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1st time motor home owners, seeking advice on must have equipment.

Welcome to RVForums.com

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bpd138

RVF Regular
Joined
Nov 19, 2022
Messages
5
Hello,
My girlfriend and I are the proud owners of a 2010 Fleetwood Encounter 30SA.
We both have never been RV'ing but are looking forward to traveling, seeing new sights and meeting other RV people.
We have all the basic stuff, hoses, electrical cords etc, but we're looking for advice on must haves for the traveling and "camping" part of RV'ing.
 

Neal

Staff member
RVF Administrator
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
9,267
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
Chassis
Freightliner XCR
Engine
Cummins 400 HP
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
Welcome and congrats. We'd love to help you spend your money, it's a strength of RVers :) but I suggest getting what you need WHEN you need it. Amazon Prime is a must have for RVers and makes it easy to get shipments fast at current or next campgrounds.

You'll want camping stuff for outside such as chairs, tables, grill(s), whatever your pleasure. I'm not a fan of camping "carpets" and not all campgrounds allow them as they can kill the grass. Tools are something you should have a basic assortment of including wire crimps, spare fuses, electrical tape, etc.

Don't overload (do as I say not as I do) and you'll figure it out as you go.
 

CaptainGizmo

RVF Expert
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
678
Location
SoCal...relax, we're one of the good ones! ;-)
RV Year
2015
RV Make
Newell
RV Model
2020P
RV Length
45
TOW/TOAD
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor w/AF1 Braking
Fulltimer
No
Welcome to RVing, and this forum!

You're going to learn a LOT, and guaranteed to be overwhelmed. I agree with Neal...Try to take it slowly, and not run down to many rabbit holes.

I've been making videos for the past couple years to help "simplify" critical aspects to know and have for the main utilities; like water, filtering, electrical, cleaning, etc. If you're interested, love to have you watch my stuff on youtube; look up RV Squared.

I can make a VERY strong case for starting with the most CRITICAL items for power, water, filtering, and SAFETY. Start there, because you can ALWAYS "get by" without a chair, step, mat, table, bucket, blah blah blah blah and the list goes on and on and on!! Visit all of your campground neighbors to see what they have and ask questions; they'll love to tell you the goods and bads.

After spending hundreds of dollars on "camping items", I personally feel this is a topic that YOU need to figure out in terms of YOUR style. We listened to our best friend and spent a ton of money; only to sell pretty much all of the items later.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
349
RV Year
2014
RV Make
Renegade
RV Length
45’
TOW/TOAD
ATC Trailer
Fulltimer
Yes
Other critical items to have:
- willingness to constantly learn
- ability to laugh when things don’t go as expected
- flexibility
- sense of adventure
 

Fish

RVF VIP
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
491
Location
Marion IL and Moore Haven FL
RV Year
2007
RV Make
Monaco Camelot
RV Model
42PDQ
RV Length
43 ft
Chassis
Roadmaster RR10S
Engine
Cummins 400 ISL
TOW/TOAD
2010 Ext. Cab Silverado 4x4
Tools, multmeter, roadside assistance provider, credit card, kit with flares/reflectors/safety vest. jumper cables.
 

Jireh Financial

Commercial Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
302
Location
Michigan
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Holiday Rambler
RV Model
Vacationer 35K
RV Length
36
Fulltimer
No
There is never a good place to hang shower towels. We have one of these and love it.


Also, a couple E-bikes towed on a rack have been great for us. Really simple.
Enjoy,
Ken
 

Gizmo

RVF VIP
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
484
Location
Kansas
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana LE
RV Length
40
TOW/TOAD
2020 Jeep Rubicon
Two items I think are a must-have from day one are. First, a surge protector that will shut down on low voltage like the one below

Second: A water regulator that will protect you plumb for that campground that has excessively high water pressure. Like the one below

A lot of the stuff I bought the first year went into what my wife calls "Deep Storage" and was never to be seen again. Do not overbuy and buy things as you need them.

PS Be careful since the dealer told me that my transfer switch was made by Surge Gaurd and had surge protection. Come to find out that the standard Newmar transfer switch in 2017 had zero surge protection and the one with surge protection was an option.
 

