(Obviously the store is under construction!! Bear with me as I slowly improve it.)
Welcome to my store! Over the eleven years that I have lived mobile and off-grid I have bought many products to make my life better and easier. Many were terrible and a waste of money, some worked well and did exactly what I wanted them to do. A very few were terrific and far exceeded my expectations In this page I want to make the great products available to you. At the end of the product description you will see a link to Amazon.com. Click on it and you will be directed to their site where you can purchase it. When you purchase the item after clicking over from my blog, I make a little money, but it does not increase your costs at all. It’s a win-win!! You get great products at great prices and I make a little money! I took all the pictures except a few that I got from friends. Almost all of these are these are products that I use, but I few are products my trusted friends use
Products I find essential, or if not essential,then so great I think everyone would benefit from them:
Energizer Solar Lantern: This is the best light I have ever owned for vandwelling. It has a large solar panel that charges it’s internal battery, or you can put in 3 D batteries if there is no sun. Puts out lots of light and goes a long time on a charge. Highly Recommended! Energizer Solar Rechargeable 9-LED Lantern
My Book: How to Live in a Car, Van or RV–And Get out of Debt, Travel and Find True Freedom. Highly Recommended! (How’s that for humility!) How to Live in a Car, Van or RV–And Get Out of Debt, Travel and Find True Freedom
Reflectix: If you are just moving into a van, a roll of Reflectix should be your first purchase, it’s that important! Cut it to fit in your windows and it will keep the heat out in the summer, the warmth in in the winter, and give you privacy year-around. Highly Recommended! Reflectix BP24025 24-Inch by 25-Feet Bubble Pack Insulation
Cobra 400 Watt Inverter: I’ve owned many inverters since I started vandwelling and in the long run I haven’t been happy with any of them. But a good friend of mine has been using this 400 watt Cobra for years and loved it, so I bought one. And It has been by far the best one I have ever owned. Highly Recommended! Cobra CPI 480 400-Watt 12-Volt DC to 120-Volt AC Power Inverter with 5-Volt USB Output
RoadPro 12 Volt Oven: When I first saw one of these I thought they looked like a toy and couldn’t possibly work. How wrong I was! They work great! I have plenty of solar so I can use it all I want, but if you don’t then you can still use it while you drive. Most things cook in 30 minutes so you don’t even have to drive very far.
Kindle eReader by Amazon: Like many of you, I debated buying a Kindle for a long time. I finally took the plunge and my only regret is not doing it soonerI What isn’t to love? There is a huge assortment of free and cheap books available just for it. It is small light and easy to read even in the suns glare and the battery lasts forever. It eliminates carrying around heavy books that take up a lot of room in the van. I have both the regular and a Fire and I highly recommend the fire just for getting magazine subscriptions and for its internet access. Kindle, 6″ E Ink Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (Black)
Weber Go Anywhere Barbeque Grill: Very few items I own has delighted me as much as this one has. It is small, light and cooks incredibly good food! Unless I really mess it up, meat always turns out moist and with a rich, smoky, barbeque flavor. But, it does much more than cook meat. If you learn to cook in foil you can cook almost anything on it and it will turn out great! Even vegetarians will come to love this grill! I’m also including a link to the book “Fix it in Foil” which I own and highly recommend. It will teach you how to cook nearly anything on your Weber Grill. Weber 1520 Propane Gas Go-Anywhere Grill Fix It In Foil
SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS:
If you buy the first four products listed here, you have a complete 68 watt solar power system for $320, or buy two panels and you will have a 136 watt system for $540 (not including the battery). Remember, that includes free shipping which would be much more with someone else!! It is very simple to install and if you have any problem with it feel free to email me and I will help walk you through the installation.
68 Watt Unisolar Flexible Solar Panel. I have installed 6 of these for friends and they have all been very happy with them. They are very tough. You can lay them out on the ground and then roll them up into a small size to be stored under your bed, or you can mount them on your roof. Because they are log and narrow, and peel and stick, they work especially well for high-top fiberglass roofs. Highly Recommended! Uni-Solar PVL-68 PowerBond PVL 68 Watt 12 Volt 112-Inch x 15.5-Inch Flexible Solar Panel
Sunforce 30 amp Solar Controller: I have friends who own and like this very inexpensive solar controller, so I started recommending it to my other friends and I have installed four of them. No one has had a problem with them. I think you are better off buying a MPPT controller, but if this is all the money you can spend you will be very happy with it. Sunforce 60032 30 Amp Digital Charge Controller
Cable to use with the Uniroyal Solar Panel: You need one of these to go with each Uniroyal panel you order. You are going to cut it in half and strip the ends to connect to the solar controller.
