Monday, September 25, 2023


Great RV Accessories Newsletter – Issue 1

rv travel logoAfter a leave of absence, by popular demand, the Great RV Accessories Newsletter is back. As always, the newsletter features loads of good things that are of special interest to RVers. We welcome your ideas or just write up a review and submit it here

In most cases, the products we review will be available in many stores. We will most often provide a link to Amazon. We receive a small commission from such sales, but you pay the same as you would otherwise. So take your pick!

EDITED BY Tony Barthel

Dueling eBikes

If you spend any time in places where RVers gather, you’re very likely to see electric bicycles, or eBikes. Not quite a motorcycle and more than a bicycle, these nifty conveyances give you the ability to get to places up to 20 miles away without so much as thinking about pedaling.

But an eBike will also enable you to ride it just like a traditional bicycle. There are also an increasing number of folding eBikes which really seem to suit RVers well. As such, we have two reviews of eBikes for you in this return of the gadget newsletter.

Our own Nanci Dixon tested out a Lectric folding eBike and shares her experiences with that. Lectric is a relatively new name in the field of eBikes, but they’ve definitely come on strong.

Meanwhile, I got to spend some seat time with an electric bicycle myself, having tested out the Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru 2.

If you’ve been thinking of getting an eBike, here are two solid options and two different opinions to help you.

Laundry on the road . . .

Do you need a portable washing machine?

Have you thought of adding a washing machine to your RV… or did yours come with one? Or do you prefer the entertaining dance of laundry as yours and others’ clothes take a spin in a laundromat? You, too, can weigh in on the review of the portable washing machine for your RV.

But wait! There’s more!
Okay, let’s get real here. A portable washing machine is one thing, but a portable, counter-top dishwasher! Does that sound good? If you’re stuck with dish-duty every evening and would rather let technology do the job, then maybe this sounds like a dream come true. But, come on. While a portable dishwasher sounds good, the Capsule Personal Dishwasher is so small we figure you could do your dishes by hand as fast as loading the machine and then emptying it, and then taking up valuable space to store it. But maybe you like the idea. If so, you might want to join the Kickstarter campaign.

RV Products – Stuff Worth Knowing About

RV awningHave you damaged the awning in your RV?

You may find that awnings are difficult to come by, but this newsletter’s editor, Tony Barthel, damaged his awning so you don’t have to. And he has the story about finding awning parts, including an entire new awning. Here’s the lowdown on awning replacements.

A compact grill for when you’re away from the RV

This compact grill is perfect for packing along when you’re away from the RV, or maybe even in the campground when you want to grill a couple of burgers over charcoal. It sets up in 30 seconds, and slips inside a backpack afterwards, taking hardly any space. And it’s a featherweight at barely over 3 pounds. Amazon had it for less than $50 the last time we looked. This is pretty darn cool.

Essential for every RV kitchen
There is no doubt about it. When handling hot foods, at home or on the road, two kitchen items are essential: an oven mitt and a pot holder. Well, this is your lucky day. For what amounts to spare change, you can have both, and … Wow! Are these perfect for RVers. What a great holiday gift. Learn more or order. Click

Smartphones … Who’s the smartest?

• staffer Mike Gast found his favorite smartphone case. But wait … Tony Barthel thinks this is the best smartphone mount. Who’s right?

• While on the subject of smartphones, did you know you can use yours to monitor the comfort of your pets while you’re away from your RV? And there’s another device that uses the brains of your phone to determine if your RV is overweight.

• If your smartphone needs a charge, we have a brand-new review of a great new off-grid solar-powered battery charger from Go Power!

What do RVers REALLY want for Christmas? Check out this list, filled with tons of gadget and other ideas! You’ll want to send this to your family… hint, hint…

Don’t just make cookies! Make RV cookies!
Dozens of RV shapes! How cool are these?

Water from the air! Yes!

AquatapYou know how you run out of water when boondocking? Randall Brink wrote about a device that can magically make water from air!

Tony Barthel has a gadget that might help you with power when boondocking.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!*

Would you like to make ice cream while you’re heading to your destination!? We found a gadget that might let you do just that in this portable ice cream maker.

