The beginning of going broke – The RV Spiral


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ IT ADDS UP QUICK!

After purchasing our new Apex, which in all respects is a very modest purchase, the real shocker is what we would need to purchase to actually use the RV.  From basic items like towels and bedding; to water pressure meters and tire gauges (which requires changing the stems on our truck & trailer tires) and wheel chocks, etc……

Yes, this is only the beginning. (If you are a blog skimmer, if nothing else, pay attention to the items highlighted in Red.)

If you end up purchasing a travel trailer, the first big extra expense may be the HITCH.  We researched for several months and made a decision that we were going to purchase a hitch that we felt would be one of the safest to pull with.  Of course, it came with a high price tag but to us it is worth it.  It required a conscious decision to be willing to sacrifice on other items.  I would rather be covered up with a cheap blanket sleeping cozily in my bed, than covered up with dirt six feet under.

In a future blog we will focus on the hitch purchased and why!

We kept adding to our list and had to choose between “this” and “that”.  My husband likes to go a little “over the top” in anything that has to do with tools, meters, gauges.  So that means that in order to not totally go broke, we must make sacrifices, for instance, choosing between the coffee maker I really want and end up buying an inexpensive one from Walmart.  It boils down to what is most important.

DO THIS FIRST: My first recommendation is purchasing the basics before picking up your RV. If you purchase from an RV Dealer you won’t necessarily get the best prices. Also, look in your house drawers, cupboards and closets for doubles of anything that you can utilize in your camper.  Do this BEFORE you go shopping. Otherwise, you may see the latest and greatest gadget and decide not to use that old wine opener and leave it laying in the kitchen drawer to take up space.

LOOK FOR ONLINE COUPONS & COMPARE PRICES: Since we started shopping for items online due to the pandemic, we looked for coupons and compared prices.  Although Amazon Prime is just so easy to use and purchase from and to RETURN if you don’t like something, I have found a few great deals at Camping World and E-trader.  If retail shops are open where you live, look for clearance items.  Don’t overlook stores like Homegoods, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Ross where you may find great deals on oven mitts and storage bins. One RVer said she bought her storage baskets at Dollar Tree.  Another said Dollar Tree has all the common spices in light weight plastic containers

If you have friends that own RVs, ask them for advice on what you need, and good places to purchase from.  You may find that they may have an extra “something” that they purchased and never used and simply give it to you or give you a great deal.

The following is a COLLECTIVE LIST OF ACCESSORIES AND MUST HAVES from family and friends!

It is not totally comprehensive but will give you a good start.

Note: In an effort to get into the fulltime RV Lifestyle, I started this blog and some of these links may be part of an affiliate program that may pay a small commission. To enable us to get into the RV World full-time sooner, we are hoping this blog will enable us to make a little extra income and reach our goal to GET & STAY ON THE ROAD and share our tips along our way. Thank you in advance for any that use these links and find them helpful.

General items:

  1.  Grilling equipment and accessories – Our RV came with a grill, however many RVers like the Blackstone grill. This is a small table top version: Here is a nice little grill accessory kit:
  2. Mosquito repellent, citronella candles, wasp spray, ant traps   We purchased Thermacells which so far are working well. I purchased the one like a lantern so it is easy to carry and move around. We love, love, love these: Ants seem to want to inhabit our RV since our little outing last week. Personally we try and use eco-friendly repellents if possible but I purchased ant traps to keep on hand. Cinnamon is a strong ant repellent as well as other natural products that you may want to consider.
  3. Camping chairs with cup holders and a bag.    This is where you can choose “this” or “that”.  We purchased Zero Gravity Lounge Chairs at the end of the season last year at Home Depot for $30 on clearance.  Friends have purchased chairs for as little as $6 at Walmart anD others purchased PICO CHAIRS that cost in excess of $100. On my list of A FUTURE must buy is a rocking chair for camp since I have a beautiful grandbaby. I found this one and have it on my list!
  4. Camping Table – this is a recommendation we received from my niece an avid RVer. This is a nice ultra-lite option:
  5. Picnic Table Cover & plastic clamps to hold it down in windy weather. These are an inexpensive option and also on my list to purchase:
  6. Outdoor area rug for under awning. We purchased a few smaller rugs that were on sale. I wished I had purchased a much larger rug like this one that comes with its own bag! On one of our last RV trips we saw a neighbor with a rug edged in LED lighting which probably will reduce tripping at night (unless you are drunk and then that probably won’t help anyway). Found one that looks pretty cool:
  7. Bic lighters – Ok seems like a no brainer but we forgot to purchase before our first trip.
  8. Water hose & filters (camping in cold weather – consider heated water hose) – We have never been disappointed with any Camco products so far. Here is a BPA & Lead free drinking water hose that is thicker and an Anti-Kink design: The filter is also made by Camco:
  9. Water Pressure Regulator – Of course my husband did not want just a basic water regulator although many of our friends use this: He wanted one that looks like he works for the Water Utility Company, but he is very happy with it. However, it is a little over $20 more expensive but gives him an exact measurement:
  10. Sewage hose with clear fitting 90 and a DONUT (not the kind you eat) and GLOVES to handle sewer hoses
  11. STORAGE CONTAINER for sewage hoses and gloves – Currently we use basic rubbermaid storage boxes with lids but I am not thrilled. Looking for new options.
  12. STORAGE CONTAINER for water hoses, filters – Currently we use basic rubbermaid storage boxes with lids but I am not thrilled. Looking for new options.
  13. Leveling blocks and wheel chocks &
  14. Mop – Broom System (we use Norwex Small Mop System) or a Small Vacuum
  15. EMS ELECTRICAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SURGE PROTECTER: This is a must have. Any surges in power or lightening strikes around the area may damage your electrical components within the RV. Replacing electrical components or appliances can be very costly. Although this unit seems very expensive, it is a lot less expensive than replacing a damaged appliance or other electrical device or computers. IF YOUR RV REQUIRES 30 AMP PROTECTION CHOOSE THIS: IF YOUR RV REQUIRES 50 AMP PROTECTION CHOOSE THIS: My husband with an electrical background chose this because it constantly monitors electrical activities with a security locking bracket. Although we have never had any issues with anything coming up missing when we camp, we do secure our EMS with a basic bike key lock to the electrical post.
  16. Lockless Monster Anti-theft Cable to secure several toys and bikes, etc.


