By Dave Helgeson
Are you a free spirit that likes to travel without advance reservations? Do you just show up at an RV park or campground and take your chances that they have a space available? What if the available spaces don’t have electrical service? Will you head down the road in the hopes of finding an RV space with electrical service or will you make do for the night?
With the demand for campsites at an all-time high due to hordes of those discovering that RVing is the safest way to travel during a pandemic, you might be more inclined to take what is available these days and tough out a night without shore power.
If you find yourself toughing it out more often these days, you might find one or more of the following items a useful alternative to using the comparable 120-volt appliance, saving you from using your generator or inverter.
- Use a 12 volt USB adapter to charge your cell phones and other electronics
- Use a stove top toaster on your gas stove instead of an electric toaster
- Consider using solar yard lights around your campsite when you don’t have 120 volts available to run your patio lights.
- Use a Whirley-Pop Popcorn Popper to pop popcorn instead of popping it in your microwave oven. Don’t have the space in your RV to store a Whirley-Pop? Go old school and bring some Jiffy Pop popcorn and amaze the grandkids!
- Use a stove top coffee maker or espresso maker for your morning caffeine fix in place of the electric version. The AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker is the coffee maker of choice for many RVers.
- Consider carrying a 12-volt box fan to circulate air in your RV on stuffy days. Fan-Tastic Vent makes a nice one.
- If you are a CPAP user, purchase a 12-volt adapter for your machine. It is a good idea to carry one anyway in the event of a power outage during a stay at a full-service RV park.
- Finally, if you end up where it is unbearably hot, consider installing a SoftStartRV air conditioner management device on your RV’s air conditioner(s). Your generator won’t have to work as hard to get the air conditioner started, resulting in less noise from your generator surging and less noise inside your RV from your air conditioners compressor. The author recently installed one and is very impressed.
A few of these items are not “new” – many were how our grandparents “toughed it out” back in the days before there were full-hookup RV spaces, microwaves, espresso machines, etc.