Thrifty Outdoors Man Outdoors Blog Mon, 29 Jul 2019 16:44:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thrifty Outdoors Man 32 32 164342380 The Ultimate Guide to Camping With Kids Sat, 01 Jun 2019 21:02:49 +0000 After hearing my classmates excitedly talk about their summer camping plans, I knew it was time to convince my parents to finally take my sisters and me camping. And they did!! Looking back, tenting that summer under the pine forest close to the picturesque Atlantic Ocean is one of my favourite childhood memories. Camping is an excellent […]

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After hearing my classmates excitedly talk about their summer camping plans, I knew it was time to convince my parents to finally take my sisters and me camping. And they did!!

Looking back, tenting that summer under the pine forest close to the picturesque Atlantic Ocean is one of my favourite childhood memories.

Camping is an excellent way for families to get away from daily demands and create fond memories

Because I want your next camping trip to be a memorable one, I’ve compiled the ultimate guide to camping with kids!

Here’s a quick overview of what I’ll cover in this article

  • Where’s the best place to go with your kids?
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    What do you take on your camping trip?
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    What kind of activities can you plan for the trip?
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    How can you involve your children?
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    How can you create a sense of wonder for the nature around you?
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    How can you encourage environmental conservation?

Where’s the best place to go with your kids?

When you have kids, you tend to be cautious about where you take your kids. You want a place that’s safe, enjoyable, and affordable.

You may find yourself asking questions similar to these:

Do I go where there’s water or is it safer to stay on dry land?

Do I go remote or is it better to stay in the public eye?

Does there need to be a swing or can we have fun being surrounded by nature?

There’s no right or wrong place to go. Every parent has to decide what is best for their family.

In addition to your kids’ safety, you want to consider your location, budget, and your kids’ ages and interests.

You can use Google Maps to locate all the campgrounds near you or in the area of your preference. Gather detailed information about these campgrounds before choosing your destination.

Camping should be affordable for your family. Some budgets allow for families to rent a cabin in a remote area; while others call for setting up tents on a mossy forest floor.

While location is important, it’s even more important to consider your kids’ ages and their interests. Keeping your plan age-appropriate can make your time away a fun time for everyone.

Yogi-Bear’s Jellystone Parks are excellent campgrounds for kids of all ages

Unless you’re a highly adventurous parent, hiking a mile to a remote cabin may not be the best idea if you have a curious two-year-old in your midst; but a 12-year-old could find this a challenge to remember. If you are that adventurous parent, here are some tips on hiking with a baby or toddler.

You may want to consider campgrounds equipped with swings, slides, or shallow lake shores if you have kids under the age of 10. For older kids, you may need to consider places that give access to a variety of water sports such as wave-running, boating, surfing, or fishing; or other sports including a basketball court or a soccer field; or even trails that you can bike together.

Here are some more tips on finding the perfect location for your camping trip.

If you have a child that loves to explore, consider a more remote location that hasn’t been tampered with by human touch. Kids that love collecting shells or rocks will thrive on the shores of a lake or the ocean.

Keep in mind what you as the parent can--or want--to handle.

If you aren’t fit to hike, you’ll want to stick with a campground you can access with your vehicle. If ocean currents or water in general makes you nervous, maybe you’ll want to consider camping close to an amusement park instead.

If you’re new to camping, here are some basic tips on how to make your trip a great success.

What do you bring on your camping trip?

Camping Checklist

You may only be going for a few days or just a week, but you get paralyzed thinking about what to pack for your precious kids.

No need to panic!

I’ll cover some basics from the above list you may want to consider packing for your trip.

1. Bug Spray--Whether you’re going to the ocean or the forest, this is a must to ward off those pesky mosquitos and sandflies. (For those of you into essential oils, click here for alternative options.)

2. Sunscreen & After Sun Lotion--The sun gives your body Vitamin D; however, too much sun exposure (aka a nasty sunburn) can end the fun on your camping trip. Applying sunscreen can limit the sunburns, and after sun lotions can soothe any sunburns that your kids do get. There are a few natural sunscreen alternatives that you may want to consider for your little ones.

3. Purified Water--It’s important to make sure that your kids stay well-hydrated. Click here to learn how dehydration can make your kids tired and grumpy.

4. Snacks--You’ll want to have lots of nutritious snacks available for your physically active kids.

5. Appropriate Clothing--If you’re going to have fun in the water, don’t forget the swimwear and beach towels. If you’re planning to go hiking, you’ll want to be sure to pack your kids’ comfortable hiking shoes and multiple pairs of socks in case one pair gets wet along the way. Sometimes the evenings can get rather chilly; be sure to pack at least one hoodie, one pair of long pants and perhaps even a fuzzy blanket to keep your child warm around the campfire.

6. Toys--You’ll want to to consider taking a few important toys: water toys such as noodles, tubes, and floaties; or balls--a basketball, soccer ball, or beach ball; or that teddy bear your youngest can’t sleep without; or any other toys needed for your planned activities (see below).

7. Bedding--Blankets or sleeping bags/Liner, pillows, and air mattresses may be on your list to pack.

8.​ Flashlights and Batteries--When your kids need to go pee in the middle of the night, you’ll be quite thankful you remembered these.

Before you start packing, it’s recommended that you take time to sit down in a quiet place to make a list of what you want to pack. Then have that list readily available while you’re packing to make sure you don’t forget the most important things.

Luxury Camping Gear

Want to turn your camping trip to a Glamping trip? Click on the image above to view a list of some luxury camping gear and accessories. 

What kind of activities can you plan for the trip?

Camping activities for Kids

Kids do well when they have a schedule of activities planned. There tends to be less chaos and trouble-making when kids know what to expect and what is expected of them.

When you plan the activities, think of your kids’ ages and where you’re planning to camp.

Here is a list for some great activity ideas for your kids.

Kids enjoy learning and discovering new things. For kids around ages 4 to 9, consider planning activities such as doing scavenger hunts, looking for bird’s nests, building sand castles, or something as simple as collecting different leaves, shells or rocks.

Hiking, biking, and fishing are activities your 10 to 14-year-olds might enjoy. You can even consider taking along a dart board and setting it up in the forest for an archery contest.

Capture the Flag is a timeless game that’s fun for even adults. 

If you’ll be camping by a swimming pool or a body of water, you may want to consider some of the water games in the following link.

Kids of all ages could enjoy the quality time spent stargazing. If you don’t know much about stars, check out 10 free astronomy apps you can get which tell you about the different constellations and star names. Together, you and your kids can learn something new.

Perhaps roasting marshmallows and listening to stories around a campfire is something your kids may enjoy. 

How can you involve your children?

Involving your children with your camping trip gives your kids a sense of purpose and importance and frees you up from having to do all the work.

You can involve your children right from the start by letting them choose from the parks that you’ve approved.

Perhaps you want to ask your kids what their idea of a great camping trip looks like. Take the time to actually listen!

Here are a few tips on how involving your kids while camping becomes a bonding experience with your kids.

You could consider putting your 8-year-old in charge of planning and cooking one supper. Have them choose a meal and make the shopping list for it. Then, when it’s the night for their meal, have them take out the grocery items. You can assist them in preparing the meal to make sure the meal gets cooked safely. You can play along and let them know you’re following their orders. (This might require much patience from you, but it could be an excellent way for you to find out the extent of your child’s capabilities.)

Taking note of your kids’ favourite snacks and games can make your shopping and planning a greater success

Camping Recipes

You can involve your kids by letting them help you set up the tents or your camp site. 

If you’re in a remote area, you can have them gather dried branches and natural tinders for the evening campfire.  

After meals and snack times, you can assign a chore to each child to make clean up go smoothly and quickly. After swimming, you can teach each child to carefully hang up their own swimwear and towels to dry nicely for the next day’s swim.

However you choose to involve your kids, be sure they know you believe in them and see them as a wonderful blessing in your life.

How can you create a sense of wonder for the nature around you?

Columbia River Gorge, Washington and Oregon

If you adore nature yourself, your child is more than likely going to follow your footsteps and develop their own sense of wonder.

When you go camping, you can point out a deer in the distance and quietly and cautiously take your child and draw nearer to the animal for a closer look. You can teach them how to adore the nature around you without disturbing its natural habitat.

Your child may cling to your hand just a bit tighter as you gaze at the powerful waterfalls or ocean waves.

If you’re collecting rocks, you can point out the difference between the rugged outer layer compared to the beautiful crystals or rings on the inside of the rock. 

Show your kids that little seedlings grow into big trees.

If you come across a caterpillar, you can teach your child that the creepy-crawly thing will one day become a beautiful butterfly or moth.

Perhaps, you’ll catch a mother bird feeding its young. You can use this as an example to assure your child that you’ll always take care of them--just like that bird with its babies. 

How can you encourage environmental conservation?

No matter where you go, it’s highly important to teach your kids to take care of their environment and co-exist with the animals in their natural habitat. 

One way to encourage environmental conservation is to teach your kids to use the fish you catch for food and not just for sport.

Camping trips are great for teaching your kids to place their plastic wrappers and tin cans in garbage cans--not just anywhere on the ground or in the water. 

If you’re camping in a very dry season, you can explain to your kids that on windy days it’s not permitted to have campfires in order to prevent forest fires.

Taking your kids camping can be a time of bonding and learning about each other and the surrounding environment.

Your kids long to spend time with you!

While your work will still be there when you get back from the camping trip, your kids will one day be all grown up.

Taking your kids camping is just one investment you can make in their lives while they’re still young. Where you go and what activities you plan is not as important as actually taking time out to be with them.

Have you found this guide to camping with your kids helpful in any way? If yes, be sure to click like and share!

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39 Cheap and Easy RV Storage Ideas Sun, 26 May 2019 23:42:25 +0000 Going on an RV trip is an awesome way to escape the hustle of the city. One of the biggest challenges for RVing is keeping your belongings organized, especially if your going with children.  There are hundreds of storage ideas on the internet but a lot are not great. We picked thru hundreds of ideas […]

The post 39 Cheap and Easy RV Storage Ideas appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.


Going on an RV trip is an awesome way to escape the hustle of the city. One of the biggest challenges for RVing is keeping your belongings organized, especially if your going with children.  

There are hundreds of storage ideas on the internet but a lot are not great. We picked thru hundreds of ideas and compiled the top 39. Here is a list of the top 39 storage ideas that will keep your RV nice and tidy. 

1. Dangling Storage Jars

storage jars
rv storage jars

The reason I love these, is because with the see thru glass you can easily find all the little things that get lost so easily, without looking too hard. 

2. Entrance Shoe Storage

hanging shoe storage entrance

The entrance shoe storage is one of my favorite. It might not be a huge deal if your travelling as a couple, but if you are going with kids this is so helpful in keeping everyone's shoes away from the entrance. 

