RV Essentials

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Our Full-Time RV Life Essentials


We only recommend products and services that we have used ourselves and would recommend to our nearest and dearest which now includes YOU!   


Zinus 12 Inch Cloud Memory Foam Queen Mattress

Zinus 12 inch cloud memory foam mattress.

This mattress is EVERYTHING. We knew we had to take out the king mattress that came with our new RV the minute we sat on it.  We decided to replace the king with a queen because we were already used to sleeping on a queen and the switch would give us more room around the sides of the bed. I read review after review and became so confused as I’m sure many of you have.  I just kept coming back to the Zinus which had the least amount of negative reviews and most of them being that it did not fully inflate. In these cases, the company stood behind their product and replaced the defective mattress which was a huge plus!

The Zinus is made of memory foam and comes in a box that easily fits through your RV door and into the bedroom.  We originally planned to use our very comfortable mattress from our home and soon realized it would not fit through the door and around the corner to the bedroom. And it was too heavy to be able to lift and get under the bed to the storage area.

We opened the Zinus in the RV bedroom and watched it grow – this was cool to watch.  We still had our doubts about the comfort since we were not able to lie on it in the normal manner of mattress shopping. We knew we had to let it do its thing before lying down which was so hard.  24 hours later it had grown to the full 12 inches – yay we didn’t have a lemon!  We lay down on it and were pleasantly surprised with the comfort we immediately felt. Of course, a full night’s sleep was in order to be completely convinced.

We are now believers! From the first night and for over 2 years since this has been our mattress and we are completely blown away by the comfort especially since it came in a box! I would describe the mattress as soft, yet firm.  It does feel like we are sleeping on a cloud and the best part is that no matter where we roam in our home on wheels, we have our best sleep EVERY night on our Zinus!

Instant Pot 

YES, you can RV full-time and still have home-cooked meals made in your tiny kitchen.  Our number 1 appliance has been the Instant Pot.

When you have the space constraints we do you have to get creative and this appliance offers numerous options in one appliance.  It is a pressure cooker, rice cooker, crockpot, yogurt maker, and egg boiler in one. And it also has a sauté function so you don’t dirty other pans when doing prep work.

The time saved in preparing and cooking meals has been invaluable to us.  We can go out exploring during the day and even if we get back late we can whip up a home-cooked meal in 30 minutes or less.  It’s kinda magical that we can put in frozen meat (if we forget to thaw it out) and it’s still done in very little time. We have made chicken taco bowls, lasagna soup, braised short ribs (done in 45 minutes, not 5 hours – check out my blog post) oatmeal, baked potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and so much more.

Check out the blog post about the Instant Pot and get yours today!  You won’t regret it.

Masterbuilt Portable Propane Smoker and Carrying Bag

One of the items Craig missed the most when we started full-time RVing was his Masterbuilt Propane Smoker.  He would literally feed our neighborhood, family & friends on a regular basis and he loved it.  His specialties are pulled pork, brisket, and ribs.  I’ve been known to throw some baked beans in as well.

We brought the full-size smoker with us for a couple of months when we first started to travel in the RV.  We had a platform on the back of the fifth wheel and had it chained to the bumper and locked. We were always nervous someone would try to steal it and it was so bulky on the back of the RV and we thought it might fall off if we hit a bad road.  All those things said we decided to put it in storage which was so hard.  It was one of Craig’s favorite hobbies.

About a year later, I found this portable option with 2 racks and it was Craig’s Christmas present. Not only do we now have the option to smoke meat but it’s so portable and lightweight and with the carrying bag (found under related products on Amazon) we can put it in the bed of the truck for easy transport and storing.  It has also been very useful as an additional oven especially in the summer so that the RV doesn’t get so warm and it’s easy to regulate the temperature.  We love making pizzas outside with it!

EliteField 2-Door Soft Sided Dog & Cat Playpen

Carter & Tinsley like to be outside with us and this collapsible playpen is the perfect solution.  We have tried so many different types of outside enclosures for them and we finally found one they can’t claw holes into and break out of.  This little gem is the largest, 62x62x36, model.  The chairs inside are child size and YES they are spoiled and they know it!  There are 2 zippered doors that we put carabiners on to keep closed because these two are pretty sneaky and have escaped several times from other enclosures.  The top is screened like the sides and zippers on and the bottom is the same material as the tan color and also zippers on.  We love this option and love having them outside with us where we know they are safe and secure. Order yours now on Chewy.com.

Hamilton Beach Compact Glass Kettle – Electric

Hot tea is one of my favorites!  I drink it every morning and anytime I need a soothing cup.  At home I used a tea kettle but decided to go with this option for safety and to save time – it boils a lot faster than the stovetop method – and I can use the campground electric vs using our propane.

This option is compact and the carafe is cordless so you can take it anywhere to pour into a cup. It also has an automatic shut-off so the pot will never dry up and burn which could happen on the stovetop.  I tend to get distracted (don’t we all) so this was one of the best reasons to avoid the teapot route. We always have the propane stove option available if we are boondocking.

Keurig K-15 Single Service Coffee Maker

While I love my tea there is always time for coffee!  Plus, Craig likes his Irish coffee on the weekends.

We had a larger Keurig at our home and knew it was just too big and bulky to put in the RV so we opted for this smaller single cup version.  It’s not fancy but we like it.  We just fill up the reservoir on top to the desired cup size, put in the pod, and hit the brew button.  It only takes a minute to heat up the water and voila, coffee! The best part is that the reservoir is so easy to clean and there’s much less chance of something not working without all the extra gadgets. We got ours in black but now they have so many cool colors to check out

Memberships & Services

Harvest Hosts

Round Lake Vineyards & Winery, Round Lake, MN.

Just say NO to Walmart parking lots!  We all have those long travel days when you just want to be in a safe place to rest your body and re-energize.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could do that at a winery, brewery, alpaca farm, or golf course in a tranquil setting for FREE?  Well, you can!  And the best part is through our link you will receive a 15% discount off the already low price of a Harvest Hosts membership.  You will be given access to over 800 opportunities for a great night’s sleep when on a road trip.  Sign up now and sleep better later – next to a lake, in a field of wildflowers, or next to a pristine golf course.  It’s all up to YOU!  Click here to sign up today!

RV Trip Wizard

We have been using RV Trip Wizard since the beginning of full-time RVing and we LOVE it.  Not only does it give us a snapshot of our travels for the year. It also tracks our expenses and helps us find campgrounds and points of interest on our route.  The company has been actively updating the database with new features and the newest feature has us very excited.   You can now enter your RV dimensions and weight and it will route you around hazards such as low clearance bridges, dirt roads, and tunnels. We’ve already put that feature to the test and it provides us with the peace of mind in knowing we won’t get stuck out there – literally!

Click here to check out the demo.

Boondockers Welcome

Another great option for long travel days is Welcome. This is a database of RVers across the country opening up their driveways, yards, farms, etc. for an overnight stay FREE of charge.


Another “must-have” on the road is the ability to receive packages with supplies anywhere we are in the country.  Amazon makes this so easy for us.  We either have items shipped to a nearby locker or to our campground.  And they have made returns even easier by allowing us to just drop them off at a nearby UPS store or KOHLS without even having to re-package the item.

You can also help us earn a small commission by doing your regular shopping from your Amazon account.  You do this by clicking on the image shown here.  We really do appreciate the “tip” and it doesn’t even cost you a thing! Thank you again!


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