Change of Season & Must-Have RV Accessories

The changing of seasons can be an exciting time for many of us in the RV community, but it can be a sad time, too. For part-time RVers, this time of the year might mean the last summer camping trip is over, and it’s now time to winterize and stow the RV until next season rolls around.

For those of us that full-time RV, it’s time we keep those wheels rolling with a keen eye on the weather. You never know when you’ll get caught in a freak storm!

snow in Tucson Arizona

An unusual snowstorm in Tucson, Arizona. What a rare encounter!

September is one of my favorite months for RVing. The weather is usually agreeable throughout most of the United States, including the high country. Sure, you have to pay attention to overnight temperatures in the mountains to avoid freezing waterlines, and you might even encounter a light dusting of snow here or there, but most winter conditions won’t begin to set in until sometime in October or November.

Colorado goldPlus, this time of year, the kids are back in school (yay!) leaving plenty of room for the rest of us to find open campsites.

Oh, and have I mentioned the leaves? Who doesn’t enjoy fall colors?

Yep, September is a great month to travel in an RV, but it’s also the perfect time of year to check that our important RV accessories are in perfect working condition. After all, there’s no sense in storing cracked hoses or damaged electrical cords, let alone carry them on to our next destination.

Top 3 Must-Have RV Accessories …

So whether we’re getting ready to put our RV into storage or we’re heading south to a warmer climate for the winter, we should check (closely) our RV gear … especially the necessary and most important gear like sewer hoses, electrical cords/adapters, and drinking water hose. (This post contains sponsored content and affiliate links.)

Al and I spend a great deal of our time traveling around the southwestern part of the United States where it’s not uncommon to enjoy as many as 300 days of sunshine per year. Yeah, we won’t complain about that! All that sunshine is great, and we love it, but that doesn’t mean that sunshine plays well with our equipment. In reality, sun and heat can play havoc with our equipment, especially anything plastic or rubber.

Sewer waste hose

One of our neighbors here in the RV Park in Prescott Valley, Arizona, just replaced his RV waste hose the other day. The hose looked fine to Al and me, and being somewhat nosy neighbors curious, we walked over to ask him why he was replacing the seemingly perfect waste hose.

RVingHe went on to tell us how every time he dumped his tank, he’d smell a bad odor. There were no visible leaks on the ground, just the odor. So upon closer examination of the waste hose, he discovered it was split on top in numerous places. Ah yes, that sun!

By inspecting the hose and then replacing it with a new one, he averted a potentially crappy situation 🤣… a situation that he nor his neighbors would have found humorous, but rather, quite disastrous.

Being able to empty our tanks with ease is crucial in the RVing world. Al and I travel with two waste hoses. It’s always a good idea to have an extra hose in case your existing one is leaking or in the event one hose isn’t long enough to connect to the dump site. I can’t tell you how many times having that second hose averted an inconvenience or even a potential disaster.

Electrical extension cord and fittings

Seeing the country in an RV can be an amazing adventure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. In an ideal world, we could just pull our RV up to an electrical pedestal at any campsite and plug-in and connect. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy, and the use of an  extension cord might be necessary.

RV parks and campgrounds do not always offer the best layout for us to hook-up. Way too many are poorly designed and might even leave us perplexed and scratching our head in bewilderment, wondering, “Whatever were they thinking?” Therefore, being prepared for any scenario is advisable.

RV electrical gear

RV electrical gear by Road & Home

Not only do we need to be concerned about ample electrical cord, but we also need to make sure we check which type of hookup is available and if we have the correct connection. Some campgrounds or RV parks have a 50 amp connection on the electrical pedestal while others may have only a 30 amp connection. If you’re lucky, the pedestal will have both, but in the event it doesn’t, having various electrical RV adapters on hand will make your RV adventure that much more enjoyable.

Electrical adapters are a must if you ever intend to plug your RV into a standard household outlet. Whether you’re at a campground, RV park, or residential home, make sure you understand the various electrical hookups/outlets before plugging in to any outlet to prevent damage to your RV electrical system.

Drinking water hose

Access to fresh water is important when traveling in an RV, and a hose designed and designated specifically for drinking water is an absolute must. We always travel with two 25′ long hoses. First, you never know how far away a water connection will be, and second, you never know when a hose will fail. Yeah, there’s that whole damaging sun and heat subject again.

must have RV gear

It’s the little things that make our life easier … using a Y connector.

Extras we keep on hand

Now that I’ve covered the top 3 must-have RV accessories, allow me to share a few other little items that are great to have on hand. Sometimes it’s the little things that make our RV life a little easier.

