Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some RV Equipment, Gear and Gadgetry

In an earlier post I mentioned that getting into the RV lifestyle, even as a weekend RVer, involves equipment, gear and gadgetry. I've already confessed that I like this stuff... I enjoy  figuring out what is needed, shopping around for best value for money, and then installing and/or learning how to use the item.  I guess I'm a geek.

Here is a list of some RV equipment, gear and gadgetry that either came with the Trek or we purchased.  No doubt we will add to this list as Our Great RV Escape unfolds, but we're off to a good start:

  • 22" CRT Television - came with the coach.  A 32" LCD would be lovely, but this little guy works fine and we have other things to spend money on
  • Cable TV hook up - came with the coach
  • TV Antenna with Power Boost - came with the coach
  • Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital to Analog Converter Box - we bought this and it works great!
  • Toshiba SD4200 Progressive Scan DVD player - we bought this. Inexpensive but does the job
  • Sima SVS-14 4 Input Manual A/V Selector - we bought this to switch between the backup camera, the TV converter, and the DVD player
  • Satellite Power Antenna - came with the coach but we will probably not use it
  • Satellite Reciever and Antenna Controller - came with the coach but we removed. Decided not to incur the subscription cost of Satellite TV.  We have TV digital reception, cable TV hookup, and a DVD player.  That's about as much TV viewing as we can stand!
  • Two Cell Phones on the Verizon network that we've had for years
  • Verizon Mobile Broadband access with 5GB plan - we purchased through GroupAccess: no contract, no activation fee, free USB modem, and the plan costs $10 less per month that dealing direct with Verizon.  A no-brainer!
  • Two laptops (one each) - we've had for while
  • Canon PIXMA MP250 All-in-One printer that we purchased for the RV - this has a bad review on Amazon, but it works great for us and you can't beat the price! We found out during the two week Fall Foliage trip that not having access to a printer is inconvenient. Even with a GPS, its good to be able to print out maps. Its also useful to be able to print out other material, such as sightseeing information, campground maps, etc.
  • Garmin NUVI 465/465T 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Truck GPS Navigator - we bought this although I already have a TomTom.  The difference is that this Trucker GPS model allows you to enter the dimensions of your RV and then navigates via roads that are suitable for your vehicle size - length, width and height.  This models also includes Traffic updates, and the Points of Interest database hasTruck Services for tire repair, engine repair, etc.  Well worth the money!
Water and Sanitation
We will be all over the lower 48, Alaska, and parts of Canada filing up our RV fresh water tank with drinking and cooking water. Because we'll be getting water from a multitude of uncertain sources, filtration is very important to our health. There is no quicker way to throw a big wrench into RV travels than by picking up some nasty intestinal bug! I researched a fair amount and came up with a 2-phase water filtration approach that should take care of just about any bad stuff, provided the water is potable to begin with:
  • Camco 40651 RV CX90 Ceramic Water Filter - This ceramic water filter is Phase 1.  This filter pulls out dirt and silt and most minerals, along with several chemicals. And it helps remove unpleasant odors. Aside from making the water more pleasant to drink, removing the dirt and silt will protect the RV water pump and lines.
  • Hydro Life RV/Marine Exterior Water Filter Kit with a Hydro Life® Carbon Block Filter - this is Phase 2 for our water filtration.  Removes cysts and other bad stuff that can cause serious gastro issues! Also pulls out some chemicals and helps with odors.  This filter is what could be the decider between spending a great day sightseening or being huddled up in a clinic somewhere.
  • Backup camera - came with the coach. This is a must have!
  • Midland WR100B Weather Radio - we bought this and hooked into the RV's existing external FM antenna.  A Weather radio is a good thing to have on board, it can save your hide.
RV Maintenance and Tools
  • 13' aluminum telescoping multi position ladder for accessing the roof and cleaning the coach
  • 100 PSI Air Compressor
  • Digital multimeter
  • Toolbox with common tools
  • Miscellaneous hardware such as nuts, bolts, washers, screws
  • Duct tape, Super Glue, metal strapping
  • Spare fuses
  • Spare parts such as air filters, serpentine belt, etc.
  • Fluids such as engine oil, generator oil, fuel stabilizer, etc
The cost of RV equipment, gear and gadgetry can add up fast but most of the above items are must-haves.  I suppose we could do without some of the entertainment gear but those items did not cost much and, hey, women traveling around America the Beautiful need to have some creature comforts!

Like I wrote above, this list will probably grow but I think we're well set-up for now.


Bridget said...

Love the lists! You've thought of everything! I'm going to bookmark this post so that I can use it for reference once I start doing the same thing! :)

Bridget said...

Love the lists! You've thought of everything! I'm going to bookmark this post so I can reference it in the future when I catch up to where you are in terms of planning an RV trip/lifestyle!

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