As Full-time RV’ers, we know space comes at a premium. We aren’t ones for “stuff” anyway, but that doesn’t mean we skip out on completely gifts. We’ve compiled a great list of our favorites THAT WE ACTUALLY USE REGULARLY. These are great for gifting to friends or family or for yourself. We tried to hit every price point and they are in no particular order. These are all available to order online without having to interrupt your adventures.
The prices listed are the current prices at the time of publishing. Some of these may be special holiday deals and only available for a short time. Some of these are also affiliate links. Regardless of the affiliation, we would never suggest a product we didn’t genuinely support. We appreciate you using our links to make your purchases and support our family on this adventure.
With three sizes of Instapots, there is one for every family. For our family of 5 we love the 8 QT. It does pose some storage issues for those in smaller RV’s. Between the depth and height, you will be limited which cabinets it can be kept in. We are big eaters and we like to have left overs too. When you have a three burner stove you can quickly run out of space. The Instapot is fantastic because you can sauté, cook rice, use it as a cockpot or a pressure cooker, heck you can even use it to make yogurt. My favorite way to use it is as a one pot wonder. It bails me out when I forget to take meat out to thaw. I can throw in frozen meat, dried beans, and our favorite herbs and spices and have dinner in just two to three hours.
The IP does have a little bit of a learning curve. It is a pressure cooker and the last thing you want is to goof up and have a bomb go off. Literally. The beauty is that as long as you aren’t trying to use the pressure cooker while you are in motion you should be just fine. After a few times of use it’s as easy as pie. Although, I’ve never used it for that.
Whether you are actively exploring and herding three ornery boys or just looking for a meal to throw together and walk away the Instapot is the prefect addition to an RV kitchen.
We have two coffee makers. Jordan REALLY likes coffee! We prefer the pour over because we don’t need electricity and it’s easy. Even if we are dry camping or boondocking we can boil some water and have coffee to get our day going. We liked this pour over enough that when we broke the original, we bought the same one again. Well, actually we bought one a size larger, but everything else is the same. The first one lasted us a couple years, but we hit it just perfectly as we were washing it one day. Luckily we found a replacement pretty quickly because $6 in coffee for those few mornings were kicking our booty. If you like your coffee fine ground we suggest a paper filter. Not only do we get a smoother cup, we also like the simplicity of the cleanup. Toss the filter and a quick rinse without using your coveted water. It’s not a must, but we highly suggest that little addition.
Don’t worry, the particular pour over also comes in a smaller 4 Cup size too.
We went back and forth between the Blackstone and the CampChef. Clearly, we ultimately decided on the CampChef. We like to eat… A LOT. And the CampChef gives us great versatility. We have used it to cook turkey, beef, deer, elk, mountain lion, and bear. Our set up is just as versatile as our tastes. We have a double burner flat top and the double burner grill box. I have also used just the burners for huge stock pots. You can get a single burner grill box or flat top. That could be very handy if you don’t need all the space we do or prefer to have both options simultaneously. We can throw pancakes or French toast and eggs or meat on the flat top at once. Or grill up paninis for the entire campground.
There are two cons to this grill.
1. It’s quite cumbersome.
2. There’s not a cover that fits without removing the attachments. (At the time of writing)
It’s hefty and storage is a bit of a pain. We finally got great placement figured out in the front bay, but it was a struggle to find just the fight spot for something so large. For the record, Jordan wanted to go with the three burners. I’m really glad I talked him out of that because the double burner is a lot to move around already!
As long as you are prepared for the space hog that this grill is, we think you’ll love it.
We keep headlamps in the drawer by the door. Not only are they incredibly handy for everything from grilling to walking the dogs, but our kids love them too. They play in their room and pretend it’s a fort. They even help take out the trash after it’s dark. Bonus, buying the kids their own will help keep their hands off yours.
We have quite a few. We do love the one Petzl headlamp with the red and dim and flash options that we have, but let’s be real here. We have little kids. Things regularly get lost of broken due to accidents and I’m not going to be happy if my $100 flashlight disappears. So… We also have $10 head lamps and we love THESE ONES HERE! They work great and the kids can each have their own color. Remember we color code everything for each boy so there’s no confusion or fighting!
We’ve had more than one Berkey and not because we needed to replace the housing. As we started drinking pure water, we upped our consumption immensely. We started with a “Travel,” then a “Big,” and now we have a “Royal.” The Royal does take up quite a bit of real estate and we don’t care. We use the water for everything except showers. And they do have a shower filter if you’d like that too 😉
We suggest both the Berkey Sport water bottle and a counter top filter.
The Berkey Sport bottle is great for on the go. It’s handy for filtering creek or municipal water and we’ve used it for both. We’ve been on early morning hikes where our bladders and hoses frozen and we were ecstatic to pull these guys out. Maybe you fly and don’t like paying $10 for a bottle of water after you make it through security. This will be paid for it just a couple uses.
We don’t go anywhere without our countertop unit. In fact, we have a fun map on our housing where we track all the states our Berkey has filtered water. Once you drink great water you can absolutely tell a difference. The initial investment for the housing is a little pricey. The good news is that it’s paid for itself before you ever have to replace your filters. You can see more info on the cost breakdown HERE. The nitty gritty is that your initial cost per gallon can be as low as 4-5 cents (depending upon the housing you choose) and the cost with your first replacement set will likely be about 2 cents a gallon with the black charcoal filters.
