All posts by Rick Rose

Best Portable Air Compressor For RV Tires

What Is The Best Portable Air Compressor For RV Tires?

Best Portable Air Compressor For RV Tires
Portable Advisor

So, there I was, 100 miles from nowhere, and even further from decent cell service. My wife and I were on our way to a new campsite, so of course we were on an unfamiliar road. While consulting our route I hear a “thup thup thup thup”, steadily repeating as we traveled down the road. Knowing the trees couldn’t possibly make that noise, I immediate assumed it was a tire on the RV. I hate it when I am right.

Fortunately, it wasn’t dark, wasn’t raining, and I had a RV tire inflator compressor tucked away in my RV. After a quick inspection, I found that we had picked up a nail. So, using a tire repair kit and the portable RV air compressor I was able to get up back on the road, and safely to the campsite.

This time, I was actually prepared, but that hasn’t always been the case. I have plenty of other stories where I was left stranded. Eventually, I decided to find the best portable air compressor for RV tires to keep from being marooned in the future. I decided to share my research with other RVers, including three picks for the best tire inflator for RV.

Product


Best Feature


Our Rating


Price


Advanced Elements

Best portable air compressor for RV overall

4.8

Eccotemp L10

Best portable air compressor space saver

4.6

Ivation Portable Shower

Best portable air compressor on a budget

4.4

Advanced Elements

Best Solar Shower

4.4

Eccotemp L10

Premium Quality

5.0

Ivation Portable Shower

Ivation Portable Shower

Indoor Use

5.0

Coleman 5 Gallon

Coleman 5 Gallon

Under 10 Dollars

3.6

Zodi Outback Gear

Zodi Outback Gear

Best For Camping

4.0

The hows of portable RV air compressors

Before we jump too deep into the compressors themselves, I want to go through some background about how the compressors work, and how to choose the right one for you.

How to find the correct PSI for your RV

PSI means Pounds per Square Inch, and is the rating associated to the pressure your tires can handle, and the amount of pressure the portable compressor can fill to. You want to be sure when choosing a portable air compressor that the max pressure output reaches a high enough pressure to fill your tires.

Finding the PSI for an RV isn’t as straight forward as the sedan you use to commute to work. What makes filling RV tires tricky is that each tire on the RV carries a different load. Plus. Each time you go out in your RV you may have a different set of gear and equipment which means your load needs are different.

According to GoodYearRVTires.com, “actual air pressure required should be determined based on the load on each individual tire”. The pressure that your tires will need to be at will be determined by the weight rating of each axle. This information can be found on a plate located along the driver’s side door jamb.

When filling your tires, fill them to the PSI listed on the plate for the maximum weight rating for each axle. Your axels may have different weight ratings, so you can’t just fill all the tires to the same PSI. However, all of the tires on the same axel need to be set at the same pressure. 

What to look for in a portable compressor

Pressure Gauge – Your portable compressor needs to have some kind of pressure gauge that reads the active pressure of the tire. Gauges can be either an analog dial, or a digital display. When researching your RV tire inflator compressor, look specifically for the accuracy of the pressure gauge. An inaccurate gauge can lead to too high or too low pressure, which will affect the performance of your tires.

Cubic feet per minute (CPM) - The cubic feet per minute rating refers to the air flow rate of a compressor. The higher the CPM that more air flow, and the faster the compressor can fill a tire.

Power source - The best portable air compressors for RV tires will come in one of two power configurations. The first is plugging into the cigarette lighter, and the second is a 12-volt connection that hooks up to your RV battery like a pair of jumper cables.

The other consideration for power source is how long of a reach you will have with the cable. RV’s are not always small, so having a longer power cord and hose will allow you more reach.

Weight – The weight of the compressor is an important consideration. Being portable doesn’t just mean that you can pack in in the RV and go. You want a compressor that is easy to carry around from tire to tire. I like to shoot for a compressor that is between 10-15 pounds. This makes the compressor easy enough to lift and move repeatedly.

How to use a portable air compressor

Using a portable air compressor is relatively simple if you follow the PSI ratings for your tires at the maximum axel weight capacities. Some compressors will include an auto shutoff feature that will turn off the compressor once it reaches a PSI limit set by the user.

For models that don’t have this feature, you need to actively monitor the pressure to prevent over filling. The following video gives a good demonstration of how to use a portable compressor to fill RV tires.

Other ways to fill your RV tires

Portable compressors aren’t the only way to fill your tires. While they are convenient I feel like I need to let you know the other options out there.

  1. Use a traditional air compressor. These compressors come in many different sizes and capacities, but are generally much larger than the portable varieties. They have an air storage tank, and plug into a regular wall outlet. They often have a higher CPM and will fill your tire faster. Traditional compressors can be found in your garage, at gas stations, or truck stops.
  2. Onboard Air Supply – The onboard system is a more permanent solution that involves making changes to your RV to provide power and a hose outlet. This option is nice when done correctly because you always have the air ready to go. The trick is making the changes correctly to allow an onboard system to work properly.

Best Portable Air Compressor for RV Tires: Product Reviews

Now that we have established some criteria for what qualifies for the best air compressor for RV tires, lets go into more detail about the three compressors I mentioned earlier.

Viair 45043 Automatic Function Portable Compressor

Our Favourite Feature

Best portable air compressor for RV overall

Price

Rating

4.8

The Vlair 450P is a great all-around option for a portable air compressor. The Vlair has two primary features that make it one of the best.

First is the pressure gauge. The gauge is located toward the end of the 35-foot air hose. Unlike similar compressors, the gauge location means that you can easily monitor the tire pressure right at the tire allowing you to control the air flow and connection to the exact pressure that you need for your tires.

The second feature is the inflation gun. This inflation style is just like what you would see at your typical gas station or truck stop. I love how easy it is to use, and the precise control it gives me when I am filling my tires. Together with the pressure gauge, I am able to dial in my tire pressure to the single PSI.

Other notable features of the Vlair 450P include a 12-volt power supply that hooks to your battery, and requires your engine to be running to operate. The max pressure is 150 PSI, and has a CPM of 1.66 at 0 psi and 0.94 at 100 PSI.

The weight of the Vlair is only 9.75 pounds, and is easy to move around the RV. However, the 35-foot air hose means that you will have little need to move the compressor around.

Pros

  • Automatic shut off when not filling, saves power
  • Easy to use
  • Direct Control of airflow

Cons

  • Fill rate is slower than some other options
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator by 100 PSI

Our Favourite Feature

Best portable air compressor space saver

Price

Rating

4.6

Sometimes you want to have a budget option for an air compressor to either use as a backup, or you want to try out the portable air compressor without investing in a more robust compressor. The EP Auto Compressor is a great starter that has the power to pump up your tires, and introduce you to the convenience of portable RV air compressors.

The display on this inflator is a digital readout that reads tire pressure down to a tenth of a PSI. This makes the EPAuto a very accurate compressor. The digital gauge allows you to set the desired PSI of your tires, and will automatically shut off once you have reached the specified PSI.

The power supply is the cigarette lighter configuration, and with the hose, has a total reach of about 11.5 feet. This limits the usability of the compressor, as does the 100 PSI limit. The EPAuto is best suited for smaller RVs or for those campers that have a fifth wheel or trailer. Larger RVs with higher pressure ratings, and larger tires, will need to step up to a more powerful portable compressor.

Pros

  • Fast fill, with auto pressure shut-off
  • Accurate gauge
  • Includes a built-in flashlight

Cons

  • Short reach
  • Gets very hot after inflating multiple tires
Slime 40026 2X Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire Inflator

Our Favourite Feature

Best portable air compressor on a budget

Price

Rating

4.4

Slime is a brand I have used for years for everything from bicycles to RVs. This is an established company that knows tire repair and replacement. So, I wasn’t overly surprised to find that they had made a competent portable air compressor that works for RV tires.

What put this compressor on my list is the space saving and compact carrying case that comes with the compressor. Most compressors either have no protective case or a flimsy bag. This causes the compressor to shift around, unless you pack other items tightly around it. The case measures about 12x9x6.5 inches, which stores easily in a number of locations in my RV.

As far as functionality goes, the Slime 2x Heavy Duty is dual cylinder inflator with a CPM of 1.9, and is capable of filling a tire in around two minutes. The power source connects directly to the battery, which provides the necessary power to fill a tire efficiently.

An in-line analog gauge allows you to precisely monitor the tire pressure up to 150 PSI. The other nice feature is the thermal break that prevents the compressor from overheating and causing permanent damage to the motor.

Pros

  • Fast tire fill
  • Light weight and easy to carry
  • Screw on tire connector stays in place

Cons

  • Pressure gauge is small and tough to read
  • No direct control of air flow

The Pressure Point

Of the three candidates we presented, each is useful in a pinch to help get you the rest of the way, or top of your tires between drives. The Vlair 450P has been my choice for the go to best portable air compressor for RV tires because of its consistency and level if control over the air flow. I never regret taking a portable air compressor with me on every RV trip.

