I know from experience that my viewers like it when I come back with longer-term review updates. There is nothing quite like using a product for a year or two in the real world to see how it truly performs. More likes and dislikes can crop up, plus a test of the product’s durability.
So here are 15 updates to products I have reviewed in the past year or two. I call it a odds and ends update because I didn’t find these products demanded a full dedicated update video, just a short clip.
15 RV Product Review Updates
Click Titles or Photos for Links Back to the Initial Review Videos
The EvoFlex has worked well so far. Thumbs up! I like how lightweight it is. The material has stayed rubbery feeling. Being more pliable than traditional RV fresh water hoses, the 35 feet roll up much more compact. However, you have to pay attention to make sure it doesn’t get twisted and develop kinks when rolling it up. However, one negative is the female end that attaches to the camp spigot. Due to the small diameter and smooth nickel coating can be hard to twist off and on the faucet. Though, easily solved with the addition of a hose adapter or quick connect.
The easy-to-put-up and take-down FlagPole Buddy kits are worth the $139 premium I paid. There are zero problems with the ladder mounting hardware thus far, and the fiberglass pole can take a high wind load. One upgrade I did was to purchase some all-metal flag holders. They work and last much better than the included plastic ones.
Anne gave this weather station to me as a Christmas gift two years ago. It spent an entire winter on the British Columbia coast, hot summer days, and has been blasted by desert dust storms and hasn’t missed a beat. The small solar panel on the external sensor array works well. I’ve only had to change the “AA” backup batteries once. The mod I did for the inside display is still working good too. I used a small DC-DC buck converter to step down our 12VDC RV power to 5VDC the display panel uses. The WiFi and cloud features worked as advertised.
The ladder gadget is a handy item for hanging bird feeders or clothes to dry.It was priced and billed as a product that would last an RVers lifetime, and I believe it. Nice to see a product these days that is built so well. Outside for over four years now in all sorts of weather and is still as good as new. The clamp stays firmly attached to the ladder.
I installed the KING Jack RV antenna last fall. I like the fact I don’t have to remember to crank it back down like the old Winegard batwing style. And, I have more room for solar panels on the roof now. But honestly, its reception is just OK. There is nothing to write home about, and my impression is the old antenna could pick up more stations. The digital signal finder is mostly a gimmick, mostly inaccurate in my experience. Overall it works well enough for our needs. I’ll stick with it versus returning to the old batwing type.
I’ve cooked many different types and cuts of meat on this grill, and they have all turned out excellent, so tasty. Dinner guests are always incredibly impressed with the results. I think my favorite is the pork roasts. Overall, I’ve found the grill is pretty well set and forget for slow cooking. However, I have to pay close attention during the startup period. It seems to be a critical time, and if not done right, a fire in the wood pellet auger can happen.
Early on, I forgot to leave the lid open during the startup, and the pellets in the auger caught fire. I didn’t notice until the grill temp was 500 degrees. I turned it off, removed the wood chips from the hopper, and let it sit until it cooled off. I now set my wireless thermometer to warn me if the grill temp is getting too high.
I’m glad I was able to find room in the trailer basement storage compartment to bring along the gas fire pit. It’s a hit with Anne! She loves it for happy hour in the desert as the sun goes down and morning coffee. It takes the chill off, warmer once the rocks heat up. Not as good if there is a breeze blowing the heat away. Nowhere near as hot as a wood fire but super convenient.
This stocking stuffer gift from my wife works excellent. She picked a good one with easy-to-see digits, dual temperature probes, and a decent wireless range. I find it’s a must-have when slow cooking with my wood pellet smoker. Sometimes they have been known to have the pellets catch fire inside the auger and lead to a runaway overheating condition. I have the wireless inside thermometer set to alert me if the grill temperature gets too far above my set range.
The RV bug stop has worked fine. The 3M has held it in place with no signs of loosening. But to make it less of an inconvenience when both doors are closed. I hated opening the screen door flap to open the main door. We aren’t always camping in hot summery weather. We spend a large part of the year in milder climates. So I did a slight mod. I added a hook and a chain to keep the flap open when desired.
When I received the Screen Shot door closer from Lippert for review, I quickly realized it wouldn’t fit properly. It’s designed for a Lippert screen door and not my Challenger brand door. Thinking outside the box, I modded the installation to use it still. I mounted it down on the lower portion of the Challenger door. Everything has worked out well, and we’re happy with the functionality.
I’ve been using the Reolink Go security camera for about 2 1/2 years now, and it’s held up well. Video footage is still sharp with good light and color balance. B&W night footage is pretty decent as well. It’s seen lots and lots of rain on the west coast and even some winter temps with no ill effects. I don’t find I use the cellular capacity very much, but it’s nice to have if we leave the RV for a few days.
As for the solar panel it came with, I give it a thumbs down. Over the years, the plastic finish has dulled and cracked, reducing its power output. They should have used a glass panel.
I love the little HomeHawk window security camera. I added a 128GB micro SD card and set it to record 24/7. You can view live video or recorded clips via WiFi or over the internet from anywhere using the app. Or I can pull out the micro SD card and view the recording on my laptop. It is handy to see who may have been lurking around the RV via its motion-sensing software, which is very accurate at picking out people. One fun thing I do with it is to stitch together the 5-minute video clips and create cool timelapse videos. Since it is recording 24.7, it never misses a beautiful sunset or cool-looking clouds drifting by.
The only negatives I have to say are that after a few months in the heat of the window, the suction cup became useless, so I used the 3M tape stip instead, and it’s been fine since. Also, it doesn’t perform very well in low-light situations. Being behind glass, I guess it can’t use the regular infra-red night lights other security cams have.
Happy with our Lifetime folding tables, I picked up a Home Depot a few years ago. Easy to set up and store folding down nice and flat. I’m amazed how they can handle heavy winds and stay upright when our camp chairs have been sent flying. They are a little heavier than some camping tables on the market but super sturdy and can hold a ton of weight. They also can easily be adjusted to several different heights.
Next, I have a quick update on the magnifier mirror installation. I was a little concerned about traveling, but no problems after several thousand miles towed so far. When we pack up for travel, we drape a towel over it.
If you saw my previous videos on the Mopeka tank gauges, you know that I had some issues. We often camp in cool, wet climates where frost can quickly form on an LP gas cylinder. The cold and condensation ruined one of my Mopeka sensors. I opened the dud sensor case and traced the fault to a shorted microprocessor chip. I contacted the company, and they sent a new sensor out under warranty.
When the warranty replacement sensor arrived, I noticed the newer model had a one-way air vent valve added to its case. I imagine that is to let moisture out of the sensor case to avoid failures. I decided to coat the circuit board to protect the electronics even more. It is almost a full year later now, and the system has worked perfectly. It’s nice to get accurate propane levels.