If the person you are shopping for already has a Berkey (they’ll likely make sure everyone knows if they do) you can opt for new filters. The filters last YEARS, but you can add additional filters to the larger units to allow for quicker filtration. They won’t be disappointed in this gift.
We purchased the humidifier this year. We had mold and mildew issues in our original fifth wheel and we never want to deal with that again! EVER! We are presently in a dry climate, but that doesn’t change the fact that the humidity inside the trailer gets far too high.
We have been very happy with the Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier. It’s been very effective at pulling water out of the air. We typically only run it over night and we have noticed a drastic difference in the condensation on the windows in the morning. There are a few things to keep in mind when you are shopping for a dehumidifier so regardless of if you take our suggestion or not, please apply this knowledge to your purchase.
If you, like us, are in a cooler climate you want a DESICCANT dehumidifier. It will work more efficiently at lower temperatures. Typically anything less than about 50 degrees you will want to go this route.
If you prefer the quieter sound you will also want a DESICCANT. The compressors are much louder to run and you’ll appreciate the hum over a roar!
We opted for a model that we could drain directly into the shower or sink. It has a reservoir and we do use that most of the time. It sits next to our kitchen island typically, BUT if we will be gone for a longer period of time we can put this bad boy in our shower and set it to the humidity level we’d like to maintain and call it good. We regularly leave for a long weekend and don’t take the trailer with us if we are going to visit family or flying somewhere. It’s not so much an issue in the summer, but in the winter we like the peace of mind to know that the fifth wheel will be nice and dry when we get back.
Overall, we are very satisfied with our purchase. It is a little larger than we’d like, but our other option was multiple smaller units and that was far less appealing than what we bought. It also is louder than we’d like. It sound similar to an air conditioner. We only run it at night and it doesn’t bother anyone while they are sleeping. We did find a few that were said to be quieter, but they pushed the budget more than we were comfortable with.
This is a debated area of RV life. Many RV’ers prefer big fluffy towels. We don’t. We love the light weight, quick drying, multiple color options of these towels. They take up almost no space. In fact, we have 7 full-sized Turkish Towels in a small bin. We started with three of these for the boys swim bag when we lived in our sticks and bricks. We picked them just to put in our swim bag. I loved them so much that I wanted some for our bathroom in the house. Unfortunately I should have gone with the original towels, but I went with another brand to get the color I wanted. I’m much happier with the these towels than the second set (from another vendor) that I ordered.
These towels do have to be soaked overnight to help the cotton bloom and become absorbent. After that they are pretty well no maintenance. They don’t absorb sand at the beach, they dry almost instantly, and they are incredibly absorbent with almost no fabric.
Museum Pass with Reciprocity Benefits
There are a bevy of museum options that offer the reciprocity benefits. I suggest you find the best fit for your family. I will share what we chose for our family and why.
Best Deal for ASTC and AZA. We opted to get it from Western North Carolina Nature Center. Full disclosure here, if you are likely to spent time in the Carolinas this may not be the best pass for you because it will exclude quite a few museums in that area. That’s probably why it’s so cheap. We don’t plan to spend much, if any, time in that area in the next year, so it’s a fantastic deal for us!
We have a pass from here. We JUST got it for Christmas. Well, the boys just got it for Christmas from Brooke’s Nana & Grandad. You can look at the Association of Science and Technology Centers reciprocity list HERE. This pass is awesome because it also offers AZA reciprocity! Essentially you can buy one museum membership and use it across the country. There are some stipulations, but it’s well worth it to us. $69 for an entire year pass for our entire family is a steal of a deal! We are planning a large loop this winter and we plan to stop at 4 ASTC museums that are included with this and we’re traveling through areas where there are another 5. We will also be stopping at a zoo included in the AZA membership and have another right on our route should we plan to visit. Using this pass twice will have it paid for and we will be using it SIX times within less than a month! Imagine the value you can achieve with this over an entire year.
Our oldest boy started with a kids camera and loved it. For his 5th birthday we upgraded him to something a little better quality. We picked out the Nikon Coolpix w100. Brooke had a Nikon Coolpix years ago when they first came out and was extremely pleased with it so we looked into it this time around. Ultimately it came down to the bigger buttons and simplicity that we chose for the kids camera.
BONUS… It’s waterproof!
The one complaint we have is the speaker quality for playback on video. It’s not terrible when it’s downloaded, but it is for the playback. The sound is not as great as a much pricier camera, but we are very happy with it for our uses. We use clips from Easton’s videos in our weekly vlogs pretty regularly.
UPDATE: It looks like this model is being discontinued. We have linked you to the newer versions of this camera.
Head Lamp (Kids & Adults)
These are not just great gifts, but they are practical. We aren’t big on “things” and certainly ones that don’t serve a big purpose. Everything on this list is super useful to us and we highly suggest them to other RV’ers!
Did we leave something off that you love? We’d love to hear your feedback of what’s on your MUSTS lists.