Curious which fifth-wheel accessories will set you up for RV camping success? These tools and accessories have helped us level up our adventures while traveling full time in our fifth wheel while also eliminating some of the headaches that can be associated with full-time RV life or fifth-wheel travel. In this guide, we are breaking down the tried and true best fifth wheel accessories for the ultimate RV getaways!
What is a fifth wheel?
A fifth wheel is a type of towable RV that is attached to the bed of a pickup truck using a specialized hitch called a fifth wheel hitch which attaches to the pin box of the RV (the metal arm that extends down below the fifth wheel overhang). Assuming a truck has four wheels (which many will have 6+), the hitch in the bed of the truck serves as the “fifth wheel”.
Fifth-wheel trailers can also be towed with an adaptation making them a gooseneck trailer, like you might expect of horse or cattle trailers.
Unlike travel trailers that are towed using a traditional hitch and ball behind a vehicle, fifth wheels offer unique advantages, including increased stability, better weight distribution, and often a more spacious interior. This makes them an excellent choice for extended travel and full-time living.
Benefits of a fifth wheel vs. a travel trailer
We have owned both a small fiberglass Casita travel trailer, as well as our large DRV fifth wheel and they each have their pros and cons. We love RVing in our fifth wheel for many reasons. It has ample storage space so that we can take along all of the comforts of home. The high ceilings and heavier materials make it feel more open. and sturdy, and the “two-level” layout allows for more privacy when you need it.
Fifth wheels may be large and in charge, but they offer a comfortable way to RV at a lower price point than luxury class A motorhomes.
We have considered many different types of RV setups and while we loved our fiberglass Casita for short-term RV trips, in our minds a fifth wheel is the perfect choice for frequent, longer term or full-time RV travel.
The Best RV Accessories For Your Fifth Wheel
The RV market is flooded with products that everyone is saying you need or must have. So how do you know what is worth the money and that precious space in your RV and what will just sit there unused?
We are sharing the best fifth wheel accessories that we have found to make our trips and getaways more enjoyable and comfortable (without taking up too much space), as well as what we have seen to be popular among RVers. Having the right gear can make a big difference and we hope this guide can help you figure out what 5th wheel accessories will meet your needs!
RV parts & Accessories
Let’s start off with camping accessories and necessities. These are items that are generally good to have for your fifth wheel or items that you really shouldn’t leave home without if you want to avoid a lot of common problems encountered when RVing.
Quality water hose
You will want a quality hose to provide your fifth wheel with water from your campsite’s water hookup or to fill your fresh water tank.
We love our flexible drinking water hose as it stores easily and is not prone to breakage and leaks like some of the more rigid versions we have used in the past. There is nothing worse than having horrible water pressure or creating puddles around your site due to a leaky hose.
An RV camping essential if you ever plan to plug your RV into an electric pedestal is a high-quality surge protector. Surge protectors protect all electrical components in your RV from damage or fire should there be a spike in voltage coming from your AC power source.
Some RVs may come with a surge protector or EMS permanently installed, such as a whole-house surge protector. If that is not the case for your fifth wheel, a separate surge protector will be one of your RV essentials.
Below are two basic surge protectors. Read about RV surge protectors vs EMS to learn more about which is best for you.
Water Pressure Regulator
Different RVs can handle different amounts of water pressure coming into the rig. When water pressure is not regulated, this can occasionally lead to water lines bursting in your RV. This can make for a costly fix when you account for repairs and potential water damage, not to mention time missed exploring and adventuring. Time is valuable and our goal is always to make the most of each day!
A water pressure regulator is a fifth wheel accessory that will give you peace of mind no matter what kind of water pressure you might encounter along your travels.
Water quality plays a big role in your health and well-being and is not something to take a chance on. A high quality water filter will give you confidence in your RV’s drinking water, even from the most questionable water source… yes, we are talking about those ones that are a little too close to the dump station (yuck).
Our RV has a whole house filter, and we also have a Berkey Water Filter to ensure we can count on high-quality water, no matter where we go. If you do not have a whole house filter in your fifth wheel, we highly recommend at least an inline filter that attaches to your hose (which is what we used for our Casita).
If you are looking for a more comprehensive filtration system, you might consider a countertop solution like the Berkey, which filters water after it leaves your water lines and plumbing:
You could also opt for a system like the ClearSource, which is popular among RVers just as the Berkey is.
