With the holiday season well upon us, we’ve been asked by non-RVing friends what would be ideal gifts to give the RVers in their life.
We’ve recently posted some ideas for physical products :
But all of this stuff does take up space (which is at a premium) and requires knowing what the needs are of your recipient. And honestly, most of us RVers don’t have room for miscellaneous stuff, and prefer to have a say in what we bring into our homes on wheels.
What about ideas for things that you can give that enhance a RVers life, but doesn’t add clutter to their small living spaces? Here are some ideas of things I know we appreciate:
There are many organizations that provide services to RVers that help enable our lives on the road. Of course, you’ll want to check in to see what memberships they already have – because two is not better than one.
Passport America – $44
Passport America members enjoy 50% discounts at RV Parks across the country. There are limits on the number of nights, and blackout dates – but it’s very worthwhile. We use this discount quite often, and we’ve more than paid for the membership cost in our savings. (This is an affiliate link, and will net us a $10 credit towards our renewal if you purchase.)
Overnight RV Parking – $24.95
This is an online directory of free camping locations across the country – one of the most comprehensive we’ve found. The owner of the site actively maintains the listings, giving us a lot of confidence when we pull in for the night. It covers everything from rest areas, Walmart parking lots and remote boondocking locations. (Bonus – if you mention our e-mail address of ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ when you sign up, both us and your gift recipient will receive an additional free month of membership.)
Escapees – $70
Escapees is an organization of full time RVers that provides residency assistance in Texas and many other services, like mail forwarding. They actively work to keep on top of laws that affect full time RVers, work with insurance companies and run a network of member owned RV Parks. Aside from RVer assistance, they’re also the only way an RVer without a home base can volunteer for the Red Cross (through the DOVES special interest group – still a goal of ours).
Annual passes that give nationwide benefits can really be utilized by us full time travelers.
This is a park pass that gives the owner free entrance to most national parks, forests, BLM Land and monuments. This can be a huge money saver for RVers, and because we always keep one of these passes, we never hesitate to route through our gorgeous national park lands. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any sort of discount for camping fees.
Zoos & Aquariums – Varies
Did you know that your local zoo or aquarium may be part of a nationwide network? We just recently visited the zoo local to us here in Florida, and my mom offered to get us an annual pass for our holiday gift. Turns out they’re part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums with reciprocal agreements with about 120 other zoos & aquariums. Many offer free entrance for members, or 50% discounts. For the next year, we’ll be routing to include more zoos & aquariums across the nation and presenting our Brevard Zoo pass for free or discounted entrance – a perfect gift! Many museums are also part of a similar network that might be a great option too.
Gifts that are digital make great gifts for the technically inclined in your life!
Music, movies, apps and books in a digital format take up no physical space, and make great gifts! Many stores that sell them allow you to pick out content to gift on, or you can buy a gift credit to allow your recipient to choose what they want. For us, we prefer keeping an iTunes balance on account, which eliminates frequent small charges to our credit card for music, apps and eBooks we buy for our many Apple devices. For this bus-hold, an iTunes gift credit is always loved. When we run out of gifted credit, we’ll even seek out deals to buy ourselves a gift card.
DVD rental services like Netflix and Redbox can be wonderful assets to RVers. Many Redbox kiosks are at overnight free parking spots at Walmarts – making it super easy to grab a flick for the night. And the Netflix DVD mail service, despite their recent price increases, serves us quite well for watching TV series on disc. We can update our shipping address very easily to catch up with us, and we utilize the streaming service on our iPad with unlimited data.
Roll of Quarters – $10
Seriously. For us RVers without laundry machines in our rigs, a quarter is worth its weight in gold. Why? It’s the only currency a RV Park laundromat will take. When we pull into a campground after office hours with no clean underwear left – it’s not about the actual dollar amount charged, it’s about the number of quarters we have available. One quarter can make all the difference. Increase joy (and clean underpants) in the world – and gift quarters!
If it’s one thing all us mobile RVers use – it’s fuel. A prepaid credit card or fuel card will always be appreciated!
Kiki would like to add that cat treats , catnip and toys make great gifts! Even if your RVer doesn’t have a cat traveling with them, they are sure to encounter campground cats who will appreciate it. And they are certain at some point to rendezvous with us, and Kiki has an *entire* cat treat drawer waiting to be filled up. So yes.. cat stuff. Lots of it.