3. Shoe Rack Shower Storage

Showers take up a fair amount of space, why not use that space for storing all your shampoo and shower accessories. 

4. Under Bed Shoe Storage

Under bed Shoe storage

This shoe storage is great if you are going for a longer trip and need to store away the shoes that you don't use on a regular basis like hiking or water shoes. 

5. Velcro Remotes

Velcro Remotes

source: Pinterest

Where is that remote?? A very common question that we hear not just at home but also when your traveling in your RV. Just add some Velcro to your remotes and don't loose them again. 

6. RV Inside Door Storage

RV inside door storage

source: Pinterest

Another great way to store away your shoes or flip flops. Also works great for a lot of other items like your Bug repellent or sun screen. 

7. Foil and Plastic Wrap Dispenser

foil and plastic wrap dispenser

Not just a good way to keep the foil and plastic wrap organized in your RV but also works great in the kitchen pantry at home. 

8. RV Kitchen Peg Board

RV Peg Board

source: Pinterest

9. Collapsible Kettle

The Collapsible Kettle is a good 2 in 1 kettle that also works as an outdoor camping kettle. 

10. Dinner Plate Cradle

11. Broom Brackets 

Mounting brooms and supplies

Brooms, axes, umbrella's etc. tend to take up a lot of space and clutter your RV storage. With these attachments all your gear will be nicely organized and is easily accessible. 

12. Paper Towel Dispenser

RV towel holder

Keep those paper towels close by and out of the way, right under the table. Honestly, you would probably never make use of this space anyways. 

13. Coghlan's Pop-Up Trash Can

14. Space Wall Mount Dry-Food Dispenser

If you have some empty wall space in your kitchen, use these dry food dispensers to keep those large cereal boxes out of your kitchen cabinets. 

15. Wall Mount Toothbrush Storage Set

16. Paper Plate Holder Under Cabinet Shelf

A handy place to store your paper plates if your are going on a short trip and don't want bring ceramic plates. 

17. Bathroom Towel Rack Storage

towel rack storage

source: Pinterest

If you have extra towel racks, add these baskets to make good use of space in your bathroom. 

18. Vacuum Suction Cup Hook

These hooks can be used throughout the RV. Bathroom Mirror, shower door, on your kitchen cabinets, bedroom window etc. 

19. Hidden Cutting Board

Hidden Cutting Board

Cutting boards take up a lot of space, just add some magnets to them and keep them under your cabinets. 

20. Wall Mount InstaHanger Organizer

Running out of room in your closet, just screw one of these wall mounted InstaHanger for some additional room. 

21. Shampoo Shower Dispenser

Just install one of these shampoo shower dispenser inside your shower, fill it up before you leave and you won't have to bring any shampoo with you. 

22. Toiletry Holder with an Old Coat Hanger

Toiletry Holder with Coat Hanger

source: Andy Baird

Just use an old coat hanger to custom fit for whatever you need. Easy project that will keep your belongings in one place. 

23. Spice Gripper Cabinet Clips

24. Quick Drop Zone

quick drop zone

One of the most common items we loose is our keys, wallets, sun glasses and phones. Build a quick drop zone as illustrated above to keep at least some these items easily visible and at one place. 

25. Collapsible Colanders

Who doesn't like saving space in your RV, any kitchenware that is collapsible is just an awesome idea for RV'ing.

26. Turn Storage Cubes On Their Sides

Storage Cubes

Just buy a few storage boxes from the dollar store and turn them over to keep your closet organized. 

27. In-Cabinet Kitchen Trash Can

28. PVC Pipe Toothbrush Holders

pvc toothbrush holders

29. Reusable Vacuum Sealed Storage Bags

These vacuum sealed storage bags work so great. They might not be the best option for everyday items but, if you need to bring items that you only need once or twice than the vacuum bags are ideal. 

30. Store Extra Toilet Paper in the Magazine Holder

toilet paper storage

For most people the space beside the toilet is probably not used. Make great use of it by storing all your toilet paper there. 

31. Gearbox Bedside Caddy

32. Bed Frame with Storage

Under Bed Storage

I just love this idea. adding additional storage under your bed is just brilliant. This might not work for all RV's, I've had an old RV which had part of the water tank under the Bed. 

33. Organize your Cords and Hoses with Hose Reels

hose reels


34. Collapsible Tub

As mentioned previously with the kitchenware, anything that is collapsible works just great for RV'ing. 

35. Folding Chair Storage

Folding Chair Storage

Customizing your RV Storage is super simple and keeps your belongings organized. Just use some plywood and cut to fit to your needs. 

36. Refrigerator Bins Stackable Storage Containers

37. ATB 2 Tier Adjustable Under Sink Shelf Storage Shelves 

38. Create more Counter Space in your RV Kitchen

Most RV's have limited counter top space in the kitchen, create more counter space by using one of these wooden portable counter blocks on top of the stove if not in use. 

39. Nesting Cookware Set

Any type of Nesting Cookware will save you a ton of cabinet space in your kitchen. 


I hope you enjoyed our list of 39 Cheap and Easy RV Storage Ideas, if you have any other cool RV storage ideas feel free to leave a comment below or contact us directly. 

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What Is a Tent Vestibule? Sun, 19 May 2019 23:32:32 +0000 Does your tent need a vestibule? You’re probably already familiar with a tent. You’ve also likely walked through building vestibules, which is the space between the outside and inside the door. So how about a  tent vestibule? That’s the issue we’ll be taking up. Purpose of a Tent Vestibules Besides permanent structures tents can also […]

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Does your tent need a vestibule? You’re probably already familiar with a tent. You’ve also likely walked through building vestibules, which is the space between the outside and inside the door. So how about a  tent vestibule? That’s the issue we’ll be taking up.

Purpose of a Tent Vestibules

Besides permanent structures tents can also have a vestibule. However, the purpose is much more functional in the tent version. These vestibules are a mudroom of sorts located in the front of a tent or on the sides.

A vestibule in a tent has various functions including the following:

1. Changing Room

While getting back to nature can be a rewarding experience it can also be messy when you’re exposed to the elements. In those situations, you’ll want to change out of wet/muddy clothes when you get back to the tent.  

A vestibule in the tent can serve as a changing area. This gives the person privacy so they can change into some clean/dry clothes before crawling into their sleeping bag. It also helps to prevent waking up the other campers who are sleeping.

2. Gear Storage

When camping in a tent, it can be easy to run out of space and especially if several campers are in the same tent. In that case, you’ll want to store your gear in an out-of-the-way location, so it won’t negatively affect how easy it is to move around in the temporary structure.

Whether you’re hiking/camping with your family or friends, it can be a refreshing experience for everyone. The problem is while multi-person tents provide more sleeping space the campers also have exponentially more gear.

A vestibule in the tent is the perfect solution. It frees up the tent’s floor space for walking/sleeping, which in turn helps prevent people from tripping over gear and people. 

3. Winter Cooking

Yet another practical use of a tent with vestibules is you can do some indoor cooking in the winter. Starting a campfire can be quite challenging in sub-zero weather. If you don’t feel like braving the elements you could cook inside the tent in the vestibule.

As you might guess this poses some possible safety issues. They include carbon monoxide poisoning, attracting wild animals, and burning down your tent. If you’re going to cook in the vestibule make sure to take some key precautions.

It starts with picking the right camping stoves for in-tent winter cooking. An outstanding option is a canister stove that’s a camp stove/pot combo. The main benefit of these stoves is there’s minimum flame up when you light the unit.

If you want an ultra-safe stove, pick one that’s basically flameless like the MSR WindBurner. It heats a radiant burner that’s a round surface covered by a wire screen. The burner is totally covered/enclosed with a WindBurner pot as illustrated below.

Another option is isobutene stoves like the Mountain Series Stryker by Camp Chef. They’re a practical option because they’re the easiest kind of flame to control inside a tent.

As a word of caution, you should avoid hanging stove kits available for canister stoves. On one hand, they help to prevent the units from tipping over like standard canister stoves. However, the stove flames are dangerously close to the ceiling, so it’s better to use the hanging stove kits outdoors.

It’s also important to make sure to cook in the vestibule rather than other areas of the tent. That’s because the vestibule is better ventilated so there’s less chance you’ll have to deal with carbon monoxide, smoke and smells getting trapped in the tent.

Types of Tent Vestibules

When picking a tent with a vestibule, you’ll have two main options:

Front Vestibule

This type of vestibule covers the tent’s front door. This can be a built-in vestibule or an add-on that you can install on the tent during inclement weather.

Front vestibules can be used as a type of covered porch. This provides benefits like giving you a place to read a book or cook when it’s rainy outside. There’s nothing like having a “mobile” porch with you to create the perfect home-away-from-home experience.

A front vestibule tends to be quite large, so you can store lots of gear there. It’s a plus when the overall size of the tent is small, or you have heavy equipment like bikes that should be protected from rain and snow.

You can even find 3-person tents that have a front vestibule. It’s a great feature that even small camping groups can use for storage, cooking, etc.

Side Vestibule

This is the other main type of tent vestibule you can select. This type of vestibule is typically wide enough so you can store your gear on one half of the area and use the other half like a tent door. You can even find 1-person tents with this type of vestibule.

How about a 2-person tent? In that case, you should look for two doors and each with a vestibule. This allows each person to easily enter/exit the tent without crawling over the other person. Another plus of this type of tent is the vestibule is usually designed so you can still enter/exit the tent easily even if you have some gear in the vestibule.

Do You Really Need Tent Vestibules

This is the million-dollar question. It might seem at first like a must-have feature since it provides a covered space for campers. However, they’re not a novelty that everyone needs. For example, if you’re camping in warm/ non-inclement weather or carrying light gear, it’s less necessary.

On the other hand, there are certainly situations in which a vestibule is highly advisable for tents. Camping in cold and/or rainy/snowy weather makes a vestibule invaluable for changing clothes, cooking food, and storing stuff.

There’s also an X-factor. You might categorically want a tent with a vestibule or just want to have a unit with all the bells and whistles. Vestibules add extra weight! So make sure you’re ready to haul around a tent w/ vestibule during the day. As any hiker knows extra weight can add up quickly and by the end of the day can feel like a ton of bricks in a backpack.

In particular, where will you be camping and for how long? If you’re camping in a 4-season area where frequent rain/snow is expected you should consider a vestibule. If you’re using family camping tents for several days, it’s another reason to have this tent feature.

When is a vestibule iffy? If you’re camping in a 3-season area where you might have to deal with some rain or chilly temperatures, it’s optional. In addition, if you’re camping in an area for 1-2 days, a vestibule is more of a luxury. Finally, if you have a small amount of gear, then you don’t really need the extra space a vestibule provides.

