5 RV Accessories to Avoid
You’ve just purchased your first RV, and you’re ready to head into the dealer shop and grab up every RV accessory you can find to get started on your adventure. The papers are signed, and the keys are in your pocket. Now it’s time to do some shopping.
Hold your horses! Don’t even enter the dealer shop unless you’ve already done some thorough research. You’ll be tempted to spend more money than necessary on accessories you don’t need.
We’re looking at what RV accessories are essential and how to avoid spending too much money.
Let’s dive in!
What Does Every RV Owner Need?
Whether you’re a Class A motorhome owner or a travel trailer owner, or somewhere in between, there are a handful of essential items you need to purchase. But there are only a few. Don’t get caught up in the latest, coolest gadgets. Buy the must-haves initially and then wait to buy more. You’ll learn what you need or want as you camp and travel.
A few essentials to get started are a quality water hose, a quality sewer hose, a water regulator, and wheel chocks. Depending on the type of RV you have, you may need anti-sway bars, a fifth wheel hitch, or a trailer lock.
But seriously, besides these few items, you don’t need much to get started. These are items you don’t want to skimp on. Don’t cut corners and try to save money on essentials. Get quality products because you’ll use these every trip, and you want them to last.
What Do You Need for Long Term RV Vacations?
Living full-time in an RV is a bit different. However, you still shouldn’t run to the store and buy all the RV accessories. It’s better to buy the essentials mentioned above, then learn what you need as you travel.
For example, a Berkey water filter system is a great item that many full-time RVers have. But if you buy one and then don’t have anywhere to put it, you’ve wasted your money. Take a few weeks and use bottled water if necessary to establish a routine and figure out life in an RV.
You’ll need kitchen gadgets for full-time living that you won’t need for a weekend camping trip. But you probably have those in your sticks-and-bricks house. So you don’t need to go out and buy anything additional. You’ll have to figure out what you’ll use as a dish-drying rack and what you’ll use for cooking outside. Or if you’ll even need those items.
A Blackstone grill is trending among RVers, but don’t get one only because everyone else has one. Again, establish your life in your RV first, then you’ll have a better idea of what you need.
You’ll eventually want to get a patio mat and comfortable camping chairs. Maybe you’ll want a Solo stove or electric bikes. But don’t waste your money initially on these products until you know you’ll use them and they fit your travel lifestyle.
However, if you plan on camping in extreme temperatures, you’ll certainly want to consider how you’ll adjust.
Do you need a couple of fans for the Florida summer or heaters to run during the Michigan winter? Will you be stationary and need to invest in skirting during cold, below-freezing temperatures? If you’ll be living in your RV, consider where you’ll be, for how long, and during what season.
5 RV Accessories to Avoid
Here are five RV accessories to avoid after purchasing your new RV. These aren’t specific items but rather general suggestions to help you save money and get products that suit your needs.
Even if you do your homework, there’s no guarantee that the product you buy won’t fail two weeks later.
But you certainly have less chance of doing so. Let’s take a closer look!
1. The Cheapest RV Accessory
Don’t skimp on essential accessories. If you buy a cheap key holder, that’s one thing. But if you buy a cheap sewer hose, you’re dealing with a whole other matter.
Save money on non-essentials that are easy to replace if broken. Don’t try to find cheap must-haves for camping like trailer locks and wheel chocks.
Pro Tip: Here’s an example of best to worst RV Cell Boosters.
2. The Most Expensive RV Accessory
On the other hand, don’t buy the most expensive accessory either.
If you do, you’re just throwing away money. There are always options. Don’t go with the cheapest or the most costly. A middle-of-the-road balance will save time and money because you won’t be replacing it often, and you won’t be wasting money.
If you do your research, you’ll find the middle ground gear that will do the trick.
For example, a Honda generator probably won’t be better than a Champion generator. Yet, you’ll save 100s on the Champion.
3. Brand Names Only
Brand names are fine. Every RVer knows the names Camco and WiBoost. But sometimes, you can find a better, more affordable option with an off-brand.
Do your research and check user reviews. Don’t just buy a brand-name product because it’s a brand-name product.
Smaller companies can produce quality gear, too. And often, these are less expensive and still work just as well. If your research leads you back to the brand-name product, go with it.
But don’t eliminate off-brands just because of the label.
This rings true for outdoor RV mats.
4. Dealer Accessories
Dealer prices are high, and you won’t find many options. They might have one particular water hose instead of several different brands and lengths.
Don’t fall into the trap of walking into a dealer shop and buying every RV accessory you see.
In fact, you probably shouldn’t buy any RV accessories you see. Do some research like previously mentioned to find the best product for the best price to suit your needs.
5. Unreviewed Items
As mentioned above, always research reviews, watch videos, and read blogs before making a large purchase. On the other hand, thorough research may not be necessary if you’re spending $10-15 on an RV accessory.
But when considering essential items like a heated water hose during winter travel or high dollar items like a tire pressure monitoring system, never purchase unreviewed items.
Use the feedback and experience of others to help you make a well-informed decision.
What Are the Don’ts of RV Accessories?
It’s so easy to want to get online and watch YouTube videos of the popular RV influencers and go to Amazon and order every single item they mention.
But the truth is, you don’t need all of those accessories, especially not initially. You’ll waste your money from the outset and potentially be stuck with unused gear. Get going on your travels or weekend adventures, then decide what accessories you truly need.
Keep in mind the cautions mentioned above when it’s time to shop. Compare prices and reviews.
Then you can purchase with confidence knowing that you’ve made an educated, thought-out decision. Have you started an RV accessories wish list? If so, have you compared prices across brand names and off-brands?
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