Products We Use

Denny Johnson

Denny Johnson

We personally use and like all these items

The things we don't like, don't get listed here!

Wherever possible, the product link is to amazon.com. I chose Amazon because they are great to do business with and most everyone is comfortable buying from them. Check the product links to see other user ratings and reviews on the Amazon product page. Thanks again for helping me out and purchasing through these links.

Please Note: I am a participant in several affiliate marketing programs and may receive a commission if you use one of my links and make a purchase. - Denny
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Items for Inside Your Trailer
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Space Heater

Small, Quiet and Powerful
This comes in HANDY!
We have an A/C unit in our trailer that puts out heat when needed, but it's loud. This little unit has put out enough heat to keep us warm at night when there was a bit of snow on the ground outside. It's small enough (only 5"x6"x8") to fit in one of our overhead storage bays above the bed. It has a thermostat to control the level of heat desired.
 
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Flat Screen TV Mount

For small TV
You MIGHT NEED this!

When our Casita was made, most small TVs were still put on a shelf. After a few trips, we decided we wanted to mount a small flat screen TV under our storage cabinet above the bed. This was the mount I selected. It was pretty inexpensive yet good quality. It comes apart making it easy to mount, but is very heavy duty once installed. The TV tilts up and down, and swivels side to side, allowing us to adjust the viewing angle for either watching in bed or from other areas within our trailer.

NOTE: Having finished our first 4500 mile trip since I installed this, I have to say that it did a great job. It handled all the vibration well, and let us easily adjust the TV for viewing at our table or in bed. It was much better than the shelf we used to sit the TV on.

 
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Toilet Master Blaster

You SHOULD HAVE this!

If you have a toilet you have a black water tank. This is what we use to clean it out. It attaches to a hose that we put through our bathroom window, than stick the wand down into the toilet and spray the heck out of the tank. It really blasts the water in the tank to loosen anything that wants to stick. The wand also has a valve on the handle to conveniently turn the water on and off and adjust the pressure.

It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it! (It's not really dirty, just nasty to think about.) This makes it pretty easy!

 
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Wall File

This comes in HANDY!
There's not a lot of table top and counter space in our small trailer. We were constantly moving the stack of paper (park brochures, notes, magazines, etc.) we'd accumulate from our table, to the stove cover, to the bed and back. I drilled a couple of holes in a dividing wall beside the table and mounted this file. It's great, and now our stack stays smaller-we throw more out!
 
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Wall Clock

This is NICE to have!
Having an easy to see wall clock is very handy, both to see what time it is and to time things (like when you're cooking). Ours is 10" in diameter and is hung where we can easily see it from outside by looking through the window. Since there are so many varieties, this links to the Amazon search page for wall clocks so you can choose one you like.
Items for Outside Your Trailer| Plumbing-Fresh Water
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Water Pressure Regulator

This is IMPORTANT!
Occasionally you will find very high water pressure at some campgrounds. So high, that it can cause leaks in your trailer's plumbing system. To be safe, always connect a pressure regulator between the spigot and your hose.
 
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Water Filter

This is IMPORTANT!
At times you will also find crummy water at the campground. Even if you purchase drinking water to consume, you really don't want it getting into your trailer's plumbing system. We always attach a filter like this between the hose and the trailer.
 
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Drinking Water Hose

This is IMPORTANT!
When connecting your trailer to a water source, be sure to use only a hose specifically made for drinking water. Using a standard garden hose will give you a bad taste that can possibly stay with your trailer's plumbing for a long time. With a small travel trailer, you can generally park pretty close to the water source on your site. We've found that 25' has been sufficient for everywhere we've stayed. If you know you'll need more length, I'd consider getting two hoses instead of having to deal with a long one when not needed.
 
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Outside Garden Hose

This comes in HANDY!
You will find it very handy to have a hose outside for cleaning up and washing things off (including yourself!). An expandable hose is great because it saves space while it is being stored. This hose is decent quality, lightweight, and comes complete with a multi-pattern spray nozzle. This is not the actual hose we have, but is the one I plan to order when we replace ours.
 
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Hose "Y" Splitter

This comes in HANDY!
Most campgrounds have only a single spigot for each campsite. You'll need one of these if you want to connect both your drinking water hose and an outside garden hose at the same time. Be sure to get one like this where you can turn the water off for each hose when not in use. Unfortunately, in my experience, most of these seem to break after a while so I now stay away from the cheapest ones. This is not the actual product we have, but one has the most good user ratings/reviews on Amazon.
 
