‘Tis the Season to Find the Right Gifts for RV Enthusiasts
Ah, yes, we’ve reached the end of yet another year, which means it’s time to celebrate the holiday season. That’s right, ’tis the season for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or whatever festive event lifts you into the holiday spirit. It goes without saying that, for most folks, the end of the year is a time for gift giving. For those special people in your life who happen to be RVers, we’ve put together a holiday gift guide to help with your shopping list.
Starting with everyone’s favorite room in the RV, the galley, we found a stocking stuffer that’s sure to please the chef. The Scrap Trap comes from KitchenArt, a retailer of unique and convenient cooking products. Designed to catch food scraps, the 11.5-inch-long, 2-quart Scrap Trap clips to the top edge of any kitchen cabinet door or drawer that’s beneath a countertop. Built into the molded plastic oval container is a front pocket for storing the handy scraper/brush. The Scrap Trap is available for about $12 at www.kitchenart.com and online shopping sites such as Amazon.
When outfitting an RV, the wonders of collapsing and nesting goodies always come to mind. Succeeding at both, the Origami RSB-01 storage box set consists of three pleated plastic containers (two with handles) that collapse and conveniently store within the largest container, which comes with a lid. Once needed, simply grab a compressed container and expand it by pulling the top from the bottom. The Origami storage box set is available for around $25 on Amazon.
Trailerists usually have to lug around their hitch-ball mount and are constantly reminded of just how dirty and greasy this bulky piece of equipment can be. Transporting a ball mount and sliding it into a hitch receiver shouldn’t result in a hand-scrubbing session followed by a complete wardrobe change, particularly not when the RVer is equipped with the HitchGrip. This industrial-strength coupling tool is a glass-filled nylon handle supported by a steel frame and tough tungsten-carbide tips that grip the ball for easy lifting and handling. Aside from keeping clothing and hands clean, the HitchGrip also reduces back stress by stabilizing and distributing the heavy load more evenly. Designed by LMD Products, the HitchGrip sells for about $40 at Camping World.
Still at the business end of the tow vehicle, the hitch receiver provides a base for another practical stocking stuffer that offers security for small items like keys. The HitchSafe is an all-steel mini-safe meant to turn the end of a standard 2-inch hitch receiver into a vault. The HitchSafe fastens to the receiver using two blind bolts captured by sliding bars inside the safe. The small storage drawer has a combination lock, so it’s OK to leave keys, cash, ID, credit cards or other valuables behind when hiking, swimming or participating in other outdoor activities. HitchSafe is available at www.hitchsafe.com and has a suggested retail price of $59.95.
For most RVers, keeping their trailer and tow rig clean are fairly high up on the priority list. Unfortunately, some of the necessary washing equipment can occupy precious cargo space that RVers aren’t necessarily willing to give up. Addressing these issues, Camco has created the ideal RV wash bucket — two of them, in fact. Made of PVC-coated polyester, Camco RV/Marine Collapsible Buckets come in 3- and 5- gallon capacities. Both flatten quickly to store in compact zippered bags. Of course, they’re not just for washing; they’re real buckets and can be used for other tasks that fit the bill. Available at Camping World for $14.99 for the 5-gallon pail and $12.49 for the 3-gallon pail, these buckets make an inexpensive and useful gift for any RVer.
Another longtime favorite product among RVers is a spray bottle loaded with what some consider to be the wonder formula for exterior cleaning and preservation. This miracle mist of sorts is known as ProtectAll All Surface Cleaner. There really isn’t much to tell except that it does what it claims to do quite well, keeping an RV’s exterior walls in a clean and preserved condition. It doesn’t hurt that ProtectAll contains UV blockers and water-repellent carnauba wax. The 32-ounce spray bottle retails for less than $24 at www.campingworld.com.
For those who store their trailer in a less-than-secure location, it’s not unheard of to find things missing. To prevent batteries from disappearing from trailer A-frames, Torklift International offers a solar-powered lockable battery box. The stout Power Armor Solar is made of heavy-gauge aluminum diamond plate topped off with a 10-watt solar panel that’s hardwired to the inner part of the box. Batteries are not only secure but can be trickle-charged at the same time. Battery boxes come in three sizes including the 26½-inch version, intended to house two Group 31 deep-cycle batteries. For an attractive look, the boxes are available in bright tread diamond plate or high-impact powder-coated black diamond plate. Available at www.torklift.com, the Power Armor Solar isn’t the least expensive gift for RVers on your Nice List, but at a suggested retail price of $385, it beats replacing expensive batteries.
Winter travelers are well aware of the issues associated with trying to keep the heat inside an RV. Unless a trailer is specifically designed to withstand frigid climates, cold-weather RVers are going to have to look for ways to keep comfortable. Camco RV Vent Covers provide four solutions for keeping heat from escaping through the roof vent. The SunShield RV Vent Cover consists of a simple precut piece of reflective-foil bubble insulation that’s held to the vent via hook-and-loop fasteners. The Dual Vent Cover adds a specially shaped piece of plastic that reduces draft. Both Camco RV Vent Insulators include a 3-inch-thick foam pad wrapped in a zippered synthetic fleece cover, and one includes a sewn-in piece of reflective-foil bubble insulation on one side. Camco vent covers range in price from about $6.49 to $14.15. To find a retailer, go to www.camco.net/dealer/search.
