We’ve had our motorhome for a year now. In that time we’ve purchased what feels like a huge amount of new kit. In this article Dave shares some of the essential items for new motorhome owners.
In March 2019 we took delivery of our first motorhome. Besides a short holiday, in which we’d hired a van, we were complete newbies to owning a motorhome. We soon realised there was quite alot of kit we needed before we could take our first road trip.
Top tip: AVOID the temptation (that we had) to dash to Ikea and buy loads of things that seem really cheap and “might be useful in the van”. Most won’t be. We now have loads of storage boxes in the loft that didn’t quite fit! Also, check with your dealer to find out what items will be included with your new van. As part of the sales negotiation, we had several useful items ‘thrown in’ by the dealer to help seal the deal 🙂
So what do you need?
Electric Hook Up Lead (EHU) – if you need to connect to a mains supply on a campsite you will need one of these. What length do you need? Well, we have a 25m lead, which was included with the van delivery. It’s 2.5mm 16A cable, so it’s robust enough for high demand. * Never leave a cable coiled when plugged in, they can get hot when current runs through and melt.
You may on occasion want to plug into a domestic socket. For example, we plug Lexi into the mains at home 24hrs before a trip to make sure the fridge is nice and cold for the chocolate & beer 🙂 For that you’ll need a Caravan to 3 Pin adapter lead like this one.
We also think a cable tidy reel is a great idea to keep the cable from tangling (and save time & tempers). Unless you’re one of those people who loves unravelling Christmas lights each year, in which case skip this item and entertain other campers 🙂
Another essential item for new motorhome owners is:
A Waterhose (food grade). Your motorhome will have a water tank so you’ll need a way of filling it. You should NOT use a garden hose, you should use a food grade hose. We all know how annoying garden hoses can be, they kink and hook around everything. Therefore, we opted for a flat hose with three built in tubes. You simply unravel just the amount you need and the water still flows through. The hose also comes with a screw on tap connector and “hose lock” type connections. It’s a bit slower at filling a tank than a traditional hose but there’s plenty to do while you wait. (ML: Like open the wine? 🙂
Grip Mats. Trust us these non slip mats are an essential item for new motorhome owners. These will literally save your sanity when travelling in your van:-) Every van owner you meet will agree. Use these mats to line every cupboard & shelf to stop rattling and creaking. Cutlery draws, oven trays, dinner sets, mugs, bathroom cabinet. If it’s not bolted down it’s likely to move about when you’re on the road. We recommend using the 400gsm thick mats. We found that the cheaper thin mats didn’t grip so well, so we still had items sliding about in the cupboard.
Thule motorhome levelling Ramps (Complete With Storage Bag). Very handy way to level your motorhome if parked on uneven ground or a hill. We didn’t have these on our first van trip and found ourselves sleeping one evening with our feet higher than our heads (very weird). We soon had these on order from Amazon 🙂
Karcher Window Vac. Moisture is the enemy in a motorhome. Many van owners have had issues with damp found during a routine habitation check. Steam from cooking, showers and simply overnight body heat causes moisture to build up. We use this Karcher window vac to quickly dry windows, bathroom and kitchen areas. These are worth every penny
Still on the moisture reduction theme, we purchased a set of Thermal Windscreen covers (keep an eye on Ebay for a bargain buy). These are excellent at reducing condensation on cab windows. They are also great at retaining heat in your van overnight. We like to put ours on before it gets dark for extra privacy when we snuggle in to watch a movie.
Another essential items for motorhome owners should be the Thetford Seal lubricant. Spray this on just about anything to prevent squeaking, creaking or leaking. Great for keeping seals around kitchen, bathrooms and even the toilet unit in good working order.
Aldi / Lidl Washing Bio tablets – Instead of buying the expensive toilet chemicals often advertised, simply pop a washing bio tablet into your toilet cassette each time you change it. Save yourself a ton of money in the long run and switch to washing tablets, we have been recommended this tip on several occasions by friendly van owners.
If you’d like to read more articles like this one for new motorhome owners then check out our Motorhome Advice section. If you don’t see a topic covered that you need help with? Then let us know and we’ll see if we can help you. Get in touch using our contact page.
New to Touring Tails? Find out more About Us