Five Essential Items for Full-Time RV Living

I distinctly remember the old movie projector from my kindergarten classroom. On movie day my teacher, Miss Mary, carefully fed the beginning of the film strip into the slot on the front of the projector. She switched on the power; the motor whirred to life and the movie that unfolded transported me to another world.

My introduction to RV life began in much the same way. I fired up the truck engine with high hopes. In the scene I envisioned, the windows were down, my soundtrack filled the air, and unlimited potential stretched out on the horizon before me. I planned to cruise down the open road untethered, leaving my worries in the dust.

In my naivete, I had forgotten a key component from my movie days in Miss Mary’s class. Sometimes the film breaks and your journey sputters to a halt.

The open road is a harsh teacher. Within an hour of my departure from that RV lot, I realized that my rig was not outfitted with tools I needed to make full time travel an enjoyable experience. The good news is, I learned from all of the hours spent stuck on the side of the road, and now you won’t have to endure similar misfortunes.

Are you ready to embark on your adventure?

I’ve compiled a list of my top five RV travel items to equip you for the road ahead.

1. Tire Pressure Monitoring System

I purchased brand new tires in Iowa before I drove off the RV lot. Over the next 96 hours, I replaced tires in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. That’s four tires in four days! At the time, I didn’t have a TPMS, so my flat tire alert system consisted of a careening trailer, frantic honking from passing cars, or a child yelling “Mommy! I smell smoke!

If you prefer a more traditional approach, I highly recommend investing in a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. It will allow you to quickly assess your tires on a dash-mounted screen and notify you your tire pressure falls below a set PSI. Ideally, the system will include a locking mechanism to attach the sensors securely to your wheels. I purchased this one online and it never let me down.

2. Wallex Bio Pack

Picture an outhouse in 85-degree weather on the final day of the Coachella music festival… Can you imagine the stench? Well, if you’re about to embark on a full-time RV adventure, that will be the smell of home sweet home unless you add an enzyme to your black water tank. I tried a few different products, but Wallex Bio Packs were my default. Dropping one pack in the receptacle neutralizes odors and helps break down waste, so you don’t end up with a whole lot of nastiness clogging your pipes.

3. RV stabilizer kit

Fact: your home is on wheels. It’s always going to move a little bit. But if you don’t want to pop a Dramamine every evening, then you’ll want an RV stabilizer kit. Camping world sells inexpensive, universal RV stabilizers that offer some amount of extra support. For a 5th wheel, I prefer a twofold approach: a tripod that sits under the kingpin, in addition to a step stabilizer. (Without it, you’ll have a newfound respect for your 40 lb kid who can launch you into the stratosphere when he skips out the front door.)

4. Reverse Flush Valve

A reverse flush valve is an essential tool for anyone living the full-time RV life. I purchased the Valterra Flush King which retails for under $50. It attaches securely to your sewer outlet and allows you unclog pipes and clean your blackwater tank without getting your hands dirty.

5. Aerosol Tire-Inflator

Yes, it is critical to have a spare tire available when you’re on a road trip. But it’s also handy to have some “spare air” as well. Since my trailer days, I never travel without an aerosol tire inflator. Not only will it reinflate a tire that’s low on pressure, but it will seal any small holes in the rubber until you have a chance to get a replacement.

Anyone else out there enjoying the full-time RV life?

I want to hear from you! Drop me a line. What are your favorite essentials?

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