As always it’s best to do a needs analysis for the type of camping you’ll be doing. That will help determine whether or not you should consider a tent with vestibule, and which type is right. If you don’t need a vestibule, you can buy a cheaper tent and free up money for trail mix and s’mores.


While not all campers/hikers need a tent vestibule, these covered areas can be effective for storing extra gear, changing out of wet/muddy clothes, and cooking a piping-hot meal in winter.
The key is to pick the right tent with the right vestibule. Make sure to weigh factors like the vestibule’s size, location, and functionality to help you select the best tent vestibule. It will have you covered!

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What is the Best RV Water Hose? Top Choices Tue, 29 Jan 2019 19:03:31 +0000 Water...WATER...WATER!!! We need clean water for drinking in order to preserve our long-term health. Unfortunately, much of today’s hardware and equipment is tainted with chemicals and toxins harmful to the human body. That’s why I highly recommend to use lead-free drinking water hoses that are safe and healthy for you and your family. In This Buyer’s Guide, […]

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We need clean water for drinking in order to preserve our long-term health. Unfortunately, much of today’s hardware and equipment is tainted with chemicals and toxins harmful to the human body.

That’s why I highly recommend to use lead-free drinking water hoses that are safe and healthy for you and your family.

In This Buyer’s Guide, I’ll Cover the following 5 Best RV Water Hoses

Should You Invest In a Good Drinking Water Hose?

Recent studies have shown that the garden hoses we’ve been using for decades are made with highly toxic chemicals and lead content. These toxins are said to be the same culprits for birth defects, early puberty, hormone disruptions, and various diseases. 

The following video is a news coverage that further explains the dangers of freely using water from hoses with lead and chemical content.  

Drinking water hoses have been specifically designed to be compatible with low lead content certification laws to give your family safe and healthy drinking water.

Another added benefit to these lead-free drinking water hoses is that the water that flows through them doesn’t come out tasting like chemicals and rubber hoses.

Making sure that you and your family have clean water to drink is crucially important for your long-term health. Toxins build up little by little and the effects aren’t usually seen until health issues have taken root.

If you intend to keep your family’s water supply safe to drink, it may be worth your consideration to invest in a lead-free drinking water hose.

Can You Prolong the Life Of Your Drinking Water Hose?


If the manufacturer has done their job of producing a quality product, there are ways for you to extend the life of your hose.

Here are a few tips I recommend:

      1) Store your hose out of direct sunlight or keep to minimal sunlight during the course of the day. Constant, direct            UV exposure can weaken the materials of the hose.

      2) When not in use, store without any definite creasing to avoid kinking or cracking. Use a reel to conveniently and            smoothly stow away until your next use.

      3) Even though the product is described to be able to stand high amounts of water pressure, keep the PSI at a                  reasonable level. If rig water systems rupture from high PSI settings, why would we put our water hoses through that?

Here are a few more tips on how to make your water hose last longer. 

What Length Should You Buy?

When you’re travelling in an RV, every foot of equipment matters.

Consider for what you need the hose. You may need a long distance or you may need just a short length to meet your need. Perhaps, purchasing multiple lengths may be a better option to buying one long one.

With longer hoses, you may feel that the excess distance gets in your way. With the shorter ones, you may need to take into consideration the amount of length it needs for when it swags from the faucet. 

Let’s have a look at some different options of drinking water hoses.

1. Camco 25ft TastePURE Drinking Water Hose


  • Flexibility makes it easy to handle and store
  • Can stand higher temperatures
  • Doesn’t have a hose taste
  • Sturdy
  • Good performance and price


  • A bit on the stiff side
  • May kink and leak overtime
  • Doesn’t come with a rubber washer
  • Gets rigid when cold

This CSA Low Lead Content Certified and NSF certified hose, made BPA and phthalate free, is safe for drinking water. It has a size of ⅝ inch diameter and 25 foot length.

Delightfully, it delivers water that doesn’t taste rubbery.

Manufactured with durable and sturdy UV stabilized PVC material, it’s engineered to resist kinks and stand a maximum water pressure of 100 PSI.

It features standard-size connectors that are easy to grip, making installation almost effortless.

2. Camco 50ft Premium Drinking Water Hose


  • Doesn’t leak at ends and fittings
  • Kinks less than some models
  • Durable and quality fittings
  • Strain relief ends protect the hose
  • No rubbery taste


  • Stiff
  • Too much sun exposure causes it to get sticky
  • Doesn’t have an easy-grip connector

This heavy duty, NSF certified hose is manufactured in accordance to all federal and state low lead laws. It’s lead-free, BPA free, and phthalate free, making it safe for drinking water. It delivers water that doesn’t taste rubbery.

Featuring a ⅝ in diameter which is 20% thicker than standard drinking water hoses, this hose delivers a high flow rate.

This 50-foot drinking water hose has been treated for UV exposure to enhance its life expectancy.

The fittings and strain relief ends are designed with high quality nickel-plated brass for higher and prolonged performance.

3. Valterra W01-5048 AquaFresh High Pressure Drinking Water Hose


  • ​Fittings and hose hardly leak
  • Safe for drinking water for pets and humans
  • Can stand a fair amount of pressure and abuse
  • Fittings are good quality
  • Great hose with quality at a good price


  • Not very flexible
  • Female connector is plastic
  • Brass fittings tend to corrode causing leakage
  • Depreciates fast

Designed to stand high pressures of 160 PSI, this ½ in by 4 ft hose is made with NSF certified materials which makes this hose safe for drinking water.

It features durable high-flow fittings and a plastic female connector. It comes with a little washer attached to prevent leaking.

The length is excellent for any of your short distance water hose needs.

4. Valterra W01-5120 High Pressure Drinking Water Hose - 1/2" x 10'


  • Can hand-tighten fittings in order that they don’t leak
  • No smell or taste in water
  • Less kinking than some hoses
  • Lightweight
  • Good length if you need to insulate a hose
  • Works great


  • none

This drinking water hose is designed to stand the high pressure setting of 160 PSI. It’s an NSF certified hose, making this safe for drinking water.

This white, ½ in diameter hose is 10 feet long and features hi-flow fittings and an easy-to-use hose gripper.

5. Swan Products ELMRV12050 Element RV Camping Water Hose


  • Hose doesn’t mark up your rig
  • Lead-free, which makes this drinking water safe
  • Great for a longer hose choice


  • Some find it too soft
  • Kinks and bursts more quickly than advertised
  • Not a popular choice

This drinking water hose is designed to stand great strengths of pressure up to 300 PSI. The ½ in by 50 ft hose is lightweight, flexible, and easy to store.

Meeting the standards of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and California’s strict phthalate content standards, this water hose is made of a medical grade PVC which is safe to use for your drinking water.

It features a high UV resistance which keeps it from cracking so easily.

The couplings are manufactured with an aircraft grade stainless steel for great durability.

Have You Decided On Your Choice of Drinking Water Hose?

The Valterra W01-5120 AquaFresh--½ in x 4 ft is an excellent choice if you are looking to cover a short distance from the faucet. It’s a durable water hose that can stand a fair amount of pressure and yet hardly leaks.

If you’re looking for a slightly longer length, you may want to consider the Valterra W01-5120 AquaFresh--½ in x 10 ft. At a great price, you can equip your RV with a sturdy, lightweight drinking water hose that kinks less than some other models.

The Camco 50 ft Premium Drinking Water Hose is a fantastic choice if you’re needing a long drinking water hose. It kinks less than some models do. It delivers a high flow rate but doesn’t leak at the ends. The strain relief ends give this water hose an added touch of performance.

Stay hydrated and healthy!

Select a drinking water hose that’s safe and healthy for you and your family, and delivers the performance that will make your vacation a memorable one!

Check out our other blog posts on the Best RV Water Filters, Best RV Sewer Hose and Best RV Tankless Water Heater

The post What is the Best RV Water Hose? Top Choices appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.

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What Is The Best RV Water Pressure Regulator? Tue, 29 Jan 2019 18:09:08 +0000 If you’ve ever come face-to-face with water gushing out of your water hoses, pipes, or faucets, you know what kind of horrifying and frustrating damage severely high water pressure can do to your RV. Getting the best RV water pressure regulator is considered a necessity in the life of an RVer. In This Review, I’ll Cover […]

The post What Is The Best RV Water Pressure Regulator? appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.


If you’ve ever come face-to-face with water gushing out of your water hoses, pipes, or faucets, you know what kind of horrifying and frustrating damage severely high water pressure can do to your RV.

Getting the best RV water pressure regulator is considered a necessity in the life of an RVer.

In This Review, I’ll Cover 5 of the Best Water Pressure Regulators

What’s the Big Deal About Water Pressure Regulators?

Water pressure regulators are designed to regulate the PSI of the water coming out of a spigot. They keep the out-flow safe and consistent to ensure your plumbing is protected.

Often campsites have highly unpredictable water pressure that leave you to wonder each time you hook up if this is the time everything will go south. And I don’t mean palm trees and beaches…

Some places have been reported to produce water pressure up 120 PSI. This kind of pressure will tear your rig’s plumbing and give you extensive damage repair costs.

The purpose of water pressure regulators is to protect your RV’s plumbing from being utterly destroyed by these unreliable campsite water pressures

It’s a little investment that can potentially save you extensive amounts of money.

Do You Need a Water Pressure Regulator?

Prior to hooking up your RV, you can use a water pressure gauge to determine how much water pressure is coming out of your water supply. You want the pressure to be consistently between 40-60 PSI.

If the PSI level is considerably higher, then YES!!! It’s strongly advised for you to attach a water pressure regulator. 

You may be new to RVs or you may have been one of the lucky ones SO FAR who’ve been spared the devastating results of 120 PSI!

If you frequently hook up to various water sources, I highly recommend one of these little investments to keep your future free of disappointing damage.

How Much Pressure Should You Let Through?

Factories usually set their regulators at a default level of approximately 45 PSI.

Most homes are designed for 40-60 PSI. Some of the newer RVs are able to stand up to 80 PSI.

Anything higher than 80 PSI is considered dangerous for your RV Water hose, pipes, faucets, and even your washing machine. To be on the safe side, it’s recommended to keep the pressure around 50 PSI for a water flow that resembles your shower flow at home.

See below for some Water Pressure Tips and Tricks.

It’s not all about safety for your plumbing.

In some cases you want to consider how much water is in your water heater. A higher pressure will produce a higher flow rate and deplete your hot water supply faster than you had anticipated.

If you need to be efficient with your water supply, you may want to consider using a lower setting for a slower flow in order to save water.

Click here to read about how a water pressure regulator can help you save energy.

What Are Your Options?

Some water pressure regulators are simple brass or stainless steel devices that you attach to any standard garden hose and spigot fittings. These are fixed units that regulate water pressure at the default setting.

