RV Camping and Glamping Favorites

It’s been awhile since we have done a blog about products and gadgets we use. A lot has changed since we created our original lists of Favorite Gadgets, RV Essentials, Budget Items and Dog Essentials. Most of the things on those lists we still use but now that we are full time there are also some new items we started using and some other items we have considered purchasing that other RV’ers have recommended to us.

Since our previous posts are now a couple of years old and camping season is heating up it seems like a great time to do a blog with an updated list. In this blog we will list items we use or have used in the past as well as some items that are popular with other campers. If we do not use the product it will be noted to avoid any confusion.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Meaning, if you click on any of the links below and make a purchase we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We only recommend products that we currently use or have used in the past unless otherwise noted.

Weber Q Grill – This grill has been a staple of our camping/glamping lives for a few years now and it has never disappointed. It’s easy to use, cleans up easliy and stores perfecly in our basement storage. A camper can’t ask for anything more than this. We use the Q2200 but there are also smaller versions if you have limited space.

Pit Boss Portable Pellet Smoker – This smoker is a new addition to our family and we couldn’t be happier with it. We previously used a small charcoal smoker and decided to upgrade to a pellet smoker once we went full time. This smoker is compact so it stores better in our basement storage than our old drum smoker and having a bag of pellets is much better than storing bags of dirty charcoal and wood.

GCI Outdoor Kitchen – Another new addition to our outdoor experience is this excellent outdoor kitchen. We purchased this one because it was more sturdy than others we looked at and it has alot of counter space. This kitchen has a place for paper towels and you can add hooks for your utensils. FYI, we have noticed that more and more campgrounds are placing notices in sites that cooking items are not allowed on picnic tables so an outdoor kitchen is becoming a must have.

Outdoor Fire Pit (Wood Pellets) – We recently purchased this outdoor fire pit and it has been amazing. The air flow through the bottom limits the amount of smoke so you can enjoy the fire more. We opted for this one instead of a propane buring pit becuse we like the smell of a campfire as much as the experience itself.

Patio Mat – Every campsite needs a patio mat. We have been using this one for a few years and it still looks good. We recently upgraded to a larger size to get more coverage and ended up using both of them so now we are fully covered wherever we go.

Zero Gravity Chairs – What kind of chairs should we get is always a question I see asked in RV groups. The options are really endless but we personally love our zero gravity chairs. They are comfortable to sit in when thay are upright and they are amazing when layed back. The side table is great for holding drinks, cell phones and snacks. Perfect for camping or glamping.

Progressive EMS Surge Protector – If you are wondering if you need a surge protector the answer is YES. But don’t just buy any surge protector off the shelf based on price. With surge protectors you get what you pay for and the best way to protect your investment is with an EMS (Electrical Management System). What’s the difference? Glad you asked. An EMS will protect your RV not just from surges, Polarity problems and bad campground wiring but it will also protect your RV from Low/High voltage problems. A regular budget surge protector will NOT protect your RV from voltage problems and that could be bad news and an expensive lesson.

Water Pressure Regulator – Another must have item is an adjustable water pressure regulator. Adjustable is the key word here. Again, you get what you pay for and unfortunatly some people are excited that the dealer threw in a cheap “regulator” with their RV purchase. What they don’t tell you is those “regulators” are actually reducers that are manufacured at a fixed setting. They are pieces of junk and will not last which is why they give them away for free. Some campgrouds we have been to advise you to use a regulalator because they have very high pressure. Some campgrounds are not so nice and proactive towards their customers. Better to come prepaired and avoid potential disaster and most of all protect your investment.

Rhino Flex Sewer Hose – This item has been the one and only sewer hose we have ever used. It has been proven to be durrable and long lasting. The only issue we really had was the one we bought was short for some spaces but that was easily solved by buying an extension. Or you can just buy the 15 Ft. or two piece 20 Ft. hose to begin with.

