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There are many articles on the internet detailing all of the RV supplies you need to buy for your first road trip (you can see my list of must have RV gear on Amazon). However, there are a few additional money saving RV gadgets that I believe every RV owner should purchase. The following RV gadgets will pay for themselves as they reduce other maintenance and travel expenses.
RV Maintenance Gadgets
The easiest way for RV owners to save money is to perform their own maintenance on their RV and appliances. The below gadgets can be purchased for a one-time fee so you never have to pay an RV shop for simple tasks again. RV technician labor rates are typically between $75 to $200 per hours, so performing your own maintenance equals big savings.
Air Compressor: A portable air compressor costs around $100 but can be used for a variety of maintenance tasks. Compressed air is used for cleaning RV appliances like water heaters. An air compressor will also allow you to ensure you always have the correct tire pressure before driving. Correct tire pressure helps prevent expensive and scary blowouts!
Tire Gauge: In addition to the air compressor, RV owners need a handheld tire gauge to check tire pressure. Tire pressure should be checked before every trip!
Torque Wrench: Another RV tire gadget that every camper should own is a torque wrench. The lug nuts on an RV or trailer must be torqued after replacing a tire, and the torque should be checked regularly. You need a torque wrench that is rated for approximately twice the amount of torque you need.
Telescoping Ladder: While this RV gadget might not actually save you money, it may save your body. A telescoping ladder is essential for RV maintenance as it provides a reliable and steady way to access high points on your RV like the tops of slide outs.
RV Living Gadgets
The following RV living gadgets are important for both full time RVers and weekend warriors. These devices will save you money on everyday tasks.
Water Filter: While water may be free at many campgrounds, it is not always tasty. Buying bottled water for camping is expensive and bad for the planet. An affordable Camco water filter can ensure you always have clean, great tasting water while camping. For extra filtering and access to cold drinking water, we also keep a Brita pitcher in our RV fridge.
Portable Washing Machine: A portable washing machine is one of the most useful RV gadgets on the market. The Lavario Portable Clothes Washer is a manual machine that can wash your clothes without electricity. One load of laundry at a campground typically costs around $5. If you do two loads of laundry per camping trip, this washer will pay for itself in just 14 trips.
Museum Putty: If you want to avoid breaking any decorations or knickknacks in your RV, secure them with museum putty. The putty securely holds items in place, yet it is easily removed when you want to redecorate.
Dehumidifier: Keeping moisture out of your RV is key to keeping your rig in outstanding condition. For RVers who plan to camp in colder weather, a dehumidifier can help keep out condensation. RVers can expect condensation to occur during cold weather when the inside of the RV is heated. For a more compact solution, these DampRid buckets can also help with mild condensation issues.
RV Protection Gadgets
Similar to RV maintenance gadgets, these protective devices help you save money by preventing major issues in your RV. In addition to saving money, these tools will also provide priceless peace of mind.
Surge Protector: The easiest way to save money while RVing is to avoid a major repair issue. If you are an RV owner and do not have a surge protector, you seriously need to buy one today! Surge protectors protect your RV’s electric system from lightening, power surges and faulty campground wiring.
Water Pressure Regulator: Just as your electric system needs protection, so does your plumping. A water pressure regulator prevents over-pressurized water from bursting the pipes in your RV. You should always have a regulator in place before connecting to city water.