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Propane campfires are popular gifts for RVers

2021 RVer Gift Guide- Gadgets, Gear, and More

With the holidays quickly approaching, now is as good a time as any to start thinking about what to gift your favorite RVer (even if that RVer is you!).

From education opportunities to must-have gear to family-friendly ideas and more, we’re sure you’ll find something here that’s perfect for your gift-giving needs!

This article contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Escapees RV Club may earn from qualifying purchases.

RV Education- Always Learning Something New

Whether they’re new to RVing or have been at it for years, any RVer can attest that this lifestyle is a never-ending opportunity to learn something. Just like a sticks-and-bricks house and your daily driver vehicle, RVs need ongoing maintenance. Between their sewer, fresh water, electric, and propane systems, something often needs tweaking, tightening, cleaning, etc. It’s also very handy to understand how RVs handle road hazards differently, requiring a different set of skills than driving your average four-door sedan.

Thankfully, there are several ways RVers can brush up on this information! Help your cherished RV stay safe and secure as they travel with the gift of education.

  • RVers Boot Camp is a highly sought-after in-person education program from Escapees RV Club. This (typically) three-day event is full of seminars and workshops that cover the operation, safety, and maintenance required to keep an RV in prime condition. “No question was out of bounds. Instructors were patient, knowledgeable, and explained complex RV systems so everyone could understand,” -Judy H.
  • RVers Online University is the online equivalent of RVers Boot Camp, and then some. RVOU contains all the same operation, safety, and maintenance sessions as RVers Boot Camp (referred to as RV Foundations in RVOU), plus a variety of lifestyle-focused lessons such as budgeting, finding campsites, planning for internet availability, and more in the Roadmap to Full-time RVing course. RVOU is a great option for those who want to dig into the details of RVing on their own schedule. This is even easier considering students get lifetime access to RVOU courses, handouts, and more, enabling them to refresh their knowledge at any time.
  • The RVer’s Ultimate Survival Guide is a handy book to have on-hand for those emergency situations. Included with all RVers Boot Camp tickets, it is also available for purchase directly from Escapees. This 200-page handbook is designed to enhance your RVing experience by making it safer, more secure and more economical. You’ll gain an understanding of the skills and knowledge required to live and travel safely in your RV: weight safety and load management, safe driving, towing, electrical and propane safety, RV motor, fuel, and personal safety.
  • An Escapees RV Club membership is also a great entry point into the RV community. Our club, which has been around for more than four decades, focuses on building and supporting the RV community through events, social groups, education, advocacy, and more. Six months into their Escapees membership, one satisfied member shared “I’m loving pretty much everything about Escapees so far. The mail service is phenomenal! The information that I learned as we prepared to become full-timers and the ease of getting things done in Livingston were amazing.” You can learn more about the benefits Escapees members enjoy here

Handy and Must-Have Gear for RVers

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Thermacell mosquito-repelling devices

Ask any outdoors enthusiast and they’ll tell you one of the biggest pains of camping (even in an RV!) is dealing with mosquitos. Whether they’re enjoying the breath-taking beauty of Alaska or heading south of the border to sunny Mexico, and anywhere in between, mosquitos dampen their outdoor experiences much of the year. Thankfully, Escapees-favorite Thermacell has a wide variety of tested and recommended products that answer this very concern. Our resident gadget guru, Mark Nemeth, has reviewed and recommended several Thermacell products over the years, including their lanterns and their newer backpacker model. As someone who travels often to Alaska and is familiar with their beastly mosquitos, he’s fond of their effectiveness. “It really does the job on pesky insects, even those legendary blood-suckers up north.” Thermacell even sent us their newest device, their E-series, to try out. With a 20 ft radius and rechargeable battery, it’s a fantastic gift for RVers who enjoy campfires, happy hours, and more, soaking in the fresh air and scenery.

Propane campfires are popular gifts for RVers

Propane campfires

Speaking of campfires, we’ve found RVers love propane fire pits, including our own team! “We’re very happy with it. It puts out a lot of heat and takes minimal storage space,” says Melanie C., vice-president of Escapees RV Club. She and her family use theirs often while camping because of the convenience and ease of use. These self-contained campfires are handy for a variety of reasons, including

  • No embers to blow away and start fires elsewhere
  • The lack of embers also means they can often be used in areas that forbid traditional campfires
  • Easy to put out- just turn off the propane! No dousing in water or sitting around waiting for it to burn out.
  • Small and portable, easily stored in an underbelly bay or truck bed
  • No smoke to wash out of your hair and clothes

There are several different brands on the market to choose from, but we’ve found RVers tend to favor Camco’s Big Red Campfire. It’s available from a variety of retailers (which may explain it’s prevalence) including Amazon, Camping World, hardware stores, and more, making it an easy RV gift. A handy companion to your portable campfire is a tailgater strap to secure your propane tank in your truck bed during travel!