10 Of Europes Most Remarkable Highways

Introducing 10 of Europe’s Most Remarkable Highways

‘The journey, Not the destination matters…’

Cheap air travel in Europe has meant that the road trip has waned in popularity over the years. As a result, some of the continent’s most breathtaking locations are going unseen as people are simply flying from one capital city to the next without taking in the surrounding landscape.

For those of you looking to see Europe from a different perspective, scrap the constant connecting flights and rent a car. Some of the world’s greatest scenery awaits you…

Introducing 10 of Europe's Most Remarkable Highways

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   1. Ring of Kerry, Ireland 

One of Ireland’s greatest jewels, the Ring of Kerry is a spectacular coastal journey through mountainous winding roads and green, unspoilt Irish countryside. The Ring possesses some of Europe’s finest white sand beaches and through thousands of years of Atlantic waves crashing into the coastline, a unique and beautiful landscape awaits you at every turn.

                                 2.  Amalfi Coast, Italy

Situated on Southern Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, this 40km ‘’road of 1,000 bends’’ can be a thrilling and romantic ride with its mix of deep valley gorges and lofty hilltops knitted together seamlessly by the well paved highway.

                                3. Hahntennjoch, Austria

Hahntennjoch is a soaring mountain pass in the Austrian alps which connects the Inn Valley with the Lech River Valley. Its peak elevation of 1,894m means it’s a steep journey but a very rewarding one once you see glacier covered canyons and dense woodlands from a birdseye view.

                                4. Trollstigen, Norway

Tradtionally used to connect the villages Valldal in Indre Sunnmøre and Åndalsnes in Romsdalen, Trollstigen or the Trolls footpath has since become part of Norway’s national tourist route. Its spectacular views have been enhanced by various engineering efforts throughout the years. Several viewpoints have been built into the route which blend into the surroundings and provide idyllic views of waterfalls and mountains from dizzying heights.

                                5. Romantic Road, Germany

For those yearning to see the Germany of years gone by – The Romantic Road will bring you through historic cities like Augsburg and medieval towns like Dinkelsbühl which are filled with remnants of the Middle Ages. Castles and cobbled streets are commonplace in each old world village you find along the way and the road also offers an array of summer festivals for travellers passing through.

                                6. French Riviera, France

Stretching from St. Tropez in the South of France to the Italian border, this coastline drive will expose you to quaint and luxury surroundings in equal measure. This route takes in celebrity hotspots like Monaco, Nice and Cannes as well as quaint seaside towns like Antibes where Pablo Picasso once lived. When driving be prepared for consistently good weather (over 300 sunny days a year on the Riveria) and the famous French Corniches (cliff road) which offer majestic views of the Mediterranean coastline.

                                7. Jurassic Coast, England

95 miles of dramatic coastline views awaits you on Southern England’s shores. The Jurassic Coast which runs from East Devon to Dorset was added as a World Heritage site in 2001 due to its natural beauty and importance in geological studies. The drive itself is filled with sightings of sea stacks, sandy beaches and exposed cliff faces.

                                8. Col De La Bonnette, France

As one of the highest roads in Europe (2807m above sea level at peak) this simply had to make this list. The 24km Col de la Bonnette of the French Alps has unmatched views once you reach the peak. A full 360° panoramic view of mountains and ravines as far as the eye can see – this is nature at its finest.

                                9. Transfagarasan, Romania

Running through the Faragas mountains of Romania is the world renowned Transfagarasan route – it is rated by Top Gear as the best road trip in the world.  A challenging drive with blind hairpins and steep climbs, it was built as a tactical military crossing in case of Russian invasion. Built in the Argeas River gorge, the routes offers magnificent views of waterfalls, weaving volcanic lakes and pine forests.

                                10. Ring Road, Iceland

Iceland is fast gaining a name as one of the world’s must see countries and it’s attractions like the Ring Road which are building this reputation. The Ring Road is the main highway in Iceland circling virtually the entire country so it takes all aspects of the unique landscape. With little woodland on the trek, you are treated to panoramic views of fjords, waterfalls and natural hot springs throughout the journey on a clear day.

What is the best rv cover for winter

What Is The Best RV Cover For Winter In 2017?

What is the best rv cover for winter

I had been way too casual with RV storage up until winter 2010. The small snowfall we experienced each year I could usually just scrub away, without any worry of interior or exterior damage. 

Not that winter!!

Moisture from the heavy snowfall seeped through our roof forcing us to cough up big money for a replacement..we have been using an RV cover ever since!

Size...weight...fabric used.. There are more decisions than you would expect when choosing the best RV cover for winter!

To help you through this, I have created the below guide with the goal of helping you make the right buying decision when looking for the best rv cover for winter. With snow and rain the most damaging elements, I have broken the guide down into recommendations for the best RV cover for snow and the best RV cover for rain.

 If you like the content it would mean a lot if you shared it or even better..link to the guide from your site! 

RV Cover Comparison

Best For Snow

Best For Rain

Best Budget

Camco

Adco

Polypro 1

Fabric

Polypropylene

Polypropylene

Polyester

Layers

Triple Layered

Triple Layered

Single Layer

Warranty

2 Year

2 Year

2 Year

Built In Vents

Yes

Yes

No

Interlocking Seams

Yes

No

No

5 Reasons To Fear Snow On Your RV

1. Windshield Wipers - build up of snow and ice on the windshield wipers can easily become attached to the blades which can then scratch the windscreen once used.

2. The moisture of the snow is your real danger - it can cause leaks in your roof potentially damaging the whole interior. At the very least, you could be looking at replacement your roof. This replacement will costs in the thousands of dollars

3. Snow can weigh anywhere from 15 pounds per cubic foot - Given the ongoing trend of lightweight rv roofs in the industry, heavy snowfall can certainly cause your roof to collapse. A collapsed roof combined with likely interior damage could mean you are looking at a write off.

4. Snow moisture can also seriously impact your paint job - If there are any chips or cracks in the exterior paint coating, moisture in the form of snow can form in those gaps and cause paint to peel as changes in temperature causes the bond between the paint and painted surface to weaken.

5. Check out the video below to see the impact snow can have on your RV.


Best RV Cover For Winter - Considerations When Buying 

Warranty

How many years’ warranty is the manufacturer giving you with the purchase?

Given the harsh environment, anything over 2 years is a good deal.

Do not buy any covers with 1 years or less as holes and rips can develop very quickly in unpredictable winter environments.

Shipping Costs

Can the RV cover be shipped for free? If not, are the shipping costs based on the weight of the cover?

The best RV covers for winter can be big and bulky especially as you move up in size to the bigger trailers.

Heavier covers can add a tidy amount to your cost price so ensure you have included it when working out your RV cover budget.

Type of Material

When trying to fend off snow and the other elements of winter, polypropylene is the go-to material for your RV cover.

It is a hydrophobic material and will not absorb water, instead water ‘wicks’ away from the surface of the fibre and is rapidly evaporated.

This quick drying feature makes it ideally equipped to deal with snow and moisture. If you plan to also store in warmer climates in the near future, then you can also consider polyester as your rv cover material as it has higher resistance to UV radiation.

A Tight FIt

You want the cover to be a tight fit as covers that are too loose with extra material are susceptible to be ripped in heavy downfalls. There is also the chance of an unwanted build-up of insects in these loose gaps. You can ensure a tight fit by:

    1. Pretty obvious - get the correct RV cover for your model!
    1. Purchase a RV cover with tie down ropes and elasticised bottom hems which allow for a tighter fit.
    1. Get help when installing the RV cover (4 people is optimum).
    1. Measure your RV accurately from the two longest points (check videos in individual product reviews for more guidance).

You Pay For What You Get!

We have all been through it..

We go for the cheaper product and go through lots of frustration when it breaks down or loses performance.

We speak with customer service online..

We bring it back it back to the store and try for a refund..

Going for the cheaper product often ends up taking more of our most precious commodity..time!

We would be better off just getting the pricier good in the first place. This rings true for RV covers. The better covers are made of stronger material with less chance of ripping!

They are usually made from lighter material which are easier to put on, reducing risk of injury.

They have longer warranties.

They have zippered access panels so you can easily enter the RV when covered.

Paying premium has its perks!

Individual RV Cover Reviews

Best RV Cover For Snow

Camco Ultraguard

Our Favourite Feature

Multi-layered protection against heavy snowfall.

Price

Our Rating

The Camco RV covers are the toughest on the market and they need to be to deal with the harsh North American winter!

The RV’s biggest enemy in winter is prolonged exposure to moisture from snow and rain and the Camco have created a great defensive line with a triple layered protective design.

This triple top panel is the most important element of the cover. It is designed to resist water and snow on contact which ensures there is no seeping through to the RV exterior. The breathable middle layer then acts to allow trapped moisture to escape with ease.

They have combined this design with a robust, mildew and wind resistant polypropylene fabric on the sides and interlocking seems to ensure maximum protection from the snow and other elements.

The Camco RV cover is designed for pop-up campers, class A, B and C motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers, and slide in campers.

The design also allows easy access to your RV with integrated zippers in the cover’s design for access to the doors and storage compartments of the RV. A very useful feature we have found, if you leave something in the RV and remember mid winter!

