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When you’re heading for an adventure in your motor home, you’re going to want to know what the essentials are to bring along. What are the best motorhome accessories that you need to carry with you when you travel?
I’ve been traveling solo for four years and am on my third motorhome, so I have a good understanding of what accessories are necessary and which ones are just nice to have to make your life on the road easier.
Here are my suggestions for the best 15 motorhome accessories for RV owners.
A Good Tool Kit
Things in motorhomes break. It’s to be expected when you drive your home down the road at 65mph, over campground speedbumps and down windy mountain roads. A lot of the repairs will be minor—a cabinet coming loose, latches that need tightening, screws vibrating out of their sockets.
Make sure you have a good basic took kit with socket wrenches, screw drivers and a cordless drill. In addition, have some RV specific items, such as reflective triangles, Velcro, command hooks, WD40, duct tape and a level.
Click here to see Travels with Ted’s full RV tool kit checklist.
Whenever a call goes out to my Facebook group about the number one thing an RVer could not live without, Instant Pot always comes up. RVers love these things and with good reason.
Instant Pot uses little energy, cooks quickly, and allows you to make a variety of healthy meals. Like many motorhome products, it should have more than one use and with Instant Pot you can cook everything from pot roast to rice to pulled pork and even banana bread.
RV Specific GPS
You might think you can just rely on your phone and Google maps—until you’re sent under an overpass too low for your motorhome, it tells you to make a U-turn into 4 lanes of traffic or sends you on a “shortcut” across a mountain pass.
RV specific GPS like the Garmin 795 GPS lets you input your vehicle length, height and weight and routes you only places you can safely navigate. It’s preloaded with thousands of campgrounds, so just find the one you want and let the GPS take you there.
Just remember no technology is perfect, so check your route before you go.
Portable Solar Battery
Even if your rig has solar installed, a small battery and moveable solar panels are a must for every RVer. Personally, I have a Jackery 1000 and 100 watt solar panel to charge it. The beauty of an external battery and panel is I can park in the shade and move my solar panels to charge in the sun.
Or, I can charge it while driving or when A/C power is available. The Jackery will charge my laptop, phones, walkie talkies and mi-fi devices for almost a week before it needs to be recharged. Bluetti and Ecoflow are other brands to consider.
There’s nothing like sitting around a fire on a cool summer evening and having a comfortable, sturdy camp chair is essential. Depending on the size of your rig, it also has to fold down small enough to fit in your RV storage.
No matter how well made your motorhome is, there is probably one area that can use improving — the mattress. The only thing more important in your RV than a reliable engine that will get you down the road is a comfortable mattress that will give you a good night’s rest.
Your RV mattress will likely not be the same size as a standard bed. You can choose to upgrade your entire mattress with something like the Zinus RV mattress or order a custom mattress from a place like Slumber Ease.
If you’re looking for something more budget friendly, a memory foam mattress topper will add an extra layer of comfort to your existing bed.
Tire Pressure Monitor System
You know that quality tires are important for your motorhome. Adding a tire pressure monitor to those tires will give you extra peace of mind. A TPMS will monitor the air pressure in your tires and send you an alert if your tires are over or under inflated and could prevent you from having a dangerous blow out down the road.
I’ll admit it. I’m terrible at backing up. Even though I drive a short 22 foot motorhome, I would be lost without my backup camera, especially as a solo traveler, without a spotter behind me.
There are a lot of great options out there now that are wireless and solar powered, so you don’t even need to do much to install them. So worth it!
Surge Protector or EMS
It’s not sexy, cute or fun, but an RV surge protector or EMS (electrical management system) can save the electric components in your RV in the case of a power surge or low voltage situation when plugged in at a campground or your own home.
Just this past weekend I was camped at a state park and the power suddenly went off due to a wind storm. When the power came back on, it could have spiked and caused damage to all the electronic appliances in my rig. Luckily I was protected with a Surge Guard surge protector.
Pro Tip: If you want the best protection, check out the surge protector recommended by RV experts!
I drink the tap water at my home, but you never know what you’re going to get when you hook up at an RV park. That’s why a water filtration system is a necessary motorhome accessory.
You can go simple with a Camco in line water filter or if you’re more picky about the water you drink, splurge for a Berkey.
If your motorhome is not self-leveling, then you will need leveling blocks. Not only is it important to be level for comfort, but if you have an absorption refrigerator, being level is necessary for proper operation.
There’s two ways you can go with levelers, the lego block style (pictured above) or the curved kind you drive up on. Whichever you get, just make sure they’re rated for the weight of your motorhome.
Solar Power Night Lights
Outside lights add great ambience to your campsite. And if you camp in the shoulder seasons, when it gets dark early, having outdoor lights is necessary. Luckily there are many options for outdoor solar lights.
If you’re going to be camping in one place for a while, a string of fairy lights is a great way to go. String them around your awning or outline your campsite to provide a clear path home after dark.
If you move around a lot, a smaller portable solar lantern, like LuminAid, can provide a beacon back to your motorhome and can double as an indoor light without having to use your battery power.
Even in this era of everything available on your phone, I carry a US road atlas (get the big print version, even if your eyesight it fine) and Benchmark state maps.
I love the atlas to plan where I’m going and the state maps to hone in on places I want to visit. It gives me a much bigger picture than I get on my small phone map. Plus, paper maps work whether you have signal or not.
Setting a rug outside your RV entry is a good way to keep the outdoors from coming in. Plus, it creates a nice sitting area to set up your chairs. Put your awning out and the setting is complete.
An E-bike isn’t a motorhome specific accessory, but it sure is nice to have when you land at your destination and want to get out and explore, pick up groceries or just tool around the campground.
There are many models of e-bike to choose from. Things to consider are weight, battery range and where you will store and carry it.
These are my suggestions for best motorhome accessories to make your trip enjoyable, safe and stress-free. With these 15 accessories in tow, your motorhome journey will bring countless memories and miles of smooth travel.
Looking for more RV gear? See these other RV accessory guides:
- Luxury RV Accessories for a Glamping Experience
- Best Portable RV Grills
- The Best RV Shower Head
- 40+ Essential RV Upgrades
Kathy Belge is a writer, workamper and podcast host. She’s been traveling solo for years and in 2018 bought her first RV and hasn’t looked back. She’s crisscrossed the West Coast and loves to camp and hike in her home state of Oregon. Her passion is to encourage other women to get out and explore more, especially in nature. She currently travels in a 2000 Chinook concourse with her adventure kitty, Tucker. Follow her adventures at solowomenrv.com or Solo Women RV podcast.