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The little things that matter


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I  often spend a lot of time discussing big purchases on this forum. 

But, it's often the little things that make our days (or nights. )

What's your best purchase,  under $20, that you use all the time?

I have many, but I will start with a few:

Harbor freight flashlight. Used to be free with a coupon, now it's under a dollar. The hook on the front I can hang off my collar. I  love these flashlights. Two modes, bright leds.

I use them all the time.

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Best low cost addition to the Ollie that I’ve made is this plug holder for the 7 pin connector.   Keeps the plug off the ground and dry when set up at the campsite.   Purchased from etrailer. 

It's the middle of the night & Fido needs to go out. You want to be able to grab a flashlight without the need to turn on a light. This Command Broom Holder is the answer. Plus, it stays put when

I  often spend a lot of time discussing big purchases on this forum.  But, it's often the little things that make our days (or nights. ) What's your best purchase,  under $20, that you use a

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Here's another.  An ice cube tray that won't spill water underway.

I bought mine in Australia years ago for 2 or 3 dollars, but the OXO version is nicer, with the silicon lid,, even though a little more.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

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34 minutes ago, Townesw said:

Two for $1.99. Can’t beat ‘em. 

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Essential in fly season!

And I  love Tractor Supply. At many of them, you can buy lpg by weight. 

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I know several RVers that Velcro a couple of those lights to the exterior of their camper.  The theory is that if/when a critter (or human) sees that light come on they will leave.  I wonder if it actually works at least for any critter of any size.  I do know of at least one black bear that really doesn't care if a "security" light is on or not.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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This key chain ready Olight 3EOS is hands down one of the best little lights I have ever owned.

It’s extremely bright and is an excellent lamp unto your path. We have several. 

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4 hours ago, topgun2 said:

I know several RVers that Velcro a couple of those lights to the exterior of their camper.  The theory is that if/when a critter (or human) sees that light come on they will leave.  I wonder if it actually works at least for any critter of any size.  I do know of at least one black bear that really doesn't care if a "security" light is on or not.

 

Bill

We tried that boondocking in Colorado. The darn thing turned on & off all night long but I never saw anything. Maybe it worked but I couldn't sleep & didn't put it out anymore. 🙈

Another good place to put it is behind your steps. Handy if you leave during the day & return after dark but failed to turn on courtesy lights. The key is to remember it when you leave.  We only have two now. Oops.

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Chris & Duke Chadwell
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Elite II Hull 292
2017 F-150 Lariat 3.5 EB 4x4 Lakeland, FL 

 

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8 hours ago, ShallowGal said:

Great topic! We love these little motion detection lights. No need to turn on a light when you get up in middle of night. You get three for $29.

Shallowgal, I put several of a similar type light on the top and bottom treads of our home staircases. Really helpful when we forget to turn on the overhead light.love them. I've also thought about putting one in the bathroom of the Ollie.  I'm used to a motion sensor light in our home bathroom. 

In our little shorty, I  could see them useful on the outside step. I can find my way (3 steps) to the bathroom by the light of the stereo.

 

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Here’s my favorite item for under $20, an Aukey night light. We got it for $17.99, but it is currently $19.99. 

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We get up to pee at night, and when we first got our Ollie we left the inside courtesy lights on as a night light. We quickly discovered that this produced too much light, especially in the sleeping area. We then tried a battery powered candle on the dinette, but it also produced too much light, and it chewed through batteries at a prodigious rate. 

I then discovered the Aukey night light. Instead of batteries, it is rechargeable via micro-USB. With our overnight use on the dimmest setting, one charge lasts at least five days.  

The brightness is adjustable, and the reviews said that it goes very dim. This was one of the main reasons I bought this, and I am quite pleased with how dim it goes. 

It also has a built in loop and comes with a carabiner to hang from something, and a magnet to attach to metal surfaces. We take advantage of that magnet. It comes with small circular metal disks with adhesive backing. We put one of these adhesive disks up on the pantry wall above the dinette. In this location, no light goes back to the sleeping compartment. 

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It is hard to take a photo which accurately reflects the low light, as a phone always overexposes dark situations. 