As with all covers, proper care must be given when applying and removing them as rips can develop from reckless handling. I say this because I once was very reckless! I yanked our new cover off a hanging pipe and presto…a giant rip! $200 down the drain! Be careful!

Overall, when comparing against competitors on the market and considering its ability to withstand all the elements, the Camco brand is both the best RV cover for snow and the best rv cover for winter. 

Pros

  • Resistant to snowstorms with triple layered top panel.
  • Inregrated zippers allows easy access to RV throughout winter.
  • Mildew, mould and wind resistant material. 
  • Comes with storage bag.

Cons

  • Tears can develop from rough handling. 
  • Side straps can be flimsy.

Helpful Video On Assembling Your Camco RV Cover

Best RV Cover For Rain

Adco RV Cover

Our Favourite Feature

Unique Rain gutter spout protectors to prevent rips.

Price

Our Rating

The oldest RV cover manufacturers in the business, the Adco team have made a cover to defend your camper against the rain.

In a similar design to the Camco, the Adco RV cover uses a triple layered top panel protection that beads water on contact and this design is also made from the breathable polypropylene fabric which eliminates mildew.

Testing for water protection alone, then the Adco is the best RV cover for rain. The Aquashed top panel is designed to resist against heavy rainfalls and it does a very effective job through this layered Aquashed design.

It also has a built in rain gutter cover – a feature lacking in the aforementioned Camco cover. Where the Adco loses the battle however is in its durability. There are occasions when this cover will rip.

The material can be weak when exposed to some  friction but given the money paid, we expect a cover to withstand a little bit of rough handling. Because of this, we place Adco as a tight runner up in our review for the best RV cover for winter.

This can be a tricky cover to put on and will probably require two or more people to connect up the straps safely. 

Pros

  • Protects against heavy rainfall.
  • Rain gutter cover to protect from punctures.
  • Zipper access to RV during winter.
  • Comes with storage bag.

Cons

  • Tears can develop from rough handling. 
  • Do not use in sun as it will disintegrate in heat.

Helpful Videos On Installing Your Adco RV Cover

Best Budget RV Cover

PolyPro 1

Our Favourite Feature

Budget choice for milder climates.

Price

Our Rating

If you are living in a mild climate where the rain isn’t too torrential and snow is intermittent, then you can consider the PolyPro 1..MAYBE! This is the budget option and yes if you pay budget prices you get budget products!

As well as the affordable price, it also has a polyester fabric that effectively deflects water and is resistant to mold and mildew. It’s lightness allows for easy application and easy storage in the summer months.

The Polypro is only using a single layer of this tough fabric however.

The importance of having multiple layers to protect against the elements cannot be underestimated and this is where the PolyPro’s budget price takes effect.

You will also need to be extra careful when removing this cover as the thin material can rip.

The Polypro is not going to win many awards but it’s a good price for a quick fix and you are in a mild climate with occasional light snow.

Pros

  • Affordable Price
  • Polyester fabric resists mildew.
  • Easily assembled and stored due to lightweight.

Cons

  • One one layer of protection.
  • Thin material can rip easily.

Helpful Videos On Installing Your Polypro RV Cover

Additional Steps To Prepare For Winter

Wash and Wax

Giving your RV one final wash and wax before applying the cover for the winter is a wise step.

Mould and dirt that has accumulated on the RV can worsen if left unattended for the winter months. Check out our recent wash and wax article for more info on picking a brand.

Insurance

If indoor storage is just not an option and you don’t have complete faith in the RV cover or the weather then you should consider protecting your RV with insurance.

For full timers always use dealers that specialise in RV insurance as they have a greater understanding of the RV way of life and will account for this in their coverage.

Specifically, you will be looking for comprehensive insurance that covers water damage and damage by storms. Check out this guide from NerdWallet to further your RV insurance knowledge.

Winterize RV

When covering and storing your RV in anticipation of a cold climate, winterization becomes a paramount task.

Winterizing your RV involves protecting the plumbing from being damaged by freezing weather. Check out this checklist by renowned RVer, Mark Polk, and the below to get to grips with the winterization process.

Remove Salt Stains From RV

While road salt can offer huge benefits in increasing driving safety in winter, the salts can cause significant damage if left on an RV for an extended time..like in storage.

The salt itself is very corrosive and prolonged exposure to it accelerates rust buildup.

Ensure you use a car wash a few times in the run up to putting your RV in storage in order to reduce the salt that has accumulated underneath the car.

  • If Possible Forget About The Cover and Store Indoors

If you have the facilities or can afford to store your RV indoors then by all means, do it to avoid all the RV cover hassle. It truly is the only way to avoid the snow, wind, rain and other destructive elements of the winter months. Consider storage sites like sparefoot.com and storage.com and also read rvshare.com’s helpful guide to learn about storage rates

What Is The Best Portable Turntable In 2017?

What Is The Best Portable Turntable In 2017?

What Is The Best Portable Turntable In 2017?
Portable Advisor

The digital age happened and turntables took a backseat; but not for a long time.

For a period of 12 years now, I have been collecting record players from online stores, enjoying their rich sound quality and keeping them as collectibles; vinyl records never disappoint when you are a fan of good music! Investing in the portable versions was my only option as a nomadic RV dweller and they have been worth every campground noise complaint I've received over the years!

Here is a compilation of the best portable turn table models I have come across in my research. It's a pity I can't afford them all! 

Product

Best Feature

 Our Rating

           Price

MusiTrend Turntable

Best Portable Turntable With USB

Victrola Vintage

Best Portable Turntable On A Budget (Under $50)

Crosley Turntable

Best Portable Turntable WIth Bluetooth

1byone Portable Turntable

Best Portable Turntable With Built In Speakers

Numark PT01 Scratch

Best Portable Turntable For Disk Scratching

Why Should I Invest In Portable Turntables?

Portable record players have lots of advantages over full-size players. First off, you get innovative form and design factors that cannot be implemented on full-size record players. You can move the turntable to any part of your house with ease.

These players have been used in many homes as design centerpieces while at the same time delivering authentic and rich sounds. Compared to full-size units, portable turn tables are less expensive. This is true especially when dealing with collectors or vintage turntable market.

They also work great on out on the road or in campgrounds...just ask my neighbors!

Considerations When Shopping for the Best Portable Turntables

There is more to look at beyond the function of a record player. Your needs and your budget will, however, determine the record player you end up with.

Basically, you will need a player that plays vinyl records but that is not all. Consider:

Built In Speakers

Do you need built-in speakers in your record player? There are just as much record players with built-in speakers as there are those without. If you prefer a player with a built-in speaker, ensure that sound quality of the speaker matches your taste.

If you choose a player with no built-in speaker, make sure you get a good headphone or external speaker to connect to your player.

Basic Turntable Features

The most important feature here is playing speed. There are normally two playing speeds in the market today; 2-speed and 3-speed turntables. These play either 33, 45 or 75 rpm.

You also need to ensure that the player's cartridge, arm, and platter are forged from high-quality material to guarantee its durability. Other basic features include audio in or out jacks and RCA jacks

Luxury Features

A basic turntable is no fun until it is equipped with additional features.

Though this gadget cannot be turned into a smartphone, features such as USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and AM/FM radio have been added to make its use more compelling.

Besides playing vinyl records on your turntable, you can connect it to your computer and convert the records to digital files, you can plays music from your smartphone through Bluetooth, and you can listen to your favorite radio stations. Other luxury features include adjustable pitch control and automatic speed selectors.

There are record players created specifically for studio recording and DJ scratching. This may not be ideal for home unless you do either of the activities at home; for a hobby or professionally. These turntables may or may not be equipped with other features. Nevertheless, you may get a full package; a turntable that does all that and more but the price may be relatively steeper.

Power Source

Most portable turntables can plug into a normal home power outlet which is advantageous if you bought your turntable for home use.

Some turntables can plug into your computer and derive power from there; these usually have a USB port. Others come with replaceable batteries or rechargeable batteries.

While you can choose a record player that gets its power from whichever power source offers you convenience, you can also choose one that gets power from more than one source for more convenience

Durability

If you need a home or studio player, then what you need is a player that will last through the years. The material that forms the body of the player should be high quality to ensure durability.

Portable record players should be light, but then again, light does not translate to cheap.

Price

This may or may not be important. If you have a budget, you will be limited to only given turntable brands and models. The price of turntable ranges from below 50 dollars to hundreds to thousands of dollars.

As the price increases so does the number of features the turntable is equipped with.

Portability

Portable Turntable With Case

Portable turntables are bought mainly because they are portable and can fit in your suitcase and easily transported to whichever destination you want to go.

Nowadays, it is becoming hard to distinguish between portable and briefcase turntable as almost all portable turntables are offered in briefcase-style. This allows you to fold down the cover when the player is not in use.

Thye really have become 'take me anywhere' products with smaller portable turntables measuring a mere 4.75" x 14.25" x 8" and weighing just 8 pounds.

