Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Grant
When it comes to a successful RV camping experience, I find it is the little things that make the most difference… little tools, tips and gadgets which make the annoying things more bearable.
We have spent the past six years crisscrossing this country, camping in nearly every state and putting thousands of miles on our camper. We have put together a list of the RV gadgets and gizmos we never leave home without because they make our lives on the road that much better.
It is our hope you enjoy the list and get some inspiration for your own gear.
(Disclaimer: When we link to places you can buy our stuff or places we stayed, we are using special codes which earn us commissions on the sales at no additional cost to you. Please see our Review Policy for more information.)
Updated January 2024
Unlike a lot of RV campers out there, we do not store our camper at a house, but rather in a storage lot. So, we are unable to plug in the camper to power before we leave on a camping trip. That means our fridge is typically downright hot when we start. We also don’t run the fridge when we pull the camper, mainly due to safety concerns.
So, how do we get the fridge cold in a reasonable amount of time? These amazing freezer packs. These are relatively inexpensive, are completely reusable and all but eliminate the need for ice when we camp, or just when we are putting things in a cooler at home.
We have two sets of them, one set of large and one set of medium. We are able to get the fridge cold and keep it cold even when we are not connected. That said, they need a freezer to re-freeze once used, so they have their limits. Still, we love them!
Bonnie and her tissues… Oh, she goes through a lot of them. We have them in the house, in the truck and, of course, in the camper.
The problem, as anyone who has a camper knows, is shelf space is always at a premium. There is simply never enough room in a bathroom, ever. This little gizmo sticks onto the wall, holds a square box of tissues and makes it easy for either of us to grab a tissue when we need one.
- Keep facial tissues handy in a wall or cabinet-mounted dispenser.Fit Type: Universal Fit
- Installs easily with screws or adhesive tape
- Can dispense upward or downward
State Sticker Map
Seriously, though, it allows us to easily see where we have been in the camper and where we still need to go. We have plenty of destinations in mind and there are some great places we haven’t been to yet.
Yes, it is bragging, but it also sparks some great conversations with our neighbors at campgrounds all over the country. We ended up replacing our first sticker map because the sun was cooking it. Now, we have this really cool map with top sites from each state.
Pro tip: If you plan on putting any kind of sticker on your camper, putting them on the slides protects them from being cooked by the sun.
- Flat packed (not rolled in a tube which is a pain to get it straight), durable, long lasting color and strong adhesive. Tested outside in extreme weather for many months as shown in the video.
- This map of US with an artwork of each state that they are famous for, is also ideal for scrapbook and scrapbooking for children, classroom, homeschool, friends and families. This educational set of non magnetic decals goes well on the wall, door and window.
- Create memories of your camping trip using visual display of the states you have visited. This set of decal sticker can be used indoor and outdoor, have uv protection, rain proof, weather resistant and very durable.
- This travel tracker decal can be a great gift to be used on car windshield, car bumper, dorm room and kitchen fridge.
- Whether you are boondocking or staying at a campsite, our sticker will be a conversation starter. Commemorate your road trip whether you are using motorhome, fifth wheel, camper or RV with these premium vinyl decal set with a strong adhesive back.
Scissor Jack Drill Adapter
This, in conjunction with a drill, is probably one of the best gadgets you will ever have if you have scissor jack stabilizers on your camper.
This attaches to the front of your drill and you can quickly raise or lower a stabilization jack in seconds. No hard work. No sweating.
I ran into one poor soul at the campground in Baker, NV who was lowering his jacks by hand in nearly 100-degree temps. I grabbed the drill and went over to help him, but upon closer inspection, his jacks did not have a drive nut. So, I couldn’t help him.
Pro tip: If you are getting a new camper, make sure the jacks have a drive nut and you get a drill adapter. If the jacks do not have a drive nut, ask the dealership to replace them with ones that do. It will save you a lot of time, sweat and frustration.
- Reduces time and effort to raise or lower Scissor jacks
- Fits 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch power drills
- Works with all 3/4 inch hex drive jacks
- Fit Type: Universal Fit
Ryobi ONE+ System
There are tons of brands of drills out there. Some are better than others, some are worse. I have used Ryobi tools as a consumer and as a technical theatre teacher for years. They are not the best tools out there, but they do the job well and are relatively inexpensive.
The ONE+ system from Ryobi creates a variety of products that run on their batteries.
I bought a drill to use with the drill adapter above. The battery and charger I got can also be used on the fan we got. This battery or cord-operated fan is perfect for getting a breeze when boondocking.
