Little things can make a big difference. Here are some must-have camping items. The things on this list are small and inexpensive, but they will help you in big ways.
An RV is a unique vehicle. It is a home on wheels. Although it is made of lightweight materials, an RV is routinely subject to forces that most houses never see. Every time you take your camper down the road, you are subjecting it to earthquake shock and tropical storm winds (60 – 70mph).
Things shake loose. Things come undone. The plumbing, which is a network of hoses and pipes can come apart. Cabinet doors can swing open and slam shut. Drawers can come out dumping their contents onto the floor. Large items can jostle back and forth while you bounce down the highway breaking themselves or something else.
Things that Tie, Bind, or Hold Stuff Still
It is a very good idea to keep stuff from bouncing around inside or flying off the outside of your RV. Ropes, straps, bungee cords come in very handy. You want to have as many of these as practical. Here’s a short list:
Paracord – This is thin, but very strong rope originally designed to be the cord that connects a parachute with its user – hence the name. The popularity of this cord continues to grow. It is strong and versatile, yet light and easy to store and carry. You can even buy belts and wristbands made of braided paracord. Survivalist love those. Campers would do well to always have some on hand.
Bungee cords and straps. Seasoned campers know well the benefit of having a supply of bungee cords and straps on hand. It’s a good idea to carry several in various lengths. They can be used inside the camper to keep objects from flying around. For instance, you can use a bungee cord to secure a freestanding chair or stool to a non-movable object. You can also bind a short bungee around cabinet doorknobs to keep the doors from flying open.
I do not recommend using bungee cords to bind things to the outside of your rig when you are moving it. The vibration of movement may cause the bungee to wear quickly. You do not want things flying off your rig, it could cause a wreck. If you use bungees to bind things to the outside of your rig or truck bed, check them often, looks for signs of wear.
Ratchet Straps – These are strong straps that can bind one object tightly to another. The strap is constructed similar to a seat belt and it has a ratchet on one end that allows you to really make the strap tight. These straps are ideal for securing things in the bed of a pickup, or to a rear ladder. (Be careful not to over tighten and bend the ladder,) You will be glad to have a half dozen of these in your toolbox.
Wire Ties – These are the plastic strips electricians use to bundle wires. These are best used for more permanent attachments. They come in very handy on camping trips and in RVs. You can use them to bind loose, free-swinging wires and pipes. To remove one of these after they have been put in place, usually takes a pair of wire snips.
Ropes of various strength. Perhaps some strong chain and a padlock for when you need to secure something.
Clamps, and Hooks
Spring Clamps – Small and versatile, these handy clamps can be used in so many ways. They can keep the tablecloth from blowing away on a windy day. You can use one to attach an LED lantern to an awning, under a cabinet, or inside a storage compartment for a temporary light
Need to glue down a countertop? These clamps can hold the work in place until the glue sets up. They are easy to attach and remove and have hundreds of uses.
Velcro – Comes in rolls and can be cut to whatever length needed. Velcro is good at holding things in place. You can use it to mount pictures on the wall. You can take your pictures down while traveling and replace them easily when you set up. Velcro can be removed without leaving any holes in the wall. There are many uses for Velcro in an RV,
Command Hooks – You can now have a hook almost any place you need one. Command Hooks come in a variety of sizes and weight capacity. Space is a premium in an RV. Anything that makes organization easier is a must have. You can hang up clothes, coats, tools, shower supplies, nearly anything. The best thing is, if you want to remove the hook, it comes off easily and leaves no glue residue.
Tapes Can Save the Day
The variety and versatility of tapes have improved and this makes the camper’s life much easier.
Duct Tape – You probably know the usefulness of duct tape. Have a roll or two on hand at all times.
Gorilla Tape – People who use this swear by it. The Gorilla Glue Co., manufacturers of Gorilla Tape call it, “Duct tape on steroids”. For more information on Gorilla Tape, click here.
Waterproof Roof tape. It’s not a matter of if you get a leak, but when. Roof tape will seal leaky seams and cracks. There are other uses for this tape. It can temporarily seal a crack in a holding tank. I wouldn’t go a long time with getting a more permanent repair, but at least you won’t have to put your vacation on hold.
Odds and Ends
Tarps – If you have space, carry at least two 10′ x 10′ or 10′ x 12′ tarps. They have many uses. Get the tarps with grommets. You can use your paracord to tie them if needed.
- Make a temporary dining fly.
- Cover a leaky camper.
- Create a temporary shelter from the sun.
- Cover things, like firewood, to keep them dry.
Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners, Screws, Washers, etc. – Keep a supply of hardware handy especially the sizes and types found in your camper. Things shake apart and it is a relief to have something on hand to put it back together. Keep washers in the sizes of the hoses used in your rig. Washers will wear and begin to leak. Keep your hardware in small containers. Store them with or near your tools.
This is a List of Small but Important Items
Every item on this list is fairly inexpensive. They are small and easy to carry. Each item on this list is more than worth its weight when you need it. I will be bringing more such items to your attention in the near future.
What items do you find indispensable? Let me know and I might put it on the next list. Please leave a comment in the box below.