Greetings, gadget lovers. The gadgets are rolling in and we’re testing them for you. Thank you for your excellent feedback and suggestions!
Did you know we have a forum where you can weigh in with your own ideas, suggestions and tips? You can find that forum here. We have some interesting ideas, suggestions and tips this month so, without further delay, here are the gadgets.
EDITED BY Tony Barthel
The Year of the Cat, er, Kat…
The CatStrap prevents catalytic converter thefts
We have reported on how prevalent catalytic converter thefts are, particularly in RVs, SUVs and pickups, where the devices have a lot of value and also happen to be easy to steal. With that in mind, we took a look at a gadget that very well might help thwart a thief or at least encourage them to move on to an easier victim.
Keep mice out of your RV while in storage with the BoxKat
We got to speak with the inventor of the Boxkat, an effective and portable mouse barrier that is perfect for those of us who might store their RVs for long periods of time. Mice can cause extensive and expensive damage and this is a good solution that could work perfectly for RVers.
I have seen a lot of folks wondering how to take their bicycles with them when they hit the road. One option is the one I’ve chosen, which is the Lippert Jack-It® bicycle carrier. If you want your bikes to join you on your adventure, check this out.
The tail “wagon” the dog
Okay, that was bad. But the wagon we got from Lippert isn’t! It’s a great RV accessory because it folds up nice and small but is a real heavyweight when it comes to schlepping stuff around the campsite.
RV Slideout Sweep
Another thing I frequently see are questions about slide toppers. Should you? Shouldn’t you? Well, one of the gadgets I keep in my own camper is the RV Slideout Sweep—which I use to sweep off the roof of our travel trailer without ever leaving the comfort of the ground.
Roadtrippers makes trip planning fun and easy
It’s the #1 road trip planning tool for a reason! With Roadtrippers, RV trip planning is a breeze! Make your own itinerary or view pre-made trip guides, find local things to do including roadside attractions, parks, scenic viewpoints and more, see how much fuel you’ll need and what it will cost, collaborate with friends and family, see live traffic conditions and much, much more. Sign up and receive $5 off with code BTR5QTP. Learn more here.
Other stuff we’re liking…
One of the staples of my RV tool kit is the Clear2O water filter. Some of these gadgets are so much a part of my own camping experience that I have forgotten to share them with you here. I like this thing so much that we did a video about it.
Do the safety dance
One of the critical factors in the safety of your RV is its weight. We recently ran an article about RV weight and safety and one of the options for keeping an eye on things is Curt’s BetterWeigh™ device. This device works with your tow vehicle’s computer system to help you know what kind of load it’s towing.
I have been working on a 1970 Aristocrat travel trailer and couldn’t figure out where a leak was coming from. There’s a shocker. But it reminded me that I should buy an endoscope and I just did. Found the leak and now I know what I’m up against. Check out why you may need one of these in an article by Nanci Dixon.
Okay, it’s technically not a gadget, but those of us who love doing stuff to our RVs might include making them look less, well, brown. Oh, sure, dirt is a good color. But sometimes you just wanna add some color but, perhaps, not so much. Gail Marsh did an article about adding some style to your home on wheels without going overweight.
The Book Nook
- Author and traveler Nancy Bell Kimsey has written two books, Grace on a Rambling Road and Joy by a Roaring Campfire. They are devotional books that connect truths from the Bible with stories of life on the road, meditations on nature, prayers, and life applications.
- Your favorite books – part one.
- Your favorite books – part two.
Psst: I have another cool gadget coming up in tomorrow’s Saturday newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter so you never miss new gadget reviews!
So you’re telling me…
Lots of companies send us lots of information about lots of stuff. Here are some things we haven’t tried, but seem interesting:
- We heard from Sunflare solar panels. They sell flexible panels that the company claims do not “microcrack,” which results in degrading performance of the panels. The company’s panels have a diode at every cell that can enable/disable that cell, so if the panels are in partial sun, they still maintain functionality. The company has three sizes with prices from $449 to $749 for panels from 105-180 watts. Installation is accomplished by simply peeling off a sticky back and applying the panels to the roof or other RV surface.
- It didn’t quite come in the mail, but we got a press release from Dometic about their drive-away all-season awning enclosures. Seems like a cool thing for the right customer. Or, maybe a warm thing for the right customer.
- EZQuest® has an intriguing line of chargers that seem to address all the different types of connectors we’re dealing with nowadays. Learn more.
- A start-up company called Vanpowers has released two “solar generators” similar to the Jackery we reviewed but, seemingly, with longer-lasting batteries. You can check them out for yourself here.
Return to today’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter—don’t miss it!
Editor: Tony Barthel
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That inflatable ‘room’ is brilliant! 🙂 … think I might wait for the price to come down a bit though. 🙂
Good newsletter again. Thanks. A comment about Cat Converter theft. I tend to believe the problem is not the thefts, it is the converter itself. The Cat Converter has been on cars for over 40 years and is basically the same it was 40 years ago. In 40 years engineers/scientists have not developed an improvement? “If it works, don’t fix it” doesn’t work here in my humble opinion. I think we should be addressing the problem (converters) and not scurrying around fixing symptoms (thefts).
No idea what your talking about.
I guess the current solution to every problem is just go buy an EV.
I’m gonna wait until someone gives me one, just sayin’…
Then don’t fix it.
Cats have changed a lot since they were first put on cars in 1975. If you’d like to know more check Wikipedia, it’s got a good article on cats.
The anti-theft devices for cats look pretty ingenious and make the risk/reward calculation for someone stealing your cat less attractive. It may at least protect YOUR cat.
Since we can’t mine Platinum and Rhodium fast enough for the rest of the industrial sector’s demands we’ve created a market these metals that unscrupulous metals dealers are willing to exploit. The only two real solutions are to find a way to increase mine yields for the metals used in Cats (making the market for stolen cats go away) or to make the penalties so great that risk isn’t worth the reward for the people caught stealing them or trying to sell stolen cats.
It’s a chemical reaction, essentially, so the metals in the converters are specific to cause the reaction and convert specific tailpipe emission elements to water. Unfortunately it’s rather rare (expensive) metals and the converters are easy to steal.
Thank you for the kind words, Friz.
Glad you enjoy it and I sincerely appreciate the kind words.