Emergency Tools

It’s the nature of RVing to get out and explore, whether that’s on foot or behind the wheel. Sometimes, RVers find themselves in tight spots at awkward times, which is when emergency tools come in handy!

Garmin InReach is a great option for a satellite communicator that does so much more. With features such as location sharing, weather updates, two-way messaging, and more, it will keep your loved one connected even when their cell phone is out of signal. This is perfect for the backroad-loving traveler, such as off-road enthusiasts, backcountry camper, and through-hiker. Avid RVers and off-road explorers (and Escapees staff), Brandon H. and Kerensa D. love theirs for the safety it offers while they’re off-grid. “You can make emergency calls, stay in touch with others in your group, and keep an eye on the weather even if your cell phone has no signal.”

For those times when the light on their cell phone just won’t cut it, having a reliable, bright flashlight is super useful. Olight’s Baton II comes highly recommended by several on our team. In addition to being rechargeable (no heavy batteries to keep on hand!), it is lightweight and easy to carry. RVers love it for maintenance work, too, since it comes ready to clip to a hat brim for those times when they need to work with both hands AND light their view at the same time.

Tools Perfect for the RVing Chef

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What to get the accident-prone home cook? In the tight spaces of RV kitchens, accidents easily happen. A space-saving, and skin-saving, solution is to get your favorite RVer an OveGlove! These handy (😉) oven mitts withstand up to 540 degrees and protect all sides of your hands and fingers for even the trickiest juggling of hot dishes with thick heat-resistant fabric and textured grip.

Another RVer favorite is the Instant Pot! These multi-purpose cookers can take on soups, frozen meats, rice, and more, even baking cakes and breads. (One of our directors shared her thoughts on this gadget in this article.)

Want to level up the Instant Pot? Add an air fryer lid and suddenly there isn’t much an Instant Pot can’t do!

Perfect Gifts for RVers on the Move

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For RVers on the move, travel-friendly gifts are key! Here are a couple of digital gifts and subscriptions your favorite RVer may appreciate, especially since they don’t have to track them down via mail.

Lovers of roadside stops will find fun in the Next Exit guide. What was once a popular book is now available as an app, too! This is a great resource helping passenger seat navigators plan ahead for rest stops, interesting places to stretch their legs, and more.

Fuel gift cards are always appreciated!

An America the Beautiful pass (otherwise known as a national parks pass) is a fantastic gift for the explorer in your life. One pass covers:

  • entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges
  • standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • entrance, standard amenity fees and day-use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas
  • and more

To help them track their progress as they visit each of these gorgeous spots, you can pair the pass with a scratch-off map like this one!

Other options you may find appealing are gift memberships to organizations that help RVers find inexpensive (and sometimes free) camping options!

  • Harvest Hosts pairs RVers with wineries, breweries, museums, golf courses, and more all across the country, offering unique and interesting places to stop for the night and experience something new. (If you’re an Escapees member, log into your member dashboard to find the discount code and save 20% on your HH purchase!)
  • Boondockers Welcome connects adventurous RVers with private hosts from Canada to Mexico who offer an RV site or two on their land. (And, if you’re an Escapees member, log into your member dashboard to find the discount code and save 20% on a BW subscription!)
  • RVLife is another great membership for route planning tools, campground reviews, DIY advice, and more! Escapees members can save 25% off a new membership as well as enjoy a 100-day trial. (If you’re already an Escapees member, you’ll find details on how to access these savings on the member website.)

A membership to Campendium.com is another great way to support your favorite RVer’s travels! In addition to campground reviews, they offer information on cellular coverage, maps of public lands, and more, going beyond the standard RV park review. While this useful website does have a free option, signing up for a membership brings more benefits such as additional filtering options, map overlays, and more.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of tools, gadgets, and resources RVers use and enjoy, but we hope it gets you started! As with anything you hope to send an RVer, make sure you plan ahead for where they’ll be when your gift arrives!

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