We often get asked ‘what are the most useful items you’ve bought or use in your motorhome’ so I thought I’d compile a list. This is by no means an extensive list, just the things that we’ve found to be the most useful. Your list may look completely different to ours and that’s OK. Being different is what makes this world such an interesting one.
1. Muk Mats
I’m a huge fan of Muk Mats. We own four of them. We first purchased an Extra Large Muk Mat to use on the ground at our doorway. They are brilliant at collecting sand, leaves, grass, burrs and sticks from your shoes BEFORE it comes inside. We loved this mat so much we purchased two small ones to use as car mats in the cab of our motorhome. Recently Muk Mat announced they now make Step Mats so we purchased one of those too to replace our old ratty step mat. Love it! If you haven’t got a Muk Mat you can buy one from their online store.
2. A second water tank
Our motorhome came with only one 90L water tank and a 90L grey water tank. We found this would only last us for about 3-4 days so we had another 90L water tank installed underneath. This has now meant we can free camp for up to a week without running out of water.
3. 1000W inverter
Our Avida came with a small 150W inverter that was really only useful for charging our phones and iPad. When we had the washing machine installed we needed a bigger inverter and I went with an Enerdrive 1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter. It runs our washing machine, my Bamix, our small slow cooker and charges our Makita batteries and Richard’s MacBook. I purchased our new inverter online from mygenerator.com.au.
4. Sphere 3.3kg Automatic Top Loader Washing Machine
I know, I know. It’s a family joke how much I love to do the washing. I get it from my mother! I’m a very happy Vegemite now we have our beaut little washing machine. I bought it from Campsmart.net.au online and our son-in-law and our RV Repairman installed it. It only weighs 18kg and uses about 20L of water on a full load. I only use wool wash so I set it to wash only, then spin only as you don’t need to rinse.
5. Versaline Traveler RV Clothesline
I can’t talk about washing without mentioning our clothesline. I purchased a Versaline Traveller RV Clothesline online and my son-in-law installed the wall brackets on the side of our motorhome. He glued and screwed them on and they have never moved. The Traveller Clothesline comes in its own storage bag and to put it up you take it out of the bag, unroll it, hook the ends onto the wall brackets, then put the spreader bars on to tension the line. Simple. Ours is long enough to hold sheets. I can hang about three loads of washing on it to dry. Packing it away is simple too. Sadly Versaline’s website does not appear to be working so I hope they are still in business.
These were one of the first purchases we made after buying our motorhome. The Avida came with a curtain that clipped onto the front windscreen to offer privacy however we found that fiddly. I purchased the Solarscreen’s online. They make them to fit your vehicle and we have used them every day we’ve traveled in the motorhome. They are so quick to put up and take down. They roll up and live in their own bag and we throw the bag up in our Luton as we travel. They keep the heat and cold out and provide privacy. We recommend Solarscreens.
7. Safety Dave TPMS
We love our Safety Dave Tyre Pressure Management System. It has saved at least three tyres since we purchased it this year. To order one you call up Safety Dave and they will ask for details about your rig, how many tyres etc and then send you the appropriate monitor and number of sensors. The sensors replace the valve cover on each tyre and the monitor sits on your dash. The sensors send data wirelessly to the monitor and you can keep an eye on each tyre pressure and temperature. The monitor charges via a USB. If a tyre suddenly loses pressure the monitor lets you know immediately by making a loud beeping noise. You can pull up before the tyre blows out and causes damage. Brilliant device.
8. Adventure Kings folding fire pit
I bought the Adventure Kings Folding Fire Pit a few years ago for Richard’s birthday. I have to say he wasn’t very impressed when he opened it and set it up. He thought it was way too small for a good fire pit however he has since changed his mind and now loves our little fire pit. We use it a lot, especially when free camping and really enjoy sitting around a little fire at night.
We’ve had our Biji-Barbie for a long time, long before we bought our motorhome. It has gone on many many camping trips. We love the Biji as it folds up flat and is so easy to store. It fits on top of our Adventure Kings Folding Fire Pit and also can be used on a fire on the ground. It has three folding legs and a long folding handle. When cooking over an open fire you can simply pick it up and move it away from the fire to turn your cooking over and you don’t get a face full of smoke. Biji’s come in 3 different sizes and our is the large 430mm/17″. We pack ours into a bag for storage.
