After full-timing in two separate rigs, we’ve compiled a lot of gear that we love. We’ve spent a lot of time researching and testing our equipment and hope our reports come in handy!
THE MOBILE OFFICE
We are fortunate to have remote jobs that allow us to work from anywhere, and this also means that our office travels with us. Below are the equipment we use that lets us work on the go.
- weBoost Drive 4G-X Cell Signal Booster. This will take a weak cell phone signal and amplify it into a useable signal, which is critical for when we need to work in areas with spotty cell coverage. We bought the trucker version for the larger antenna.
- Custom Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Laptops. These were an expensive buy but they’ve been so worth it. They’re extremely lightweight and durable, can last a full work day without needing a charge, and they re-charge very quickly. We ordered custom features on ours to maximize longevity.
- Asus Portable USB Monitor with Anker Tablet Stand. For all our double-screening needs.
- Lenovo Thinkpad USB Keyboard and Logitech Marathon Wireless Mouse. When we’re working outside and double-screening it on our table, our chairs sit too low to type comfortably on the laptop. So we have a keyboard and mouse that we use with a lap desk while sitting in our chairs. It’s an unconventional setup, but not having to hunch over a keyboard and being able to sit up to look at the computer screens makes for a very comfortable workstation!
- His and Hers Travel Bags. These took a lot of work to find and we are both so happy with the final decisions we came to. It’s difficult to find a bag that has appropriate space for both a laptop and a portable monitor, plus the keyboard, mouse, a million different cords, and other odds and ends like notebooks, Kindles, pens, external hard drives, etc. that also allow for organized storage. These bags both fit the bill in their respective ways and I am madly, deeply, truly in love with mine in the way that only a woman could love a bag.
- Coleman Instant Screenhouse. An awesome way to create living space. Easy to set up and take down with two people, keeps bugs out, allows us to create our own shade anywhere, and can handle rain as well as a non-sided shelter can. Highly recommended.
- GCI Outdoors Event Chairs. Read more about our chair-finding quest here.
- Lifetime 6′ Folding Table. This table is super sturdy and has enough space to cook and work on at the same time, but it’s heavy. We may consider going the aluminum route down the road, but we don’t want to compromise sturdiness – anyone know of any good candidates?
- Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Stove. Even though we have an indoor stove now, we still opt to cook outside most of the time. This stove has consistently been the best-rated camp stove out there that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and we really like ours. It provides a good range of heat settings and fits our full-size skillet and saucepan at the same time.
- Jetboil Cooking System. One of Clay’s favorite toys, it is a super efficient fuel user and is our preferred way to boil water fast.
- The electricity-free alternative to a Keurig. There is work involved in using this guy to make coffee, but we can’t tell the difference in the final product between a real Keurig and this, and that’s where it counts! You can use k-cups or add grounds to the reuseable pod that comes with it. Add hot water and push the water through the k-cup using the accordion-style silicone topper. Easy to clean.
- Pop-A-Plate. We use paper plates to reduce water use, and the pop-a-plate is clutch for keeping the plates neatly stacked AND taking up vertical space instead of horizontal.
- Pop-A-Bag. Sensing a trend here… great way to keep our plastic grocery bags contained and out of the way, as we use them as our trash bags.
- Tongs. Crappy tongs are seriously the worst thing on the planet and when I found these, I wanted to scream from the rooftops that I had finally found the best tongs I have ever used. Good weight to them and they’ll grip everything. Life’s too short for flimsy tongs.
- Cutlery Tray. These can be hard to find in the right dimensions for an RV kitchen drawer, but this one is a great fit for our Escape and the price was right.
- Honda EU2000i Portable Generator. We love this generator. It is one of the quietest generators on the market, compact enough to easily move around, and powerful enough to run our AC. It is incredibly fuel efficient as well.
- 12V Battery and Charging System Monitor. A necessity for boondocking, this helps us easily keep track of battery voltage by popping it into a 12V outlet.
- 105 Watt Portable Flexible Solar Panels. We bought their 105W version and the jury is still out on how we feel about this. The fact that they’re flexible makes them super lightweight and easy to store, and the panels work as tested using our battery system monitor. But we’re not wild about the solar charge controller it came with and have plans to replace it so we can get a better idea of how well the solar panels are actually charging the battery.
- Marine-grade 12V Power Outlet. The Escape had one 12V outlet in the entire camper – in the bed area, of all places. Clay had previously installed these in our Four Wheel Camper, and we liked the durability of them so much that he installed three more in the Escape: two in the dinette/office area and one that’s accessible from outdoors. This allows us to charge our laptops and phones while boondocking.
- Aukey 4-Port Car Charger with Quick Charge Ability. This thing is awesome as we can charge nearly every little electronic we have – phones, Kindle, fitbit, iPods, portable chargers – nearly all at once and only use up one port. Most importantly, our phones charge quickly on this thing.
- 12V Extension Cord and 12V Splitter. Since we have only one 12V outlet for the outdoors, these really come in handy. Both are heavy-duty.
