Marshall’s Favorite Camping Gear
As a full-time RVer for over five years in the same 175 square foot living space, I’ve accumulated a few favorite things. Space is at a premium in my less than 200 feet of living space, so I don’t tend to go for the big fancy things someone in a monster Class A might enjoy.
Here’s a sampling of the little pleasures in my life. At least the ones that are for a PG audience.
I like to play music when I’m not working. So basically all the time. I kid about the all the time bit. Maybe. I do enjoy my music!
I used to play tunes via my iPhone, but that got a bit annoying since it would drain the battery so quickly. Enter the Echo Dot. Game. Changer.
I connect my Echo Dot to my cellular hot spot and stream Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Sirius XM thru it.
The speaker is small, but sound quality is really good. And if I want to crank the tunes even louder, I connect Echo to my rig’s stereo system via Bluetooth.
My 2014 trailer has electronics straight out of the 80’s. In other words, the rig’s stereo doesn’t have Bluetooth capability built-in. I mean, why would it?
In order to stream music thru my rig’s speakers (more on that subject in a minute), I had to purchase a Bluetooth audio receiver that plugs into my stereo’s aux jack.
After a few failed purchases, I settled on this receiver and it’s been a champ for the last year and a half.
Pro Tip: You will most likely need a ground loop noise isolator installed between the Bluetooth receiver and your stereo, unless you are into VERY annoying buzzing sounds. There is a fancy electrical reason why this is, but I won’t bore you. Just trust me. Or not.
Ever notice how RV manufacturers only put in the very best, high end equipment into the rigs they build? Yeah, me neither. Which means my Lance travel trailer came with some really crappy speakers. I suffered with them for 3.5 years and finally had enough.
In went with these inexpensive, but light years ahead when it comes to sound, Rockford Fosgate speakers. I installed slightly less expensive versions first, and ended up buying this model for the second set (I have two sets of speakers in my small space). Sound quality is slightly better for this model, but quite frankly anything is better than the crap that came in my rig.
My speakers are ceiling mounted, and the Lance ceilings are very, very shallow (they aren’t sporting the 5 inches of insulation that many rigs have), so I couldn’t directly replace the existing shallow-depth speakers. I had to buy these 1 inch spacers and all was right with the world.
I’m not a coffee snob by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like a bit of caffeine in the morning. Probably more of a routine than it is a necessity.
Call it what you want, I do need an easy way to make my morning cup of Joe since I’m not plugged into shore power ever, so I can’t use a fancy automatic coffee pot thingy.
Enter the Aeropress. It’s simple, light, compact, and makes a cup of coffee. Exactly what I need for my tiny house and non-discriminating taste when it comes to coffee.
With the Aeropress, you need some way to heat water. Since I don’t have the ability to use an electric kettle (I boondock all the time, so no sipping from shore power), I use this really slick, stainless steel tea/coffee/whatever kettle.
I’ve been using it for over 3 years and it’s holding up extremely well. Thank you stainless steel!
Oh, and it’s made in Japan. So it comes in a cool box with Japanese writing (Kanji for you fancy types) on it. Which I thought was pretty cool. It’s the little things…
What better activity to do after you’ve had your morning coffee then to drop and do 100 pushups. Not at one time. Don’t be silly!
I’ve owned a set of Perfect Pushups for probably 15 years and replaced them a year ago with this newer version. The Elite ones. What makes them Elite? Um, no clue! They work the same as the version I’d been using for a long time. #marketing
These workout aids help me do pushups without hurting my wrists, don’t take up much space, and motivate me to work on my arms and chest. Just in case I happen to get a date one of these days.
Another way I try and maintain my desirability to the opposite sex is by getting out and putting some miles on my feet. This is where my Vibram FiveFinger Trail Running shoes come into play.
Don’t let the name fool you – I am not a runner. I prefer walking. With the occasion burst of speed (or what passes for speed at my age).
Why not wear “normal” shoes? I like my feet to be able to feel. Which they can do without being confined inside a pair of shoes. Trust me, your feet will love these!
Just be prepared to get weird looks and the inevitable comments. From “normals” that just don’t understand.
Enough about how I maintain this perfect male body of mine (I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing…). Let’s talk for a hot second about an actual RV item. Wild concept, I know.
After five years of dealing with the crappy latch mechanism to hold open my baggage doors, I finally installed these magnetic baggage door catches. OMG! Why did I wait this long????
Now instead of a two handed operation (better hope you aren’t carrying anything!), I can quickly open and secure my baggage doors with a single hand.
Yes, some manufacturers install magnetic catches as standard equipment, but many don’t. If you have the crappy two-hands necessary latches, consider this upgrade.
Only “catch” (see what I did there?) is that you have to have something steel on your baggage doors to “stick” to the magnetics. Many (most?) baggage doors have an aluminum frame, which won’t stick to a magnet (please tell me this isn’t news to you).
The “handles” on my baggage doors are steel, so I aligned the magnetic catches with these. Works perfectly!
While we are on the subject of sticky things, I want to talk about Command Strips. Who in the heck invented these little miracles? A genius, I tell ya!
I use Command Strips to hang up all sorts of things in my RV. In case you live under a rock, Command Strips allow you to adhere items to walls without damaging said walls.
If you so desire, you can remove the Command Strips without damaging the wall or what you’ve attached. Definitely a miracle.
Command Strips come in different lengths and holding abilities. There are all sorts of nifty Command Strip accessories, such as hooks that you can hang lighter weight items from (I use them to hang anything from my broom to hats and coats).
There are also Velcro versions that let you remove items and stick them back up in the same place. I use those for pictures, though I never remove them. Makes me wonder why I didn’t use normal Command Strips…
Another thing that I use the Velcro version of Command Strips to hang on a wall is an Accurite wireless thermometer that reads both the inside and outside temps. Because I need to verify it’s damn cold inside (and out) when I wake up in Leadville, Colorado in the middle of January.
This Accurite temp reader has a wireless unit that you set outside to read, well, the outside air temp. Just make sure you put this in a place that’s shaded all day long so it reads accurately.
Accurite makes a large number of these temperature reading devices. This just happens to be the one I use. Maybe you are fancier than me and want a color version. Or one that reads humidity. Or one that predicts the winning lotto numbers (I kid!). That’s the beauty of life – choices.
(Before you say I’m truly crazy, no, I’ve never stayed in Leadville in January. That would be insane. RV or not.)
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