LTRVD0297 2009 Christmas Show

Hello Happy Campers!! It is Christmas and this is an encore edition of our 2009 Christmas  Show. We talked about some of our favorite places we visited in our first 5 years on the road. We came up with The Grand Canyon, The Oregon coast and whale watching, Custer State Park in early spring when the Bison are calving, and the Flag ceremony at Mt Rushmore National Monument. We would love to hear from our listeners about your favorite places. Contrary to 5 year old instructions, email us at .

We also discussed our favorite things we acquired during the past year including a flat screen TV and a Cellular Router.

We’ll be back next week with a brand new show for you, but it’s fun to look back at previous Christmases.

LTRVD0296 RVer Christmas Gifts

This is the week before Christmas, and we are discussing RVer Christmas gifts. We talk about many of the products we use in our own RV every day. Links to these and others can be found on the Must Have Stuff page on our website .

Then we read and discuss 34 fire safety tips with permission from our friend Mac McCoy. He is the guru of RV fire safety. Check him out at . We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a great holiday season this year.

CRV Baseplate Installation

Today we had the CRV baseplate installation done. To do this right, a lift is almost a necessity as well as all the right tools. For that reason, I had A and A Trailer Hitches in Bradenton, FL do all the work. They are both a Blue OX and Roadmaster dealer and have done great work for us before. They had all that done and installed a trailer hitch for a future bike rack in around 3 hours.



100_5198This is the before shot.

100_5199The lift makes everything much easier

The front facia is off
The front facia is off


The silver looking bar is the original equipment bumper that will be removed


Here is the baseplate that will go in the place of the original bumper.


Baseplate installed and wiring for the rear lights


Now the connector and harness for the rear lights is installed as well as the breakaway switch for the auxiliary braking system.


The facia is back on. Just need to complete wiring of the lights and the aux. brake wireless transmitter and we’re all done.

Our previous car was a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe which had to have a transmission pump installed in order to be flat towable. After 11 years and 160,000 miles plus another 65,000 being towed, it was time to get a new ride. The CRV is a 2014, and is the last of the flat towable Hondas as they have put CVT transmissions in the new CRV’s and Fit’s for 2015.

This was an easy job and I can highly recommend A and A. They have many year’s experience with hitches and flat towing solutions.

LTRVD0295 The Frugal RVer

We continue our interview with Nick and Terry Russell. This week we talk with Nick about low cost camping and discuss his book “The Frugal RVer” written on this subject. Nick talks about many ways to save money as an RVer including staying longer, staying in unconventional places, workamping and volunteering, and many other ways to lower our costs. Contact Nick at

RVer Christmas Gifts

Christmas is coming!!

Here are some of our favorite RVer Christmas gifts. We either have or have used everything here. Any of these would make excellent gifts at any time of the year for your favorite RVer . Be sure to tune in to our Living the RV Dream podcast next week on Friday morning for these and more great RVer Christmas gifts.

Surge Guard 50A Surge Suppressor

surgeguardWe bought the Surge Guard 50A Hardwire – Model 34560 Rated 120/240V, 50A. We got it less than a week after we picked up our rig. This will protect all the sensitive electronics in your rig from surges and brown-outs. Buy it here  There is a thirty amp model available, as well. This can be installed by someone who understands electrical wiring. We bought it at Camping World, but you can check out the company’s offerings at http://www.

Battery Watering System

battery watering sysThe first time I tried to check the water level in the battery, I almost had to remove all the large gauge wiring from the battery tops to open the cell covers. Then it was hard to see the level in the cells to the back of the battery compartment. Enter another favorite product, the Pro-Fill RV battery watering system. Buy it here

Aqua Jet RV Water Pump

water pumpWe had not lived in our rig for more than a couple of months before we decided the original twelve volt water pump was inadequate. Mainly it didn’t pump enough water at a high enough pressure. It was also noisy and irritating, and it would cycle during low flow conditions. It was hard enough to try to take a shower with it, but run the sink at the same time and forget about it. The Aquajet RV was a direct replacement for our old pump and produced 5.3 gallons per minute (gpm) at sixty five pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure. This is sufficient to give full flow with several fixtures in operation. We added a pair of two foot hoses to quiet down the operation and it hasn’t given us any trouble for the five years we have had it, so it definitely made the favorite product list. It was a little expensive; they are now about a hundred and seventy dollars. Check out the ad in the right hand column. Buy it here

Water Pressure Regulator

pressure regulatorExcessive pressure can cause your plumbing to leak or even rupture. It doesn’t take long at high pressures to cause damage; even a fairly brief “spike” can do it. Pressure regulators are installed in your water supply line to limit the water pressure going into your RV. RV plumbing is normally rated around one hundred pounds per square inch, but you certainly don’t need to use that much. Fifty to sixty five pounds per square inch is a very comfortable pressure for faucets and showers. Parks don’t always have that much, but when they do, having a regulator designed for good flow and pressure adjustability will allow you to take advantage of that better pressure without creating a problem with standard RV plumbing systems. I built my first one from a household regulator and some brass fittings. I still have it, but it is heavy. I purchased a Valterra model A01-1117VP  several years ago and it’s great. It is lightweight and compact. I have had to replace the pressure gauge. Other than that, it has been trouble free. The problem with these is that you have to remember to disconnect it and take it with you. I paid to have the old heavy one shipped to our next campground. Buy it here

