Twelve great gift ideas for motorhomers who have (nearly) everything
By Doug Uhlenbrock, Associate Editor
The holiday season is here, so to help those who are struggling to make their wish list “” or having difficulty coming up with gift ideas for that special someone “” we offer a dozen possibilities selected especially for motorhome enthusiasts. You won’t see any neckties or fruitcakes here; just fun stuff we believe RVers would enjoy.
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Break out the campground fun with the nine-games-in-one Puremco Super Train dominoes set. Super Train, which can be played by two to eight players, ages 6 years and older, builds on the popular Mexican Train game with 21 Wild and Special Action dominoes to add more play opportunities. The set includes 112 double 12 professional number dominoes in bright colors for easy reading; nine train markers; a dual-sound (choo choo and chicken) electronic domino center piece; a score pad; and rules for Super Train, Mexican Train, Chickenfoot, and six other games, all in a tin case.
$39.95, www.dominoes.com, (800) 725-7060
Treat your back to the soothing comfort of the HoMedics Programmable 10-Motor Back Massager with Heat. This unit, which can be used while on the road or when parked, features 10 powerful motors to provide a relaxing vibration massage. The programmable hand control allows the user to choose the speed, intensity, and target zone for the massage, as well as turn on the warming heat function. The device also includes a strapping system to fasten it to nearly any chair or vehicle seat and comes with 120-volt-AC and 12-volt-DC adapters.
$39.99 www.homedics.com (800) 333-8282
Stay dry in the dreariest weather with frogg toggs Pro Action Suits. These lightweight, breathable rain suits (available in both men’s and women’s styles) feature a roomy jacket with a hood that zips into the collar and a storm flap that snaps closed over the full-length zipper to keep out wind and rain. The pants have pass-through pockets, an elastic waistband with a barrel-pull drawstring, and 8-inch zippers with cuffs to make it easier to pull them on and off over shoes. The suits also come with their own matching stuff sack.
Starting at $59.95, www.froggtoggs.com, (800) 349-1835
Capture stunning HD video on a device not much bigger than a cell phone with the Kodak Zi6 Pocket Video Camera. This small video recorder (4.5 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, 0.9-inch thick) makes it possible to chronicle important events or spur-of-the-moment action in high-definition-quality video. It features a 2.4-inch LCD screen, 128 megabytes of internal memory, and an SD/SDHC card slot that can hold up to 32 gigabytes. Use the flip-out USB plug to download video to your computer, or connect the included audiovisual cables to watch the video on your TV. Also included is movie editing software, two “AA” Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and charger, a camera pouch, and a wristband.
$179.95 www.kodak.com (866) 368-6600
Enjoy grilling all year round with the compact, stylish Pro-Iroda O-Grill. Don’t be fooled by the small size of this portable grill (20.5 inches wide, 8.5 inches tall, and 23 inches long). It features a 225-square-inch porcelain-enameled cast-iron grid and an auto-igniting 9,450-Btu circular stainless-steel burner that’s fueled by standard propane gas cylinders. The clamshell-designed body is made of stamped sheet metal and comes in six colors. The grill also includes a removable grease tray, retractable legs, and an ergonomic handle.
$189.95, www.pro-iroda.com, (866) 664-7632
Receive up-to-the-minute weather information wherever you happen to be with the Ambient 7-Day Forecaster. This device provides current data for 150 locations in the United States from the Ambient Infocast Network, one of the largest wireless networks in the country, without a computer, an Internet connection, or sensors. The forecaster’s 6-inch-by-6-inch screen shows current conditions and extended multiday forecasts, including the current and expected high and low temperatures, and an easy-to-read icon representing expected weather conditions. It also provides a UV index, wind speed and direction, and pollen and air quality alerts, along with a color-changing backlight to indicate current temperature at a glance.
$199.99, www.ambientdevices.com, (866) 311-1999
Make printing and archiving your digital photos a snap with the Epson PictureMate Zoom photo printer. This compact printer reportedly produces vibrant 4-inch-by-6-inch photos in approximately 37 seconds from your memory card, digital camera, USB flash drive, or computer. It also includes a 3.6-inch LCD display to view photos; several photo editing features; and an integrated CD burner for archiving your photos or making CD copies. Another plus is that it takes up little room when closed for storage, measuring 9.1 inches wide by 13.6 inches deep by 9.9 inches high, and weighing 6.6 pounds.
$229.99, www.mypicturemate.com, (800) 463-7766
Extend your view at sporting events, on the trail, or during sight-seeing excursions with the Bushnell Elite e2 7x 26mm Custom Compact Binoculars. According to product literature, these lightweight binoculars (12 ounces) combine pocket-carrying convenience with bright, sharp imagery and extended fields of view you’d expect from a full-sized set. The binoculars are treated with Bushnell’s Rainguard coating and feature XTR technology to deliver amazing light transmission and clarity. With a close-focus capability of 8 feet, they’re ideal for bird and insect identification. The binoculars include a textured surface for better grip, twist-up eyecups, and long eye relief for those wearing glasses or sunglasses.
