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    27 Useful RV Camping Products That You Won't Know How You Lived Without

    Smart little upgrades other RVers love.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A water bottle with a built-in filter that removes 99.999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoan parasites, so you have fresh-tasting water even if your current campsite doesn't.

    amazon.com

    No need to use single-use plastic bottles, or find a place to store all of 'em.

    Promising reviews: "Works extremely well for making chlorine taste go away. I ran heavily chlorinated RV park water through it, it was so bad I could smell it when the tap was turned on, after I could barely taste it." —derpy

    "I bought my first Life Straw water bottle about four years ago and it's still going strong. I've used it in a variety of locations including Cuba and the Zambezi river and it has worked flawlessly. The charcoal filter really does help with the taste when the water source isn't ideal. It's also great peace of mind knowing that you have the ability to filter a large amount of water in any given situation, including emergencies. If you are an avid outdoors person, this is definitely a must have. Also great for traveling in general. I never leave home without it!" —Chris

    Get one on Amazon for $36.84+

    2. A flexible drying rack with double space-saving capabilities. It balances over your sink so dishes can drip-dry into it, instead of taking up precious counter space, AND it rolls up to stash away without occupying an entire drawer.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Bought this for our RV sink so that we could drain dishes over the sink, but not in it, and we love it. The rubber coating is nice, and the fact that it rolls up when you want to stow it away is nice, too. Very sturdy — no problem supporting cast iron pans." —Amy Osborn

    Get it on Amazon for $23.98.

    3. And an extendable over-sink cutting board so you can magically create counter space where there wasn't any before.

    amazon.com

    One edge expands out an extra 7.5 inches so it can fit over most any sink, although you probably won't need that in your galley! And the little colander collapses flat for storage.

    Promising review: "I cannot live without this item in my RV. It's basically essential to cooking. It adds counter space by fitting over the sink, it's adjustable and the little colander pops down and actually holds quite a bit. Super useful!" —Julie E Espinosa

    Get it on Amazon for $23.07.

    4. A paper plate dispenser because some days you just don't have time to wash dishes, especially when there's fun to be had!

    Walmart

    It hangs right under your cabinet or on the bottom of the shelf.

    Promising review: "I received my first Pop-a-Plate about 20 years ago and it has been attached under our cabinet next to our paper towel holder. The front edge finally wore out. It did outlasted two kids and many of their friends along with daily use. The new one will probably last our lifetime. What a great value. If you use 9" paper plates, this product is the answer. Also a great idea for motor homes or trailers. What a convenient space saver!" —SCVhappy

    Get it from Walmart for $6.29.

    5. A slip-resistant telescoping ladder — it extends from a couple of feet to 12.5 feet (or is also available up to 16.5 feet) so you can pull kites/frisbees out of trees or just clean off some pesky leaves with very little effort.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Love it! I use it in my RV. Stores easily in minimal space. Heavy duty. Easy to lift and use. (I'm a 67-year-old woman.) Don't know how I got along without it. (Actually I didn't!) No more borrowing and lugging a big ol' bulky ladder around just to clean my roof or do repairs. An awesome product!" —Thatsanono

    Get it on Amazon for $89.98.

    6. A circuit analyzer and surge protector so you always know the outlet you're about to plug into is probably safe.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "For a low-cost solution that greatly reduces your risk, this is perfect. The lights will tell you if the outlet is cross wired, and let's be honest: we've all stayed at a place that was so wore down and cheap-looking that you're certain they conduct their own repairs instead of hiring an electrician. Scary when you consider the cost of everything that could be destroyed in the camper, not to mention the fire risk. This won't protect you all the time, but plug it in before you connect and you can spot a bad wiring job. Read the chart and compare the lights. If all good then plug in. If not, then demand a refund for the site and move to one that will not destroy your rig!" —L. McNerney

    Get it on Amazon for $71.72+ (available for 30 amps or 50 amps).

    7. Or if you'd rather splurge than take any risk, a Surge Guard that features 2450 joules of protection and an auto-shutdown in case of any problems.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Not only does it protect my RV appliances much better than just a surge protector, but I love the voltage and amperage draw readouts — really tells the real story about how much electricity I'm drawing while protecting my unit from campground electrical supply problems! It has overheat protection and will shut down temporarily due to overheat, over/under voltage, surges, etc. A good investment." —Aviator

    Get it on Amazon for $234.