This does require you to stay on top of and trust the cleanliness of your water lines, as the filtered water will move through or potentially sit in those lines after being filtered, before being poured out into your glass.
Sewer Hose Kit
If you plan to use your fifth wheel’s bathroom or kitchen sink (yes we have met people who had these features and vowed to never use them if they could help it), you will be collecting both gray and black water in your RV’s holding tanks. When you fill them up, you also have to dump them and you need a way to do so in an orderly and sanitary fashion.
The features of our sewer hose kit that we love are the interlocking head to avoid any spraying disasters, a clear elbow to check for clogs, and our sewer hose support which is an RV essential for getting your sewer hose at the proper angle to keep things flowing downhill to the sewer connection or dump site.
To keep things in working order and avoid the dreaded “poop pyramid”, we also recommend RV specific toilet paper or at least septic-safe options (we like Scott brand) and high quality tank treatment (we like Happy Campers).
READ MORE: Cleaning Your RV Holding Tank Sensors
Power Cord Adapter
If you are an RVer who plans to spend time on the grid at campgrounds, you need a way to get power to your rig. You never want to find yourself in a position where you show up at a campground and are unable to plug in your RV. This can happen if the electric service you have at your site does not match what you have from your rig.
For example, our fifth wheel is a 50-amp rig. We need an adapter when plugging into sites with 30 amp or 20 amp service.
Especially if you have a 50amp RV, having a power cord adaptor is crucial as it ensures you will never be without power, no matter what service your campsite has. 50amp service can often be harder to come by, especially in more remote places! For example, we spent 5 weeks in Newfoundland and only came across a campsite with 50amp service once.
Having an expandable ladder can really come in handy for times when you need to fix things on the outside of your fifth wheel that are just out of reach. They are tall RVs!
For example, we had an emergency exit window get stuck open in the upstairs portion of our fifth wheel that was out of reach. It also comes in handy for places that are hard to reach to clean or caulk. It can also help you with cleaning off slide roofs if you prefer to do so with a leaf blower rather than climbing onto the roof.
We love our Little Giant Ladder because it is small enough to fit nicely in our fifth wheel’s basement when folded up and is able to extend into a 13ft ladder when fully extended.
Fifth Wheel Kingpin Stabilizer
This item is an honorable mention. We originally started out using our tripod stabilizer with the goal of further limiting movement in our fifth wheel. This said, we found after a while that it was not always a practical option when boondocking or staying in particularly unlevel sites, and was not a priority for us to set up and take down when moving frequently.
In addition, our DRV is really sturdy without the tripod and for the most part, we did not notice much of a difference when using it or not using it. The trade-off of not needing to store this large item and having one less thing to set up and take down is worth it to us.
You may find a tripod worthwhile if you find that your brand of fifth wheel feels more unstable while set up, or if you often camp in level spots or do not move your RV as often.
Blocks & Chocks
While campgrounds are many things, unless you are at an RV resort, most times one thing they are not is flat. If you plan to visit state parks, family-run campgrounds, harvest hosts, or boondock on public lands, you can almost guarantee you will require some help from blocks for leveling and chocks to help keep your rig sturdy.
Getting a set of stackable blocks is helpful as they can help you when leveling out on a site that is very uneven, as well as help with stability by preventing your jacks from having to extend too far.
In addition, chocks are an important fifth wheel accessory as they help to keep your RV more stable by limiting the movement of the tires, and can also help with security when unhooking from a tow vehicle. X Chocks are a quality choice among RVers and we also have a large chock that was actually once used by fire engines!
As a fifth wheel owner, you will also want something to prop up your front jacks, as this helps limit the strain on the jacks and helps make the RV more stable You can create DIY jack blocks using wood or consider a popular option like the Andersen Jackstands:
Many RVers also choose to install RV snap pads to their jacks to further protect them from damage, the elements, and rust:
Extra/Spare RV Parts
Did we mention as a fifth wheel owner you can expect things to break? To avoid some large RV headaches or finding yourself in a bind while waiting for a specific RV part, we believe it is important to have some form of spare RV parts on hand. You will pay much more for repairs at an RV shop, which also potentially means not having your RV for a little while.
Many RV repairs or simple part replacements can be done on your own. Zach has become quite the RV handyman throughout our time RVing. Data science didn’t prepare him for this, but he learned as we traveled and you can too. Don’t sell yourself short.
