Earlier this week we sent out an email to all of our staff and writers. It asked, “What are your favorite RV gadgets/items? It can be anything from the best thing you use around the RV, to your favorite RV decor, to the thing that has the most uses around your RV. Your if-you-had-to-tell-a-new-RVer-
Here are [most of] their answers:
Ross Regis, The RV Engineer: BUG-A-SALT
“Is this necessary? No. Will it increase your RV’s value? No. But your inner child deserves a toy this holiday season, and I recommend the BUG-A-SALT gun. It’s a close-range firearm for devastating house flies and stink bugs (best used during winterization). Load with salt, take careful aim, and bring your enemy down. You can take it easy and snipe from the couch, or you can rampage through the RV like a one-person SWAT team. Vacuum afterward to remove the evidence.” Find the BUG-A-SALT here.
Cheri Sicard: Jackery 1500 Solar Generator
“My Jackery 1500 solar generator. Runs everything except the A/C, and there is a certain sense of power and freedom in pulling your own energy out of the sky. Can charge via solar panels, shore power or 12-volt plug while driving. It was expensive but worth it.” If you’re interested, you can find it here.
Dave Helgeson: Spot X
“I don’t go anywhere without my Spot X satellite messenger. Spot X provides me with two-way communication regardless of cell phone coverage wherever my adventures take me. At the push of a button I can provide my exact location and needs to first responders in an emergency, I can check in with family and friends at the end of a day’s RV travel, let my wife track my footsteps when in the backcountry, and so much more. Not a very glamorous item, but something that always goes with me hiking, snowmobiling, motorcycle riding and RVing. I do use it every day while out and about in the RV.” Learn more about Spot X here.
Gail Marsh: Thermacell Mosquito Repellent
“We love our Thermacell! It’s a no-scent, no-smoke mosquito repellent machine. And it really works! The Thermacell will effectively rid your campsite of pesky mosquitoes. Forget about spraying insect repellent on yourself and your loved ones. Ditch your citronella candles. Instead, just activate the Thermacell and let’s get this picnic started!” Learn more about the Thermacell repellent here.
Tony Barthel: AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press
“Argh! Just one gadget?! I guess if I have to pick just ONE I’m going to go with the AeroPress. I still use that doggone thing all the time and it really does make great coffee easily and without needing a lot of water. Here’s the article I wrote about it.” And here’s where you can buy one.
Nanci Dixon: Battery Tender
“I am so very happy with this little Battery Tender. Thank you Mike Sokol for suggesting it and even sending me the link. This is the first time we have put our RV into storage for any length of time and this tender connected to our solar panels is keeping our chassis batteries happy. I know because I have been a bit nervous about both the chassis batteries staying up to snuff and have checked weekly. It’s perfect!” Learn more or order.
Emily Woodbury: My Critter Catcher
“For anyone who doesn’t like or is scared of spiders or bugs, this is for you/them! My Critter Catcher lets you catch bugs and spiders and put them back outside with a long pole. The best part? You’re about 4 feet away so you never have to get close to the creepy crawly. Nobody gets hurt, there’s no mess, and you get to sleep safe and sound knowing that Mr. Spider is back outside where he belongs.” You’ll want to order one of these here.
Jeff Clemishaw: Stanley Adventure All-in-One Boil + Brew French Press
“I seriously love coffee. It’s how I start (and admittedly sometimes end) every day. However, living in a truck camper means I’m pretty limited on counter space and I hate wasting battery power with a coffee maker. This nifty all-in-one French press from Stanley can be used on the camper’s stovetop or even outside on a fire. It’s a great lightweight companion for both RV and backpacking life.” It’s currently out of stock on Amazon (that means people really love it, right?! But you can buy it on the Stanley website.
Randall Brink: Teak Shower Mat and All-Purpose Squeegee
“If your RV bathroom is small enough that the floor has an integrated shower drain, you’re familiar with the problems of slipperiness, dampness, and dirt. I solved that this season by adding an attractive and functional teak mat to the bath floor. The teak mat allows water to drain through, is the perfect anti-slip surface for a shower, and fits perfectly! Additionally, I live in a fiberglass egg. The combination bath/shower is all smooth, sparkling white surfaces—until it isn’t. Water spots quickly make the bath’s interior look stained and dull. A quick fix for this is a small inexpensive rubber squeegee for sweeping water from the surfaces and making them clean and shiny again.” You can find a teak shower mat here, and the squeegee he uses here.
Dr. Karel Carnohan: Cat Window Perch
“My favorite gadget is the cat window perch. I love it so much that I even wrote a whole article about it, which you can read here. My kitties love it.” Learn more or order one for your fluffy friend(s).
Dave Solberg: To Magnetize or Demagnetize…?
“Often times I need a magnetized tool such as a screwdriver or needle nose pliers. Either the screw is too small for my big hands to hold, or it needs to go into a hole that is in too far to reach. However, I do not like keeping a magnetized screwdriver in my toolbox as it sticks to the metal shelf or gets covered in metal shavings. The magnetizer allows me to insert the tool into the magnetizing slot and aligns the molecules of the metal to magnetize it. Run it through the demagnetizer and you have an ordinary screwdriver. This is great to use on a metal coat hanger or longer screwdriver to retrieve that pesky screw that fell down the furnace vent!” Find it here.