Our new camper is working out well and I remembered most of the gadgets you need on day one with a new RV. Every manufacturer is different about what they include with your camper. Some will include a septic line, some won’t. Most include a power cable but it’s not always a good one. Manual leveler cranks are like a page out the industrial revolution history book and few include a freshwater line.
Depending on what type of camper, 5th wheel or RV you have, your day one needs may vary slightly. Even so, if you’re thinking about buying a camper, then you can start shopping for these things and take them with you to the dealership.
A Potable Water Hose
Do not use garden hose. Potable water hose is specially made to not leach lead and other harmful chemicals. It’s white and you’ll find it in the RV supply section at Walmart, which is less expensive than buying it at the RV dealership.
Campers and RVs get lighter every year and, inevitably, lighter
means thinner. Nowhere does that manifest itself more than those thin, flimsy fold out steps. Not only does your entire camper tilt when you step on them but they will eventually creak and groan under your weight. Put enough weight on and you can bend them. The solution is an adjustable brace you put under the bottom step. That modification will keep the camper from tilting your way and end the creak of thin metal. That and the occasional shot of grease will guarantee your steps last as long as your camper.
A Decent Fan
RV and camper fans are notoriously tinny and unreliable. Get yourself a couple really decent fans, one of them big enough to use outside. Don’t worry about how quiet they are, a little white noise can mask a multitude of small noises by the neighbors. Even a small camper seems less cramped when you have a little moving air.
Socket For The Levelers
You can skip this if your camper has electric jacks and automatic levelers. Personally, I’ve never seen electric jacks that didn’t stop working at some point. Manual scissor jacks are incredibly reliable, if you keep them decently lubricated. Instead of painfully raising and lowering them with the hand crank, get yourself a deep socket and attachment to your cordless drill. You can zip down those levelers in no time.
A Small Bubble Level
Speaking of levels, the kind that stick on the outside of your camper are pretty useless. Get a decent bubble level at the hardware store and do it right. You can skip this if you have automatic levelers but it never hurts to spot check once in a while. These are $4.00 at Harbor Freight, so don’t sweat it big spender.
RV Septic Supplies
Don’t use regular toilet paper! Get the fast dissolving kind. And get tank deodorizer, the good stuff in pre-measured packets. Drop one in the tank, run a couple gallons in the bottom and you’re good to go.
Water Pressure Regulator
Do NOT hook your camper up to a park water system without a pressure regulator installed!!! Modern campers are supposed to test their water systems at 100 psi, twice the normal head pressure on residential water systems. My response to that references the
velocity of pigs flying out of my butt. With the speed and lack of quality control in modern RV manufacturing, I wouldn’t trust city water pressure on any camper.
Shop around and you can find these doodads on the cheap.