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Hose Spray Nozzle

This comes in HANDY!
To wash things (and maybe even parts of your body!) you'll want a spray nozzle for your outside garden hose. There are so many options, that this link will take you to the Amazon search page for hose spray nozzles so you can choose one you like.
Items for Outside Your Trailer| Plumbing-Sewer
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Sewer Tank & Hose Rinser

This is NICE to have!
I would never give this one up, although I don't think it's a great as they make it out to be. It connects between the sewer hose and your trailer when you are draining, and allows you to connect your outdoor garden hose to provide rinse water. There's three reasons I really like it:
  • You can see when your drainage is getting clear. (I know, not everybody likes this particular feature, but it is very helpful.)
  • You can add more rinse water back into your storage tanks to further rinse and drain, instead of having to use a hose through the window to your toilet.
  • You can aim the rinse water the other direction to rinse out your hose when you are finished.
For me, it makes the worst job not quite as bad. Of course, it's still the worst job!
 
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Sewer Hose Kit

You MIGHT NEED this!

If you have a toilet, you'll need one of these. I always read about how well others liked this hose (at least as well as you can actually like a sewer hose). When it came time to replace ours I decided to give it a try. It is far superior to the one we got with the trailer. This is great quality, heavy duty, with swivel ends that make it easy to get connected. It also has caps for each end to seal it up when you are done using it. The drain adapter is removable which allows you to store the hose in standard 4" square bumpers.

NOTE: This hose kit is very high quality, and is definitely worth the additional cost over the cheap ones. In fact, it has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, with over 2,300 reviews.

 
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Sewer Hose Support

This is NICE to have!

I had one of these, never used it, sold it, started traveling more, tried to use wood blocks, and finally understood why I need it. I bought another one and would now not be without it.

To drain well, your sewer hose needs to run downhill. The more you have to stretch it out to reach the drain, the more difficult this becomes. It can be even worse if the ground isn't level. If you have a toilet and want to stay where you can hookup the sewer, this makes it much easier.

Items for Outside Your Trailer| Items You Should Have
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Surge Suppressor/Circuit Analyzer

This is IMPORTANT!

Occasionally you will run into various problems with the electrical power at your campsite. Certain problems can actually destroy the electronics in your trailer. This device has indicator lights that tell you the power is okay and that it is wired up correctly. We've run into problems like this several times, and have always been able to get moved to a different site.

In addition to the diagnostics, this device also has a Surge Suppressor built in. It will protect you should there be any spikes in the power.

 
I wrote about this product here:
  How to avoid a bad electrical hookup when camping
 
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Water Heater Tank Rinser

You MIGHT NEED this!
If you have a hot water heater, it will have an anode rod which deteriorates and needs to be changed over time. As it does, it leaves sediment in the bottom of the water heater tank. This rinser attaches to a garden hose and allows you to rinse out the inside of your water heater.
 
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Jack Stands

You SHOULD HAVE this!
I use jack stands for two purposes:
  • When we are going to be at a campsite for more than a couple of days, I put one under each corner of the frame added stability. It causes our trailer to feel rock solid as you walk around inside.
  • When storing our trailer for an extended time, I raise the trailer and put it on jack stands in order to take a lot of the weight off the tires. This prevents them from developing flat spots.
 
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Bungee Cords

This comes in HANDY!
When we first started camping many years ago, a good friend told me to get a bag of bungee cords. When I asked him why, he replied "You'll figure it out". He was right. We find so many uses for them that I can't imagine camping without them. There are so many options that this links to the Amazon search page for bungee cords so you can choose what you'd like. Just make sure you get an assortment of various lengths.
 
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Trailer Wheel Chocks

This is IMPORTANT!
You want your trailer to stay where you park it. Wheel chocks prevent it from rolling on a slope, or if you push it when hitching up. These are the basic ones and they do what they are supposed to.
Items for Outside Your Trailer| Extras We Really Like
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Weber Portable Gas Grill

This is NICE to have!
We cookout at our campsites a lot! Carrying charcoal with us is too much of a hassle, so we started with an inexpensive gas grill. We hated it. It wouldn't get that hot, you couldn't hardly vary the temperature, and it was flimsy. After talking with a lot of people and doing my research, this is what we ended up with. It's a bit pricey, but we love it. It's the kind of quality you see built into full size Weber grills.
 
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Single Burner Stove

This comes in HANDY!
I've had one of these for 20 years and wouldn't camp without it. It puts out a lot of flame and gets very hot, much more than a traditional camp stove. When we are out with our trailer, I use it almost daily to percolate coffee each morning. It's also good for heating up a pot of water. Since ours is so old, this one is a newer version of what we have.
 
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JoeShade Sun Shade Umbrella

Our "poor Man's" awning
This is NICE to have!
I wish our trailer had an awning, but we bought it used and it didn't have one. I just can't part with the money to buy a good quality one and have it installed. This is our solution. It's portable, doesn't take up a lot of storage space in our truck, goes up quickly, and comes down quickly. Most importantly, it allows two of us to sit in the shade outside our trailer.
 
I wrote about this product here:
  Need a Low Cost Solution for Some Shade when Camping?
Items for Your Tow Vehicle
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Tire Pressure Guage

This is IMPORTANT!

