2022 Holiday Gift Guide for RVers

Everything you need for the RVer on your list

Big celebrations start with the little things

When you travel in an RV, receiving gifts can go from being fun to being stressful quite quickly. This is because RVs are such tiny living spaces that finding places to put new things can be nearly impossible.

Many traditional gifts are fun things that aren’t necessarily needed by RVers. RVers often end up getting rid of a number of the gifts they receive during the holiday season. This isn’t particularly fun for the gift receiver. The gift-giver would surely be upset to find this out. Therefore, it’s best to avoid the problem altogether.

Christmas in a motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A list of the best holiday gift ideas for RVers

Fortunately, some gifts won’t end up in the donation bin. If you aren’t sure what kinds of things to get the RVer in your life, try the holiday gift ideas in my list below.

Consumable gifts

Consumables are great gift ideas because they get used up meaning they won’t take up space for long but are still used and appreciated. There are the typical consumables such as food gifts and bath and body products but the items below are even more useful to RVers who may have allergies or don’t have access to a bathtub anyway.

Christmas craft © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Roll of quarters

This one might seem a bit odd but honestly it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for the person who uses laundromats on a regular basis. After all, quarters aren’t always easy to come by and having a roll put away for when you need them can be a lifesaver.

2. Gift cards

Gift cards are always one of the top gift ideas. Give the gift of a great meal by picking up a restaurant card or snag one for a favorite ice cream or coffee chain. Walmart, Camping World, and Amazon cards are also useful when an RVer needs to make a repair or upgrade.

3. Fuel gift cards

Consider getting your RVing friend a Flying J/Pilot or Love’s gift card they can use to buy diesel or gas fuel, propane, or pay for dump station fees.

Christmas display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Venture wipes

Those who spend a lot of time boondocking know what it’s like to go a few days without a shower. Help make the boondocker in your life more comfortable by providing them with Venture Wipes to clean up with between showers. These all-natural travel wipes use natural ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, and tea tree oil. They easily wipe off dirt and grime giving you a clean feeling.

5. Rainbow sticks

These are tons of fun for camping families. Simply throw your rainbow stick in the campfire and watch the flames change colors before your eyes.

Christmas in a motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Practical gifts

Practical gifts are always appreciated. They may not seem super fun but they will get used and the fact that they make life a little easier is sure to get you bonus points. Besides, some of these things are fun to receive if you choose a special color or print.

6. Multi-tool

Tools always come in handy while on the road. What better way to save space than with a well-made multi-tool? The Leatherman Skeletool Multi-Tool is a perfect example of this.

Christmas on Jekyll Island, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Flashlight

You never can have too many flashlights that work. You never know when you’re going to need to peer into a dark cabinet, under the rig, or walk to the bathhouse late at night.

8. Instant Pot

Many RVers rave about the RV instant pot. The Instant Pot Dual Duo Plus 9-in-1 electric pressure cooker can do a wide variety of jobs. It can cook entire meals quickly using only one pot and is a breeze to clean up. It offers five customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, and desserts.

Christmas craft © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Backpack

Exploring the world requires carrying some things around meaning a good backpack is necessary. An ideal backpack for RVers is lightweight, versatile, easy to clean, and packs things in quite nicely.

10. Ice maker

When freezer space is at a premium, ice trays aren’t necessarily going to fit very well. Besides, ice trays don’t hold a lot and refilling them can be a pain. An electric ice making machine sits on a counter and will ensure your RVing friend has ice anytime they need it and give them back their freezer space.

Christmas in a motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11. Over-the-sink cutting board

RVs rarely have enough counter space. Fortunately, over-the-sink cutting boards create a bit of extra space for the cooking enthusiast. Best of all, some cutting boards also includes a tiny built-in colander, so you can rinse as you chop.

12. Folding step stool  

A step stool is a super practical gift for an RV owner making it easier to get in and out of the RV and to interior cupboards. A folding step stool is great because it collapses to easily store in the RV when it’s not being used.

Christmas cake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

13. Folding wagon

From laundry to chairs, you never know what you might need to lug around the campground. You could of course carry it all, but a collapsible folding wagon makes things much easier by allowing you to pull items from one place to the next. Best of all, it folds down making it easy to store.

