Tuesday, September 26, 2023


My most useful RV accessory in four decades of RVing

By Chuck Woodbury

I became an official, card-carrying RVer at the age of 34 when I bought my first RV, an 18-foot motorhome. I am now more than twice that age, a seasoned RVer you could say. Long-time RVtravel.com readers are familiar with that first RV which was, and may still be, an all-time champion roof-leaker.

Yes, it leaked. Yes, that was a pain in the you-know-what. But, oh, did I love that little RV! I owned the “Casita” (not to be confused with the small trailer of the same name) for about six years. It broke down on average about every third trip. It was bad news, no question about that. But I loved it. I have never owned an RV since that I loved so much. I believe it was “first love syndrome.”

I have owned a half dozen other RVs since, all with far better bones than the “leaker.” Still, my heart, a piece of it, remains with Numero Uno, wherever it may be now, most likely in a thousand pieces in junkyards and recycling yards across the USA.

All through the years, I have owned one item that has been with me in every RV I have owned. It has come in handy more than any other single item except food and water. You can buy an almost identical product today for less than $20. It requires no electricity — not the plug-in variety or the AA battery variety. It requires next to no maintenance. It does not break down. It’s so simple to operate that even a child can use it, and, in fact, it is designed to be used by a child.

So what could it be?

It’s a broom! Yes, a broom! But no ordinary broom! A kid’s broom, made of wood, straw and twine. End to end, it measures less than three feet. It looks like a full-size broom but smaller. You could say it’s “cute.”

Through the years, I have used it a thousand times to sweep my floors. It has cleaned a thousand entry steps. It can reach high to remove spiderwebs. It has swept dirt from my carpet when electricity was not available for a vacuum cleaner. The little broom can reach into hidden corners where a full-size broom cannot. A wayward raisin, stuck on the floor beneath a cabinet, can be fetched with ease.

And, as far as storage. It fits anywhere! I keep mine (to this day) by my front door.

I didn’t realize until now, when I was inspired to write this, how much my little broom (actually four or five through the years) meant to me.

And, in case you did not know this — and I bet you did not — Wikipedia reports that at least one credible source claims that the United States had 1,039 broom factories in 1919. Some good trivia for you. Few are left, sad to say.

If you don’t have such a broom, you can probably buy one at Walmart, and for sure at Amazon. You could spend your money no better.

I love my broom!



  1. “Also, for those of us who have cats – instead of bending wayyy over using a whisk broom to sweep up any cat litter a “child’s broom” is a back-saver!! I’ve still got my whisk broom with its dustpan from 40 years ago (TRUE, I DO…whisk broom fits in the dustpan for storage, I love it) and back then they were well made with stiff plastic bristles that got the job done right like a straw broom does…not anymore the bristles are flimsy and cheaply made to say the least. A “child’s broom” is well made with its stiff straw bristles and solid wood handle and it gets the job done lickety-split plus it saves your back…oh, and it allows you to get into smaller spaces than a standard sized broom (i.e. storage compartments/basement of your RV)!! A “child’s broom” truly IS a MUST HAVE and if you have a well made whisk broom hold onto it too!!!!”

  2. I have a cinnamon broom attached with magnets in our RV. It repels bugs, looks adorable, smells great and does the trick for sweeping and dusting.

  3. I keep my little broom & dustpan in the bathroom. As far as first love RV, my 1980 coleman Gettysburg is parked in a side yard at my house. No one wants a 42 year old popup trailer.

  4. Can’t leave home without it! We’ve used “the little broom” since we started tent camping, then a fold down, then a 25′ class A and now a 35′ class A – it just hangs in the back bedroom waiting to be put into service. Durable, inexpensive to acquire and use – sweeps carpet, steps, floors of all kinds and even the outdoor mat! – what more could you want?

  5. While at Lebanon, TN, we bought a child sized broom. At the Fiddler’s Grove, there was a guy making straw brooms by hand. Just had to have one.
    Straw broom making was an industry in the Lebanon area, many years ago.

  6. We just got a triple slide truck camper that has vinyl flooring. I got a broom, but brooms tend to move the larger bits of debris & leave the fine dust & some of the sand in place, especially with my vinyl floor, which mimics wood planks in color & texture. So, I found a Black & Decker dust buster that is perfect for the truck camper. It’s different than most dust busters. It has the narrow nozzle that most dbs have, & attachments. But it also has a built in spreader. You pull out the extension on the end & it spreads out to create a nearly 5″ wide nozzle, instead of the normal 2″ dust buster opening. I can sweep the entire floor, about 60 sq ft, in less than 2 minutes. It’s a very narrow vacuum & gets into tight spots easily. This dust buster is perfect for a small camper where you don’t want to carry a larger vacuum. i got it at Walmart for $35, BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Hand Vacuum – Slim – Walmart.com

  7. Although I too have the broom that is always in my RV I have to say my most valued item is my tripod grill I use to cook over a fire. We bought one back in 2000 when we bought our first popup camper. The grill is still with us four campers later. Paid $17 at walmart for it and you can still by them for $23 today.

  8. My husband and I were tent camping on our honeymoon 51 years ago and bought a broom just like that. We still use it in our Sprinter van!

  9. I bought a child’s broom when I was a clown, decorated the handle with strips of colored tape, and used it and a tiny dustpan to sweep up ‘litter’…. Now retired, I still have it sitting in a corner and often use it for many of the chores you mention…plus killing an occasional bug.


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