Apps & Gadgets

Here's some details and links of useful gadgets and apps that we've come across that have made our life easier (and cheaper!) when on tour. These are personal views and we aren't recommending items (unless we specifically say so) but thought it would be good to share what we find.

Remoska Electric Cooker - this is similar to the Double Skillet but instead powered by low voltage electricity when on EHU. This electric mini-oven comes in two sizes but we think the small one will be fine for us:  We were lent a Remoska for two weeks to try out.  We used it both at home and in the campervan and we're sold on it.  It's extremely flexible when it comes to cooking and we used it to cook roast meals, curries, rock buns and more.  It's relatively small and easy to store, plus its power usage is low.  We now keep it in the campervan and use it most days when on EHU.

BBQ - I've always been a fan of the traditional BBQ using lumpwood charcoal. It must be the primeval urge to play with fire!  But I also prefer the taste. The trouble is, unless we have plenty of time, it can take a while to get up to cooking temperature and a long time to cool down.  Some areas also have restrictions on the use of charcoal BBQs.  I'm still on the fence but this Cadac Safari Chef gas BBQ looks small enough to fit in the van's garage and can be used in a number of different ways.  We bought one of these and it works really well with  El Nido via the outside gas BBQ socket.  The hot plates get the most use and we also bought the roasting tray.

Le Crueset Wine Cooler Sleeve - we bought one of these from the Define Delicatessen and Wine store just down the road in Sandiway.  It's a gel-filled sleeve that we keep in the freezer compartment and slides over the top of the wine bottle, keeping the  contents really cool, even on the hottest day.  It's slim size makes it ideal to keep in a motorhome, either in the freezer or the fridge: 

This looks like a good idea when travelling on France's toll roads.  Rather than messing around with cash or cards, this Tag automatically recognises your details, opens the toll bar, invoices you later and then automatically deducts the costs by direct debit:  Sanef Tolling.

Did you know you can use your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers to cash in towards the cost of the Euro-Tunnel, with every £10 in Clubcard Vouchers giving you £30 worth of Clubcard Reward Tokens?  Nor did we until we read this link.  We use our Tesco credit card for all purchases to maximise Clubcard points; so far all of our holidays in Europe have included a free crossing thanks to this scheme.

Internet Access
We came across Motorhome Wifi when reading their blog - Europe by Camper and met them at the Shrewsbury Motorhome Show.  They offer a number of products, but the one that appealed to me was the iBoost WiFi System.  The iBoost is a totally self contained wireless booster system which allows you to both connect to and enhance the strength of an external wireless hotspot. This makes it much easier to connect multiple devices, such as an iPad, Macbook, PC or Smartphone to the same wireless connection.  We've since bought an i-Boost and used it in anger in the depths of the Peak District.  It proved to be easy to set-up, powerful and now a must-have gadget, perfect for researching our next stop or visit.

We saw this company at the Motorhome show in Shrewsbury.  They make bedding (duvets, covers, fitted sheets, sleeping bags) specifically to fit french beds and other odd-shaped motorhome beds: Freedom is...

We also bought a Duvalay memory foam mattress topper which has made a real difference to comfort and sleeping!

On our last trip to France we took our Garmin satnav, having pre-loaded Aires, ACSI campsites and Lidl POIs.  This worked OK most of the time, but on a number of occasions (as we wanted to avoid motorways and tolls) it tried to take us down a few small roads that were clearly unsuitable for a motorhome.  It also through a 'hissy-fit' one day when entering co-ordinates.  Luckily I had found and installed a SatNav app for the iPhone - Nav Free France.  Not only was this free, it allowed us to set up as an RV/Lorry, which meant we avoided all those small roads.  The other advantage is that all the maps are loaded onto the iPhone and it then relies on GPS, so there was no need to have internet access or suffer huge data roaming charges.  The first one you download is free, but you can add additional countries for just £2.99 each.  This is a great little app that saved our bacon in France.

Phone, Tablet, Kindle Charger
We've invested in one of the Anker chargers to allow us to charge up our phones, tablet and kindles when off EHU.  Although we're having an inverter fitted which, with the solar panel to charge the leisure batteries, should be enough, we think this is a useful back-up to carry.