What’s not to love about a gadget?
If you visit the caravan and motorhome shows, you’ll be familiar with the often flamboyant demonstrations launching the latest gizmos, and the many stands selling anything and everything to do with all aspects of touring.
If you haven’t been to one of these shows, I’d recommend going along – they’re an excellent way to see what’s available. Meantime, here are some of my favourite products on the market.
Rear-view camera and monitor
Many motorhomes have a limited rear view from the driver’s seat and the rear-view mirror is often redundant or lacking. A rear-view camera offers bird’s-eye views of the space around your ‘van and the view up the road behind you, in perfect clarity, from the carefully placed monitor. It really is a must-have item for any motorhome. There are lots of suppliers, such as RoadPro.
Unsure how much gas you have left in your cyclinder? Truma LevelControl uses ultrasound to measure the gas level and relays the result to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth or SMS. You do need to have the iNet Box installed for this to function. You can find your nearest dealer at www.truma.com or, here’s how to install the gadget yourself.
If you want to keep your motorhome cool in hot temperatures and circulate the air, the MaxxFan is a super bit of kit. It has a powerful 10-speed fan, which can draw in or expel air, and an automatic temperature control. All of this can be operated with a remote or the unit control panel. The rain cover allows you to have the skylight open even when it is raining. You can purchase the MaxxFan from RoadPro, among other suppliers.
Milenco 10 by Optimate
It is important to keep your leisure battery topped up. If it falls below 12V, it has fully discharged, and you’ll need to buy a new one. The Milenco 10 by Optimate protects, charges and maintains the battery. It constantly analyses battery status and adjusts the pulse charge accordingly. Find a retailer at www.milenco.com
Once you’re connected to the mains, plug in a mains tester to ensure you do not have reversed polarity. This term means that the site system has somehow been wired the wrong way around, with neutral and live cables incorrectly swapped. That is potentially dangerous, so it’s best to go without a mains supply if this condition is revealed on the tester. In reality, this is most unlikely in the UK, but reversed polarity is occasionally found on the Continent. Suppliers include Towsure.
For peace of mind on the road, you might consider TyrePal, a tyre pressure monitoring system that continuously monitors your tyres while you are driving.
Sensors locked onto the tyre valves register with the monitor, which wlll alert the driver visibly and audibly if there is a puncture, low/high pressure or overheating.
Extra sensors can be purchased, ideal for those who tow a car or trailer. Find out more at TyrePal.
Flexi Fresh Water Trunk
This clever kit takes the hassle out of filling up your fresh-water tank. Made from food-grade materials, it hooks over the tap, leaving your hands free to support the flexible hose.
The flexi-hose expands from 50cm to 100cm, which should reach from tap to filling point. More details from Colapz.
Collapsible watering can
This space-saving container can be dismantled and the removable sections housed in separate compartments. The can simply compresses together, allowing it to be stored in compact spaces. It is ideal for filing the flush water tank for the Thetford toilet. Learn more at Colapz.
Collapsible buckets can be found in many outlets, including supermarkets. They concertina down, saving space, are lightweight, and can be used for draining the fresh-water tank or plenty of other tasks while you’re on-site.
Folding coat hangers
Coat hangers can be quite unwieldy, particularly when in transit, but check out this folding coat hanger with hinged arms. Folded out, it is rigid, and folded down, it takes up very little space – the perfect travel gadget. This one is also available with multiple arms (eight in total). You can find a local retailer at Pennine Leisure Suppliers.
Owners of small or elderly dogs that struggle to climb into the motorhome might consider this handy-folding step. It collapses almost completely flat, takes up very little room and is easy to store. This one is available in three- and four-step versions. Retailers are listed at Pennine Leisure Suppliers.
Microfibre drying rack
This folding multi-slot rack offers ample space for your plates, bowls and cups. It also has a super-absorbent, quick-drying microfibre base. Space-saving and lightweight, it’s ideal for campervans. Find your nearest stockist at Pennine Leisure Suppliers.
Ever taken your ‘van out of storage to find it covered in algae, bird deposits and leaves? A telescopic water-fed brush is great for cleaning those hard-to-reach places. Soft bristles won’t damage paintwork or windows, and the brush is available in various lengths. Buy from Towsure.
These are just a few of the many great gadgets I’ve come across on my travels/ Now we’d love to hear about some of your favourites – just email us at: [email protected]!
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A rear-view camera offers bird's eye views of the space around your 'van; it really is a must-have item for any motorhome