Gear, Gadgets, And Gifts
Practical accessories and assorted goods designed to make life easier and more enjoyable for RVers.
By Skip Tate, Associate Editor
Bikes are a great way to tour a park or town, but leaving them outside at the campground can be an open invitation to thieves. The TidyTent BikeCave by Cave Innovations keeps up to three adult bikes sheltered and safe. The freestanding tent is made of heavy-duty woven plastic and comes with an additional rain cover. The front door fully unzips, allowing for easy access; a flap in the back wall provides access for cables so the bikes can be locked to something secure; and it’s modular, so you can zip together more than one. When traveling, it folds up into a carrying bag. Price is $102.55.
RV refrigerators sometimes need help with air circulation. No one wants all the cold air to sink to the bottom and cause the milk to go bad before its time. The solution may be a fridge fan. The portable model from Beech Lane spins at 3,000 revolutions per minute, has top and side vents to assure equal circulation, and includes an on/off switch that saves battery life. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. So, give your fridge a break.
Trips to the town laundry stink, and it may be that the only time you can find an open washer at the campground facility is between midnight and the crack of dawn. Fortunately, Pinnacle Appliances has a new washer-dryer combo that keeps you in the comfort of your RV and also conserves space. The Super Combo Washer-Dryer XL has a built-in water heater that reaches 165 degrees, dual fans for fast drying, and an 18-pound capacity, so bring on the large loads. You don’t even have to do anything between the wash and dry cycles. Plus, when winter rolls around and you store your RV until it warms up again, prepping is done simply by pushing a two-minute winterize cycle button. The Super Combo 18 comes in a rainbow of colors and costs $1,999-$2,099, depending on the color.
It’s autumn, which means temperatures are going to drop and leaves are going to fall. Although you aren’t responsible for raking up all of the leaves in the campground, you still need to wrangle them from around your campsite so they don’t get tracked inside. Fortunately, Camco designed a rake that can not only do the job but collapses at the end of the day, so it’s easily stored in a closet or basement bay. When opened, the rake portion expands to 22 inches wide, so you’re gathering a lot of leaves, and the telescopic handle extends to 60 inches, so you’re not stooped over while raking. It then folds up to just 30 inches long and 8.5 inches wide. The rake is available at a host of retailers, including Amazon for $19.99.
Anyone who has ever applied caulk around a window frame or roof vent has asked the question: Why does it look as bumpy and crooked as a first grader’s artwork instead of seamless and smooth like those fix-it projects on the DIY shows? Well, RV by LIFE can make you look like a pro: Its new Super Slick Sealant Smoother gets applied to the caulk and lubricates the bead, allowing the applicator to achieve a smooth, even bead that seals better, looks better, and makes you look like Bob Vila. Oh, and it helps remove residue from your finger tipafterward. A 4-ounce bottle is $22.54.
RV by LIFE
A lack of water has brought many boondocking trips to a dry halt. Sure, you could carry giant PVC jugs, but they take up valuable storage space and are limited in how much they can hold. Another solution: the Aquatank II water storage bag by AquaFlex. Bags are available in sizes ranging from 15 gallons to 300 gallons — large enough to extend that trip by a week or two — with prices from $98 to $325. They have a poly-woven nylon shell and thermal polyurethane liner. The drain sleeve on the Aquatank II has a male garden hose attachment, and the fill sleeve has a female attachment. When empty, they roll up for easy transport.
What time is it? Who cares? You’re camping. That’s why the “You’re on RV Time” clock by Story Cabin is a great fit inside any RV. The hands on the clock show the time in case you really want to know, but all the numbers appear to have fallen into a pile at the bottom. The round, solid-oak clocks come in two sizes — 11 or 18 inches in diameter — with a laser-engraved design that can be customized. The 11-inch clock costs $117 and, according to the maker, is one of its best sellers during the holidays.
Add some sun-splashed color to your RV by hang-ing a stained-glass camper by Our Glass and More from your window. The window hangers come in different sizes and colors — just like RVs. Each handmade camper comes with an attached chain and a suction cup for hanging. Prices for RV-themed sun catchers range from $35.99 to $45.99.
Our Glass and More
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