MY YELP REVIEWS
My "yelp" reviews are here: YELP REVIEWS
MEMORY FOAM CURVE PILLOW
I have tried contour pillows, they hurt my neck. On a lark, I decided to try the Curve Pillow purchased at Costco for $24.99. I am a "slide" sleeper and recently have found that sleeping on my side has caused nerve pinches that make my fingers stiff in the morning not to mention my neck is stiff. I slept on this pillow and had a great night's sleep for the first time in a long time. No stiff neck. No stiff fingers. Now, the one bad thing is that, like all memory foam products, you have to put up with this awful "smell" for about 48 hours after removing from the packaging. Recommend this product for RV travel!
A friend of mine had this AMAZING egg timer. He bought it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and it looks like this.
I like my eggs soft, but not runny. I tried the "medium" setting, too hard! The "Soft" setting was just right. You put this glass stone in your water along with your eggs. It changed color, and when the changed color gets to where you want your egg, take egg out. PERFECT!
QUICK n' BRITE
The only place I have ever seen Quick n' Brite sold was at State/County fairs. I heard TARGET may sell this product. I saw this at the North Dakota State Fair in 2013. Talked to the lady selling the product. She ASSURED me that it was WONDERFUL for cleaning RV holding tanks.
I'm giving it a THUMBS DOWN! I put two ounces in my black tank, added some water, as instructed in the Quick n' Brite instructions I was given by the sales lady for my RV tank. Then I let it slosh while I drove. Yeah, right. Didn't even clean the lights, as I'm still showing "full" when it's completely empty. Right now, I continue to use it in my black tank just to get rid of it.
SHARK CORDLESS PET HAND VACUUM
If you have a pet, you must get this: SHARK CORDLESS PET HAND VACUUM I paid $39 for it at Wal-Mart. I only have carpet in one small area of my RV, but it's an area my cat likes to hang out. I was impressed by how much pet hair it pulled out of the carpet. Some things to note:
- User's Guide was very specific about NOT leaving it on "charge" constantly. Once it is charged up, you are to remove the charger. You must use it until it runs down, then charge it up again. Don't just "plug it in" when not in use unless it's completely drained.
- The filter is plastic, and can be hand washed. Thus, you don't have to keep buying filters. On the other hand, the User's Guide was also specific that you "air dry" the filter. Don't use a hair dryer, don't use a washing machine or clothes dryer.
CHAM - WOW CHAMOIS CLOTH
I bought this product in 2013 from a vendor at the North Dakota State Fair. The fair vendor called it a "Chamois Tex Super Absorbent German Towel" but told me it was basically the "Cham-Wow" that you may have seen advertised on an informercial on TV. The reason I bought it was to use with the Breathing Mobile Washer that I purchased (see "options for laundry" below). I needed something to help wring out the items I wash. I didn't want to purchase a manual clothes wringer (and I can't believe someone still makes these things!). I had already purchased a few chamois cloths, but wanted to see how these work. I was able to wring out two full size towels with these things, as opposed to one towel with a regular chamois cloth. So, these work ok.
MOSQUITO REPELLANT - CLIP ON
I tried this product made by OFF . I paid $6.98 (plus tax) at Wal-Mart. From my understanding of the directions, it basically works only if you are sitting still reading a book. The directions kind of "imply" that if you are walking around it won't work effectively. I used it, but made sure I also had spray on mosquito repellant as a supplement. I'm not sure this is really worth the cost. Not to mention, it requires two AAA batteries (included with purchase, but how long will those last, and then you have to buy more......). Further, the cartridge lasts 12 hours (there is a small narrow window showing you how much is left). Replacement cartridges come in packets of two, and I paid $6.49 (plus tax) for one packet of two at a "Do It Best" hardware store. Almost as much as the fan itself. I used it mostly while walking around, didn't try it sitting still.
I love omelets but I'm horrible at making them. I tried out this product: Omelet Wave . It has both an omelet maker and an egg poacher.
Omelets: It's ok...... you have to follow the directions to the letter, but the omelet was still not perfect...... Useful if you are a solo.
Egg Poacher: The egg poacher part is a royal pain. You have to start and stop the microwave. NOBODY wants to do that. When it comes to microwaving, people generally want to "set it and forget it" (with apologies to RONCO...). When it comes to poaching eggs, I've also tried This Wal-Mart product and it's the same thing: constant starting and stopping of the microwave for 30 second increments. Who wants to do that?