One of the biggest causes of tire failure is not having them inflated properly. For trailer tires, they should always be inflated to the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewall. When traveling, I try to check mine each morning before we start to drive. You also need to check your tow vehicle tires and may have bikes that need to be inflated occasionally.

The extended hose on this gauge makes it easier to use in many cases. The gauge also holds the reading until you press the button to release it.

 
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Tire Air Compressor

You MIGHT NEED this!
In case you need to put air in a tire while you are on the road (such as having a flat and putting on an under inflated spare), it's a good idea to have a compressor that will run off your car battery. I couldn't find a source for the compressor we have, but this one has a lot of good reviews on Amazon.
 
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Hitch Ball Cover

This is NICE to have!

Unless you remove it, you will frequently bump up against the hitch ball when getting things in and out of your tow vehicle and get dirty. If you lubricate the ball like I do, you will get grease on your leg. The easy solution is to keep the hitch ball covered when it is not connected to your trailer.

NOTE: This link is for the most common size ball used with small trailers, but be sure to check the size of your ball to get one that fits correctly.

 
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Hitch Ball Lube

You SHOULD HAVE this!

With most hitches, lubricating the ball will reduce wear. With all hitches, a light coat will also make it easier for the hitch coupler to slip on the ball when you're hooking up and are not perfectly aligned.

NOTE: The instructions for the weight distribution hitch (listed on this page) that we have say not to lubricate the ball. I called them and they did say it was fine to use a light coat to ease in hooking up.

 
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Magnetic Hitch Alignment Rods

This comes in HANDY!

When first learning to tow a trailer, there are two things you have to get the hang of. The first is how to back up (See the video about The Scoop on my At The Campground page), and the second is how to line up your tow vehicle with your trailer when you are getting hooked up. There are a lot of solutions, but these rods are what I've used. They really works pretty well and are cheaper than most other solutions. In my case, I quit using them once I got used to hooking up, but they were a great tool to learn with.

Checkout the short video below to see how it's used. (The rods in the video are a little different, but work the same way. I like mine better. It's very easy to see the balls in my rear view mirror.)

Alignment Rods in ActionThese rods are a little different than ours, but the video shows how they work.
 
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Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer

This is NICE to have!

When you are on the road, you should check your wheel bearings over overheating at each stop. It's a rare, but huge potential problem that can leave you stranded. The most common way to check them is to put your hand on each hub, but using a thermometer like this is much cleaner.

(See Each time you stop... on my On The Road page in the Beginner's Guide.)

 
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Cell Phone Holder

You MIGHT NEED this!

If you expect to use your cellphone for GPS while you travel, you'll want a good cellphone holder. After trying a few, this is the one we've settled on. It's very adjustable and sticks to about anything, including a textured dash.

TIP: Be sure to read what I've written about limitations of using your cellphone for GPS on my Tow Vehicle page.

 
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Weight Distribution Hitch

You MIGHT NEED this!

The Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch is a different design than all the traditional ones.  It is the WDH we use and I really like it.  I did a lot of research before choosing it, but to be honest it's the only one I've ever used.  While towing our small trailer was okay before I added it, this has made driving even easier and more stable. It has substantially reduced bounce and sway to where I rarely ever notice it.

To learn more about why you might want a WDH, see Weight Distribution Hitch on my Tow Vehicles page in the Beginner's Guide. The video below is from Andersen and will explain what's unique about their WDH.

What Makes the Andersen WDH Different
Services
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Good Sam Club

Discounts at Campgrounds and Products
Discounts!
The leading RV Travel Club. Discounts are provided at campgrounds across the U.S., Camping World stores, Pilot Flying J gasoline stations and others.
 
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Passport America

Discounts at Campgrounds
Discounts!
The discount camping club that offer 50% discounts. (see my write-up on my Planning Trips page in the Beginner's Guide for more information.)
 
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Good Sam Insurance Agency

Insurance for your RV or Trailer
You SHOULD HAVE this!
A nationwide insurance company focused on RVs.
 
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Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Don't get stranded on the road
You MIGHT NEED this!
The best known nationwide roadside assistance for RVs. They also cover your vehicles.
Specialized Product Vendors
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Love My Casita

Specialized in things for Casita owners
Online Catalog
If you are a Casita lover like me, this is a great site for finding some specialized accessories (including T-Shirts, Mugs, Ballcaps and Calendars). Of particular interest though, is the amazing Casita Owner's Guide. It's huge and covers everything about Casitas. It's a must-have for all Casita owner's and a nice-to-have for future owners.
 
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Little House Customs

Parts and upgrades for Casitas
Online Catalog
This is definitely where to go if you are interested in upgrades for your Casita. They sell parts for common modifications that come with great instructions. If you need service and can make it to their location in Texas or Arizona, they will take care of you! (Yes, I've been there and had them do some great work for me!).