Whether or not you like to boondock without hookups, having a few 12-volt tools and appliances on hand can make camp life a little easier.
12-volt appliances run off DC power from a vehicle, deep cycle or marine battery, and are plugged into a cigarette lighter or the round female sockets that come in most vehicles, vans, RVs, and even smaller trailers like teardrops.
Depending on how they are used, 12-volt appliances usually draw between 4 to 5 amps of power. If they are used a lot or left on, they can drain a battery. As a result, it can be helpful to have a battery that is used specifically for certain appliances like refrigerators or freezers. Some of these appliances also help to save battery life with an auto shutoff feature.
These are 6 of the best and most affordable 12-volt tools that every RVer should own.
You wouldn’t think that a plug-in portable stove would be useful. However, this handy stove the size of a tackle box can be used not only for cooking food but for keeping pre-made food warm while traveling.
This portable stove ($26) heats up to 300 degrees F and can be used to cook beans, soups, rice, and other hot dishes. It costs around $30 and you can add your own disposable aluminum pans, so clean-up is a breeze.
Another RoadPro product is the Smart Car Pot. This 20-ounce pot heats up water for tea or coffee, soups, and other liquid-based foods.
It has a long 4 1/2 foot power cord and only costs around $20. The container is clear so you can see when your liquid is boiling.
Speaking of refrigerators, if you don’t have electrical hookups or a propane refrigerator, this handy little cooler will keep everything from beer to vegetables and meat cool in the warmest weather.
The Koolatron P27 Grey Voyager Cooler has been around for over 30 years and is only about $105 (with coupons available). This 29-quart container can fit up to 48 12-ounce soda cans or several days worth of food.
Having a 12 volt blanket around will not only keep you warm in bed, but also in your vehicle, by the campfire, or while lounging around the outside of your RV.
The Schumacher 1222 12V Heated Travel Blanket ($38) comes in a nice blue color and has an 8-foot long cord. This blanket heats up quickly and won’t break the bank.
If your RV tends to get dirty, regular handheld vacuums just won’t cut it. Add a little oomph to your cleaning with a 12-volt vacuum that cleans up both wet and dry messes. The SUAOKI Car Vacuum ($22) has a nearly 16-foot long cord and 4,000 PA suction.
See also: The Best Vacuum Cleaners For RVs
Having a tire inflator is one of the handiest emergency tools you can pack in your camper. Not only can you use it to fix flat vehicle tires, but they can be used for road and mountain bikes, motorcycles, river tubes, children’s toys, and to get a neighboring camper out of a jam.
The VonHaus Cordless Tire Inflator ($37) is a high-ranked inflator that has a handy light for working in the dark. It comes with a car adapter as well as a charger and digital pressure gauge display.