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Best Gifts for RVers and Snowbirds

Updated on November 29, 2015
RVing on the Florida Panhandle.
RVing on the Florida Panhandle. | Source

Great Little Stocking Stuffers for RVers

Stocking stuffers that are fun, useful and take up little space:

  • Eyeglass repair kit
  • Gift cards to iTunes (great for music or apps)
  • Roll of quarters (for the laundromat)
  • Purse size hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Purse size hand lotion
  • Head lamp for checking out dark places in the RV (under the dash, under the hood or in dark compartments)
  • Flash drives for storing photos
  • Sun screen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sample size makeup or moisturizers
  • Travel size shampoo and conditioners
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Back scratcher
  • Magnetic Hide-a-key
  • Dining or grocery store gift cards
  • Pocket sized eyeglass cleaner kit

Find the Best Gifts for Snowbirds

In late fall, snowbirds begin their travels to the warmer climates of the southern states and to popular southwestern locations. Many snowbirds will be traveling and living in their RVs during the winter months. Some will stay in campgrounds or camping resorts, others who are more adventurous will boondocking on beaches or in the deserts of Arizona or California.

When buying gifts for RVers, remember that both storage space and wall space in an RV is extremely limited. With this in mind, look for gifts for the RVer that are compact, lightweight, and easy to store while traveling.

Here are some useful and fun gift ideas for the RV snowbird:

Solar Lanterns or hand crank lanterns make great gifts for RVing snowbirds

Even those who have access to electrical power will appreciate a Solar Lantern which can be used outdoors or during power outages. The solar and hand crank lanterns featured here are also a practical gift for a camper or RVer who will be boondocking on the beach or in the desert as it gives them light without having to run a noisy generator or draining the batteries on their rigs. A great gift for the RVer who is camping off the grid.

Since we've found that traditional lanterns do not work inside our motor home (they set off all the alarms), getting light indoors at night is a problem. One of these lanterns will be on our wish list as they would be useful when reading or playing games at night.

Gifts for Every Snowbird

Solar Chargers for Cell phones and Computers.

Keep your cell phone and computer charged without running your generator with a handy solar powered battery charger.

These solar chargers are also great to have around in case of power outages at home during storms or other emergency conditions. They make great gifts for campers, hikers and outdoors fanatics.

Useful Campground Directories and Books for RVing Snowbirds

Even though storage space is at a premium in a motor home or trailer, most RVers make room for a library of useful books. Our library includes several campground directors, both in paper and electronic form. For a good listing of state and private campgrounds, a Woodall's or Trailer Life Campgroud Directory on CD is very useful.

We often camp in National Parks, National Forests and Corps of Engineers parks because they are in some of the most beautiful and scenic locations. It is well worth while to invest in the separate directors for each of these organizations. And, since we have an America the Beautiful Senior pass, we can get a 50% discount at most campgrounds operated by these agencies. Much of the information can be found on line, but we like paper directories that we can use where we don't have access to the internet. We also make notes in the directories about our likes and dislikes or attractions in the area.

Boondocking on Bureau of Land Management land in Arizona, California, Utah and other western states is one of our favorite things to do, but it is not always easy to find suitable camping areas. One particularly useful book is Camping on Public Lands that gives locations for BLM campgrounds and dispersed camping. And don't forget a good book on boondocking basics!

Snowbirds will love a Digital Picture Frame

A digital picture frame is a great way to take along pictures of kids, grandchildren and friends. Load hundreds of pictures on your frame for a rotating show of people and places you love. These frames can be wall hung or will stand on a table or shelf to be enjoyed.


Don't Leave Home Without a GPS

A dash mounted GPS is a popular and useful gift for the RVer. It will help them find their way to those out of the way camping spots, around detours and to that special attraction or restaurant they've read about. Those who drive motorhomes might appreciate a second GPS unit for their tow vehicle that they drive into town.

You Won't Get Lost While Hiking with a Handheld GPS

For those who love to hike in the desert or explore 4x4 trails, a handheld GPS will ensure that you find your way home again. A handheld GPS is also great for Geocaching, a popular treasure hunting activity where small hidden "treasures" are located by using GPS coordinates.

A Wildflower Guide Should be in Every RV Library!

Field Guides for Wildflowers, Rocks and Minerals

Field guides for wildflowers are fun to browse as well as useful for identifying some of the beautiful wildflowers along the roadsides and in the deserts or forests.

When looking at books, don't forget identification field guides for rocks and minerals, or snakes and lizards. A good field guide will make desert hiking even more interesting, and you may spark a new hobby of rock collecting!

Don't Go Without a National Parks Guide!

Campground Directiories for Public Lands and National Parks

Some particularly useful books for anyone who camps are National Park Guides, Camping on Public Lands and, of course, Woodall's or Trailer Life Campground Directory. Most RVers now carry labtop computers with internet capability, and may appreciate the CD version of these directories.

