Gift ideas for someone with a new motor home
October 14, 2016 2:57 AM   Subscribe

What can I gift my dad to help my parents' motor home experience?

My dad is difficult to buy for, and his birthday is coming up November 2nd. But, he just got a new motor home. My mom and dad are both retired, and I'd like to get them something to help their motor home experience be more enjoyable. I've thought about making them a first aid kit for the motor home or getting them nice sheets for the motor home bed, but do you have ideas for practical, useful things to make their experience more enjoyable? Tangible or subscription ideas appreciated.
posted by shortyJBot to Shopping (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If they are traveling, gift cards to stores and restaurants where they like to stop.
posted by BibiRose at 5:49 AM on October 14, 2016

How about a National Parks pass and a KOA campgrounds pass?
posted by trbrts at 5:49 AM on October 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

Or if you want to go bigger, how about a couple of cruiser bikes and a bike rack for the back of the motorhome. I used to RV with my parents when I was a kid. I always liked being able to grab a bike and just cruise around wherever we happened to be camping. Great way to stretch the legs after a lot of windshield time.
posted by trbrts at 5:51 AM on October 14, 2016

After surviving a hurricane a few days my answer to everything is headlamps! They are incredibly useful! If your parents are camping with their rv headlamps will help them get around in the campgound at night. Having your hands free for balance becomes more and more important as we age. They also double as reading lights when your partner wants to sleep and you don't.
posted by mareli at 6:52 AM on October 14, 2016

Plastic collapsible folding stool.
posted by bq at 7:26 AM on October 14, 2016

Some things I have found to be nice to have / do while traveling:

Nix the Nation Parks pass if they are over 62, they are eligible for a $10 lifetime pass, but KOA is a nice idea.

Nice roll up outdoor carpet / mat for under the awning (not the fake grass stuff) minimum 8 x 10 unless they have a really small RV

Portable fire pit

Kischy patio / awning lights, plastic flamingos, gnomes or other outdoor decor that fits their personalities to decorate their RV space when parked in a resort for awhile

Nice camp lounge chairs for each, plus 2 matching standard chairs for visitors

Upscale unbreakable drink & serving ware

Satellite TV Dish service

Audible Audio book subscription for the long trips

If they have a small pet with them a sturdy but attractive exercise pen and/or crate.
posted by IpsoFacto at 8:53 AM on October 14, 2016

Do your parents care about internet on the road? They may be under the assumption that campgroud / RV park wifi will be sufficient. It will not - is it horribly, horribly unreliable if it works at all. Depending on your budget, I'd get them a hotspot and a data plan. The absolute best resource to research this is RVMobileInternet.
posted by cgg at 10:14 AM on October 14, 2016

Having lived in an RV for awhile, don't get them tangible stuff unless they have specifically asked for it or you KNOW they have room for it. Space can be unbelievably tight. Is there something you could replace with a much nicer or smaller version? (e.g. a coffeemaker) How about a satellite GPS? Even if they have cell phones, there's an astonishing amount of the country that has no signal.

Collapsible dishware is awesome. I liked this folding dish rack. Mesh laundry bags for trips to the campground laundromat. Tiered hangers and tiered shoe racks save space in the closet. Travel space bags for clothing.

Note that motor home beds are often non-standard sizes so you should either measure it (if possible) or buy sheets specifically made for RVs.

Do not get them anything breakable. And no artwork or framed photos, they probably don't have any wall space.

Depending on their stance on gift cards, a gas/truck stop gift card would be really useful.
posted by AFABulous at 10:15 AM on October 14, 2016

Oh - if they don't have any campground memberships yet - Passport America or Good Sam might be worth looking into. And continuing the idea of the first aid kit - maybe RV specific roadside assistance? Coach-Net is well regarded in this area.
posted by cgg at 10:23 AM on October 14, 2016

Thanks, Guys!

I ended up getting my dad a journal from minted that is personalized to say "[Dad's name] Captain's Log" for making notes about campgrounds and places they visit, and journaling their adventures. I also got them AFABulous' recommended mesh laundry bags with some laundry pods (since they will be easier than toting detergent containers) and the recommended collapsible bowl with a dish drying mat to save space. I also found a tea towel on Etsy that says, "Motorhome, sweet motorhome." I feel good about some practical kitchen things and laundry things to set them up, and a journal for my dad to get started with on their first journey.

They are 62 years old, so I will let them know about the national park pass! They also had a year of free camground stays with the KOA grounds when they purchased their motorhome, so they are covered there.

Thank you all for your help!
posted by shortyJBot at 8:21 AM on October 15, 2016

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