MC3 PV Cable 30′ for Solar applications. Male & Female connectors installed on each end.
In-Line Fuse Holder: You need a fuse between your solar panels controller and the battery, and this is what you use. In-line ACT Water-resistant Fuse Holder – 10 AWG
Mounting Feet for Solar Panels: If you buy regular solar panels you need feet like these to mount them with.
Instapark® ZJ-02 Solar Panel Mounting Hardware Kit
Yamaha 2000 Generator: I own a Honda 2000, but the Yamaha is every bit as good. A good friend has a Yamaha and it is every bit as good as my Honda. Choose which one you buy on price and convenience. Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000 Watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator (CARB Compliant)
Cobra 400 Watt Inverter: See review under “My Favorites” above.
Enloop Rechargeable Batteries: There are lots of little jobs that are best done by AA, AAA, C or D batteries, but constantly buying them is expensive and really bad for the environment. So I decided I needed to start using rechargeables. I did some research and found that Sanyo Enloops are considered the best, so I bought a bunch of them. I have been extremely happy I did; they recharge fast and hold their charge for a long time. Highly Recommended! eneloop NEW 2000mAh Typical, 1900mAh Minimum, 1500 cycle, 8 Pack AA, Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries
Tenergy Battery Charger: I had to have a charger for the Enloops and I wanted to be able to charge all sizes including C and D. I read the reviews and settled on this Tenergy model and it has worked perfectly for the last 3 years. Highly Recommended! Tenergy Advanced Universal Charger TN190-4 Channel AA/AAA/C/D/9V Ni-MH Charger with LCD Display and USB Power Outlet
Energizer Solar lantern: See review above in “My Favorites”
Going to the bathroom and staying clean is not that hard if you have the right products to help you.Check these out:
Solar Shower: The thing I miss most about living in a house, more than anything else, is running hot water! This simple device goes a long way toward meeting that need! You just throw it up on the roof of the van, wait an hour or two (depending on season and weather) and you have hot water! Highly recommended! Seattle Sports Camp Shower
Shower Room: I own one of these and think they are really helpful. It easy to set-up and has been very durable. It’s very nice to be able to stand up to take a shower or go to the bathroom in privacy.
Stansport Cabana Privacy Shelter, Green/Tan
Shower Pump: A friend of mine has owned one of these little Stansport battery-operated (D batteries) pump with a shower head for a long time and loves it. Here’s how to get a great shower: 1) Set up your shower tent and fill the solar shower with water and put it on top of the van; 2) When it’s hot pour the water into a bucket; 3) Drop the end of the pump in the water and run the shower head through the shower tent and that’s it; you are taking a hot, comforting shower.
Stansport Battery Powered Portable Shower (7cm)
Reliant 5 Gallon Water Jug: you have to carry water to have a shower and these Reliant water jugs get the job done.
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container Consider getting their tall, thin jug instead because it will store in the step by the side door of your van saving you some room. Reliance Products Desert Patrol 6 Gallon Traditional Jeep Style Rigid Water Container
Porta-Potty: I use a 5 gallon bucket, but I have several friends who use Porta-Potties and they love them. They say it’s easy to find a place to dump and the process is simple and clean. This Sanitation Equipment one is the largest and best I’ve seen.
Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model: 268 24 Liter with 2-level Indicators
Luggable Loo: If you don’t want to spend $100 on a Porta-Potty, then you may want a Luggable Loo. It snaps on the top of a 5 gallon bucket which turns it into a comfortable toilet. I line mine with 2 trash bags and then wrap it up and throw it away in the trash. Reliance Products Luggable Loo Seat Cover
Zodi Hot Water System: This is a complete hot water/shower system. It consists of 1) a propane fired, on-demand hot water heater 2) a pump to pump the hot water up a tube to 3) a shower head. It works really well and gives you an unlimited amount of hot water even on a cloudy or cool day.
ZODI Outback Gear Hot Tap Travel Shower
HEATING AND COOLING:
Which heater to buy? I have used them all and these are my recomendations: 1) For light use in mild temperatures, buy the Coleman. 2) For heavier use in more cold, buy the Mr. Buddy. 3) For extreme cold or if you want to leave the heater on while you sleep, buy the Olympian.