Books on Gems, Minerals and Rock Collecting

There's no place better for finding gems, minerals and unusual rocks than the south west deserts. Walking in the Arizona or California deserts, one can't help but find unusual rocks, and possibly gems if you know how to spot them. A good field guide on Gems and Minerals or Rock Collecting will make those hikes more interesting and fun.

Emergency Weather Radio, Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger

Etón American Red Cross FR160 Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger (Red), ARCFR160WXR
Etón American Red Cross FR160 Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger (Red), ARCFR160WXR
he American Red Cross MICROLINK FR160 by Etón, has an AM/FM tuner as well as a NOAA Weather Band receiver that brings weather forcasts and severe weather alets. It's powered by the built in solar panel or by a few turns of the hand crank. There's also a USB port to charge cell phone of ipod. The radio is a convenient 5.25 inches.

Be Prepared for Emergencies with an Emergency Weather Radio

We love camping in Alabama near the Gulf of Mexico, but one year during our month long stay, a succession of tornadoes and thunderstorms came through the area that had us on edge. We relied heavily on our weather radio for the latest news and information.

The threat of severe weather like severe thunderstorms, flooding and tornadoes can happen whether camping in the desert or in a Florida resort. An emergency weather radio that does not depend on electrical power or batteries should be part of every RVer's and camper's emergency kit.

Keep an Emergency Weather Radio at Home, Too!

These emergency radios are also great to keep on hand at home to use during power outages. You'll keep informed with up-to-date weather reports and warnings about hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather.

Don't Leave Home Without a Swiss Army Knife

A New Swiss Army Knife

My husband and sons all swear by their Swiss Army knives! Need a knife, a corkscrew, nail file, scissors or screwdriver? They've got one!

A Swiss Army Knife with all the bells and whistles is a perfect gift for him or for her. Keep one in the RV and one in your car or knapsack so that it's always handy. Choose from several different configurations.

Swiss Army knives, with the distinctive white cross on red background, are a multi-use tool that can be a whole toolbox in one. Knives can be the basic two blade model, or come with scissor, pliers, screw drivers, tweezers, corkscrew, saw file, and fish scaler. New versions have incorporated modern technology and even have a USB flash drive.

Field Guides to Birds

Whether you camp in the forests of the northern states or the wide open spaces of a desert, interesting birds are all around you. Carry a good field guide with you and keep one handy on the dining table so that you can quickly look up that unusual bird that's hanging around your campsite.

Birdwatchers will want bird field guides for the specific region where they travel most frequently for tips on where to find birds and their habits and habitats.

Puzzles and Brain Workouts

Even RVing snowbirds have some days when they just hang out at the campsite. A few puzzle books and brain workouts are great for those days of sitting out in the sun enjoying some beautiful weather in the South or Southwest.

Don't Forget Your New Woodall's Campground Directory

A campground directory is a "must have" when traveling long distances. As you go through places without computer service, you'll want a paper directory to find tonight's campground and to help plan your route. Woodall's is a handy guide that is well liked by full time RVers as well as weekend campers.

Get a Kindle eReader for the Gadget Loving Reader

A Kindle eReader is a perfect gift for anyone who does not have room for traditional books. The Kindle holds 3500 books and you can choose from over 725,000 available books. There are also 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright books available to read on Kindle, including titles such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island. You can also read newspapers and magazines on the Kindle and there is a feature which allows you to view your personal documents.

Kindle's high-resolution screen boasts 16 shades of gray and 50% improved contrast, for the sharpest text and images. Kindle's screen reflects light like ordinary paper. It uses no backlighting, eliminating the glare associated with other electronic displays. As a result, Kindle can be read easily in bright sunlight.

Text size is adjustable and can be enlarged to make reading easier on the eyes. There is a build in dictionary and a search feature to easily find the book or article you are looking for.


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    • Stephanie Henkel profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      Robin - I'm so glad you mentioned that! Whenever we can use solar energy for power we are conserving energy. It's not just good for RVers who don't have access to electricity, but for anyone. Thanks for your excellent comment.

    • Robin Anderson profile image

      Robin Anderson 

      8 years ago from United States

      Excellent gift ideas for anyone! We live in a time where we should all be thinking of reducing.... Thanks!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      Hi Peggy - You are right, the solar powered lanterns, radios and chargers would be very handy in an emergency such as the power outages experienced during Hurricane Irene. In fact, a few of these items are on my Christmas wish list!

      I'm glad that you didn't have need of your emergency radio this past year, but wish we could have sent you some of our rain! We do feel bad for the drought that Texas is experiencing!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting - maybe we'll be visiting the great state of Texas this winter with the other Winter Texans!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      These all sound like excellent ideas for those traveling or living in RVs. Some of those ideas like the solar powered lanterns and emergency radios, etc. would be good for anyone to have on hand in cases of emergency. We purchased a radio last year that can be powered by hand cranking if the electric power is lost, thinking that we may need it during the hurricane season. Needless-to-say, we haven't needed it in Houston this year. Wish we could have gotten just a small portion of the rain that the East Coast received this year. We are still in a serious drought condition in most all of Texas.

      Voted up and useful. Good hub Stephanie! Enjoy your travels!


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