24 Must Have RV Accessories for Under $500
If you’ve spent any time exploring this website, the Pinterest RV Mods page, or talked to anyone—heck, if you have an imagination—you’ve probably seen or heard of thousands of great accessories for your RV. Some of them are DIY, ranging from simple hacks to full-on restorations and modifications. Others might require that you spend a bit of coin. In the end, depending on your needs and budget, there are many accessories that let you upgrade your RV to make it fit your lifestyle and personality.
Here are 24 of the best RV accessories that we could find for under $500. Some of these are great DIY projects and might take a few minutes to a few hours to upgrade your RV.
1. Rain Gutters
The rain in Spain is the bane of…OK, I can’t rhyme, but you should really think about rain gutters, not only those on the roofline, but also on doors, windows, and vents. EZE RV gutters will keep excess water from ruining your view and generating corrosion and rot.
2. Backup Camera
Without a spotter, backing into even the most spacious spot can be fraught with danger. Even with a spotter and rearview mirrors, backing up is still nerve wracking. Install a backup camera from Camera Source, and you can get a clear view day or night, rain or shine.
3. New Ceiling-Ventilation Fan
Most RVs already come with ceiling vents or fans. Over time, though, old fans wear down (is yours even working?), and vents aren’t as good as fans. MAXXAIR high-power ceiling fans are a great replacement option and are more powerful and quieter than stock.
4. Headphone Jack
You’ve already got the TV aimed toward your favorite spot on the couch. Still, you probably don’t want to bother anyone with the latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead at 2 am. Solution: run a line from the back of the TV to your favorite seat and install a headphone jack!
5. Clear Door Panels
Everyone likes their privacy, that’s a given, but there are times that letting in more light would be better. Unfortunately, solid door panels don’t give you that option. Install clear door panels for visibility, then curtains or mini blinds for privacy. It’s the best of both worlds!
6. New and More Batteries
Unless you exclusively camp out at powered RV sites, you use the battery system a lot. Even the best batteries have a limited useful life. Install new deep-cycle RV batteries to replace old worn-out ones, and consider doubling them if you plan on boondocking.
7. Digital Thermostat
Keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer can be a challenge, especially if your thermostat is slow on the uptake. Installing a digital thermostat ensures faster response, helping you be more comfortable and save on heating and cooling costs. You can also program the thermostat for different zones, times, and activities.
8. Over-Door Clothes Hook
Storage space is at a premium in an RV, so finding a place to hang your jacket or hat can be a hassle. Over-the-door clothes hooks usually have between three and eight hooks on them. Be sure to screw it down to keep it from moving around.
9. A “Good” 12 V Fan
We’ve already touched on ventilation, which can be a touchy subject. If you’re looking for a 12 V spot fan, don’t cheap out on this one, especially if you’re planning on doing anything in late spring or summer! Look for something quiet that has multiple speeds, is repositionable, and has a good warranty.
10. Sliding Tool Box
(source: Mod My RV)
If you’re cruising the RV life, RV tools are an absolute necessity. The trouble is that most, if not all, tool boxes aren’t made to fit RV storage spaces. Mount your toolbox sideways on a set of heavy-duty drawer slides. When not in use, your tool box is neatly tucked away, but you can slide it out for full access when you need it.
11. Knife Magnet
If you like cooking at all, you know you need a couple of good knives to slice and dice. A knife block would usually be a good way to store them, but where do you put a knife block in an RV? You could waste valuable drawer space with a flat knife block, but using wall space is a better idea. A wall-mounted magnetic knife holder is also great for some metal-handled cooking utensils.
12. RainKap Black Streak Relief
Rain keeps coming up, doesn’t it, but it doesn’t seem like many RV makers have really gotten a handle on it. A great DIY addition to most any RV, RainKap diverts roof runoff away from the sides of your RV, reducing those black streaks and reducing the chances of oxidation and rot.
13. Bluetooth Propane Tank Gauge
(source: PPL Motorhomes)
For cooking and heating on the road and in camp, the propane tanks are an absolute must, but how do you keep tabs on how much fuel it still has? Don’t guess and don’t wait for it to run out in the middle of cooking dinner! A Bluetooth-enabled propane tank gauge sends your propane level directly to your phone, so you can plan ahead for refueling.
14. Electric Tongue Jack
(source: Mod My RV)
We all like it when things are easier, and hand-cranking a tongue jack is one of the more tedious operations when hitching and unhitching from the tow vehicle. An electric tongue jack takes some of the strain off your back and makes hitching, unhitching, and leveling as easy as the press of a button.
15. Telescoping Ladder
Whether for regular maintenance, on-the-road repairs, or window day, you probably aren’t tall enough to reach it without a ladder. Stepladders and extension ladders can be bulky and unwieldy, but a compact extension ladder can hide in a small space and still reach the top of the highest fifth wheel.
16. Aluminum Tool Box
(source: Tool Boxes 4 Less)
Chances are, even if you’re careful about what stuff you carry, you probably still don’t have enough room for the essentials, especially in case of emergency or breakdown. An aluminum tool box doesn’t add much weight to the tongue of your RV, but it can give you some much-needed storage space.
17. Remote TPMS
Tire pressure is critical for fuel economy and safety, but checking nearly a dozen tires can get tedious. Unfortunately, many put off this critical check until it’s too late. A TST remote TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system), specifically designed for RVs, monitors all the tires on your rig and displays information conveniently on your dash.
18. Hardwired Surge Protector
(source: Love Your RV!)
When hooking up to shore power or switching between generator or solar power, there are bound to be voltage fluctuations. Plugging in a surge protector is a great way to go, but these aren’t usually standard equipment. Instead of worrying about plugging in multiple things, just hardwire your surge protector into the main circuit.
19. Blackwater Tank Vent Cover
If RV ventilation is important, then blackwater tank ventilation is critical! You don’t want to smell any of that inside your RV, and it’s almost impossible to get that out of your head once it’s there. Roof-mounted blackwater tank vent covers are designed to safely route vapors and odors out the roof where they won’t bother you.
20. Storage Locks
(source: Love Your RV!)
On the road, no one is going to sidle up to your RV and open the external storage boxes. In camp, however, it might be a different story. Safeguard your valuable tools, spare parts, and toys by installing storage locks.
21. Digital TV Antenna
(source: PPL Motor Homes)
Across town or across the country, digital TV transmissions are now the norm, and chances are good your old analog receiver, even with a booster, isn’t cutting it anymore. Install a digital TV antenna to capture those signals more reliably and enjoy live TV broadcast wherever you are—great for keeping on top of changing weather!
22. Digital Photo Frame
A digital photo frame is a nice touch in any RV. Mount it on the wall or table, and let it shuffle pictures of your favorite places and people.
23. Drip Clips
(source: Mod My RV)
Ah, we’re back to rain control again. These drip clips are a great addition to any RV, and they clip right onto your existing gutters. When it rains, they reroute rain away from the sides of your RV, preventing black streaks and possible corrosion and rot. You don’t even have to remove them when you get back out on the road.
24. 1 Solar Power System
(source: Go Power!)
This is probably the most expensive item on this list, but it is perhaps one of the best investments you can put into your RV. True, you can always use a generator or hook up to shore power, but fuel and electricity costs add up. Solar panels last decades and generate electricity for free. A good basic Go Power! solar charging system will cost you at least $500, but it can pay for itself in a few short years on the road.
Living the RV life is surely an adventure, and there are always ways to improve your rig to make life easier. Are there any upgrades you’ve made lately that you think other RVers shouldn’t live without? Let us know in the comments!