Cool, but what else can it do? Well, we now have a hand vac and a power inflator, all of which use the same battery. One charger, one battery type, multiple tools. There are also lights, radios and, of course, plenty of yard and shop tools available.
The other thing I like about them is that Home Depot is relatively easy to find just about anywhere. Need another battery? Easy enough to find a Home Depot on the road. I have included Amazon links for these items, but you can likely find them cheaper in the store.
|RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 1/2 in. Drill/Driver (Tool Only) PCL206B Black Green
|Buy on Amazon
|RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless Hybrid WHISPER SERIES 7-1/2 in. Fan (Tool Only), GREEN (PCL811B)
|Buy on Amazon
|RYOBI P737 18-Volt ONE+ Portable Cordless Power Inflator for Tires (Battery Not Included, Power Tool…
|Buy on Amazon
|Ryobi hand vacum battery powered 18V ONE+ (BODY ONLY)
|Buy on Amazon
Fan and Heater
A corded fan and a small space heater are two of the best investments you can make for your camper.
While the AC for our camper is outstanding, it is also loud, which makes it hard to sleep. A small fan allows us to keep the temperature relatively low while keeping a consistent breeze on us when sleeping. Yes, we presently have two fans… The one I have linked here and the Ryobi one above. The Ryobi one is good, but is a little louder than this one and does not have quite as many settings. Honestly, though, if I were to do it all over again, I would just get the Ryobi fan since it is more versatile.
- SMALL FLOOR OR TABLETOP FAN – Honeywell TurboForce HT-904 Air Circulator Fan provides cooling with quiet operation. It’s small enough to be a table or desk fan or be wall-mounted, and is powerful enough to provide cooling in small to medium sized rooms.
- FEEL THE POWER – Honeywell TurboForce fans have an aerodynamic turbo design to maximize air movement and power for intense cooling or energy-saving air circulation. You can feel the power of this small floor or desk fan from up to 25 feet away1.
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR COMFORT – With 3 speed options and a 90 degree pivoting/adjustable fan head, you’ll always be comfortable and cool! Customize your cooling to however you like it with this powerful and quiet fan.
We have a propane furnace in the RV and it does a very good job of keeping the camper warm, but the space heater is amazing for keeping the bed warm, which is the most important part. The other nice thing about the space heater is it works off electricity, meaning I am using a lot less propane to heat the camper when it is cold. We have since replaced ours with the one linked… Same brand, just an updated model.
- SMALL HEATER MEASURES – Our portable space heaters with size of 7.3″ X 5.3″ x 9.5″.Equipped with a Cord.Energy Efficient,Fully Assembled,PTC Technology.Compact Space Saving Design.Convenient Carry Handle. Adjustable thermostat for comfortable warmth—ideal for small areas
- CERAMIC SPACE HEARER – Advanced ceramic heating elements provide faster and more efficient heating than traditional heaters.Ceramic space heaters can quick heating within 2S ,produce abundant heat without open coils, and are long lasting.Small and powerful this is the perfect space heater for bedroom, office and under desk use.
Power Strip with USB Ports
If you are anything like us, you have a ton of devices that need power, many of which use a USB cable to power them.
It has three of the newer USB-C ports along with three of the older USB-A ports, giving us a lot more flexibility in charging our devices along with increased power delivery for some of our updated devices.
One location in the camper for all of our charging needs. It works like a champ.
|All-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device, more than 1.5 million movies and TV episodes,…
|Buy on Amazon
Nesting Mixing Bowls
Bonnie loves these nesting mixing bowls and measuring cups because they take up so little room. They are perfect for the limited amount of space in our kitchen area.
On our first big trip with the camper, we mistakenly thought we didn’t really need mixing bowls. Even though we typically are not baking, we now use these mixing bowls all the time to prepare a salad or marinade. Add in the measuring cups and spoons, strainer and colander and this set has everything you could possibly need in one small space.
- FOR ALL YOUR KITCHEN NEEDS – Versatile mixing bowl set for cooking, baking, measuring & preparation
- NESTED, SPACE-SAVING DESIGN – Convenient, easy storage! Everything fits inside the large mixing bowl
- STYLISH, RAINBOW COLORED – Dishwasher safe stackable set in bright colors adds style to your kitchen
I keep two kinds of gloves in the camper: leather work gloves and nitrile disposable gloves.
The leather gloves are great for handling all of the heavy, dirty work associated with the hitch. They protect my hands from getting banged up by the hitch, putting in the sway bars, etc., as well as keeping them from getting greasy while working.
