What kind of gear do you carry in the outside compartments of your RV?
What do you use OUTSIDE the RV when you’re out camping?
I was sitting in a campground and decided to do a little inventory of what I carried in the exterior compartments of my RV and list them out in a blog post. It is what nerds do when camping. 😉
The links on this blog post point to Amazon. And yes, they are affiliate links which means I will earn a tiny (and I do mean, tiny) commission if you happen to buy anything. But, it costs you nothing. Plus, these are the exact items I bought and use myself. And I bought almost everything on this list from Amazon because they’re almost always a better deal than a camping store. Often even better than WalMart. So, I list what I do personally.
Here we go…
Setting Up The Campsite
I put these covers over the tires when the RV is in storage. Keeps the harsh Florida sun off the rubber and protects the tires from cracking and weathering. Prolongs the life of my tires.
If you have a 50-amp rig, you absolutely need this so you can hook up to the many campgrounds which still only have 30-amp electric.
Collapsible sewer hose which will contract accordion-style to shorter lengths, then extend out to 15 feet. Good for longer length drain lines when you’re connected up to full hookups.
When you’re on a full hookup site, sometimes connecting the sewer hose can be difficult because of the slope of the ground. Obviously, water is only going to drain downhill. If your sewer hose is climbing up over curbs or even climbing up to the level of the sewer connection, it isn’t going to drain. The “stuff” will just sit there inside the hose. I use this collapsible sewer hose support to provide a clean, down slope support for the hose so that when I dump the poop, it actually goes where it is supposed to and doesn’t hang up inside the hose. I consider this item a necessity.
These stackable leveling blocks are handy when you need them. My prior rig had no hydraulic levelers, so I would need to use these to park on when on uneven ground. Our current rig does have the hydraulics, however there are places where the incline is enough where I’d have to almost raise the rig off the ground to level off. That’s not something I enjoy doing, so I will sometimes still put some of these blocks under the tires to help support some of the weight, then use the hydraulics to even it out. I carry two sets of these.
My wife and I upgraded to these folding chairs so that we can sit on our asses in style when camping. 🙂 They’re nice chairs. They don’t fold down into a little cylinder like a beach chair, so they do take up more room in the basement. But, they’re far more comfortable.
I keep this fan in the basement of the RV and we use it fairly often. Helps give you a nice breeze when it is hot, and also helps keep the mosquitoes off. Just makes the campsite more comfortable.
This table folds up and goes into the basement compartment. But, folded out, it provides a nice table for the campsite.
Part of owning an RV is having sealant around. 🙂
Pretty unexciting, I know. But, I used this foam tape to replace the mashed up lining in the opening of the entry door. Provides better insulation around the edge of the door.
This stuff is simply awesome and makes it super easy to seal cracks and seams in the roof. Lasts forever, too. The stuff is SUPER sticky, so you have to be careful putting it down. Where you put it… it’ll stay. But, this is a lot better option than lap sealant when you have long seams or skylights you want to seal.
You have to get the version which fits your furnace, but I use this over the air vents of the furnace to keep bugs out of the internals. Nobody wants wasps building up inside the furnace causing issues when you crank it up.
For cleaning the insides of the blackwater tank. Stick this badboy down the toilet with a hose attached and spray the inside of the tank.
As a man with a wife and 2 kids onboard, I’ve had my share of moments when I’m watching that sink run and have visions of having to disconnect everything to go dump the tanks at the dump station the next day. I bought one of these portable tanks so that I didn’t have to worry about it. This 11-gallon tank fits into a basement compartment. If I need it, I can drain tanks into this and not move the whole rig. It even comes with an attachment so I can hook it to the CR-V’s hitch and tow it to the dump station. This thing is just a small investment in my own peace of mind. 🙂
Yes, the RV has a ladder built onto the rear. However, sometimes you need to reach things that aren’t otherwise convenient. For instance, the top of the windshield. Or awning hardware up top. Or the top of the slideouts. Or windows. This ladder folds to a little cylinder and can easily fit into the basement of the RV. When, folded out, it is a self-standing ladder that extends up to 6 feet. It has a little wobble to it, but is a good ladder as long as you’re not standing on the top of it.
Fires & Cooking
Sometimes you’re at a campground which doesn’t permit ground fires. Unless you have a fire pit, you’re screwed. I keep this folding fire pit in one of the basement compartments so it is there when needed.
Throw this little grill up on a picnic table and grill regardless of location. Works very nicely.
Yes, I carry two grills onboard. The charcoal grill up above… and this propane grill. Sometimes you just want to grill something in a hurry without worrying about the hassles of charcoal. I keep this little portable gas grill along with a couple of little propane tanks and I always have options.
I’m a big fan of the Boston 8, from Montague. Basically, I wanted a full-size bike which folds. I can fold this bike up and put it into a basement compartment. However, when folded out, it is a full-size bike that is every bit as stable as any other bike. Literally can’t tell the difference.
My bike will fold and go below, but my wife’s bike doesn’t. So, I have this Swagman bike rack for the rest of it. I can either mount it on the rear of the RV in the hitch, or onto the back of the CR-V when we’re towing. My kids’ bikes don’t currently fit it because they’re little kid bikes with weird bars, however as the kids get a little bigger, I’ll be able to carry 3 full size bikes on this rack without any issue.
Towing A Vehicle
This is the towbar we use to yank the CR-V around. As of the time I bought it, it was their new model and has quick-release latches that will release at any angle, plus increased turning radius and better cornering. Since buying, we’ve used it to tow from Florida up to Canada and back. No problem at all.
Would only be useful if you were towing a CR-V of the correct model. But, we are and this is what we use. 🙂 ‘Nuf said.
Installed in the CR-V to provide running lights and brake lights.
Provides the connection for the lights between the RV and the CR-V. Works fine.
This is the braking system I chose to install in the CR-V so that the brakes in the road will respond to me hitting the brakes in the RV. Honestly, hard to know when it is working without somebody sitting back there and watching, but it seems to be doing the job it was intended for.
When we’re not traveling, I remove the tow bar and keep it in the garage. But, when we’re out, there’s no sense in removing the tow bar. So, I keep this cover over it when the bar is folded up against the bumper. Keeps sun and rain off it when parking at the campground.
Some Other Misc Gear
- A broom
- A battery charger – you never know when you’ll need it
- DuraFlame logs – I keep a few onboard for when I’m in the mood for a fire without the hassle of real wood
- A tool set
- Extension Cord
- Random storage container with toys – Beach toys, kid crap, tennis rackets, balls, etc.
- Fluids – I keep another container with misc fluids such as engine oil, lube, WD40, etc.
- Outdoor rug
- Water filter
- A set of bungie cords. These things always come in handy somehow.