Andersen Hitch, Weight Distribution, and Traveler Gear
When we initially decided to use a Nissan Armada to tow our trailer, we knew that tongue weight would be a limiting factor. We were ok with the weight the trailer would put on the tongue, but most the anti-sway setups were around 140 lbs! Then we stumbled onto the Andersen which weighs in at 60 lbs. After using it for almost two years, 42,000 miles and in 42 states, we know it works great. People come over and ask us what it is because we can hitch up and unhook so fast. Plus it is quieter than other weight distribution setups we have heard coming into camp. The levelers work really good too and a great friend even mentioned that he had level envy when seeing them in action. We highly recommend Andersen products.
RV Travel Map of the United States
What grand adventure would be complete without a map? We got our early on and have had so much fun filling it out. Different people use a variety of ways to pick when to put up a state on their map. Since we are taking the kids to every single state capitol we decided to only put ours up after we visit the capitol building. So even though we have been in 41 states, we only have 36 up as I am writing this. The other thing we don’t put up till we see in person is the Great Lakes, but hey if you have a map it’s yours and can fill it in however you like.
Air Compressor and Battery Starter
We went back and forth between getting a generator or going solar. Either would cost some serious money, add setup time and weight, not to mention taking up space. We need a way to charge our devices when not hooked up to power. I have an air compressor back in storage, but it didn’t make the cut and I don’t regret it because it would have been too heavy. Problem is I have to fill the tires regularly on both the car and our trailer. These were two problems that I debated as we traveled from Ohio to Washington and then California to Texas. The worst was when we visited Joshua Tree National Park. After a few days of dry camping the battery died on our camera with no way to charge it. Of course that was when a rare photo opportunity presented itself in the form of a Great Horned Owl perching right above our camp! Well I was set to just buy a generator and then just keep filling the tires at gas stations (even though this can be quite difficult with a travel trailer) when I stumbled onto a battery jumper/air compressor that could charge my electronics and inflate our tires! Both problems solved with one machine and the thing weighs less than 20 pounds! I hope I never have to use the battery jumper or the work light on it, but in an emergency I could see them coming in handy. I am just happy to be able to easily fill our tires and when we are dry camping I will be able to charge our camera!
PowerStation PSX-3 18Ah Jumpstarter with Air Compressor and DC Outlet and USB Port – New Model 2013
I have the PSX1004, but I think that is the old model and this is the only one available now.
Slide Support Stabilizer Jacks
We didn’t buy these until we had been on the road for a little under a year, but I wish we would have bought these right away! They are worth every penny if you have a super slide. Due to the size of the slides, the weight of the slide can cause the under flooring to get damaged. Eventually the floor will get soft spots and a major issue will develop. Beside saving the floor, these things are great for reducing trailer movement at camp and make the place feel more like a stationary home. Just make sure you pack them up before pulling in the slide.
Mini Dish Drainer and Drying Mat
Our trailer doesn’t have a dish washer, so we hand wash everything. Having a good place to set the dishes to dry is important. We like the little Camco one because it fits in our sink on travel days. The drying mats are awesome and we just clip them up to dry out occasionally. These are important items for us because doing the dishes occurs twice a day and it should be as easy as possible.
We have used our Cobra Walkie Talkies for years and they get the job done. There is no way we could have backed up into some of the camps we loved without a pair of good walkie talkies. They are very inexpensive these days and are worth every penny. Believe me they will save you time and trouble.
Even though we ditched the 2300 sq. ft. of floors to clean, we still need something for our trailer. Our Dirt Devil Vibe has done the job for over a year and fits in a corner nicely. Some camps it has worked overtime and it still runs. Get yourself a light weight cleaning device because you will need one.
Screen time is limited for our kids, so finding other ways to keep them entertained in the car is tricky. Luckily for us there are so many ways to occupy them and we just change it up regularly. After all, the license plate game is only good for a year or so before it gets a little old.