Monday, December 4, 2023


Great RV Accessories Newsletter – Issue 11

EDITED BY Tony Barthel

It’s been an interesting month since we last visited. My wife and I attended the FROG (Forest River Owners’ Group) Rally in Elkhart, Indiana, and the FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. We also bought a house in Rio Rancho (near Albuquerque), New Mexico. Oh, and someone rear-ended our new trailer. What a month!

But those rallies also resulted in some nifty gadgets, which we report on here.

And if you have some curiosity about the rear-ending thing, I detailed it in this podcast.

The Dump Buddy

One of my least favorite parts of the RV life that we all get to enjoy is dumping our holding tanks. One of the reasons for that is the concern that the sewer hose is going to go all Mount Vesuvius on us right in the middle of the process. The fear is real, people. The fear is real!

I was thrilled with a gadget that was sent to me called the Dump Buddy®. I have a whole review of this but, suffice it to say, I think this is one of those must-have RV gadgets. Why? Well, read the story!

Click here

It’s all about Ryobi …

I’m a fan … of Ryobi

Yes, it’s a pun. But I really am a fan of these portable 18-volt fans from Ryobi. The more I use them, the more uses I seem to find for them. I’ve detailed all that in this story.

Read the review

Power to the people! Portable power inverter for camping

I mentioned in the Ryobi fan article that there are a few other gadgets from Ryobi that we’ve looked at in the past. I’ve shared a small Ryobi 18-volt power station that might serve some of you well.

Check it out

Keeping cool without an AC

I’m not the only Ryobi fan in this house. The RV Electricity Guru, Mike Sokol, also shared a Ryobi gadget that could help you keep your cool during hot weather. Check out Mike’s heat-beating Ryobi gadget.

Heat-beating Ryobi gadget

Keyed up

A while ago I shared with you that I had replaced the lock in my travel trailer with one from RVLock. I literally had to break into that trailer to accomplish the swap. Funny thing, my neighbors at the most recent FMCA Convention had to do the same thing, which inspired me to replace the lock in my new travel trailer with one from RVLock.

If you want to step back in time a bit, here’s the story of the first RVLock installed after breaking into my trailer.

I broke into my own RV

Other stuff we’re liking

We all love to eat, of course, so here are some nifty food hacks you may appreciate.

RV food hacks

Thirsty for gadgets? 

I met the folks from Dometic at the most recent FROG rally in Indiana and got my hands on this portable self-powered water pitcher which has actually proven quite useful as we traverse the highways and byways. Grab a drink and see what you think.

Portable powered water jug

Getting a handle on my trailer

When I was at the FROG Rally I got a tremendous amount of interest in my Safe-T-Rail RV step rail. Apparently, you all are really interested, as well. For those of you who missed it, here’s my article about the MORryde Safe-T-Rail handle. It’s nifty!

Click here to read

This month’s RV video

I have shared with you that the 12-volt GE RV refrigerator isn’t exactly my favorite. I shared that complaint with the kind folks at Dometic, who actually asked me to test their 12-volt RV refrigerator.

Why would I replace a working refrigerator with a seemingly similar reefer? Well, that’s what this month’s video is all about.

The Book Nook

While we haven’t been sent any books to review this month, there are a few you should know about.

  • Chuck and Emily are both nearly finished with “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir. You may be familiar with Weir, who wrote the bestselling-book-turned-blockbuster-movie, “The Martian.” If you like science, outer space, and aliens, you’ll love his newest book. (And, even if you don’t like any of those things, you’ll still love it!) It’s a page-turner. Learn more.
  • Don’t forget to have an updated 2023 version of Rand McNally’s Road Atlas at the ready near your dash. It will come in handy!
  • Lastly, if you travel with a firearm, make sure you have this recently updated book on firearm laws in all 50 states.

rv travel logoStaff

Editor: Tony Barthel

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
Help desk:
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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 2022 by RV Travel LLC.


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jillie (@guest_202898)
1 year ago

I never thought to use the tool to remove the oil filter can in the car for the stuck sewer unit that always sticks when it comes time to leave. Going to go get one on my next trip to the store.

Kyle Petree (@guest_201464)
1 year ago

Welcome to Rio Rancho Tony! Not only do I also live there, I have a stable of Ryobi tools in my camper!

Steven D. Ostrander (@guest_201458)
1 year ago

As a retired professional contractor I agree with Tony about Ryobi. I regularly used Dewalt , Makita, Skill,and other brand name products. Some of these make the best individual tools. Ryobi has been right there with them. It does depend on what corral of batteries you have.

Edward Wilkinson (@guest_201448)
1 year ago

Sure enjoy your articles. But I am sad that you got rid of your GE fridge. I had an ally in you. I have the same GE fridge that has ruined our new 2022 Rockwood 2109S experience. How do I get Dometic to let me test a new one? We have all the same bad experiences, with the exception of shattered glass. Rockwood has been totally unresponsive to my quest for advice on how to make this terrible fridge work. I wanted to try all their suggestions and put that out there on the forums. I think that they are befuddled themselves. And certainly quiet on the subject! Not a word back. Oh well.

Jim Brand (@guest_201388)
1 year ago

Enjoyed the accessory news letter. Thanks for a great job

Skip (@guest_201383)
1 year ago

No Poll or Leave Here With a Laugh 🙁

Ferd (@guest_201391)
1 year ago
Reply to  Skip

This is the Accessory Newsletter.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Skip

Hi, Skip. I don’t think we’ve ever put a Poll or a Leave Here With a Laugh in the Great RV Accessories Newsletter. Maybe we should consider it? Although some of the stuff Tony writes certainly gives us a chuckle! Have a great day. 😀 -Diane

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony

Sure, as long as it’s rated for general audiences or it’ll get deleted (probably by someone else). Remember, I just work here. 😀 –Diane

Stephanie (@guest_201372)
1 year ago

RV FOOD HACKS link not working….aww

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