10 Simple Things That Massively Upgrade Our RV Trailer Experience
10 Things To Massively Upgrade Camping and RVing
Camping, whether you’re tenting or RV’ing, is about escape for most people. Getting away from the day-to-day, away from the office, away from the neighbors, away from the chores, away from potential commitments, away from city lights and noise — that’s what camping is about!
However, within the hour of camping, we always think of something we wish we had. I don’t even mean a thing with a screen. There’s a moment in which some little luxury would just feel comforting. It may not even be a luxury! We forget regular, useful things whenever we leave our house. We even forget important things. We forgot the key things to make fire. You know… matches, kindling, WOOD! It’s because we’re so forgetful that we made our Knox Camping Box. You can check it out here.
If you’re like us, you bring a pen and paper to write down everything you forgot or wish you had. This post is the result of that happening over and over. Each one of these things has not only improved our camping / RV’ing experiences, but they’ve massively upgraded them!
Without further ado and in no particular order…
10 Simple Things That Massively Upgrade Our Camping RV Experiences
1. A travel smoker
I (Nate) gave myself a killer Christmas present this past December — an electric smoker. I bought a fancy Masterbuilt smoker on Amazon, partially with a gift card, and haven’t looked back.
Sarah completely doubted me.
“You’re never going to use it”
Oh my, did I prove her wrong. I’ve had that thing running almost every weekend since, even in the -20 degree winter temps here in Minnesota. After discovering I loved smoked foods, I started thinking, “I wish I brought my smoker,” while on camping trips.
I recently found a small Masterbuilt electric smoker on Amazon while tapping around the app randomly — a terrible idea. I somehow found my way to this bad boy while on discount for some reason and impulsively bought it.
It’s amazing and has totally changed the game.
Here’s the link to the smoker I bought — https://amzn.to/2QgKZbK (affiliate link)
Even though I love having this smoker too, here’s a word of caution. I discovered quickly that this little guy GETS HOT. So be careful, especially with kids around. You don’t want to lean or place your phone on this one.
If you’ve been on the internet & RV or trailer scene long enough, you’ve seen the shirt that says,
“I’m sorry for the things I said while trying to park the camper”
We quickly learned our communication skills as a couple could improve when trying to back up and park our Bullet. There are just so many things that set us up for screaming mean things at each other. Like, so many. The constant alarm sound triggered by the Armada’s close detection doesn’t help at all.
Our hack has been to use our cell phones to talk, ideally calmly, to each other rather than shouting and causing a (bigger) scene. HOWEVER, we didn’t have cell reception AT ALL recently and I hit my breaking point.
Introducing the best solution, and eventual toy set — Walkie Talkies.
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2Og20oX (affiliate)
I don’t need to explain the benefits of walkie talkies. You’re a smart person. If you disagree, that’s cool. We enjoy using them now and they help us stay cool while Sarah tries to hand-signal me in the right direction while adding the color with her beautiful-definitely-not-annoyed voice.
3. An out door rug
This one is really simple. It’s a rug. Just a rug, but it’s one we like and think is nice looking.
It’s a reversible 9ft x 18x outdoor rug that fits nicely on the side of our Bullet under the awning. Tons of people have things like this for obvious cleanly reasons, but it does wonders for us psychologically in making our camping feel extra comfortable. It seems silly writing about it, but it’s a simple way we massively upgraded our trips
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2ImQUJn (affiliate)
4. Good travel mugs
Seriously, it’s so dumb and I know this is coming off as brand/name dropping, but the Yeti travel mugs are amazing and we greatly prefer them over other mugs we have.
I love my other Contigo travel mug because I can trip it terribly and it will still do its job while staying sealed, BUT, there’s something about this little Yeti mug. Call me crazy, but having the handle changes the game. It’s what a mug should be, but it’s better, it’s a Yeti. The one downside to this mug is the lid. It just has an open mouth piece, so it doesn’t close. I don’t get this about some Yeti products, so Mr/Mrs Yeti Product Manager, consider changing everything just for me. Please.
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2xUdDI2 (affiliate)
5. Porch lights for the awning
This should probably be the first thing on the list, but it’s not. We love these lights for several reasons. Sure, our Keystone Bullet 243BHS has lights installed with the awning already, but these lights are better looking, much softer (the Bullet lights are crazy bright & blue), solar powered, and perfect for our trailer.
