Sometimes, little things mean a lot – even in the RV world. I am going to write about a few items which we purchased for our travel trailer sometime between the purchases we made when we initially bought our travel trailer and those about a year later. You know – when we had to make more costly purchases because we had made some mistakes. Experience suggested the items in this post, and while they did not cost much, the return in convenience and ease of use is great. Think happy dance.
The first item is a bug screen r600. This was to cover our Dometic refrigerator vent on the outside of the trailer. The opinions on the web on whether to install these screens fall on both sides – for and against. However, it only took one fly invasion in our camper for us to be believers. When we camped at Fairview City Park in Casey, Illinois (on our way home from Washington D.C), we happened to be camped next to the park’s horse arena. This was no problem while we slept peacefully through the night, but the morning could have been a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. While eating breakfast, Dan killed a fly, and then two, and then they didn’t just multiply – they exponentiated! By the look in his eyes, I think Dan started going insane. I remember saying, “We can’t win. We just need to pack up and get outa here fast!!” This screen cost us $22.18 installed, and we were happy to pay every penny.
As a side note, this park’s 30 amp hookup plug did not match our camper’s cord. The host brought over an adapter for us, so we were able to plug in. I did not realize there was more than one type of outlet for a 30 amp cord. Our host had several brand new ones still in packages, and they had been clearance priced at $1.00 each. Funny, we only ran into this one time in our 57 nights of camping. I’m not sure what the story was. I’m thinkin’ they never could find anybody to update their electrical poles because of all the flies.
One item we did purchase was a 30 amp extension cord. Again, before we were travel trailer owners, I never knew such a thing even existed. Our Boondockers Welcome host on our way to Michigan had a 30 amp service; however, the outlet was too far from our camper. Our host happily lent us his 30 amp extension cord, but when our second Boondockers Welcome host suggested we may need one, we decided to go ahead and order one. You can’t tell by looking at us, but we are the proud owners of a Camco 55191 RV 25′ 30-Amp Female Power Grip for $30.04. Yeah, baby.
The next item we hooked up with was a quick connect hose 90 degree standard. It seemed every time we hooked up to or unhooked from city water, we could never remember which way we were supposed to turn the darn connection knob. So, we figure the $6.72 cost of this device shortens our set up/take down time by about 30%. Just kidding, we’re not that bad, but it’s nice for this step to be greatly simplified. Hey, we can’t be the only ones. These quick connect hose devices are sold everywhere!
The final item is a trailer hitch lock. This is the lock for the hitch on your tow vehicle, not the one on your trailer that (hopefully) keeps the trailer from being stolen. For the first year, we kept taking this hitch on and off our Ford Expedition as needed. However, we basically only use our Ford when we are camping, so we’ve decided to just leave the hitch on. It’s heavy! But since we didn’t want it to be stolen, we purchased the hitch lock for $20.66. This is another time saver for us because we don’t have to put it on, take it off, when hitching and unhitching. It’s also easier because we use hitch grease, so now we don’t have to deal with that mess every time. Now the only time we have to take the hitch off is when we need to put on our bike rack on the car.
I am sure as we roll into our second year of camping we will discover other items which make our traveling life easier. What about you? Have you found some gadget that you really like? If so, let us know in the comments below.