William & Carie’s Favorite Camping Gear
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We are William and Carie from Joy in the Journey. We got a crazy start into full-time RV living last Sept (2020) when we lost our personal training studio due to COVID regulations. We had only about 3 weeks to buy an older RV and move out of our apartment. Not the typical start to RV life! But we are grateful God used a crisis moment to show us a whole new way of living! We already lived small and simple, but the last 6 months still had a sharp learning curve. Thankfully we have found some valuable gear along the journey! 🙂
Being a fitness family we wanted to have some workout equipment that was versatile no matter where we go. The TRX straps are a perfect option for maintaining strength and functional training. Easy to set up and use with great durability. We have set these up on a tree branch, the back ladder of our rig, at a playground, and a pavilion over a picnic table. They are also lightweight and pack away nicely in their own cinch bag. Definitely a must-have for us with fitness on the go!
This was a great find for us! I researched some different freshwater hoses, wanting something lightweight, wouldn’t tangle easily, but that would also fit within our budget. This water hose surpassed our expectations tenfold! Super lightweight, and never tangles. The hose is extremely durable! We were a little worried about the connectors, as they are pretty thin aluminum, but they are holding up just fine after 6 months.
Living in an RV full time, I knew I wouldn’t be able to take my heavy-duty vacuum so I thought of a Dustbuster, but my husband mentioned a shop vac. I imagined the giant garage shop vacs of the past, but to my great surprise, he found this compact one from Kobalt. It is a beast! Best “vacuum” we have ever owned! It not only comes with attachments and rechargeable batteries (essential when you live off-grid and don’t have shore power), but it is extremely lightweight; even our children can cart it around! It cleans up everything – from the little messes to being a wet vac. We can’t live without it!
These Cobra walkie-talkies were a cheap buy as we moved into the rig. We wanted them mostly for our kids and we needed them while we still drove separately – before our vehicle was tow-ready. Little did we realize how much we would use them! We were greatly surprised by how well they worked!
They don’t go the 10-12 miles as advertised, but we were happy with the distance it could go even over a few hills. Six months later: 1 of 4 radios broke, 1 is now fuzzy but works, and 2 radios are still going strong. For the money, these walkie-talkies were an awesome purchase! We now know how much we use them and will invest in an upgraded set when these all give out.
Living off-grid and boondocking 99% of the time meant we wanted extra solar charging banks for our electronics. We needed a couple of them so keeping within a budget was necessary – these Blavor Solar banks hit the spot. We have a couple of these and love the versatility of charging ports. They can be recharged in the sun over the course of a day or in a few hours hooked up to shore power.
The tow bar for our full-time living setup was probably the most important purchase. We wanted a reliable, heavy-duty, brake-in-system tow bar (for our class C motorhome and Jeep Wrangler toad) that wouldn’t break the bank. We have been extremely pleased with the Ready Brute Elite II! Correct install/set up with electrical wiring, safety chains, etc. took some time, but it was well worth it! This tow bar has withstood much – extreme weather elements (freezing ice in Texas to hot desert sand & wind in Southern Nevada). It is very reliable, easy to connect to our jeep, and stows perfectly in a tucked-up position when not towing. We have lubricated it twice in 6 months (WD-40), and it is really a powerhouse. We couldn’t recommend this product more for towing needs!
Being new to RV living, let alone boondocking most of the time, we weren’t positive of how long our 65-gallon freshwater tank would last with our family of 4. We are very active and drink a lot of water so we quickly realized we needed a boost to our off-grid water supply. Because we are in a class C motorhome instead of a 5th wheel with a truck – the normal water bladder would not work for us. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this 30 gallon (larger options available) water storage cube for under $100! It is more heavy-duty than we expected, and it comes with a filter and a pump! We have not used the filter yet, as we have a 4 part house filter for our drinking spout, but the pump is very helpful! Not going to lie, it is hard work to pump 30 gallons of water, but we just consider it our arm workout for the day! Once filled this cube cannot be moved, so we store it in the back of our jeep until we need it. These extra 30 gallons allow us to stay off-grid for 7-8 days vs. the 3-4 we were getting without it. It is a lifesaver and we will most likely buy another one!
We didn’t expect much from these as they were extremely well-priced. But again, so pleasantly surprised! Very heavy-duty, they come in compact rolls for easy storage, and they are compost friendly. Perfect for our full-time RV puppy!
Having some basic tools is a must and having a full set of super cool tools is fun! As we have needed tools for a remodel, we bought a wide array of their big tools and their smaller sets. There are many options to get what you need and not what you don’t. Kobalt brand tools are very durable, lightweight, easy to use and we love their rechargeable feature.
Moving into an RV 6 months ago was new for us; but homeschooling – aka life school – (as I more realistically call it for our family), was not new for us. Living a life on the road meant a map was definitely needed to give my 4 & 7 year olds a visual of our travels. There were a lot of options out there to choose from, but we really liked that this map included a tube capsule. It has a cool scratch-off top layer of the 50 states, along with scratch-off notable adventures and iconic places to visit. We love the extras too: the adventure book to draw our travels in, the cinch bag that holds the scratch tools, pins, and stickers, and the cylinder tube to store it all in. Overall, a total winner and excellent pick!
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