1st trip questions...


New Member
1st of all.. sorry if this has been ask.. which it probably has a MILLION times..

i am new to this whole camping thing... at every level.. i have jumped right in.. i just bought a (new to me) 1995 holiday rambler vacationer... and i am leaving next week (13,14 &15th) for chicagoland raceway..

what i need to some shopping idea's... what am i going to need.. what am i going to want..

i havent really done much camping so my supplies are non-existant... i have a grill.. some paper plates and plastic forks and knives.. a 5 gal. collapsable jug for drinking water.. chairs and a table...

what are the basics that i might need... i mean.. what are the things that you leave in your rv.. i'm not going to be a full timer.. i just want some core items that would be good to have on hand... and i want all suggestions... i mean everything... from spices to fun things to have on hand..

i have been reading for a long time... but my first post... please dont let me down...


Senior Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

Dishes, utensils, pans, linens, towels/washrags, TPaper, paper towels, "camping" shoes, popcorn.

Cleaning supplies, black tank deodorant, hair spray, popcorn.

RV Atlas, Woodall's book on RV sites, popcorn.

Did I mention popcorn?


Senior Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

You will want to be able to hook up to electricity. So an extention cord (50 amp or 30 amp, depending on what your unit uses), adapters so you can plug it in anywhere (for instance, a 30 amp trailer should have a 30 to 50 and 30 to 15 adapter). If you will be camping in other than RV specific sites (like a friend's house), a 50' ultra heavy duty extention cord for 15 amps will often be needed. Before you hook up, you will want to check the power to make sure it is 'ok'. A plug in meter/analyzer is the best, and you will need a 15 to 30 adapter for it. Some kind of 'protection' is recommended against power problems; SurgeGuard seems the best, but is pricey. Autoformers also provide some protection, and can boost 'low' voltage to prevent damage to A/C compressors.

You will want to connect to water. A 25' hose will generally work, but I also carry 10' which is more conveniant for close hookups. I also carry a selection of 45 degree and 90 degree angles and a flexible joint; some of the hookups are in mighty strange locations. I alway run through an inline water filter to keep some of the crud out of my system, and a pressure limiting valve (ever since I hooked up without one and blew the pressure sensor on my water pump, and the supply line to the toilet). Note that all hose should be 'white' or certified for drinking water. Most garden hoses are made with 'toxic' chemicals. Again, if you park at non-standard sites, you will want more than 25 or 35' feet of hose. I like the 50' flat hose on its own reel.

And you will want to be able to hook to a sewer port to dump. First, a short, clear connector, so you can monitor what is going on. Then at least 10 feet and better 2 10 feet sections of the best sewer hose you can find, and finally a 'universal' sewer port adapter. The 'blue' slip system (particularly their universal port adapter) is pretty good, and there is a new 'ultra heavy' hose which appears promising. Another new system which so far is even better is the 'Rhino' system, which includes a pretty good port adapter. Make sure you have disposable gloves and/or a sanitation station for the dumping task.

Next you will want some way to 'flush out' the tanks during cleaning. There are several options, grouped into those you stick down the toilet, those built in and those which attach to the dump port. Also, there are 'macerator' options, which grind the 'stuff' and pump it through a 1" hose rather than the standard 3" hoses.


New Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

Hi TLZ, I'm a newbie also, and have had my 5th wheel for 3 weeks now. For the "living" types of stuff, I basically looked at it as if I were stocking a small second home. Dishes, cups, utensils (both paper and "back porch" style plastic), a small set of non-stick pots/pans, a few mixing bowls, and a couple of pans for the oven. Small dish drainer, all cleaning supplies (I chose the smallest sizes I could find), toiletries that I wouldn't have to trek back and forth ('cause I can never remember shampoo!). If you aren't too fussy about quality, the common dollar store has almost every spice/herb you could want, and off brands of all the cleaning products. Lots of paper towels. I don't know why, but I have flown through almost a dozen of them in two trips. Oh, and I also bought a "stick" blender for 9.83 at Walmart. Works just as well as the expensive one I have at home, and it's small, so it doesn't take up lots of space. I'm buying a real blender too, for frozen treats, sometime in the future.

Do you like coffee in the morning? Don't forget a coffee pot!! And buy the one you WANT! I have two girlfriends that also own RV's, and one of them went with me to help buy my new stocks. She convinced me to buy a 14.00 coffee pot, since, you know, you don't use it that much. Well I bought it, and the the darn cord didn't reach the plugs (under the cabinets.) I was steamed!! My Aunt gave me a cute little extension cord to fix that, but then when I made my first pot of coffee, it was just awful! I'm a bit of a coffee snob, and I like it strong! The 14.00 one just didn't have the umphh for that, so I gave it to my girlfriend, and bought the same one I had at home. Ahhh... now that was some great coffee!! So buy what you want, because sometimes it pays to spend a little extra.