  • Water Hose Y connector – this connector allows us to turn a single hose outlet into two outlets.
  • Water Pressure Regulator – this is a must. It protects our equipment, prevents pipe damage and increases equipment longevity.
  • Waste Hose couplers – these come in handy in the event we need to join two hoses together. We also keep a couple of hose clamps in our tool kit.
  • Waste Hose adapters – we replace these fittings from time to time due to use and sun damage. It’s always a good idea to keep an extra around.
  • RV waste cap – this is another item that we like having a spare on hand. A couple of years ago, after staying in an RV park for a month, Al went to disconnect our waste hose and attach the waste cap, but he couldn’t find the cap. We think a critter may have taken it.

chipmunk

A change of season – preparing your RV for winter

If you’re storing your RV for the winter, winterizing it properly is crucial. It’s no fun pulling your RV out of storage and getting it ready for your first camping trip of the season, only to realize you have damaged lines and/or equipment. You’ll want to consult your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your RV or seek professional help in winterizing your particular RV.

If you decide to RV in winter conditions, there’s some precautions to take to avoid waterlines freezing. Al and I do our best to avoid RVing in freezing temperatures, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable. This is how we’ve handled winter RVing … we go into “self-containment” mode.

  • Disconnect the RV water hose and waste hose.
  • Have your fresh water tank full for usage.
  • Use your RV furnace to keep the RV warm. It’s okay to use another source of heat like a Mr. Buddy, but do not use it exclusively. The RV heating system usually has heat runs to the lower compartments, keeping waterlines and the water pump from freezing.
camping in Tucson Arizona

Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, Arizona – February 2013

So, are you ready for the change of season?

I know we are, and as we prepare to hit the road along with the impending weather changes, Al and I remind ourselves of our favorite quote ….

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Ben Franklin

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39 thoughts on “Change of Season & Must-Have RV Accessories

  1. Ingrid, may I offer another suggestion for your list of RV accessories? Alan and I never travel without an electrical surge supressor. They’re not inexpensive but ours has alerted us to an improperly wired pedestal before we actually connected, thankfully preventing damage to our electrical system. We’re on our second one – the first one sacrificed itself when we plugged in at a campground with a serious electrical problem. Now, we don’t plug our electric cord in until we’ve plugged the surge supressor in first and checked it.

    Gorgeous photos – as usual!

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  2. Great advice for storing the RVs! Ours was pretty new but we camped every weekend from mid-April through mid-September, being able to leave it in the campground all summer. It’s stored away for now, but hoping to take the travel trailer for a Southern Cal excursion and into Arizona in late December!

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  3. I never thought the smell of my poop…..err waste would ever make it onto a blog! LOL….it was worth a smile and a chuckle….plus we didn’t want to be known as the “stinky” neighbors….literally. Great advice and suggestions….we miss you already!!

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    • I’m always looking for blogging material and we lucked out having great neighbors while in Prescott this past summer who provided me with a few ‘blog topic’ ideas… stinky, enlightening, and always entertaining 😆🍺🍰

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  4. That Tucson Snow was gorgeous! I’m on the look out for a painting of a Desert scene covered in a dusting of snow. Let me know if you come across one!

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  5. How awesome to have experienced snow in the desert. My parents often talk about the snowfall they had in NM when my father was stationed at White Sands in the 50’s. All I can add to carrying extra or spare hoses, cords, etc. is amen, amen, amen. The spare sewer hose & water hose has saved our butts a couple of times.

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    • For those of us that have been RVing for a while, we know how important those ‘extras’ are, and we’re always grateful to have those backups when needed most. Unexpected storms and weird weather occurrences can really make things adventurous. Although, I can do without the severe weather happenings 😏

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  6. This is the first winter that we’ll be traveling south. The last two years we were in central California at our rental spot. However, our second grandson will be making his debut in December, in Oklahoma… We’ve already told our son that we’ll be there for them. His wife is Japanese and her family is mostly still in Japan so we’re her closest relatives 🙂 I’m reading as much as I can about surviving colder weather. Thank you for your recommendations.

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    • Congratulations and how exciting for the impending addition. I should’ve added … extra blankets and warm slippers ☺ will also help your winter RV enjoyment. Hopefully, OK won’t be too cold in December.

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  7. Great stuff, Ingrid! We are just getting ready to get out of Michigan, and it is cold here. Not as cold as it was for us a few years back, but our Florida blood is too thin for this! 😊

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    • Amazing how we adjust. These last few years, we’ve spent so much time in a desert climate that once the thermometer nears 70 degrees, I’m shivering and donning a sweatshirt. Crazy! I’ve officially turned into a reptile 🤣 Safe travels south to your winter ‘home’.

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  8. Good morning, Ingrid,
    Maybe it’s good that Mary and I have never gotten into RV-ing. We did indeed think about the idea of getting a 5th wheel if we ever got a new pick-up truck, but finally discarded it. For us and our way of travelling, only a few weeks a year, it is really better the way we do it: trekking from motel to motel, or BnBs. But I always enjoy reading your advice here.
    Have a wonderful day,
    Pit

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    • I think you and Mary have found a great way to enjoy your travels. RVing isn’t for everyone. We just spent a weekend in Sedona with the kids and stayed in a lovely condo … what a delightful change for us and we had a wonderful time. A post is in the works!

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