Buying Used Turntable Instead of New

Here's What To Watch Out For

There are lots of used record players online, from vintage players to modern turntables. Most of them will function just fine without need for repairs, and the good thing is, they will cost less than new record players. Choosing the right used record player may, however, be more challenging to choose than new turntables. This is not to say that the best portable turntables should be new. When shopping, you need to ask the seller a few questions including:

  • Does the platter turn at the specified speeds?
  • Will the speakers produce a sound when a finger is placed on the needle immediately after it is plugged to the power? If it does not produce a sound, there must be a problem with the turntable amps.
  • If the turntable is stereo, does it produce a balanced sound on both channels with the balance knob set in the middle?
  • If automatic, does the arm do all it is supposed to do when the changer finishes its cycle?
  • Are there any restoration processes needed on the turntable such as re-lubricating lube points?
  • Will the turntable need any replacement parts or it can work out of the box?
  • What are the main features of the turntable that you are about to buy and will it meet your need?
  • Are there different power source options?
  • How is the general condition of the player? Is the box scratched or still looks new?
  • How much will the player cost you? Personally, I cannot pay more than $50 for a turntable that needs any repairs. These should cost anything between $20 (or less) and $50. The price, however, can go up depending on the restoration specifics. Again, ensure that you get at least 90-day warranty on the product.

Indivivual Product Reviews

MusiTrend Portable Turntable

Innovative Technology VSC-550BT-BK Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers, Black

Our Favourite Feature

The Best Portable Turntable With USB

Price

Our Rating

The MusiTrend Vinyl Turntable is offered with a stylish briefcase that aims at giving it a sophisticated look. The turntable plays on three speeds and is capable of producing high quality and rich sounds through its built-in stereo speakers.

A free USB stick accompanies the player; this lets you record your tracks and save them as digital files for playback on your computer or mobile device. The recording does not need a PC, just plugging in the record player and playing it is enough.

Pros

  • Stylish and sophisticated design.
  • Highly portable thanks to the briefcase-style build.
  • USB stick for recording tracks.
  • No need to connect to PC.
  • Produces high-quality sound.

Cons

  • Inconsistent playback speed.
  • Auto-stop function can, at times, stop a song before it ends.

Victrola Vintage Suitcase Turntable

Innovative Technology VSC-550BT-BK Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers, Black

Our Favourite Feature

The Best Portable Turntable On A Budget

Price

Our Rating

You might consider this budget turntable if what you need is a player that can be carried anywhere. It will let you enjoy vinyl records with its built-in twin stereo speakers and it comes in under $50!

It is a three-speed vinyl record player playing 33 1/3, 45 and 78 vinyl records. When not in use, it closes up neatly and converts into a portable briefcase. We have found this a crucial feature for camping trips!

It is also bluetooth enabled allowing you to wirelessly play music from other Bluetooth devices

Pros

  • Plays nearly all record types.
  • Built-in stereo speakers produce quality sound.
  • Lightweight and easy fold briefcase style.
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Great price for its quality.

Cons

  • The build materials are relatively less durable than other reviewed turntables.
  • Appearance is not that sleek. 

Crosley Executive Portable Turntable

Crosley CR6019A-BR Executive Portable USB Turntable, Brown

Our Favourite Feature

Best Portable Turntable With Bluetooth

Price

Our Rating

This turntable certainly divides the vinyl crowd as its quality can be inconsistent but considering the amount of rabid fans it has online, it deserves to be on our list.

True to its name, this vinyl record player sports an executive design that brings out a showy style when you carry it around. It is a belt driven 3-speed turntable playing 33, 45 and 78 records. The player is equipped with built-in stereo speakers but still has the option of connecting external speakers. 

To enhance private listening, it is offered with a headphone jack. Like other portable turntables in its category, the Crosley Executive features a USB port for tracks conversion; this feature comes along with necessary software and cables.

The best feature though is the Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to play music from every corner of your house without attaching speakers with cables. Other features include AC power adapter, input and output jacks and auxiliary cord.

Pros

  • Elegant executive finish.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Digital conversion software offered.
  • Lightweight and highly portable thanks to its briefcase build.

Cons

  • Records may, at times, play in a wavy manner.
  • Inconsistent sound quality.

1byone Portable Stereo Turntable

1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers, Turquoise

Our Favourite Feature

Best Portable Turntable With Built In Speakers

Price

Our Rating

Our best built-in speakers selection because of that vintage grainy vinyl sound it can produce. The sound resonates for me because it gives me that retro feel - the feeling that i am back in my youth...the heyday as some call it!

It is offered with a rechargeable battery making it ideal for outdoor use and it is a three-speed record player available in black or rustic brown leather. The body of the turntable is made of wood which gives it a retro design. Other features include RCA line out and USB port.

Pros

  • Classic, vintage sound from quality speakers.
  • Rechargeable battery makes it fit for outdoor use.
  • Excellent customer service. 
  • Good price. 

Cons

  • It can skip some records at times.
  • Bass sound can be inconsistent. 

Numark PT01 Scratch Portable Turntable

Numark PT01 Scratch | Portable Turntable with Built-In DJ Scratch Switch, Speaker, & Carrying Handle

Our Favourite Feature

Best Portable Turntable Fro DJ Scratching

Price

Our Rating

The Numark record player has been made with DJs in mind. It is offered ready to use out-of-the-box with a pre-balanced tonearm and a replaceable cartridge. Its pitch can be adjusted from -10 percent to 10 percent and it plays any record with 33 1/3, 45 and 75 RPM.

 The built in scratch slide switch is the main attraction for DJ's and it is an ideal scratch setup for a beginner. If you are doing more serious mixing then, yes, you will need to transition to a regular fader but for beginners and experienced mixers looking for a light, portable option this is the best scratcher on the market. 

Pros

  • Slick scratch slide.
  • Excellent needle tracking.
  • Great performance/price ratio.
  • Quality fader response.
  • Can practice scratching in any environment. 

Cons

  • Top covers pops up during use.
  • Briefcase latch is flimsy.


What Is The Best Portable Shower?

What Is The Best Portable Shower In 2017?

What Is The Best Portable Shower?
Portable Advisor

Boondocking in the early 90's were smelly times....for me anyway!

I simply didn't have any means of showering on our off-grid adventures. Occasionally i could be found waist deep in a remote stream but it really was not the same!

Thankfully, portable showers have become commonplace for us boondockers to the delight of my family who had to endure the smellier times​!

To save you the hassle, I have reviewed some of the best portable showers ​on the market. Depending on the way you plan to travel, and your budget, there are many factors and options for you to consider which I covered below:


Advanced Elements

Eccotemp L10


Eccotemp L10




Ivation Portable Shower


Coleman 5 Gallon




Zodi Outback Gear



Ivation Portable Shower
Coleman 5 Gallon
Zodi Outback Gear

Best Solar Shower

Premium Quality

Indoor Use

Under 10 Dollars

Best For Camping

4.4

5.0

5.0

3.6

4.0

Advanced Elements

Best Solar Shower

4.4

Eccotemp L10

Premium Quality

5.0

Ivation Portable Shower

Ivation Portable Shower

Indoor Use

5.0

Coleman 5 Gallon

Coleman 5 Gallon

Under 10 Dollars

3.6

Zodi Outback Gear

Zodi Outback Gear

Best For Camping

4.0

The Best Portable Shower - What To Look For?

Hot or Not?

Can you source heated water from somewhere else like a kettle or solar bag? Or maybe you are able to happily sit through a cold shower. If your answer to these questions is no (Like me!) then you will be reliant on the portable shower itself for heated water.

The best portable showers with this feature are you usually more expensive than just getting a plain portable shower head attachment so consider whether you can source hot water from somewhere before purchasing.

Water Source

Will you have easy access to a water source?

Where will you use the shower most often?

If you are using the portable shower off grid, away from the camping site and any lakes or rivers than a lot of these portable showers will be useless to you.

If you have no access to water you should be buying the solar portable showers which have shower bags as their main feature. They can carry up to 5 gallons and will last you a decent amount of time provided you have short showers.

How Long To Wait For Water To Heat Up?

Are you willing to wait a couple of hours for your shower to heat up?

If you are going for the solar showers you will need this patience as they are heated by the sun. This takes planning as you will be need to start heating the water in advance. I just like to fill the bag early in the morning and let it sit there all day.

If you don’t want to deal with this planning, the water heater portable showers would be a better fit for you.

If you want instantaneous hot water outdoors, the ZODI could be the right fit for you. 

Shower Pressure

Low Flow!

Can your hair handle low flow?! The effects of low pressure showers are plain to see with Kramer and Seinfeld here and some of these portable showers can produce similar results due to their lack of water pressure! There are a few benefits however.

Some models will come with an adjustable nozzle to increase water pressure but I would recommend the battery powered (insert internal link here) option if you need your hair to have that thick look!

Does It Come With Water Tank?

Keep in mind before buying that some of these portable showers do not come with a water tank or a containment source.

For these models, it is up to you to rig your own water tank either through a bucket, ice chest or something more creative.

