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Top 12 Gadgets for Fun and Functional Full-Time RVing

Everyone loves gadgets.

They make our lives easier and more enjoyable.

Full-time RVing has its own set of issues for which a gadget is the perfect solution.

Here’s a list of the top 12 gadgets that will keep your full-time RV lifestyle smoothly rolling along.

1. Mobile Hotspot

RVers like to stay connected.

Whether you’re keeping in touch with family, researching destinations, catching up on news and social media, or working from your RV an Internet connection is almost a downright necessity.

Most people learn pretty quickly that relying on campground WiFi – or free WiFi from sources such as shops and restaurants – is inconvenient and inconsistent at best.

Which is why your very own personal MiFi hotspot comes in handy.

A Verizon Jetpack MiFi device will keep all of your Wifi-enabled devices connected to the Internet. You can connect up to 10 devices in 4G LTE coverage areas, and up to 5 in 3G.

This means the entire family can stay happy and connected.

Here’s a detailed article about the performance of the Verizon Jetpack model by Technomadia.

2. Cell Signal Booster

cell signal booster
Want a cell signal way out here? Better get a booster
WatsonsWander

Just because you have a handy device like the Verizon Jetpack doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always be able to connect to the information highway. In many places around the US the cell signal is weak – or nonexistent.

For those times when the signal is marginal, the Wilson Electronics Sleek Booster is the answer.

This cradle-style booster works for both Verizon and AT&T 3 and 4G signals. Simply place your device in the cradle and watch as the signal improves.

This booster is an absolute necessity for those who prefer to camp in out-of-the-way places while wanting to stay connected.

3. Portable Speaker

Gone are the days of lugging around a binder filled with CDs and cassette tapes. These days, much of our music is stored on portable devices such as phones, MP players, laptops and tablets.

What better way to listen to this music than through a rechargeable, wireless, Bluetooth-enabled portable speaker?

Powerful portable speakers such as the compact 5.3” long Oontz Angle Ultra Portable Wireless Speaker or the tiny 2.8” wide circular HMDX JAM classic Wireless Speaker offer up superior sound in a small, inexpensive package.

4. RV Specific GPS

Paper maps are great to keep around in case of emergency. But let’s face it – most of us have come to rely on our GPS units for driving directions.

rv specific gps
If all roads were like this we wouldn’t need GPS
WatsonsWander

For full-time RVers GPS units with RV-specific features, such as those made by Rand McNally and Garmin, are more than just a luxury item.

Helpful safety features such as warnings regarding bridge heights, upcoming downhill grades, sharp corners, and WiFi-enabled weather map overlays make RVing less stressful and safer for everyone.

Features such as trip planners, fuel tracking, and point of interest data bases make your travel experience easier and more rewarding.

Here’s our popular guide on selecting the best RV GPS for your needs.

5. LED Lights

An increasing number of new RVs these days come standard with LED bulbs. But for those with traditional halogen or incandescent bulbs, making the switch to LED lighting is well worth it.

LEDs use approximately 90% less energy than halogens. LEDs are also cool to the touch, reduce heat production inside your RV and are longer-lasting than halogens.

Read this article if you want to swap out your conventional bulbs for LEDs.

6. E-Reader

Few RVs have space for large collections of books, newspapers, and magazines. Not to mention all the extra weight that hauling around these items adds to your rig.

e reader for rvs
WatsonsWander

For book worms on the go, E-Readers such as the Kindle and Nook are the perfect solution. E-readers offer you an entire world of books right at your finger tips. And all in a single compact and light-weight tablet.

7. Rechargeable Vacuum

Between dogs, kids, and the husband’s muddy boots, RV floors get dirty quickly!

Brooms and mops work fine, but for full-time RVing a vacuum is a must. By far the best vacuum for the job is a rechargeable vacuum with multiple attachments for the various surfaces around your RV.

Many people swear by the Dyson Handheld and the Dyson Slimfit Multi-Floor vacuum. If you’re looking for something a bit more budget-conscious though, there are a wide selection of choices available.

