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Category: Gadget Reviews

SHINGLES, CHRISTMAS 2011 and HAPPY 2012 CAMPING

January 8, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

SHINGLES, CHRISTMAS 2011 and HAPPY 2012 CAMPING

WOW – Christmas came and went so fast it is hard to realize it was ever here!  It’s not like it was when I was a kid and the days, hours and minutes crept by slower than molasses dripping out of a jar on a cold day.  Now, time just flies by – you know, ZAP!  One day you are 20 and before you know it 40 is here.  Then, blink your eyes and 65 appears.  Don’t believe me?  Just wait and see (which I hope you will ). A lot of gifts were given and received.  I gave Nancy a new Kindle Fire to replace the old (but still neat) B&W plain Kindle along with a big Amazon gift card so she can download plenty of new books.  She is having a ball learning about the new features and of course, playing Angry Birds. Me?  Well, I got everybody to stop giving me ties, shirts and socks years ago.  Now, they know to give me tools, electronic gadgets, or gift cards to Camping World or Tractor Supply.  I love them all!  Oh, BTW – if you are a member of the Good Sam Club you are now... [Read more...]

A Little Aeration for The Great Outdoors

December 12, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Once you have parked the RV or set up your tent for the night, do you like to sit down and indulge in a great dinner and nice glass of red wine?  If so, then you might be interested in the new Vinturi Travel Aerator. Like its big sibling, The Original Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator, the travel aerator is designed to enhance the bouquet and aroma of the red wine at hand.  The benefit for RVers and campers, however, is that the new product comes with its own swivel case and  is remarkably compact in size. We own and use the original aerator, but when we received a sample of the new Vinturi Travel we were immediately impressed with the design and the compact size. In essence, the aerator will easily fit in our compact travel trailer kitchen and will take up less space than a can opener or a corkscrew. I think this is a great way to add some elegance to a delightful evening in the great outdoors. How many times have you been traveling to and camping in a remote location and found yourself... [Read more...]

Let There Be Light!

December 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Head lamps. Flashlights. Lanterns. Campfires. What is your favorite way to light up a dark night when you are out in the great outdoors? Do you have a favorite flashlight that you depend on? We have used all of these items and our preference for them really depends on the situation. Sitting around a campfire on a summer’s night is great fun. When the kids start dashing around the campground or the park after dark, they definitely need a good flashlight in hand.  For tent camping, a lantern is essential. And, head lamps are critically important in remote areas as well.  When I was shopping with my teenage daughter last week, I stopped by REI to see what was new. I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but I did peruse the flashlight and head lamp section. I thought the Photon Micro Light II  looked very good and well priced.  This personal safety flashlight has an ultra bright LED light that is visible over one mile. And, the light is built to survive serious use! I think this... [Read more...]

‘Twas the Feast of St. Nick…

December 1, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

‘Twas the Feast of St. Nick…

I published a post last year about this time, talking about St. Nick ideas for the avid RVer. My focus last year was on items new on the market. As it is that time of year again, I want to, again, focus on St. Nick ideas, but will be addressing a combination of both the old and the new; some items upon which you rely, most likely need to be replaced and this is a good excuse to trade up for a few of them. We always have a need for a new flashlight and those other items that we use everyday but seldom give much thought to. This year, my husband is in sore need of two items, both of which have been improved since we last purchased them, so these will be my first two suggestions: Our "new addition" 1.  To replace our old generic flashlight from 15 years back, he is getting a new Maglite model that will provide a high intensity light beam. The light has two settings and a krypton bulb and is able to provide either a spot light or a flood light with the flick of a switch.  Also,... [Read more...]

The Magellan RoadMate Pro 9165T GPS Made for RVers – Part 1

November 29, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

The Magellan RoadMate Pro 9165T GPS Made for RVers  – Part 1

Having a reliable GPS riding shotgun with you in a large RV is probably the best way to keep your rig out of trouble. Note the word “reliable” – it is absolutely the key to avoiding dead end roads and low bridges with a rig that is 3 times (or more) the size of an average four-wheeler. Conventional GPS units simply do not suffice for RV use. They have no setting to determine routing based on your width, length, weight, or height.  My “conventional” GPS will direct our RV to weight restricted bridges, low tunnels, narrow streets and advocate U-turns that are impossible with our rig. Rather than suffer through all of these obstacles and possible traffic tickets or damage to your RV, many of us have elected to purchase GPS units specifically programmed for commercial truckers.  These units do an excellent job of avoiding weight, height, or width barriers.  But, the POI (Point Of Interest) or  information database contained in a trucker GPS doesn’t necessarily concern an RVer. ... [Read more...]

