If you’re like millions of others who have gotten the travel bug and have decided to become an RV camper sometime over the past three years, then you might have had or have some questions related to RV ownership – especially the question: What should I buy to put into the RV now that I have the RV? (If you don’t have your RV yet, these tips will help you get started.)
Good question, and it can be an overwhelming one. We offer some suggestions to help make this transition easier, simpler, and more affordable.
Start with some basics.
You don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to get started. It’s easy to ask for advice and then go overboard purchasing what everyone else suggests or everything you can think of, but you may end up not using a lot of it. Experience is the best teacher. However, there are some basics you need to get started: a basic assortment of tools including wire crimps, spare fuses, electrical tape, screwdrivers, and a hammer; high-quality connections, which will save you money and headache in the long run; a roadside kit; voltage multimeter; a surge protector; and basically anything critical for sustaining life, so anything associated with power, water, filtering, and safety. Of course, you’ll also need some basic cookware, eating ware, a clothesline, matches, and bedding.
It takes time.
Just like a sticks and bricks house, you are not going to start out with everything that you need. It takes time to acquire items and get yourself situated for the long run. You may find that your first idea may not be the best idea, or that your tastes change, or that something is more useful than something else. So the number one piece of advice when it comes to determining what to put into your RV is to take your time.
When you first embark on RV ownership and RV camping, there is a bit of a learning curve. You need to get to know your RV’s systems, inner workings, and drivability. You’ve got to get used to driving, setting up, and departing, as well as the best flow and functionality and organization for the inside of the RV when people are living in it. You’re not going to get it right, right off the bat. Give it a good start by thinking things through, and then tweak things from there. How the bowls stack up might drive you crazy, or you might find that an outdoor trash can is the solution to your problem. As they say, practice makes perfect, and that applies to RVing.
Learn from others.
That being said, it is worth being adaptable as well as cognizant of the potential use of a piece of equipment or gear for your particular RV lifestyle. Fellow RVers are usually more than happy to pass along advice, or you can visit an RV bulletin board and gather information there. It also is worth paying attention. Does an RV next to you have a heated hose that makes all the difference? Or a piece of cooking equipment that makes making dinner a breeze? Watch, learn, and then decide if that is something worthwhile for you. Not everything will be, and something that others find essential you may find you can live without. The important thing is to remain open to new ideas and methods and be willing to adopt the ones that make the most sense for you.
MARVCA CEO and President John Lindley noted in his message at the beginning of our 2023 edition of Michigan RV and Campgrounds: “Roughly 2,000,000 RVs purchased the last three years. More than 10 million first-time campers in 2021 and 2022. Millions discovering what many of us already knew – the RV and camping lifestyle, or as I like to call it ‘the original social distancing,’ is a truly remarkable way to travel and recreate. With so many new faces joining seasoned veterans at RV parks and campgrounds throughout the country, the need for quality, reliable information has grown.”
Were you one of them? If you’ve gotten hooked on RV camping and the RV lifestyle, that’s awesome. It’s excited to have more people experience and appreciate the outdoors. There are a lot of places to explore across the country, especially in the beautiful state of Michigan. Hopefully these tips help you in your camping and RV ownership journey. Let’s have a great summer!