  1. Museum Putty – Help secure items on counter. This is a MUST HAVE:
  2. Command Hooks – For hanging pictures, hanging towels, etc.
  3. Magnetic Hooks – We use these outside in our pullout grill/fridge


  1. Wall mounted shampoo & soap dispenser – if needed – I have not installed ours and I forgot to store the shampoo bottle and conditioner after our last trip. So what did we find when we stopped? Broken bottles on the shower floor with shampoo and conditioner everywhere. For us, this is a need!
  2. Foaming Soap dispenser (I purchased a set of two and use one at the kitchen sink) Just adhere these with museum putty and you don’t have to worry about them tipping over when you travel or remembering to store them away when you leave camp.
  3. Waste basket, toilet bowl brush and BLACK TANK treatment – Each RV bathroom differs greatly in size so that will determine which waste basket you can use. This may be a good option for us and I am excited to try it: There are so many black tank treatments but the one that we prefer to keep that stinky smell away without using awful chemicals is “Happy Campers”
  4.  Towels & Wash cloth – Our original purchase was Turkish Towels – the benefit is that they dry very quickly and you can purchase in multi-colors so each person knows which towel is theirs while traveling.  These were recommended to us because they are softer and seem to be better quality than some of the others.…the fringe seems to stay tied better too.  Just tug on knots before and after washing.


NORWEX – This great quality microfiber with BacLock stuff is amazing. You can even wash without soap, using only a body cloth and you will not smell and you will be clean. You can simply hang the towel and face/body cloth after your shower and they dry quickly and do not have any odor. Read WHY the products are so great and to purchase: But the TOWELS ARE AMAZING. They absorb all the moisture off your body and dry quickly and even have a built in loop to hang.



  1.  The basics:  Dishes, silverware, kitchen utensils, collapsible colander, thin plastic cutting board, steak & cooking knives, toaster, coffee pot, towels, wash clothes, can opener, hand mixer, blender, skillet, collapsible measuring spoons, etc. For dishes we use Corelle. This is a neutral white set that could work for all decor: Although this is the set we have for our RV:
  2. Sink strainers – Collapsible strainers and colanders help save room. This set has collapsible spoons as part of the set:
  3. Pots and Pans – Nesting pots are a great choice with limited storage. They have removal handles and are stainless steel. This is a great choice: and another less expensive option with an aluminum core is a 7 piece set by Camco is:
  4. Stainless steel mixing bowls with plastic lids can be used to mix ingredients, serve in and store food in the fridge. This set even has 3 grater options & non-slip bottoms!
  5. Pot holders – These are so cute and we know that life is always greater at the campsite as these remind us:\
  6. Glasses, coffee cups, pitcher.  Experienced RVers have recommended Tervis Tumblers with lids as a good choice since they are lightweight and keep beverages hot or cold. Tervis (I use these for my cold drinks and coffee) A set of four gives us 2 for us and 2 for guests. We use multi-color lids so we know which drink is for each person. Clear Tervis 16 oz. tumblers & multi-color lids My husband is a Steelers Fan (boo!) but I bought him this Tervis Coffee Cup anyway: but I guess as a Brown’s fan I need to buy this for me:
  7. Cloth collapsible storage bins (For campers with limited drawers or clothes storage areas) We use these for our clothes and store them in the bin above our bed:
  8. First Aid Kit – DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A FIRST AID KIT. This 299 piece kit is easy to store and has the basics of what you may need.
  9. Meat Thermometer (Great for grilling & more) Lavatools PT12 is a great digital instaread thermometer. Check it out:
  10. Wine & Beer Opener – As a former bartender, something like this would work: or you could use a magnetic beer opener like this:

Of course there are other items you will need, but if you are new to RVing, this list should help you save some time in your research so you can purchase some basics and get you well on your way in traveling down the RV Spiral!

Note: In an effort to get into the fulltime RV Lifestyle, I started this blog and some of these links may be part of an affiliate program that may pay a small commission. To enable us to get into the RV World full-time sooner, we are hoping this blog will enable us to make a little extra income and reach our goal to GET & STAY ON THE ROAD and share our tips along our way. Thank you in advance for any that use these links and find them helpful.