Sunday, May 28, 2023


Great RV Accessories Newsletter Issue 59

Posted August 24, 2017

News, information and reviews of great gizmos and gadgets for RVers. Published online once a month by the editors of If you are not already subscribed, click here to sign up now.

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Product Spotlight Warning!

By Emily Woodbury
Many RVers, me included, often spend our summer evenings by our beloved grill. A grill can be our best friend on a beautiful evening. My obsession this summer has been grilled peaches with a drizzle of honey — if you haven’t tried it yet, make it tomorrow night’s side (before the season ends!) — with a nice steak and salad. 

I just bought my first grill. After living in New York City for many years without any outdoor space, I’m thrilled to be back in Seattle with a beautiful, spacious balcony overlooking 200 acres. I’ve been outside several nights a week, feeling like a Food Network “grill master” with my tongs, my apron, and my charred choice of protein. After dinner, I clean the grill; scrape, brush, scrub. That was the routine — until now…

MY GRILL BRUSH, my favorite handy tool in charge of scraping off all the burnt leftovers, turns out, could be deadly. Between 2002 and 2014, a total of 1,698 people were hospitalized — about 130 people a year — because they ingested a bristle which had fallen off the brush then stuck to the next piece of food thrown on the grill. These numbers do not include cases from urgent care clinics so they could be larger. Bristles may get lodged in the throat, requiring surgery, or they may travel down as far as the intestines, which may be punctured. Granted, many other things cause more frequent hospital visits, but for campers who spend many nights grilling, there’s a scary chance that it could happen. 

Needless to say, I’m done using my wire brush after reading the many horror stories. There are plenty of brushes with nylon bristles and wire mesh which bear investigating. I’ve been told that a crinkled up ball of tin foil to scrape works well too. If you have a favorite grill brush, type or brand, please let me know in the comments below! If you do continue using a wire-bristled brush, make sure to inspect both the grill and your food before eating.

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DID YOU MISS last weekend’s RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.

Tank Sensors Reading Full?
Restore them overnight with Caravan Sensor Cleaner
Caravan’s highly concentrated, bio-enzymatic formula is guaranteed to remove the debris causing your tanks to misread. No driving necessary. No dangerous chemicals. No strong odors. Perfect for full-timers and permanently parked RVs. Learn more or or buy at

Move a 15,000-pound trailer by remote control
Moving a trailer with serious weight requires raw power. But the larger the tow vehicle, often the less maneuverable the rig becomes. With Parkit360’s Transformer 15K Trailer Dolly, one person can move a 15,000 lb. fifth wheel, tag-a-long, gooseneck or traditional trailer with absolute ease by simply walking and steering with its wireless remote control. Learn more.

Tayama Thermal Cooker works like a crock pot with little energy
Crock pots and slow cookers are nice – if you are plugged into shore power. But when boondocking, not so much. But with the Tayama Thermal Cooker you can prepare those mouth-watering casseroles, stews, soups, veggies, and more with a fraction of the cooking time, and all for just minutes on a burner of your gas stove. Read more.

Thule announces new Vertex 2-bike carrier
The new Thule Vertex hitch rack’s unique arc design makes it easier to load and unload bikes, provides better ground clearance, and gives you greater distance between your bikes for easy transport. Hold Fast Cradles cushion the bikes and provide maximum bike security. Check it out.

Stinky holding tank odors? Here’s the solution
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.

Video: Product review  

Trailer owners: How to check the level of your propane tanks
Veteran travel trailer owners will tell you it’s no fun to run out of propane. In this short video, editor Chuck Woodbury discusses three devices that claim to answer the question, “How much propane is left in the tank?” A good example of the final product shown in the video, the Dometic LPGC10 LP Gas Checker, is available at

Cordless vac gets sky-high rating
More than 12,000 Amazon customers have given this Black and Decker CHV1410L cordless hand vacuum an excellent rating. It boasts lithium technology, strong suction and fade-free power. With a translucent bagless dirt bowl, the dirt is easy to see and empty. Ever-ready, the hand vac can hold a charge for up to 18 months. Perfect for the RV! Learn more or order.

