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RV Camping: Gadgets & Gizmos Part 2

From the BookShelf Writers

The BookShelf Writers consist of four Estero Bay women who have been writing and critiquing together for over five years. For more samples of their work, please visit www.the

Each issue, this column will feature one of the BookShelf Writers: Debbie Black, Catherine “Kiki” Kornreich, Judy Salamacha and Susan Vasquez.

November 17, 2023

By Debbie Black

You live on Estero Bay. Lucky! People drive great distances to come here to camp. But you, you lucky dog, your RV won’t even break a sweat before pulling into one of a dozen local and beautiful campgrounds just minutes from your house.

After you’ve settled in, I’d like to share with you some more gear that will make that camping trip even better. Please note, I’m not associated with, nor compensated by, the companies who make these products. Here you go…

Coffee! Gotta have good coffee when camping. When we have electrical hookups, we use our single-cup Keurig and reusable Perfect Pod EZ-Cup with filters—much cheaper than k-cups, ecological, and I can mix my own half regular/half decaf pod. But dry camping without electricity has always been a coffee challenge. We tried a percolator, a French press, drip/filter coffee, instant coffee, even cowboy coffee. Then a friend told us about the MyJo and the heavens opened and birds began to sing. It’s a must-have if you’re dry camping. MyJos are inexpensive ($25), durable and make delicious coffee. Put your favorite ground coffee in the MyJo refillable filter cup (or use a k-cup), fill the reservoir with boiling water, place on top of your coffee cup and press down on the pump lid. Yes, one cup at a time—but hey, you’re camping! Then go sit in your camp chair, place both hands around that steaming cup of fresh brew and thank the folks who invented the MyJo. It’s also the perfect gift for your camping friends.

RV Superbags—a game changer! Got a corner bed in your RV? How do you like changing that bed? A royal pain, right — making a bed while you’re kneeling on it and cracking your head on the overhead cabinets? I was NOT a happy camper. Then we met some people at Convict Lake who’ve become fast friends—mainly because they’re nice individuals but also because they convinced us to buy a couple RV Superbags. Go right now and check out What a wonderful product and clever beyond words. Custom made in the US, these sleeping bags have a fluffy side for winter and a thinner side for summer, with removable, comfy sheets that Velcro into the bag. Brilliant! Everything is well made and generously sized. When it’s too hot even for the summer side, we just sleep under the sheets. Per our friends’ suggestion, we paid a little more for the 300 thread count sheets. Good move. Amazingly comfortable. We bought an extra set to switch out whenever we return from camping—all ready for the next trip. You have a choice of sleeping bag fabrics (Garth’s and mine are different), bag size Single/Queen/King (ours are singles, 42”x80”!) and the sheet thread count. RV Superbags aren’t cheap but they’ve been well worth the money for utter comfort, plus we’ve totally eliminated all bed-making frustration. We’d never go back!

Rocky! That’s our name for our sweet portable gas fire pit. “Rocky time!” we say first thing on a cold morning. Nothing better than a no-fuss crackling morning fire and a cup of coffee. Well, maybe equally wonderful is lighting up Rocky at sunset during wine time. Or for after-dinner conversations when the stars come out. It emits a lot of heat but the base doesn’t get hot, so we can put it right on our big camping mat—or even on our deck at home. It instantly turns on/off (do get the one with auto ignition, Outland Fire Pit 870, about $155). When camping during restricted fire seasons, we’re allowed to use Rocky while other campers can’t build wood fires. Its 10’ hose attaches to a standard 15/20lb propane tank. It doesn’t use much fuel. I don’t advise cooking marshmallows over its lava rocks. Spilled marshmallows = big mess. Yes, we miss the days of wood campfires, but we don’t miss the smoke that always seemed to follow me no matter where I moved my chair. And we’re okay, at this point in our lives, with not having all our clothes smell like smoke for days after a wood fire. 

We’ve come a long way from backpacking to car camping and now our rustic, woodsy RV camping. But we still enjoy being out in nature, and we appreciate things like MyJo, Rocky, and RV Superbags that make the experience simply more fun. We share our discoveries of gadgets and gizmos, so, hopefully, they’ll make RV camping for you and your family even more enjoyable. Watch for Gadgets & Gizmos Part 3. And if you have any suggestions, please send them to me at Happy camping! 

(Tenth article in the series “RV Camping in Your Own Backyard.” Visit 

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