DKRITTER

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
301
Location
Haslet TX
RV Year
2013
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4318
RV Length
43
Chassis
Freightliner
Engine
Cummins 450hp
TOW/TOAD
2022 RAM 1500 4X4
Fulltimer
No

Tioga montara

RVF Regular
Joined
Sep 18, 2022
Messages
9
I bought mine used. Made sure all engine and transmission fluids were changed along with air and fuel filter. Also check your tires, mine were dry rotted
 

LMHS

RVF VIP
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
110
A note pad (to make lists of things you find you "need/want"). Go to a very close by campground/rv park (whatever you feel you will be spending most of your time in). Spend a weekend or a few days during the week. Spend a few days in bad weather (too cold, too wet, too windy).

Keep your note pad handy. NOT YOUR PHONE! An actual piece of paper. Because this needs to be a list that you can both see as you walk by and add or delete. One item will remind you of another item. A rainy day will have things added to your list (umbrella?) or deleted. Two pairs of eyes (and brains) looking at the list will result in editing, adding and scratching things off BEFORE you buy. And you will need to do this over various seasons and locations. Mountains, lakes, beaches and deserts all require different things as does Winter, Spring/Fall and Summer camping. I have found that camping in rustic Public campgrounds is a bit different than camping at a "well-appointed" city type RV park. Different needs.

Many things you will want will likely already be taking up space in your home (clothes, pot's, pans, DVDs, sweat shirts/sweaters, COATS, etc). To make taking off easier, I suggest that you rummage thru your wardrobes and put a few changes of clothes in the camper. When we weekend camped, we had a popup. I could roll in less than 15 minutes (the time it took to add fresh food to the camper and close it up plus put the two kids, dog and cat). We also stocked the camper from thrift stores. All the kids clothes were thrift store (who cares if they trashed them while playing). Some of my best "camper " coats came from thrift stores. My current incredibly warm winter coat was a $5 thrift store purchase (I've had it for 7 years now when I first bought it, I checked online, it was a 1 year old model and cost over $200 new from one of those REI stores). A sudden Spring cold front rolled in. It started out sunny and warm with a forecast of almost 70F. Two hours later, the weather app was saying "winter storm warning" and we were getting snow flurries. I stopped in at a thrift store that we sometimes bought from. They had coats discounted for the summer.

Most of the people on this forum carry things that I think are stupid. I'm sure I have stuff that they think is stupid. We all live differently. We all have different needs and wants. I've been camping and/or fulltiming since 1979. From tents to motorhome. My rolling stock has changed over time, just as my life has changed. It will take time for you to figure out what you need/want. And it will change over time as well.
 

GypsyR

RVF VIP
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
173
Location
upstate SC
RV Year
1993
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Kountry Aire
RV Length
38 feet
Chassis
F53
Engine
7.5
TOW/TOAD
Matrix
Fulltimer
No
I'd say the best thing is to "do it". Me, I have a large backyard where mine stays. This made it easy to do a practice camp or two before actually going out. I know not everyone can do that. A short drive from home there's a campground. Close to Wal Mart and such it would have made a great test run too.

Once you get out, be sociable. Part of it is watching others come and go. "Hey, they're using walkie talkies. Maybe we could use some of those." Neighbor's hoses stow a lot easier and quicker than yours? Ask. I once saw a guy use a cordless leaf blower to blow leaves off his mat area. I thought that seemed a decent idea. Later while he was starting his campfire he used the leaf blower to turbocharge that process. Mental note made, and my leaf blower has been packed along with us every trip since. Stuff like that.
 

LMHS

RVF VIP
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
110
I pack a battery powdered weed eater with me. And I'm sure more than one person thinks that is a stupid thing to carry. It collapses down to a smaller size. I have trimmed weeds from around many pipe stands, power boxes and sewer drains. We used to camp in places that have very few visitors. And I have weed whacked more than one copperhead. I really don't like sticking my hands in over grown places as I'm allergic to spider bites.
 

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