Congratulations! You’ve taken the plunge and purchased your first RV or Travel Trailer. Now what? Just like out starting in your first sticks and bricks apartment, your new RV lifestyle comes with a long list of bare necessities, wants, needs and nice-to-haves. Let’s take a look at the basics that every newbie will need to get started and enjoy their new rig.
RV Part Shop has a great selection of ready-to-buy RV starter kits, ranging from just the basics to a more deluxe selection. If you would rather buy your items “a la carte” and not in an easy, pre-selected bundle, here’s a handy list of everything that you will need.
Also known as an RV drinking water hose, your RV freshwater hose is essential for supplying fresh, potable water to your rig. In this case, a regular old green garden hose just won’t cut it! Intended to connect to the water source at your campsite, the freshwater hose will allow you to fill your holding tanks with drinkable water for cleaning, cooking, bathing, and more. When deciding what length of RV freshwater hose to buy, consider the distance from your TT to the nearest water hook-up. You may want to consider purchasing a few different lengths as too much hose can lead to water-blocking kinks and bends. If you’re a 4-season camper or traveling in cooler climates, you will want to look into a heated freshwater hose to prevent your essential supply from freezing.
What goes in must come out! Your RV sewer hose, also known as a drain hose, is an essential piece for dumping your rig’s black and gray tanks. Considering the contents they will be transporting, you will want a strong and sturdy RV sewer hose. Again, the length of the hose will depend on your specific needs and location. Most RV starter kits will also include an RV sewer hose adapter or elbow. These are usually made of a clear material so you can monitor the progress of your tanks’ drainage to be sure that they are truly empty and that the water runs clear. Don’t forget a good pair of disposable gloves for this less than pleasant task!
While we’re on the less-than-pleasant subject, let’s talk about RV toilet chemicals. Available in tablets or liquid, most RV starter kits will include a small supply of one or the other. RV toilet treatments consist of bacteria or enzyme compositions that are added to your RV black water tank to aid in breaking down waste and toilet tissue. This allows the black water tank to be emptied more easily and helps to prevent the clumping of materials in the tank, which can sometimes lead to blockage. Using RV toilet chemicals will also help eliminate odors and keep tank sensors clear.
Yep, we’re still on this subject! Who knew there were so many RV plumbing products? While there are many opinions on whether specific RV toilet paper is really necessary, most RV starter kits include at least one roll. So, what exactly is RV toilet paper? It is septic safe, environmentally friendly, and dissolves faster than ordinary toilet tissues do. This last factor is very important to prevent the clogging of the septic and sewer systems. So do you really need specific RV toilet paper or will a comparable big-box or grocery store option suffice? Obviously, it is a very personal choice so try them both and decide what works best for you, your family, and your rig.
If your rig requires electrical power, you need an RV electrical adapter. Most RVs are equipped with a 30 or 50 Amp electrical circuit, allowing you to run more electrical appliances in your rig without blowing a circuit breaker. In order to utilize shore power, you will need an RV electrical adapter. Once again, you will need to consider the distance from your parked TT to the power source and, if necessary, add an outdoor-safe RV extension cord. Your regular household extension cords WILL NOT work for this purpose!
So now that you have all the RV starter kit essentials, what do you do with them? RV manufacturer Valterra has you covered with a 54-minute RV Education 101 DVD. This helpful how-to covers all major RV systems and discusses the RV accessories you will need to “Make RVing Easy”!
Now that you have your list of RV starter kit essentials, and know how to use them, it is time to start shopping! RV Part Shop has everything you need, from ready-to-go starter buckets to a huge selection of individual parts and accessories. Take advantage of our fast, free shipping* option to your home or your RV site. Have questions or need help navigating our massive selection of items?