My thoughts on the subject, for what they're worth. A year ago, I was a complete newbie, too, but now that I've got a dozen camping trips under my belt, I'm still
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl
drinking water hose (2)
Hose Y adapter
water pressure regulator for tap end of hook-up
Electrical surge/protection device (Surge Guard 30 amp)
Electrical Adapters for 50amp and 20amp service
Extension cords (2)
Staged Battery Charger for storage (unless you upgrade the converter/charger- got a ProMarine highly recommended by my dad who works in electrical mechanics)
High power air compressor for tires (bought the Slime)
Plexus Cleaner for plastic coat clean ups on exterior
Tool box with assorted tools
Leveling squares kit - side leveling
Propane grill to cook outside
You only need a "Y" adaptor if you're going to a rally where hookups are all temporary and you'll be daisy-chained along with half-a-dozen other trailers all off of one faucet. Good to have then, but not essential otherwise.
Most trailers have a built-in pressure regulator, so if you buy a water hose that will handle the city water pressure, you don't need a separate regulator.
Electrical adaptors are also good to have, but if you know what hookups are available where you're going, you'll also know whether or not you'll need the adaptors. So, if your first trip is to a place where you know there's 30amp power, the adapators can be purchased later.
Plexus cleaner can be left at home unless you plan to clean the trailer while you're at the campsite. Bring dish soap, though. Dawn dishwashing liquid can be used as a hand cleaner, body wash, and even shampoo, if necessary, in addition to washing pots and pans with it.
The need for a patio mat is also uncertain. I've got one, but only use it on rare occasions. Most of the time I get by fine without one. I wouldn't put one out over grass, and don't need one put out over pavement or gravel; I only need it if the area under my awning would be dusty or muddy.
Propane grill for outdoor cooking is only needed if there's no fire pit or fire ring with a grate at your campsite. Cooking over a wood fire feels more like camping, anyway.
I carry a Sea Eagle inflatable kayak, when I'm going camping someplace that has a decent lake. No motor. And what good is a bicycle on a boat, anyway?
For the REAL basics, as requested by Captain King, all you really need for a starter kit is (and all I had as my starting kit, because I was so anxious to get started that I didn't wait to accumulate more):
Paper plates, plastic utinsels, paper towels.
Simple cookware (a Dutch oven can do it all, if you're cooking on a wood fire).
Clothing, as few changes of clothes as you can manage.
Bed linens, or sleeping bags, whichever you prefer.
Reading material for rainy days ("How to" books are good, if you don't like novels).
Leveling blocks, jack pads, wheel chocks.
Full propane tanks.
Shore power cord.
Camp someplace within an easy drive of home for your first trip. That way, if you have a "Darn, I forgot to bring…" moment, you don't have far to go to fetch whatever it is. I forgot my medication once
, and remembered it only half an hour into a seven-hour drive, so I still arrived at the campsite before dark even though I had to detour back home.
Beyond that, as you gain experience, make a note whenever you have a "Gee, I sure wish I had…" moment, so you'll know to bring whatever it is for the next trip. And if you bring something, but don't use it for two consecutive trips, leave it home next time because you obviously don't need it after all.