Vent: When I converted my cargo trailer to my home, the first thing I did was install two vents in the roof. This is the exact vent I bought and it has worked perfectly for the last two years.
Heng’s 71111-1G1 14″ White Universal Vent
Vent Installation Kit: I’ve used these kits from Amazon to install numerous windows and the vents and I have never had any leaks. They are nothing fancy, they simply work.
Camco 25013 RV Universal Vent Installation Kit with Butyl Tape
Vent Cover. When I bough the vents, I also bought these vent covers. They let me leave the vents open even in the rain and while I am driving.
Camco 40431 RV Roof Vent Cover – White
Vent Insulator: My two vents are great in the summer, but in the winter a lot of heats escapes through the thin plastic lid. So I bought and use these and that solved the problem.
Camco 45192 Sunshield RV Vent Insulator
O2 Cool Fan: I know several people with these inexpensive fans and they all rave about them.
O2 Cool Portable Tent Fan with Emergency Device Charger and Auto Adapter
Down Booties: I have never been able to keep the floor of my van warm and so my feet were always cold; until I found these! They are a down alternative which I think is better than down. They never fail to keep my feet warm! Highly recommended! Baffin Unisex Cush Insulated Slipper Booty
Mr. Buddy Portable Heater: Very safe, reliable and easy to use. It’s only fault is it produces too much heat! I wouldn’t be without one. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater
Adapter Hose for Mr. Buddy: Using the little green bottles is much too expensive. I use this hose to connect my Mr Buddy (and other propane appliances) to a refillable 20 lb propane bottle. Mr. Heater 75,000 BTU 12-Foot Propane Hose Assembly #F273702
Mr. Buddy Fuel Filter: You MUST use one of these any time you use a bulk bottle for your Mr. Buddy heater. If you don’t it will ruin the heater. Mr. Heater Fuel Filter for Portable Buddy and Big Buddy Heaters #F273699
Coleman Catalytic Heater: This heater is a good choice for a van because it puts out less heat than most others. Coleman SportCat PerfecTemp Catalytic Heater
Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Heater: I owned one of these the entire 6 years I lived in a van in Anchorage, AK. I turned it on in October and left it on 24/7 until spring came in May. The only time I turned it off was to switch or refill the propane bottle. Extremely safe and reliable. Highly Recommended!
Camco 57331 Olympian Wave-3 3000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic Heater
Reflectix: See my review above in “My Favorites”
FOR THE VAN:
Photography Guide Books:
12 Volt Compressor:
Van Ladder Rack:
Coleman 1 Burner or 2 Burner Stove: For the entire 11 years i have been a vandweller, I have owned either a 1 02 burner Colemane Propane Stove and they always work great. Nothing fancy, they just work. Get whichever one suits your needs. Highly Recommended!
Coleman PowerPack 1-Burner Stove
Coleman Two-Burner Propane Stove
Propane Bottle: Because of our limited space, I have always used a smaller propane bottle. A 1 gallon bottle is perfect because you can put it anywhere. But, they are expensive and hard to find. Fortunately Amazon carries them here:
Mr Buddy 12 foot Adapter Hose: See my review under Heating and Cooling
Butane Stove: Many vandwellers prefer Butane stoves because of their size and convenience. I don’t agree, but if you want one here is a good one:
GASONE Portable Gas Stove CSA Approved
Pressure Cooker: Pressure cookers work great for us because they cook food much faster and so they save us a lot of fuel. They have reputation for being unsafe, but modern steel makes them as safe as any other cooking. I can cook a pot of beans in half an hour or take a tough, cheap piece of meat and make it fall-apart tender and delicious in 20 minutes. I am really glad I have one. This is the one I own:
Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
Sony Portable DVD Player: Some people want their laptop to do everything, but mine is so valuable to me I want it to do only the essentials and let other devices do the non-essentials. I’ve owned other cheap portable DVD players, but they were all crap compared to the Sony 9 inch DVD player. It has a great picture, plays any DVD, and has been ultra-reliable. It also comes with a 12 volt charger. Highly Recommended.
Sony DVPFX980 9-Inch Screen DVD Portable
Canon G12 Camera: I love photography, but I hated carry around my huge DSLR. I tried a point and shoot but I hated not having any control over the camera. So I bought a Canon G12 and now I have the best of both worlds! The great picture and control of a DSLR and yet in a small package I can carry with me all the time. I use mine constantly and wouldn’t be without it. I know it is expensive, but you get what you pay for! Highly Recommended!!
Canon PowerShot G15 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom