January 14, 2021
Temperature 69 Degrees
Some of My Favorite Stuff
We’ve come to that point were one day just seems to blend into the next. We’ve made small trips here and there mainly inorder to replinish our storehouse. We’ve taken a walk or two here and there. But that is really it. I’m really anxious to get back on the road again. April 1st can’t come quick enough.
Today I though I would share with you some of my favorite stuff. Apps, gadgets, etc that over the last three years I’ve come to rely on and would not be without. I’m sure not everyone will agree with my list, and that’s OK. Take a look and see what you think.
RV-Specific GPS – when we first started traveling, we used a regular GPS which we moved between the car and the rig. But after a couple of close calls, we purchased an RV-Specific GPS. You input your vehicles weight, height, width, and length. It is easy to use, convenient and plugs right into the 12v cigarette lighter. It has already proved its worth by warning and then detouring us around several low bridges.
RV Trip Wizard – this is my go-to trip planning app as it combines various important and useful functions into a single interface. While all of the features of this program can be found in various standalone apps, just the convenience of having them all included in a single package – including Campground Reviews – makes it hands down my favorite trip planning tool.
Google Maps – who doesn’t use this app. The big downfall I find with it is that you can only have ten separate waypoints. Yet, I use it on a regular basis.
Mountain Directory West and Mountain Directory East – it is the west directory that I use the most. The Mountain Directory books tell you where the steep grades are, how long they are, how steep (%) they are, whether the road is two lane, three lane, or four lane, if there are escape ramps, switchbacks, sharp curves, speed limits, etc. With this information, one can know ahead of time what a pass is like and make an informed decision about whether to go over or around
Truckrouter.com – this is a free app available for mapping routes and it is awesome. This application allows me to enter the type of vehicle, number of axles, routing preferences, etc, in order to provide a map with the best available route based on the selected choices. I’ll use this to compare the route that Google Maps will give me to make sure there are no hidden surprises.
The Next Exit – we keep this book handy as we travel since it contains the most complete and accurate composition of U.S. Interstate Highway exit services available. You’ll find a thorough exit-by-exit listing of every service you will need while traveling: gas, food, lodging, camping, shopping, and much more.
Hughes Power Watchdog Electrical Management System –the Watchdog is a surge protector on steriods. It is definite step up from a simple surge protector and we believe it is a must. It protects against high and low voltage, accidentally plugging into a 220v outlet, reverse polarity, AC frequency and open neutral. On the front of the device is the face of a large bulldog, which lights up white when the power is good, and red when it’s not. There’s also a 2-digit error display that tells you in number codes what is wrong. The Watchdog has already protected us from several instances of high voltage.
Water Pressure Regulator – as we’ve traveled around, we’ve found campground water pressure all over the map. We’ve found some campgrounds at 20lbs while others have been as high as 100lbs or more. The important thing to remember is that most RV’s cannot handle more than 50 or 60lbs so a water pressure regulator is a must. I’ve used a number of different water pressure regulators that you can usually buy at Amazon. None of them really work that well. Finally, over a year ago I built my own from products you can purchase at Home Depot. It comes preset at 45lbs but can be adjusted if necessary. It has proven to be extremely reliable and is still the one I use today.
Hose Splitter or Y Water Connector – I think that this this is one of the handiest gadgets to have because you can connect your coach water supply to one bib and still have a separate bib to hook up another hose for, well, just about anything. Make sure you get one that allows you to turn each bib off and on separately.
Bubble Levels – I’ve used just about all the gadgets around for determining if one’s rig is really level. However, today I have just two small bubble levels by the pad in my rig that deploys the leveling jacks. One is set up so I can see if I’m level side to side, the other is set up so that I can see if I’m level front to back. The point is if you have an RV refrigerator you need your rig level. So, find something that works for you and use it. Besides which having your rig level will keep you from rolling out of bed at night!
Jack Pads – this is primarily for those who have leveling jacks. I discovered very early on that you don’t want to just deploy your jacks without something under them. If you do, well you may find someday that your jacks are stuck in mud and you can’t get them back up – at least not without a lot of effort. So, do yourself a favorite, use jack pads under them. You can purchase specific products made for this or as in my case I use simple wooden blocks.
OK, for now that’s my list of some of my favorite stuff. What about you? What do you have that you consider absolutely necessary? What is it that you cannot do without?
As the sun sets behind the trees I’m going to call it a night on The Road of Retirement. We had another wonderful, absolutely normal day. We sat in the sun on our patio, we read a few more chapters in our books, and just enjoyed the day and each others company. How blessed we are in every way. Thank you Lord for the life you’ve given us to live.
Thanks for checking in with us today. We always appreciate your company, your comments, and your suggestions. Keep safe, keep healthy, live to the fullest the days that God gives you.
These are the voyages of Elvira and her two intrepid travelers. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.
See you on down the road!