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Don’t Make These RV Accessory Mistakes

RV accessories are the most important part of any RV vacation. But, with so many options, it’s easy to buy the wrong stuff.

It’s even easier to spend more money than necessary on RV accessories.

Today we’re sharing 7 “don’ts” when buying the essential equipment for your RV adventure. (FYI – we published a comprehensive list of 101 Essential RV Accessories early this year.)

Let’s dive in!

Don’t Buy The Cheapest RV Accessories

We’re all about saving money. However, there are certain accessories you’ll want to spend a little extra money on.

For example, a high-end black water hose is super important. When you’re dealing with poop, you don’t want buy equipment that’s highly discounted. Camco makes many styles of hoses – we recommend the Rhino line.

It’ll set you back an additional $10 – a small price when the alternative can be very smelly!

Here’s s few other pieces of gear that are worth spending a little extra on:

  • Fresh water hose (ideally a no-kink version)
  • Hitch locks
  • Outdoor Chair (even the nice chairs don’t last long, the cheap chair are awful)

Don’t Buy The Most Expensive RV Accessories

Spending a lot of money on some RV accessories isn’t worth it.

For example, water filters can be very pricey. The fact is, if you’re smart about where you source your water, a simple exterior RV water filter will serve its purpose.

We use three different filters. I can guarantee you, it’s overkill.

While it does give us peace of mind (especially when we fill our tanks in sketchy areas), it probably isn’t necessary.

These are the three filters we use in our vintage Airstream.

Additionally, RV GPS routing systems can be hundreds of dollars. Instead of paying that steep price, you could simply use RV Trip Wizard (which offers a free smartphone based GPS routing system).

Don’t Forget the Safety Equipment

RV accessories aren’t all fun & games. It’s important to buy RV safety equipment, too.

This includes roadside cones, safety flares, air compressor and a spare tire.

Trust me – I know that it’s not enjoyable spending money on this stuff. I also know, from first hand experience, that it pays to have these items in your RV!

I have a confession…for years I thought Honda was the only generator to buy. While it’s a quality brand, there are so many generator manufacturers building quality products with a lower price tag.

If you search for “2000w inverter generators” on Amazon, the price differences are amazing. Ranging from $375 to $1050, you have lots of options.

We recommend a quality mid-range brand like the Champion 2000w unit for around $500.

Don’t Think All RV Accessories Must Be Purchased at the Same Time

Take your time purchasing RV accessories. Of course, you’ll need the super-essential items first (like safety and utility). However, let your RV travel style show you what accessories are important.

Maybe you’ll realize the cell booster wasn’t as important as you thought. Additionally, you may find that an outdoor fire pit is actually an essential item for your campsite vibes.

If you let your travel style guide your accessory purchases, you’ll probably save quite a bit of money.

Don’t Forget to Watch Video Reviews

YouTube is a gold mine for researching RV accessories. Virtually any product you want to buy will have a video review online.

Keep in mind, not all product reviews are unbiased.

We’ve reviewed many RV accessories on our YouTube channel. Many of the reviews have been created on our own accord. Other reviews have been with free products given to us.

While we always share our true opinion, it’s easier to like a product that has been gifted. Additionally, if we’ve tested a free product that we don’t like, we don’t create a video review of it.

Overall, YouTube reviews can give you good insight (it’s always our first step in research).

Don’t Buy All Your Accessories From The RV Dealer

There are some items that have to be bought from a dealer. However, these guys aren’t cutting you any deals.

If you have a store credit from an RV purchase then shop away. Otherwise, hunt for the best deals online or buy from a local mom & pop shop to help your local economy thrive.

The biggest advantage from buying in-person, at a dealer is speed. You won’t have to wait for shipping!

Spend too much on RV Accessories? Time to give Free Camping a try!

We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.

If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

  1. Dave Pellegrino says:

    I thought RV trip wizard’s GPS app had a fee. When did it become free?

  2. Kyle & Olivia Brady says:

    They’ve recently began a promo that includes it in the RVTW fee

  3. Tom says:

    Another good post as usual. You are right on target for all off the recommendations.

  4. Geoffrey krietsch says:

    I thought your article on what not to buy was informative. I, however, am one of those who purchased what I would consider an expensive water purification system versus a filtration system. I did some research and settled on the Berky Traveler which will produce 1.5 gallons per hr. Since I’m travelling in a kinda sleeper RV conversion van, my water needs are way less than the standard RV campers. The tag was about $275.00 on sale. Considering being off grid in areas with possibly questionable water sources, the Berky is a first rate way to protect oneself from parasites ( guardia ) and VIRUSES. It will purify up to 6,000 gallons of water hefore replacement. Also, its a portable gravity feed system and doesn’t require any power to operate and will also employ it to purify thr garbage city water when I’m at home. I believe its versatility and effectiveness is worth the investment. My sink and 5 gal.water supply for it are also easily removable and require no power for water delivery as its a foot pump unit. My fridge is a heat exchange system that looks like a standard RV rolling hotel unit but has no compressor and runs off of 12volts or 110. It does consume about 60 watts and requires about 2 hrs ( caveat) to cool down from startup. However, its pretty much totally noiseless, cooling range 32 to 56 degrees and had 50 liters of space. I travel alone with the hound dog so the demands are no way as great. While I’ve been 4 season camping ( gettin a little long in the tooth for the winter stuff ) I’ve always been mesmerized by all the great pics that people like yourselves post of being under incredible nite skys in the middle of nowhere. Stumbling on your incredible guides have been a real revelation. Your adventures have trailblazed the way for the rest of us. I realise I’ve only scratched the surface here, but you guys have really been quite the inspiration, especially since a lot of the more organized sponsored campgrounds, even in the National Parks, are becoming more and more regulatory. I’ve always been somewhat of a nonconformist, only conforming to ” live free or die “. KUDOS for sharing the benefits of your experience eith the rest of us ! Bikergeoff K.

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