Here are some of the spare parts we think are must-have RV accessories to have on hand:
- Slide Cable Repair Kit
- Brake pads and bearings
- Remco water pump (or other brand depending on your RV)
- Assortment of Solvents, Sealants, and Lubricants – water intrusion is a real risk when RVing. Be sure to keep up with your RV caulking! We recommend Lexel
- Electrical connectors, butt connectors, heat shrink, zip ties, spare screws, and hardware
- Large bottle jack
- Pex crimper for RV plumbing
Tools for RV Maintenance
If one thing is for sure, RVing means RV maintenance. Whether it is your home on your wheels or your vacation vehicle, it is well-known that RVs (including fifth wheels) are rolling earthquakes when they are traveling down the road. RVs require consistent maintenance to help avoid costly repairs.
That is why we invested in compact, lightweight tools to have on hand for any job we might need to do while traveling.
We opted for the Milwaukee M12 line as it offers high-quality, powerful 12V tools that are perfect for those with limited space. They are also a great option for RVing as they are lighter weight than standard 18V tools, but there are many great brands out there that will do the job. These are the tools we have found to be must-have RV accessories throughout our travels:
In our fifth wheel’s “basement:”
- Drill – to tighten loose screws, drill holes for installations (such as solar)
- Impact Driver – drive larger screws and bolts
- Impact Wrench – key for pulling lug nuts off (for checking hubs, bearings, brakes, seals)
- Torque Wrench – for tightening lugs between travels (tires or fifth wheel)
- Tape measure – dimensions for furniture, projects, and installations
- Gloves – For filling diesel at truck stops, electrical work, running power tools, etc.
In our truck’s toolbox:
- Deep Impact Socket set – help reach nuts on longer bolts
- Ratcheting Wrench Set – allows for much quicker turning
- Socket Set – handy to have a large assortment of socket sizes
- Grease gun – for bearings, suspension, fifth wheel hitch
READ MORE: Ultimate RV Maintenance Checklist
5th wheel towing Accessories
These are pieces of equipment for your fifth wheel that will ensure you have a safe and smooth towing experience. If there is one thing we have learned through our full-time RV adventures, it is that towing can be the most stressful part, and investing in quality equipment matters.
Choosing high quality items will limit the headaches you run into, and having reliable tools on hand will make sure you are able to fix many problems on your own.
Pin Box & Hitch
The pin box of your fifth wheel will most likely come with a kingpin that attaches to a standard fifth wheel hitch. You can upgrade your pin box or replace it if you would prefer a gooseneck instead, but generally, RVers will focus more on the quality of the hitch they install in the bed of their truck.
We have a middle of the road hitch from Curt and have found it to be reliable and sturdy through the many tests and paces we have put it through while towing our 20,000 pound fifth wheel all over the U.S. and Canada.
The “top of the line” and most expensive fifth wheel hitch is the TrailerSaver, which uses airbags for a smoother ride for your fifth wheel that is less jarring on the frame and components. You can browse the line-up of TrailerSaver hitches here.
Finally, you will also want to use a protective disc or plate to shield your fifth wheel hitch from damage. A Teflon plate can help shield the surface of the hitch head against corrosion and abrasion while towing
Portable Air Compressor
One of the biggest concerns for RVers on travel days is the dreaded tire blowout. That is why the first two products on our must-have RV accessories list are dedicated to helping you avoid the hassle and damages of a blowout or having to wait around for a tow truck or AAA.
The Viair portable air compressor has helped us to keep all of our 6 truck tires appropriately inflated, as well as the 4 tires on our fifth wheel. With frequent changes in pressures associated with fluctuations in temperature or altitude, we find ourselves using this reliable compressor quite often.
Viair 400P Portable Air Compressor
The Viair is compact enough to travel in the toolbox of our truck bed and at 150 Max PSI pressure, it’s powerful enough for all of our tire inflating needs within minutes. It is 12V operated, comes with a carrying case and anti-vibration tray, and is easy to move around at only 18 pounds.
TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
Did you know that one of the leading causes of the dreaded tire blowout is low tire pressure?
Having a tire pressure monitoring system allows you to monitor your RV tires at all times while towing (and your tow vehicle tires as well if not built-in). A TPMS system is one of the must-have RV accessories because it provides real-time updates and alerts so you can constantly know each of your tire pressures and temperatures and make proactive decisions before it’s too late.