Make operation of your A/C in summer safer with SmartPlug
During the heat of summer, many RV owners turn on their air conditioning units. Whether portable or installed, they have serious power requirements that can strain and overload outdated, twist-type shore power systems. A safer approach is to use the revolutionary SmartPlug. Learn more.

New Fuel Injector Pro combats carbon deposits, restores performance
Vehicles today are more advanced than ever before, but despite the latest in technological advancements, they still can’t clean themselves, especially the inside of the engine. To keep advanced and traditional engines running like new, Gold Eagle Co. is introducing a new, high-quality fuel system cleaner to help combat common engine issues. Read more.

ASA Electronics® develops new replacement rearview mirror
Introducing the latest Voyager® Replacement Rearview Mirror Monitor from ASA Electronics. Changing lanes, merging into traffic, and backing up have never been so manageable. Real-time, crystal-clear images of your vehicle’s blind spots are displayed right on your rearview mirror via a digital signal. Learn more.

Camco Store at
There isn’t much you need for your RV that Camco doesn’t have. If you think we’re kidding, then click through to the Camco store on Amazon where you’ll find some of their best-selling products — all for your RV or for you to make your RVing better. Click here and you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.

Gizmos and Gadgets at
For years, in each of our weekly issues of the 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.



Deep clean your RV’s roof!
Thetford’s Premium RV Rubber Roof Cleaner & Conditioner not only deep cleans rubber, but fiberglass & aluminum roofs, too! It removes oxidation, bird droppings and dirt buildup. Cleans, conditions & adds UV blocker in one easy step. Watch the video or learn more or order.

Products you might need
for your RV at

RV parts and accessories
RV hitches and tow products
RV books and directories
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.

Our favorite products for RVers at Check ’em out.

Check out these RV accessories that were featured recently in the RV Travel Newsletter

•  Build an instant campfire with Pull Start Fire.
•  Winegard’s new ConnecT RV Internet WiFi + 4G LTE Extender.
•  Rand McNally introduces three new RV dashboard devices.
•  Big rig? Let LAMPHUS warn other drivers where you are.

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


Great RV Accessories Newsletter Staff:
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Bob Difley. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
ADVERTISE in this newsletter or in any of our dozens of RV websites and blogs. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck (at) .
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 or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way #265, Edmonds, WA 98020. Email: Diane (at) .

This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. is a participant in the Walmart, Camping World and Amazon Services LLC Affiliate Programs which are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by referrals to their websites. includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to and its affiliated blogs.

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Mark Sanderson
5 years ago

Good article Emily and welcome aboard! We enjoy the blog and of course you’re dad’s writing and outlook on all things RVing and other.

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Mark Sanderson

Thank you, Mike! It’s a pleasure to be a part of the RVTravel staff – I’m excited to be contributing to something you enjoy.


Brian Mullinax
5 years ago

Hi Emily,
I have two favorites that I use. First I use the Char-Broil, Cool-Clean brush to clean the top followed by the Char-Broli, Cool-Clean 360 to get between the grates.
Best two brushes I have ever bought, got them at Lower.

Brian Mullinax
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Mullinax

Lowes, no Lower. Darn auto correct

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Mullinax

Ha! Thanks, Brian! I’ve always had good luck with the Char-Broil brand so this brush and 360 cleaner might be a trusty option.

Thanks for the suggestions!


Chuck T Masterson
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Mullinax

Plain newspaper, corrugated cardboard or better, paper egg trays clean the grill just fine. They start clean and end up trash, where they were headed anyway.

Mike Roberts
5 years ago

Emily, you’re really dating yourself using the term “tin foil”. Hopefully this is just something you picked up from your father

Chuck Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Roberts

Mike, is it just “foil” now?


Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Roberts

Hi Mike,

What’s the modern term for tin foil? I’ve always called it that so now you’ve got me curious! 🙂


Kevin Curtis
5 years ago
Reply to  Emily Woodbury

In the early part of the 20th century, most of the foil produced was, in fact, made of tin. It was used in packaging—cigarette packs were lined with it and chewing gum sticks were wrapped in it—and also for wrapping leftover food. The problem was, it gave whatever it touched a distinctive “tinny” taste, just like foods left too long in a tin can.

Tin foil had other uses, too. It was also used as a recording medium for a time (Thomas Edison’s famous 1877 recitation of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was on tin), but because the recordings didn’t last very long, manufacturers switched to wax cylinders.

