LAST UPDATED: October 15, 2019
Best RV Gadgets: Top Picks for Your Road Trip
These RV gadgets will ensure that you have enough power for your road trip
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 15, 2019
When hitting the road in an RV, power is an enormous consideration. Without it, life can become inconvenient and stressful. It’s always better to be prepared, and there are many gadgets available that will make your trip more enjoyable. This buying guide includes three of the top RV gadgets that are perfect for any road trip.
This easy-to-install solar power kit comes with all the tools necessary to turn an RV into a solar power generator.
- Using solar power decreases electricity costs and consumption and is also good for the environment.
- It requires extra batteries to work well and, even then, it might not be powerful enough for all uses
This cell phone signal booster provides the strongest signal, making for better voice quality, fewer dropped calls, and faster data speeds. You’ll enjoy improved video and audio streaming, even in remote areas.
- Provides stronger cell phone signals across all U.S. networks and carriers
- Has a long battery life
- Some users have complained that you need a clear line of sight to the cell tower to get a good signal.
- Antenna extends and retracts with difficulty
- Gadget’s parts and cables make an RV messy
This quiet generator is lightweight and portable. It produces power without spikes or voltage drops. It is ideal for camping trips or journeys in which you need extra power.
- Eco-mode means that it automatically adjusts its fuel consumption based on how many items are plugged into it
- Versatile with a USB port, two three-pronged receptacles, and a 12V receptacle
- There have been complaints about it having a short service lifespan and bad customer care
- Federal parks have a no generator policy, regardless of how quiet they are
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of RV Gadgets
- Enhanced comfort. RV gadgets help with every part of your RVing experience, making life on the road more comfortable. You won’t miss home because you’ll be just as comfy.
- Easier navigation. RV gadgets like GPS navigation systems can help you to find better camping sites and hiking trails. You’ll never get lost.
- Increased safety. Some RV gadgets keep you safe while you’re on the road. These include corner guards, carbon monoxide alarms, and portable dehumidifiers.
Types of RV Gadgets
Mechanical devices use mechanical energy in the form of levers, cams, gears, and other features. They usually cost less than electric gadgets but have fewer features. Some mechanical devices are electro-mechanic and have both electrical and mechanical processes.
Electrical gadgets need electricity to work. They have electric circuits and work with electric power. Some electrical RV gadgets also use batteries, so you can use them even when you don’t have access to power. Most electrical gadgets have knobs that allow you to easily adjust the settings.
Instant Pot is a Canadian brand of multicookers. The multicookers are both pressure cookers and slow cookers and are electronically controlled. They are designed to consolidate the cooking and preparation of food to one device. Instant Pot was founded in 2009 by Robert Wang and Yi Qin and is headquartered in Ontario, Canada. It sells non-pressure slow cookers, blenders, sous-vide immersion circulators, rice cookers, and air fryers. The Instant Pot 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is a great choice for any RV.
La Crosse Technology
This company is a global manufacturer of electronic products such as weather stations and radio-controlled clocks. It was founded in 1985 by Allan McCormick in La Crescent, Minn. It later moved its headquarters to La Crosse, Wis. Each of the company’s products is designed, created, tested, and used by weather enthusiasts. If you’d like to know about the weather conditions in advance, get the La Crosse Technology Wireless Atomic Digital Forecast Station.
Formerly known as ProNav, Garmin is a multinational technology company. It was established in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao. Its headquarters are in Olathe, Kan. The company was incorporated in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, in 2010. It makes GPS navigation and wearable technology for different industries—from aviation to marine. Get the Garmin GPS Navigator System and you’ll never get lost when RVing.
RV Gadgets Pricing
- $30-$200: For less than $200, you can get an RV leveler, a travel router, an RV thermostat, or a tire pressure monitoring system.
- $200-$500: Products in this price range include electric tankless water heaters, GPS navigators, drones, cell phone signal boosters, and Wi-Fi hotspot devices.
An RV is your home away from home, so it must be comfortable. Choose devices that enhance your comfort and make your RVing experience more enjoyable. For example, a cell phone signal booster ensures you don’t have to go far to get reception. Other RV gadgets that can enhance your comfort include a thermostat, a portable solar panel, a Wi-Fi booster, and repeater, and a tankless electric water heater.
RV gadgets that are difficult to operate and inefficient to use can hurt your RVing experience. Since most modern gadgets have many features, always prioritize user-friendliness. For example, a GPS device shouldn’t have a complex interface that’s difficult to use. And before you buy any product, do a little research to find out whether the company offers good customer support.
Portable RV gadgets are designed to be more lightweight and easier to hold. Some have components positioned closer to each other to reduce weight. Most portable gadgets are also better at power consumption because they are designed to be used in areas without easy access to power. They are also compact and don’t take up a lot of space in an RV.
- Warranty. If you’re buying a product that’s meant to last for several years, make sure it has a warranty. If it has a standard warranty and an extended warranty, that’s even better. An extended warranty is a prolonged warranty with terms and conditions that add to the original terms and conditions.
- Durability. One of the best ways to lower your impact on the environment is to buy gadgets that last long. It’s better for the planet when fewer gadgets are made because there’s less e-waste. While not a lot of e-waste ends up in landfills, it accounts for approximately 70 percent of toxic waste.