Especially when I was on blood thinners, these gloves have saved me some bloody minor cuts and really nasty-looking bruises.
|Wells Lamont Men’s Reinforced Cowhide Leather Work Gloves with Palm Patch | Extra Large (1129XL) ,…
|Buy on Amazon
The nitrile gloves are used when I am connecting and disconnecting the water and sewer connections. These keep things sanitary for me and for the water connection. I also use them to grease up the hitch and sway bar connections.
|ForPro Disposable Nitrile Gloves, Chemical Resistant, Powder-Free, Latex-Free, Non-Sterile, Food…
|Buy on Amazon
Sidewinder Sewer Hose Stand
This thing curves very easily and slopes just enough to keep drainage from backing up.
- PROTECTS & SUPPORTS YOUR RV SEWER HOSE: This sewer hose support for RV campers lifts and guides your sewer hose to help waste move downhill. It provides stable, simple drainage.
- COMPATIBILITY: It fits up to a 20-foot RV waste hose and works with all 3-inch diameter hoses.
- UNIQUE DESIGN: A flexible design allows the RV hose support to curve around obstacles. The support is angled to create a downward slope for better drainage. Deep cradles hold your RV dump hose in place without straps.
I love this water hose. It seems a strange thing to say, but this hose is durable, easy to use and packs down to nothing.
I also use a different, cheaper collapsible hose for my sewer rinse and flush hose. Again, it is so easy to deal with.
|zero-G 4001-25 8 Inch by 25 Feet Lightweight, Ultra Flexible, Durable, Kink-Free Garden Hose, 5,…
|Buy on Amazon
Final Thoughts on RV Gadgets
We know these are not the end all, be all of RV gadgets, but these are the ones we love after six summers with the camper.
In addition to all these useful gadgets, make sure you have picked up all the essential RV gear.
Finally, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t mention our new book, Moon USA RV Adventures! This is the book we wish we had when we hit the road for the first time. While not exactly a gadget, it definitely will save you time and effort on the road!
- Sinclair, Bonnie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 560 Pages – 02/28/2023 (Publication Date) – Moon Travel (Publisher)
What are your favorite gadgets? Please let us know what you like for your camper. You might have a suggestion we’ve never thought of!
Looking for more RV Gear suggestions? Check out our full guide on outfitting your new camper, inside and out!
We invite you to join our Facebook group, USA RV Adventures. This group is for experienced, newbie and wannabe RVers to discuss RV destinations, itineraries and camping/travel tips.
What do you use to find a flight?
We use Skyscanner to find deals on flights. Skyscanner has a great interface and compares tons of airlines for the best pricing and routing. That said, it does not always have every airline and some airlines will have better deals on their website. Still, Skyscanner is a great place to start.
Click here to search for a flight.
What do you use to find a hotel?
We typically stay at Hilton properties, so we use the Hilton website. You can find good Hilton Honors discounts or AAA discounts for a hotel there. We make great use of our free night certificates from our Hilton Honors American Express.
Click here to book a Hilton property.
We recently partnered with Stay22 to add interactive maps to each of our destination posts. This will allow you to see a plethora of hotels and vacation rentals all in one responsive map of the area.
What if I need more space than I can get at a hotel?
We use Vrbo for the times when we have rented a cabin for a weekend getaway, like this cabin in Townsend, TN, or needed to rent a house for a large family vacation. We had a great experience with them in terms of refunding deposits when COVID hit and will continue to use them.
Click here to search for a vacation rental.
Who do you use for rental cars?
How about booking a cruise?
What if I want to rent an RV?
We highly recommend Outdoorsy for RV rentals. We rented a camper van for a week to visit Rocky Mountain National Park for the elk rut and Custer State Park for the Buffalo Round-Up and had a blast. The program was easy to use and we really enjoyed the freedom of having a camper van for that trip.
Click here to rent an RV.
What do you use for booking tours?
Do you use anything to get discounts on the road?
We make extensive use of both Good Sam and AAA on the road. Good Sam is normally regarded as a discount card for RVers at campgrounds and Camping World but anyone can use the 5 cents off a gallon at the pump at both Pilot and Flying J.
Click here to get a Good Sam membership.
We have had AAA as long as we have been married and it has more than paid for itself in discounts at hotels, aside from the peace of mind of having roadside assistance. Add in paper maps and the ability to get an international driver’s license and it is more than worth it for any traveler out there.
Click here to get a AAA membership.