Jayco Tire Pressure Gauge – There is nothing more important to your RV safety than making sure your tires are properly inflated. Tire blowouts are dangerous, scary and can destroy not just your RV but your family and the familes of other people on the road around you. Your RV tires should be checked before you get on the road every single time! Your safety and the safety of everyone around you depends on it. We have used this liquid filled guage for a few years now and woudn’t travel without it.

Blackstone Griddle – We are a grill and smoker family and have never purchased or used a blackstone. However, their popularity amongst campers is undeniable and therefor it must be included on any camping list. These griddles are versitile and come in a few styles and sizes. If you love cooking on a flat top this product is for you. Breakfast, lunch or dinner they are great products.

Telescoping Ladder – This item was one of our popular camping products and at the time I was considering purchasing it. Well we did purchase it and we are glad we did. It’s great to have a versitile ladder that also collapses to a size that can be stored in our basement storage. If I have one knock on it that would be that it might be too heavy for some people, but we use it regulary and its been a great addition.

Portable Firepit (Propane) – While we opted for the wood pellet burning firepit above there is no denying the popularity of propane firepits. They are more versitile than our wood pellet pit and can be used in more places because they are less of a fire hazard than wood. While we have not purchased or owned a propane firepit it has not stopped us from enjoying them a few times with friends in the campground.

Lucid Mattress Topper – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, RV matteresses are absolutly terrible! Because of this we added a 4″ Lucid mattress topper to our bed and it has been amazing for a few years now. Our bed is comfortable and we sleep great.

Elevated Dog Bowls With Storage – Here is one for the dog lovers out there. We discovered this item a few years ago after I kept kicking our dogs water bowl as I walked by. We like it because It gives you an airtight place to store pet food and more importantly it elevates the food and water bowls off the ground.

There you have it, our updated list of RV camping and glamping favorites. Again for the sake of clarity we use all of these produsct with the exception of the Blackstone Griddle and Portable Propane Firepit as was noted in our description.

We hope you find something on this list that will enhance your camping experience or just make you a little safer on your journey. Enjoy your camping and glamping season!

Thank you for reading.


April 2021 Financial Update

The month of April came and went in what seemed to be a flash and we are happy it is over. The month began with us still being stuck camping in a bodyshop parking lot as repairs continued on our RV. Once the wonderful folks at M&M Coach completed the work it was time for us to head to South Dakota so we could complete the process of becoming residents.

Of course everything we hoped to avoid on our journey to and from South Dakota ended up happening. And why not since Murphy’s Law seems to be our copilot and trial by fire is the gauntlet we apparently have to run through in order to live this amazing life.

We hit below freezing temps, snow and heavy winds pretty much every single day in Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. Just the week before these same places were enjoying sunny 80 degree days but now it’s snowing in the middle of April. We made sure to fill our water tanks every chance we got because several campgrounds were unable to turn on their water due to the risk of the pipes freezing. This also meant we had to ration water because getting more would require breaking down camp and driving the RV somewhere in snowing conditions to refill the tank. No thank you!

Continue reading “April 2021 Financial Update”

Becoming South Dakota Residents

To us one of the essential parts of becoming full time RV’ers was to establish residency, or domicile, in a state other than California. This is something most full timers do if they no longer intend to have a permanent residence or home base in a state. There are several reasons both financially and logistically to take this step and although it takes a little bit of work it is a fairly easy process and well worth the time.

When it comes to full time travelers some states are more beneficial than others. Have you ever noticed that many RV’s on the road are to be registered in South Dakota, Texas or Florida? This is because these three states are considered full time friendly states and make it very easy to become residents even though you don’t intend on being in the state most of the time. Another thing these three states have in common is they have an income tax rate of ZERO!! That’s right, if you are a resident of one of these three states you do not have to pay a state income tax. Contrast that with California who has one of the highest state tax rates in the nation and you can start to understand our motivation for getting out of the state. Continue reading “Becoming South Dakota Residents”

March 2021 Financial Update

There is not much more that can be said about our current situation than we outlined in our previous blog. The good news is that there is now light at the end of the tunnel and we are taking everything one day at a time.

