As Christmas, approaches people are wondering what to gift the avid RVers in their lives. Or maybe what to put down on the old wishlist to Santa. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to receive some awesome stuff from my lovely wife Anne, and a few self gifts. 🙂
This year, I’ve decided to share 10 of my favorites. Things that have proved most useful. As you’ll see, many have stood the test of time. For each item, I’ve inserted the video reviews I’ve published for it, and if you click the headings, it will take you to the full blog post about the product. Happy Holidays!
This video details my new Ambient Weather WS-2902C station’s feature list and goes over how I installed it onto our Keystone Cougar fifth-wheel trailer. The station was last year’s Christmas gift from my wife after we lost our old Lacrosse unit to an extreme wind gust while camped in Mohave, CA.
We’ve been using it for a year now, and the weather station has performed well. This winter, it’s helping me keep tabs on the internal humidity so I can keep condensation at bay. It’s also interesting to monitor the powerful winter storms that are rolling through this time of year. Check out my online weather page that gets uploaded from my station.
A decent quality TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) had been on the old RV wishlist for many years. I realized from hearing multiple scary tales of tire blowouts from other RVs it may be only a matter of time. Often an RV tire blowout results in expensive damage to the rig.
Choosing a wireless TPMS is a daunting task with so many different brands on the market, all purporting to be the best. I asked my YouTube audience for some recommendations and received tons of feedback.
In the end, I settled on the EEZTIRE TPMS from EEZRV products. It has good reviews on Amazon, but most importantly, several of my RVing buddies use and like the product. They have fifth wheels, similar to my Keystone Cougar.
I found the VIAIR compressor performed as advertised. It much quieter than my old Slime 12 VDC compressor and airs up the tires much faster. I give the VIAIR Model 450P-RV portable air compressor a Love Your RV! thumbs up and hope to put it to use for many years, if not decades to come. Check out the video below for demos of the VIAIR in action and my detailed likes and dislikes.
Overall I’m super pleased with this Christmas gift. We’ve had it for nearly 4 years now. For the most part, it’s quite accurate in its routing, with a few minor glitches here and there. No GPS can be fully trusted, but the Garmin does a pretty decent job keeping us on roads suitable for our RV.
I love Garmin’s big display, and the voice directions are easy to make out even over our diesel pickup engine. I use it often to locate RV parks, campgrounds, local attractions, fuel stops, shopping, and restaurants. The longer we have it, the more we wonder how we did without it. A great feature is the Life Time Maps updates.
Click play on the video to be taken to the Garmin clip
We’ve had the RV Lock for two years now, and it’s still working well. I love not needing to worry about carrying a key around for the RV door. I’ve found the batteries last between 8-12 months. We don’t use the FOB, so I have that option turned off to save power. After I installed the lock, I found out how to silence the beeps from several other RVers in my comments. Hold down the 1 key to turn sound on and off.
I think having a quality battery system monitor is a must-have for any RVer who regularly camps off the grid. I installed the “Made on the USA” Trimetric from Bogart Engineering around Christmas 2015, and it’s worked great ever since. It allows me to accurately keep tabs on our DC power systems, like a fuel gauge for the battery bank. Early this year, I installed the new WiFi addon and can now check up on this using my smartphone.
I started with my 200 watts Renogy Solar Power Kit way back in 2014 and haven’t looked back. It was a great starting point, and I’m now up to 7 – 100 watt Renogy panels powering our boondocking adventures. Recently I added the Renogy 40 amp DC-DC charger to the mix. I find their products offer good value for the money.
This was a little gift to myself last winter when my old flag pole was repurposed as my weather station mounted. I went with a 22-foot pole kit sold by a company called FlagPole Buddy. The kit is on the pricey side, but the hardware appears to be of high quality. I ended up paying $139 (taxes included) as a special RV Show price. (www.flagpolebuddy.com)
Anne got me an Outland Fire Bowl for my last birthday. It’s an LP gas fire pit with lava rocks to produce a fairly realistic little campfire. The model I got is 870, which they call the premium package. It includes an electric starter plus a metal storage lid and strap.
The unit is 19″ wide and weighs in at around 24 lbs. Nice and compact! Overall we are most pleased with its performance and looking forward to using it this winter. If you sit close enough, it throws out a decent amount of warmth, and the flickering orange flames add to the camping ambiance.
Also for my recent birthday, Anne completely surprised me with a bonus gift. A Country Smokers Portable Electric Wood Pellet Grill. I guess she knew for a few years now I had been mentioning how I wanted the little Traeger pellet grill. It turns out, though, that particular grill has been discontinued, and prices for Traegers in Canada are quite high. So she purchased a similar Country Smokers CS150PPG, hoping I would like it, and so far, I do!