Camping Trailer Parts In Every Shape and Size: Can You Handle Them All?

There's no way to go camping in a recreational vehicle without needing some basic parts from time to time. Camping trailer parts is a huge umbrella term that covers so many parts that it's almost silly to try to list them all. After all, a camper is essentially a miniature house on wheels, and you're expected to be able to do almost everything in a camper that you do in a home and still be able to drive it down the highway at common speed.

That means that an RV supply store needs to carry:

  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Refrigerators
  • Water holding tanks
  • Microwaves
  • Ovens
  • Coffee Makers
  • Televisions
  • Satellites
  • Receivers
  • Air Conditioners
  • Furnaces
  • Fireplaces
  • Doors
  • Skylights
  • Fans
  • Windows
  • Tail Lights and Tail Light Lenses
  • Marker Lights and Marker Light Lenses
  • Tongue Jacks
  • Stabilizing Jacks
  • Hitches and other Towing Equipment, to bring along the family car
  • Power Converters and Inverters
  • Generators
  • Solar Panels
  • ...and a whole bunch more stuff.

What does this mean to you? It means that if you're going to master the art of the recreational vehicle, you'd better be prepared to either learn a lot about a huge variety of handy-man arts that you'll need to exercise on the road, or you need to work with some experts to get them all installed and, from time to time, repaired.

Things Every Camper Owner Needs To Be Able To Do

At the absolute minimum, before you take an RV out on a trip with the fam, you need to be able to do these three things:

1      Maintain the Black Water Holding Tank. Every RV has a black water holding tank that stores the human waste that you flush down the toilet.  These tanks don't maintain themselves, and while every camper culture has it's own way of dealing with the tanks, you need to master at least one that works for you before you leave on your first big trip. The most common method is to use toilet chemicals and RV/septic-safe toilet paper.

2      Level Your Camper.  Of all of the things you can do to screw up a perfectly good night out camping, having everything leaning seven degrees to the left is probably the silliest, especially considering that every camper has some way of leveling itself. Knowing how to use your camper's leveling jacks is an absolute must, especially seeing as an off-level camper can ruin sensitive appliances such as some refrigerators.

3      Use Your Hitch. Whether you have a 5th wheel or a weight distribution style, you need to know how to operate your hitch. Practice hooking and unhooking your hitch before you ever drive away -- when you realize you have to do it in the middle of the night due to some unforeseen circumstance, you'll be happy to have the experience!

Everything else can be learned on the road or is robust enough that you can rely on an expert to set it up and then trust that it will be more-or-less OK, but those two things deserve special attention. Happy camping!