Motorhome Columns | Family Motor Coaching
A meticulously organized motorhome maximizes space and minimizes stress. Which is where Mumi packing cubes come in. Made of 70 percent laminated nylon fabric and 30 percent nylon mesh, the cubes can be used to store clothing, jewelry, batteries, cables, and more.
Mumi cubes are available in various sizes and colors. The medium packing cube measures 15 inches by 11 inches by 3 inches, which is a good size for shirts, T-shirts, and sweaters; the price is $17. A small packing cube (12 inches by 7 inches by 3 inches) costs $15. A set of five packing cubes in a variety of sizes sells for $49.90.
Microwave Food Cover
When you’re using the microwave oven, splatter matters. The less cleanup needed, the better. Not only does Tovolo’s Collapsible Microwave Food Cover keep the inside of your microwave clean, it helps keep food moist. And it doubles as a strainer.
The diameter of the base is 10.5 inches. The cover extends to 3.5 inches high; it collapses to 1 inch. Vented holes in the cover allow steam to release evenly. The silicone cover is BPA-free and dishwasher safe. The suggested retail price is $7.99.
2917 N.E. Blakely St.
Seattle, WA 98105
With StubbyStrip Vino, wine lovers can transport their beverage of choice to beach bonfires, tailgate parties, and the like. It’smade of neoprene, which helps keep white wine cool, or red wine from overheating. It also helps protect the bottles when they’re in the RV.
The portable drink carrier has slots that hold up to four wine bottles (or one to four large water, soft drink, or liquor bottles). With the bottles wrapped together and secured with hook-and-loop fasteners, StubbyStrip can be carried by its handle or shoulder strap. The weight of the bottles pulls at the seams to tighten the slots and keep a snug fit around the beverages. The price of StubbyStrip Vino is $24.95. A StubbyStrip that holds up to seven 12-ounce bottles or cans also is available.
9176 Tewsbury Gate
Maple Grove, MN 55311
The PowerItUp 4-in-1 SafeT-Light (model PBSF-10K), from Impecca, is a multitasking device. For starters, it’s a 220-lumen flashlight with an emergency flashing function. A rechargeable battery provides up to 30 hours of light per charge.
It’s also a 10,400-mAh portable charger for powering up mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. And, it has a built-in window hammer and seatbelt cutter to aid in an escape from a vehicle in which the window won’t open or the seatbelt won’t budge. Model PBSF-10K measures 8.9 inches by 1.75 inches by 1.75 inches and weighs 11.1 ounces. It comes with a micro-USB connection cord and a wrist strap. The suggested retail price is $59.95.
Portable Fire Pit
Camping without a fire is like eating s’mores without marshmallows. No can do. But maybe you’d prefer to avoid the smoke, sparks, and cleanup associated with the typical fire pit. If so, there’s Flame Genie.
Flame Genie FG-16 is a portable, metal fire pit that burns wood pellets. The pellets are said to burn cleanly and produce minimal ash, as well as less smoke than traditional fire pits. Flame Genie FG-16 is 15 inches high and 13.5 inches in diameter, and weighs 14 pounds; it collapses to store in a 14-inch-by-8-inch space. It burns about 8 pounds of pellets per hour. Pellets, which are not included, can be purchased at most big-box home improvement stores. A carry bag is included. The price is $120; use discount code PFP10 to save 10 percent.
Pellet Fire Pit
1200 Elm St.
Webster City, IA 50595
Bad guys might burglarize your motorhome when you’re out enjoying a night on the town, but they’d steer clear of your coach if they thought someone were in there. That’s the idea behind FakeTV. Model FTV-7 has seven LEDs that go on and off randomly, simulating the light emitted by a 25-inch television. So from outside, it appears that your RV is occupied.
FakeTV FTV-7 can run continuously. Or, it can be set so that a built-in light sensor turns on the device at dusk and turns it off after five hours. According to product literature, the device consumes about the same power as a night light. It measures 3.2 inches by 2.3 inches by 2.3 inches. An AC adaptor is included. The price for model FTV-7 is $19.95.
6440 Flying Cloud Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
RV Windshield Sunscreens
Decisions, decisions. The steely eyes of an eagle? A leaf-strewn road in autumn? A herd of zebras? If you buy an interior RV windshield SunScreen from Heritage Art Ltd., you can choose from 32 standard images. Or, for an additional $25, select from hundreds more or supply your own.
Each image is printed on 3M vinyl-coated polyester material that is said to block up to 85 percent of sunlight and ultraviolet rays. In daytime, motorhome occupants can see out, but people outside the RV cannot see in. (The sunscreens do not provide nighttime privacy.) The screen is held in place with 3M high-temperature hook-and-loop fasteners that can withstand heat up to 250 degrees. SunScreens come in a standard width of 110 inches across the top and 115 inches at the bottom. Prices, based on windshield height, range from $244 to $276. Patio awning screens are also available.
Heritage Art Ltd.
17333 Ipswich Way
Lakeville, MN 55044
You wouldn’t wear grimy shoes with a nice, clean suit. Likewise, dirty wheels and tires spoil the appearance of a freshly washed and shined motorhome. Thetford’s Wheel & Tire Cleaner tackles the job with a proprietary technology called Gel-Cling. Shake the bottle, spray on the product, and watch it cling to vertical surfaces while it cleans. Then wipe it off. A colorant in the product makes it obvious where a user has sprayed.
Wheel & Tire Cleaner contains UV blockers to protect tires from the sun’s rays. A 23-ounce spray bottle is enough to clean the wheels and tires of one Type A motorhome, and then some. The suggested price is $9.99.
7101 Jackson Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Dog Collar Light
A song/nursery rhyme begins ever so mournfully: Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone? Oh where, oh where can he be? Well, keeping tabs on Fido at night is much easier when he’s outfitted with a dog collar light, such as the Adventure Light, from EzyDog.
It’s available in two sizes: Light and MicroLight (for small dogs). The light attaches to an existing dog lead, harness, or collar with a hook-and-loop strap, which is included. A replaceable lithium battery (replacement cost: $6) powers the regular Light for 100 hours of steady use, or 250 hours in flashing mode. MicroLight’s battery has a 50-hour life (and no flashing mode). Various light colors are available. The price for either light is $25.
P.O. Box 99
Sandpoint, ID 83864