1) For starters you need holding tank treatments to treat the black water holding tank after you empty it. There are dry and liquid type treatments available. I suggest products that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It’s a good idea to treat the gray water holding tank too. After you empty the gray water holding tank you can add some liquid dish soap or a gray water tank treatment down the sink and shower drains. Run the water long enough to get the dish soap or tank treatment past the P-traps and into the tank. The dish soap and water will help control gray water odors and assist in cleaning the tank.
Consumable Items to Keep Handy in Your RV
2) While we are on the subject of holding tanks it’s a good idea to stock up on toilet paper designed for use in RVs. This is one item you don’t want to leave home without. Camping Tip: To see if toilet paper is compatible with your RV waste-water system put one sheet of the toilet paper in a glass of water. If the tissue starts to break-down and fall apart within a short period of time it is suitable for use in RVs.
3) Laundry soap and dish soap are must have consumable items. Clothes and dishes get dirty and need to be washed, especially if your camping trip is more than a weekend excursion. You can purchase these items at the campground store, or stock up where you normally shop and keep a supply in the RV.
4) Next on my list is a well stocked cabinet of first aid supplies and over the counter medications. You never know when an accident will happen, or when someone will get sick. If you are boondocking miles away from the closest store or town you’ll be glad you have these items along for the ride. If you or anyone else is on prescription medication make sure you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip. Don’t forget the sunscreen and any pet medications too.
5) I always keep hand sanitizer, and a spray bottle with a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution in the RV. I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in the exterior compartment where the sewer connection is made so it’s handy when I do my wastewater management chores. I keep a spray bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide in the same compartment so I can disinfect the hose bib prior to connecting my RV drinking hose to the water connection at the campground. Inside the RV we keep hand sanitizer at each sink, and the Hydrogen Peroxide solution is used for general cleaning and disinfecting in and around the RV.
6) Another consumable item I always have in the outside storage compartment is a supply of disposable gloves. They are inexpensive and can be used when emptying the holding tanks and for other routine maintenance on the RV.
7) In my tool storage compartment I keep a can of spray lubricant. Make sure it is a dry type lubricant, like graphite, that won’t attract dust, dirt and other contaminants. A good lubricant helps clean, lubricate and protect whatever you use it on. Twice a year I spray lubricant inside all of the lock mechanisms on the RV. This keeps the locks operating properly and helps prevent them from freezing during the cold winter months. Other consumable items in my tool box are zip ties, Duct tape and a roll of awning repair tape.
Well there you have it, my top 7 list of consumable items to always have in the RV. There are many other consumable products that could or should be on this list, but you can use this as a starting point and add more to devise your own list to keep in your RV. And remember when you dispose of consumable items recycle whenever possible. Happy camping
Mark J. Polk
RV Education 101