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If you’ve never gone camping before, we want to save you a lot of wasteful spending.
Before buying a WeBoost, a Camp Chef stove, or a Clear Source water filtration system, you need to have some experience camping to figure out what you do and don’t need. Even the best gadget may be useless depending on how and how often you camp.
A Facebook user asked a group recently about items they regretted buying. Perhaps they thought it was a good idea at first and then just wasted money because they never used it.
Let’s look at what you need and what you don’t for your next camping trip.
Do You Need a Lot of Gear to Go Camping?
Some people have a false idea that to go camping, they must have all of the latest gadgets and outdoor gear.
The truth is, you don’t need a lot to enjoy a weekend camping trip. Only once you start camping will you figure out the products you do and don’t need.
It’s also important to understand that something important for you may not be important to someone else. Someone may love their Solo Stove and wouldn’t go camping without it, while someone else may think it takes up too much space.
What Are the Essentials for RVing?
When you buy a camper, don’t run out to the nearest Walmart or load up your Amazon cart just yet. You need to take a few trips to figure out what you need so you don’t waste your money on items you won’t use. Some camping products can look flashy and cool but really won’t serve a purpose for your lifestyle.
However, you do need a few essentials before you hit the road. First, you need a surge protector to protect your RV from fire. This connects to the shore power pedestal and prevents a surge of electricity to your camper.
Second, you need a sewer and water hose. You’ll want to invest in a quality hose for each because you’ll use these items frequently. Get a potable drinking hose and not just a garden hose since you’ll send water to your faucets from this hose.
You’ll also need wheel chocks to prevent your RV from rolling once you park at your campsite. Never unhook from your tow vehicle or start leveling your RV until you chock all of your wheels.
Facebook User Asks RVers About Useless Items
Apart from these camping essentials, every RVer will have a different list of “must haves” or “nice to haves.” For example, someone who dry camps often or stays at state parks without a sewer connection will want a portable waste tank. However, someone who only stays at full hookup campgrounds or resorts has no need for a portable waste tank.
An interesting conversation was initiated in a Facebook group when a user asked RVers about the useless items they regret buying. The responses were similar, but some folks regretted one product while others would never camp without it. Again, it comes down to your camping style.
Items RVers Have Bought and Regretted
Below are nine items mentioned several times in this Facebook post. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go buy these products. However, you’ll want to camp a few times before you jump on the bandwagon with YouTube influencers who say some of these are “must-have” products.
Since so many people use cell phones now, walkie-talkies have become almost obsolete. People who bought walkie-talkies say they’ve never used them or even taken them out of the box because they haven’t needed them.
However, for travelers with a chase car, walkie-talkies may come in handy. It’s much easier to communicate between vehicles with a walkie-talkie than with cell phones, especially in areas with limited cell service.
2. Kingpin Stabilizer
Some fifth-wheel owners claimed that the kingpin stabilizer they purchased was pointless. They haven’t noticed a difference in the stability of the camper with or without it.
On the other hand, some owners claim they notice a substantial difference. You’ll only want to purchase this item if you feel like your fifth wheel has too much movement after a few camping trips.
Keep in Mind: Make your life easier on the road with these Truck Bed Accessories!
The Blackstone was hotly debated. You have many campers who couldn’t camp without one.
They cook all of their meals outside on the Blackstone. However, another camp of RVers claims the wind keeps them from using it frequently. It can be difficult to maintain the flames when the wind howls through the grill.
Other people just bought a Blackstone because so many other RVers said they needed one. Once they started camping, they realized that they didn’t use it often because of their different cooking style. They preferred a grill or stove to the Blackstone.
4. Ice Maker
An ice maker takes up a lot of counter space. Several group members mentioned that they had gotten rid of their ice maker because it wasn’t worth losing that valuable meal prep space.
Others mentioned they just grab a bag of ice on their way to a campground, and the ice maker has become useless. However, like the other items on this list, a select few love their ice makers and would miss their ice cubes without one.
5. RV Cover
When it comes time to put your RV away for the winter, you may want to cover it to protect it. However, most people don’t. RV covers are bulky and can be hard to get on the RV.
After using it for a season, many people just get rid of it because of the hassle. They can also trap moisture, which can cause mold. This was an expensive item several people regretted buying.
6. Extra Blankets
If you enjoy camping in late fall, the weather will likely be chilly at night and in the early morning. Several group members commented that they regretted buying so many blankets because they took up so much storage space.
They thought they would use them, but they never took them out of the ottoman or closet. With storage at a premium in an RV, useless blankets can take up valuable space.
7. Decorative Outdoor Lights
Everyone loves the look of a well-manicured campsite. Some people just have a knack for creating a cool outdoor space. As you walk around a campground, you may feel drawn to the decorative outdoor lights that hang along awnings.
However, beware, as several RVers mentioned how these were a waste of money. They take too long to set up, and often, you have to bring them and the awning in at least once during a weekend camping trip due to wind.
You don’t want to have to put up and take down these lights over two or three days.
Keep in Mind: Looking to decorate your RV and keep bugs away at the same time? Then you need to see these Bug Repellent String Lights
8. A Clam
A clam pop-up shelter is another one of those products that can make a campsite look neat. But unless you need an outdoor workspace or are very intentional about using the clam after you set it up, this can be an expensive item that never leaves the truck bed.
Like the decorative lights, it can take longer than you think to set up. And the weather can destroy a clam. High winds, rain, and the sun’s UV rays can easily damage this tent.
9. The RV
Sadly, the most often mentioned item that people regretted buying on this Facebook post was the RV itself. Those users mentioned that they had only taken out their camper once or twice when they thought they would hit the campgrounds every weekend.
Work, kids, appointments, and so many other things affect weekend plans. So it’s unfortunate that many people regretted spending so much money on an RV they never use.
“Must Have” Items Change from Camper to Camper
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to realize that essential items for your camping adventures won’t be the same as someone else’s. But it’s also important to know that as you change from RV to RV, the must-have items also change.
You might feel like a kingpin stabilizer is essential in a fifth wheel. But if you go to a Class A motorhome, you’ll have no need for it. Instead, a new must-have item could be an upgraded camping chair.
You may also want more luxurious items that make camping more comfortable. You’ll need very different items and gear if you camp with children. As RVs change, so do your must-have items.
Start Camping First, and Then Buy Your Gear With No Regrets
Before you start buying everything that the latest YouTube influencers say you need to enjoy camping, start camping first.
Through your camping trips, you’ll realize what you do and don’t need. You’ll keep a list of items that would be nice to have to make your trips more enjoyable and convenient.
So hit the campgrounds first. Then start buying the items that you’ll actually use. Then you won’t have a list of regrets!
Is there an item that you’d add to this list?