Full disclosure, I had months and months of anticipation waiting for our Hymer Aktiv to arrive . . . and of course, that means I found oooooodles of things that I thought I had to have and amassed a veritable pile of stuff eagerly awaiting a new home. I’m not kidding when I say a pile . . . I mean I really could have outfit several Betty’s by the time she arrived . . . oh dear . . .
” Lucky you, my embarrassment becomes your wisdom in this list of items that I now realize are the essentials worthy of true consideration for that first time out with your new RV
– Jumper cables / jumper pack / other source of power
I know, you’re probably thinking, hang on – I just purchased a power house of self contained energy so why on earth would I need this? Well, chances are you won’t, and if things go as planned you’ll not become as familiar with this as I did, but trust me when I tell you that if you find yourself in a position where things have gone awry, then you will absolutely love me for suggestion this purchase . . .
The one I have and love is HERE and in my experience is worth every penny as I’ve had to use it quite a bit . . .
– Tire Pressure gauge / air inflator
If you read about my ride home, then you’ll know I had to figure this out 10 minutes into my new adventure. Turns out that tire pressure is pretty important and while there’s no need to be obsessive about it, it does need to be checked regularly to ensure safe travels. Be aware of the PSI [pressure of the airflow] rating for the unit, as you want it to be higher than 80 – some of the units sold for cars are not equipped to inflate the tires on Campervans, also keep in mind that if you’re plugging it into your 12V cab outlet [aka the cigarette lighter] then make sure the hose/cable is long enough to reach the rear tires . . .
I bought a couple to try and ended up with the one that Hymer includes with their RVs that don’t have spare tires, it’s an inflator and quick fix kit that’s pretty slick and happens to fit in the back drawer with all my other road essentials . . . you can find it here . . .
– Water hose and fittings
Do not think you can use any hose for this . . . yes, I have a friend who thought I could save money using my garden hose . . . and the answer is definitively no! There are many many choices in the RV water hose department, but more important, I think, is the regulator – don’t mess around here, it’s not worth the damage that can be caused by too much water pressure going into your RV . . .
I got THIS ONE and also added a brass angle connector like THIS which takes some of the stress off the hose. I also have one of these Zero G hoses for when I need to give Betty a bath or if I’m hooking up to a water source that’s not that close [it is also drinking water safe, so I can use it to fill up Betty too – nice] . . .
You may want to get a water filter like THIS. I’ve researched this quite a bit and thought is was worthy of it’s own post HERE [coming soonish] where I discuss all the aspects of water and Betty . . .
– Power adapters
15amp to 30amp is really handy because if you don’t have a 30 amp power source at home and you want to fiddle with your new
toy spaceship campervan and test it out without going to a campsite, then you need one of THESE [I keep losing forgetting losing mine and find that Walmart is a good bet for replacements] . . .
50amp to 30amp if you plan to stay at campsites with electric hookup [although with Betty’s setup the idea of mainly boondocking is probably why most of us love the Aktiv] but THIS just means that if the park only has 50amp outlets then you can still use their shore power [if you’re new to all of this you can check out my video on how to connect to shore power HERE]
And if you’re plugging in to 30amp you need a 30amp power cord [mine went on it’s own adventure after I took Betty in for service, so I had to get another one] I also have an extension for when I don’t want to be that close to the power source . . .
– Power surge protector
So there’s a LOT of opinion from every spectrum on this one . . . yes, the inverter in most class b’s is said to have protection, thus eliminating the need . . . but REALLY . . . if you’ve just spent all that money on your new RV, what’s a little more for peace of mind . . .
enough said, now you know where I stand on this one. There are many many options – know what amp your RV is and get one for that, most class B’s are 30amp.
Other bits-n-pieces you could think about are:
– Garden kneeling pad [first time you empty the grey tank you’ll understand] and while you’re at it a stick [I use a collapsable walking stick] to hold the panel open while you’re fiddling with that insanely placed lock . . .
– Toilet tank sanitizer / digester – this will eliminate any potential smell or disposal issues with the toilet. There are many different types but I like Happy Camper and Noflex or I can find Bio Pak at big box stores if I run out while on the go . . . you can find out more about the cassette toilet in my little video.
– Spare fuses, a 3/8” socket wrench, a small broom, an outdoor mat etc. You may want to look at my post about ESSENTIAL TOOLS ETC. [coming soonish] for some more ideas . . .
Don’t forget to take a blankie and something yummy to snack on and get out there and play PLAY play . . .