They may be simple, but many of these certainly do the trick. A couple downsides of these regulators are that you can’t see or adjust the PSI levels.

Other water pressure regulators come with a gauge that allows you to see how much water pressure is coming through the water line. You can adjust these with a screwdriver and set the water pressure at your desired PSI level.

With advanced technology and added benefits come more parts. These regulators with gauges pose the possibility of higher maintenance.

In all cases, you can choose to go with a fixed water pressure regulator at a low cost to see if it suits your needs; or you can opt to go for a higher investment for the convenience of a gauge and adjustability. 

Let’s have a look at some options!

1. Renator M11-0660R Water Pressure Regulator Valve


  • It’s lead-free
  • Pressure is adjustable
  • Has a pressure gauge
  • Doesn’t leak
  • Works consistently and accurately
  • Maintains a high flow rate
  • Great customer service


  • Can easily be stolen if connected to the park water hook-up
  • Costs more than fixed regulators

This durable, lead-free pressure gauge is a new and improved version with a 1-year warranty. This quality product maintains a high flow rate of 6.51 GPM while controlling water pressure at a desired level.

It’s manufactured with an all-time low lead content rate of less than .13% which make this safe to use with your drinking water.

The convenient gauge is constructed with oil to keep the internal components working with longer life expectancy.

The water pressure regulator can easily be adjusted with a screwdriver up 160 PSI.

It features both female and male fittings that have standard ¾ in water hose threads and NH threads which makes this an ideal choice for all American water sources.

It’s advised to refrain from using this device in frigid environments.

2. Camco RV Brass Inline Water Pressure Regulator (40055)


  • Easy installation
  • Solid brass hardware
  • Very affordable
  • Does its job well


  • Doesn’t have a pressure gauge
  • Pressure can’t be adjusted
  • May reduce pressure more than you want

This inexpensive little brass water pressure regulator is designed to keep your water pressure at a fixed level of 40-50 PSI. At this setting, it keeps the water pressure consistent and your RV’s plumbing and hoses safe.

CSA low lead content certified, this unit is safe to use with your drinking water.

The standard ¾ in fittings are compatible with US water sources and standard garden hose threads.

3. RVAQUA M11-45PSI Water Pressure Regulator for RV Camper


  • Easy to use
  • Water pressure is easily adjustable
  • Attached gauge helps you monitor your PSI setting
  • NPT fittings are well-made
  • Screening filters minor contamination
  • Keeps a great and consistent flow rate
  • Packaged well
  • Great customer service


  • Oil has a tendency to leak from the gauge
  • Water pressure may not remain consistent

Another lead-free brass water pressure regulator, this unit is safe to use with your drinking water.

The attached gauge conveniently shows the PSI levels of the water source. The oil in the gauge prolongs the life of the inner components. The water pressure can be adjusted up to 160 PSI by using a screwdriver.

The ¾ in garden hose threads and NH threads fit with all standard garden hoses and US water sources. Designed with durability, they are engineered to prevent water leakage.

Another unique feature is the explosion-proof plug. It prevents water from spraying out of the hose when the water pressure goes above its designed capacity.

Additionally, this regulator features a dual-layer inlet screened filter. This allows for the unit to be spared from damage or blockage caused by gravel or other debris.

4. U.S. Solid - RV Pressure Regulator with Gauge and Water Filter Net


  • Has a gauge to show pressure levels
  • Sets pressure levels with accuracy
  • Great water flow
  • Solid, heavy, and works well
  • Pressure is adjustable
  • Quality fittings and fine brass finish
  • Comes with excellent packaging which can be used for storage and travelling


  • No warranty

This lead-free water pressure regulator by US Solid is manufactured well under low-lead requirements for safe and healthy water. It regulates water pressure to a consistent and safe pressure level and still allows for a great water flow.

By using the attached gauge, you can see the current PSI levels and adjust them from 0-160 PSI with a screwdriver.

The ¾ in NH threads are compatible with all US water sources. The fittings have a quality, thick design that prevent leakage.

The inlet screened filter keeps gravel and debris from blocking or damaging the regulator.

5. Valterra (A01-1122VP Lead-Free Water Regulator


  • Affordable
  • Product with high quality and performance
  • Fits standard hose connections
  • Keeps your pipes safe
  • Has a considerably higher flow rate than average regulators


  • Screen is permanently attached to the regulator
  • Not for cold weather
  • Doesn’t have a gauge to monitor PSI settings
  • PSI setting isn’t adjustable
  • May have a tendency to leak from the middle section

This water pressure regulator’s tough and solid build is designed to last without leaking. It fits standard hose fittings.

It keeps water pressure at a fixed setting of 50-55 PSI, which is still well in the range that keeps your plumbing safe. Higher than the average 45 PSI setting, this is designed for the water systems in the newer RVs.

Along with the higher pressure setting, it features a wide mouth which allows for the RV’s showers, toilets, and sinks to function with a 15-20% higher flow than the previously mentioned regulators allow.

This flow rate gives you the comforts of home while you’re on the road.

This unit includes a built-in stainless steel filter screen to keep debris out of the regulator.

Which One’s Right For You?

If you’re looking for a simple fix and some peace of mind when you’re hooking up to a water source, you may want to go with the Camco Model #40055. It’s highly affordable and yet it’s designed to still maintain a safe and desirable pressure level.

You may want a higher flow rate to give you a comfortable shower likened to home. If your RV can stand higher levels of PSI, choosing the Valterra may be a great option for you. 

Many RVers want to be able to monitor the pressure levels and adjust the PSI settings. If that’s you, the Renator M11-0660R may be just what you’re looking for. It has a quality build and a pleasantly high flow rate of over 6 GPM.

Sometimes the little things in life get ignored until the pressure gets too high and the lid blows off.

I wouldn’t want that to be the case for your RV.

Choose your water pressure regulator before your water system caves under the pressure of an unpredictably high water source.

Also check out our post on the Best RV Water Pump

  • List Element
  • List Element
  • List Element

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What Are The Best RV Water Filters – Reviews and Top Choices Mon, 28 Jan 2019 23:26:44 +0000 Water is essential to life! Installing a quality water filter to your RV’s water system can give you the clean, fresh and sweet-tasting water that’s vital for your family’s health. And… It can save you lots of dollars from not having to buy bottled water while you’re moving from campground to campground. In this article, I’ll share with […]

The post What Are The Best RV Water Filters – Reviews and Top Choices appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.


Water is essential to life!

Installing a quality water filter to your RV’s water system can give you the clean, fresh and sweet-tasting water that’s vital for your family’s health.


It can save you lots of dollars from not having to buy bottled water while you’re moving from campground to campground.

In this article, I’ll share with you the following 5 best RV water filters

How Do You Choose a RV Water Filter For Your Needs?

Depending on your area or the area of your chosen campground, you’ll face various levels of water issues.

Some areas have average problems and a simple water filter will cover your basic need for purified water.

Other areas are not so blessed

Water with a foul smell and taste can come from a heavy metal overload, high levels of chlorine or sulfur content, or even poisonous contaminants.

To view the long-term effects of chlorine, see video below.

For locations with highly contaminated water, you’ll want to consider filters that greatly reduce or even eliminate the impurities. Carbon or GAC filters with KDF treatments are excellent choices for bad-tasting and foul-smelling water.

For areas with high sediment levels, you may need to consider getting a dual grade filter cartridge.

What Exactly Is a GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) Filter?

Charcoal, which is a form of carbon, resembles a cross between graphite and a sponge.

See below video for a visual definition of activated carbon.

Its porous body is prime ground for luring and trapping contaminants like chlorine, pesticides and other poisonous solvents residing in your water source. A GAC filter has the ability to greatly reduce these contaminants from your water line.

Much like a sponge, this filter absorbs the impurities until it gets saturated to the point that it actually clogs and needs replacement.

Note with setting up a granular activated carbon filter, it’s advised to run the water through the filter until the excess carbon particles are washed out. Once the water runs clear, the filter is ready for use.

What’s the KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) Process Media?

The KDF55 is an ingenious design that utilizes science to bring healthy drinking water out of your kitchen tap.

You may have heard the age-old saying, “Opposites attract.”

This process does just that!

The alloys copper and zinc use their positive and negative charges to work together in attracting metals such as aluminum, mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic. These metals bond with the copper and zinc to form a plate, effectively removing these metals from the water.

Some contaminants react by changing form and pass through the filter as harmless substances. Free chlorine is one such impurity; it changes into water-soluble chloride salt.

In this reaction process, copper and zinc chelates multiply in a controlled amount. They enter the water system as nutrients that are actually beneficial to the human body.

This whole process creates an uncomfortable environment for bacteria, viruses, and mold.

The KDF process is commonly used with GAC filters to enhance the performance of the carbon and reduce the bacteria growth while the filter is not in use.

When Do You Change the Cartridges In the Water Filter?

Most water filters are advertised to last through one camping season. More advanced water filters can last much longer than that. Cartridges still need to be maintained regularly.

Typically, full-time RVers will change their cartridges quarterly, or every 3 months

High levels of contamination and sediment will greatly reduce the life of the cartridge in your water filter. 

Here are two clues that your cartridge may be ready to be replaced:

     1) The water flow has slowed down considerably

     2) You begin to taste the chlorine or other unwelcome tastes again

It’s always an excellent idea to keep a close eye on your cartridge.

This Is Important About Your Water Filter

Remember that water expands when it freezes. In order to protect your water filter, store it safely in a warm place during freezing temperatures to prevent the housing from cracking.

Secondly, water filters are designed to make potable water healthier and more pleasant to drink. They’re not designed to make non-potable water, potable. 

Here are our Top 5 Choices for the Best RV Water Filter

1. Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector (40043)


  • Hose attachment adds flexibility to the system
  • Turns nasty water to good-tasting drinking water
  • Highly recommended
  • Easy to use and well-made
  • Gets rid of chlorine taste
  • Great customer service


  • Cartridge isn’t replaceable
  • Could use a storage case to keep clean
  • One filter may not be enough for highly contaminated water

Made in the USA, this 20 micron sediment filter uses GAC and KDF technology to greatly reduce chlorine taste and smell, sediments, bacteria, and other contaminants and odors to make your potable water healthier.

It removes aluminum, cadmium, hydrogen sulfide, iron, lead, and mercury from the water which makes this a necessity for RVs, boats, campers, pets, and gardening.

Featuring a wide body that lines up with the hose, this filter is able to produce a high flow rate. The filter is compatible with any standard water hose.

The included Flexible Hose Protector keeps the water hose from crimping and straining.

In between uses, consider airing out the filter to prevent any water left inside from turning stagnant.

