If you're a camping enthusiast of the 'recreational vehicle' variety, you're probably either currently in possession of or hoping to one day own a camper of your own. You're probably also acutely aware of the fact that there are more accessories for RVs than there are for Barbie dolls. Almost all of these service some useful purpose during the trip itself, but there are a few "top" accessories that get put in play during the off season.

And by "top", if you haven't figured it out, we mean that they go on top of your RV.


  • The Instant Garage: This collapsible, mostly-fabric structure can be stored on the top or back of your standard RV, but is most often kept at home and erected around the RV when it's not in use. It keeps the elements off of your vehicular domicile, protecting it for when you need it again.

  • The RV Cover: Basically the same idea as an instant garage, but an RV cover fits more snugly around the vehicle, without a lot of excess square footage taken up around it. An RV cover won't leave a large brown square on your grass at the end of the summer, and it's less setup and take-down, but often doesn't have space for any external propane tanks or other accessories, which will need to be covered independently.

  • A Heated Space: This isn't exactly an RV accessory, but if you're the kind of person who would rather pay a little extra than work hard, having a heated space to store your RV in over the winter can save you the pain of winterizing.

Winterizing?

Yep -- if you're not going to store your camper in a heated space, you need to winterize it before the cold months. That means draining all of the water out of all of your RV's holding tanks and pipes, making sure all of the food is out of the camper, loading the inside with some form of chemical dehydrator, and making sure that all of the doors, windows, and other portals are sealed shut. It's a basic part of RV maintenance unless you're lucky enough to live so far south that snow is something you only see when the cable goes out on your TV.