Everyone that owns a travel trailer should have a few key essentials on hand. But, how do you know what you will need to buy for your travel trailer?
You don’t want to buy too much, and at the same time, you also want to make sure that you don’t forget anything important.
When we first bought our trailer and went camping we didn’t have all the things we needed. We had to end up running to the store more than once. If you have never owned a trailer or RV you might not know what to bring.
To help save you some time and frustration I have put together this list of the 20 things you must buy for your new travel trailer.
These items are the things you are going to be happy you have when you are using your trailer for the first time.
1. A High Quality Sewer Hose
A sewer hose is a necessity for your travel trailer. Typically a new RV comes with a sewer hose. However, this is not always the case. Make sure you check to see if your travel trailer has one.
Even if your trailer comes with a sewer hose, it can sometimes be a short low quality one. Having a sewer hose that is high quality and is the proper length will make dumping your tanks so much easier.
When choosing the length of a sewer hose, you should find one that is the length from your trailer’s sewage dump outlet to the back of your trailer.
Also you want to have a high quality sewer hose because low quality ones can eventually crack and start to leak.
There is nothing worse than having a leak in your sewage hose. It is well worth the money to invest in a high quality one that will last.
2. A Few Different Water Hoses
Your travel trailer normally will come with a water hose as well. This is typically just a small starter hose and you will need to buy more hoses for your travel trailer.
You will want to have hoses for fresh water supply and for flushing the black tank. You should always keep these hoses separate since you don’t want to contaminate your fresh water hose.
A good idea is to buy different colors. For example, a white hose for fresh water and a grey one for the black tank. You will want the hose for flushing your black tank to be at least 15 feet long so that it will be long enough to hook up at most dump stations.
It’s also suggested to have at least a couple 25 foot fresh water hoses. Preferably ones that have a connector or that can connect together. At some parks the fresh water hookup can be far away, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have extra hose length if needed.
3. At Least Four Leveling Blocks
Blocks to keep your trailer level are fairly inexpensive and you will be glad that you have them on hand. You might be surprised by how many camping sites are not level.
You should keep about four leveling blocks with you so that you can level out the trailer if needed. Keeping your trailer level is important to keep your fridge working properly and also to keep you comfortable while sleeping.
We had made the mistake of forgetting our leveling blocks once and I can promise you that sleeping in a trailer that is not level is no fun!
4. A Small Gas Can
If you are camping in a place where you are not hooked up to power then you will need to use your generator. It’s a good idea to have a 5 gallon gas can handy in case you need to go get some more gas to refill the generator.
You need to the generator for running all the power in your trailer including your fridge, air conditioning, and heater. It’s important that you keep the generator full of gas and running to keep all these things working.
5. Comfortable Sheets and Bedding
I would suggest investing in sheets and bedding for all the beds in your travel trailer. You might even want to keep some extra sheets stored in the trailer in case you need them.
There were many times when we needed to change out the sheets and it was nice to have an extra set on hand.
Some travel trailers come with mattress covers and blankets, but they are not normally very soft or warm. You will sleep much better and enjoy your time camping with comfortable bedding.
We even invested in a memory foam mattress topper for our RV and it was well worth the money. This might be something you want to consider also, since the mattresses’s that come in trailers are not very comfortable.
6. A Laundry Basket
This may seem like a weird thing to buy for your new travel trailer, but trust me, you will want to have at least one laundry basket on hand.
The first few times we used our trailer we had so many dirty clothes and towels and no where to put them.
After that I just purchased a tall plastic laundry basket from Walmart and it was so much easier to keep the dirty clothes all in one place.
I prefer using the tall plastic laundry basket because it doesn’t take up too much space and it’s easy to just toss your dirty clothes into. I would sometimes just store mine in the shower so that it was out of the way.
If you are tight on space, you could buy the mesh laundry bags instead. They will work just fine and they will take up less space.
I would also keep a small bag of laundry soap pods in my trailer in case I needed to do laundry. Many RV parks have laundry mats, but they don’t always have laundry soap.
7. An Outdoor RV Mat
We had our trailer for a while before investing in an RV mat. The only regret I had is that we should have bought one sooner.
RV mats are actually pretty inexpensive. You can buy a large outdoor RV mat for about $40-50. We purchased ours at Walmart.
They just lay out in front of your RV and then you can set your chairs on them and have a nice clean area to relax. They are easy to sweep, and really help to cut back on the dirt, grass and debris that gets tracked into the trailer.
8. Kitchen Items and Dishes
Don’t forget the stuff that you will need for your kitchen. Think about all the stuff you use daily in your kitchen at home. Cups, dishes, can opener, spatulas, bowls, utensils, spices, foil, storage bags and more.
