Great RV Accessories Newsletter, Issue 69
Posted June 8, 2018
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 to sign up now.
Battery jump starters
By Mike Sokol, NoShockZone.org
Back in the day, jump-starting a vehicle was a pretty simple (albeit sometimes dangerous) operation. I would get a few friends to push my 1960s VW beetle at a speed approaching a fast walk, then jump in the open door, jam it in 2nd gear and pop the clutch. Low and behold this method had an 80% success rate, with maybe 10% of the time that the engine wouldn’t catch, and the other 10% of the time I accidentally hit something while trying to steer the vehicle via an open window.
If you had jumper cables and a willing donor vehicle (few and far between for my 6-volt VW) then you would get the two cars nose to nose on the road (sometimes a dangerous operation by itself), then connect the batteries together and rev the engine on the donor vehicle to help charge the dead vehicle. If all went well then you were off and running. However, if you did something stupid like hook up the jumper cables backwards or short them out, you could do really bad things like cause a battery to explode or burn out the electronics in one or both of the vehicles. Ouch.
With the advent of battery jump starters, there’s a safe and simple method for jump-starting a vehicle with a dead battery. While there are small pocket versions of these jump starters that are good for your toad, and huge wheeled versions that allow you to start a semi-truck with a dead battery bank, I’ll focus on an intermediate size jump starter that has the ability of crank up most any gasoline engine in your RV, and even most diesel engines in your tow vehicle up to a 1-ton dually pickup.
One jump starter that I especially like is Clore Automotive’s Jump-N-Carry JNC-770B (available on Amazon.com), with 425 amps of cranking power. This is a portable unit that at 23 pounds is reasonable to carry, has long jumper cables with heavy 2-gauge wires, a disconnect switch and light for safe hookups in the dark, and an internal smart battery charger so you can leave it plugged into a 120-volt outlet all the time. Plus, it uses a real wall plug, not some wall-wart that you’re going to lose.
Once you have a jump starter you’re good to go when you have a flat battery. If you discover that one of the kids left the dome light on in your tow vehicle all night and there’s no juice left in the starter battery, you simply grab your JNC-770B for a quick start without begging anyone else for a “jump.” You can be a hero if one of your campground buddies is looking for a “jump” themselves.
Oh, if you have a really big diesel pusher with a pair of 6-volt batteries for the engine, you may already have a cross-connect switch between your house batteries and engine batteries so you may not need a jump starter at all. If you don’t have that option then you’ll probably need one with doubled-up batteries to guarantee a quick start. In that case, you’ll want to consider the JNC-1224 with 850 cranking amps available on eBay here.
I’ll be doing some demonstration videos on this technology soon, so stay tuned. Let’s play safe out there…
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Heat or cool your food or drinks… from the driver’s seat!
No need to pull over to get a cold soda from the back fridge, or heat up your leftovers in the microwave. This mini (tiny) fridge can fit right next to the driver’s seat and can switch from cooler to warmer instantly. Plug it into the cigarette adapter via a USB cord, couldn’t be easier! Impress your friends with this cute little gadget and make those long drives easy! Learn more or order.
USB charging receptacles available in three versions
Keeping handheld devices like tablets and smartphones charged can be a challenge for campers, especially in smaller RVs with a limited number of receptacles. Hubbell USB Charging Receptacles combine two USB connections and a traditional duplex outlet, eliminating the need for adapter plugs and having to disconnect one item to accommodate another. Hubbell USB Charging Receptacles come in three versions to accommodate a wide range of devices. Read more.
Compact trailer dolly fits in RV storage compartment
Many RVers prefer a natural, secluded campsite, but even the most seasoned driver sometimes finds it near to impossible to steer the RV into the optimal position to take full advantage of the setting. With a Parkit360 Force 5K or Force 10K power dolly, it’s easy to maneuver a travel trailer, fifth wheel, pop-up or pod around tight corners, trees, low branches and other obstacles. Best of all, it’s uniquely compact, so it fits into a camper storage compartment or the trunk of a small sedan. Learn more.
Additional towel bar(s) easy to install
RVs just don’t come with enough shelves, hooks, hangers and other convenience features. Even though it’s not hard to find additional fixtures to hang stuff from, the thought of digging out the drill and bits and putting new holes in your RV’s walls could be a strong deterrent to adding them. But you can mount the KES 22.8-inch stainless steel rustproof bathroom towel bar with 3M’s high-quality self-adhesive without the need for drills or holes. They’re not only easy to install but also inexpensive.
The largest, tiniest blanket for all your outdoor needs
Pack your beach bags and park picnics, it’s summer! OK, well, almost. What’s one thing we always need for a relaxing day outdoors? A blanket! This tiny, super lightweight travel blanket is great for RVers, campers, hikers, concert-goers, and travelers. When folded up in its drawstring pouch, it fits in the palm of your hand. When unfolded, it’s a waterproof 55″x70″ two-person blanket. Be right back, we’re buying it here!
TecNiq announces waterproof LED step accent light
When moving about in reduced light, it’s important to see what’s underfoot. TecNiq, the North American leader in LED lighting for extreme environments, debuts the E02 Step Accent Light. Completely waterproof with a 90° projection, it’s perfect for illuminating passageways, steps and stairs, and for use as an accent light. The high-performance E02 Step Accent Light is made to last and is guaranteed for life. Learn more.
Watertight fabric bucket collapses for easy storage
You’ve probably found that when you need to use the bucket you are carrying in your RV it is frequently filled with stuff, because empty containers in an RV don’t stay that way for long. However, you can keep your bucket handy for immediate use with Camco’s RV Collapsible Bucket. It is the perfect size for RVing, camping, fishing, boating and more. Read more.
Stove wraps help keep stovetop and oven clean
If you tire of having to clean up spills from your stove after cooking, these stove wraps should make your chore faster and easier. The Stove Wrap splatter guards fit a Suburban or Atwood stove perfectly and will also help protect it from scuffs and scratches. They’re non-stick, non-flammable, washable and reusable. This product also comes with a 12″ x 12″ liner to protect your oven. Learn more.
Best way to fill your batteries
Fill this container with distilled water, insert the nozzle into the cell of your battery, then push & hold. When the battery is at the proper level, the water will automatically stop. Then move to the next cell, etc. You won’t over- or under-fill your batteries this way, helping extend their lives. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
Gizmos and Gadgets at RVtravel.com
For years, in each of our weekly issues of the RVtravel.com newsletter we’ve reviewed or told you about hundreds of useful, interesting or unusual gizmos and gadgets for your RV, or to enhance your RV travels. Click here to browse through all those products.
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ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Waterless trap for your RV plumbing system
Make foul smelling odors a thing of the past!
Already used by major RV manufacturers, the revolutionary HepvO waterless trap is a fantastic alternative to a conventional ‘P’ trap and it won’t fail due to evaporation, movement, freezing or leakage. Its unique membrane prevents foul air from the grey water tank entering your RV and its in-line design helps create extra storage space! Learn more.
Products you might need
for your RV at Amazon.com
Or search at:
•Dyers RV Parts and Accessories
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.
Check out these RV accessories that were featured recently in the RV Travel Newsletter
• Emergency roadside LED beacons visible 2 miles.
• New Stacker LEDs offer variable intensity and direction.
• BoxKat is not a better mouse trap – It’s Better Than a mouse trap!
• Block the sun’s heat from your RV with window sunshades.
• Airfryer delivers tasty fried chicken with 80% less fat.
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.
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