Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Great RV Accessories Newsletter #20

It was early morning. I was motoring down the highway toward my next RV adventure, humming along while The Manhattan Transfer’s version of Java Jive blasted from my truck’s sound system. As I followed the song’s directive and sipped myself a slug from that wonderful mug, I was reminded just how much we RVers love our coffee. And tea. 

So among other gear and gadget finds, consider this the Java Jive edition of the Great RV Accessories newsletter. Pour yourself a cup and get comfortable.

Best RV Coffee

Dueling camping French press coffee (and tea) makers

There are a whole lot of camping coffee makers and an enormous amount of French press coffee makers in general on the market, but imagine my surprise when Tony Barthel and I both pitched new RV and camping French press reviews in a recent staff meeting. Editor Emily Woodbury’s answer to both of us was “Yes,” as we were talking about different products!

So, in this issue, we feature some brand-new French press coffee makers made with the camper, van lifer, or RVer in mind.

And don’t forget, French press “coffee” makers also work great with loose-leaf teas, water flavor infusions (like citrus, herbs, cucumbers, etc.), and cold brew coffee, too.

Defiance Tools’ Off Road French press, manual coffee grinder molle kit

Defiance Tools' Off Road French Press and Coffee Grinder Molle kit

A French press makes a great concentrated cup of coffee, but they are usually made of glass and not an easy device to travel with. Defiance Tools’ Off Road French press, coffee grinder, and molle pouch kit changes all that. It lets you make gourmet coffee anytime, anywhere, without fear of breakage and with zero need for electrical power. The best part of it all is that once you press the grounds down, the French press that made the coffee turns into an insulated travel coffee mug. That’s right, you sip your coffee right from the same vessel that made it. Now that’s handy for space-saving RVers! Check out the Off Road coffee molle kit here.

Stanley Boil + Brew Coffee Maker

Coffee from the Stanley Boil + BrewLike so many of the French presses out there including the ones we’ve shared on these pages before, this one operates exactly as you would expect. Heat water. Put in coffee grounds. Wait 4-6 minutes. Press down. Coffee. What makes this different is that the outer shell is a stainless steel vessel. Into the side is stamped a “fill” line and the word “fill.”  The nifty thing is that this sucker is durable and you can take out the plastic guts and just put it directly on the stovetop to heat the water, so fewer additional pieces are needed. Learn more about the pros and cons of the Stanley Boil + Brew.

Tony Barthel’s and Cheri Sicard’s BEST on-the-road coffee choices!

  • Tony loves his AeroPress best. He explains why in this post.
  • My personal favorite, the Moka Pot, makes ultra-strong espresso-style coffee on the stovetop. It’s not for everyone, but if you miss espresso on the road, it might be for you. I talk about Moka Pots as part of this article on off-grid coffee makers.  Be sure to check out the comments, too, as our coffee-loving readers had lots of thoughts on the topic.

Want to spice up your morning routine? Try different coffees!

  • This coffee from Death Wish Coffee Co. is blueberry-flavored and this one is pumpkin-chai-flavored (yum!).
  • Why not have coffee for breakfast? This “Electric Unicorn” coffee not only has a great label but tastes like cereal! It’s fruity cereal milk flavored! On the same page, you’ll find other flavors, too, like butterscotch, chocolate orange, cinnamon roll, chocolate raspberry and more.
  • Okay, don’t be mad at us for telling you about this… but did you know Andes Chocolate Mints makes chocolate mint coffee? We’re in trouble with this one…

Other stuff we’re liking

New Amish RV fridge is a winner!

Forget Norcold RV refrigerators, use this Amish one instead
12-volt Amish Dutch Aire cooling unit.

Fed up with Norcold’s poor quality, Jan Steele was more than ready to try something new and is more than happy with the results. Learn about Jan’s “better than Norcold” RV refrigerator alternative by clicking here.