In 1926, the U.S. Foil Company (the parent company of Reynolds Metals) introduced aluminum foil. It was an immediate hit. The material was lightweight, non-corrosive, and less expensive than other foils to produce, since it could be rolled much thinner and the yield per roll was much higher. One of the first commercially available products available pre-wrapped in aluminum foil was Eskimo Pies.

So even though tin foil has been out of vogue for almost 80 years, some people still cling to that name—maybe because it has three less syllables than aluminum, or maybe because that’s what grandma always called it.

Tin foil still has its useful place in society, however: There are some who advise that tin foil makes a far more effective deflector beanie than its aluminum counterpart when it comes to protecting your thoughts from V-chips and other spy signals.

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Curtis

Thanks for the interesting history, Kevin! I’ll call it by its proper name from now on.


5 years ago

re: The tank sensor cleaner that “requires no driving around”. If you go to the web site link and enlarge the bottle label it states you need to “drive for 20 minutes” !! A contradiction exists here.

T Hartman
5 years ago

I have been using a Weber grill scrubber. It works very well.

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  T Hartman

Thank you, T! I will look into the Weber grill scrubber. Your suggestion is much appreciated!

Tina GAllagher
5 years ago

I use the old method of oven cleaner. I place my grill on a couple of pieces of newspaper and spray liberally (outside, of course and wearing rubber gloves) with oven cleaner. I fold over the newspaper, making sure both sides of the grill are coated with oven cleaner. Newspapers and grill are placed in a trash bag and left outside overnight. The next day, while wearing gloves, I rinse the grill off with copious amounts of water, then take inside and scrub with a green scrubber. It works every time.

5 years ago

Two words: grill mats. Your grill will never be hard to clean again

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Hi, Chris. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve used tin foil in the past but don’t like all the waste. A grill mat would be a fantastic solution. Thank you!

Ted Miller
5 years ago

Ref: Emily’s Product Spotlight Warning
After I saw a program on TV about a young boy getting a piece of the BBQ grill brush caught in his intestines I came up with the idea of using a wire brush used by welders. instead off tiny thin brass or copper wire, it has much longer and larger diameter wires. It really gets deep into the grill and cleans great. The handle is thick and easy to use, but could be longer. I also use a couple of strong paper towels with olive oil to wipe it clean and keep it from rusting. About 5 years now and going strong and the grill looks great.

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Ted Miller

Hi, Ted! So glad you’re already aware of the dangers of this tool. Great advice about the welder’s brush – I’m going to look into this. Glad you found a less dangerous alternative to keeping your grill clean!

5 years ago
Reply to  Emily Woodbury

My method for cleaning grills — surprisingly, just put the grill in a plastic garbage bag with a few ounces of white vinegar… after about an hour, not only does all the “scum” come off, but any small spots of rust will have been “un-rusted” like magic. It’s weird, but it WORKS. I recovered a cast iron grill that I was going to throw out for being hopelessly rusted, and now it’s back in service.

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

I don’t think this is weird at all, Wolfe! This sounds like a great idea. I use vinegar instead of many toxic cleaning chemicals around my apartment and find it always does the trick. I’ll give this a try! Thank you!

5 years ago
Reply to  Emily Woodbury

Regarding the LP gauges, the “pressure” ones are complete GARBAGE. I explain why here:

Basically, propane maintains the same 40psi GAS pressure until the LIQUID propane is nearly gone, so while the needle will move, it doesn’t actually indicate ANYTHING about the level of propane in the tank.

Rick Davidson
5 years ago

Favorite Grill Brush: My favorite grill brush is not a brush at all but rather a 1″ dia. piece of “green” bamboo about 1 foot long with one end cut at about a 60º angle. The angled end slips between the grill bars and the green bamboo flexes allowing you to scrape off all the burnt on stuff WITHOUT damaging any ceramic coatings you may have. Works great on SS too. Easy to make and if it gets a little dull just cut a new edge or find you some bamboo and make another one.

Emily Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Rick Davidson

This is fantastic, Rick! I am absolutely going to try this! I love using as many natural products as possible and this seems like the perfect option for that. Happy grilling!

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