I was given a FASTA PASTA as a gift. It is FANTASTIC! It works as long as you follow the directions to the letter. You do not put the lid on. You wait until the pasta is cooked, then you use the lid to drain the water. (Hint: I drain the water down in my RV toilet to add liquid to the toilet.) Then, you can put spaghetti sauce in and microwave a few minutes more.
The POCKET HOSE comes in 25 feet or 50 feet. I bought mine (25 feet) at Fred Meyer for $12.99. Basically, I bought it to use on the tank rinser outlet on my RV. Customer Reviews at Wal-Mart and Amazon are mostly negative. I agree, the hose ends are cheap plastic that could easily break. But, the hose did collapse when I stopped running water. The hose collapsed faster than I could drain it, so I basically got squirted while trying to drain the hose. Basically, it costs the same as a regular hose, but takes up less space. I would use it for "light duty" work.
OPTIONS FOR LAUNDRY
Since I don't tow a car, laundry is an ordeal if the place I'm working at does not have laundry. Once a week, I have to pack up and do laundry. One of my friend's has been researching some alternatives for me. We have come up with the following:
Two videos on the Breathing Mobile Washer (I have a small but deep bathtub in my RV, the below would work....)
Here is something called the WONDER WASH:
Or, here is a NON-ELECTRIC washing machine:
Or, we can go to a reinvention of the old fashioned scrub board....
I decided to try out the Breathing Mobile Washer. I washed a towel that contained cat vomit, a couple of "rag" washcloths, and a cap I wear a lot.
I used my bathtub to wash the items. The directions say to use 4-6 inches of water. I agree with the directions. You definitely need 4-6 inches of water or the washer doesn't agitate all that well. If I had been using a bucket, wouldn't need as much water, as the bathtub is "spread out" water. But, the bathtub gave me more room, in my opinion, but this is personal choice.
It's a lot of work to bounce that "toilet plunger" up and down. The directions say two minutes is all you need. I think overall I did four minutes, but it wasn't continuous........
Now for rinsing! On the cap and the two washcloths, I just held them under the bathtub faucet to "rinse." I used cold water, as my hot water had run out by then. I wrung them out by hand and put them on a chrome drying rack I carry.
The large towel on the other hand, was going to be an issue! I drained the bathtub, then got out my small Rubbermaid tub that I use in the kitchen sink, put the towel in there, ran more cold water, swished it around, then did a manual hand wring. But, on a big towel, a manual hand wring isn't quite enough. I had purchased two LARGE chamois cloths, (meant for drying cars....) put the towel between the two chamois, rolled it, and got most of the water out!
Now, did the items get clean?
The two "rag washcloths" were kind of stained already. They got as clean as they were going to get.
My cap looks clean!
And, the towel is clean, I don't see any signs of "kitty barf."
If you need to wash a few items at a time, it works.....
I bought this Hand held sweeper tool at the North Dakota State Fair in 2012. I travel with a cat, and I get tired of dragging out the Shop-Vac to sweep up cat litter that gets tracked out of the litter box. I have tried carrying battery operated portable cleaners but they take up space, and eventually the battery goes POOF and won't recharge. Although I have a litter tracking mat under the litter box (that is SUPPOSED to pull the stuff off kitty's feet), it's not enough as cat litter still gets on the carpet. Thus, when I saw the FLUPPI, I was motivated to try it. It works great, even with kitty litter on the carpet! It will pick up stuff off linoleum floor, but it seems to work better on carpet. If you have a small spill of stuff and don't want to drag out the vacuum cleaner, this is good in a pinch!
I bought this item at the North Dakota State Fair in 2012. It's a Re-Usable Heat Pack. It's a bunch of gel inside sealed plastic. Comes in about four colors that I saw. There is a little silver disc that floats in the gel. You find the disc, and click it. Immediately, the gel crystalizes and produces heat. It produced wonderful heat for about 30 minutes. Now the down side. When it cools off, it stays crystalized. To return it to the gelatinous state, you must boil the item. You need to place a dishrag inside the pot and fill the pot with water. The dishrag prevents the heat pack from melting against the metal of your pot. You must boil it until 100% of the crystalized stuff returns to gel.