BATHROOM AND PLUMBING
- Suction Cup Shower Caddy. These are always risky buys because a lot of them never stay in place, but this one has been rock solid not only for holding things, but for transport as well. Installation needs to be meticulous – it needs a perfectly flat surface, otherwise it won’t adhere. But once we found the right spot, it stuck tight and it isn’t going anywhere!
- RhinoFlex Stinky Slinky. We have been schooled on the necessity of a high-quality sewer hose, and this is THE sewer hose to have. So we have it too. We needed to trim it a bit shorter to fit in our storage tube, but that was an easy adjustment.
- Zinus Memory Foam Mattress. 4000+ reviews on Amazon can’t steer you wrong, right? My regret is not ordering this immediately upon buying our camper. This mattress is so affordable and has improved our sleep quality in spades. We bought the 10″, but I think we would have been just fine with the 8″.
Only the best for Princess Lucy.
- Indoor Dog Bed. In my never-ending quest to keep as much dirt out of the camper as possible, Lucy gets a designated indoor bed. She is thin-coated and gets cold easily, so I like that this one has sides for her to burrow into. I keep an IKEA blanket in the bed for her as well. You know, to facilitate the burrowing.
- Outdoor Dog Bed. Really like this design as it folds up nicely for travel, is easy to keep clean, and it keeps her up off the ground in the event said ground is wet or rocky.
- Weatherbeeta Dog Coat. We call this her turtle shell. It’s weatherproof and keeps her quite warm. She may or may not also have a Yoda costume that she’s been known to sport at times.
- Light-Up Collar. Lucy wears this every evening because we’d never find her otherwise. A huge bonus is that it’s rechargeable by USB, and one charge lasts her quite a few nights.
- Kurgo Water Bottle. I used to have one of these but once it started leaking, we upgraded to the Kurgo and I like this one so much better. Not only can we share water, but I like how the dog insert is actually bowl-shaped, not tray-shaped, which means we waste less water when on the go.
- Pet Car Seat Cover. With a new truck comes renewed effort to keep everything pristine, right? This car seat cover in XL fits the Tundra perfectly, and the hammock style keeps Lucy where she needs to stay – in the backseat!
- State Sticker Map. I mean, every full-time RVer needs one of these, and there are few things more exciting than adding a state sticker to the map.
Four Wheel Camper Eagle Shell Model
Interested in some of our must-have gear for when we were rocking out a Four Wheel Camper? Here are our favorites!
- Indel B 40L Refrigerator. We chose this one because it was the biggest, most energy efficient fridge we could get at a reasonable price. We bought it through a promotion at Equipt Expedition Outfitters. It holds enough meat, produce, and dairy to get the two of us through about two weeks of boondocking, and it uses 1-3 amps per hour depending on how well it’s holding temperature (IE it’s more energy hungry during the initial cool-down, if it’s in really hot temperatures, or if we open and close it frequently).
- HQST Solar Panels. HQST is rebranded Renogy panels, and we installed two 100W panels on the roof of the camper using the Yakima racks. Coupled with a 200Ah battery, the solar self-sustained our camper’s energy needs completely with room to spare.
- Igloo 5 Gallon Water Cooler. We love and hate this thing. While parked, it’s awesome. It will keep ice for a few days, the water flow out of the spigot is really good and consistent, and it’s easy to clean and refill. However, it is not water-tight for transit, so we can’t fill it with water and then drive to wherever we’re going. So we’ve been opting to fill it with ice and add water to it upon campsite arrival.
- Kreiger 1500W Power Inverter. We chose it to charge our laptops, run my hair dryer, and run our tiny electric heater. It also has USB ports for phone charging, reads the voltage of the camper’s main battery it’s hooked up to, and it reads the watts it draws when it’s in use.
- Our ‘Nightstands’: Husky Utility Pouch. With a velcro back, these utility pouches stick right to the velcro lining of the pop-up portion of the camper and are really great for keeping small things close at hand while sleeping – glasses, phones, small reading lights, etc.
- Stowaway2 Hitch Cargo Carrier. The price of these are hard to stomach, but we were lucky enough to find a used one on Craigslist at a price that made us much happier. Read more about our Stowaway here.
This part may get a little TMI – but it’s honestly one of the most frequently asked questions so here it goes!
- Leapair Pop-Up Privacy Tent. Clay is 6′ and can fit in this. It’s a one-piece pop-up tent that took me about fifteen minutes with YouTube to get good at collapsing, is mesh-topped, and has a window in the back that zippers open or shut to run a shower head in. When we’re in the general vicinity of other people, we will use this tent for outdoor showers and/or over our toilet.
- The Seat to Nowhere. Those little cassette toilets and porta-potties are popular with campers that don’t have bathrooms in their rig, but we have a hard time getting motivated to clean these things after use. So we bought a seat to nowhere, removed the pail, and dig holes. And let me tell you, the seat to nowhere sure beats squatting.
- Road Shower. We have a 10′ hose and a small bike pump with and extended cable so we can use the shower even when the camper is popped up. It does depend on the sun for the water to get warm, so weather factors into our shower schedule. It’s attached to Yakima Racks on the camper roof.
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