Campfires are always enjoyable, but not everyone likes the associated smoke — and some campgrounds prohibit wood-fueled fires. Campfire In A Can keeps the convivial ambience alive while providing an approved means to sit around and enjoy a soothing flame — and it’s pretty warm, too. The propane-powered portable campfire is made of a cylindrical aluminum stand that doubles as a carrying case, plus a small propane burner assembly, a log set, some black fire glass and even a removable cooking grate. Campfire In A Can sells for $249.99 at www.campfireinacan.com.
When shopping for gifts for RVers, don’t forget about the bathroom. Better Living has an inexpensive gift idea that helps do away with bath and shower bottles and bulky soaps that always end up on the floor of the shower or in the sink. Known simply as The Dispenser, the three-chamber cleanser container makes it push-button easy to access your favorite soaps and shampoos. A must-have for RVers looking to eliminate flying bath products and clutter, the Dispenser is available for about $30 at Camping World.
RVers are always looking for tools that add convenience to life on the road, and a squeegee certainly comes in handy. Although useful and necessary, squeegees can take up a disproportionate amount of storage space because of their odd shapes. Longtime RV and automotive product manufacturer Hopkins Manufacturing supplies a unique squeegee to cover all the bases. The Carrand Compact Squeegee stores just about anywhere — yes, even in the glove box — thanks to folded-down dimensions of 10 x 4.25 x 1.25 inches. This super slick device extends easily for use and can be purchased for less than $10 from most automotive retail stores, warehouse clubs and websites such as Amazon and Walmart.
For many RVers, traveling into unknown territory is just another day. However, that sometimes comes at a cost when buying fuel at a small no-name service station. To even the playing field while filling up with suspect-quality fuel, Hopkins steps in with another stocking stuffer. A funnel in form and shape, but with a twist, the Mr. Funnel Portable Fuel Filter consists of a decent size funnel with a combination fuel filter and water separator built right into the center. While the funnel filter is designed as a multiple-use device, it really comes in handy when filling a portable generator from an approved fuel container. Available from a long list of automotive suppliers and big-box stores for around $23, the funnel filter offers cheap insurance when dealing with unknown fuel brands.
RVers frequently venture into the great outdoors, and getting a good look requires good binoculars. Vortex Optics Diamondback 8×42 binoculars bring far-off sights clearly into focus without getting too close to timid or less-than-friendly wildlife. Vortex is well-known among outdoor enthusiasts for incredibly clear optics, even in low-light conditions. The company stands behind its products with a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty. Retailing for about $220, Diamondback 8×42 binoculars can be found at major sporting-goods stores such Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse.
Always wanted to bring a couch outside and snuggle with your honey? Nice idea but not very practical until Picnic Time introduced its Reflex Portable Couch. Here’s a couch that is portable enough to lounge in under the RV awning or throw in the tow vehicle for off-site events — and it can be packed into small spaces. The steel-framed couch is a folding, reclining love seat measuring less than 4 feet long when flattened and providing 37.5 inches of comfortable seating for two in the set-up position. A great gift for RVing couples, the couch sells for between $125 and $140 on Amazon and comes in red, navy or black.
For many RVers there comes a time when more space is needed for food, particularity frozen food. This is especially true when transporting a recent catch from a fishing trip or just finding a good deal at a big-box grocery store. Portable refrigerators and freezers have been around for a long time, but the 1.1-cubic-foot Dometic Portable Fridge Freezer takes advantage of new technology. Outfitted with a WAECO CoolFreeze CFX series compressor cooler, also known as the CFX35, this go-almost-anywhere appliance is designed to refrigerate or freeze from minus-8 degrees to 50 degrees Fahrenheit using 120-volt AC or 12-volt DC power. Retailing for around $780 from Camping World, Dometic’s new refrigerator/freezer has plenty of other features such as a USB port and a dual zone to refrigerate and freeze simultaneously.
We’ll top off our gift offerings with a bit of frosting, so to speak. The Hopkins SubZero line of extendable ice and snow tools provides three methods of defense against the elements. The Ice Crusher comes with an extendable aluminum handle that stretches to 50 inches and supports a rotating 10-inch snow broom at one end and a 4-inch ice scraper/chipper at the other. The Pivoting Avalanche Snow Broom has a 54-inch reach and comes with a combination 8.5-inch broom and 9.25-inch squeegee on one side and an ice scraper on the other. Then there’s the Monster Snowbrush with a rotating 10-inch brush on one end and a 4.5-inch ice scraper/chipper on the other. The sturdy adjustable foam-grip tube extends a full 60 inches. Available at retailers like Amazon and Walmart, these extendable winter tools make thoughtful gifts for RVers.
We wish you happy holidays and happy shopping!