We chose the EEZ Tire TPMS system due to recommendations from fellow full-time RVers. It was easy to install and connects remotely through a display we take with us in the truck. With its alerts and feedback, we have been able to pull over and use our Viair portable air compressor to keep our tire pressures within the recommended ranges while towing. Thankfully using our TPMS and Viair, we have avoided a blowout or any major tire issues on the truck or the RV.
In addition to using a TPMS system, it is also important to choose the proper truck tires for towing your fifth wheel to ensure a safe towing experience.
READ MORE: Best Truck Tires For Towing Fifth Wheels
RV Safe GPS
There is no worse feeling than hitting the open road with your RV and suddenly thinking…this doesn’t look right. Whether it’s a bridge that’s a bit too low, a road that says no trailers, or a few sharp turns that make your hair stand on end, there are plenty of ways to end up in a sticky situation when traveling with an RV or camper.
Using an RV-specific GPS helps relieve some of the stress of driving an RV or towing a trailer or fifth wheel by helping you feel more confident that you are navigating along a route that is RV-friendly.
We love RV Life as it works as an app directly on our phones and can provide tailored routes based on our RV specifications for height and length. As rookie RVers, we got ourselves into our fair share of wrong turns and sticky situations which required a bit of stressful maneuvering. While no technology is perfect (always use your best judgment as well), having the right tools at your disposal can make a big difference.
Check out our in-depth guide to RV LIFE, what we consider to be the best RV travel app for planning, GPS, and finding campgrounds in one place, as well as a complete list of best RVing apps to help you set yourself up for many fulfilling adventures!
If you would prefer an RV Safe GPS that is not an app, Garmin is a popular choice among RVers
Garmin RV 795 GPS Navigator
Find the best roads for your RV with custom routing for the size and weight of your RV or trailer. You can also access a preloaded directory of RV parks and services, Tripadvisor traveler ratings and content from places like Ultimate Public Campgrounds, KOA, and the U.S. National Parks directory,
Auxillary Fuel Tank & Tool Box
We drive a Ram 3500 long bed dually, towing our 20,000-pound DRV Mobile Suites Fifth Wheel. While towing we get about 10 miles to the gallon, which is typically good for about 300 miles of towing. As we found out when exploring the western United States, you can encounter long stretches through remote areas where fuel is hard to come by. Our fuel mileage goes down dramatically when towing through mountains or at elevation and our auxiliary fuel tank doubles our range, giving us the piece of mind that we will not run out of fuel.
In addition, it allows us to stock up on Diesel when we find a place that has it at a low price. The combo of the toolbox also allows us to make good use of that additional storage space for all of the tools and RV accessories we need while traveling North America full-time with our home in tow!
Take your fifth-wheel camping experiences to a whole new level with these fun RV accessories for enjoying the outdoors. You might not necessarily need them, but they can be fun additions for spending time outside of the RV and enjoying the beautiful campsites you visit!
High-Quality Camping Chairs
Part of the joy and one of the major benefits of camping or RVing, is being able to spend more time immersed in nature.
Your RV is your vehicle to get there, but the landscape outside of it is really where you want to be! Having high-quality chairs or seating helps to take that outside time to the next level. We love having portable options that allow us to bring our chairs over to have a meal or fire with new friends, as well as a larger option like the zero-gravity chair for laying back and enjoying a star-filled sky or meditation time in a gentle summer’s breeze.
We resisted upgrading our chairs for the longest time, but when we finally did we couldn’t believe we waited so long, Just keep in mind how much storage space you have! The chairs we chose are certainly not as small and compact as our $10 fold-up ones.
When you live full-time in your RV or even just when camping, you don’t always want to smell like a fire or have the worry or maintenance of a real wood fire. A propane fire pit gives you to option to quickly start and end a fire whenever you’d like, easily adjusting for fire size and warmth.
Some RVers also make a larger investment in the Solo Stove smokeless firepits, where you can have real wood fires, not drain your precious propane, and not experience the smoke of a traditional campfire. We have sat around multiple solo stoves sharing travel stories with fellow RVers and they are amazing if you are willing to spend a bit of extra money and don’t mind having to source or buy firewood.
Solo Stove Ranger 2.0
features our Signature 360° Airflow and double wall design with bottom vent holes for oxygen to feed the fire from below, creating a burst of hot air over the fire and reducing the smoke without the use of batteries and fans in your fireplaces. Enjoy a fire without the post-fire smell in your hair and clothes
Our Blackstone Griddle quickly became one of our favorite outdoor items for our RV! We purchased the 17-inch griddle, which has allowed us to cook large meals while entertaining. It encourages us to cook and eat outside, limits smell and mess inside the RV, makes for easy clean up (which is also great when boondocking and trying to be conservative with water), and is stowed easily in our fifth wheel’s basement.