Best RV Gadgets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
If you’re new to using solar power or you’re looking to expand your existing power system, the Renogy 200W Starter Kit is perfect. It is ideal for RVs, boats, sheds, and even cabins. The solar starter kit offers a host of benefits, such as grid independence and quiet power production. Its panels have corrosion-resistant aluminum frames for extended outdoor use. Getting a small solar system for your RV gives you greater travel independence. You’ll also be able to easily charge small electronics. You won’t have to use a noisy generator or look for an electrical outlet. The Renogy solar kit has everything you need for a new power system, including two 100W Solar Panels, one 30A Solar Charge Controller, and one Solar Adaptor Kit.
The solar starter kit allows you to go RVing with ease and comfort. However, it is not without downsides. It needs extra batteries to function optimally, and even then, it might not power everything in your RV.
Featuring a powerful five-band cellular signal booster, the Connect RV 65 provides the best signal inside your RV. You can use it in areas with weak cell phone signals. It also improves data speeds as well, no matter the cellular carrier. The kit comes with a telescoping pole that allows the exterior antenna to obtain the signal from the nearest cell tower. The initial setup doesn’t take long—you’ll be done in approximately 30 minutes. After that, you’ll only need 10 minutes every time you set up and take down the pole and exterior antenna. With the Connect RV 65 Cell Phone Booster, you’ll never drop a call again or get lost searching for reception.
However, there have been complaints that you need a clear sightline to get a good signal. Another complaint is that the antenna extends and retracts with difficulty. Also, because the booster has many parts and cables, expect your RV to be messy.
The WEN 2000-Watt Portable Inverter and Generator is one of the best on the market. It has a low total harmonic distortion (THD) and is safe for powering sensitive electronic devices like laptops, mobile phones, and cameras. Its sine wave is so steady that it’s fitted with USB ports to directly charge personal electronics. The generator produces 2,000 surge watts and 1,600 rated watts that do not have any voltage instabilities.
Because it does not produce the noise regular generators produce, you can use it anywhere with noise limitations. It is ideal for RVing, camping, tailgating, and other outdoor adventures. It has a runtime of 9.4 hours at quarter load and you can pair it with another inverter to increase its output. We love the eco-mode feature that allows the generator to automatically adjust its fuel consumption, saving you money by preventing needless gasoline usage.
But you won’t be able to use it in a federal park because of the no-generator policy. Some users have also complained that the generator doesn’t last very long.
An RV surge protector provides overload protection at times when there are power surges, voltage fluctuations, and incorrectly-wired shore power issues. Such issues can damage RV appliances and electronics. A surge protector also offers protection from circuit overuse in your RV. The EMS-PTX50X delivers what it promises in terms of function and performance. It disconnects power to your rig if it detects a high or low voltage. The power remains off until the voltage stabilizes. It is also designed for outdoor use and is weather-resistant. Its rugged pull handle makes it easy to use. This surge protector has a current indicator and is designed to be lightweight.
However, it’s not very durable and may start producing a buzzing sound after a while. Also, the company doesn’t stand behind its lifetime warranty.
It’s very easy to overlook your RV’s tires, and that’s why you should get a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The device continuously monitors the pressure of your tires and lets you know when something is wrong. It ensures your tires are always in the best shape. This TPMS by EEZTire is worth buying. It comes with four anti-theft sensors and accurately monitors tire pressure and temperature for up to 26 tires. The TPMS is motion-sensitive and monitors tire pressure and temperature at 6-second intervals. When the tire pressure or temperature falls outside the safety parameters, it sends visual and audio warnings. The monitor has a large display screen and takes minutes to set up and program.
EEZTire provides a 3-year warranty for the gadget. The technical and customer support teams are always on-hand to help.
But despite the lengthy warranty, not all users are pleased with the monitor. Some say it takes a lot of time to set up (because pairing the sensors is hard) while others say it isn’t 100 percent accurate (it’s 5 to 10 psi inaccurate).
- Power comes at a premium when using an RV. Always limit the appliances and electronic equipment to things that you need for the trip. Leave out all the unnecessary stuff.
- It’s always better to have a degree of redundancy, so if one system fails, there’s a backup. Using solar power in conjunction with a generator is one example.
- Plan ahead, and choose accordingly. If you research the weather and location of where you plan to go, you can have a better understanding of what to take. Some places allow generators, and others don’t. Some allow open fires, while some don’t.
Q: How many electrical systems does an RV have?
An RV typically has two electrical systems,12V and 120V. The 12V is powered by a battery or batteries and is used for starting the RV as well as other functions like the lights and refrigerator. The 120V system hooks up to a generator or hookup plug and powers the TV and other electrical appliances.
Q: Is it better to use a generator or solar panels?
A: It depends on individual requirements and how much power is required. Generators can provide instant power without being charged, but they require gas and more maintenance. Solar power is good, but there has to be sunshine available and it needs time to charge. Generators can also power more heavy-duty appliances like microwaves and air conditioners.
Q: How else can I save power on an RV?
A: Use LED lights where possible, and do not leave any unnecessary electronics and appliances running. Also, check and maintain all the seals regularly and ensure there’s enough insulation.
Our pick for the best RV gadget is the Renogy 200 Watt Solar starter Kit. It helps to reduce electricity costs by providing free clean energy.
For a more budget-friendly option, try the weBoost Connect RV 65 Cell Phone Signal Booster.