Both the Hoover Platinum Cordless and the Eureka Hand-Held are known for their superior performance and reasonable price.

8. Oxygenics Shower Head

Save water while enjoying a great shower!

The Oxygenics Shower Head injects oxygen into the water, which means it uses of 70% less water than an ordinary shower head.

At the same time it provides enough pressure for a satisfying shower. The Oxygenics also has an On/Off switch on the handle, making it the perfect tool when water conservation concerns necessitate a navy-style shower.

9. Ceramic Space Heater

Sure you can say you want to “follow the weather”, but what happens during that freak January cold snap in Arizona, or chilly July night in the mountains?

Well, that’s when you turn on the heat.

Most RVs have built in heat courtesy of furnaces heated by propane and distributed by electric blowers. While these work well, they also tend to use a large amount of both propane and power.

rv in a snowy mountain area
I think we’re gonna need some heat
WatsonsWander

A ceramic space heater is the perfect option for when you need to get the chill out of the air but don’t want to consume a large amount of propane.

They come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.

Here are a few tried and true models:

Impress 2-Speed Heater with Adjustable thermostat – small, light-weight, affordable
Lasko Tower Heater with Remote Control – narrow profile, programable thermostat, remote control
Vorando Personal Space Heater – small footprint, designed to reduce tipping over, automatic shut-of for safety

10. Wireless Weather Station

RVers tend to spend a lot of time outside.  Since no one wants to get wet while hiking or caught in the wind while out paddling the lake it’s nice to have an in-house weather station.

Small wall mounted weather stations such as the Ambient Advanced Weather Station not only tell you the current conditions – both inside and out – but also display the forecast for the day.

You’ll also get additional information such as barometric pressure, humidity and dew point.

Read this article for the top 5 severe weather safety tips you should know.

11. Portable Solar Panel

TIP: Portable solar panels might be overkill for your RV power needs

More and more Full-time RVers are turning to solar for their power needs. What used to be considered an indulgent excess is now a near necessity for those who enjoy camping in public campgrounds without power hook-ups or in remote areas.

But a full rooftop solar set-up and install is still an expensive proposition that many simply can’t justify.

Which is why portable solar panels are gaining in popularity. Relatively affordable and easy to set-up, these panels are a great way to enjoy the benefits of solar without spending a huge chunk of change.

The best set-ups come from companies such as Zamp Solar and Go Power! who offer kits containing a panel, built-in solar controller, cables and battery clips, and fold-out legs. The kit fits in a suitcase-style case with handles for easy setup and take down.

12. GoPro Camerago pro camera

There’s a reason why the GoPro is called the “World’s Most Versatile Camera”.

If you want to capture still shots high above the ground, make time lapse videos of amazing sunrises or record an exhilarating video of your white water rafting trip, the GoPro is the tool for the job.

With a wide range of attachments and mounts this camera and video recorder can go practically anywhere.

RVers love adventure, and there is no better way to capture theses memories than with this high powered, small, versatile camera.


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4 thoughts on “Top 12 Gadgets for Fun and Functional Full-Time RVing”

  1. Your smartphone won’t pick up weather where there is no cell signal. It likely relies on the internet to pull GPS maps. If you are reading an E-book, one phone call willannoyingly interrupt your reader app ( or anything else you are doing, for that matter ). Additionally, while it’s nice to have all of that functionality, relying on that device for everything creates a single point of failure.

    No way I’d throw all my eggs into one basket like that. Nice write-up, Amanda!

  2. Your smart phone offers a much lower quality of the things she mentioned. So, if all you need is low quality sure your phone is fine. If you want high quality and wider reception her suggestions are much better than your smart phone.

  3. Gee Amanda, good suggestions, except for one thing. More electronic gadgets than you need. My Verizon smartphone is a Wireless Hot Spot. It’s a better reader than a Nook or Kindle because I can check-out my books free from my public library. It’s a better weather station because driving doesn’t mess with the temps, and it brings me alerts from the weather service in bad weather. Plus it takes nice pictures I can send directly to Facebook. Yep, we’ve had a version of each of those things separately, but today, it’s all converging into one gadget.

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