On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…some excellent gift ideas for the RV!
This holiday season you’re probably getting bombarded by family members asking what you want for Christmas. If you often travel or live in an RV, there are a lot of handy gadgets or tools you can put on your list of RV gifts. Below are 12 of our favorite must-haves in our Roadtrek Popular 190. What we like about our list, in particular, is that these items can easily fit within most budgets and definitely fit within small spaces.
We also produced a video version of this blog post. So, if want to see these gifts in action, check it out here on our YouTube channel.
Kitchen Floor Mats
We replaced the carpet in the aisle of our RV with those squishy rubber kitchen mats. Not only are they softer underfoot when standing at the counter, but they clean up much easier than carpet. We can also easily move and store them out of the way with less fuss than when we had to roll up the carpet.
Expandable Clothes Rod
Without a lot of hanging and storage space in a Class B, you need to get creative. We added additional hanging space using one of those clothes rods that usually hangs between the hooks in the back seat of a car. It pushes out of the way in the front of the cab when not in use, and pulls out when we’re parked to drape wet dishtowels, raincoats, towels, and more. It also can be handy to throw a blanket over to block the front windows if you don’t want to mess with your curtains during a quick stop.
Silicone Collapsible Containers
Space is always at a premium, so anything collapsible is a bonus. We have two silicone collapsible strainers that pull double duty. During travel, they sit on the counter and hold fruits and veggies. The rubbery silicone material doesn’t slide no matter what type of road we have traveled on. When it’s time to cook, they can be used to wash those same veggies, as well as strain pasta water. We also have a set of collapsible silicone storage containers that are perfect for leftovers. Expand them only as much as you need to save space in your fridge. (By the way, the medium one holds an entire family-size bag of Skittles, in case you were wondering if they can be used for less-than-healthy foods, too.)
We also have a set of collapsible silicone bowls that work great, too!
Our Ebags are probably our favorite item, and not just for the Roadtrek. Ebags come in a variety of sizes and colors and are perfect for packing all your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Use the small one for underwear and socks, the medium one for shirts, the large one for pants. Or mix and match for different outfits or seasons, or activities. We have purchased several different sets in various colors so we can use them as needed. They also stack great inside a suitcase to keep your clothes from getting disheveled when you fly.
We replaced our regular bath towels with microfiber towels from Youphoria. They come in three different sizes. No matter which size you purchase, they are much smaller than standard terrycloth towels. They also dry ridiculously fast, so are perfect for RV life. We can fit 5 of them rolled up in the same space as one regular bath towel. I also believe they dry you off better too. I don’t ever feel clammy after using one; they do such a good job at soaking up the water off your skin. And they’re dry within an hour, so you can roll and store if you need to get going.
To keep rattling noises down, we keep our eating utensils in a microfiber holder originally designed to protect fancy silverware. Each utensil has its own slot, the top folds down, then the whole thing rolls up and sticks in the drawer. We’ve discovered you can fit around four place settings of silverware plus a couple serving utensils. It also takes up much less space than a traditional plastic utensil holder.
I don’t drink coffee, but Ari can’t function without his. And I do like hot tea or hot chocolate. Since we don’t always have electricity for a coffee pot, we found a manual coffee maker called a MyJo. It uses regular k-cups, boiling water, and a suction feature to make your drink. All the parts nest inside each other to be stored away when not in use. Yes, you still have to boil water on the stove, but it’s perfect for boondocking.
Every RVer needs tools. Instead of piecemealing a set together, we found a portable kit that has all the essential tools and is compact enough for storing under the bed. It was the kit we bought our college-age daughter to have at school because all college students need tools, whether they know it or not! It was so nice and functional, we bought a second one for the RV. We also have other specialty tools we need for the Roadtrek, but the small kit works for everything else.
For miscellaneous tools you need to carry, Ari also suggests this roll-up tool pouch…
…and he says cords and cables are easily managed in these cable bags.
Maps — my favorite thing! We carry a boatload (RV-load?) of maps with us. These are actual paper maps, made of real paper! We boondock a lot where GPS can be sketchy, plus, Google doesn’t know everything. Our collection consists of the Michigan Gazetteer and Atlas, a United States atlas, U.S. Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps for the national forests in Michigan, a variety of state maps and a listing of all campgrounds and recreational areas in Michigan. As the navigator, I rely on all of these to get us off the beaten path to discover new adventures.
Drunken Octopus, aka, Heavy-Duty Coat Hooks
We love our drunken octopus (octopi?) for hanging our heavy coats right inside the door. We initially used command hooks, but too much weight combined with changing temperates caused them to fall off. Yes, you have to drill these hooks in, but they are far superior for heavier items.
Earlier this year we purchased a bed-in-a-bag sleep sack to replace our separate sheets, comforters and foam mats we’d been using. Our set consists of a large double-sided comforter with a large sheet that velcros inside. The comforter is designated as “winter” or “summer” weight, with different thickness on each side. You flip it over depending on the season and how much warmth you want. The sheet pulls out easily for washing, and the whole thing rolls up and stores nicely in a bag for travel. Our set also came with two pillowcases and two shams. There are many varieties available from affordable to luxurious in price. The sleep sack concept is what is important though — making the bed is so much quicker now, and we can stay warmer on chilly nights.
RV Site Flag
As most RVers do, we like to be neighborly and see where everyone is from when we are in a campground. Having a Class B also means that our rig is also our vehicle, so our site gets left unattended often while we’re out exploring. We purchased a personalized flag that has our names, state outline, and vehicle on the front, and “This Site Occupied” on the back. It lets people know where we hail from while ensuring no one takes our site.
Did you find your RV gifts?
I hope this list of RV gifts has been handy and that Santa brings you a few of these for Christmas. If you have any questions about where we got these items or how we use them, drop us a note. And share your favorite things too, we’re always looking for new ideas!
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!!
PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS IN THIS BLOG POST MAY INCLUDE AFFILIATE OR COMMISSION LINKS. WE DO NOT SEEK AFFILIATIONS WITH OR COMMISSIONS FROM ANY PRODUCT WE DO NOT ENDORSE OR BELIEVE IN.