2. Culligan RVF-10 Exterior RV Drinking Water Filter


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install and use
  • Does a great job of eliminating chlorine and keeps sediments from clogging the water lines
  • Cartridges are easily replaceable


  • Comes with a very short hose
  • Doesn’t have a mounting bracket
  • Plastic fittings tend to leak
  • Water pressure may cut down with certain systems

The RVF-10 model is designed with sturdy, slim housing and a GAC cartridge filtering system that gives you water that tastes better and a storage tank that stays cleaner.

By eliminating foul taste and odor, chlorine, and sediment, this water filter is ideal for RVs. It lasts up to 250 gallons or 3 months.

This filter comes with a hose connection kit and a spare model D-15 replacement cartridge.

3. Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System


  • Produces clean water without bacteria growth
  • Comes with a handy built-in stand
  • Clears up sulfur taste and smell
  • Water pressure remains great
  • Easy set-up and take-down
  • Cartridge replacement is easy


  • Incoming hose fittings are fixed (stationary)
  • Pricey

This impressive, top quality Premium RV Water Filter System sends water through 2 5.0 micron filters. The sediment filter and the carbon block filter work together to eliminate chlorine, cysts, giardia, volatile organic compounds, and other impurities. Both filters are protected by 2 large filter canisters.

Although this is a dual filtering system, this water filter produces a high flow rate.

The system features stainless steel fittings and a powder-coated metal chassis which makes it easy to set up and keep standing.

4. Camco EVO Premium RV/Marine Water Filter (40631)


  • Affordable
  • Cartridges are replaceable
  • Quality product with great performance
  • Produces great, clear drinking water
  • CSA low lead content certified


  • Doesn’t eliminate chlorine and sulfur tastes and odors---only reduces
  • Connections can break if over-torqued
  • May need to consider a regulator to avoid springing leaks
  • Doesn’t come with a mounting bracket
  • One filter may not be enough for highly contaminated water

This water filter uses KDF and GAC technology to reduce sediment, bad tastes and odors caused by chlorine, aluminum, cadmium, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide, iron, lead, and mercury; and controls bacteria levels.

Its 5 micron barrier results in fresh, clean, and great-tasting drinking water for one camping season.

The filter’s compatibility with any standard garden hose connection makes it easy to install.

Included in this filter system is filter housing, one extension hose, one replaceable filter cartridge, a cartridge wrench, and teflon tape which can be applied to fittings to eliminate any potential leaks.

5. Culligan RV-800 Exterior Pre-Tank RV Water Filter with Hose


  • Long-lasting
  • A great and affordable investment
  • Easily attaches to your water supply
  • Keeps water lines and tanks clean
  • Removes odors and tastes caused by sulfur and iron
  • Reduces calcium deposits


  • May reduce water pressure
  • Plastic threads may not seal well

Using the KDF process along with the GAC filter, the Culligan RV-800 water filter reduces bacteria, bad taste and odor, chlorine taste and odor, sediment, other contaminants, and turbidity.

The standard hose fittings and the included 12-inch connection hose make it easy to connect to your RV, motor home, trailer, or boat.

The RV-800 model has a high flow rate that can last up to 2,000 gallons which makes this a great choice for larger families or higher water demand.

For storage, it’s strongly advised to cover the filter with ends to keep the filter wet and contained.

Which Filter Do You Prefer?

If you don’t mind changing the entire filter every camping season, you may want to consider the Camco TastePURE Water Filter which does an excellent job of removing metallic and chlorinated tastes and odors from the water. 

If you don’t use extensive amounts of water and prefer to change only the cartridge instead of the whole filter, you may want to go with the Culligan RVF-10 Exterior RV Drinking Water Filter.

The Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System may be what you’re looking for if you’re dealing with highly contaminated water and can afford a higher quality investment. The dual filtration system has a nifty built-in stand and produces clean, healthy and safe drinking water.

If the pressure regulator doesn't come with a hose, you can buy one fairly cheap from our list of the best RV Water Hoses

Providing clean drinking water for your family is vital!

Choose a filter that meets your specific water needs.

Also, check out our posts on the Best RV tankless water heaters and Best RV Water Pump

The post What Are The Best RV Water Filters – Reviews and Top Choices appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.

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Best RV Water Pump – Reviews and Top Choices Tue, 22 Jan 2019 22:27:28 +0000 Picture this--You’re standing under a fairly steady flow of water in the shower of your RV. Suddenly--The flow turns to dribbles!!Peeved and disappointed, you realize you’ll be needing a new water pump!Features such as water pressure, noise and vibration levels, GPM, and amperage are determining factors in the water pump that’s just right for you. […]

The post Best RV Water Pump – Reviews and Top Choices appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.


Picture this--
You’re standing under a fairly steady flow of water in the shower of your RV. Suddenly--
The flow turns to dribbles!!
Peeved and disappointed, you realize you’ll be needing a new water pump!
Features such as water pressure, noise and vibration levels, GPM, and amperage are determining factors in the water pump that’s just right for you.

Here are the Best RV Water Pumps that we will be discussing:

What Are the Benefits of an RV Water Pump?

If you already have the luxury of camping in an RV, you want the complete package of running water to go with it. A water pump gives you the luxury to wash dishes, shower, and flush the toilet with similar water pressure to your house. Even if you’re at an off-grid campsite, your water pump can grant you the comforts of running water.

Not until your water pump malfunctions do you realize how much you have come to depend on it for your comfortable living. 

How to Choose a Water Pump That’s Right for You

Choosing the right water pump can be a daunting task. So many choices and even more opinions stare at you as you look for the right one.

To sort through some of these choices, I recommend to consider a few details before purchasing a water pump.

FIRST: Determine how much PSI your RV’s water system needs or can withstand. See the below video for RV pressure tips and tricks.

SECOND: Consider the amount of amperage your generator allots for your water pump.

THIRD: How much water flow (GPM) do you need for your daily needs?

FOURTH: Although all water pumps make noise, how important is low noise and vibration to you?

For a quick overview of the importance of these considerations, click here.

Be Aware of This Before Using a Water Pump

The water pumps mentioned in this article are intended to be used in short circuit water systems such as in RVs and motorhomes. Running the pumps constantly in a manner as to supply a household of water will burn out your pump very quickly.

Know that a 12VDC connection is a Direct Current connection like a car battery; it’s not the same as house power which is AC (Alternating Current).  

These pumps are intended to be used mainly for freshwater purposes.

Although the product descriptions say you can run the pumps dry without damaging them, it’s highly recommended to only do that when winterizing your RV to ensure there’s no water left in the pump to freeze and crack it over winter.

Click here to see why you should not run your pump dry.

Know the difference between a demand pump and a bypass pump.

What to Look For in a Water Pump

A good water pump for your RV will deliver water pressure between 45-50 PSI. If you’re not sure how much PSI is too much, check with your RV manufacturer.

Most commonly, RV campers use pumps that draw out 3 gallons of water per minute (GPM).

You may want to carefully check the amp usage of your water pump to ensure it doesn’t blow a fuse in your RV. An average RV water pump will use anywhere from 5-8 amps.

You may like the convenience of a self-priming water pump. 

A good water pump has a built-in check valve that prevents a backflow and ensures a smooth flow.

Many water pumps have rubber feet to minimize the vibration and noise levels. There are several methods to “silence” your water pump.

Lastly, you want to find a pump that is durable, reliable and still affordable.

Here are our Top Picks for the Best RV Water Pumps

1. SHURFLO 4008-101-E65 3.0 Revolution Water Pump


  • It’s easy to install
  • Features rubber feet which reduce noise and vibration
  • Can fabulously deliver water up to 100 ft away
  • Delivers water fast with an even flow
  • Doesn’t overheat
  • Can be mounted in any position
  • Has a 2-year warranty


  • May need to tighten head screws before installation
  • Doesn’t come with a strainer
  • May need to adjust the bypass switch to a lower setting if pump doesn’t shut off

This affordable, environmentally friendly model is a lightweight little pump weighing only 3lbs with dimensions of 4.8x5.5x11.5in. It features a 12VDC connection which uses 7.5 amps and delivers 3.0 GPM at 55 PSI. This self-priming water pump has the ability to draw water vertically up to 6 feet.

It’s crafted with top quality features using patent-pending Flow Reaction Technology; the one-piece diaphragm, internal bypass, and built-in check valve provide you with a quiet, low-cycling and long-lasting performance with less vibration than some older models.

Thermally protected, this little water pump will automatically shut off if it overdraws current, and it will automatically turn back on once it’s cooled off. Although it has the ability to run dry without damage, it’s not advised to do that with any water pump. If maintained properly, this Shurflo model can deliver water for you daily up to 2 years.

2. Water Diaphragm Self Priming Pump 3.0 Gallons/min


  • Easy Installation--Includes connectors and filter
  • Quiet--You can hardly hear it 6ft away
  • Hardly cycles unless water is being used
  • Has a built-in flow switch
  • Pressure equates to house faucet pressure
  • Gives barely any issues
  • Doesn’t draw much current
  • Very efficient
  • Company offers great customer service
  • 4-year warranty


  • May not have a long-term life span
  • Delicate wires leading up to the pressure switch need to be handled with extra care
  • May need to redrill mounting holes to accommodate the non-standard hole patterns

This efficient Water Diaphragm pump, using significantly less amperage of 3-6 amps, also features a 12VDC connection. It’s designed slightly bigger (7.8x5.00x4.21in and 4.61lbs) than the Shurflo 4008 model.

It delivers the same 3.0 GPM but at 45 PSI which is still enough to flush a vacuum toilet or use the shower and sink at the same time. The PSI can be adjusted as low as 20 PSI. It also features a thermal overload protection to keep it from overheating.

This self-priming fresh water pump features a built-in check valve and soft rubber mounts for smooth and quiet operation. When you order this product, along with the pump, you receive a set of instructions, 2 ½in barbed hose adaptors, and a mesh inlet strainer which can be removed for cleaning.

This filter is highly beneficial for keeping out debris from entering into your water line or damaging your water pump.

3. Remco 55-AQUAJET Industries H2O Pump 5.3 Gpm 12V


  • Great pressure for large RVs and motorhomes with strong plumbing set-up
  • Easy installation
  • Operates at lower speeds
  • Adjusts automatically to accommodate pressure decrease according to demand
  • Has a maximum pressure bypass
  • 2-year warranty


  • Not necessarily the greatest choice for small camper trailers and RVs
  • Extremely high water pressure--May cause the pvc pipes to stretch and leak
  • Tends to cycle on and off with a low water flow--May want to consider using an accumulator tank to help it function optimally and reduce noise
  • Doesn’t adjust speeds very well on low water flow and subsequently pulses
  • Vibrates extensively if run at high volume
  • Company isn’t known for the greatest customer service

Remco’s 55-AQUAJET water pump features variable motor speeds which adjust according to water usage and demand. It uses the same 12VDC as the previous two pumps but has a low voltage protection which benefits you when the power supply weakens.