$349.95 www.bushnell.com (800) 423-3537
Turn your patio area into an outdoor theater with the SunBriteTV 3220HD All-Weather LCD TV. This unit is made especially for the outdoors with a corrosion-resistant powder-coated aluminum exterior that protects the internal components from rain, dirt, insects, and scratches. It also includes an airflow system that keeps the unit cool and dry; an internal heater; and a watertight cable entry system. The 32-inch-diagonal TV features 1366 x 768 pixels of resolution and a 178-degree viewing radius. (SunBriteTV also offers 23-inch and 46-inch all-weather LCD models.) Water-resistant parts include a detachable 10-watt speaker module and a remote control operated by long-life lithium batteries. The 3220HD measures 32.1 inches wide, 23.2 inches high, and 6.3 inches deep, and it weighs 37.5 pounds.
$3,295 www.SunBriteTV.com (866) 357-8688, ext. 295
How great would it be to have a new book at your disposal anytime, anywhere? You can with the Amazon Kindle. This wireless reading device allows you to purchase books, magazines, and newspapers; have them auto-delivered to your device; and read them on a 6-inch-diagonal “electronic paper” display. According to product literature, the 10.3-ounce Kindle is lighter and thinner than a typical paperback but is capable of holding more than 200 books in its built-in memory. Kindle utilizes wireless data technology for connectivity, giving you access to more than 185,000 titles just about anywhere you happen to be, with Amazon picking up the wireless charges. Kindle comes with a protective book cover, a power adapter, and a USB 2.0 cable.
$359, www.amazon.com, (866) 216-1072
Enjoy incredible sound reproduction from your iPod, MP3 player, or other audio device anywhere with the Bose SoundDock Portable digital music system. This compact speaker system, which measures 12 inches wide, 6.75 inches high, and approximately 4 inches deep when the docking station is closed, includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a built-in carrying handle. The speaker’s rotating docking station accommodates most iPod models, while the auxiliary input allows users to play other audio sources. The SoundDock Portable also includes an AC power/charging plug and a handy remote control.
$399, www.bose.com, (800) 444-2673
Hop aboard the 24-speed Schwinn World GSE electric bike and get around without spending a penny on fuel. The lightweight aluminum-frame bike, which can be ridden as a traditional bike or with the added boost of the pedal assist system that utilizes Schwinn’s 24-volt Mini Motor in the front hub, looks like a standard cruising bicycle. But a closer look reveals a removable lithium-polymer battery that charges fully in less than four hours and will last up to 30 miles (depending on rider weight, climate, and terrain). All electric cables are neatly hidden and protected inside the bike’s frame, giving it a clean look. The bike is available in 17-inch and 21-inch models for men and a 17-inch model for women, and it includes a rear alloy rack, a battery charger, and a handlebar-mounted bell.
$1,799, www.schwinnbikes.com, (800) 724-9466
When you’re shopping for gifts this year, don’t forget about your four-legged friends that are always there to pick up your spirits with a lick or a purr. To put you on the right path, here are a few tail-wagging suggestions that are sure to please your pet.
1. Whip up special meals for your canine or feline companion with the Real Food For Dogs or Real Food For Cats cookbooks from Storey Publishing. Each 128-page cookbook includes 50 veterinarian-approved recipes that use human food as a basis for delicious meals for your pet. $10.95 each.
www.storey.com, (800) 441-5700
2. Make your dog the coolest in the campground – and protect its eyes from foreign objects, wind, and UV rays – with a pair of Doggles ILS sun goggles. Doggles feature shatterproof, antifog lenses with UV protection; a flexible rubber frame; and adjustable elastic head straps to keep the eyewear in place. They are available in 11 colors and five sizes. $21.99.
www.doggles.com, (866) 364-4537
3. Keep your pup warm and dry this winter with the Polished Parka from Kwigy-Bo. This stylish, shiny, nylon puff parka features a polyester lining; detachable hood and sleeves; faux fur trim; and a back toggle for an adjustable, snug fit. Available in black, red, and camouflage colors and in eight sizes. $66 to $68.
www.kwigy-bo.com, (888) 588-5269
4. The Ruff Wear K-9 Float Coat provides assistance to even the best dog-paddlers when in the water. The flotation device is constructed of a ballistic nylon shell with a fine-weave nylon liner and includes variable-thickness buoyancy cells so that your dog floats horizontally in the water. It has reflective trim on the sides, a low-profile assistance handle, and side-release buckles. The jacket is available in six sizes and two colors. $49.95 to $69.95.
www.ruffwear.com, (888) 783-3932
5. Give your pet a comfy place to rest either at home or on the road, while helping the environment, with the Eco Nap pet mat from West Paw Design. These durable, machine-washable mats are made of special fibers, 85 percent of which are derived from post-consumer recycled plastic – better known as soft drink bottles. Eco Naps are available in five colors and five sizes. $27.90 to $93.90.
www.westpawdesign.com, (800) 443-5567