A curated shortlist of must-have camper van accessories to help new owners fully outfit their onboard electrical, freshwater, and sewer systems.


Essential Camper Van Accessories featured - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

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Camper Van Accessories


It didn't take long for me to figure out that buying a camper van was just the beginning of getting it ready to hit the road. Learning to use the many systems of my unit was, and still is, my greatest challenge.

To get my van ready for new adventures, I did tons of research, reading reviews, and seeking expert advice. It was easy to get caught up in the modifications and upgrades veteran vanlifers were doing and trendy camper van supplies they were buying.

But I knew those things could wait. I needed to focus on outfitting my camper van with must have accessories to effectively operate its most important systems: electrical, freshwater, and sewer.

I have purchased all of the products listed in this post to accessorize my own camper van, with the exception of two items, which I will explain below. This post is not intended to be a product review, but rather a list of essential system accessories most RV and camper van owners will need.

While working on this list, I realized that the vast majority of accessories belonged to the Camco brand. It was not my intention to feature a certain brand, but Camco is established as one of the best RV brands, and Camco RV products are highly-rated in the industry.

I am confident you will agree the following products are some of the best camper van accessories on the market for entry level consumers.


Camper Van Electrical System Accessories


Your camper van's electrical system will keep it cool in the summer, power its lights and outlets, and run its appliances. It can be powered by solar panels or a generator when boondocking, but it performs at its best when connected to shore power at a campground or your very own driveway.

Hughes Autoformers 30 Amp Power Watchdog Surge Protector (PWD30-EPO)


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After lots of research, I settled on a surge protector that would give me the greatest peace of mind. In my opinion, the Hughes Autoformers Power Watchdog 30 Amp Surge Protector is one of the best investments I have made in protecting my camper van's electrical system. It is not cheap, but it is the Mack Daddy, the top-of-the-line surge protector with emergency power off (EPO) auto shutoff and a smart Bluetooth mobile app for complete LED park power diagnostics. It is also available in a 50 amp version.

Check availability at Amazon.

You may also order directly from the Hughes Autoformers website. Receive a 10% discount on your entire purchase by using the coupon code FRIEND10 and referencing my name Howard Blount in the order notes section at checkout.

Hughes Autoformers Security Cable Lock


Hughes Autoformers Security Cable Lock - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

 

 

 

 

You will need a lock to protect your “investment” from sticky fingers at campgrounds. Some breaker boxes can be easily padlocked, but others require creative security measures. I tried a couple of different cable lock options, but the locking mechanisms would not fit through the Power Watchdog's security bracket. I ended up ordering the Hughes Autoformers Security Cable Lock directly from their website because it fits.

As stated above, you may order this item directly from the Hughes Autoformers website. Receive a 10% discount on your entire purchase by using the coupon code FRIEND10 and referencing my name Howard Blount in the order notes section at checkout.

Camco RV Dogbone Electrical Adapter 50 Amp to 30 Amp (55175)


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The Camco RV Dogbone Electrical Adapter 50 Amp to 30 Amp will be a shore power lifesaver when you pull into an RV campground that only has 50 amp outlets.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.

Camco RV Dogbone Electrical Adapter 15 Amp to 30 Amp (55165)


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Use the Camco RV Dogbone 15 Amp to 30 Amp Electrical Adapter to access shore power when connected to standard household outlets. Though hotly debated, it may or may not be able to power your rig's A/C, microwave, or other high amp appliances, and definitely not all at once.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.


Camper Van Freshwater System Accessories


It is a great feeling to know your camper van's freshwater system is clean and your tank is full. My rig's freshwater tank was filled when I took delivery, but I opted to drain it and start “fresh” before leaving on my shakedown trip.

Camco 25′ TastePURE Drinking Water Hose (22783)


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You will need a dedicated freshwater supply hose, never to be used with your sewer system in order to avoid cross-contamination. The Camco 25′ TastePURE Drinking Water Hose is NSF certified, drinking water safe, BPA free, Phthalate free, and reinforced for maximum kink resistance. I researched expandable water hose options because I love using them in my yard. But they are prone to leaks, and I didn't want to be put in that situation while traveling, so I chose to stick with this sturdy, traditional style hose. So far it has proven to be a great RV fresh water hose.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.

Camco TastePure RV Water Filter (40043)


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My rig came with an internal water filter already installed, but I decided to double-filter my freshwater intake. Protect your freshwater supply from bacteria, bad taste, odors, chlorine, and sediment with the Camco TastePure RV Water Filter. A flexible hose protector is included.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.

Camco Brass RV Inline Water Pressure Regulator (40055)


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There are fancier water pressure regulators with gauges and digital displays, but I chose to keep it simple. Factory pre-set at 40-50 psi, the Camco Brass RV Inline Water Pressure Regulator helps protect RV plumbing and hoses from high-pressure city water.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.


Camper Van Sewer System Accessories


Dumping your rig's grey and black water tanks will surely be the least favorite activity while on your great adventure. To keep your camper van's sewer system in tip-top shape and make the unsavory task as painless as possible, there are several accessories you can't function without.

Camco RhinoFLEX 20-Foot RV Sewer Hose Kit (39741)


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I chose this kit for its “flexibility.” The Camco RhinoFLEX 20-Foot RV Sewer Hose Kit includes two 10-foot sewer hoses, swivel fittings, a transparent elbow with a 4-In-1 dump station fitting, and storage caps.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.