    8. An outdoor rug or two so you can vastly expand your living space into a setup where you spend long evenings on the "porch", just relaxing, talking, and playing games.

    amazon.com / amazon.com

    This is less of a rug and more of a lightweight (and durable!) plastic mat, but reviewers do love it!

    Promising review: "I received this as a gift to use outside our camper. I was skeptical when I opened it because it is a plastic weave but it has turned out to the perfect solution for camping. It is very light, which is a very useful quality in the RVing world because campers easily get overloaded with heavy gear. My two favorite things about this mat though are #1 You can easily sweep dirt off of it and #2 If it rains, the mat dries quickly. After each camping trip we hose it off with a little soap, let it dry and then store it in the little bag that came with it." —P. Drake

    Get the 9x12 on Amazon for $49.28 (three colors, all reversible; also available in 6x9 and 9x18). Many reviewers also mention using stakes to hold it down; you can get a set of four on Amazon for $7.24.

    9. And a pair of incredibly comfortable zero gravity chairs because whether you spend the day driving, working, or just having fun, you deserve to fully relax at the end of it.

    Amazon

    While they're not quite so compact as some other camping chairs, they do fold up flat in just a matter of seconds, making 'em easy to stash away. Once you find your ideal position, you can easily lock the chair there so it stays. And each one comes with a little table-tray that fits two drinks and a cushioned headrest.

    Promising review: "Everyone is jealous when I go camping (or to any event) and bust these chairs out. Incredibly comfortable. And we take these with us on trips as they don't take up much more room than regular camping chairs. I've taken many a nap in the sun in these chairs and they are great!" —Benjamin W.

    Get the set of two on Amazon for $79.99.

    10. An awning shade for those hot afternoons where you want a little break from the sun, but still want to enjoy being ~outdoors~.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    It blocks about 86% of UV rays, without blocking the view! And takes just a minute to hang up: you simply slide the cord onto your awning slot, then pull it over like a curtain (if that sounds confusing, I promise it's not when you look at the instructions!)

    Promising review: "We purchased this sun screen (and side screen too) looking for relief from campsites with no shade. We were very impressed. They are good quality and installation was a breeze. They make a huge difference. They also block rain if it's not too heavy. If there is a down side it is they do cut down the breeze a bit. Would definitely recommend." —Larry N

    Get it on Amazon for $99.99+ (many sizes, four colors).

    11. A wrap-around step rug that reviewers swear is an essential you shouldn't leave home without.

    Walmart

    Promising reviews: "A must. Camper steps can get very hot or very slick depending on the weather. These mats help with both, as well as making it easier for pets to get up and down." —LoveMySketchers

    "Bought these to cut down on the dirt in the trailer. Worked great!" —outdoorwifey

    "These are great for wiping off your shoes before entering you RV. Be sure to order enough for all your RV's steps. The rugs wrap around your step and are held in place by a spring that latches underneath your step. Very easy to install." —Austxnaturegal

    Get them from Walmart for $8.40+ (four colors).

    12. An ultralight (7.6 pounds!) vacuum because despite your best efforts, everyone seems to constantly track in dirt and sand.

    amazon.com

    It has a 25-foot cord and quickly converts into a hand vac!

    Promising review: "I'm very pleased with the suction/filter power. The carpet brush is powerful. It comes with enough attachments that the entire RV can be vacuumed top to bottom. The maneuverability is perfect for reaching in tight places. I realized spent less time cleaning because of the powerful vacuum efficiency and new ability to do walls, air vents, and window blinds. Though bulkier because of the large dust collector, the unit does easily break down and clip together into one bundle which slips away in the bottom corner of a closet." —J Thomas Stone

    Get it on Amazon for $128.

    13. Some Space Bags so your blankets, extra sheets, extra pillows, and out-of-season clothes take up only a fraction of the space they would otherwise.

    amazon.com

    Promising reviews: "These bags are made of thick plastic and feel durable, the double zip is the key to holding the vacuum seal. We will be using the bags in our RV for storing blankets, pillows and towels, upon receiving I immediately put them to use, a large quilt that took up a 1' by 2' storage area is now 1" thick and can be stored under the bed." —Daniel G Mullins

    Get a pack of six Jumbo bags on Amazon for $25.47.

