I recently had a large credit at an office supply chain store I had to use or lose before we headed out on an extended RV trip. While most of it was spent on office supplies, there is only so much paper and toner you can stockpile before I was wondering what to do with the balance of the credit.
I began to think what can I find at an office supply store that is going to enhance my camping experience away from home in the boondocks? Wandering the aisles, I came up with two things: first was another wireless camera that would allow me to keep eyes on my home while my wife and I are away. I wrote about this previously in an entry concerning keeping your home safe while you are away.
The next thing I stumbled across was something I would have never thought of but has proved very useful during our last extended RV trip. It is a backup power supply with surge protection designed to keep computers and modems functioning and protected during lightning storms and power outages. As an RVer, envision it as a ready supply of low wattage (480 watts) shore power whenever you need it.
It’s perfect for powering any low wattage 120-volt item rather than starting up and listening to your generator, plus you aren’t consuming any amperage out of your battery bank.
Here’s a list of the items I have found it useful for while dry camping:
- Powering a Waterpik which was recently recommended by my dentist
- Powering/charging my laptop computer
- Powering the 120-volt tuner for our satellite TV receiver
- Charging the battery in my wife’s SLR camera
- Charging the lithium battery in my cordless drill
- Charging my cell phone battery via the standard wall charger rather than a car charger
I keep the unit plugged in under the dinette in my RV so anytime I am hooked to shore power (rarely) or running my generator, the power supply charges back-up and is ready for the next use. Also, even when I am on shore power or running the generator, I plug my laptop or other delicate electronics into it for added protection via the built-in surge protector.
Now I could accomplish most of the same benefits via an inverter and upgraded batteries/wiring in my RV, but for under $100 (though I received it free) it is an inexpensive alternative. Plus, it’s portable, allowing me to take it outside into the campsite if desired.
Using office supply equipment to enhance my dry camping experience, just another adventure in RVing!