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.
- Best OverallRenogy 200 Watt Solar starter KitSummarySummaryThis easy-to-install solar power kit comes with all the tools necessary to turn an RV into a solar power generator.ProsProsUsing solar power decreases electricity costs and consumption and is also good for the environment.ConsConsIt requires extra batteries in order to work well and, even then, it might not be powerful enough for all uses.
- Best ValueCamco Circuit Analyzer DogboneSummarySummaryThis circuit analyzer protects against unwanted surges or other power-related issues when plugging your RV into a campsite’s power pedestal.ProsProsThis circuit analyzer offers surge protection of up to 2,100 joules. The diagnostic LEDs provide indicators of faults like reverse polarity or wiring issues.ConsConsIt does not protect against sustained high or low voltages. There are also concerns about its long-term durability.
- Honorable MentionWEN Super Quiet 2000 Watt Portable Inverter and GeneratorSummarySummaryThis 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.ProsProsEco-mode means that it automatically adjusts its fuel consumption based on how many items are plugged into it. It is also versatile with a USB port, two three-pronged receptacles, and a 12V receptacle.ConsConsThere 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.
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- Power comes at a premium when using an RV. Always limit the appliances and electronic equipment to things that you actually 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?
A: An RV typically has two electrical systems,12V and 120V. The 12V is powered by the 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 Camco Circuit Analyzer Dogbone.