    14. A grilling table designed to be an ultra-functional kitchen prep station that sets up so quickly and yet is so sturdy it's like the holy grail of outdoor cooking setups.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "We are full-time RVers and trying to find a place to put my little Webber BBQ was frustrating. The park-supplied picnic tables are either too far away, non-existent, or in the open so if inclement weather hits, my meal will be swimming. Now I can easily and quickly set up the table under our awning. The hooks allow for easy access to my grilling tools. The paper towel holder is ideal for keeping a roll nearby for spills and messy hands (testing BBQ chicken is a must in my opinion!), and the multiple shelves give plenty of room for my food, additional plates, and more. Time to set up is less than a minute. Open bag, remove table, pull to set up, install top. Done! Fits easily in our under-trailer storage." —Cherie

    Get it on Amazon for $77.86.

    15. A mattress topper because you don't want to invest in a completely new mattress, but have been wanting something to make your sleep situation a little cozier.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "We purchased this for our RV fold-out couch because the shape of the couch was obvious when sleeping on it. After one night on this pad, and we purchased two more for the other beds. It's amazing and hides the imperfections of the couch. We love it! It's extremely comfortable. It's a little cumbersome to store, but I'm hoping to get some straps to wrap around it to keep it compact for storage reasons." —photogirlHW09

    Get the two-inch-thick queen size on Amazon for $56.99 (also available in twin through Cal king).

    16. A pack of two wall-mount racks perfect for holding all kinds of small things like spices in the kitchen and bottles in the bathroom. And they can install on your backsplash or wall, on the inside door of cabinets, or wherever you need a small secure shelf.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I bought these for mounting in my RV. They fit perfectly behind the stove top. I don't carry that many spices but they hold a lot of things from vitamins to sugar packets to olive oil. Oh, and a few spices. They are lightweight and the bar keeps things from falling while driving. They are super for providing much needed storage space." —K. L. Owens

    Get the pack of two on Amazon for $13.98.

    17. A handy caddy made specifically to tame your water hose so it actually stays nice, neat, and easy to move from your storage bay to the ground.

    Walmart

    Seems like it's about 18 inches in diameter and 7 inches high — just make sure that would fit where you need to store it!

    Promising review: "If you're tired of your RV hose getting in the way in your bay storage and if the hose never really rolls up very well, then I would recommend this hose caddy. Great design!" —Edwis

    Get it from Walmart for $21.26.

    18. A 16-pocket bedskirt organizer because whether you have extra shoes, books, toiletries, or something else, you could always stand to have a little extra storage.

    amazon.com

    Each side of the bed has eight pockets, and because of the way it's designed, it can fit *any* size bed. (If you have a bed with storage underneath, reviewers say they used a staple gun or tension rods to attach each half securely.)

    Promising review: "We are full-timing it in our RV and don’t have good storage for shoes in the closet. So, we purchased this to install around the base of our RV-sized queen bed. The storage pockets are nice and big so they can hold just about any size shoe or even a couple of pairs of flip-flops in each. Overall, this is a nice and decent-quality product. Great in an RV!" —Buzzroll

    Get it on Amazon for $13.99.

    19. The ~Big Red Campfire~, which is actually a propane stove that makes it easy to enjoy the glow of a real flame anywhere you run into in-ground fire restrictions.

    Walmart

    It comes with a 10-foot propane hose that wraps around the base and a latching lid with carrying handles, all so it can pack up nicely without taking up too much storage space.

    Promising review: "This campfire is a big no-no. No need for firewood; no worries about windblown embers starting forest fires; no coals to extinguish; and no ash to shovel or clean up afterward. The black base stays relatively cool and can be placed on the red lid. (The groove on top of the lid keeps the campfire in place.) The fire stays lit in windy conditions and the flame is adjustable!" —Michael

    Get it from Walmart for $189.

    20. A remote temperature sensor system whether you need to keep an eye on your fridge compartment or just like to know what the weather's like right outside.

    amazon.com

    It comes with one sensor, but the system can have up to three! One reviewer mentions that they mount the units with adhesive Velcro; you could also use Command Picture Hanging Strips for the same effect.