*Listen to Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians’ version of this song from 1925 here.

We’ve all broken a zipper or two. Or perhaps a dozen. We found this kit that will help solve that problem by allowing you to fix any type of zipper.

Now, use your air conditioner in low-power situations never before possible!

The SoftStartRV is a game changer. What a great holiday gift! Here’s what it can do:
• Run one air conditioner using only a small portable generator.
• Run one air conditioner on 20-amp household current.
• Run two air conditioners (with two SoftStartRVs) on a 30-amp hookup.
• Run an air conditioner or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.


Pleasure-Way has partnered with Truma in the design of its new RECON 4×4 camper van, featuring the debut of the Truma Cooler within the Pleasure-Way product line, as well as current staples, the Truma AquaGo and the Truma VarioHeat. The Truma Cooler provides fridge or freezer capability with the mobility to pre-load the removable trays and monitor the cooler via a smart device via Bluetooth.

Hughes Power Watchdog

Oh, no! We have our own RV Gadget Geek and the King of RV Electricity collaborating on videos now? Here’s a video with Tony Barthel and Mike Sokol talking about the Hughes Power Watchdog. Oh, and you can even get one at a discount on Hughes’ website with the coupon code RVTRAVEL1

A stocking stuffer than can save lives

Here’s a gift that could save someone’s life by providing fresh drinking water wherever they travel! Anyone who travels away from home, and especially in the outdoors, should pack along a LifeStraw. It removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites. The microbiological filter will provide 1,000 gallons of clean and safe drinking water with proper use and maintenance. This is one of the best stocking stuffers you could give for the holidays. Learn more or order.

It came in the mail …

At, companies send us stuff all the time, hoping we’ll review it. If it’s something great for RVers, we usually tell you about it. But in this case, the product was appropriate for anyone except vegetarians and vegans. Our editor is neither, and he wolfed down the two 10-ounce packages of Old Trapper Beef Jerky in one day. (Hey, beef jerky is great for lunch!) So we’ll mention the product even though it’s not exclusively for RVers. (Okay, we admit we can be bribed!)


Mini stick-on button lamps are perfect for RV’s dark spaces
The glowing gadget with many uses. You’ll want it for your RV
Stop guessing! This water meter won’t let you overfill your tanks
The best way to keep bugs off your food
Clear2O water filtration system: Clean water, compact size
Nite Ize Gear Ties, essential for your RV’s toolbox
Stinky sewer dump? Try this to seal the smell away!

VIEW CAMPSITES just like you were driving through the campground. See one you really like? Learn instantly if it’s available and reserve it on the spot at Campground Views.

Return to today’s RV Travel Newsletter


Editor: Tony Barthel

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
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 or this newsletter. 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 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 2021 by RV Travel LLC.


  1. You can get $10 worth of quarters in a empty medicine container. Really doesn’t take any room. I fill them up and give them to our grandchildren in college. Thats what grandpa’s are for

  2. I have tried so many ice cream makers that I find it cheaper to either go to the main store to get it or find a place to get it. So much cheaper. IMO? Don’t bother. Washing machines? If you go early in the day you can get it all done. But making sure you have quarters is a pain. With the size of our camper I really do not want to be storing anything more then I have to. Otherwise I plan to get an air fryer oven and live off that one. As for E bikes? I have not been able to find one I like for under a grand and portable. O well.

  3. The ice cream ball. As a Cub Scout leader years ago we did the same thing with plastic coffee cans, one very large and one smaller. Just need to use duct tape to keep the lids on and have the scouts sit on the ground rolling it back and forth between two of them. Worked great.

  4. So far this year, the number 1 stolen item across the country are eBikes…..make sure you have an outstanding locking system in place when you can’t see your bikes

    • And because every bike lock can, with enough time and effort, be defeated by a determined thief put an “air tag” on/in the bike so you can track it down if it is stolen. Same goes for your RV and every other thing of value that you would want to retrieve if lost or stolen…

  5. I bought the Hughes Power Watchdog on a trip this fall because my existing surge protector failed.
    It was less expensive than the Progressive Industries Surge Guard and it has worked flawlessly. I was even able to point out a high voltage issue to the campground staff using the monitoring app.


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