Short-List of things to get for the New RV

More Shopping to come… what’s on our Short List of things to get for the new RV now?

We have been shopping for our new Winnebago Journey a year now.   Last year at this time Christine and I decided that we not only wanted to buy an RV, but to experience the full-time RVer life style. We chronicle the decisions we make and the resources we use to make those decisions. We started with books and blogs that helped make those decisions, and those were the first items we reviewed.

What’s next now that we have the basics covered?  In our earlier posts we covered buying for the inside in Shopping List for first Camping Trip #1: Home Stuff.  Then in the next post I covered our first major upgrade – the Tire Minder tire monitoring system.  Next I discussed the basement in Buying for the RV Basement post.  This gets us to items that are important, but we could camp without them.

Short List – next 6 to 9 months

1.  Zero Gravity Reclining Chairs.  We tried my daughter’s boyfriend’s zero gravity chairs on or first camping trip and they quickly moved from short-list to “A” list.  We bought a pair of chairs  that were on sale at Camping World this last week.  They are amazingly comfortable (Camping World brand).  We looked for sturdy chairs that also had a side table to set a drink or kindle on.

2.  TOAD tow bar and base plate.  A Towed vehicle (TOAD) is our way to get around once we ‘arrive’.   Top Contender: Blue Ox.

3.  Surge protector.  With all the electronics in today’s RVs – both built-in as well as bring-along – surge protection is a must.  Both built-in as well as portable (at the pedestal) are available with price ranges from under $100 for small portable units to over $600.  Top Contender:  Built in Progressive Industries hard-wired unit.

4.  LED Lights.  This is a quick and easy way to gain more juice from your batteries by using less.  LED bulbs use about 1/8 of the power of incandescent bulbs, give off very little heat and last a long time.  This is a no brainer because it is important that we become independent of the grid for up to a week.  Top contender: M4 Products.

5.  Composting toilet.  A composting toilet will allow us to use the black tank for grey water that will help extend our visits whether it’s a camp site without full hookups or in the wild boondocking.  Top contender:  Natures Head.

6.  Screened gazebos/tent.  It’s great being outside, but we know from experience that there are times that the outside bugs are too much especially when eating.  Protection from those flies, mosquitoes, bees and other wild critters can make a more relaxing experience.  Still investigating these.

7.  MaxxVent Vent cover.  The bench seat of the dinette got wet after accidentally hitting the switch for our roof vent during a rain storm.  A vent cover is a high priority because we want fresh air in the RV.   Side windows are liable to get water blown in so if we want fresh air a covered roof vent is important to us.  We will replace both the one in the bathroom as well as the one in the dining area.

8. Faucet upgrade in the bathroom.  The standard faucet in the Journey is OK, but it’s old and ready to get replaced.

9.  UV screen/privacy shade.  Options here are inside or outside shades.  We are leaning towards inside shades where we don’t have to worry about storage of wet shades.

Short List – before we Full-Time

1.  Solar Panels – being able to live off the grid is part of our plan, and solar panel weight, prices and options are increasing almost monthly.  We’ll give this technology another year then start shopping seriously.

2. Replace the house batteries with Lithium-Ion (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries.  This is quicker charging, longer life batteries than the typical gel batteries in most RVs. A great combination to go with the solar panels.

3.  Portable reverse osmosis water system – fresh water is hard to find outside campgrounds. How about making fresh water from pond water?  Small units won’t break the bank even if they are not used all the time.

4.  Tire covers.  With our RV storage inside now we don’t need tire covers.  However once we are full-timing tire covers are a must to keep up the life expectancy of this investment.

5.  RV GPS.  While my android app for RVing with Google Maps will work in the short-term.  I don’t want to lose my new roof vent (or worse) because we took a route with one too many low bridges to go under.

6.  Induction cooktop.  82% efficiency for cooking while boondocking sounds like a winner to me,  the batteries last longer  and there is less reliance on propane.   Do we go portable or built-in?

Another list done!