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Set up your RV with money-saving dollar store finds

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.

Getting started

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.

Related:

Looking for bargains? Goodwill outlet stores offer plenty

##RVDT1649

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Laurie Singer
4 months ago

I think this was a great list. Will share with my grandkids who are just getting into RVing. Dollar Tree is my favorite. Thank you for the great list. We’ve got all of that and way more aboard – on our 36th year RV camping :o)

William Hall
4 months ago

I initially outfitted my RV, and have continued to add or upgrade, at auctions. At most auctions you have the opportunity to obtain EVERYTHING your RV needs (except food) for a fraction of the price of what you would pay at a Dollar store. After all, most auctions consist of the entire contents (less food and clothing) of one or two households.

Lisa Adcox
4 months ago

I get all my glasses there. At a Dollar it is not bad if one gets broke. Table cloths also. Great for many things. When everyone was out of Lysol,wipes and sanitizer. I found small containers there. I get my hand towels, serving utensils, cooking utensils and pot holders also. Great place to shop.

Don
4 months ago

For one time items such as silver ware, pots, plastic containers and such, Big Lots and Ollies may have just what you need. Remember that while the dollar store carries what seems to be the name brand, some of those are not the quality you would expect from regular retail stores.

DONALD BIANCONE
4 months ago

I agree Dollar Tree is good for many items, but as noted quality is not always the best, I full time so hardiness is a factor to consider, for example, broom and dustpan, break easily after the 3rd I ended up getting set of 2 from Costco, giving the extra to a relative. Using plastic knives and forks is fine for vacations but for every day use I prefer metal. So I pick and choose what I purchase from there.

clarise Boudreaux
4 months ago

I used Dollar tree to stock my rv. I love the smaller size cleaning liquids. Takes less room. Small toothpaste, peanut butter. This year they had kitchen decor that matched the interior of our new to us class c.

CampingNewbies
4 months ago

We found a lot of stuff at the dollar stores. It is not first quality in some cases but it is generally decent enough for our needs and when you need to replace something, if you are near a cluster of houses in the middle of nowhere, there is probably a Dollar General near by.

Tom
4 months ago

Dollar stores have a good place on my shopping trip. The smaller sizes are the draw. Space is at a premium.

Bob p
4 months ago

Dollar stores are great money savers but… if you look at the sizes of the products you buy you’ll notice they are several units smaller. The things that aren’t measured in ounces are cheaper made. We use dollar store items ourselves but we also know why it’s cheaper. Yes reduced volume is not bad for a RV, just realize why you pay less.