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The magnet appears pretty strong, but we don't drive with the light on the wall. Taking down the night light is part of our Departure Checklist. 

There are other features that we have not taken advantage of, including that the light floats and the light can display a variety of colors. Finally the controls are simple and intuitive. 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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On 9/11/2020 at 9:20 PM, SeaDawg said:

Harbor freight flashlight. Used to be free with a coupon, now it's under a dollar. The hook on the front I can hang off my collar. I  love these flashlights. Two modes, bright leds.

There is also a magnet on the back. Makes it stick to the TV and becomes hand free. Might stick to a belt buckle??

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Free is good too!

A fair number of USFS (US Forest Service) campgrounds use a water pump that requires the person doing the pumping to also hold up a valve that diverts the water from a "drinking fountain" into the spout where you can fill your water container.  Unless you were a gymnast this can be rather difficult to do.  Sticks, pebbles and other assorted forest debris can be used to prop this valve in the open position but if you happen to have the "tab" from a can of soda or beer it works perfectly for this purpose.  In addition, it gives you yet another excuse to pop a cold one.

Bill

 

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I suppose if you were out of beer I could find you scrounging around my Ollie looking for a coke can pop top.  I know you wouldn’t have any around your campsite.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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This isn't  a gadget, but it sure is handy to keep around. Shoe Goo.

My favorite hiking  boots, and my favorite waterproof shoes, have both had issues with the soles coming detached in places, in the last few years.

The stuff is waterproof when cured (24 to 72 hours). It's messy and true to it's "goo" name. Goes on like sticky putty, but it really works. Best if you have a way to clamp it while it cures if you're fastening the sole to the boot.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

. Best if you have a way to clamp it while it cures if you're fastening the sole to the boot.

That's what duct tape is for, right?  And if you run out of shoe goo, duct tape will fix the sole, but it won't be water-tight.

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Ray and Susan Huff

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4 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

That's what duct tape is for, right?  And if you run out of shoe goo, duct tape will fix the sole, but it won't be water-tight.

I don't know. We've used c clamps and spring clamps. I'd be worried about sticky residue from duct tape, but it could "probably " work, if it's all you had. Maybe thick rubber bands, as clamping devicrs?

We usually have two pairs of boots each with us, so having one pair out of commission isn't the end of the world.  I  just have some favorites that are really hard to give up.

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I second the SeaDawg's recommendation of Shoe Goo.  Several times while traveling, my wife has had sections of hiking boots or walking/running shoes come loose and flap around.  Shoe Goo does an excellent job re-attaching the loose parts.  I also experimented with various clamps, but have settled on using thick rubber bands stretched across the area being glued.  Having about 8-10 thick rubber bands will provide the capability to fix nearly any area of a shoe.  Carrying a batch of rubber bands around is also much easier than C-clamps and other tools.  Also handy to have available is a roll of blue painter's tape.  The tape can be used to mask of areas of a shoe to protect from spread of Shoe Goo.

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Shoe goo is great for  in the field repairs. For home,  barge cement works super well for soles that are delaminating. But  carrying some shoe goo on the road is easier than carrying barge cement thinner (for cleaning old glue off before regluing) as well as the barge cement, and a little less nasty to deal with as well. And it also helps with filling torn holes etc. I have both on hand at home and have used  each in the last year for  sure.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

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Lol...I have the Shoe Goo too. Funny, but when you think about it. Here I am, carrying around stuff to fix an old  pair of favorite $30 sneakers (sorry, hiking shoes), in a $60k + camper, when maybe I should have gotten a new pair? But they have packaged the stuff in such a new small tube, and you never know when you might need it. And toothpicks to spread it with...

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We've been using Shoe Goo since the early 80's.  Back then the main purpose was to apply the stuff to the heels of running shoes so that the shoes would last for a number of additional running miles (today's running shoes have soles that are much more durable than they were back in the day).  The next "found" use for this stuff was to make both the heels and the toes of fly fishing wading boots last longer and I still use it for that purpose today.

Certainly Shoe Goo will "fix" soles that are detaching but it tends to be slightly less pliable than E6000.  Both of these products can be used for temporary small leak repairs  or awning patching or fishing wader patching or ....