Again, this is the obvious thing to put on this list, so yeah, I’m doing it. Everyone loves them. They’re simple and a massive upgrade to every experience: rain or … dark and not rain.
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2OZ8tlg (affiliate)
6. GOOD PILLOWS!
This is another obvious thing for a list like this. Sleep is one of the biggest issues with camping, so why not try to completely cut this issues out. I’ve always been obsessed with my memory foam pillow.
I hit a new point in which I now even use these pillow for my knees and to hold while in bed. Yes, it’s basically my teddy.
Camping / RVing is no different to me. Why sacrifice the comfort when it’s not necessary. This especially rings true for full/long timers. In an updated version of this post down the road — let’s be honest, more will come — I’ll list a new type of mattress. I’m still shopping around on that topic, so leave a comment with your favorite. Because we’re using the mattress that came with the Bullet, plus a foam topper, pillows are the next thing to highlight.
I got this two pack and now Sarah is jealous, so we’ll buy another set shortly.
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2N3vORb (affiliate)
7. A battery power fan / ceiling light
Yes, we’re actually serious. We own a battery powered fan that contains a light. We love it. Nate, for some reason, desperately needs white noise and air movement to sleep. It’s annoying. So he came back from REI one day with this and I couldn’t believe it. The thing is though, it’s amazing!
This fan is just from Amazon, so it’s not the exact fan we bought SO many years ago, but it’s close enough and even cheaper than what we got.
This recommendation is more for tent campers rather than RV/Trailer campers, since we’re all spoiled with outlets for legit fans or white noise if we want it.
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2zEwjO2 (affiliate)
8. Firestarting Logs
Ok, let’s be real for a minute here. We are not scouts. As outdoorsy as we are (as we think we are) we aren’t good at starting fires. Campfires are NON-NEGOTIABLE, obviously. One of Nate’s pet-peeves and/or insecurities is looking clueless and using too much paper, so he came home with a box of log fire starters one day and a declaration, “Every fire will be easy from now on!”
Guess what. Every fire HAS been easy since that day. There are obviously plenty of options for fire starters. Pick your own. We use Duraflame because it works and it’s very accessible / everywhere. Throw one of these bad boys amongst some actual logs and, BLAMMO, you’ve got a nice campfire.
Simple. Easy. Massive upgrade.
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2zDkuYy (affiliate)
9. A Backup Camera
We have this exact camera. It’s a simple idea, but it’s massively upgraded every trip.
I have a problem with not seeing behind our rig while driving. I don’t know why, but it spikes my anxiety. This helps - tremendously.
Oh, and don’t forget the other obvious benefit — staying married! Remember why we got walkie talkies? Yeah, this is a big help too. It’s expensive, especially at the dealership where we got ours, but worth every penny.
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2Nc3UlU (affiliate)
10. Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II
We, as many of you, couldn’t live without music. I thoroughly enjoy peace and quiet as a diehard introvert, but music is in my blood.
Whether we’re at home or camping, music is always playing. Sarah bought me one of this Bose speakers a few years ago as a birthday present and it’s worth every penny. The sound is quality is amazing — #Bose — it’s easy to use, and it’s durable AF! Sure the Bullet has both internal and external speakers, but honestly, they’re not great. This little brick of a speaker is better built than most trailers, especially their sound systems, so I highly endorse and recommend it.
These are the best things about it, making every trip WAY more enjoyable:
Sound quality is crazy good, even my musician & studio friends have one of these
Easy to use
It’s durable — I’ve beaten this thing up the past couple years and it’s still rocking
It has an auxiliary input — this is especially nice when camping when we don’t have cell reception
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2xLAINW (affiliate)
BONUS #11 — an iPod Touch.
Yes, I said it, an iPod! I keep my old, old iPod touch from my college days in our Bullet. It’s full of the music I used to listen to everyday on my walks to & from class — holy nostalgia! — and its battery life is still strong. When our cell signal goes out, I plug it into the Bose speaker with the auxiliary cord and jam. It’s a life saver.
I/we hope this list was helpful and gave you ideas for improving every possible camping and RVing experience in the future. While some of the ideas are luxuries and require hook-ups, each and every one of these things have absolutely upgraded our trips by massive levels.
Please leave comments for more ideas. We’d love to hear from you so we can share in your experience. If any of these ideas have improved your trips, let us know!
Short Amazon Link Here — https://amzn.to/2xLAINW (affiliate)
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