Camco RhinoFLEX RV Sewer Fitting Wrench Set (39758)


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The Camco Rhinoflex RV Sewer Fitting Wrench Set includes two wrenches to help you grip, loosen, and tighten swivel fittings with ease. Members of a Facebook group expressed frustration with making sewer hose connections by hand, so I ordered this set just in case.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.

Camco Rhino Blaster Sewer Tank Rinser (39080)


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I am not yet sure whether I will need a tank rinser, because my rig has a built-in system. If it proves to be ineffective, I will probably go with one of these. The Camco Rhino Blaster Sewer Tank Rinser securely attaches to your RV sewer outlet to jet rinse out residue. The black flow preventer ensures no hose contamination. The Camco Rhino Blaster Pro Tank Rinser (39085) also includes a gate valve to block water flow through the sewer hose for fully cleaning out the sewer tank.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.

Camco 25′ RhinoFLEX Gray/Black Water Clean Out Hose (22990)



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Just like you need a dedicated freshwater supply hose, you will need a dedicated sewer system clean out hose. The Camco 25′ RhinoFLEX Gray/Black Water Clean Out Hose is ideal for flushing black water, grey water, or tote tanks. The bright orange color ensures no contaminating mix-ups with your drinking water hose.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.ir?t=backroadplane 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06XGW1NGD - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

Camco Orange Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins (41183)


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It is recommended that you dump your sewer system every 5-7 days. After each clean-out, flush one of these drop-ins down your toilet. Enzyme-based Camco Orange Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins eliminate odors and activate the breakdown of waste and tissue in your RV's black water tank. They are 100% biodegradable. 

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.ir?t=backroadplane 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06XGW1NGD - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

Camco 2-Ply RV Bathroom Toilet Tissue 4 Rolls (40274)


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Yes, your camper van's sewer system requires that you use special TP. Camco 2-Ply RV Bathroom Toilet Tissue is clog resistant, biodegradable, and designed for use in RV sanitation systems.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.ir?t=backroadplane 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06XGW1NGD - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

Camco RV & Camper Disposable Sanitation Gloves (40285)


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Keep your hands protected during your sewer tank dump with Camco RV & Camper Disposable Sanitation Gloves. Guaranteed to grip in wet or dry conditions.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.ir?t=backroadplane 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06XGW1NGD - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

Valterra Adjustable Sewer Hose Carrier (A04-5094BK)


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Storage space is at a premium in camper vans, and you do not want to store an unwieldy “stinky slinky” inside your rig. Store your sewer hose outside with their?t=backroadplane 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B01NA0K9YR - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners Valterra Adjustable Sewer Hose Carrier (50″ to 94″), easily installed to the undercarriage or back bumper of your rig. When it comes to RV sewer hose storage, Facebook group members said this product was a life-changer. So I ordered one and hired a mobile mechanic to install it on the underside of my van. Also handy for storing fishing poles.

Check availability at One Source RV and Amazon.ir?t=backroadplane 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06XGW1NGD - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

And One More Thing . . . .


I discovered this competitively-priced tool kit online and couldn't pass it by. When it comes to accessories for campervans, you don't want to be without one of these.

Craftsman 57-Piece Home Mechanics Tools Kit (CMMT99446)


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The 57-Piece Craftsman Home Mechanics Tools Kit includes most of the tools you will need for RV repairs on the road. This durable kit is compact, economical, and you can't beat the Craftsman quality and lifetime warranty.

Check availability on Amazon.ir?t=backroadplane 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07RR6FWXV - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

Moving beyond essentials and must-haves, we hope to feature even more camper van parts and accessories on Backroad Planet in the future.


One Source RV


One Source RV Aventure Awaits - 16 Essential Camper Van Accessories for New Owners

Backroad Planet has partnered with One Source RV, a national RV distributor based in my hometown. One Source RV is committed to helping RVers across the country quickly find, the parts, accessories, and assistance they need to keep them on the road.

When you call (407) 908-1133 or check their RV accessories catalog online, be sure to tell them Howard from Backroad Planet sent you!


I Would Love to Hear From You


I enjoy dialogue with Backroad Planet readers, especially when they share off-the-beaten-path destinations and useful travel tips. What essential camper van accessories do you recommend? I would love to hear your suggestions. I invite you to leave your comments and questions below, and I always respond!


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Howard Blount is founder and editor of the travel website Backroad Planet. He has traveled internationally since boyhood and lived abroad in Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. Now his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote. On the stuffy side, “Mr. Blount” has been a writer, consultant, and published author with houses including Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill.

Retired from a 35-year career as a middle school teacher, Howard enjoys spending his time on anything that includes mountains, waterfalls, dachshunds, gospel choirs, books, classic movies, autumn, sandhill cranes, Florida springs, rain, gloomy days, log cabins, abandoned sites, unearthed history, genealogy, documentaries, To Kill a Mockingbird, castles, cathedrals, Civil Rights history, cold sheets, National Park Passports, quotes, Reba Rambo, Dionne Warwick, most things Apple, all things British, Jesus, and lists.

And on a random note, Howard is a fourth cousin once removed to Truman Capote.

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