Deciding on what RV to buy is just the beginning. Once you have an RV, you’ll need to outfit your rig with the essentials. Don’t let your wallet panic! Dollar stores are here to help. At the dollar store, you can find almost everything you’ll need for much less than you’d spend in other stores.
First, a word of caution: Not all dollar stores are alike. Some stores in our area have “Dollar” in their names, but most of their stock features a “bigger than a buck” price point. Dollar Tree is the only dollar store near us that features products that are all priced at one dollar each (or less).
Also, not all stores in the same chain carry the same items. And yes, a few items may be a penny or two cheaper at, say, Walmart. But one-stop shopping is a time saver. The same goes for resale shops and garage sales. You may find a few bargains, but the chance of finding everything you need is slim.
It can seem overwhelming to think about setting up an RV. Here are some things I found on a recent trip to my dollar store. You might not need or want all these items. But just in case you do, let’s start with things for the inside of your RV:
- Kitchen: Dish detergent; plastic (microwavable) cups, bowls, and dishes; plastic knives, forks, spoons (they add very little weight, and you can wash them and reuse); microwave food splatter cover; dish towels; can opener; cooking utensils; potholders and leftover food containers (get the square ones to save space in the cupboard and the fridge). You might want to also pick up scrub brushes/pads, aluminum pans, measuring cups/spoons, and napkins. A timer and a dish drainer may also come in handy.
- Bathroom: Toilet brush, shampoo and conditioner (regular or travel size), body wash, hand soap/sanitizer, deodorant, and washcloths. You can also find toothpaste, toothbrushes, plastic cups and mouthwash. Consider getting a shower drain catcher, a soap saver, and a bathtub/shower mat (to prevent slipping). You can also find many first-aid products at a dollar store. Think: bandages, antibiotic cream, and hydrogen peroxide. (You can even purchase a basic first aid kit!)
- Laundry area: Laundry detergent (the smaller size saves space), dryer sheets, rope for a clothesline, and clothespins. You can also find clothes hangers and small laundry baskets.
- Cleaning cupboard: Mops and/or brooms, dustpans, disinfectant spray, glass cleaner, paper towels, and rubber gloves.
- Indoor toolbox: Command hooks, super glue, tape measure, duct tape, and screwdriver set.
Wait! Wait! There’s more!
Your dollar store has many things you’ll use outside your RV, as well.
You can find disposable wipes (to clean up after messy jobs), more rubber gloves, and microfiber towels. Also, look for a plastic picnic table cover, matches, and sunscreen. Some campers like to buy dollar store pool noodles to put on slide-out edges (“head thumper bumpers”). Solar lights from the dollar store can mark trip hazards at night.