    Promising reviews: "We are 'snow birds' and spend several months living in our RV. This is working well, and it's helpful to know the humidity — if we do wash today will it line dry? We also bought a second 'outdoor' unit and put it in our refrigerator to keep track of its temperature as well." —Manchester, MD

    "I needed to monitor the temperature in the maintenance section of my RV where all of my water pipes are. We are full time campers and I don't want the pipes to freeze. I can monitor the temp from inside the RV without going outside in the cold. The sensor updates the temp reading every three minutes which is great. This item meets all my needs!!!" —Kevin S.

    Get it on Amazon for $15.29, and additional sensors for $12.99 each.

    21. A collapsible dish tub that takes up just a single inch of horizontal storage space, then expands to do dozens of different useful jobs.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This was so handy on our recent three-week RV trip. I used it to haul out ingredients to cook on our outdoor camp stove, as a salad mixing bowl, and — even though we have twin sinks in our RV — it was easier to use this as the dish sink because it sat up higher. I am sure I could come up with more uses for it. It compacts down and fits into the cupboard leaving room for other items." —Amazon Customer

    Get it on Amazon for $12.89.

    22. A spring-loaded pop-up trash can because it's just a tad more civilized than tying a black trash bag to your front door handle. Plus they have multiple uses!

    Promising review: "We now have three just for the RV. We use one for soda cans, one for dirty laundry and one for our trash. It's real nice to be able to zip the top closed to keep rodents out and flies to a minimum. We just leave them zipped up behind the RV while camping. I also like that they pop up — it makes for easy storage without taking up much room in an already tight space." —SC93

    Get them on Amazon for $11.99+ (also available in larger or smaller sizes or a blue recycling).

    23. And for your indoor kitchen and living areas, a simple trash basket that hooks right over the cabinet door.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I bought this for our RV to hold kitchen scraps. I reuse the plastic grocery bags and they fit perfectly. It's so much easier to just lift the garbage out and tie the bags...no mess transferring the garbage to the bigger bins." —CL

    Get it on Amazon for $19.17.

    24. A nine-piece mixing bowl and measuring spoon stacking set (it also includes a sieve and a colander) because in small spaces like an RV, efficiency is key.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I bought this set to use in our new motorhome as storage space is very limited. I like how they nest together and that they fit well in a drawer beneath my refrigerator; I still have room for my nesting cookware. They feel substantial and of good quality. The colors are fun and vibrant. All things considered, this is the perfect set for small, compact kitchens." —Kodiboo

    Get it on Amazon for $27.99.

    25. A lightweight folding step stool who will help boost you the last few inches you need to reach those highest storage cabinets.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love this step stool, it's a great product at a great price! I use it in my RV because I can't reach the top shelves without it. Other step stools were bulkier, heavier, or had more than one step. One step is all I need and this folds flat so I can keep it tucked away. Easy to use and sturdy." —LJ

    Get it on Amazon for $10.49 (two colors).

    26. Some globe lights to suspend from your awning and cast a ~romantic glow~ over your campsite.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "We bought these to use on our RV awning and ran them through a cheap 100 watt cigarette lighter plug inverter. They worked great. We dealt with packing by carefully returning them to the original large box and stuffing an extension cord in the box to take up the extra space." —Brian R.

    Get the 26-foot strand on Amazon for $20.99.

    27. A solar power starter kit so you can boondock without worrying about rationing gas for the generator and also just look really cool.

    amazon.com

    Although if it were me, I'd still probably try and find someone who knew what they were doing to help install it!

    Promising review: "We are coming up on a year with these panels and we couldn't be happier. I usually check to see what the controller is doing in the afternoon, but other then that the kit takes care of itself. I would highly recommend this kit and anything from Renogy. The panels are solidly built and reliable as are the tilt mounts. In my opinion, if you are looking to solar charge an RV or cabin, this is what you want to start with. I was a solar newbie when we first got this kit, but now I'm very comfortable with it. Renogy's videos and instructions are very well done and their customer service is outstanding!" —R. Rewey

    Get it on Amazon for $196.99.

    You to all your camping / RV-ing friends after you finish all of your upgrades:

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