Space Available

Some of the models like the Ivation are just a nozzle and hose which can be packed up in most small spaces. Other like the ZODI have a number of different attachments which are more awkward to pack tightly.

Consider the space you have to store in your RV or camper before buying.

The DIY Option

For the handymen out there you can always making the shower yourself. Check out this article from the team at Permaculture for some ideas on creating your own. 

Portable Shower Stall

Privacy is important for nearly all of us! You can either go all out and buy a portable stall or you can try your hand at DIY and make one yourself. Using the below how-to video, I was able to save some cash and it still hides my shame today!

Individual Product Summary

We have tried to cover all the bases in our individual best portable shower list. 

If you are looking for the best portable shower for hiking/ camping, indoors or solar powered shower then we have you covered below. 

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower

Our Favourite Feature

Solar design made for hiking trips

Price

Our Rating

If you need to shower far from any water source – say on a hiking trip then this solar shower is your best option.

Filling up the 5 gallon shower bag before you leave, this model allows for 2/3 people to all have 2 minute showers before it runs out. For me, the durabililty of the shower bag gives it an edge over other cheaper made brands and the insulator panel allows for the water to be heated faster than standard shower bags.

Pros

  • Long lasting, sturdy shower bag.
  • Insulator panel heats water quickly.
  • Useful added features like temperature gauge and side pocket for shampoo.
  • Large capacity. 

Cons

  • Bag can weight 40 lbs when full which might be too heavy for some.
  • Velcro holding hose up could be stronger.
Eccotemp L10 Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Our Favourite Feature

Strong Water Pressure Like Home Shower

Price

Our Rating

The Eccotemp is our premium recommendation on the list and most appropriate for you folks who are looking for a longer term outdoor shower.

The Eccotemp is commonly set up on campgrounds or at the side of summer homes or cabins and is the closest you will get to your standard indoor shower. The strong water pressure and high heat (max 150 degrees) are far superior to other models on this list and add to the justification for the higher price.

Pros

  • Instant High Temperature.
  • Strong water pressure.
  • Installation takes less than 30 minutes.
  • Easy to hang.

Cons

  • Price.
  • Sometimes you have to do the water dance as its either too hot or cold!
Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower, Battery Powered - Compact Handheld Rechargeable Camping Showerhead - Pumps Water from Bucket Into Steady, Gentle Shower Stream

Our Favourite Feature

Use Indoors

Price

Our Rating

The Ivation portable shower is a great indoor option and also good for those who don’t have a gas canister to produce power.

Using lithium battery power, it can produce water flow from a bucket/bath/sink. This makes it useful for washing pets and it is also the most storage-friendly and portable shower on our list.

Essentially it’s a 7 foot hose which can easily fit in the corner of any trunk to be forgotten about until needed.

Pros

  • Extremely portable.
  • Can be used indoors safely.
  • Rechargeable USB batteries.
  • Simple Set up.

Cons

  • Low water pressure.
  • Difficult to turn off/on.
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower

Our Favourite Feature

Under 10 Dollars

Price

Our Rating

At under 10 dollars the Coleman solar shower provides your basic need of a hot shower without any frills.

It’s the smart purchase for a weekend camping trip where you’re not reliant on the portable shower for longer than a few days. This is a more economical design than our other recommended solar shower bag , Advanced Elements.

While you would expect Advanced Elements brand to last you through the summer, the Coleman should be looked at as a short term or short trip solution.

Pros

  • Reasonable price. 
  • Same large capacity as more expensive brands.
  • Warms up easily.

Cons

  • Handle/Hose can be flimsy.
  • Can be difficult to hang when full to 5 gallons.
Zodi Outback Gear Hot Tap Travel Shower

Our Favourite Feature

Hot Water In All Conditions

Price

Our Rating

The Zodi is a portable shower that’s equally effective in winter and summer. That’s what makes it the best portable shower for camping in our eyes.

Here's why:

Unlike the solar showers or the battery powered travel showers mentioned in this list, the Zodi Outback can produce hot water on its own through its propane gas water pump. This makes it ideal for boondocking in winter when there is little or no sunlight.

Imagine being stuck in the wilderness with just a solar shower – the lack of sun makes the solar models useless!

Its true that our premium model, the Eccofront can also produce heat on its own but its design isn't very suitable for the rough terrain of the wild.

Pros

  • Hot shower in all conditions.
  • Took takes a couple of minutes of water re-circulation for heat.
  • Ideal for camping trips in unpredictable weather.
  • Powerful, reliable water pump.
  • Easy to transport.

Cons

  • Rubber outlet hose can become damaged if exposed to heat too long.
  • Windy weather can impact heating of water delaying process. 
What is the Best portable fridge for you?

What Is The Best Portable Fridge In 2017?

What is the Best portable fridge for you?
Portable Advisor

Warm beer – it’s a travesty, an abomination, something I was enduring for too long on camping trips!

When I think back to those icepack in a bag days I cringe! Everything melted by the time we had pitched our tents! How did I endure it – how did my friends endure these cans of fire when I offered…good friends!

Thankfully I saw sense and invested in my portable fridge.

The choice of fridge wasn’t easy however – there are a lot of factors to consider, I hope I can save you time with my buying guide below.

Product

Best Feature

 Our Rating

           Price

Midea WHS-65LB1

Great Price

Cooluli Fridge

Made For Small Spaces

Dometic CDF-11

Smallest Fridge

Freezer Combo

ARB 10800472

Large Capacity

The Best Portable Fridge - What To Look For?

Warranty Length

Ensure you check what warranty is offered for the model. Most companies will offer 2 years as standard so look at any additional years offered as a bonus feature. You should also check for different warranty time periods for different parts of the model.

For example, if there’s a separate chiller compartment to the refrigerator (compressor), companies may only offer 1 year warranty for the full product or two years for the refrigerator part

When Was Product First Produced?

You may think you are being shrewd going for the older models which save a few dollars but you must consider the headache you will have when the model breaks down.

Often companies will produce new designs every 2-3 years and discontinue manufacturing the older models. Thus spare parts for the older models disappear, spare parts you may well need to fix your old model!

In the end you could be forced into buying a whole new portable fridge.

Does Fridge Come With Freezer?

This will only relate to those of you going for compressor fridges - this is not a feature of thermoelectric or absorption fridges. You can expect to pay slightly more for the best portable fridge freezer combo than just a refrigerator but ensure it’s worth it. Some models will have a freezer but if it’s only able to fit a few icebags, is it really worth the extra 30 or 40 bucks charged for this combo?

Noise Level

When you are in your house its something you ignore as its not something you can usually hear while sleeping. In a smaller environment like a RV, the humming can be the difference between a good night sleep and nightly insomnia.

The office environment is another place where you do not want that irritating humming sound.

Check customer reviews to ensure there are no noise complaints, I have also noted in my product review, models which are considered quiet

Battery Use/ Power Consumption

The big worry for you is whether your new portable fridge will drain your motor and leave you stranded!

Firstly remember that thermoelectric coolers will drain rv/car/boat batteries quicker than the other two types as they are less efficient.

Secondly, be aware that the risk lies when you leave the fridge charging when the engine is not running. Here is where you must know how much amps the fridge is drawing from the battery, and the amp hours (ah) of your battery .

Typically these fridges draw between 2-5 amps. Anything above 4 amps is heavy drain and you should be very careful when charging. While many 12v battery have a standard total of 100 amp hours (ah), this varies widely depending on the efficiency of the fridge.

For safety, I don’t recommend charging your fridge idly for more than 1 hour but I am very conservative.

If you are dealing with RV batteries, check out our guide here or if you want to learn more in general about batteries, Battery Stuff have put together a great guide you can find here

Suitability In the Wild!

If you will be doing a lot of remote camping, ensure the fridge is suited to that terrain. Firstly, many compressor type fridges will not be suitable for off grid camping as they need to be connected to an electric power source.

Additional features like tie down straps or a padded base can make your life a lot easier, especially with absorption models, as they not effective unless on stable surface

Portability

Invariably, the thermoelectric fridge will be your lightest choice and often the technology that makes up the fridge in the compressor and absorption models can be heavier than people expect. With this mind, it is worthwhile checking the technical details for the weight in the product description before purchasing.

Look for products with built-in handles to make your life easier as well.

Design: Steel or Plastic??

Questions to ask yourself?

Will this fridge fit in my trunk with all the other stuff I need to bring on this trip?

Will there be enough room around the fridge to allow it to ventilate while we travel?

Is there enough room in that fridge for my beers?!

If the answer is no to any of these then it could be time to re-assess. The amount of beers is up to you!

Size and Space Within

This decision will come down to the price you are willing to pay as well as the fridge type. Steel design will set up back extra few dollars and with good reason. It's of higher quality and more durable than plastic designs which can be susceptible to leaks.

If you are just looking for a cooler thermoelectric option however, I don’t see much added benefit of paying extra for the steel.

Which Fridge Is For Me?

See below for our synopsis of the 3 best portable fridge designs on the market or watch the video beneath for a visual roundup!

