Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Great RV Accessories Newsletter – Issue 10

rv travel logoHere I sit, a week early to the 2022 FROG Rally in Elkhart, Indiana, and I can’t wait to see what all gadgets are on display here. But that’s next month’s gadget newsletter. This month I’m back to focusing on solar and battery systems, including the cutting-edge system I’ve had the privilege of testing for the past few months. 

If you’re planning to attend the FROG rally next week or the FMCA Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, I hope to have the privilege of meeting you.

EDITED BY Tony Barthel

More power to you!

I have been testing what is, to some, the ultimate gadget. Since late May I have had one heck of a solar and lithium system in my own prototype RV. This system has given me some real insight into how these systems perform in the real world and how far I can push things.

But mine isn’t the only one with a system of this caliber, as I detail in an article about some other systems of this caliber along with my own personal experience.

If you’re thinking of migrating to a high-performance lithium/battery system, I hope I can provide some insight into how these systems perform in the real world.

Solar/Lithium on the cutting edge

What if you don’t have the power for the power?

As I was camping and looking at the weather forecast, I realized we had several days of cloudy skies ahead that were also humid. You know, the worst-case scenario for my solar/battery system.

I was absolutely going to want to run the A/C for a few hours a day, so I was thinking of all the plan “B” scenarios. I spoke with our own Mike Sokol, who suggested the CarGenerator™.

This nifty gadget allows you to use your vehicle as a generator. It may be all the power you need and yet isn’t another engine you have to maintain.

CarGenerator review

Taming the GE fridge

I’ve talked to more than a few of you since I wrote this article about using a battery-powered fan to make the 12-volt fridge experience better. Apparently, people have wildly different experiences with 12-volt RV refrigerators depending on the brand.

I have found that this little battery-powered fan was a big help in my previous propane-electric fridge and also helps my newer 12-volt model perform better.

Fridge-taming fan

How much water do you have?

If you’ve ever wondered how much capacity your fresh water tank actually has, or would rather fill it to a certain percentage rather than wait until it overflows, this simple portable water meter may be the gadget for you.

Portable water meter

A tasty gadget: Barbecue grill mat

Somewhere I have a number of these barbecue grilling mats and I love them. I had actually forgotten how much until I read Gail Marsh’s article about them. While how they work doesn’t compute in my mind, they certainly are a great accessory for a barbecue.

Barbecue grilling mat

Do you have an eBike that needs a bike rack?

We got two folding Lectric eBikes and they’ve been in crates in the back of the truck. It’s nice that they fold, but they’re not so convenient there. I looked for a great bike rack for the back of our trailer and found one—the CURT aluminum tray bike rack. I love this thing.

Perhaps you’re looking for the same solution I was. If so, I can’t recommend this thing enough.

CURT bike rack

…and if you don’t already have an eBike

I have had a couple of brands of eBikes and presently have two Lectric eBikes—one for myself and one for my better half. If you don’t already have your own electric bike, Nanci Dixon has one to share with you (well, not actually share share, although I’m sure she would), and she also has an update after 100 miles of use.

Lectric eBike after 100 miles

Are you RV fire safe?

I had a chance to put my hands on an Element Fire Extinguisher, which is a very small and very different fire suppression tool from what you may be used to. In this article, I explain why it’s different and why I think you should consider getting one.

Element Fire Extinguisher review

This doesn’t bug me… anymore

I got a chance to try out the Bugs Off pads that are designed to remove bugs from the front of your RV, or any vehicle for that matter. The design is meant to make the job easier but does it? Well, that’s what my review is all about!

Bugs Off Bug Remover Pads review

Hey – What are you getting on Amazon?

Did you ever wonder what other RVtravel.com readers are buying? What kinds of cool gadgets are coming from Amazon to other RVers and making their lives easier? We looked at the ten favorite things you’re buying through Amazon recently and came up with the answer.

RVtravel.com’s top 10 products in July

This month’s RV video

In the article above I share about some of the installed power systems in RVs and that generated a lot of emails to me asking how one could put such a system into an existing RV. As such, I talked to the company who is building them into RVs and they are, indeed, offering these systems in the aftermarket. Here’s my podcast episode (in video form) as this month’s video about these aftermarket systems.

The Book Nook

RVers Jason and Abby Epperson have been traveling the country with their three boys for five years. These full-time RVers somehow find the time to home-school the boys, do two podcasts including one about the National Parks and also a weekly news video.

And now they’ve written a book entitled “National Parks Journal for Kids: Log and Remember Your Awesome Outdoor Adventures”. It will be available August 30.

Kids can answer questions, learn trivia, draw pictures, and complete other activities that help them explore and appreciate every park they visit! 

Find it here.

It came in the mail

This company sends a lot of information via email and the products are definitely interesting, but we haven’t had a chance to try them. Still, the idea of a stain and mildew remover for awnings and other fabric surfaces intrigues us. If you’ve tried it, let me know.

Stain and mildew remover for awnings

Other gadget ideas

Gail Marsh has some great ideas for all sorts of gadgets, and this article with 10 creative uses for carabiners is a good example of that.

10 creative uses for carabiners


Editor: Tony Barthel

Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
: Advertising@rvtravel.com
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 2022 by RV Travel LLC.


  1. Just a food for thought but if you own an E bike most buses will not transport them because most buses that use propane cannot transport them. Propane and E bikes do not mix. FYI

  2. I can answer the “What are you getting on Amazon” question very easily. NOTHING! I refuse to buy from them, and try to always buy from non-monopolistic businesses.

    • Guilty as charged – it’s so easy to order online from Amazon, Walmart, ebay and others. That said, on Amazon one should be careful not to put too much emphasis on the “reviews” or even the claimed manufacturers – on some products there are lots of fake reviews, cheap product imitation knockoffs, dishonest product claims, etc. For instance almost all the flashlight manufacturers (except Anker, Fenix and Nitecore) make false claims of the illumination (Lumens) that are almost 100 times the true flashlight output. Here’s a video that reveals the false advertising on flashlights sold on Amazon:

    • I think the one lesson any seller can learn from Amazon is how expediently they manage shipping and delivery. There are a few competitors who get this but many who absolutely don’t.

      Often times Amazon is no longer the lowest cost seller of an item but the ease of ordering and shipping are best in class. That’s the lesson I think other retailers, large and small, should take away.

      I’m like you – I would much rather buy from a locally-owned business and there are some I’ve encountered on my travels where I continue to buy their products. But I only do so if they’ve managed to conquer shipping/delivery. With all the digital tools available nowadays this isn’t a big hurdle any more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.