Saturday, December 2, 2023


Top 5 essential items for every RV trip

By Mark PolkRV Education 101®
When you go camping there are nice-to-have-items and what I refer to as essential items. Here are my top 5 RV essential items you need when you arrive at your favorite camping destination.

1. Surge Guard for RV

To help protect the RV’s electrical system, use some type of surge protector. I use a product called Surge Guard™ from Southwire™, designed to protect the RV’s electrical system and all your sophisticated appliances and electronic equipment. You never know what type of electrical service you might encounter during your RV travels. (Editor: Surge Guard is available on Amazon. Here are other surge protectors to check out.)

2. RV adapter plugs and cords

I keep a variety of electrical adapter plugs and cords in the RV for any camping situation. These include electrical adapter plugs and cords that go from 50-amp to 30-amp and from 30-amp to 20-amp. TIP: If you plug into an electrical service rated under your RV’s electrical system you are limited in what you can use in the RV. You should keep an extension cord in the RV too. Make sure the extension cord you buy is designed for your RV’s electrical system.

3. Universal RV sewer adapter – definitely an essential item

Another common problem after arriving at the campground is discovering you don’t have the correct adapter for the campground sewer or dump station drain outlet. To solve this problem, I keep a universal RV sewer adapter on hand. This is designed to work in nearly any situation you encounter, including various size smooth and threaded drain outlets. I also take extra lengths of sewer hose. You never know how far you will be positioned away from the campground sewer drain outlet.

4. Potable drinking water hose

Next on my list of essential items is a potable RV drinking water hose long enough to get me out of any jam. For example, I always keep a 4-foot, 10-foot, and 25-foot drinking water hose in the RV. I keep a black- or green-colored garden hose in the RV for maintenance purposes like flushing the holding tanks or washing the RV. The color distinguishes it from the drinking water hoses. In addition to the potable RV drinking hoses, I highly recommend using a water pressure regulator. You never know what the water pressure is at a campground. RV water regulators help protect your RV plumbing system from high water pressure common at many campgrounds.

5. RV water filters

Last but certainly not least, I recommend some type of water filtration system. There are several types available designed for use in RVs. You can install an under-the-counter water filter directly to a faucet, just for drinking water, or you can use a filtration system designed to filter all of the water going into the RV.

To learn more about what items you need check, out our RV Essential Items Video Course.





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James (@guest_116959)
2 years ago

dor a sewer hose adaptor, there is only one. IMHO, best on the market. If you had to connect to a connection that was tilted and close to the ground, well.
It’s a Camco 39319 Flexible 3-in-1 Sewer Hose Seal

Gary (@guest_114462)
2 years ago

No surge suppressor is worth a dime UNLESS it specifically states it protects against under/over voltage and will disconnect you until the voltage range is safe. Just a straight “suppressor” will only protect (maybe) against a lightning hit, which is FAR more rare than over/under voltage situations. You’ve been warned. Go cheap, get burned.

David F. (@guest_114459)
2 years ago

RE: surge guard protection, I use a bicycle cable lock. Wraps around the post and through the keeper on the unit. Won’t stop a determined thief with bolt cutters or a Sawzall, but will move them on to an easier target.

Gary (@guest_114437)
2 years ago

Is this an AD for SurgeGuard? Progressive Industries and Hughes are better IMHO.

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary

No, it’s not an ad, Gary. Just a link in case anyone wanted to look it up and/or order it. However, I just added a link to more surge protectors on Amazon, so readers can compare products. 🙂 —Diane at

Geoff Baker (@guest_114391)
2 years ago

While I agree on the water filter situation, I do not believe you should use a filter that removes chlorine when filling the FW holding tank. You need that chlorine to keep that water safe. Put one under the kitchen sink for drinking water, as we have.

Tom (@guest_114389)
2 years ago

Excellent beginning list. Every one can add their favorite “must have” to this list.

Tony (@guest_114381)
2 years ago

I didn’t see a lock on your surge plug ; I’m told a lot of them are stolen! As costly are they are, it was added before I used mine!

Geoff Baker (@guest_114392)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony

Our is a built in unit, permanently wired in and in a locked cargo bay. I have a Watchdog and can read everything from my smart phone.

Ron Lane (@guest_114425)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony

Old wives tale. You hear about this a lot, but no one ever reports first hand that theirs was stolen. It’s always, “I heard so and so’s friend’s neighbor’s aunt” had hers stolen last year. Don’t worry about it as it just doesn’t happen.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ron Lane
Gordy B (@guest_114456)
2 years ago
Reply to  Ron Lane

Ron, stay in your bubble as long as you can, I personally have lost two, one had a lock! I hope it never happens to you or anyone else.

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