10 Gift Ideas For RVers

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November 28, 2009

With Christmas less than a month away, I thought I’d make a few gift suggestions for the RVers on your shopping list, or even as a treat for yourself. I use, or have used, all of the products myself.

1. LED Flashlight – These little powerhouses are small and incredibly bright, and you can never have too many of them. I keep one in my desk, another on the nightstand, one in the van, and a couple in various bays of our motorhome.

2. Dyson DC31 Vacuum – When Dyson contacted us asking if we would be willing to give their new rechargeable handheld vacuum a test, Miss Terry jumped at the chance. She loves this new vacuum, which is powered by a digital motor spinning up to104,000 RPM, which is five times faster than a Formula 1 race car engine. For little cleanup jobs around our motorhome, she no longer uses our built-in vacuum, because the Dyson immediately became her tool of choice. It’s lightweight, sturdy, powerful, and versatile. When she’s finished, it’s easy to empty, all she has to do is open the clear cup on the bottom of the vacuum.

3. Hose Buddy – We’ve all had it happen to us, we’ve stuck our sewer hose into the dump station, pulled the black water handle, and had the sudden rush through the hose pop it out and make a mess. Enter the Hose Buddy, a nifty plastic device that fits over your sewer hose’s 90 degree fitting to hold it securely in place. In the past, I had to look for a rock or something to hold my sewer hose in place, but when the folks who make the Hose Buddy sent me a demo, I knew it was a winner the minute I took it out of the box. Made of high grade plastic, the Hose Buddy is so simple it’s ingenious. I filled the reservoir with water (though sand or pebbles would work fine too), put it over the end of my sewer hose, and it works great, even on those irritating campground sewer fittings that extend several inches above the ground!

4. PressurePro Tire Monitoring System – No more crawling around in the mud and wet grass getting dirty as I check my RV’s tire pressures before a trip. With the PressurePro, all I have to do is look at the digital readout on its monitor, right from the driver’s seat! I wouldn’t leave my campsite without it!

5. Silverleaf VMSpc – Silverleaf loaned me a data cable to use with my netbook computer so I could review their free VMSpc engine monitoring software, but I am sending them a check because I like it so much I don’t want to give it up! The program monitors every function of my RV’s diesel engine, is more accurate than the factory gauges on my motorhome, and provides a wealth of information.

6. Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas – While it is made for truckers, this is a handy atlas for RVers too. Along with  detailed, full-color maps of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, the atlas includes valuable information for anyone driving a big rig, including restricted route information, low clearances, 40,000+ updated city-to-city mileages, a telephone area code map, and more.

7. Restaurant Gift Cards – Most fulltime or snowbird RVers are very conscious of adding any weight to their load, so a lot of times typical gifts are a hassle. We don’t need doodads and geegaws, but we all love to eat. A gift card from any chain restaurant (Texas Roadhouse, Applebees, TGI Fridays, etc) is always welcomed.

8. Mountain Directory Guides – Every RV should have a copy of both the Eastern and Western editions of these books on board. They provide locations and descriptions of over 550 mountain passes and steep grades nationwide, with mile by mile descriptions of what to expect climbing or descending, runaway truck ramps, and other information that prevents surprises that can get you into trouble.      

9. E-book Reader – A year ago the Amazon Kindle was about the only game in town, but now Sony’s two e-book readers are becoming big sellers. Now the Borders bookstore chain is supposed to introduce its own e-book reader, called the Elonex, and Barnes & Noble has a new e-book reader called the Nook.  Whichever model you choose, any RVing bookworm will love it. They’re lightweight and can carry hundreds of digital books.

10. Electrical Management System – We installed a Progressive Industries Electrical Management System (EMS)  in our MCI bus conversion, and over the years it saved our rig several times from high and low voltage conditions. So another EMS was one of the first things we had installed when we bought our Winnebago Ultimate Advantage. It’s worth its  weight in gold!

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  2. @Bob – no, it will not work as your 6.4 has an OBDII diagnostic connector and the monitor is not compatible with your truck’s computer anyway. If you want a great engine monitor (and many other parameters) for your truck, check out this one:


    It’s a ScanGuage II and works on any OBDII vehicle, including yours. Monitors up to 37 parameters, more than you will ever need.

  3. Bob

    nope was asking if the Silver leaf system would work in my F350 pickup (diesel) 6.4 engine . or is this just for the motorhomes? Yea still new to rving.

  4. Bob

    does this also work on the F350 tow for a 5er?

  5. Dan Rambow

    Yes, Eric, links would have been nice.

    But all you have to do, is high-light the subject words, click control-C to copy, and then paste into your browser search engine. You will be able to find the items quite easily.

  6. Eric

    A link to the products would have made this a pretty good article… otherwise, it’s just a bunch of words.

  7. Francis X. Schilling

    Re: “Who publishes the Mountain Directory guides and where could we find them?”

    They are available many places on the internet from $15-$17 US. Mountaindirectory.com , RVBookstore.com, etc. There are separate guides for East and West.


  8. Great list Nick! I second the Dyson vacuum. I too was contacted by Dyson and received the handheld a week later. What an awesome machine. Very high quality and great suction.

    Another cool gift for RVers is a metal detector. I love using mine with my 9 year old daughter. We find a lot of neat stuff around the campground and along the trails. Here is a link to the one I bought on amazon.com:


  9. Fran Cummings

    We are planning a trip out west in March. Who publishes the Mountian Directory guides and where could we find them? Have not seen anything like that in our area.