2015 RV Christmas List -> Useful Outdoor Stuff That Lasts
Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about our 2015 RV Christmas Wish List. I’ve done one of these almost every year we’ve been on the road, and it’s always been fun.
I usually pick a topic, like a “big 5” wish-list or an inexpensive Christmas RV decorating ideas list or a RV stocking suffers under $20 list etc. This year, as we near completion of our 6th year of fulltime living on the road I wanted to focus on outdoor stuff, and more specifically I wanted to focus on the stuff that lasts.
In our modern world, where everything seems to be manufactured to be disposable after a few years, I thought this would be an interesting share. Also, we are near-perfect guinea-pigs for this, since we are downright monstrous on our outdoor gear. We regularly forget to take stuff inside when it storms or rains, we throw it and drop it and we even drive 33,000 lb beastly RV’s over (some of) it. What could possibly handle that kind of continuous abuse?
Well, here’s our top 5 list of stuff to wish for that does:
1/ Lynx Leveling Blocks
A pack of inexpensive plastic blocks that last 6 years of driving a monstrous 33,000 lb RV up on them? Yup, believe it or not we still have our very first pack of Lynx Levelers and love them so much we’ve added 3 more packs to our arsenal over the years. We use them to help level our rig (and keep our wheels “down”) in very uneven campsites, and since we often park in rather rustic public parks or boondocking sites, we use them a lot.
I honestly never thought these cheap things would survive our rig, but they have. A select few have cracks in them, but they still all work and our plan is to keep using them until they disintegrate into the strands of individual polymer from whence they were formed. I think every RVer should carry at least two packs of these in their rig.
2/ RhinoFLEX Sewer Hose
No-one ever wants to deal with a leaky sewer hose, and thankfully (cross fingers, paws and toes) we’ve never had to. When we first bought “the beast” a helpful fellow RVer recommended we get the RhinoFLEX Sewer Hose and what a great recommendation that turned out to be! We paired it with a Camco Hose Support and have never looked back. It attaches easily collapses easily, and goes the distance for both #1 and #2 (I can’t resist sometimes, ya know).
I know there are other brands of sewer hose out there, but I honestly don’t think the others last quite like this. It’s the #1 recommended brand on RV forums and most definitely the only one for us.
3/ Weber Q100 Grill
We started our RV journey with a Coleman Roadtrip Grill which, although well-rated online, was a pain to store and keep clean. We quickly got rid of it and exchanged it for a Weber Q100 (now called Weber Q1000) which we absolutely LOVE! Super easy to store, super easy to clean and it grills like a champ. You can use the little disposable 1lb propane bottles with it, or you can hook it up to your main propane tank (with a Propane Tee Connector), and when you’re done with it you can just slot it back into your bay.
We did have the foresight to buy an inexpensive, but durable Vinyl Grill Cover too, so at least our poor grill doesn’t get tooooo much weather abuse, but other than this we really don’t do much to protect it. We’ve used it regularly for years and plan to keep this baby for a loooong time.
4/ Werner Ladder
Every RVer needs a solid ladder. Whether it’s to keep those windows sparkly clean (which I know you all do regularly, right? LOL) or to peer across the top of your slides when they leak having a safe, solid way to get high is important (chuckle, chuckle). Since space is always a premium having a collapsible or telescoping ladder is a definite plus, and one that can handle outdoor abuse is even better.
We’ve had our Werner 13-foot Telescoping Ladder for over 5 years. It’s the exact same design as the Little Giant (as far as I can tell), it hangs off the back of our RV when we travel (from a cheapo chair rack) and we’ve never taken it inside so it’s literally been out in the rain, snow, mud you-name-it that whole time (like I said we’re horrible with out outdoor gear). We even managed to crunch it in our RV slide once which left a rather cringe-worthy bend in our slide, but did absolutely nada to the ladder. There are many other telescoping ladders out there, and I’m sure all are pretty good, but this one is rock SOLID and passes the wheelingit continuous-abuse test with flying colors.
5/ Surge Protection
No RVer should ever be without surge protection. If there’s ONE piece of equipment I would recommend every newbie buy it’s this. It may seem like a big up-front investment, but for under $500 you are protecting ALL the electronics inside your rig which literally means thousands of dollars of stuff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to RVers who’ve been hit with bad power or a surge that has fried a large portion of their inside electronics, which then took them months and many $$ to fix. Me? I’d much rather fry a few hundred dollars of surge protector.
We’ve had our external TRC Surge Guard for over 5 years. The labels have peeled off (due to weather), but the protector works just fine. We plug it into every RV pedestal before we plug in our rig and have peace of mind knowing power is good before our big $$ beast is hooked up. If I were buying today I might go for the hard-wired Progressive Industries since I like the integrated format, but either way I would never be without.
Other outdoor gear that has lasted, but just didn’t make the top 5 include our handy dandy $15 tarp (honestly can’t remember which brand we bought, but we use our tarp for covering stuff, shade, temp repairs you-name-it), our $5 water thief (we use this snazzy little tool at just about every forest service campground we go to), our $20 folding metal table from Walmart (this thing has taken enormous abuse and is still living) and our pricey, but incredibly tough (and very useful) MagneShade front windshield covers.
So, that’s my list for this year. Hopefully stuff you can buy (or wish for) and not have to buy for at least 6 years of use and abuse.
If you still need more RV gift inspiration, then feel free to check out our previous lists below. Happy shopping everyone!
- 5 Ways To Decorate Your RV For Christmas (Cheaply & Compactly)
- 2013 “Big 5” RV Christmas Wish-List
- 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