With RV living full-time, you do have to be very selective about the things you keep and use. Space is limited compared to a larger house. There are also little quirks about living in an RV that make purchasing some items a necessity. We’ve been living in our RV for a little over 5 months now and I have come up with some definite must-haves to make life easier.
*Some posts may contain affiliate links. This means that I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase through this link, at no extra cost to you. I will never suggest something that I wouldn’t spend my own money on. Read the full disclosure here.*
Matches. Definitely Matches!
Let’s get the one many people don’t think of, but you will thank me later items, out of the way. And it is the cheapest must have on the list! RV’s are small living spaces with one bathroom. Quite often the bathroom is right by the living area. And, well, everybody poops. And the smell can spread through and RV faster than you’d think. A quick and cheap must have for this is matches! I grab packs of 6 at Dollar Tree and they last a long time. With the kid, he’s not allowed to use them, so I plug my nose and go in the bathroom after him to light one.
Mini Dehumidifiers are a MUST for RV Living
Humidity inside an RV can cause lots of different issues. In the long run, some of those issues can cause damage to your RV walls. There are several things that can raise humidity inside your trailer and even make it uncomfortable for you. I have 2 mini dehumidifiers in my trailer in the areas where it tends to be the highest. One on my bathroom counter and the other on my kitchen counter. This is the one I bought on Amazon and they have been working great being on 24-7 for the past 5 months.
Electric Pressure Cooker
RV’s have a stove and oven that run on propane and can heat up the inside fairly quickly and increase the humidity. During the winter having them running isn’t horrible, but in the summer they make the A/C run even harder and increase the humidity inside. I have a Crock-pot Multi-Use Pressure Cooker that I use almost every day for dinner and I love it. When we downsized I knew I couldn’t keep all my kitchen appliance gadgets and that is the one that made the cut. Since it’s a multi-cooker it does the job of several kitchen appliances. The other bonus is you can cook some meals all in one pot, so that makes for fewer dishes for me! And using it in the winter saved on propane usage, so I was making fewer trips to get our tanks refilled. It’s an appliance that’s a win-win all year long.
Command Hooks & Picture Hanging Strips
I have a baggie of these in all different sizes! You can’t hang things on RV walls exactly like you can in a house. I have some of the larger ones on the wall in our bedroom for my robe and my hoodie. You can use them to hang coats by the front door and the smaller one for a place to hang your keys. Little Man has one in his room for his robe. I use the picture hanging strips to hang up pictures and decor on the walls. I used 6 of the strips to hang up and secure my full-length mirror. There are so many uses for the hooks and strips in your RV and you will find yourself buying them often. That’s one of the joys of RV living, getting creative with your limitations to make it more like home.
Squeegee for RV windows
If you have a glass shower enclosure you will definitely want one of these to get the water off the walls. But my main use for it is for all the windows in the RV in the winter. Cold outside and heat running inside cause a lot of moisture on the windows. Not wiping down that moisture daily can cause mold issues in your window tracks. Every morning after I woke up and had my coffee, I would take the squeegee and a towel and use it to quickly get the water build up cleaned up on all the windows. It made the task quick and easy, maybe 10 minutes at most for all 9 windows.
Ceramic Space Heater
I have a small ceramic space heater that looks like a little wood stove. It has settings for low, high and lights only. In the winter it worked great to heat up the small space and saved on propane a lot. It saved me from taking the tanks to be filled too often. Those 30lb. tanks can be awkward and a pain to get in the back of a truck when you’re short. Our RV space includes electric, so I took advantage of that to save us some money. I was planning on putting it into storage for the summer, but Little Man likes turning on just the lights for the flames, so I decided to leave it out for the summer. It does add a nice little cozy feeling when watching movies at night.
Ziplock Bags & Food Containers
My post on our 1st full month of RV living chronicled my battle with the stupid little ants. So many stupid little ants. I learned a big lesson there. Keep all your food in airtight containers and ziplock bags! For some food items, the bags work better than a container. And if there are leftovers of anything they go right into a bag before going into the pantry. My bag of flour, in a ziplock. When Little Man gets cookies, in a bag they go! I even had ants attack a jar of peanut butter because there was a tiny bit on the outside of it by the lid. Peanut Butter now goes inside a ziplock bag.
The Mister laughs at me tells me I’m crazy, but it has been doing the trick for several months now with no problems. So I’m just going to roll with it. For our bread, I got an airtight bread container on Amazon that works great and really does seal it up super good. It has even made the loaf of bread last longer than it used to when I didn’t use one. You can get other containers for almost anything you can think of, from cereal to candy stashes. My suggestion would be to stick with plastic though. You don’t want to have too much glass in your RV that could end up breaking while rolling down the road if you hit bad roads.
Indoor & Outdoor Pest Control
When we first moved into our trailer, I did not spray inside or outside with a bug barrier spray. Then the ants invaded. So many ants. So so many stupid, little ants! When we switched over to borrowing a friends trailer until we buy our new one, I sprayed Ortho Home Defense on every nook and cranny and wall inside a few days before we put our stuff in there. It is pet and child safe once it dries, which doesn’t take too long.
Then after we pulled it into our new concrete pad space, I sprayed all around the pad as well as on every hose, hitch, stabilizer, and cord. Basically, if it touched the ground and led up to the trailer, I sprayed it. I was determined to keep the bugs out this time. So far it has worked great! I’ve only had to kill one spider inside. The only bugs that get in here now are the flying ones that you can’t avoid with a kid and husband who like to stand there with the door open.
You will want a vacuum that takes up as little space as possible. Space is a precious commodity in an RV. With 3 dogs I needed to get one that could work wonders. We have a Bassett Hound who sheds A LOT. So much dog hair! I also wanted one that was cordless so I wouldn’t have to rely on having power if we decided to take a trip away and go boondocking. It needed to have enough battery life for a quick clean up if needed.
I ended up getting the Dyson V7 Animal. Hoover also has a great stick vacuum. You want something small and easy to tuck away in a corner. Whether or not you want the cordless option is completely up to you and your families needs.
Patio Furniture will make RV living feel more like home.
You want your RV to feel like home. And there is no better way than to make yourself a small patio sitting area where you can relax and hang out. Getting chairs that can fold up and are portable will make it easier for the times when you take a trip. You will want to take your sitting area with you. We got these zero gravity chairs that fold up easily and fit perfect in the storage compartments on our trailer. We also have a small, lightweight table that can be tucked into the trailer when rolling down the road. The only thing I have on my patio that isn’t lightweight is my propane fire fit. But for me, that was something I wanted for my little happy space outside. We can’t tuck it in the trailer for trips, but it can easily be tied down inside the truck bed.