RVer Gift Giving Guide 2016
The Christmas season is upon us and for those looking to buy some gifts for themselves or an RV friend we have a few easy and useful ideas for you.
I’ve done one of these lists every year since we started RVing (you can see the full set of posts at the bottom of this blog), so many of my recommendations are repeats from previous years (what can I say, the right stuff is simply the right stuff). Also RVers have limited space and most RV folks don’t really need or want much (I actually struggle to come up with an Amazon wish-list most years) so many of the things I recommend are either stuff that don’t take up a lot of room or that can be used on the fly (e.g. gift cards). Lastly don’t forget that personalized gifts (e.g. food, a meal or a small thing made by hand) are something EVERY RVer will love. You don’t have to buy it to make it special and sometimes these gifts are the very best indeed.
For The Traveler (And Last-Minute Gifter)
Gift cards and memberships are something you can gift any RVer, anywhere at any time and they’re honestly my #1 preferred gift to both receive and give.
- Amazon Gift Cards – Love ’em, use ’em and they never go out of style. I especially love that you can e-mail these (as a giver) and that you can load them online (as a receiver) so the $$ are ready anytime you are and you don’t have to go looking for your gift card when you want to use it. Plus there’s no expiration date to worry about. Best Gift Ever!
- RV Camping & Club Memberships – We don’t subscribe to many RV club memberships, but there are a select FEW that we do recommend to everyone. So if you or your RV friend isn’t already a member I think Passport America is a great gift. Also a year of Harvest Hosts, or a year of Boondockers Welcome is a fun and interesting gift. There are few other clubs (e.g XScapers/Escapees, Mobile Internet Afficionados) that we like too plus there are park passes (like the National Parks Pass) that any traveler will love. These are useful and inexpensive gifts that will return their $$ multiple times within just a few uses.
- Useful RV Travel Maps – There are a few hard copy maps that we use regularly on the road. You can never go wrong with a good quality laminated Rand McNally Road Atlas or the excellent series of detailed Benchmark Series of Road & Recreation Maps. We have around 7 of the latter (so far) and use them quite a bit for detailed planning and finding boondocking spots.
For The Gourmand
Who doesn’t like food? Or perhaps something classy to drink? I’m the type of person that I will ALWAYS be happy with a good treat or a nice bottle of something. And since it’s something I can consume it won’t take up permanent space in my RV. Most of these work best if you know you’re going to see your RV friend in person
- Home-Made Treats – I don’t think anyone will be unhappy if you make them a nice, tasty treat. I have a few recipes on the blog that are always hits -> home-made gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate LARAballs.
- A Nice Bottle Of Wine Or Beer – We’ll often gift a nice bottle or wine or beer, especially if we’re giving to someone we know who loves this. We collect rare beers as we travel around the country and gift them to our special friends and family when we see them. We do the same with local wineries. You can buy bottles online too, of course, but only if your RV friend has a mailing address to receive them. We find the collected stuff is more fun.
- Some Bar Extras – We travel with a pretty full bar including an inexpensive metal cocktail shaker and a variety of real glasses (which we store in a regular wine-box with foam). Some extra stuff we’ve added over the years are these big Tovlo silicone ice cube trays (for sipping a nice bourbon or whisky after dinner) and some classic cocktail bitters. If you don’t like traveling with real glass (although honestly we’ve never had a problem) there are lots of nice-quality and good-looking acrylic wine glasses or metal martini glasses out there. We have many RV buddies who love these.
For The Cook
We’re avid RV cooks and looooove our little mini-kitchen. In the many years we’ve been on the road we’ve used the same few items over and over. Of course we have a good set of pots and pans (we’ve used the same set of Hard-Anodized All-Clad pans for over 17 years now!!) and we have a good set of knives (we’ve had the same set of JA Henkels knives for over 10 years), but if you’re just starting out and looking for some general RV-compatible stuff here are some great ideas:
- Silipat Silicone Baking Mats – If you have a propane oven in your RV you’ve probably already encountered the dreaded propane burn on anything you try to bake in it. Some RVers use a pizza stone or tile to dissipate the heat, but since we discovered the Silipat Baking Mat we haven’t had to use either. We LOVE these pads and use them to bake scones, breads, cookies and we don’t get a burn!! The 8-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ size fits perfectly into our Nordic Ware Quarter Sheet Baking Tray which fits perfectly into our RV propane oven. Use ’em constantly.
- Other Silicone Stuff – Basically anything food-grade silicone works well in an RV setting since it’s unbreakable, bendable and compact (so super easy to store and use). We have a set of inexpensive silicone cupcake/muffin moulds that I often use, plus you can buy collapsible silicone strainers and collapsible silicone measuring cups.
- Slim-Line Food Scale – We’ve used the same slim-line OXO Food Scale since we originally moved into the RV 7 years ago. We really love that it can be slotted into our RV cupboard without taking much space.
- Hand Blender – We had to downsize most of our chopping/blending stuff when we moved into the RV, but the one thing that survived (and which we use constantly) is our snazzy Cuisinart Hand Blender. We use it for smoothies, soups, cake mixes and more.
- Pressure Cooker (Or Insta-pot) – Our stainless steel Presto 8-Quart Cooker is the one item we have in our kitchen that is NOT small, but we use it constantly for stews, beans, you-name-it. If you like QUICK one-pot meals it’s a wonderful to use. We use it while boondocking, after a day of traveling etc. and can basically have a full stew made in only 45 minutes! . If you’re looking for a modern version of this we have MANY RV friends who’ve gone absolutely gaga over the Insta-pot IP-LUX60 or the Insta-Pot IP-DUO60. We haven’t tried it yet ourselves, but like the concept and the Amazon sale prices are pretty good right now.
For Your RV Video, Writer & Blogger Friends
This applies to us (of course), but it’s also an approach I use with ALL my working RV friends. If you read blogs, or watch RV videos or follow RVers that either write (or make something) on the road and you enjoy their content and want to give a little gift back, then you can always do it by using their links (e.g. many bloggers have Amazon links which don’t cost you any extra to use, but give a little back when you shop through them), supporting their site (e.g some bloggers have donation buttons) or buying their work (e.g. from Etsy or wherever they sell it). We also love making little Danish Christmas Hearts or hosting meals for our friends. These are nice, easy ways to give back to the community we love so much.
That’s it for this year’s list. Wishing you all a wonderful season!
- 4 Ways To “Glamp Up” Your Outdoor Boondocking Area
- RV Camping Club Memberships -> Are They Worth It?
- Boondocking For Newbies Part I -> Finding Where To Go
- Our 5 Favorite Kitchen Items For RV Cooking
Previous Christmas Gift Lists & Ideas:
- 2015 RV Christmas List -> Useful Outdoor Stuff That Lasts
- 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