Its 5-valve chamber design is built to deliver a very high flow of 5.3 GPM. The shut-off pressure is at 75-85 PSI, possibly up to 100 PSI and a bypass pressure of up to 140 PSI, which is great for higher demand if your RV’s water system set-up can handle this kind of pressure. At medium to high flow, this model can operate fairly quietly at lower speeds with hydraulic transmission.

Weighing 6.43lbs, this pump’s dimensions are 12.3x6.2x5.4in. When you order this product, you should be getting 2 quick connect fittings with ½in male thread size which fit any standard pump filter.

4. Flojet Quiet Quad Water System Pump, 3GPM, 12V


  • Easy installation
  • Quiet
  • Delivers great pressure on short run times
  • Can last up to 3 years with salt water usage and proper maintenance
  • Great value for well-made product


  • Doesn’t work well with an accumulator tank (It may not even need one due to internal bypass and pressure control)
  • May need to wrap RVs water system pipes to reduce vibration noise

With a similar size (12x5x4in and 4lbs) to the Water Diaphragm pump, Flojet’s Quiet Quad Water pump self primes vertically up to 2.4m. The 4-piston design delivers 3.3 GPM with a decent shut-off pressure at 35 PSI and uses up to 8 amps during run time. It features a pressure switch, that enables it to cycle on only upon demand.

Its rubber base reduces vibration. This pump comes with quick connect plug in ports and fittings (⅜in barbs and ½in MPT connections) that easily slide into place when replacing an old water pump or when winterizing your RV. When replacing the old pump, it’s strongly recommended to use the new connectors provided to eliminate any leaking. 

Although mainly used for freshwater, it can be used for salt water with the expectation of a shorter life span. This durable, quiet water pump is highly valued. If maintained properly, it’s bound to give you long-lasting, reliable, and quality performance.

5. Flojet Triplex Diaphragm Automatic Water System Pump


  • Genuinely valuable product
  • Has no backflow
  • Runs eloquently in tough environments
  • Made of corrosion resistant materials
  • Built-in bypass causes less pulsation
  • Can last up to 4.5 years if properly maintained


  • May get hot to touch when it runs for long periods of time (It shuts off to cool down)
  • Doesn’t come with a filter

This Flojet model features a permanent magnet, ball bearing motor and 3-chamber diaphragm design which self-primes up to 9 ft suction lift. With dimensions of 9x4x4in and weight of 2.6lbs, this very lightweight, corrosion-resistant pump delivers 2.9 GPM with a pressure switch setting of approximately 50 PSI. It also uses a 12 VDC and draws 5-7 amps of current.

The soft noise-absorbing mounts and built-in bypass are designed to reduce noise and pulsation. It comes with a ½in pipe thread fitting, quick connect male adaptor, and snap in port fittings. It’s highly recommended to purchase a filter to install between the water source and the pump.

This genuinely valuable water pump is a demand pump, which means it cycles on only when a faucet is turned on and cycles off when the faucet is turned off . It produces a constant water flow and turns off smoothly without sputtering.

Used for everyday use (cooking, dishes, shower, etc), users rely on this model to run for a long time on a deep cycle battery. Maintaining it by draining the pump and letting it run dry for just a bit helps keep the pump from cracking from ice over the winter. With proper maintenance and power supply, this Flojet water system pump can last up to 4.5 years.

Which water pump is right for you?

These five water pumps all have very similar features and yet the durability and reliability seem to vary quite a bit. 

For a long-lasting, durable and reliable water pump, I recommend the affordable, corrosion-resistant Flojet 03526-144A Triplex Diaphragm Automatic Water System Pump. It only uses 5-7 amps and produces all the pressure you need to liken the comforts of home. 

If you need less PSI than what the Flojet Triplex offers, you may find the 35 PSI of the long-lasting and durable Flojet Quiet Quad Water System Pump to be right for your RV. The fact that it may be able to survive for several years even in a saltwater environment may be attractive to you. 

If you’re looking to supply a great amount of water and your RV’s plumbing system is large and strong enough to withstand up to 140 PSI, the Remco 55AQUAJET-ARV H2O Pump may be just the one for you. With an accumulator tank, you can enjoy a high water flow with a relatively quiet pump.

I encourage you to do your homework and determine what your RV’s specific needs may be. It’s important that you choose the pump that fits your budget and yet delivers water satisfactorily. 

You don’t really want to be left to shower with dribbling water again, do you?

Check out our post on the best RV Tankless water heater and Best RV Toilet.

The post Best RV Water Pump – Reviews and Top Choices appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.

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Best RV Solar Panels & Kits – Buyers Guide Mon, 21 Jan 2019 22:28:41 +0000 How do you supply power to your RV? Plugging into a park pedestal may be something you do without thinking. Perhaps you go a more trusted route with your own generator. Maybe you’ve grown tired of hearing the loudness of your rv generator instead of the soft cricket sounds at that remote campsite you love so […]

The post Best RV Solar Panels & Kits – Buyers Guide appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.


How do you supply power to your RV?

Plugging into a park pedestal may be something you do without thinking. Perhaps you go a more trusted route with your own generator. Maybe you’ve grown tired of hearing the loudness of your rv generator instead of the soft cricket sounds at that remote campsite you love so much, and you’ve decided to go green! 

Using solar panels is an excellent way to supply power to your RV.

In this Buyer’s Guide, I’ll give you an overview of 5 of the best RV solar panels and kits available in today’s market.

In this Buyer’s Guide, I’ll cover the following 5 RV Solar Panels  & Kits

Why buy solar panels??

Solar panels give you the freedom to camp anywhere and provide you with an economical and efficient power supply. With solar panels, you’re no longer restricted to parks that provide you with electric hookups. You can go to a remote, off-grid campsite as far away as you wish!

To learn more about what it means to be off-grid, click here.

Using the sun’s energy, the solar panels give you the luxuries you’ve come to depend on from shore power. It’s recommended to park your RV or place your portable panels in as much full sunlight as possible in order to ensure you get optimal amount of power.

Click here to learn how conserving energy with solar panels protects the environment.

Solar panels are safer than plugging your RV’s electrical system into a park hookup that has potential miswiring or inconsistent voltage fluctuations.

In addition to it being safer, solar panels give you the power you need for comfortable camping--without a sound! You don’t have to be the annoying neighbour with that loud generator anymore. With solar power, you eliminate the hum that disturbs the environment and you get to enjoy more of the wildlife around you. 

Check out the video below for a quick overview of how to install a solar panel system on your RV and enjoy the freedom of going off-grid.

Let’s take a look at some different attributes of solar panels

If you’re like me before I knew much about solar panels, you may think that they’re all the same. Yes--they do all gather energy from the sun, but there are definite differences that make each panel its unique product.

RV users can choose a portable solar panel which stands alone at an angle. These are easy to carry, move around, and store. Their easy setup makes them a great choice even for tent campers.

Another solar panel bends up to a 30 degree angle. With this flexible feature, users can bend the panels to gather as much direct sunlight as possible.

The amps and watt-hours of the solar panels are likely the most important differences to consider. Depending on the amount of appliances and phone chargers, or lights and fans that need to be powered up determines whether you’d choose a solar panel with a 10-, 20-, or 30-amp charge controller.

Here are our top 5 RV Solar Panels and Kits

1. WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit


  • It’s inexpensive
  • Easy installation
  • Works great


  • May need more wire and MC4 connectors than provided in the kit
  • Charge controller may not work optimally (But, it has a 12 month warranty)

The WindyNation-100W Solar Panel Kit includes (1)100W Solar Panel, (1)20-amp P20L LCD display solar charge controller, 40 feet of UL listed 12 AWG solar cable, (1 pair) MC4 connectors, (1)100 amp-hour AGM deep cycle 12 volt BattaMax battery, and (4 sets) solar panel mounting brackets and fasteners.

This 20-amp charge controller can handle up to 3 100W-panels which equals to a 12-volt system. Depending on sunlight exposure, one panel can provide an average of 350 watt-hours or 33 amp-hours each day.

With the user-adjustable PMW solar charge controller with a digital LCD screen, users can easily see the solar panel and battery charge status, the voltage, and the direct current (DC) load draw.

This 90-lb solar panel weathers extremely cold temperatures and severe thunderstorms. It can power a 5k AC unit with an additional battery and full sunlight.

2. ACOPOWER UV11007GD 100W Foldable Solar Panel Kit


  • It’s portable
  • It’s very convenient
  • It sets up in one minute
  • Great value
  • Great customer service


  • Doesn’t power a microwave
  • Setup instructions are a little vague

The Acopower Foldable Solar Panel Kit includes (2) pieces of foldable 50W Grade A monocrystalline solar panels and (1) 10-amp charge controller.

This portable kit is easy to carry and comes with a protective suitcase. It features pre-installed stands that set up within 1 minute. No mounting brackets are needed for this unit. The angle of the stands can be adjusted in order to get the most sunlight as possible.

The frame is made of corrosion-resistant aluminum, giving it the solid, lightweight structure. This kit features protective corners to reinforce its durability. It comes with a pre-installed 10-amp charge controller, and it’s prewired for a 12-volt battery. It runs lights, fans, chargers, phones, and more.

Even in low light, this 33-lb Acopower boasts high performance. For best results, this solar panel should be set up facing the sun.

3. HQST 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Kit


  • Runs very well with partial sunlight
  • Good price for what you get
  • Immediately starts charging
  • Great for remote RV sites


  • Set-up may be slightly confusing with the positive and negative not clearly marked
  • Will need to buy a battery, cable, and an inverter to complete the system setup
  • Does put 8 holes in your RV roof
  • Additional panels will require the charge controller to be upgraded to a 30-amp

The HQST 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kit includes (1) 100W 12V polycrystalline solar panel, (1) 30-amp PWM LCD charge controller, (1 pair) 20ft 12 AWG adaptor cables, (1 set) Z-Brackets and all necessary mounting hardware.

Depending on the amount of sunlight available, this unit can provide an average of 500 watt-hours per day. This system can be expanded up to 400 watts and 24 volts.

This light 19-lb solar panel can fully charge a 50 amp-hour battery from 50% in just 3 hours.

This solar panel comes with pre-drilled holes, making mounting an easy task. It provides a 12V system excellent for RV’s, trailers, boats, and off-grid cabins.