14. Hammock

There is nothing quite as relaxing as spending an afternoon in a hammock in the great outdoors. Give your RVing friend the gift of relaxation by placing a small, yet strong, hammock under the tree this year.

Christmas goodies © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

15. Journals and photo memory books

Most people who enjoy traveling also enjoy journaling about their adventures and showing off photos of the places they have explored. Give a gift of a high-end journal or photo book and a nice pen to record their memories.

Experiential gifts

Finally, there is the option of an experience gift. These gifts are great because they don’t take up any room at all besides a slot in a wallet. They are also tons of fun to receive and help the recipient make memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Christmas in a motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

16. Event tickets

Tickets to a sports event, concert, festival, or other events might be just the thing to make your RVer happy without overwhelming them with physical things that take up space. Just make sure you know where they will be and when so you know they can make it to the event you have in mind.

17. Reciprocal museum membership

Another option is a membership of some sort. Since RVers aren’t typically in one place for long periods of time, many of them like having museum memberships that offer reciprocal benefits at other similar museums.

Below are some of the reciprocal programs available:

  • North American Reciprocal Museum Association
  • The Association of Science and Technology Centers
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • Association of Children’s Museums
  • American Horticultural Society
  • Time Travelers (reciprocal membership network for historical museums, sites, and societies throughout the US)
Christmas cake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

18. Theme park annual pass

Perfect for the thrill-seeking traveler, many theme parks have an annual pass option that includes benefits at multiple parks across the country. These annual passes are great gift ideas. Below is a list of some of the more popular multi-park passes out there:

  • Merlin Pass (LEGOLAND Parks and Discovery Centers, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museums, and Sea Life Aquariums)
  • Six Flags Gold Pass
  • Cedar Point Platinum Pass
  • Herschend Pass (Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Stone Mountain Park, and more)

While they don’t offer reciprocal benefits, annual passes to parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are popular with RVers who spend the winter in Florida.

Christmas in a motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

19. Camping club membership

Yet another card you could get for your RVing friend is a camping club membership. There are dozens of camping clubs out there and all of them offer a different collection of benefits. A few favorites are listed below:

  • Thousand Trails
  • Passport America
  • Escapees
  • Harvest Hosts
  • Boondockers Welcome

20. America the Beautiful pass

An America the Beautiful pass will offer your RVing friends free entrance access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. This includes National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas, National Memorials, National Historic Sites, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and Bureau of Land Management.

Poinsettias for Christmas Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

21. State recreation passes

The majority of RVers enjoy exploring and camping on public land. Consider buying them a pass that allows them to recreate in a specific state. A majority of states require a day pass to enter their state park system; some even provide a discount on overnight camping.

Between all of these ideas, you’re sure to find something for your RVing friends. 

Worth Pondering…

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.

—Dave Barry, Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide

O Christmas Tree, Don’t Fall Off my SUV

Avoid losing your tree and putting others at risk

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

You just fell off my SUV

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

I lost you on Loop 303

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

What will I tell my family?

The above is part of a Public Service Announcement recently issued by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

Christmas tree on Jekyll Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Don’t be the unlucky Christmas tree buyer whose tree falls off a vehicle only moments after strapping it to your vehicle’s roof. Set aside the embarrassment or wasted expense because Christmas trees that fall off vehicles are a serious safety hazard that drivers should plan to avoid before bringing their trees home this holiday season.

A potential Christmas tree (?), Fushlake Scenic Byway, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A brief history of the Christmas tree

Records of using greenery to celebrate the holidays predate the widespread use of the phrase “Christmas tree.” Rural English church records from the 15th and 16th centuries indicate that holly and ivy were bought in the winter—hence the Christmas carol “The Holly and the Ivy.” Private houses and streets were also decorated with greenery at this time.

Potential Christmas tree (?), along the road to Mount St. Helens, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Numerous myths surround the origins of Christmas trees. One legend says that Martin Luther believed that pine trees represented the goodness of God. A popular myth in the 15th century tells the story of St. Boniface who in the 8th century thwarted a pagan human sacrifice under an oak tree by cutting down that tree; a fir tree grew in its place with its branches representing Christ’s eternal truth.