Plusses: It gives you a great heat pack without the need to plug in to anything, and thus go against your amperage limit in the RV.
Minuses: The requirement to boil the item to return it back to gelatinous state is a bit of a "fuss with it" factor, and I'm thinking people will consider it to be a bit of an inconvenience.
If you RV to really WET areas, you need these! They are so comfortable! I bought a pair in black. I ordered one size larger than what I normally wear, and I'm glad I did. I ordered mine through Amazon.com and got them cheaper than the price quoted here. The BOGS brand goes with a variety of shoe styles, shown here.
TRUDEAU SILICONE EGG POACHER
I'm mixed on this product: Silocone Egg Poachers I do love poached eggs. Can use an electric skillet or stovetop pan. I used an electric skillet, about 200 degrees. I oiled the inside of the poacher with cooking oil, then put the egg in it, put it in the skillet, then put the lid on. The egg tasted kind of "flat" although I don't know if the taste was more about the way I cooked it, or the product. Then, the egg still "stuck" to the poacher and I had to "dig" the egg out. Not sure this is worth purchasing, not to mention, I'm still not sure whether making cookware out of silicone is a good idea healthwise.
I had good luck with this silocone food steamer . However, it's a bit too big to use in a standard stovetop pan. If you prefer to steam in a stovetop pan, stick with the metal version. But if you have a large "stock pot," this steamer can be used in the stock pot and made great steamed vegetables. Since using this, I have become a fan of steamed vegetables. However, I still wonder if silocone cookware is a good idea healthwise.
If you enjoy rice or pasta, this is a "must have" in your RV: NordicWare MultiPot If you follow the directions exactly, to the letter, to include the rice "rinsing," it does a wonderful job with rice, gets it just to the correct "stickiness." If you use it for long pasta, like spaghetti or fettucini, I recommend you break the pasta pieces in half. Also, no more than two servings in this model for pasta. This pot also steams vegetables, but I have not tried that feature yet. Previously to having the MultiPot, I used this model: NordicWare Microwave Rice Cooker . This also worked well for rice and was able to handle long pasta without having to break it down. However, the handle clips eventually broke off, and the rice cooker itself eventually melted, which led me to the purchase of the NordicWare MultiPot.
No RV should be without one of these: Power Station . I love mine! It has jumper cables to start a car, an air compressor for putting air in tires or mattresses, and some 12 volt and electrical connections. The air compressor should NOT be run more than 10 minutes at a time. I think I overtaxed it one time when I had a really low tire, and now the air compressor doesn't work right. But no problem, I bought a portable air compressor from an auto supply store, and I plug it into one of the 12 volt connections. I have used the electrical outlet to power up my computer when I have stopped at rest stops, thus avoiding use of the generator. The electrical outlet is good for up to 300 watt appliances, wouldn't try to run a hair dryer or curling iron on it. And, I have used the jumper cables a few times for starting cars.
I like this device Citrus Juicer, it does a fairly decent job of squeezing out every last drop of juice from limes, lemons, and oranges. Not so good on grapefruit. With this appliance, you can adjust the strainer to have as much or as little pulp as you want. However, the "strainer" part, to me, was difficult to clean. I'm not sure I got all the crevices clean, had to resort to a toothbrush to clean that part. Good appliance for squeezing all the juice out, but sometimes I still prefer the old fashioned glass juicer dish that you can find in antique stores, like this glass juicer.
THETFORD STAY-TION SHOWER HOOK
The hook that holds my shower in place (I think it's called a "spray holder") cracked. I cannot find a replacement, as the replacement parts in RV stores don't have the "installation holes" drilled in the right place. One RV dealer told me that the kind of shower hook I have is from a place back east that they don't regularly trade with. Another RV dealer told me that the kind of shower hook I have is "hard to find" right now. So, I purchased a "suction" hook to hold my shower. This is a new product from Thetford, the maker of a lot of RV products. (At this time, I am unable to find a specific link to this product on the web. Here is a link to where you can purchase this product as a "combo" with other products: Shower Spray Holder ) I tried it out. My shower area has a "grainy" finish. The suction hook will not stay on a "grainy" finish. So, THUMBS DOWN on this product!
