more 6 volt batteries for a little more power. This is a good discussion of batteries and care.
Surge ProtectorsAnother RV power accessory that is a must have is a surge protector for plugging your RV into shore power. Thats RV speak for the power outlet at the campground. Just like protecting sensitive equipment in your home, you should protect your RV from voltage spikes with a surge protector. If you do not have protection built in you should get 15, 30 or 50 Amp surge depending on the power requirements for the RV.
RV GPSAn RV is much longer and taller than a regular vehicle. An RV specific GPS can make life so much easier. You can get an app for your smartphone and use that. A portable GPS will plug right into the power outlet in your vehicle. Some models combine GPS and back camera in one monitor. That’s great because the dash can start to get cluttered with all the new accessories.
Traveling in an RV is so much fun and great for the family. I hope some of these suggestions for RV supplies and towing vehicle accessories make your RV camping experience a little easier and safer!
What do you plan to buy for your RV? What are your favorite accessories?
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