Also, I would suggest getting a small bottle of dish soap and a small dish drying rack to keep in the RV. This will make washing your dishes much easier.
If you are a coffee drinker then you might want to purchase a small coffee maker as well. I would suggest bringing some spray and cleaning rags for wiping down the stove, tables, and counters.
9. A Broom and Dust Pan
I didn’t even think about bringing a broom and dustpan the first time we took our trailer out. When you are camping, especially if you have animals or kids, the floors get dirty fast. It drove me crazy having the floors so dirty.
Make sure that you get a broom and dustpan specific for your trailer that you can just keep in there at all times so that you never forget to bring it.
10. Lightweight Cordless Vacuum
If your travel trailer has carpeting then you will want to have a vacuum. I would recommend getting a small cordless one. These are smaller and lighter than regular vacuums so it will be easier to store and lighter transport.
You will be so glad that you have a vacuum when your carpets get dirty. It really does happen fast, and it’s much easier to just quickly vacuum each morning then having to deal with the dirty carpets.
11. Extension Cord
This is something that you might not even need, but it’s a good idea to get an extra one just in case. When you go to new camping sites you never know how far away the power supply will be.
Most of the time it will be close enough that you won’t need the extra cord, but not always.
There have been a few times that we got all set up and unloaded at a camping site and then went to hook up to power and the outlet wouldn’t work.
Instead of just moving our entire site, we would just use the extension cord to hook up to the outlet in the next space over.
12. A Small Trash Can
This is something else that I forgot the first few times we used our new trailer. I would highly suggest buying a tall kitchen size trash can and a box of trash bags to keep in your trailer.
It is such a pain to have to just use trash bags and hang them up. Having an actual trash can just makes things so much easier. The trailer space in our kitchen was small. I would just store our trash can right outside the door.
13. Toilet Chemicals and RV Toilet Paper
You will want to get toilet chemicals to keep your rv sewage system clean. The chemicals will help to keep your sewage system from building up and also keep it odor free.
You don’t want to have to deal with fixing a clogged system or having your trailer smelling during your vacation.
Also, you shouldn’t use just regular toilet paper. You need to purchase RV-specific toilet paper that dissolves faster and keeps your system from getting clogged. You can find this in the camping or RV section at most stores.
14. Rubber and Work Gloves
You never know when there is going to be something that needs to be fixed during your trip. It will be so much easier to have some work gloves on hand just in case.
Also, I would suggest getting a pack of rubber gloves and keeping them in your RV to use when you are dumping your tanks. You really don’t want to be touching the sewage houses and emptying the tanks without gloves.
15. Fold-up Camp Chairs and Table
Don’t forget to bring some fold up camp chairs and a table. While there are places to sit inside the camper, you will probably be spending most of your time outside enjoying your new location.
Find some chairs that are comfortable, lightweight and easy to store away under the trailer.
16. A Trailer Hitch
You will need to make sure that you get a proper size trailer hitch. There are many different types and sizes of trailer hitches depending on your vehicle and the type of trailer that you purchased. Do some research and pick out the trailer hitch that will work best for your specific trailer and truck.
17. Indoor Rugs
I would also suggest getting a couple of small indoor rugs. I always keep a rug right inside our trailer at the front door.
It gives us a place to wipe our feet, especially if it has been raining, and it cuts down on dirt getting tracked into the trailer.
A rug for the bathroom is always a great idea also. It keeps the area in front of the shower dry. Plus it is just way nicer to step out of the shower onto a soft rug.
18. A TV and Games
Some days you are going to be out doing stuff and staying busy, while other days you will be just hanging out at camp.
For the down time it’s a great idea to have a TV with some movies and some games. This is also perfect to keep the kids entertained.
There have been times where we went camping and it poured rain the entire day. Instead of getting soaked, we hung out in the trailer all day. On days like this it will be nice to have something to do.
19. At Least One Flashlight
I would suggest to buy a flashlight specifically for your travel trailer and always keep it stored in the same spot.
There have been so many times when we were camping and our power quits working in the middle of the night. We have to go outside in the dark to figure out what’s wrong.
It’s so much easier to find the problem and fix it when you have a flashlight on hand. Also its useful if you are walking around the campsite at night.
20. Insurance and Roadside Service
Make sure that you don’t forget to get insurance on your travel trailer. When towing your trailer, your regular car insurance will only cover your truck, NOT your trailer.
Make sure that you buy a policy that covers your travel trailer just in case something happens.
It’s also a good idea to purchase roadside assistance. If you get a flat tire or break down, you won’t have to worry about being stranded on the side of the road.
I hope that this list of all the things you must buy for your new travel trailer helps to give you some ideas on what you will need to purchase before your first camping trip.
Having everything that you need will make your first trip in your new trailer easier and stress free!