I bought a Microfiber Drying Mat for my RV, I love it! I use it on top of the "Oak Silent Top" described below. It stays in place during transit as long as it's on the Oak Top.
Go to Camco.net and do a search on "Oak Accents Silent Top." I bought one of these from an RV dealer and I LOVE IT! It gives you more counter space. It was pretty easy to follow the template and instructions to install the rubber stoppers that grip the grill on the stove to hold it in place. I have had no trouble with it during transit. It stays in place! However, you need to remove it from the top if you are cooking something below in a propane stove.
So far, even at my "middle age," I don't need to wear regular glasses, just "reading" glasses. I can see long distances, but I cannot read the dashboard of my car or RV without "reading" glasses. This presents a problem when wearing sunglasses. My car dashboard and my GPS unit screen are both blurry, yet I can see long distances through the windshield window. I have seen people put sunglasses on top of regular glasses, so they are wearing "two" pairs of glasses. To me, this looks, well, "doofy." To alleviate this "doofy" look, there is an invention called FIT OVER SUNGLASSES . This way, you don't have the "wearing two pairs of glasses at the same time" goofy look. Good concept, and some people look great in them. Not so hot on me. So, at Costco, I found another solution. You can purchase a product called READING SUNGLASSES. I bought a pair. Wow, I can shield my eyes from the sun, and still see my car or RV dashboard! But, the problem went the other way. Since they are "reading" sunglasses, I now cannot see long distances.
Ok, bottom line. Reading Sunglasses are great for reading books while sunbathing on the beach, or general walking around. But don't try to drive with them, or you will have to wear them low on your nose and look over them to see long distances. Also, do not try to walk with them, because the ground will look like it has "dips" in it, and you will stumble. And for heavens sakes, DON'T look through them while going down stairs unless you have the ability to train your brain to compensate.
Two different friends gave me, as gifts, two different weather alert radios as follows:
Eton Weather Tracker Model FR800
Uses 3 "D" Batteries if you don't want to plug into electricity.
I cannot find a way to turn radio completely off when unplugged. Therefore, when not plugged in, it uses battery power. On the other hand, the use of the 3 "D" batteries seems to last a longer time than the other radio with the 4 "AA" batteries.
Programming this is cumbersome, I have to consult the manual each time I want to change the station or the counties I want to get alerts from.
I used this radio when I was in northeast North Dakota, and there was a storm that came that didn't show on either this radio or the TV.
(More to follow)
Midland All Hazards Weather Alert Radio Model WR-300
Uses 4 "AA" batteries if you don't want to plug into electricity.
Can be turned completely off so the batteries aren't drained when it's unplugged from electricity. On the other hand, the use of the 4 "AA" batteries didn't seem to last as long as the other radio with the 3 "D" batteries.
Programming is cumbersome, I have to consult the instruction manual each time I want to change programming.
But, the instruction manual is easy to follow.
Instruction manual has a place for you to write down commonly used county codes.
Used this radio in 2013 when I was in central North Dakota and there was a storm alert on the TV, but radio never picked it up.
(More to follow)
Comments common to both products:
- Both allow you to program in alerts for a specific county or to hear all alerts within your range.
- To get your S.A.M.E (and how this works) County Code for alerts, go to this web site: NOAA Weather Radio County Codes
- Both allow you to tune in the NOAA weather reports that come over the seven radio frequencies .
- Both have AM/FM radio listening.
- Both come with an adaptor to plug into an electrical outlet.
- There are parts of North Dakota where you apparently won't get alerts on either radio.
This website is a good supplement to your emergency radio:
Mattresses that come with RV's tend to be really BAD. I tried these options:
- "Memory Foam" Toppers - I tried two different "memory foam" toppers, one that I purchased at Costco, and one that I purchased at Wal-Mart. Both were about 2 inches thick. I found that "memory foam" toppers made it a little more comfortable, but created other problems (like, stiff neck, etc.)
- Egg Crate" Foam - I tried an Egg Crate foam, didn't really like it that well.
UPDATE: Although I found the "combo" to be more comfortable than the memory foam or egg crate, later, I developed "nerve pinch" issues in my shoulders and fingers which I believe are related to the use of these kinds of products. Can't prove it, but I believe it to be so. Thus, I discontinued to use the combo.