10. Space Saver Saucepans
I purchased these stacking saucepans from Caravans Plus online store. They are Teflon lined and stack neatly inside each other. The handle is removable. We also purchased the frypan and lid with detachable handle. These have seen constant use since we bought our motorhome in 2016 and I am still very happy with the product. As they are square they fit well on the cooktop and it is easier to pack things around them in the drawer.
11. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak
I love paddling so where to put kayak on motorhome was the challenge. I found the Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak on Amazon.com.au and it is a fabulous little kayak. It came with its own hand pump and only takes about 10 minutes to be all pumped up and ready for use. Packing it away takes a bit longer to get all the air out and wipe out any water. My kayak has been used on the Murray River, the Coorong, Lara, Wetlands, Lawn Hill Creek in Boodjamilla NP, Lake Pamamaroo, Lake Cargelligo, and our own dam at home. It does ‘waggle’ a little but having a skeg helps reduce that. It is not a ‘performance’ kayak however it is enough for me to get out on the water and enjoy a paddle.
12. Netgear Nighthawk WiFi Router
This has been a fabulous addition to our gadgets. I purchased an unlocked Nighthawk from devicedeal.com.au online and, at first we had an Aldi SIM, we now have a Boost SIM. Being on Boost we have access to the whole Telstra network and this gives us great coverage. For those occasions when we don’t have Telstra our iPhones on the Optus network provide us with a WiFi hotspot. As Richard is an avid trader of international portfolios he has found the Nighthawk to be an amazing gadget. It enables him to check his portfolios in the some very remote places.
13. Sandlewood sticks
This seems like an odd thing to include in this list but I love these little sticks. I buy them from Bunnings (usually in the BBQ section) and one or two of these will keep all the bugs away when we are sitting outside enjoying a fire and the night sky. A pack of 10 is about $5.
14. Makita Tools
I love my Makita Vaccuum. It is so quick to use to give the floor a daily clean. I hardly use the broom any more. Richard loves the power of the Makita Torch and he gets a lot of use out of the Blower keeping the fire going and blowing the leaves and sticks off our awning mat. We also carry a Makita Drill and mini Air Compressor so that we only have to carry one type of battery and battery charger. We have purchased all our Makita tools from Bunnings.
15. Air Compressor
After much research on forums and talking to other RV travellers we purchased an OUTBAC Portable Air Compressor 220PSI 12V 200L Tyre Deflator – Platinum Series from Edisons.com.au. This device enables us to quickly pump our tyres back to tar road pressure after deflating them to travel on gravel roads. It has leads to attach it to your battery. Our tar road tyre pressure is 70psi and before we hit the gravel we deflate to 50psi. It’s amazing the difference that makes to the shaking.
16. A second toilet cassette
To enable us to free camp for longer we purchased a second cassette for our toilet. We have room for the second one under our bed and we keep it there in the box it came in until it is needed. When the first cassette is full we take it out and store it under the motorhome (who’d steal a full cassette??) until we are ready to move and then it goes in a garbage bang and we just sit it on the floor until we get to the dump point. It gets a thorough wash and sterilise then goes back in the box under the bed. We purchased our second cassette from mygenerator.com.au.
17. Our folding aluminium outdoor table
Even thought here is a fold down table on the side of our motorhome we find that we tend to use that to hold our drinks and nibbles whilst we use the folding aluminium outdoor table to dine at. We were given the folding aluminium outdoor table as a gift so I don’t know where it was purchased but I found one at Catch.com.au that is similar. We use this table all the time.
18. Outdoor Connection Directors chairs
We have had many folding chairs over the years and we currently have the Outdoor Connection XL Director Chair. We both find these very comfortable and you can sit more upright in it to eat at the outdoor table. It is not the lightest of folding chairs but comes with it’s own carry bag and built-in side table and two of them fit in one of our outside bins.
19. Folding Beach Cart
The Folding Beach Cart is a useful addition to our camping fear. It is quite large and can carry quite a load. It has large wheels that can move across sand (useful in the desert or at the beach) and it makes carting your gear to camp or the beach a lot easier. It folds up neatly and stores in the outside bin with our chairs and table.