So many of us have done it. We buy a new RV and before we even use it, we go on a shopping spree. We buy items we don’t need for the RV. Gizmos and gadgets that claim to make RVing easier. But will they really?
What Kind of RVer are You?
If you’re new to RVing, figuring out what kind of RVer you are is an important step. And just like our 7 Items RV Buyers Often Overlook, we’ve got 8 items you don’t need for your RV until you know what kind of RVer you’d like to be.
8 Items You Don’t Need for Your New RV
RV Toilet Paper
You don’t need RV toilet paper. Rving for seven years and we have never bought RV-specific toilet paper unless we had no alternative. We prefer a single-ply like Scott.
Yes, you should use toilet paper that easily dissolves in your black tank so that it doesn’t pile up and create a huge blockage, but charging extra for “RV” toilet paper is a scam. Take a piece of your regular toilet paper, drop it in a jar of water, and shake it for 10-15 seconds. If it breaks apart, it’s RV safe.
The idea of watching TV outside by the grill might sound cool, and it is, but is it a need? Many RVers we surveyed for this article said despite intentions, they don’t use there’s very much at all.
The problem is that some choose their RV based on having an outdoor TV, which often forces them into a more expensive category of RVs than originally intended. That said, if you want an outdoor TV (or already have one), you’ll find no shame here. Just remember most outdoor TVs cost a manufacturer a couple hundred dollars, but they bump the price of the RV up by thousands. Make sure it’s worth the cost before you dive in.
We’re suckers for the camping gear section at REI or Cabela’s, and there is some great stuff for RVers there. However, be wary of the urge to buy stuff made to improve the tent-camping experience.
f you’re in an RV, you don’t need most of it. Case-in-point, the yellow protective cases for eggs. The only reason RVers should buy one is if they need to put eggs in a cooler and not their RVs fridge.
Other tent camping gear you don’t really need in an RV: waterproof matches, sporks, and sleeping bags.
Membership cards like Good Sam, CampersCard, and the KOA Rewards can save you some cash, but there’s no need to purchase them the day you buy your RV. They are yearly memberships, so if you get a Good Sam card, for instance, but you’ve got three months before your first RV trip, you just wasted three months of the membership.
Grab the discount cards when you are booking a campground that utilizes it, not before. That way you aren’t shelling out hundreds on several different membership programs before you even know how you like to camp.
We LOVE solar power and the benefits it provides RVers, but like the outdoor TV, we believe you don’t need it to RV. We also believe it’s important to know the kind of RVer you are before sinking thousands and thousands of dollars into solar and lithium batteries. Do your research. Take your time. Solar isn’t going to allow you to camp off-grid in the same way you do at an RV park with full hookups. Air conditioning is nearly impossible, and running other appliances that heat or cool is very limited.
Combo Washer & Dryer
Some people refuse to hit the road without a washer and dryer, and we get it. Laundry can be a real PITA on the road, BUT the combo washer/dryer units are NOT going to save you time, and they will take up precious cargo space and weight. They seem to take all day to do a single load, and you can’t have one load in the dryer while another one is in the wash like a conventional setup.
The electric dryer in your home operates on 240-volt power, while nearly all RV electric dryers are operating on 120v. That’s twice the drying time as a traditional dryer. Don’t be afraid of a laundromat — you can get all the laundry done for a family of 4 in two hours at the laundromat, or you can spread it out over a few hours at a campground’s facilities.
There’s a reason why fewer and fewer RVs have ovens in them – people don’t use them. It sounds like a necessity, particularly for full-timers, but they just don’t work very well. Plus, they make it hot inside the RV. Before you insist on an oven, make certain that you really need it, and that you aren’t just dreaming about some campground Thanksgiving turkey that isn’t likely to ever happen.
The thing about miniature tools is that they don’t usually do a very good job accomplishing the task they were designed for — if they can perform it at all. Your RV is complicated, big, and will have issues.
There’s no reason to skimp on having normal-size screwdrivers, for instance. A 3″ long wrench won’t give you the torque you need to tighten something. A miniature hatchet can hardly cut a carrot, much less split a log. Instead of small, opt for dual-purpose tools to save space.
Those are the 8 items you don’t need for a new RV. But what are yours? Let us know in the RV Miles Facebook Group.