Financially the month of March was pretty good considering we had a large cash outlay to pay off our son’s first year of college. Due to this expense we expected that we would, at the very least, have a negative month. We were really just hoping it wasn’t too negative. Throughout the month the markets were very choppy due to rising yields, inflation concerns and of course covid-19. In the end some positive news pushed the markets up and much to our surprise we were able to squeak out a small gain. Continue reading “March 2021 Financial Update”

Living The Dream For 30 Days

There is a common understanding in the RV community that the full time lifestyle while amazingly liberating, can also be extremely challenging and frustrating. The mantra that you have to take the good with the bad is repeated adnausium in social media groups. There is no going into this way of living without knowing that you will eventually face your share of challenges and adversity. Well, after one month of living the dream, consider us fully christened into the realm of taking the good with the bad! Continue reading “Living The Dream For 30 Days”

What To Do With Cash Now?

I don’t know about you, but I remember the days when you could earn some interest on your cash. This is definitely not the case in today’s low no interest rate environment.

Back in the 90’s and early 00’s we had a cash account with a brokerage where we parked our emergency cash fund. Our balance back then was about $35k and we would happily earn about $75 a month in interest. It wasn’t crazy money but it was better than a bank savings account and was still liquid should an emergency arise. We at least felt like the money wasn’t getting killed by inflation while it was protecting us from unforeseen events. Continue reading “What To Do With Cash Now?”

February 2021 Financial Update

We are one week into living the RV life and to say the last month has been a whirlwind would be a drastic understatement. After getting everything loaded up and driving to our first stop we looked around and saw a giant mess. It looked insurmountable at first, but once we started tackling each area of our storage we became more encouraged as we cleared out bag after bag of our belongings. It turns out we had a lot more stuff left than we realized but after a week of organizing and adjusting to a new routine we feel a lot more at home. Continue reading “February 2021 Financial Update”

From House To Home

We are entering the final week of living in our old sticks and bricks house. It’s been a great place, but we knew it was never going to be our final home. The excitement of finally living in our RV full time far outweighs any emotions of leaving the house and to be honest there really aren’t any emotions about leaving. It’s a great house in a great location but it’s just not us and never has been.

It’s amazing what we have been able to accomplish in the last three weeks. We have sold nearly all of our possessions including our furniture, dishes, cookware, everything in our garage including a car and some of my musical equipment. There have also been some bumps in the road along the way but we have managed to figure out a solution and move along. Continue reading “From House To Home”

January 2021 Financial Update

Events are evolving quickly in the RVF household. In January we put our house on the market and it sold in just two days, read about it here. We are now in full blown sell everything mode as we have to be out of the house in just a couple of weeks. It’s looking like we will need every minute of that time to clear out.

Of course when you sell your home and move into a RV you need a place to go. Since we need to stay in the area for a few more weeks we were able to make reservations at a not so local RV park. It’s going to cost more than we planned on spending but options were limited for a monthly space in our area. As my dad would always say “any port in a storm”. We plan to spend the next month tying up loose ends like filing our taxes, winding down our business and getting organized and adjusted to full time RV living. Continue reading “January 2021 Financial Update”

RV Life – The Final Countdown

This is it! Everything we have planned for over the last few years is now, finally, coming to fruition. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind and we expect that will continue for at least another month now that our house is sold.

Once we settled on the decision to go with a real estate agent everything seemed to move at a breakneck pace. Using a traditional agent was a tough pill to swallow at first but when he got started we quickly realized it was the right decision, albeit an expensive one. Every agent has the standard responsibility of listing and showing the property. But generating interest and creating a competitive market to gain the best price definitely takes skill. It was fun to watch the process play out and it also paid off with our property selling for a record price for our neighborhood. Continue reading “RV Life – The Final Countdown”