Blackstone also offers a 22-inch griddle with a larger cooking surface and two cooking zones with separate temperature controls. This is a popular option among people who RV with larger families, but does take up a bit more space!
Fifth Wheel Accessories For boondocking
While fifth wheels tend to be larger in size and not as nimble as vans or overlanding vehicles, they do have larger tanks which means when set up appropriately, they are more easily able to boondock and camp off-grid for longer periods of time!
Solar panels are not required for boondocking, but they have been a great addition to our fifth wheel. We love how we are able to harness natural energy to power our RV and we love being able to enjoy nature’s peace and quiet, without having to run our generator (as long as the weather cooperates).
An Overview of Our RV Solar Setup
- Inverter: (1) Victron Multiplus-II 3000 Watt Inverter
- We also have a 1,000 watt Magnum Inverter that just our fridge runs off of from our original system before solar and the Victron inverter
- (8) 210 Watt Hightec Solar Panels (1700 Watts total)
- (3) 200 Amp hour LifeBlue Lithium Batteries (600 Amp Hours Total)
- (1) Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150/85 Charge Controller
- (1) Victron Orion-Tr 12v (30 amp) DC-DC Charger (for charging using the truck’s alternator on travel days)
Water Bladder & Water Pump
Our 60-gallon water bladder in combination with our remco water pump and portable waste tank has also allowed us to use more water (for slightly longer showers and more use of our dishwasher or laundry when needed) to continue striking the balance of minimizing our ecological footprint and living and traveling in a way that is comfortable and feels sustainable long term.
Remco Water Pump
A water pump that can be used to force water from a water bladder into your RV fresh tank more efficiently than gravity fill methods. Also serves as a great backup for our RV water pump should it encounter issues while we are traveling (this will vary based on your specific RV brand)!
Portable Waste Tank
It might not sound luxurious…but having a portable waste tank or “blue boy” allows us to utilize more of our RV’s “amenities” (like our laundry and dishwasher) when boondocking, dry camping, or staying in sites with partial hook-ups and extend our stays by being able to empty our gray and black tanks without having to move our fifth wheel.
They come in different sizes, but we have found 32 gallons to be a good fit for our tanks (50 gallon black, 75 gallon gray) and the space available for storing it. If you have an RV with smaller tanks, you may be able to opt for a smaller version!
Portable Inverter Generator
A must for boondocking or dry camping as a backup for those bad weather stretches or any other unforeseen circumstances that might keep us from being able to keep our batteries charged up with our solar panels alone.
We have loved our Generac Portable Inverter Generator and it has performed well for over a year with minimal maintenance. It is lightweight and quiet, which are both important factors when it comes to choosing a portable generator as you will have to take it out and put it away if it is not hardwired into your fifth wheel. You’ll also want to be able to enjoy your space with it running!
Generac 3300i Portable Inverter Generator
At just under 60 pounds, this is a powerful portable generator that is lighter and quieter than many other options on the market. We have used this consistently in our RV travels off-grid for powering appliances including our air fryer, convection oven, and A/C
King Pin Lock
While a king pin lock can come in handy for any type of camping, we typically use it more when leaving our RV unattended on public lands, where there are less people around. Having fifth wheel secure gives us more peace of mind that no one will drive off with our fifth wheel while we are out hiking and exploring for the day.
This RV accessories list is full of fifth wheel accessories that have transformed our RVing experience. We no longer feel unsure about what we need and are not overwhelmed by the never-ending recommendations we get about what we “need”. We now feel excited about having exactly what we need and nothing more.
What works for us might not work for you exactly, but we hope this gives you an idea of what we have found most helpful to have for our fifth wheel as full-time RVers , with an emphasis on items we use often, trust heavily, and would purchase time and time again.
Our “Go To” RV Resources
- Harvest Host: For finding unique and convenient overnight stays at breweries, vineyards, farms, and more! Perfect for a fun weekend getaway or stopover during a long travel stretch.
- Campspot: For finding and booking great campgrounds and RV parks conveniently and easily all in one place!
- RV Life: RV safe GPS, RV Trip Wizard route planning, maintenance tracker, campground reviews and more. Everything any RVer needs, all in one place!
Additional Fifth Wheel Resources: