5 Great Appliances That Make Your Journey Easier

Put a lot of thought into each item you bring along. Storage is a premium and double duty items are a huge plus.

One of the first tasks when setting up your RV for travel is to equip your kitchen. I will admit I made mistakes initially. Rattling dishes while you are driving, cabinets that don’t close tightly, poorly packed items that shift, and missing key pieces of equipment you need (like the cork screw to open your bottle of wine) are rude awakenings when you are boondocking in the middle of nowhere. By no means will my list be complete but I would love to share some of the essentials and double duty items that I have found helpful.

The Greatest Cooking Invention

So many people rave about Instapots and they are great, however, lets go the extra mile. This amazing piece of cooking equipment by Ninja is my favorite multitasker. With this I can slow cook, quick cook with pressure making a roast in 30 minutes, air fry, broil and even dehydrate. That last feature has come in handy when I have found some great herbs in the wild. I can layer items with the accessories and cook my veggies, rice and meat all at the same time in the same piece of equipment. It is, quite simply, my go to for meals.

Some words of caution: When releasing pressure from pressure cooker, be aware of where the steam is going. I typically have a dish towel handy. The last thing I need is to add moisture to the ceiling in our RV or damage the cabinets. Some RV’s still have wall paper on the walls and I assure you that this steam will make quick work of loosening that paper. So be aware and vent with care.

No Party is Complete Until You Have Ice

Our RV came equipped with a fridge that has an icemaker but the prior owners did not properly winterize and had a leak. So they disconnected the water lines. We talked about fixing that but realized that we really like to have the option to take our ice machine on to the patio and limit traffic through the RV when we want a drink. We purchased another ice maker in the past and it did not last long. So we did more research and found that this one has a lot of great reviews. If you visit a campground, you will likely find a broken ice machine near the dumpster. But you won’t find this one.

A Slushing Drink or Great Smoothie Awaits

Every morning I start the day with a protein smoothie. It is just what you need to fuel your hike. I like to end the day with a great slushy drink of choice. This one amazing appliance keeps me going. It also is great for making sauces for pasta. I store mine in a small basket in an upper cabinet. Another great feature is that there are two blending containers with lids that you can easily store in the fridge. Remember that all blenders are self cleaning. All you need to do is add a little dish soap, water and blend. Rinse and put it away…. super easy!

Brew Up Something Great

I love my tea and my husband loves a good coffee. We initially started with a Keurig pod coffee maker and purchased the tea and coffee cartridges. However, that adds up quickly in cost and storage of the pods as well as the machine eats up valuable space. We found that we can get canisters of coffee and teas that take up much less space. I can pick herbs and make my own teas. And this French Press works great to make our favorite beverages and keeps them warm longer. The insulated lining has kept our coffee warm for up to 6 hours. Who in the world lets it go that long without finishing the pot. The only regret is that when my husband wants coffee, I have to either make my tea in the microwave or wait for him to complete his full pot.

Let’s Toast Multi Functioning Appliances

Everything in your RV possible needs to have more than one purpose. I initially tried to use the convection oven to toast but it really dehydrated the food items too much. Then I tried using the Ninja Air Fryer…. worked great! However, I cook meals in it all the time and it is usually running when I need to make toast. So we resorted to buying a toaster. However, my goal is to always have dual purpose and we found that this amazing toaster is a great help to warm pastries and even cookies. It was a welcome addition and easy to store.

That is it! I do not carry any other appliances on our travels. We do have some outdoor cooking options that I will cover in a later post but for inside the RV, these are the essentials we have found make travel easy and help us Rough it Smoothly.

What is Old is New Again!

We decided to enter the world of RVing because it was the key to travel for me post chemo and it was a terrific way to travel with our furry friends. What we later learned was that travel this way was more amazing than we could have imagined. However, the process of finding our RV was complicated. We could have paid for a new RV but the depreciation for those units was crazy high…. drive off the lot and lose half your value. We also noticed that many owners of newer RV’s were having problem after problem. They seemed to have their RV in the shop as much as they had it home.

So, being the do-it-yourself team that we are after renovating a Victorian, we decided to look at older models and buy something that we could pay in cash for and would leave us with plenty of resources to update and make ours. After much looking…. I really mean that… we purchased our Tiffin. But before I go over the joy of this purchase, let me share with you a near miss because I would not want others to have the same experience that we had.

When looking we found ourselves at a local Camping World looking at older, used RV’s. We found a Monaco that was AMAZING! When it sounds too good to be true… it probably is, right. So I was on guard. The sales boy (barely out of high school it seemed) admitted during our test drive that he had never driven “one of these” and his nervousness showed that. Yet he assured us that all systems on the bus had been checked out and worked properly. In our review, however, we noticed that there were tools in the bay near the aqua hot. Now, new to this at the time, I had no idea what an AquaHot was and had to do research. The sales person told me it was find…. it was the hot water heater and worked great. But then we noticed that the sale of this vehicle was “as is”. That is ALWAYS A RED FLAG!

So here we are ready to offer on this RV and discussing financing. That is when we asked to hook it up so we could test systems. They would not be able to do that at this time but after we do our financing they will be glad to get it hooked up. What he meant was that after I had committed to buy it they would hook it up. Red flags are turning into caution flares. We pressed on and told them we would need an inspector to come and look over the rig before we went further. That prompted the sales manager to add pressure…. This unit has interest from another dealer and if we do not act now they will sell to the other dealer and we will miss out.

I have bought a lot of real estate in my life and I can smell a rat. The pressure was to move on the sale immediately. I did more research and learned that AquaHots are notorious for having major problems and that they are VERY EXPENSIVE to fix… to the tune of 10K or more. We were talking about paying 40K for a 2010 Monaco tag axel… a really nice looking RV. But thinking of sinking another 10K into fixing the hot water system and radiant floor heating was making me concerned. My overall budget without needing financing was only 50K and I knew no matter what we bought, we would want to change something… that is just how we are.

Long story short…. we declined to buy and that rig sat on their lot for several more months before disappearing. In hind sight, we could have changed to a standard or on demand water heater and been okay but I worried about what else was hidden in the list of problems with that vehicle.

So back to the drawing board…. we watched ads online. We stumbled upon the local Tiffin add and our research had already told us that the three manufacturers we were most interested in were Tiffin, Monaco, and Newmar. So, this Tiffin caught my eye. We went to the home of the owner and toured. It is much older but in good shape. No history of leaks and new fuel pump and solid engine with low miles for a diesel pusher. The owners wanted a little more than I thought it was worth so we made an offer. They showed no interest in budging from their price so like any real estate transaction, I refused to be emotionally committed and we walked away. Two weeks later we went to a small used RV dealer in Greenville, SC. There we found several we were interested in that were in our budget. Unlike Camping World, it was not as is. They actually had a limited warrantee on their rigs and there were willing to make minor changes we asked for. They buy at auction, pull up carpets, refresh and resell. Perfect for us. But as we were speaking to the sales person I got a call from the Tiffin owner saying they would accept our offer. The Tiffin was a bit older than some we were looking at but had great potential and by saving money on the purchase, we could spend a little more to renovate.

So the deal was done and we picked her up. We have made many repairs, discovered some hidden problems and done some cool renovation already but we have much more to do. Come along as I share the rest of our journey.