Warranty for this kit goes as follows:

     Panels, material and workmanship: 5 years

     Power output: 25 years

     Accessories, materials and workmanship: 1 year

4. Renogy KIT-RV400D Solar Panel kit


  • Highly efficient
  • Powers most your RV needs
  • Can endure tough weather
  • Great system
  • Excellent power supply


  • May not come with sufficient wiring
  • May need to buy extra fuses and MC4 connectors if panels are separated
  • Pricey

The Renogy Kit-RV400D Solar Panel Kit includes (4) 100W 12V solar panels, (1) 30-amp PMW Flush Mount Charge Controller, 30ft-10 AWG MC4 adaptor kit, 16ft-10 AWG tray cable, (3 pairs) branch connectors, (4 sets) Z-Brackets for mounting.

This 88-lb, 12V RV kit has a monocrystalline solar cell efficiency of 18.4% which charges a battery with high efficiency. It can power the electricity (including an oven) needed in an RV. It can charge 4 6V-batteries and a 2k watt inverter with ease.

The corrosion-resistant aluminum frames of these panels are designed to withstand high winds and heavy snow loads. This system features a UV-resistant, waterproof cable entry housing which installs smoothly on any roof.

5. ALLPOWERS Solar Panel 100W 18V Flexible Solar Module


  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Powerful


  • Doesn’t come with a charge controller
  • May become brittle
  • Needs ventilation underneath to prevent overheating

The Allpowers Solar Panel Module includes (1) 100W bendable SunPower solar panel, (1) Instruction Manual, and 18-month guarantee.

This 4.7-lb SunPower solar panel may be light, but it’s powerful. The solar panel cell boasts up to 23.5% efficiency. Without a charge controller, you run the possibility of overcharging your batteries. This panel can power a refrigerator, shower, and even a car sound system.

This water-resistant unit features a semi-flexible panel that arches up to 30 degrees. The panel has 4 metal reinforced mounting holes that make it easy to install on your RV, boat, cabin, or any other irregular surface. The bent panels can potentially collect more solar energy; however, if moved too often, they can become brittle.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to use the solar panel to power up just a few of your necessities, you may want to consider the Acopower Foldable Solar Panel Kit. Because it’s portable, you can place it in the sun’s tracks to gain as much energy as possible.

If you’re looking for something more permanent that provides a higher amount of energy, you could consider the HQST 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel Kit. At a decent price, the 30-amp charge controller will provide you with an average of 500 watt-hours per day. The pre-drilled holes are designed to make the mounting process a breeze.

If your budget allows for a full, well-rounded system, I recommend the Renogy Kit-RV400D Solar Panel Kit. With these 4 panels you’ll receive enough clean power to supply most of your RV needs. 

Happy Camping!

The post Best RV Solar Panels & Kits – Buyers Guide appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.

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Best RV Surge Protector – 30 & 50 Amp Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:00:38 +0000 Owning an RV is not cheap, that's why it's important to maintain your RV with care to keep your maintanance costs down. One of the ways to protect your RV from potential electricity damage (surge) damage is with an RV Surge Protector. With different brands and options available, it was important for me to get […]

The post Best RV Surge Protector – 30 & 50 Amp appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.


Owning an RV is not cheap, that's why it's important to maintain your RV with care to keep your maintanance costs down. One of the ways to protect your RV from potential electricity damage (surge) damage is with an RV Surge Protector. With different brands and options available, it was important for me to get the best RV surge protector in today’s market.

In this Article, I’ll Cover 5 of the Best RV Surge Protectors (30 & 50 Amp):

In the end, if money isn’t an issue, deciding between a YETI and an alternative comes strictly down to the features you want.

What’s the big deal?! Why bother??

These may be your exact thoughts!

It seems like such a minor detail among all the other necessary preparations that go along with your RV trip.

With these thoughts, I propose a question:

How important is your RV to you?

If unprotected, one electrical storm can be enough to blow your RV’s entire electrical system and fry out many of your electronics. Even without a storm, in the unfortunate event that you end up plugging your RV cord into a miswired outlet at a park, the extent of potential damage is grave.

Click here to read more about why surge protectors matter.

You can make repairs and replacements, but those don’t compare to your losing the entire RV along with your precious belongings to a fire.

You can read about a couple’s experience of how a surge protector saved their belongings  here.

A surge protector can be the cushion your RV needs to avoid these annoying and even heartbreaking damages. Obviously if you have a RV Generator powering you RV or Solar Panels you won't have this issue. 

What is a surge protector?

Whether you have a hardwired one installed into your RV’s electrical system or a portable one plugged directly between your RV and the park pedestal, either is designed to give you a sense of security by detecting any faulty wiring in outlets and analyzing any issues with low and high voltage or reversed polarity.

Surge protectors protect your electrical system in measurements called joules. The more joules your surge protector has--the better!

When the inevitable surges occur, the surge protector shuts off power to your RV and analyzes the problem. Most RV surge protectors have light indicators that let you know what the problem is.

If the surge wasn’t too big, the surge protector is supposed to allow power back to your RV after a few minutes.

A surge protector is not to be confused with a circuit breaker.

Although they both shut off your power supply, they have vitally different functions. A surge protector is not resettable but will absorb the surges in order to protect your appliances and electrical system.

Here is further explanation of the difference between a surge protector and a circuit breaker.

In the event of it being an overpowering surge or voltage spike, the surge protector will sacrifice itself in order to save your RV’s electrical system. (Note that this is usually not covered by warranty since it’s designed for this) In this case, you’ll need to replace your surge protector, but it will have saved you potentially thousands of dollars in other repairs.

Your surge protector needs your protection.

Surge protectors are pricey investments we RVers make in order to bring safety on the road with us. Unfortunately, not all happy campers get theirs honestly.

The portable surge protectors are easy to steal. Some come with lock devices for you to lock them down; however, even those may not be enough to keep them entirely safe from theft. Some RV users use cables or build special lockboxes to make their surge protector theft-safe.

It’s recommended to keep the surge protector off the ground and out of water.

Check your surge protector regularly to see if it’s still functioning.

Click here to read about the lifespan of a surge protector and how to maintain it.

How do you go about choosing a surge protector for your RV?

Finding the right surge protector for your RV is important!

Yes, it does save you from extensive damage, and that’s worth every dollar.

But since it does require a bit of an investment, you want to make sure you get something that covers all your bases and gives you quality service.

FIRST: Determine whether you need a 50 or 30 amp connection. Your RV cord will tell you which one you need.

A 50 amp is 4-pronged while a 30 amp is 3-pronged.

SECOND: Consider the amount of appliances and electronics in your RV. The more you have determines the amount of protection you need.

THIRD: Consider a surge protector with high joule absorption.

FOURTH: A surge protector with a weather shield can prolong its life.

FIFTH: Always consider your budget and look for something that fits into your range but still covers your needs.

Top 5 Best RV Surge Protectors: Our Top Choices

1. Progressive Industries 313.1168 SSP30X Smart Surge Protector- 120V/30A


  • Affordable
  • Has a locking pad to prevent theft
  • Protects against reversed polarity
  • Has bright indicator lights
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Doesn’t come with a protective housing
  • It’s weather resistant--not waterproof
  • May not be the best choice of protection against miswiring
  • Doesn’t have a high joule absorption

The portable SSP30X is a 3-mode, 30 amp surge protector which can absorb up to 825 joules and operate between -40C and +105C.

This surge protector is designed to detect open ground, open neutral, and reversed polarity. (Note that it says DETECT--not protect.) It indicates issues concerning problematic power sources and keeps you from plugging into those sources. It keeps your electronics safe during power surges.

It has 3 bright-color LED indicator lights which let you know what’s going on with the surge protector. It has a built-in surge indicator which lets you know the condition of the surge protector. The built-in polarity tester analyzes the condition of the pedestal’s wiring before sending a 120V power supply to your RV.

Its weather-resistant and thermally-protected compact build is designed for outdoor use and easy storage. The rugged handles make plugging the device in and out a smooth ordeal.

This model is made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty on it. It’s important to note that warranty doesn’t cover damage caused during natural disasters such as flooding or hurricanes, nor if you drive off with it plugged into the pedestal, nor in the event of an automobile accident. You can call customer service 7 days a week for any concerns or questions you may have.

2. Camco Dogbone RV Circuit Analyzer & Integrated Surge Protection


  • Well-made product
  • Has a reliable design
  • Light indicators notify you if the electrical conditions are OK or not
  • Has a high joule absorption
  • Good customer service


  • Weather resistant--but not waterproof
  • Comes with a long cord that may rest on the ground in potential water puddles
  • Its big design makes plugging it in or closing the electrical supply box difficult

This circuit analyzer is a 50 amp surge protector that can protect your RV up to 4,200 joules. It has a NEMA 14-50 plug and receptacle which means it’s 4-pronged.

This surge protector is designed to protect your electrical equipment from miswired outlets and pedestals. Light indicators, which are easy to understand, will notify you if the electrical conditions are in order or not. It takes 1-2 minutes for the surge protector to detect any faults in the outlet wiring or voltage range. Once it’s ready and it’s OK for you to plug in your RV cord, the green light indicator will stop blinking and stay a steady green. The surge protector is then ready to send out a 125/250V power supply.

This 6-lb “piglet-sized” model comes with a power grip handle which makes for safer and easier handling. On the back of the device, there’s a chart which helps you determine the details about issues concerning park power.

Its weather resistant design adds to the great value of this Camco Dogbone model.

This unit holds great value for something that protects you from potentially extensive damage.

3. Surge Guard 44260 Entry Level Portable Surge Protector - 30 Amp


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Not too big
  • Hardly gives any issues
  • Works with some rain exposure
  • Has a fairly good joule absorption
  • Well-made, heavy-duty product


  • Doesn’t come with a metal to lock down surge protector to prevent theft
  • Lights are dim in sunlight
  • May have to push hard for a tight connection
  • Doesn’t necessarily protect against low voltage

The Surge Guard 44260, made in Honduras, is a 30 amp surge protector that absorbs 2,100 joules. It analyzes the condition of the power sources you wish to access and indicates the status using indicator lights. A green light means the connections are good. A red light indicator warns you of improper grounding, and the surge protector will keep power from going to your RV.

This model detects faulty park power concerning open ground, open neutral, and reversed polarity. It can protect your RV’s electrical system from power surges during a thunderstorm and from inconsistent voltage received from park pedestals. (Note: A surge protector will usually not protect your RV’s electrical system from a direct lightning strike.)

This surge protector features a low profile male plug which fits under receptacle covers. It’s manufactured with a little pull-out handle which makes it easy to use. It measures just over 22 inches.