CONCLUSIONS of the Rand McNally RVND7710 GPS

November 18, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

CONCLUSIONS of the Rand McNally RVND7710 GPS

The mileage log on the Rand McNally RVND7710 is now at 1,256 miles. While this is not enough to constitute a “marriage”, it is more than sufficient to learn what button does what and how the overall performance of the unit compares to previously owned GPS devices. I am still in love with the comparatively huge 7” high-resolution display of the RVND7710 – not just because it is easier for my aging eyes to read but I am much more likely to press the correct letter on the keyboard displayed when entering an address and hitting the right spot when changing menus. The routing functions related to the type and size of your RV also appear to work as advertised, keeping us away from low bridges, narrow roads, heavy traffic spots or any location where it could get complicated in a hurry driving a big rig. I feel it is important to mention again that this device is much more than just a GPS.  As the name implies, it is a “trip making” device that is capable of giving you a vast... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Does he/she want an iPad or bear spray for Christmas? And your wallet says what about that?

November 14, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

I hope that heavy feeling in your chest doesn’t portend heart trouble, but rather, is the resultant pressure that comes from knowing December is around the corner. Yes, “tis the season of “What am I going to get him (her, them) for Christmas?” which can carry its own weight. Sometimes the expectations of Christmas feel like a worrisome burden; of course, that misses the whole point of a holiday established around an event filled with grace, love, and forgiveness. But that’s another blog… For now, let’s look at Christmas gift ideas for RVing, and in general: Categories: Costs an arm and a leg and Doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Costs an Arm and a Leg: #1 Ipad: they’re shockingly cool to have in your RV (or anywhere) and can do everything short of conceive children for you. Soon, I bet they’ll have an App for that. The iPad includes its own e reader; I love reading in bed with the back light (that my Nook doesn’t have). #2 Nook, Kindle or some other great e-reader.... [Read more...]

It Doesn’t Get Much Better than This

November 14, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

It Doesn’t Get Much Better than This

This has been an absolutely fabulous camping week! We left Virginia last Sunday (November 6th) and meandered down I-95 and 301 into North Carolina, crossed the border into South Carolina just outside of Tabor City, and parked the RV at Willow Tree RV Resort in Longs, SC.  Longs is relatively close to Myrtle Beach – by close I mean you can drive there in 20 minutes or so but it is still far enough away that you can enjoy a low traffic, relaxed atmosphere. The off-season rates at Willow Tree are extremely reasonable and the beauty of the turning trees, reflections on the 40 acre lake, Swans and Canada Geese swimming gracefully across the water, warm daytime temperatures and the fellowship of friends belonging to the Cedar Creek RV Owner’s Club all come together to make everything feel perfect. We were part of about 30 Cedar Creek RV owners assembled at Willow Tree for our end-of-season annual rally.  This is a great group of folks with Christian values and fellowship dedicated... [Read more...]

MUCH MORE THAT JUST A GPS (The Rand NcNally RVND7710 cont.)

November 3, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

MUCH MORE THAT JUST A GPS (The Rand NcNally RVND7710 cont.)

RV’ers take note – this thing is much, much more than just a typical GPS. My Garmin Nuvi is an excellent GPS product.  It always finds an address and routes me there.  But, it lacks many of the extended features offered in the Rand McNally RVND7710 specifically designed  for folks driving RV’s. At first, I was disappointed in the RVND7710.  The address interface was unfamiliar to me and I could not get the docking software to recognize my serial number or access the full manual. But (always a but) I quickly discovered that everything I needed to learn and remember about the operation of the RVND7710 was right in front of me programmed into the unit and accessible under TIPS, TUTORIALS and FAQ that appear as an operator option immediately after the unit boots up.  I absolutely did not need an online or printed manual – it was all programed into the deice! Thankfully, the RVND7710 also includes an AC power adapter.  This allowed me to “play” and learn how the unit... [Read more...]

Is a GPS Designed for RV’s Finally Available? (plus a “little” GPS history lesson)

October 28, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

Is a GPS Designed for RV’s Finally Available? (plus a “little” GPS history lesson)

I was only eleven years old on October 4, 1957, when the Russians launched Sputnik, the first satellite man had ever put into space. I remember well the specter and awe that I, and my fellow six-grade classmates, felt as we watched the news reels of this new machine orbiting the earth and how the Russians had “beat us to it.” Little did I know at the time just how much that crisp October day would change not only my life but also the lives of people all over the world. Fifty-four years later the sky is cluttered with approximately 3,000 functioning man-made satellites operating in earth’s orbit.  This is out of more than 24,500 total satellites that have been tracked since Sputnik was launched. (….this also means 21,500 must have fallen back to earth ) We – like in “you and I”, not just the military, use the majority of these satellites every day – often unknowingly.  TV, radio, telephone communications, weather reporting, mapping, and finding out where we are going... [Read more...]

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