Most RVs come fully equipped for road tripping, but with just a little thought and effort, you can give your RVers a little ‘extra’, to help make their recreational vehicle travel safer, more fun, and more enjoyable.
Portable Solar Power Kit – Charge your small electronics (cell phone, digital camera, etc.) using the inexpensive Coleman PPK Portable Power Kit. You don’t have to drain your RV batteries, and this affordable unit also has a flashlight, radio, and a really long-lasting low wattage ambient light that is quite adequate for general lighting purposes. I found ours at RV Supply Warehouse, http://www.rvsupplywarehouse.com for just under $70. It’s been useful both on the road on at home during power outages.
12 Volt Car Vacuum – Face it, space is limited in an RV, especially if your RVer is on the road long-term. Give them a car vacuum and you give them the gift of tidiness, so important in smaller spaces. I would choose a car vacuum that comes with an extra long cord, with a reusable washable filter so the dust and debris isn’t just sucked through the air, and be sure it has a carpet and upholstery brush, as well as a crevice tool to suck the bits out of the seat cushions. Under $20 at any retailer with an automotive department.
Kampgrounds of America KOA Value Kard – At just $14 per year (less for multiple years purchased at the same time) the KOA Value Kard gives your RVers 10 % savings on all daily registration fees, a terrific free annual KOA Directory mailed directly to their home each January, and a prescription discount card for mature travelers. The directory gives not only KOA Kampground information and details, but also has a semi-comprehensive atlas and locator. There are more benefits, check them out at http://www.koa.com.
AAA Membership – AAA Membership is a great value! Along with emergency roadside assistance, the travel planning services are terrific, and your RVers can stop in at any AAA office around the country for assistance and solutions to travel challenges. Personally, I wouldn’t do without my AAA membership, and renew every year well before it expires. I suggest selecting AAA Plus membership level, because this gives the member extra benefits. PLUS RV membership has all of the benefits of AAA PLUS on RV’s and certain other non-commercial vehicles requiring special towing equipment. Great assurance on the road, for just $119 a year, http://www.aaa.com.
First Aid Kit – A well-stocked first aid kit could just mean the difference in the health and safety of your RVers. I recommend a first aid kit with a bit more than the standard ‘two bandaids and antiseptic wipes’ type. CPR Savers at http://www.cpr-savers.com has a well-stocked first aid kit that we use when we travel. Their 168-piece First Aid Survival Kit (Item: FA-462) has a large assortment of bandages, compresses, medic tools, antiseptics, and also includes a few basic survival items. This kit comes neatly organized in a sturdy ballistic nylon bag, and sells for around $100.
Portable AED (Automated External Defibrillator) – The Philips HeartStart Onsite™ AED is compact, easy to use and comes in a complete package that includes the defibrillator, and electrode pads, user manual and quick use guide, interactive demonstration video on CD, and all the information and instruction you need to be ready for cardiac emergencies. The defibrillator does all the calculations and all you have to do is follow the machine’s instructions. That is, after educating yourself about AED use with their easy to follow demonstration video. Under $1000 at American AED, online at http://www.americanaed.com.
While we are talking about health and medical emergencies, a great gift for your RVers is an American Red Cross CPR and First Aid Course. Some courses include instruction on use of the AED and courses are available from local branches across America. Courses range from $50-$80, and you can get current information at the organization’s national site, http://www.redcross.org.
Then, we’ve got a few ideas for stocking stuffers and other smaller gifts for your RVers: Coupons you print that tell your RVers you will pick up their mail, water their plants, check on their teenagers, or even go in to their home and change lights and radio settings and move cars in their driveway to help prevent burglaries while they are gone. Type up a one page list of essential contact namesand information for their trip. Include things like neighbors at home, their power, phone, cable, internet, and electric companies. Offer to ‘prep’ their house for their homecoming: they give you a call a day or two ahead of their arrival, and then you stock up a few essentials like bread, eggs, fruit and milk in their refrigerator; you do little things like turn the heat (or air conditioner) back on, dust the house, etc. all to make their homecoming simpler and more enjoyable. Maybe even cook up a casserole for the first night home, including rolls, salad, and dessert!
With these ideas to get you started on gift for your RVers, you can get a great head start on the holiday gift season, and know that your gift is ‘just right’!