Related Christmas article: Christmas Gift Ideas 2021

A potential Christmas tree (?), near Lesser Slave Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But the real origins of Christmas trees appear to be rooted in present-day Germany during the Middle Ages. In 1419, a guild in Freiburg put up a tree decorated with apples, flour-paste wafers, tinsel, and gingerbread. In “Paradise Plays” which was performed to celebrate the feast day of Adam and Eve that fell on Christmas Eve, a tree of knowledge was represented by an evergreen fir with apples tied to its branches.

Christmas tree on Jekyll Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But the image of a decorated Christmas tree with presents underneath has a very specific origin: an engraving of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their children gathering around a Christmas tree eyeing the presents underneath published in The Illustrated London News in 1848. The premier women’s magazine in America back then, Godey’s Lady’s Book, reprinted a version of the image a couple of years later as “The Christmas Tree.”

References to Christmas trees in private homes or establishments in North America date back to the late 18th century and early 19th century.

A potential Christmas tree (?), Wells Gray Country, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The dangers of transporting a Christmas tree

ADOT reminds drivers to make sure they’ll get home with their tree—and without putting others at risk. Every December, crews remove trees that become hazards after they weren’t properly secured to a vehicle and fell to the roadway. Those dislodged spruces or firs can become obstacles that trigger crashes as drivers swerve to miss the detached trees.

Related Christmas article: Fruitcake: National Joke or Tasty Christmas Tradition

A potential Christmas tree (?), Fish Lake Scenic Byway, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An improperly secured Christmas tree is a road hazard waiting to happen. Loose trees can move around while you drive, obstructing your view, and causing an accident. Trees can also fall off and become a hazard on the road, causing accidents when other drivers have to swerve around them.

A potential Christmas tree (?), the Sierras, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While Christmas trees are only a roadway hazard for a limited time of the year they are part of a larger problem with roadway debris. And even if the crash is minor and doesn’t cause any bodily harm, a tree can cause thousands of dollars in vehicle damage. Plus dropping a tree on the road is against the law in all 50 U.S. states, often resulting in fines up to $5,000 or possible jail time.

A potential Christmas tree (?), the road to Mount Robson, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road debris like Christmas trees was responsible for 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths over a 4-year span. You don’t want to ruin the holidays for yourself or someone else because you failed to secure your tree.

Related Christmas article: Christmas Gift Ideas 2019

According to AAA survey, an estimated 84 million Americans (33 percent) will purchase a real Christmas tree and of those:

  • 44 percent of Americans who plan to purchase a real Christmas tree will transport the tree using unsafe methods
  • 20 percent will tie the tree to the roof of their vehicle without using a roof rack
  • 24 percent plan to place the tree in the bed of their pickup truck unsecured
  • 16 percent have previously experienced a Christmas tree falling off or out of their vehicle during transport
A potential Christmas tree (?), Devonian Gardens, Edmonton, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to transport a Christmas tree safely

Whether you have a permit to cut down your own tree from a national forest or you’re buying one that’s already been cut make sure to pack strong rope, tie-downs, or nylon ratchet straps. Trees wrapped with netting are easier to secure to a vehicle’s roof, so consider having it wrapped or bring your own materials.

A potential Christmas tree (?), Wells Gray Country, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When placing the tree on a vehicle, point the top to the back of the vehicle. Then strap the tree near its base, close to the top, and in the tree’s middle. Tug on the tree to test your work. Pull from different angles to ensure it is snug and make adjustments if needed.

Related Christmas article: The Holiday Season Favorite Veggie: Sweet Potato or Yam

A potential Christmas tree (?), near Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Conclusion

Whether your perfect tree resembles Charlie Brown’s simple spruce or something out of a Hallmark movie, you need a safe way of getting it home. The best tree safety steps involve securing the tree to a roof rack or stuffing it inside your car. But many people transport their trees in other ways that are simply dangerous.

Worth Pondering…

Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.

—John J. Geddes