2013 “Big 5” RV Christmas Wish-List
FINALLY December has arrived and I can bask and swim in the glorious anticipation of Christmas!! I just can’t do it before December. I know shops these days put out Christmas stuff as ridiculously early as Oct and certainly most people can’t wait past Nov, but I have to see the beginning of the month before I can really let go. It may just be me, but once Dec 1st rolls around I finally feel free to play unlimited carols, bounce around with wild abandon in Santa hats and decorate the Christmas dickens out of RV….and of course that means it’s time for my yearly wish-list too. Yeah!!!
We’ve done a blog wish-list since our first year on the road (see past years at the bottom of this post), but this year will be a little different. In past posts I’ve focused on smaller gifts, mostly under $50. This year I decided to go BIG and share some of the pricier stuff (say $400 and up) that’s on our OWN list. Many of these items have been our out lists for years, and I know they’re solid RV favorites. So here you go….
1/ Garmin RV 760LMT GPS
Our current GPS dates back to 2008 and we are woefully old-fashioned when it comes to this stuff. So, I’ve been looking around for a newer GPS Navigator for a while. There are several RV-specific models on the market, but we’ve always been partial to Garmin and the Garmin RV 760LMT with lifetime maps & traffic seems to be the best of the lot. Nice, big screen….lots of cool settings…ability to program size & import POI. Pretty nifty little device and I know it would look awesome on our dashboard.
2/ Magnum MSH-3012M Pure Sine-Wave Inverter
Inverters are super-useful for boondocking since they allow you to take the DC charge from your batteries and convert it to AC so you can plug-in all your regular AC electronics without running the generator. We’ve had a Modified Sine Wave (MSW) Inverter-Charger in our RV since we bought the coach and it’s really not the best thing. The power output from MSW Inverters is “blocky” and most of your sensitive electronics and even some of your bigger ones don’t really like it (in fact it’s burned out our microwave twice!!). So, we’ve been wanting a PSW Inverter for….like…years. But we also wanted it to be a charger, and we also wanted it to be fully programmable (for when we convert to Lithium batteries down the road) and it would be really cool if it were also load-support intelligent (i.e. you can combine AC & battery to power your rig off lower amp plugs) AND it would be just super if it were drop-in to our current Magnum. Well, say hello to the Magnum MSH3012M….sweeeeeet! Not cheap, but that’s the one we want, baby.
3/ Tire Pressure Monitoring System
I mentioned tire pressure monitors waaaay back when I wrote my very first post on tire care in 2010, and although we religiously check our tire pressure before every trip we’ve been drooling after an automated approach ever since. There is nothing like real-time input on all your tires (including your toad) for peace of mind on the road and there’s no doubt it could save you from a serious blow-out. There are many good tire-pressure systems (TireTraker, Doran, Pressure Pro) out there, but I’ve been partial to TST and Tire-Safeguard since I first read about them, plus they seem to get consistently positive reviews on the RV forums. Both companies offer flow-through sensors and regular cap versions (we’ll probably go for the latter with 10 sensors). Maybe this will be the year….
4/ See Level Tank Sensors
Everyone knows how frustrating it is to have non-functioning tank sensors. It’s a common RV problem and it happens to everyone. We’ve managed to keep our sensors pretty functional over the past 4 years using the old GEO method, but it would be soooooo nice to have sensors that worked no matter what. The ones that get consistently the best reviews online are the digital See Level sensors.The model we like does tank and % increments (709 model). Not cheap, but you can use existing wiring to install them, and the results are pretty neat. These guys usually show up for the big show at Quartzsite so we may give them another visit this Jan.
5/ More Solar Power….And Lithium???!!
They always say you can never have enough power, and that’s certainly true when it comes to living off the grid. We’ve been perfectly happy with our 600 Watt system ever since we installed it in Florida in 2010, but we’ve been thinking about upgrades. Somewhere down the line we’ll probably switch out to a residential (electric-only) fridge and that will mean we need more solar. Also we’d love (love) to install Lithium batteries especially since we’ve drooled over Technomadia’s installation and haven’t been able to stop talking about it. If money were no barrier what would we do? Well, we’d definitely go back to AM Solar (excellent team) and would probably add-on at least three of their GO160 panels, a second Morningstar 45-MPPT controller and 800AH of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries which we might possibly build ourselves. Would that be just ridiculously cool or what???!! This is a high $$ upgrade and may not happen for a while, but it’s definitely in our “big 5”.
So, that’s it folks. I told you we were going big this year, and I think you can see why some of these items have been on our lists for years. For smaller $$ stuff and previous ideas have a look here:
- 2012 -> 5 Cool RV Christmas Gift Ideas For Under $50
- Tis The Season For RV Gifting! -> My Top 5 RV Gifts for 2011
- RV Christmas 2010 Wishlist -> For the Bookworm
- RV Christmas 2010 Wishlist II -> 10 Stocking Stuffers for Under $20
- RV Christmas 2010 Wishlist III -> Last, Last Minute Gifts
So, what’s on your wish-list this year?
P.S. A few Amazon links in this post. If you love ‘em, feel free to use ‘em and we’ll get a few cents in gas. Share the love, baby