A must-have for RVers? Walkie-talkies!

rv walkie talkiesYou may have tossed them aside once you outgrew “playing spies.” Or perhaps you quickly lost interest when that first cellphone landed in your hands. Whatever your reason, they remain a must-have for RVers: walkie-talkies! This low-tech wonder performs even when your cell signal drops. Gail Marsh outlines 7 important ways RVers can use walkie-talkies here.

Easy RV plants: No soil, watering, or moving!

RV plantsThese live RV plants need no watering, they need no soil, and they stay put even while you move.  A little bit of gear and gadgets is all it takes to bring some live plants into your RV.
Check out the DIY RV plants tutorial.

Doctor’s order: Coffee!
This coffee mug is hilarious! It’s perfect for yourself or the coffee-lover in your life who just cannot live without coffee. This high-quality mug is made from ceramic and painted to look like a prescription pill bottle – it’s just what the doctor ordered! You can’t order this from a barista, but you can order one here.

The Book Nook

Guide to National Forest camping is a winner!

guide to national forest campingThis guide profiles 4,108 designated camping areas at 141 forests in 42 states. It provides specific locations, how many campsites are available, what size RVs will fit, types of toilets, length of its season and camper stay limits, plus price, contact information and whether there’s a dumping station. Some National Grasslands areas are also included. Recently updated in May 2023. Get more info about the National Forest Camping guidebook.

RV Gadget Quick Takes

multimeters for rvers

gadget that helps with RV battery maintenance

  • Battery fillers for easy battery maintenance: Dustin Simpson will show you how to use this battery filler for easy RV battery maintenance. Maintaining the distilled water in your RV battery has never been simpler! See the battery filler in action.

  • Shelf-stable coffee cream and creamers: Did you know you can get shelf-stable half-and-half, heavy cream, and even vegan creamer alternatives? No refrigeration is needed until opened. That’s no worry with individual portions of cream or half-and-half.
    Check out Amazon’s collection of shelf-stable coffee creamers.

Gadget & Gear Funny

funny rv coffee mugLet your morning mug say what needs to be said and let the healing process begin with coffee. Hey.. We have ALL been there. Get the Parking the RV coffee mug on Amazon.

rv travel logoStaff

Editor: Cheri Sicard

Help desk: Contact us.

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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.


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Jim Johnson
28 days ago

Shelf stable milk is common outside the U.S. It has an unopened shelf life of about six months. A quick Amazon search shows that this product (in all the typical levels of fat content, skim to whole) is available in the U.S. The downside? Amazon sells quarts by the six pack for about double the cost of buying six quarts of refrigerated milk – and you don’t have to buy refrigerated milk in the larger quantity.

Having consumed this product in Europe, folks, it is pasteurized milk same as in the refrigerated section of the store. The only difference is it briefly pasteurized at a higher temp to kill all bacteria and tightly sealed against air intrusion.

1 month ago

I always chuckle at all the new coffee inventions and what people must spend on it all. I save space, time, and money by not using any of it. I have the National Forest Camping book, which is useful except many of the campgrounds on the west coast are closed in winter, which is disappointing, but suppose not enough folks travel in winter to be worth maintaining them all. My trailer is always ready to go, so when the weather looks doable, the dog and I can go. The campgrounds in each state are in alphabetical order, so I need to look at the end of each listing to see what town it is near or luckily, there is a map with a number so you can look up by number the area of interest. Most have no amenities to speak of, and some of them are older campgrounds and do not have much space for big rigs.

1 month ago

Those individual coffee creamers are a landfill nightmare. And has more sugar and other nasty stuff in it that even my uncles doctor said to stay away from it. Half and half or milk. Otherwise those coffee creamers are not good for cholesterol and other heart related. IMO not yours.

Cheri Sicard
1 month ago
Reply to  jillie

I was not talking about coffee creamers, I agree those are awful. Read it more carefully, I was talking about shelf stable cream or half and half. As to the packaging, that is what it is. I can get shelf stable half and half in Mexico by the liter, but I have yet to find it here.

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