  • Compressor
  • Absorption
  • Thermoelectric

Thermoelectric Fridge

Your budget option, thermoelecitrcs are not technically refrigerators but coolboxes. These models will only preserve the cool or warm temperature of food and drink for an extended period of time.

Compressors and absortion models will on the other hand actively reduce the temperature of your products. They work on 12v battery or house outlet and are made for using in your office or bedroom where space is confined or a casual weekend trip where you are trying to keep those beers cold until the timings right 

Suitable For

  • Office/Dorm room.
  • Budget option.
  • Need to just keep item cool.

Not Suitable For

  • In very hot weather they are pretty useless. 
  • Can't freeze items. 
  • Must be used in well ventilated area.

Individual Product Summary

There are a lot of considerations to be made when deciding on the the best portable fridge for your situation. 

To take some of the heat pain away I've done some of the grind work and have outlined my top contenders below. Hopefully the pro and con format should help you in your decision making.

Midea WHS-65LB1

Midea WHS-65LB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator, 1.6 Cubic Feet(0.045 Cubic Meter), Black

Our Favourite Feature

Great Price

Price

Our Rating

I would recommend Midea for those of you on a budget looking to get the best portable fridge/freezer combo.

For under $100, you’re getting a decent capacity fridge (can hold around 48 cans of beers) which doesn’t take up too much space and also runs very quietly. Mechanical problems are not common for the Midea either.

You will probably have to go for more expensive options if you are want a standard sized freezer because it is very small in respect to overall size of the fridge. Keep in mind that anything larger than a 1 litre bottle will probably not fit in this.

Pros

  • Economical Price.
  • Fridge Freezer Combo.
  • Runs very quietly.
  • Good fridge Storage space.

Cons

  • Small freezer space.
  • Different warranty lengths.

Cooluli Electric Mini Fridge

Cooluli Electric Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer (15 Liter / 18 Can): AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric System (White)

Our Favourite Feature

Perfect For Small Spaces

Price

Our Rating

As a cooler, the Cooluli will be suitable if you want to casually keep a few drinks chilled, as its not an actual fridge it cant reduce the temperature of any drinks you put in there.

For those of you looking for something for your office desk, bedroom or dorm room, the Cooluli could be a good fit. For places like your office you want something relatively quiet and inconspicuous and this model offers these features.

Its compactness and handle for easy portability also make it a logical choice for confined spaces. I would ignore the warming feature on this though as they simply are not reliable from my experience

Pros

  • Great for confined spaces.
  • Easy to transport/lightweight.
  • Value for money.
  • Runs quiet.

Cons

  • 6 can capacity.
  • Warming feature is not reliable.
  • Drains battery in car.
  • Can't cope with high outside temperatures.

Dometic CDF 11

Dometic CDF-11 Smallest Portable Freezer/Refrigerator

Our Favourite Feature

Smallest Fridge Freezer Combo​

Price

Our Rating

For those of you where space is limited, and you really need the freezing feature then I would consider the Dometic CDF-11 which has 10.5 liter capacity.

This model can reach subfreezing temperatures regardless of the heat outside and with an average running time of 3 amps per hour it’s an extremely energy efficient in comparison to any thermoelectric cooler.

The compromise comes with the price as this is priced in the premium range ($300 dollars upwards.) If 10.5 litres is too small they also have versions going from 18L to 106L

Pros

  • Smallest fridge freezer combo.
  • Energy efficiency (3 amps per hour).
  • Reliable and fast freezing feature in extreme conditions.

Cons

  • Premium price.
  • Inconsistent thermostat readings.
  • Lid can be flimsy after prolonged use.

ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer

ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer- 50 Quart

Our Favourite Feature

Large Capacity

Price

Our Rating

The premium recommendation on the list, the ARB is for the serious traveller spending considerable time on the road like truck drivers, RV’ers or small travel groups.

The 50 Quart model is a proper spacious compartmentalised fridge freezer (can hold 72 6 oz cans, see pics below) and it has a more heavy duty design than other portable fridges. There will be no issues for you with flimsy lids or hinges which I suppose should be expected from paying this kind of money.

You’re paying for quality here and the ARBs energy usage reflects that. It uses 0.87 amps per hour from a 12V source, less than a standard headlamp.

If you can can handle the pain of the price you will be rewarded with a premium product that is strong in every area.

Pros

  • Energy use 0.87 amps per hours.
  • Heavy duty long lasting design.
  • Capacity for 72 cans and other larges bottles.
  • LED lights for night time.
  • Compartmentalised design.

Cons

  • Issues with temperature readout ( can be 7-8 degree off).
  • Very expensive. 
Best Portable Fish Finder

Best RV Wash and Wax (In 2017)?

rv wash and wax
Portable Advisor

While we like to get a proper wax twice a year, we all know how fast dirt can build up out on the road. Finding the best rv wash and wax has been a great go-between out on the road where you just want to give the exterior a little spruce up!

​RVs tend to look very run down and dreary if left to the mercy of the elements for too long! Below are 5 recommendations and 5 areas you should keep in mind when choosing the best rv wash and wax brand for your situation!

Product

Best Feature

Our Rating

            Price

Armor All Wash & Wax

Best For 
The Money

Chemical Guys Ecosmart

Adds protective
layer of coating

Thetford Premium

Black Streak 
Removal

Meguair Marine Flagship

Carnuaba Wax

Aero Cosmetics

Waterless Wash

What To Look For In Your RV Wash And Wax

Is Carnuaba Wax An Ingredient? 

I look for products with carnuaba wax as it produces a rich shine that glimmers in different light. Being a hydrophobic coating it also acts as a repellent against water maintaining its coating for longer.

Dilution Ratio 

How much of the formula do you need to use to clean effectively? Shampoos with higher dilution ratio will last longer. If it foams quickly and easy then it's good value for your money.

Add Ons Offered 

Some brands will offer extras like a scrubber or sprayer. Saving you the time and hassle of going out and buying these can be a subtle but important benefit. 

UV Protection 

Ultraviolet rays can corrode the paint on your RV through oxidisation and this can cause significant fading to your paint job. Take a look around the campsite next time and notice how dull the paintwork becomes on neglected RVs.

​Don’t be one of these RVs!!

​If you are in a warm climate like Texas or California, you should look for wash and wax brands with UV protection as a feature.

Is It Waterless?

If you are going on an off grid trip with little access to water , if there’s a drought, or or you have a big family then the fresh tank becomes a very precious commodity. In this situation, the best RV wash and wax for you could be the waterless option..

With these, there is no need to mix the solution with water to make it work! When you think that some of the wash ‘n’ wax brands require to you to mix in a gallon of water, it’s a big saving!

Best RV Wash And Wax: Individual Reviews

Meguair Marine Flagship

Meguiar's M4232 Marine Flagship Wash-N-Wax - 32 oz.

Our Favourite Feature

Carnuaba Wax

Price

Our Rating

Uses the sought after carnauba wax as a base ingredient and cuts through dirt and salt with ease. For the price paid it also leaves a decent shine. I would recommend this to people looking for a better wax quality then Armor but still looking for a decent bargain.

Pros

  • Carnuaba wax as base ingredient.
  • Produces good shine.
  • ​Can also be used on boats.

Cons

  • Must use ample water to mix.
  • Could sell bigger sizes.

Aero Cosmetics

Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit 144 Ounces. Aircraft Quality for Your Car, RV, Boat, Motorcycle. The Best Wash Wax. Anywhere, Anytime, Home, Office, School, Garage, Parking Lots.

Our Favourite Feature

Waterless Wash

Price

Our Rating

Best suited for any of you who want buy everything you need at once – the Aero includes a bug scrubber and 4 microfiber towels as well as a product guide.

Using the waterless system allows you to complete the wash and wax quicker than other brand while also saving on water which can be crucial if you are without access to a hose. On the other side, it’s also very effective as a drying agent if sprayed on when the RV is wet. This technique leaves the paint shiny and looking like a hand wax.

Pros

  • Waterless. Useful if without access to water or water is scarce.
  • ​Can also be used on boats.
  • Effective drying agent..
  • Includes add on like scrubber and towels..

Cons

  • Less effective on very dirty paint job.
  • Expensive

Armor All Wash And Wax

Armor All Ultra Shine Wash & Wax (64 fluid ounces)

Our Favourite Feature

Value For Money

Price

Our Rating

My bargain recommendation under $10, this wash and wax offers the best bang for your buck with little water mixing needed to get a good wash. Given the bottle is 64 fl. Oz. you will get a considerable amount of washes before needing to repurchase.

The waxing feature is very much meant as a stop gap between waxes so I would not get this if you are looking for a long term wax solution.

Pros

  • Long lasting bottle.
  • Repels dirt well.
  • Price. 

Cons

  • Wax has a very short lifespan (2-3 days).
  • A lot must be used per wash to see effect.

Thetford Premium

Premium RV Wash and Wax, Detergent and Wax for RVs / Boats / Trucks / Cars - 1 Gallon -  Thetford 32517

Our Favourite Feature

Black Streak Removal

Price

Our Rating

This Thetford model is for those of you dealing with a patch of black streaks on the RV. Many wash and wax brands are inconsistent in dealing with black streaks but this Thetford formula does a consistent job of removing them.

