Jim’s Six Essential Camping Supplies & Accessories That Will Make or Break Your Trip
One of our best kept secrets is that we carry a huge inventory of camping supplies and RV parts/accessories. Having the right supplies, and having quality supplies, can make a noticeable difference in your trip. We want every camping trip you take in your RV to be great. To make sure that it is, here are some supplies that we consider in the “must have” category. These are the accessories that you absolutely have to have in order to use your RV, camper or trailer in a safe and trouble-free manner.
Drinking Water Hose
To carry drinking water from your water source to your trailer or RV, you need a hose designed to be safe for drinking water. A regular garden hose won’t cut it. Most drinking water safe hoses come with white jacketed covers. We recommend you start with a 50′ hose, and have at least two on hand in case one of them blows. There are hoses with many nice features like heated water hoses, hoses with freeze protection, etc. (and we carry those when you’re ready for them!) but as far as a must-have RV & trailer accessory—the regular drinking water hose is essential. We carry a wide selection of drinking water hoses to choose from. Make a practice of using your drinking hoses for drinking water only. Keep a regular garden hose around for things like washing your RV and other cleaning tasks.
Water Pressure Regulator
“RV water systems are pressure tested at the manufacturer to hold in excess of 100 PSI without leaking. That doesn’t mean that you want to continue testing your motorhome’s water system constantly like that unless you like pushing your luck. The first time you open a faucet at 100 PSI and have water splashing out of the sink you’ll quickly realize why you need a water pressure regulator. The majority of campgrounds don’t have any issue with excessive water pressure. In fact, most have a problem with not enough water. But there are a number of them that crank their water pressure very high so that they can deliver that water to every campsite – especially those on the far end of the park. For this reason you need you have a water pressure regulator so that you can prevent the water pressure from reaching excessive levels.”
We like an adjustable pressure regulator with a gauge, so we always know what pressure the regulator is set at.
Tip: your fresh water hose has a limit on the pressure it can handle—usually 100 PSI. If the pressure at your campground is excessively high you should put the regulator right on the spigot to protect your fresh water hose as well as the plumbing in your camper, trailer or RV.
When you think about the camping trips you want to enjoy, all the places you’ll go, and the overall quality of your RV experience, the old adage holds true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is very true when it comes to waste disposal! Don’t try to cut costs here; make sure you have a sewer hose kit that work right the first time. If you run into a problem while dumping black water, it won’t be fun to clean up!
Sewer kits contain, at a minimum, a hose, a coupling to connect to your black water tank, an elbow-shaped coupling to connect to the sewer access point in the ground, and two caps to cover the two ends of your hose when not in use. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Length: You will run into situations where a 10’ dump hose is not long enough. Consider a 20’ hose, or, even better, a few lengths of 10’ or 15’ hose that you can connect as needed.
Durability: When purchasing sewer hose kit, pay close attention to the thickness of the hose wall, rated in mils. Thicker is better. You do not want to deal with a tear in this essential piece of equipment!
Storage: The ideal place to store your dump hose is in the bumper of your trailer, camper or RV. Take a good look at the opening into your bumper. How wide and how tall is it? The hose itself will typically be 3” in diameter, but sometimes the connectors can be oversized. When you go to buy a kit, make sure the connectors will fit in the space you have.
Here are some quick links to some of our tried and true sewer hose kits.
You need to add toilet chemicals to your black water holding tank that can break down the toilet paper and solids. These chemicals are made of bacteria or enzyme compositions. We like this blog post from RVshare on understanding and using toilet chemicals. Two reasons you need to use them:
- The breakdown of tissue and solids helps you to empty the black water tank more easily.
- These chemicals also eliminate unpleasant odors!
As we shared in our section on sewer hoses—anything related to sanitation is a good investment in having a positive RV experience, so make sure you are always stocked up on these essential sanitation chemicals when you head out on a camping trip. We carry a wide range of holding tank chemicals in both liquid and packet form.
50 AMP to 30 AMP Adapter
If you have a 50 AMP rig, you absolutely need a 50 to 30 AMP electrical adapter. All too often, RV parks don’t offer 50 AMP service or are sold out 50 AMP sites. You’ll need this to plug into 30 AMP service. It’s an adapter cord or even just a fitting that has a three prong plug on one end for plugging into the 30 AMP receptacle, and a four prong receptacle that your RV’s 50 AMP cord will plug into. Problem solved!
Here are some quick links to some of our tried and true 50 AMP to 30 AMP adapters.
Most people already know about the need to protect against damage due to high voltage. Power surges can be seriously damaging to electrical components of your RV including air conditioner units, televisions and microwave ovens. Most folks are familiar with the traditional surge protector, which will kill power to your RV, camper or trailer in the event of surges and voltage spikes. But not everyone is aware that low voltage can be equally damaging and is not uncommon. Low voltage can be very damaging because as voltage drops, amperage goes up. This can overheat motor windings and electronics, leading to expensive repairs. So, you need more than a surge protector. You need complete voltage regulation that is provided though a true electrical management system. This type of system protects your RV, camper or trailer against power surges and also provides cutout capacity in the event of low voltage. An electrical management system is not inexpensive, but it is essential, invaluable insurance for the electrical components of your RV, camper or trailer. Here are some quick links to some of the products we carry in this category. Although some of them go by the name “surge protector,” all of these are capable of protecting against high and low voltage.