Rhino Flex Sewer Hose

I have used several brands of sewer hose through the years, but none are as good as the Rhino Flex model from Camco. It has among the thickest outer coverings in the industry Rhinoflex hoseand the only leaks I have had were caused by me. It is certainly one of my favorite products. Don’t use a weed eater anywhere near your sewer hose. Trust me on this one. I bought mine from WalMart for a little over $25 and I added a ten foot extension hose to reach out to twenty five feet. There is a new model of the Rhino Flex out now that is crush proof, but I haven’t tried it. I also have two older ten foot sewer hoses from another manufacturer that I use when I need the extra distance. Buy it here

Oxygenics Shower Head

showerheadI have no idea how we lived without this marvelous shower head. It is a favorite product of both Kathy and me. We have probably bought three or four others and they all had the same problem. When there was low camp water pressure, it was almost impossible to have a good shower. When we got this one, we couldn’t believe the difference. Depending on park pressure, we had to turn it down a few times.  It comes in white, chrome, and brushed nickel. Be sure to get the wand holder too. It is made for the Oxygenics and will hold it at a great angle.  But it here

Wave 6 Catalytic Heater

Wave 6000We bought this heater six years ago with boon docking in mind. It turns out we use it almost exclusively instead of our gas furnaces. The unit uses no electricity and is super- efficient on gas usage. We put in a tee from the range top and ran a gas line down to the floor by the refrigerator with a quick disconnect fitting. There is a twelve foot gas hose attached to the Wave 6 so we can position it anywhere to get good coverage. This six thousand BTU heater has kept us warm every winter since we bought it. During very cold weather, this certainly becomes a favorite product. Buy it here

TST Tire Pressure Monitoring System

TPMSWe bought the TST Model 507 with 10 sensors to include our car. At the time we bought it, this was the only system I found with replaceable batteries. They use the button style batteries used in watches and last around 2 years. This system has provided us with peace of mind about our tire pressure and temperature while rolling. I believe a TPMS is a necessity for both motor homes and 5th wheel and travel trailers. We have had this system in use since 2009 with no problems. We have changed the type 1632 batteries twice. Buy it here

Emergency Weather Radio

weather radioMidland Consumer Radio WR-120EZ NOAA Weather Alert All Hazard Public Alert Certified Radio with SAME, Trilingual Display and Alarm Clock Public-alert certified monitor receives 7 NOAA channels with flood, tornado, thunderstorm, and other warnings SAME alert programming sounds an alert only when specific counties are threatened 25-county memory system; 90 dB siren, voice alert, and flashing LED warning systems Uses three AA alkaline batteries for emergency power back-up in the event of power outage Built-in clock with alarm and snooze; measures 6.0 x 1.5 x 5.0 inches (W x H x D); 1-year warranty Receives 7 NOAA channels with flood, tornado, thunderstorm, and other warnings SAME programming sounds an alert only when specific counties are threatened Trilingual (English Spanish French) Compact alert monitor for weather, civil emergency, and other hazards. Buy it here

Emergency Triangle Reflectors

safety trianglesI’m sure you’ve seen semi-trucks along the side of the road with three triangular reflectors spaced out behind it. They are there to alert people to move over a lane as the rig is disabled for some reason. These triangles are inexpensive and should be in your RV emergency kit along with several flashlights and road flares to signal a night break down. You might also consider an inexpensive reflective vest so you are visible to oncoming traffic. Obviously, the best piece of emergency equipment is a cell phone to call for help.  Buy them here

Portable Campfire

redcampfireI included this item because we have one, and I am starting to see more and more of them appear in campgrounds. The brand name is “Little Red Campfire” or Campfire in a Can”. It is basically a propane gas burner with ceramic fire logs on top. You remove the red top and unwind the gas hose and regulator. Hook it up to a propane source and light it and you have an instant campfire. We always ask if we can use it in areas where there are “No Open Fires Allowed” signs due to drought conditions. We have not been refused, yet. These little guys put out enough heat to keep your feet warm on cold nights and they draw people in to talk around the campfire.   Get one here


ladderA good ladder is essential for putting up sunscreens as well as washing your rig. The main concern should be the posted weight capacity of the ladder. Flimsy folding ladders contribute to dangerous falls. An RV ladder should be compact enough when folded to store easily. We store our ladder on a rack hanging from the built-in ladder at the rear of the coach. We bought a Werner brand ladder at a hardware store rated for three hundred and fifty pounds. Get it now

Induction Cooktop

Burton InductionWe have the Max Burton 6200 Deluxe 1800-Watt Induction Cooktop and we have been using it for 3 years without problems. Just purchase cookware that is magnetic on the bottom or marked induction ready. This will boil water in 2 minutes or less and uses much less energy than other electric appliances. Get it now

Pocket Multi Tool

Gerber toolWhat handyman wouldn’t want to be without a multi-tool that combines knife, pliers, scissors, and other essential tools in one folding device. I have been using my Gerber model 7530 for almost 10 years at least once a day. Get it now