Pros

  • Removes black streaks consistently.
  • Doesn’t need too much dilution.

Cons

  • Very strong chemical smell for product.

Chemical Guys Ecosmart 

Chemical Guys WAC_707RU_C04 EcoSmart-RU (Ready to Use) Waterless Car Wash & Wax (1 Gal) (Case of 4)

Our Favourite Feature

Adds Protective Coating

Price

Our Rating

Ecosmart is my best all-rounder on the list as it combines the waterless application with high quality wash and wax features while also adding a protective layer.

While saving water, this brand also uses an eco-based carnauba wax (my old favourite!) to shine the RV and it forms a protective sealant over the RVs paint job. Ideally suited for water spots and light dirt as opposed to the heavier stains like bird poop which can require considerable elbow grease to rub off.

If you are dealing with deep stains, then my Thetford option could be a wiser choice.

You can check its effectiveness in video below,

Pros

  • Offers protective layer as well as wash ‘n’ wax.
  • Waterless
  • Wax leaves longer lasting shine than other wash and wax brands.

Cons

  • Weak bottle spray. 
  • Tough to remove thicker stains like bird droppings.
best portable fishing rod

Best Portable Fishing Rod (In 2017)?

best portable fishing rod
Portable Advisor

For years, when trailing the RV through forest land, we would come across these small inlets where the seabed would be pulsating with life.

As an angler it always felt like a missed opportunity as I never brought my rod on these trips! Then one year the mother in law outdid herself with a double christmas present – the best portable fishing rod and fish finder she could find. I threw them under the driver’s seat for our next RV trek and they now get more use than all her other presents combined! (Sorry Brenda)

If you an explorer and a traveller like me a portable rod could be for you! Read on for my tips and recommendations on how to pick the portable fishing for you.

Product

Best Feature

 Our Rating

           Price

Eagle Claw Rod

Best rod for 
the money

Sougayilang Fishing Rod

Weight allowance.

Okuma Travel Kit

Custom made
travel case. 

Plusinno Fishing Rod

Best rod/reel
combo

Portable Fishing Rod: Our Buying Guide

Quality of attaching pieces

The quality of the attaching pieces will be one of your biggest factors in making a buying decision for a portable fishing rod.

Often times when manufacturing portable rods, sacrifices are made to the build quality of the road and reel as a result of different sections being collapsible. While this helps portability it can sometimes impact on the sturdiness of the rod.

For example, a rod will come apart when casting, or the anti reverse on the reel might be defective. The best portable fishing rods  are usually made from carbon fiber instead of plastic as the quality is more consistent. 

Portability/ Speed of Portability

The main benefit of a portable rod is its ability to fit into small spaces so the big question any buyer should have is - How small can I pack it? Does it fit under a seat in a car or an RV easily? Could you bring it on a flight?

Another big question around portability is how many pieces does it break it into? The less the better for portability. More detachable pieces usually means more time assembling and disassembling so it’s prudent to note down how many pieces the rod and reel break down to.

For me one of the great advantages of my portable fishing rod is how quick I can deploy it when I find a promising inlet on our walking trails! If I had to deal with assembling multiple parts I would lose all motivation!

Weight and Weight Allowance

You want your rod and reel to be light enough so you can easily carry them with you when disassembled but you do not want to sacrifice on making good sized catches because your rod is too light to handle the weight.

The most important thing is to match your portable rod with the style of fishing you will be doing. Ensure that the rod weight (indicator of the weight of fish a rod is suitable for), the line weight(range of weights of fishing line that a particular rod is designed to support) and the lure weight (recommended weight of a lure or hook a particular fishing rod is designed to support) all coincide with the your fishing style, be that saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing etc.

Keep this in mind though - even the best portable fishing rods on the market will probably not be suitable for the big catches that deep sea fishing offers.

Is a case included?

Having a custom case that fits your portable fishing rod and reel into a compact space is a huge time saver trust me! I read of people using old ziplock bags to store all their disassembled pieces – for me that would be a recipe for disaster!

There is no way I would come home with all the pieces! 

No! I like the completeness of my travel case – the rod and reel have padded compartments and the bag has a carry handle. You should consider the safety that the compartments offers as opposed to the rod and reel being exposed to the elements all day long. A case should be a major consideration for you for piece of mind and ease of travel.

Experience

Newcomers to fishing should keep their eyes on the price and the size of the rod when buying a portable fishing rod. Firstly as price goes up for these portable rod the more add ons and complexity there is to put them together.

As a newbie you should be focused on simplicity as its best to leave the feature driven pricey brands to a later point. Also, as a newcomer I would recommend sticking with shorter length rods – say under 9 feet. There can be cumbersome and are meant for more experienced anglers. As a bonus shorter rods are usually cheaper!

What Is The Best Portable Fishing Rod?

There are a lot of considerations to be made when deciding on the top portable rod for your needs.  

To take some of the heat pain away I've done some of the grind work and have outlined my top contenders for the best portable fishing rod below. Hopefully the pro and con format should help you in your decision making.

Okuma Voyager Travel Kit

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

Our Favourite Feature

Custom Travel Case

Price

Our Rating

My favourite in the top 5 for the added benefit of the custom made travel case. The rod, the tackle pack and the reel get their own compartments in the case and the handle lets you carry it around like a suitcase.

This convenience of having a kit that fits under your driving seat or inside your checked baggage beats the other brands in the list and will suit those of you with a get up and go attitude to fishing.

Looking at the individual elements, you get a well constructed rod with great sensitivity that disassembles quite easily. Thankfully attaching the rod the reel is straight forward also.

The reel itself is a good companion to the rod and reel action is consistently smooth. It could maybe do with being slightly bigger and having more ball bearings (just 1) to improve long term survival chances.​

Pros

  • Portable case protects equipment and is ideal for travel.
  • Impressive quality of rod and reel.
  • Breaks down quickly and easily.
  • Complementary tackle box included.
  • Price.
  • Smooth spinning.

Cons

  • Could be a stronger reel with more ball bearings
  • No line included.
  • Rod sections can loosen after several casts.

Plusinno Fishing Rod

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Rod with Reel Combo Sea Saltwater Freshwater Kit Fishing Rod Kit …

Our Favourite Feature

Best Rod/Reel Combo

Price

Our Rating

Plusinno makes my list as its one of the best rod/reel combos. It offers various rod length options and the choice to include a variety of fishing lures, hooks and other accessories. The different options allows you to tailor your purchase around the type of fishing you will be doing.

For example, if you do a lot of shore fishing from piers then the lengthier rods will be better suited to you. Beginners should start off with the 6 or 7ft versions as anything bigger can be unwieldy if you are not used to handling a rod.

As for the rod itself, it’s made from carbon fiber mixed with fiber glass which ensures a certain level of durability and flexibility. As for weight capacity this rod can handle up to 10 lbs so best to stay away from deep sea fishing.

The reel also has that made to last feel with 12 ball bearings (in comparison to 1 with Okuma) and the reel action is consistently smooth. A quality combo set overall.

Pros

  • Lightweight but Highly durable rod and reel.
  • Smooth casting.
  • Multiple lengths and optional accessories.
  • Excellent price/quality balance.

Cons

  • Cheap bag that comes with set is useless.
  • No instructions for beginners.

Eagle Claw Pack It Spinning Rod

Eagle Claw Pack-IT Telescopic Spincast Rod, 1 Piece (Yellow, 5-Feet 6-Inch)

Our Favourite Feature

Best On A Budget

Price

Our Rating

My budget option, the Eagle Claw Pack-It rod is made for the traveller.

Collapsing down to 18 inches, this telescopic rod is for any of you just looking for a solid rod for your backpack whilst on your travels, in the kayak, or a last minute detour on a camping trip.

For under 20 dollars, you are a getting a surprisingly robust, medium-action rod and it works as an ideal starting portable fishing rod for kids.

Don’t expect to be catching anything over 5 lbs..a rod this size will simply never have the weight allowance for anything bigger. Keep in mind you will need to purchase your own reel also.

Pros

  • Fits in your backpack.
  • Quick to deploy.
  • Priced under $20.
  • Good first rod option for kids.

Cons

  • No reel included. 
  • Tip can come off rod occasionally. 
  • Cannot handle fish above 5 lbs. 

Sougayilang Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Graphite Carbon Fiber Portable Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod for Boat Saltwater and Freshwater,1.8M/5.91Ft

Our Favourite Feature

Great Weight Allowance

Price

Our Rating

I like the Sougaylany Fishing rod because it gives a bigger weight allowance to work with over the Eagle Claw and is only $10-$20 more expensive depending on the size you pick. A mid-range budget option if you will!

The packaging say you can catch up to 20 lbs but I think a safer range is 10 – max 12 lbs. So for $10 more you are getting more than twice the weight allowance of the Eagle Claw. It doesn’t quite have the same level of compactness with its shortest version coming in at 19 inches collapsed but this is still something you will barely notice on your travels.

