Products we love and why: Part II


These blogs about products we've used and endorse are to help those of you deciding on what to purchase for your own adventures. Here are some more of our "reviews" and descriptions of how we've used them.

We were concerned about whether someone could hook up to our trailer and take off with it if we were not attached. This was recommended to us, and it gives us great piece of mind.

We bought this mostly to use while tent camping. It's nice because it is super compact, yet sturdy, so it is a great tool to use when washing dishes at camp.

UPDATE: UPDATE: WE NO LONGER RECOMMEND THIS ITEM. IN FACT, WE RETURNED IT. IT TOOK US ON UNSAFE ROADS. We are leaving this in our blog to tell RVers NOT to buy it!

We have mixed feeling about this, but I'm including it in our list of endorsements, because we haven't found anything better. We've tried every trucking or RVing navigational app that we could find; none of them have been fool proof in terms of NOT taking you on dangerous roads or roads with low underpasses, etc. This GPS device got the best reviews, so we purchased one and have been using it the last couple of weeks. You can set up the specs for your vehicle and select what types of hazards you want to avoid. We have a 32 foot trailer and a 20 foot truck, so we set our specs up as having a 52 ft RV. I think it would be even better if it had a way of selecting "trailer" instead of just RV as they maneuver differently. Nonetheless, this seems to be the most well-suited RV GPS device we could find. Plus I like the fact that it shows you the speed limit for where you are as well as the speed that you are cruising at. The screen is large (7") and contains a lot of helpful info for while you are on the road.

I love this fishing rod and reel set. I love that it collapses into a small package for easy storing because my last rod and reel were not collapsible and it broke in our truck bed. This one is sturdy ... seems really well made... and takes up very little space.

This keeps our paddles from getting banged up. We hold three paddles in it: two for kayaking and one for J's SUP.

We've used this grill for probably 8 years now! We used it at home as our primary grill, but also took it camping. Once it finally got too banged up, we bought a second one for this RV trip. We find it very easy to transport, very sturdy and well made, and it grills great!

When we don't want to grill, but we also don't want to make a mess in our RV kitchen, this comes in remarkably handy. We use it nearly every night. Our kitchen is small, so we bring this out to the picnic table and can chop and prep food there and then cook it on this stove. Then we don't have oil or juices splattering all over our kitchen. We use it tent camping as well as RVing. It's lightweight and folds up into a fairly thin case. It takes up very little storage. We love it!

When we want to get out of the RV and explore places our toy hauler can't easily go, we use this tent for our camping. We had another one before, also a Coleman, and liked it, but our cat Omar also loved to throw himself on the screened sides causing tons of holes for bugs to get in. So, we bought this one as a replacement. I prefer this one, for several reasons. 1) inside it has fewer places where Omar can access the screen :) 2) I like the screened in "porch" for when it's super hot or rainy 3) we also can keep Omar's litter box in the screened area so it's not in the tent with us when we sleep, but it's also not "outside". This tent is a little lower than our other one so I can only stand up straight in the very middle (I'm 5'2"), but it is still plenty high enough to feel spacious.

I cannot say enough good things about this mattress -- for tent camping. It is extremely comfortable. I like us each having our own mattress so that when I roll over I don't wake her. Two of these put side-by-side are probably between a full size bed and a queen bed in width. I blow it up manually (about 100 breaths, but I don't do very deep breaths). J blows it up using the "pump" bag that comes with the mattress. Either way it takes about 5-7 minutes to blow up each one. There is a tempurpedic type mattress inside, along with the inflatable component. It rolls up into a sleeping bag-sized bag. Very handy and very comfortable. I don't even miss my regular bed when I'm tent camping. I prefer it (by far) as compared to a typical inflatable mattress.

We positively LOVE this heater. We were in under freezing conditions for weeks and our electric heater wasn't doing the job, and the furnace is so inefficient. We bought this in hopes of it keeping us all warm and toasty and it does that well, PLUS it is highly efficient. We run the heater at least 12 hours a day on average and the 20 lb propane tank lasts about 10 days. If you are camping/RVing in the cold climates, you MUST get this heater!

That's all for now! I will do Part III another day!