Bill 

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20 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

Shoe goo is great for  in the field repairs. For home,  barge cement works super well for soles that are delaminating. But  carrying some shoe goo on the road is easier than carrying barge cement thinner (for cleaning old glue off before regluing) as well as the barge cement, and a little less nasty to deal with as well. And it also helps with filling torn holes etc. I have both on hand at home and have used  each in the last year for  sure.

I've never used barge cement, but I  think I will order some. The can, not the blue tube. Great reviews. 

Thanks. I'd never heard if it before your post.

I just hate giving up boots and shoes that are broken in, feel good, but not "broken out ." 

May seem silly, or cheap, but I  just love some of my  boots and shoes. Hard to part with them because part of the sole parts .

Sherry 

 

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59 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

I've never used barge cement, but I  think I will order some. The can, not the blue tube. Great reviews. 

Thanks. I'd never heard if it before your post.

I just hate giving up boots and shoes that are broken in, feel good, but not "broken out ." 

May seem silly, or cheap, but I  just love some of my  boots and shoes. Hard to part with them because part of the sole parts .

Sherry

 

Yes, I have it in a can. I recently  restored some  otherwise  still  decent water shoes for  sea kayaking whose soles had pulled  away  from the  shoes. So far the  bond with the shoe's leather (which was primed on the  sole contact  surface when they were  originally made) has held quite well - I'm impressed.  These shoes  have a lot  of flex and as you might  expect  get wet each  time  they're  used (during launch and landing of the kayaks). I also  have  used  the  cement to recover orthotics,  which saved a TON  of money as well and let me use the  exact sort  of covering material  I wanted for them.  Those have also  held up super  well even when  soaked in not really  waterproof hiking boots in  PNW  wet weather. I have a friend who uses it  to cement rubber  rands of "supergaiters"  to mountaineering boot sole edges to create boots  that  stay dry in  wet mushy spring snow.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II December 2020 delivery

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Best low cost addition to the Ollie that I’ve made is this plug holder for the 7 pin connector.   Keeps the plug off the ground and dry when set up at the campsite.   Purchased from etrailer. 

911D9D74-787C-49BF-AB7E-635EB77AA357.jpeg

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2019 Elite II - Hull #461

 

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The screens in the Oliver windows are made with standard fiberglass screening material.  Unfortunately, in many places I camp there are very small bugs (no-see-ums) that are small enough to fit through the holes in that screening.  As a winter project last year I replaced all screens with a finer mesh screening suitable for keeping virtually all of these bugs at bay.  This small bug screening can be purchased at virtually any hardware store and is fairly inexpensive.

In addition, I purchased two different bug zappers that will get anything that flies through the door as I come and go.  Both can be used as a bug zapper alone or be combined with their internal regular light function.  Even though the NEBO was more expensive (about $25 versus the $15 I paid for the U-Lantern) I tend to like it better since it seems to be a bit brighter (the bug light portion) and thus takes care of critters a bit faster and it can be used as both a lantern and spotlight.

NEBO Bug Zapper:

https://www.amazon.com/NEBO-6587-Z-Bug-Lantern-Light/dp/B074TH22FB/ref=sr_1_2?crid=27FXU7XDX781S&dchild=1&keywords=nebo+bug+zapper+lantern&qid=1603047333&sprefix=nebo+bug%2Caps%2C172&sr=8-2

U-Pick Camping Lantern:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T64CGZY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Small Insect Screen:

https://www.amazon.com/ADFORS-Premium-Insect-Screen-Charcoal/dp/B00KIQKN0I/ref=sr_1_5?crid=32ZP3AH1Y8HIF&dchild=1&keywords=small+insect+screen+mesh+roll&qid=1603047517&sprefix=small+insect+screen%2Caps%2C174&sr=8-5

I should note that the NEBO is battery powered while the U-Pick is USB rechargeable but neither seem to really use that much juice.   Also, it should not be a surprise but the tighter mesh of the small insect screening does restrict airflow more than the original screen.  But, while I did notice the reduced air flow, it is not a major factor - just crank up the Maxair another notch 😉.

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