I have a 9 year old and 7 year old, so we went to WalMart and I let them pick out a pile of movies for 7.50 each. They picked them out, so they are dying for "movie time" right before bed! Oh!! To echo Tex, POPCORN!!

For the outside, I really can't remember everything, but we got some orange flat things (the name escapes me now!) to go under the jacks, both front and back, disposable gloves for the nasty work, I like plastic bins to put everything in, and I'll post again when I remember what else we got!!

Have fun camping! Oh, and to quote Tex again, don't forget the TP!


C Nash

Senior Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

Don't forget money and plastic cards :laugh: hook up at home to be sure everything works on the rv. Welcome to the forum. Let us know how the trip turns out.


New Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

I don't think I saw mention of a pressure regulator for your clean water intake. Most campers do not handle pressure over 60 psi, and campgrounds have pressures that vary wildly. The standard everyone tends to go with is a 60psi, and fits between the sillcock and the hose.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
RE: 1st trip questions...

We use a check list Coming and Going. Go through and write down all the things you need to do when you get ready to move and what you need to do when you arrive. For instance:

Check tire pressure
Disconnect all power, water
Dump tanks
Lower TV antenna
Turn off appliances
Shut windows, drawers, cabinets,vents
Secure blinds
Raise/secure steps
Hitch trailer/tow vehicle
Connect power to towed vehicle
Raise all jacks/levelers

Level RV
Check RV Park power (polarity/ground/open)
Room to extend slides
Water pressure/regulator
Chalk tires
Unhook tow vehicle/toad
Hookup power/water/sewer/cable/satellite
Extend stabilizers/levelers
Check clearance for TV antenna
These are just a few suggested items you may want to put on a check list. Sure has saved me from doing stupid things. Wifey follows me around with the list checking my work. ;)


New Member
RE: 1st trip questions...

WOW! We are first time RV'rs here too and I have enjoyed and learned so much from reading through this whole forum. Its amazing how much information is out there to be learned from others experience.
We just started RVing in our 40's and just went on our first long trip 200 miles from South Jersey up past the Pocono's with our 5th Wheel. (2005 Outback Syndey) Diesel mileage was better coming home then going as I think we coasted more down the mountains coming back but we got about 10 miles a gallon or so according to our truck indicator.
We had a great time and are definately looking forward to our next venture. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post for us newbies, you all are great!
Most sincerely,
Ed and Liz :)


New Member
RE: 1st trip questions...

Hope your first trip (maiden voyage) went well. Just in case you need some more ideas for packing, check out my website at www.gardenandhearth.com/camping.htm I have lots of good ideas for new RVers. And appreciate any feedback from well seasoned RVers too.


New Member
RE: 1st trip questions...

I am also a new rv'er --- have only been on one trip and feel that I did not do the "dumping" thing right. I did dump before leaving the site but where do you buy the item that connects to the water at the dumping station that backwashes the tank?

I bought my rv used and have a very little manuals to turn to for advice.

Grandview Trailer Sa

Senior Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

Hey soakupsun, welcome to the forum.

I have not read all this, but saw your post about the back flush item. I use the "Dual Flush Pro" It allows a water hose hookup just above a gate valve. It forces water back into the tank and then you open the gate valve for dumping. When all is clean, you got it!

Any RV dealer should be able to get you one, if they do not stock it. We do stock them and can get you one if you can't find it.


Senior Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

For hooking up, you will need a hose (some color OTHER THAN WHITE, which is drinking water certified) and a anti-back flow valve so no sewage gets back into the drinking water. If your unit does not have a built in flusher (seems to be the best system), the unit that GTS mentions is a good choice. Whatever you use, make sure you have a clear section of pipe so you can monitor the stuff coming out to ensure it is clear.

Try not to dump unless both black and gray tanks are 1/2 full. Dump and flush the black tank, then dump the gray tank to clean out the hose. You can flush the gray tank as well, but it is not as vital as flushing the black tank.


New Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

Hi everyone! I am one of Amy's girlfriends - NOT the one that convinced her to buy the cheap coffee pot - because I KNOW what a SNOB she is about her coffee! That girlfriend is still stinging from her tounge lashing & probably will be reminded about her suggestion for years to come! Us three are like that - never let you forget while we are laughing our butts off! Seriously.....I have a cheap pot also and the coffee is nothing like home, so I add about double the coffee each morning to make it strong. I am looking for a under the counter model that has a stainless pot - saw one about a year ago, but it was out of stock - anyone know of these? :question:


Senior Member
Re: 1st trip questions...

Hey Island Girl,


Sounds like you need to learn how to make Cowboy Coffee. Just heat the water and throw in the grounds and drink away and then chew for awhile ...... :laugh: