As 2016 is winding down, and the gift giving holidays are fast approaching, we’ve been thinking about our favorite RVers and the things that would make their camping and road-tripping adventures even better. From the little things that can bring extra comfort and fun, to the bigger items RVers dream about, we’ve got some ideas that will make the RV enthusiast in your life extra happy. The key point to remember as you consider RV related gifts is that most RVs don’t have a lot of extra room, so while you may be tempted to buy an RV-shaped toaster/teapot because it’s so darn cute, that’s a gift that might fall flat—remember, it will take up precious counter and/or cupboard space. Similarly, kitchenware that doesn’t easily fit in an RV kitchen or takes up more than its fair share of space might be well intended, but will soon find itself booted from the RV because it’s not practical and there’s no room for it. It’s also important to keep in mind that RVs are meant for travel, so gifts need to be as well. Avoid breakables!
You don’t need to spend big money to bring big joy—the point of the season and of RVing is to appreciate family and friends—so we’re going to talk about some DIY projects and helpful items that any RVer would appreciate. You’ll see us mention gifts of service a lot; if you have an RVer in your life who is getting older or is living on a limited budget, a wonderful gift is your time and assistance. You can help with RV organization, cleaning, repairs and more. We’ve seen people put together handmade holiday “coupon books” with coupons for things like free help with winterizing/de-winterizing the RV, or resealing seams, etc. If you have the funds and you need more expertise, contact our RV Service Department and treat your special RVer to some repairs. There are a lot of special ways to make an RVer’s life even better.
Gifts for Summer RVers
If your special RVer de-winterizes the travel trailer, toy hauler, fifth wheel or camper in the spring and puts it back in storage when the weather starts to turn cold, you have a lot of fun options for gift giving! A great DIY gift option for the summer RVer is to purchase some see-through bins, some stick-on labels and a good marker; combine those with a homemade gift card that entitles them to some amount of your time organizing all the camping gear that needs to be packed and unpacked each camping trip. RVers who can run out to the garage or up to the attic and simply grab their pre-packed bins are able to hit the road faster and with less stress. This is the kind of gift that keeps on giving! Laminate some thought-out packing lists for food, clothes, etc. that they can refer to for anything that can’t be pre-packed, and you just made an RVers day.
Another much-appreciated gift for families who summer camp is an easily packable bin of travel activities. This might include a deck of cards, magnetic board games, dice and other travel games. Since campgrounds often have spotty or no internet access, finding ways to keep the children occupied with non-tech activities, and bringing the family together to make fun memories is key. You can’t make the bin too big or it becomes a problem to pack, so find items that are compact and will nest together.
Keep “packability” in mind when you’re thinking about gift giving for adult summer RVers too. For instance, camp chairs and camp roll tables that fold up into bags are always useful and easy to find room for in either the RV or the tow vehicle. Another idea is a supremely packable grilling set in a box that can easily tuck in under a seat or even beneath a mattress while travelling.
Gifts for Fulltime RVers
When you’re thinking about gifts for fulltime RVers, the issue of space is even more relevant. People who live for longer periods of time in their RVs have to think about every inch of storage and living space. Unless they are travelling in a luxury Class A motorhome, which might feature residential-size appliances and furniture, everything they travel with has to be thought through down to the last detail. Check in with them before you purchase that gift you’re sure is perfect—do they really need it? Think outside the box. For instance, a beautiful gift for grandparents on the road might be a digital family photo album they can keep on their computer or phone. Take a little time to show them how they can display the photos on their TV if they aren’t as tech savvy as you are. Other digital DIY gifts could include playlists they’ll love, or setting up family Pinterest boards or Instagram accounts where they can share their trip photos and engage with the people they love most.
Recently we wrote a blog about RV Hygge: Taking Winter Comfort on the Road. You’ll find some great ideas there that will bring an extra sense of homeyness to your favorite RVer’s life. These are things that can tuck easily into small spaces when not in use—for instance scented votive candles in non-breakable holders, or a beautiful, soft throw that is perfect for a little extra warmth and which can live on the back of the sofa.
While gift and membership cards may not sound like the most fun gift, they are actually perfect for people living life on the road. Consider park memberships like an America the Beautiful Pass (The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass), or state, county or forest service passes. Gift cards to national chain stores mean RVers can shop anywhere. Alternatively, if they’re snowbirds who stay in one area, a Google search will get you information about restaurants, stores, museums, etc. in their area. And, of course, a gas card is always perfect for the travelling RVer.
We’ve got even more ideas about perfect gifts for your favorite RVers, whether they need a little help with some RV organization, they love boondocking, or they’re tech geeks on the road. And of course we haven’t forgotten about RVing pets! We’ll be back here next week doing our part to get into the holiday spirit.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, be sure to contact us.
For more gift ideas check out part 2 of our blog.
photo Credit—Holiday Trees James Dean