Which collapsible products do you need for RV travel?
Whether it’s for a short weekend break or an extensive road trip, vacationing in an RV is becoming increasingly popular. This is partly due to cost, as RVs can save you between 20% and 50% over staying in hotels. It also affords you the freedom to go where you like, stop when you want, cook your own food and sleep in your own bed every night.
Another benefit is the additional storage space an RV provides. Not being restricted to a single suitcase allows you to bring additional clothing and footwear, games and toys for the kids and even sporting equipment, such as bicycles or kayaks. However, all this extra equipment can soon add up, leaving little room for the essentials. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing collapsible items, which will free up storage space and ensure your next RV trip a success.
What to look for in collapsible items
Whenever something is designed to collapse or fold away, it will have moving parts that may eventually break or fail; therefore, it is important that items are made from high-quality materials.
Silicone and rubber are flexible yet strong and are used to good effect in many collapsible kitchen items and storage containers.
Ideally, any equipment for traveling should be as light as possible. Heavy items that are difficult to move around can be just as troublesome as bulky items. Consider the size of the item, as often for traveling you don’t need the same size as you would at home. Compact options will invariably be lighter and take up less space, yet can be just as functional as their full-size counterparts.
The price point can be a little tricky. By selecting items that are lightweight and compact when stored, you may find that certain products are more expensive than the regular, non-collapsible alternative. However, once purchased, good-quality products that are durable and lightweight will last through several years of RV trips, making them a sound investment.
The best collapsible products for an RV trip
There are many collapsible kitchen items available, such as bowls, dish tubs and storage boxes. This kettle is an excellent choice for traveling as it has a 4-cup capacity, yet its silicon body folds down to less than 4 inches tall. It has a concealed heating element with a protective stainless steel hotplate and can be powered using either 240 or 110 volts.
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One of the best things about traveling in an RV is cooking your own food. Regular barbecues can be cumbersome and difficult to store, but this portable option folds flat and weighs just 9 pounds. When opened, it has a 17- by 11-inch cooking surface made from food-grade stainless steel.
Most RVs will come equipped with built-in tables and chairs; however, it’s often preferable to sit outside when traveling. This collapsible picnic set comprises four chairs and a roomy table that folds down to the size of a suitcase. The frame is made from lightweight yet durable aluminum, while the chair bases and tabletop are elegantly crafted from cedarwood. Just be aware that each of the chairs has a 176-pound weight capacity.
While there are plenty of collapsible ladders and step ladders available, they may not be necessary for an RV trip. This step stool is almost 13 inches high, giving you some extra reach when needed. It has a clever hinged design that allows it to fold flat for storage and weighs just over 3 pounds. It can also be used as an extra seat and has a weight capacity of 200 pounds.
Particularly in the summer, it’s nice to have a shaded area to relax in or for meals. This lightweight gazebo is available in a range of sizes to accommodate from 4 to 15 people. It has a pop-up fiberglass frame that needs no assembly and folds away into a compact travel bag for storage. It features built-in mosquito netting that allows for good ventilation and has a UV protection rating of UPF 50+. However, it is not recommended for use in high winds.
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Not the most exciting of products but essential nonetheless. A regular waste bin is quite a large item and can take up unnecessary space. This collapsible option is designed to hold standard 13-gallon trash bags. It stands at 11 inches in height when assembled, and when not in use, it folds away to the size of the lid.
Built-in beds are standard items in most RVs; however, depending on the size of your family, these may not be sufficient. This camping bed has a durable steel frame that can hold up to 300 pounds and can accommodate most people up to 6 feet 6 inches tall. It has a removable side table with a drinks holder for personal items and weighs just 7 pounds when packed away.
The final top pick is this inflatable kayak. Rigid kayaks are very large and quite heavy and will take up a substantial amount of space. This two-person option is made from puncture-resistant vinyl with three separate air chambers. It has removable seats and comes equipped with two sets of oars and an air pump. Best of all, it compresses down to about 18 by 24 inches and packs into a tough carrying bag with handles.
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Chris Gillespie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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