RVing is all about getting back to the basics - but just because that’s why we love it - doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of the latest and greatest camping and RV gadgets. So if you’re going to step up your accessory game, here are our top 10 must-have gadgets:
LifeStraw - If you happen to run out of water on a hike, this gadget is a lifesaver. Obviously, it’s not a good idea to drink directly from streams or lakes you might run across - but Lifestraw removes 99.9% of bacteria and parasites, making any water source available to you. And as an added bonus, for every LifeStraw product purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year. We’re all about helping out a good cause.
Promising Review: “I am going to keep this one simple. Recently I got stranded in the back woods of the Adirondack Mountains. I had ran out of water earlier on the first day and used this until I was rescued on the morning of day three. THIS WORKS, this helped save my life. If you hike YOU NEED THIS PRODUCT.” --Richard Maxwell
Instant Pot - The Instant Pot is a newer kitchen gadget that is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, and warmer. You name it, the Instant Pot can do it. This tool is ideal for RVers because although it’s just one appliance, it takes the place of many others - saving you coveted counter and cabinet space in your RV. You won’t regret buying one - trust us.
Promising Review: “My wife kept telling me we should get this. For months I resisted. We had a crock pot, so why bother? We finally got this on sale on black Friday, and I LOVE IT. Quicker than a crock pot and better end results. You can season your protien and cook it with veggies (which take on the flavor as well). After using this, anything you cook in a crock pot seems like a warm, swampy product. Anything you cook in this is moist, flavorful, tender excellence in just a fraction of the time. Do not hesitate to buy this product - you will thank yourself for meals to come.” -Jon Solar Powered Charger - Using solar energy can save you money and time while out on the road, especially if you’re boondocking. Nowadays there are solar options to power just about anything - but we definitely recommend picking up a solar-powered phone charger. This is a great gadget to have when you’re out hiking, ensuring you have enough power to call for help if needed.
Promising Review: “I recently returned from a 6 day adventure to a commercial Salmon fishing operation on Uganik island , Alaska. Uganik is near Kodiak island and is home to the famous Kodiak Brown Bear. We got too close to one on a beach, but caught lots of fish. I overestimated what I would need and I took both my SPC12K and my new SPC16K. I never even used the 12K. Didn't need it. I kept my cell phone going for photography and my rented Sat. Phone topped off with the 16K. The solar charging rate impressed me. When I left to meet the seaplane I had 3/4 available charge on my 16K. Note: The TSA requires that all "spare batteries" be in your carry on bag. So I say you only need one spare, the SPC16K.” --Robert E. Wilson
High-Tech Watch - If you’re an RVer, we’re betting there’s more than a chance you love the great outdoors. Any outdoor lover needs a high-tech watch and we recommend the Suunto Traverse for all of you hikers out there. This smartwatch does it all from tracking weather to showing hiking routes through GPS software to following your progress with distance and altitude statistics.
Promising Review: “If you're looking for a watch to connect to your phone and notify you when you get a text or email this is not the watch for you.
That being said, this is an outdoorsman watch. It does everything I need it to do. The compass, GPS, altimeter and barometer are very accurate for a wrist-top device. The battery life is excellent and charge time is minimal. As for the movescount app, I have not had any issues. The app can be used to add points of interest, view hikes/runs and also a supplementary way to modify the settings of the watch itself; although You can change it on the watch itself. For those of you that need MGRS, You are able to use MGRS format locating on just the watch alone via a scroll type menu which you can go up or down from your current 10 digit grid. The longer you hold the up or down button, the faster it will adjust. Not the best method of input but for the price, reliability and battery life; you cannot go wrong.
I would definitely recommend this to everyone looking for this type of watch. Like I said in the beginning. If you want to have a phone on your wrist, get an apple watch. If you want to navigate through rugged terrain, go for a run and be able to record your hikes from start to finish and back track while navigating, this is the watch for you!” --Roberto Rozco Smokeless Portable Fire Pit - You read that right. The Solo Stove is coined as the world’s most unique portable fire pit because it gives off minimal to no smoke or ashes. This fire pit is easy to set up and great to take with you out on the road and to top it off, you won’t leave the campground smelling like smoke.
Promising Review: “We had our first Solo stove fire on Saturday night. It was so much easy to use and kept us toasty on this chilly May evening in the the Northeast. Love my Bonfire!” --Luann Orcutt
Portable Mosquito Repeller - Mosquitos really know how to ruin a good time while camping, but you don’t have to worry about those annoying pests with the Thermacell MR150 Portable Mosquito Repeller. This device is lightweight and conveniently sized and repels mosquitoes away in a 15-ft zone for up to 12 hours. Definitely, a must-have in our book.
Promising Review: “Hate mosquitos? This is the device for you. I just used it on a weeklong camping trip and it kept me bite free when in use. Be aware that it takes a good 5 minutes to become effective, but I watched mosquitoes come near and then fly away when it hit the barrier. The pad smells a little like cinnamon and does work for 4 hours. I would say the butane works for a little longer than advertised, but who could complain about that? I would recommend this product.” --Andrew W. Huppert Packable Kayak - Unless you have a toy hauler, you might have to leave your kayak at home just because it takes up so much space. Not anymore! PAKAYAK is a portable nesting kayak that breaks apart into 5 pieces and can be stored in a convenient travel bag. When you want to use the kayak, you simply put the pieces together and you’re ready to hit the water.
Promising Review: “Just took this for a spin at Sand Key, Florida. A very well thought out design. A smooth kayak to paddle with great tracking!” --Dave Surplus
20-in-1 Multi-Tool Key - This key is small but mighty. It can be used as four different types of screwdrivers, a bottle opener, box cutter, wire stripper - the list goes on and on; and the best part is it’s the size of a regular house key. No more lugging around large tools while you’re on the road.
Promising Review: “Got my key and have been using it for a few weeks. Have had no problems using it to cut open boxes, adjust things on the trail, and open bottles. I've used it a lot more than I thought.” --Hector Pocket Chainsaw - Why buy firewood when you can cut your own? This “chainsaw” is so small it can fit in your pocket, hence the name. You won’t need to gas this chainsaw up as it’s powered by... you. This convenient and portable pocket chainsaw is great for cutting small branches and trees so you can get the s’mores roasting in no time.
Promising Review: “I decided to try one of these out for camping after struggling to gather firewood, that was big enough to burn longer than a few minutes, with folding handsaw. After taking this to the Boundary Waters my buddies and I will be buying another one! It comes with a small carrying pouch that is easy to stuff in a bag and doesn't take up much space. We found that it's easiest to use as a two man team and rather than pulling straight up (on a log laying down) it worked best to pull up at about 45* to avoid getting jammed up. This angle also made it easier for each of us to get a foot on the log to hold it in place while we cut through it. We were able to cut through a log with a 10" diameter with relative ease!” --Michael R.
TRILLIUM Hammock - After a long day of adventure, there’s nothing like laying in a hammock and admiring the scenery. This giant three-person hammock is ideal for camping and the whole family. The Trillium hammock uses an innovative three-point anchor system and is made of your choice of quick-drying mesh or tough and rip-stop nylon.
Promising Review: “This bad boy is a champ. Once i found the right trees, it took me 5 minutes to set up my first try. It can hold about twelve 8 year olds comfortably, and keep them distracted for over an hour.” --Pepper
Which of these RV and camping gadgets do you have on your list? Do you have any camping gadgets you swear by? Let us know in the comments below!
This information is for educational purposes. VIARV shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional.