Posted November 22, 2017
News, information and reviews of great gizmos and gadgets for RVers. Published online once a month by the editors of RVtravel.com. If you are not already subscribed, click here (or at the bottom of this page) to sign up.
By Emily Woodbury
In New York City, where I once lived, I didn’t pay for heat; it was included in my rent. Even though the radiators clanged through the night, they kept me warm. All was good. Now, living in cold, wet Seattle, I’ve avoided using my heater for fear my electric bill would go through the roof.
I recently bought a little space heater to use instead. I’d do a test: One month I’d use my regular heat, the next only the space heater (it serves up to 1,000 square feet) to see which was the more cost efficient.
But wait! I didn’t need a two-month test. An easier way was to purchase a Kill A Watt electricity monitor! I can plug my electric space heater right into this helpful device and learn exactly how much electricity it’s using and how much it costs to run each month.
Just plug any household device (space heater, toaster, TV, the AC, dishwasher, hairdryer, etc.) into the Kill A Watt, which plugs into any wall outlet (yep, even in the RV) to measure the amount of electricity it’s using. The Kill A Watt measures the electricity used over time (in kilowatts) and at that moment (in voltage, watts and current) and displays the numbers on an LCD screen. You can check the power levels on any appliance, as well as any specific outlet.
Boondocking? Great! Test out the Kill A Watt before you head out to see which appliances will consume the least amount of energy when using your inverter. Or if you have a 50-amp coach plugged into 30-amp service, then use it to determine what devices can run concurrently.
This little device is a great way to help you get the most out of your battery.
According to the Department of Energy, about 20 percent of our electric usage comes from leaving appliances plugged in when we’re not using them. Yikes!
Well, back to my space heater. (It uses much less energy than I thought, surprisingly!)
Buy the Kill A Watt on Amazon for $17 here.
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Eliminate holding tank odors!
Eliminate disgusting tank odors for less than $1 per treatment with formaldehyde-free Unique RV Digest-It. Unique’s highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of tank cleaning microbes maintains clean sensors, eliminates odors, and liquefies the solids in your tank, ensuring no backups. All without harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients. Try it once and you’ll be shocked at how clean your tank can be! Learn more or order.
Shurhold offers won’t-scratch sleeves for aluminum handles
Brush and mop handles can accidentally scratch and mar fine RV finishes. Shurhold Industries’ durable patented Handle Mate PFD sleeve easily slips over the aluminum shaft of the telescoping and fixed-length handles on its brushes, mops, brooms, scrubbers and squeegees to protect gelcoat, clear coat, paint, chrome and vinyl graphics. Learn more.
Keep waste where it belongs with Sewer Saddle Bags
To many RVers, some of the chores connected with RVing might seem “yucky” – such as hooking up the dump hose to dump the waste tanks. The Sewer Saddle Bag has come to the rescue for those who fear reliving that scene from the Robin Williams’ film “RV,” where the unmentionable spills out. It is a saddle bag-shaped weight that lays over the dump hose where it fits into the drain, preventing it from popping out. Read more.
Omni Chill High-Efficiency A/C system enables three A/Cs
Until now it has been impossible to operate three RV air conditioners in “cooling” mode at the same time. Enter the Fuzion Omni Chill Super High-Efficiency A/C system, developed in partnership with Dometic. Unlike current three A/C setups, which rely on an energy management system to cycle one of the three A/C compressors off and on, Omni Chill makes it possible for all three compressors to operate at the same time. Learn more.
Atwood Carbon Monoxide Alarm is made for RVs!
This is the CO detector aboard the RV Travel motorhome. In our opinion, it’s the best. It was recommended to us by Mac the Fire Guy, THE authority on RV fire safety. This detector has a 10-year lifespan so needs to be replaced only half as often as most detectors. If you do not have a good CO detector in your RV, you’re living dangerously. Learn more or order.
Video Product Review
Avoid hitting low bridges for a $15 investment
You can pay a few hundred dollars for a GPS that will help you avoid low bridges and tunnels. And some apps will help, too. But many RVers these days use their smartphones and Yahoo or Google Maps to plot their course. But that route could include a low bridge, not good for a tall RV. Watch this short video for a tip on how, for less that $15, you can avoid bridges that might send your roofless rig to the RV salvage yard. Click the video to play.
An inspirational book about RVing
“Travels with Charley in Search of America”
When you ask most RVers if there was one book that inspired them to take up RVing, it’s often John Steinbeck’s classic road tale, “Travels with Charley.” The famous author set off in the early 1960s in a home-built camper with his poodle, Charley, to “find America.” And what he found makes for a delightful read and a wonderful gift. Learn more or order.
Stream your tunes with Harman’s Infinity Bluetooth controller
With the new Infinity by Harman INF-BC4 Pre-Amp Bluetooth Controller from Prospec Electronics, anyone with an enabled BT device can stream their favorite music. Installation is a breeze and it’s simple to use. The Infinity is an affordable alternative to a traditional stereo receiver. Learn more.
Eau Good Duo: Water bottle + Charcoal Filter + Fruit Infuser
Anybody who lives an active RV lifestyle today knows the importance of staying hydrated. The most popular way of staying hydrated is by carrying a water bottle. Now Black + Blum is trying to ratchet up the ubiquitous water bottle a notch or two with their Eau Good Duo BPA-free bottle that is durable, taste-neutral and lightweight. The “Duo” in the name comes from its dual use: as a fruit infuser water bottle and as a filter. Read more.
How to deal with dump station business safely
Dumping your RV’s waste tanks, especially the black tank, is not among the favorite chores of RVers but it is necessary. If it’s performed carelessly, pathogens can threaten the health of your family. You don’t know what the habits of previous dumpers were who visited the dump station. What’s the single most important action you can take to avoid contracting a disease? Find out here.
New awning system is controlled by Bluetooth device
Carefree of Colorado has rolled out a new Bluetooth-enabled awning control system to allow wireless awning control using the remote fob or Carefree Mobile app from at least 50 feet away without obstruction. The control system works with all 12-volt Carefree awnings. Learn more.
TODAY’S DEALS ON RV PARTS & ACCESSORIES AT AMAZON.COM. Click.
Gizmos and Gadgets at RVtravel.com
For years, in each of our weekly issues of the RVtravel.com newsletter we’ve told you about hundreds of useful, interesting or unusual gizmos and gadgets for your RV to enhance your RV travels. Click here to browse through all those products.
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Products you might need
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Graphite keeps your locks working
Keep your RV’s locks (and other locks, too) working the way they should. This product from AGS will keep them lubricated and working smoothly and will guard against sticking and dirt buildup. Also reduces wear and corrosion. This should be essential equipment on all RVs. Learn more or order.
Our favorite products for RVers at Amazon.com. Check ’em out.
Check out these RV accessories that were featured recently in the RV Travel Newsletter
• Move your Pod or fifth-wheeler with Parkit360 power dolly.
• Solar flashlight and multi-function safety tool from Renogy.
• Treat your little ones with their own kid-sized hammocks.
• Under-cabinet-mounted Mini Food Processor and Coffee Grinder.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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