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.
Best portable air compressor for RV overall
Best portable air compressor space saver
Best portable air compressor on a budget
Best Solar Shower
Ivation Portable Shower
Coleman 5 Gallon
Under 10 Dollars
Zodi Outback Gear
Best For Camping
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Best For Snow
Best For Rain
Built In Vents
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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!
Best Portable Turntable With USB
Best Portable Turntable On A Budget (Under $50)
Best Portable Turntable WIth Bluetooth
Best Portable Turntable With Built In Speakers
Best Portable Turntable For Disk Scratching
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!
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:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
Ivation Portable Shower
Coleman 5 Gallon
Zodi Outback Gear
Best Solar Shower
Under 10 Dollars
Best For Camping
Best Solar Shower
Ivation Portable Shower
Coleman 5 Gallon
Under 10 Dollars
Zodi Outback Gear
Best For Camping
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Made For Small Spaces
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
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.
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?
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
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 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
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.
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!
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.
See below for our synopsis of the 3 best portable fridge designs on the market or watch the video beneath for a visual roundup!
If you are looking for an equivalent to your fridge at home this will be your best option. Compressor fridges run off 240V mains electricity or a 12v car battery. They are able to cool to temperatures lower than any other type of portable fridge regardless of outside weather and they are the only type which can freeze produce. For these reasons they are most the expensive on the market.
Your mid range price option, absorption fridges use both gas and the 12v battery from your RV or 230v mains source. This option tends to work out best for off the grid or remote campers who can power the fridge with the 12v battery while driving and then use the gas in the wilderness.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Best rod for
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Extra Wide Seat
Tall Seat Position
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!