4. PROGRESSIVE INDUSTRIES SSP-30XL Surge Protector with Cover (30 Amp)


  • Lightweight but heavy-duty
  • UL Certified
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Although it detects miswired outlets and inconsistent voltages, it may be limited in the protection it actually gives

The SSP-30XL, made in the USA, is another 3-mode, 30 amp model that absorbs up to 825 joules and sends out 120 volts. It also detects and indicates miswired pedestals. Its thermally-protected, weather-resistant design is made for outdoor use and operates between -40C and +105C. The 3 brighter-coloured indicator lights indicate whether it’s safe to plug in your RV power cord or not and if your surge protector has sacrificed itself in an attempt to save your RV.

It features a rubber splash guard which protects it from any rain that splashes upward. This model features an All Weather Shield Assembly which attaches to the surge protector with 4 screws. Note that the lifetime warranty excludes this Lexan shield.

It comes with a locking bracket to protect against theft and rugged pull handles for easy use.

Having this surge protector is worth the investment to know your electronics are protected against power surges during power outages.

5. Surge Guard 34850 Portable Model with LCD Display - 50 Amp


  • Easy to use and compact
  • Has a good amount of joule absorption
  • Has an added lock-box to protect against theft
  • Has a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Works efficiently and with reliability


  • Pricey

This Surge Guard 50 amp model is quite pricey, but it offers significantly more protection than the previously mentioned surge protectors. It absorbs up to 3,850 joules. Its built-in intelligence gives it the ability not only to detect faulty wiring and inconsistent voltage, but also to monitor the amp draw, voltage, and correct polarity. With this unit you can even monitor how many amps your 15k btu draws per leg.

It can protect against power surges, and high and low voltage currents. It features a power on time delay (2 minutes) which is beneficial in keeping heavy-duty appliances to remain off during power flickers.

Since the manufacturer knows the value and quality of this device, this surge protector comes with a lockbox to protect it from thieves.

It’s recommended to keep this surge guard from bouncing around while driving your RV from place to place and to make sure you don’t drop this by accident.

Unless you face a major flaw or an extensively high voltage spike, you can expect this surge protector to serve you from 2-5 years.

Have you spotted the surge protector that’s right for your RV needs?

If you need a 50 amp surge protector and your budget allows for a more advanced option, you may want to consider the Surge Guard 34850 Portable Model with LCD Display. (See Price Here) With the extra cost, you gain not only the faulty wiring detection and indication but also the protection against inconsistent voltages and power surges.

If you’re needing a 30 amp surge protector, I recommend you use the affordable Surge Guard 44260 Entry Level Portable Surge Protector. (See Price Here) It has a fair amount of joule absorption and can potentially protect your RV’s electrical system more than the ones with 825 joules. Not too bulky, it’s easy to use and understand.

Whatever choice you make, I highly recommend for you to get a surge protector!

At the end of the day it’s worth every dollar to have that extra security plugged between you and that park pedestal. It only takes one lightning storm or one bad connection for your belongings to be at a potential risk of extensive damage or being destroyed by a fire.

Get a surge protector that fits your needs.

Happy--and peaceful--camping!

The post Best RV Surge Protector – 30 & 50 Amp appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.

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What Is the Best RV Shower Head? Sat, 12 Jan 2019 21:32:18 +0000 It trickles… Or it BLASTS extreme temperatures!! As an RVer, you can relate to the distrustful relationship with these inconsistent shower heads.  In this article, I’ll show you what is the best RV shower head in order for you to be able to experience a satisfying shower much like at home. Here’s a Quick Overview of the […]

The post What Is the Best RV Shower Head? appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.


It trickles…

Or it BLASTS extreme temperatures!!

As an RVer, you can relate to the distrustful relationship with these inconsistent shower heads.

In this article, I’ll show you what is the best RV shower head in order for you to be able to experience a satisfying shower much like at home.

Here’s a Quick Overview of the Best Shower Heads on the Market Today

What Do I Need In a Good Shower Head?

Besides a flexible hose and a sturdy wall mount, a good shower head needs to conserve water and have satisfying pressure.

Innovative technology allows for both to be present in many of the shower heads on the market today.

By injecting oxygen into the water droplets, Oxygenics delivers a shower head that seemingly increases pressure but has the ability to function beautifully at a low flow rate. Click here to read how Oxygenics explains air in the water droplets.

Manufacturers design the shower head to have a wider diameter. WIth the increased oxygen and the wide coverage, the shower head is able to deliver a gentle shower that increases the pressure rate but uses a low flow rate.

Check the below video that illustrates this concept.

My Shut Off Valve Leaks!! Is It broken???

Many RVers are profusely annoyed at the trickle of the shut off valve that comes on most RV shower heads.

Manufacturers claim the valve dribbles to maintain a moderate temperature, keeping the cold water from backing up into the hot water line. Then, when the valve is turned back on, it isn’t wasteful with trying to warm up the water.

It would be excellent if the intended purpose to conserve water was a reality.

In many cases, however, the shower heads still blast out cold water when the water is turned back on.

If the valve dribbled warm water, it wouldn’t pose such a big problem.

But whether it’s supposed to dribble or not, the controversy remains!

If you’re one of the ones that gets highly annoyed by these trickles, watch a tutorial on how to fix that leak in the below video.

How Can I Save Water in an RV?

Water conservation in the RV life is so important.

The grey water tank fills up way too fast as it is. Conserving water becomes even more highly essential when you end up dry camping, or boondocking.

Click here for 12 easy tips to save water while boondocking.

By getting a good shower head that functions fabulously at a low flow rate, you’ll already be able to save much water.

You can further your water conservation with these tips:

       1. Turn your shower head valve to off mode when you lather up

       2. Save shower water for shaving and rinsing your shaver

       3. Take short showers

       4. Use the first cold water from the tap for things like brushing teeth or house cleaning 

Let’s take a look at a 5 of the best RV shower heads available today.

Here is a closer look at the Top 5 Best RV Shower Heads

1. ETL White Standard Oxygenics 26781 Hand Held Sprayer Kit


  • Gives a full body rinse
  • Has a swivel wall mount
  • Conserves water with a low flow rate
  • Easy installation
  • Like shower at home
  • Built well
  • Inexpensive 


  • Shower head may feel large
  • Shower head can be too heavy to stay upright in the swivel mount
  • Water pattern on the shower head may seem too small

The ETL Oxygenics Hand Held Sprayer Kit is a stylish, self-pressurizing kit that delivers a wide, powerful water flow. Oxygenics uses water-saving technology to inject oxygen into the water droplets to enable a high-pressure spray at a low flow rate of 2.0 GPM.

The increased pressure quickly soaks your entire body and rinses even long hair by using less water than standard shower heads. The water pressure remains consistently satisfying no matter which direction you point the shower head. The pressure can be adjusted with the settings ranging from soft to stimulating.

The kit has a water shut-off valve that doesn’t actually shut off completely, but remains at a constant dribble to maintain water temperature.

2. PIH High Pressure RV Handheld Shower Head Unit


  • Gives steady, increased pressure
  • Delivers a wide spray rather than a concentrated one
  • The head sits in the mount in any direction you need
  • Hot water lasts longer
  • Easy installation
  • No leaks
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable
  • Increases pressure without a pressure regulator
  • Doesn’t dribble when shut off valve is enabled


  • Hose is slightly short
  • May use a fair amount of water
  • Not an excellent choice if you’ll be dry camping often
  • You may not like the yellow color

This light yellow (off white) PIH handheld shower head delivers an outstanding flow at a very satisfying pressure rate. Even if you’re hooked up to a low water pressure system, this shower spray can instantly raise your water pressure levels.

With the increased pressure, you can aim your shower head to wherever you want.

This shower head has multiple function settings: powerful shooting, pulse massage, and pause.

The first setting is made up of the outer (larger) circumference of the head which produces a fine stream flow with great pressure. The second setting is designed to massage with a hard stream coming from the center of the head.

Of the 5 shower heads in this article, this seems to be the only one that doesn’t dribble at the shut off valve when it’s been enabled.

The focus of this shower head is more to deliver a satisfactory pressure rate than to conserve water. If you will be boondocking often, you may want to consider an alternative option.

3. Oxygenics 26481 Brushed Nickel Body Spa RV Shower Kit


  • Increases water pressure
  • Looks stylish
  • Easy installation
  • Output flow is gentle, resembling raindrops


  • Hose isn’t very flexible
  • Head doesn’t rest securely in bracket while traveling
  • May need to remove restrictors for sufficient flow
  • Has uneven water patterns

This model of Oxygenics delivers a wide-coverage spray. It delivers a homelike water pressure and conserves water at the same time. The special spray pattern gives a quick and thorough rinse to even long hair.

You can use the Smart Pause Valve to pause water flow while lathering up. The valve doesn’t completely shut off; it dribbles while it’s on pause.

The internal materials are designed to resist hard water buildups and clogging.

4. Dura Faucet RV Shower Head and Hose Kit


  • Easy installation
  • Affordable
  • Shower head holder is tight--keeps the shower head from jumping out of the bracket while traveling


  • Not durable as homelike shower heads are
  • Pre-installed filter may block water flow
  • Spray feels like a mere dribble

The Dura Faucet RV Shower Head and Hose Kit provides a durable and lightweight shower head that’s easy to grip. It has a wand base and a water saving trickle valve switch. It’s made from corrosion- and fade-resistant, lead-free resins.

It has a flow rate of 2.2 GPM at 60 PSI.

The flexible hose adds a modern touch to your RV and is easy to manage.

This shower head is a great replacement choice for your old shower head. It conserves water which makes this an excellent choice for boondocking.

5. ETL 26181 Plastic Body Spa Oxygenics Shower with 60" Hose


  • Wall mount pivots
  • Gives a quick rinse
  • Water-saving
  • Increases the “feeling” of water pressure but has a low flow rate
  • Light shower head with a comfortable grip
  • Doesn’t corrode
  • Delivers a wide spray
  • Easy installation


  • It’s plastic
  • Handle weight may be too heavy to stay in the holder
  • Very stiff hose
  • Can be loud
  • Doesn’t produce a strong spray but more of a concentrated one

This plastic handheld shower head with jet engine power features self-pressurization that injects oxygen into the water flow for a seemingly increased water flow rate of 2.0 GPM.

You can adjust the flow from soft to stimulating. It has a shut-off valve to help save water.

This shower head sprays downward which is excellent for small shower spaces.

Which Shower Head Is Right For You

The PIH High Pressure RV Handheld Shower Head has outstanding performance as it gives a highly satisfying shower that resembles the pressure you have at home. If you are looking for an affordable option to finally get a full body soak and rinse while on the road, this may be the one for you. 

If you are looking for a shower head that will help you conserve water but still promises to deliver high pressure flow, you may want to consider the ETL White Standard Oxygenics 26781. 

You may be needing a simple replacement of your old shower head or you might be planning to dry camp often. If this is you, I recommend the Dura Faucet RV Shower Head and Hose Kit. It’s a plastic unit with a flexible hose that gets the job done well.

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