The rod itself receives very little complaints in terms of build quality – its lightweight, flexible and made of carbon fiber. Also a midsize reel works best for the Sougayilang.

Pros

  • Weight allowance for price paid is excellent.
  • Overall Quality of rod.
  • Different sizes offered.
  • Suited to saltwater and freshwater.

Cons

  • Will not fit in briefcase.
  • Sometimes difficult to retract after full extension.
best rv toilet

What Is The Best RV Toilet (In 2017)?

best rv toilet
Portable Advisor

There comes a point in all our RV lives where replacing the pre installed toilet will become unavoidable. But how do you find the best RV toilet for your circumstances?

I learned quickly from my research that some of the pre-installed toilets in the older RVs are lacking some really useful features so it was an immediate upgrade in RV living quality when we made the switch.

I have outlined my research below along with some the best models which could suit your situation.

Product

Best Feature

   Our Rating

             Price

Dometic 310

All Rounder

Dometic 320

Extra Wide Seat

Nature's Head

Composting Toilet

Thetford AquaMagic

Tall Seat Position

The Best RV Toilet: What To Look For 

Water Efficiency

Water is one of your most precious commodities when out on the road as your fresh water tank, black tank and grey tank are so small. The water efficiency of your RV toilet should be a key concern therefore as shortages can cut any bookdocking adventures short.

Unlike standard toilets at home, which releases a set amount of water per flush, most RV toilets use a foot or hand pedal to flush. The sensitivity of the pedal, and your own exuberance pushing the pedal will impact the water usage. Ensure there a no complaints about the foot pedal’s efficiency before buying.

Ease Of Installation

The speed and ease of installation are factors to consider especially if you aren’t much of a handyman and do not want to pay an RV dealer to come out.

The recommendations I have made below all share ease of installation as a key feature. The biggest pain point with installing a replacement is matching up the specs of the new toilet with the fittings of the RV. In all cases where you are replacing your toilet with a different model you will need to buy a universal mounting kit to connect to the toilet.Ensure this is purchased before you begin installing to save you time. 

Other common extra parts that could be needed include an extension for the water line or different screw in bolts to complete installation. These are amendments you will not typically know about until you have taken out the old toilet. When removed, examine the fittings and compare it to your new toilets specifications to see alterations you will need to make. 

Check out this video for instructions on installing your RV toilet and also, this useful video will show you How NOT to install it! 

Height Of Toilet

Height of the new toilet is a common question and complaints for RVs. Older models are considered much too low to the ground whilst people want the same experience as if they were in their home toilet.

Manufacturers are catching onto this and are designing taller models in line with residential toilets. If you want the normal home sized toilet, you want a model with a height of 18 inches, these model will usually be called ‘standard height’ in the product description.

Taller models in the range of 18.5 inces to 20 inches are also offered and would be suitable for eldery RV’ers who are finding it difficult to sit and stand with their current models.

Flush Coverage

The best RV toilet should usually have a full bowl coverage flush! The flush technology of some cheaper models will only clean 60-70% of the bowl and this can leave waste remnants to accumulate.

Full bowl coverage saves you having to manually clean these areas and it reduces the chances of odor developing.

Style Of Seat

Typically RV toilets will have two styles of seats, plastic and the more expensive porcelain.

I will always pay that bit extra for a porcelain seat for the extra comfortability – porcelain seats are essentially the style you will find in peoples homes. I always feel I could crash through the plastic seating at any moment creating a very awkward situation!

The plastic seats are also more susceptible to wear and tear and will need to be replaced more often. Thus the benefit of them being cheaper is lost over time. Keep in mind that the porcelain seats can be a lot heavier however.

Hand Sprayer

I would consider the hand sprayer a compulsory feature when buying an RV toilet as it offers an extra sanitary measure. Being able to clean certain ‘tough’ stains which the flusher cannot clean is really important and it is a lot more effective and hygienic than using a toilet brush.

While many more models are incorporating this feature into their designs, not all new models have it so ensure you check for this feature.

Warranty

You should place some importance on the level of warranty offered by the manufacturer. As a standard benchmark, the model you buy should be offering two years warranty. This warranty should cover defects in the products as well as parts and labor coverage for this time period.

Any company offering more than two years is a bonus and this is one of Thetford;s biggest advantages as they offer 3 years warranty.

Composting Toilet Option

For those of you willing to pay premium prices, getting a composting or dry toilet instead of the standard flush model has a number of advantages.

Firstly, it uses no water at all which could possibly add one or two days to any off the grid road trips. The technology turns your waste into compost which offers not only environmental benefits but a more immediate concern – a reduction in the odor from your waste. That stink we all know is replaced by a smell of potting soil.

For many people the removal of the black tank smell is reason alone to upgrade to the composting style. The FitRv have a good video of their experiences with a composting toilet which I have linked to below.


Individual Product Reviews

Dometic 310 Toilet

Dometic 310 Series Standard Height Toilet, White

Our Favourite Feature

All Round Best Toilet

Price

Our Rating

For people looking for their first replacement RV toilet, this dometic brand would be our benchmark best rv toilet as it ticks most of the areas in my buying guide.

Firstly and most importantly for beginners it is a straight forward install – they have the seal pre installed which removes one headache immediately. Mark Polk of RV Education shows how it easy it is to install at this link.

The flush pattern cleans the whole bowl with little water and they have added that the hand sprayer which is a nice hygiene bonus.

This is the model being installed in many new RVs today which shows its reputation as an all rounder

Pros

  • Ease of installation.
  • Full bowl flush coverage.
  • Hand sprayer for additional cleaning.
  • Ceramic bowl.

Cons

  • Flimsy seat.
  • Splashes waste when flushing (ensure lid closed).

Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet

Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design

Our Favourite Feature

Composting Self-Contained Toilet

Price

Our Rating

Nature’s Head are probably the most reputable brand on the market when it comes to composting toilets and this is their benchmark model.

A quality composting toilet will be waterless ,odorless easy to install, and have an easy cleaning process. Nature heads ticks these boxes with the only smell being a dirt-like odor which only resonates if you leave off the air fan feature.

Ok, there will be a smell when replacing the urine bottle (replacement frequency depends on use) but that is to be expected.

Compost replacement is also a simple process and it takes 60-80 uses before you need to make this change. That is a full month for 2 people. Overall, I think Nature Heads will offer you the smoothest transition from standard toilets to composting.

Pros

  • Waterless – can add considerable time to dry camping trips.
  • Odorless with fan turned on – smell of soil otherwise.
  • Black water tank use removed.
  • Environmental benefits of composting.

Cons

  • Premium price. 
  • Hard to tell when urine bottle is full unless in very bright room.

Thetford 31672 Aqua-Magic

Aqua-Magic V RV Toilet Pedal Flush /High Profile / Parchment - Thetford 31672

Our Favourite Feature

A Taller Seat Positon

Price

Our Rating

The Thetford is designed for the older RVer in mind.

It sits a little taller at 18.5 (taller the average 18 inch home toilet) which will help those of you who have difficulty sitting and standing or if the toilet is in a confined space.

It is also a lot lighter to carry in comparison to other models which will suit those of you who struggle with heavier weights. This lightweight does not impact its sturdiness however – once installed it is rigid and durable. Its thin shape will also suit those of you with limited space

Pros

  • Lightweight to assemble but sturdy.
  • Taller design helps less mobile.
  • Thin model good for confined space.
  • 3 year warranty.

Cons

  • Splash back if lid open..
  • Seat not that comfortable.

Dometic 320 Toilet

Dometic 320 Series Standard Height Toilet, White

Our Favourite Feature

Extra Wide Toilet Seat

Price

Our Rating

I have included the Dometic 320 in the list for those of you looking for that extra seat quality that the 310 lacks.

For an extra $50-$60, the 320 has a bigger, elongated seat which is much more comfortable than the 310. It’s a deeper, lipped ceramic bowl and is more roomy than the 310 and most others on the market.

There are also less durability concerns for this model because of this feature. Apart from that, it has virtually the same features as the 310. If you want to sit in comfort then you will need that bit extra for this 320 model.

Pros

  • Deeper, wider toilet seat than competitors.
  • All the redeeming features of 310 model such as hand spray and full bowl flush coverage.
  • Quick installation.

Cons

  • Pricier than 310 model.
  • Wide seat may not suit everyone.

Conclusion

My closing thoughts would be not to venture from these brands Dometic, Thetford and Nature’s Head for the composting option. These three brands are the leaders on the market and this is where you will find the best RV toilet for your situation.They have a well developed customer support structure, wide warranty and tons of good youtube videos to help installation.

I do not see other brands in this market offering these services so even if you save $30-$40 with another brand it may end up costing you in the long run when you are faced with sub-standard post-sale customer support.

Will Smith’s 2 Storey Luxury Trailer: See What’s Inside!

If you want to see how the other half live check out this great tour of Will Smith's luxury RV Trailer!

Watching it turn from a single storey ​trailer into a double decker with the flick of a switch is truly astonishing and shows you what technology and a large bank balance can get you!

Something worth striving for!​