Having the right extras on board can transform a holiday from ‘great’ to ‘wow’. Emma Rawson explores the latest trends in accessories, tech and gadgets.
Coco Chanel once said, ‘Accessories are what makes a woman’, and while she was talking about jewellery and gloves, should the fashion legend have gone camping in this day and age, she would have surely said the same about motorhomes and caravans. Gone are the days when your camping accessories were limited to the odd collection of melamine plates, heavy awnings and portable tinny-sounding speakers. These days, tailoring your RV to your specific needs is a personal journey, with a slew of technology and gadgetry designed with every type of camper in mind.
There are so many innovations in this field, we’ve introduced this new accessories section in Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations. In every issue you’ll learn about the latest product developments, technology advances, vehicle add-ons, plus little extras like new sleeping bags or a thermos mug for your coffee, to help you get out of your camping bed with a spring in your step. In this issue take a look at some of the top trends.
Trend #1 Nature lover
Motorhomes and caravans are your home on the road, so it’s not surprising that many trends in this industry mirror those happening in architecture and interior design ‒ just on a more compact scale. Nature-inspired designs and natural eco-friendly materials are making their way into the RV world in a big way. Curved awning designs in earth-toned colours such as the Thule Quickfit Awning Tent from RV & Marine Supplies and many of the awnings and shelters in the Dometic GO range. Take a style cue from the rounded shapes of nature. When inside, look out for natural fibers like merino picnic blankets, sheepskin seat covers and wooden furniture and accessories like the Zempire Kitpac Bamboo Spike Table from RV Super Centre.
Trend #2 Down to Earth
In a motorhome or caravan, eco-friendly design and sustainability often also means efficiency and there have been many advances in this area in recent years. Batteries and portable power stations are becoming more lightweight and longer lasting. In the big picture these innovations reduce e-waste, but on the short term it means your vehicle and appliances are powered more efficiently. Mobile solar power systems have advanced in leaps and bounds in the past few years and most new mobile power stations have solar attachments such as the EcoFlow Portable Solar Panel 110W from RV Super Centre.
Trend #3 Techorating
While there’s nothing like camping to bring you closer to nature, sometimes it’s nice to snuggle up at the end of the day and watch a good movie or keep up with current affairs on the news. It used to be that to watch TV in an RV you needed a satellite, but these days there are more options with portable wireless broadband available from providers such as Wireless Nation (check out their NZMCA data plan), opening up opportunities for streaming services such as Netflix, TVNZ OnDemand and Neon. Satellites themselves have got more streamlined and easy to install, such as the 12V KiwiSat Automatic Satellite Antenna from Apollo, specifically designed for New Zealand’s motorhome and caravan markets. The range of compact 12V TVs built especially for RVs has grown exponentially in the past few years, brands like Avtex specialise in this area.
Trend #4 Easy driver
With a growing awareness of road safety, new RV technology is rising to the occasion making driving safer and easier. Reversing and rear view cameras are no longer pixelated, with the latest screens available in 1080p high definition. A good starter model is the RSE 1080p Full HD Camera System – 7” monitor removable with suction cup. Keep the driver happy with seat warmers and steering wheel covers, and give everyone peace of mind with new safety gadgets like the Safe-T-Alert 45 Series dual LPG and Carbon Monoxide alarm from Apollo.
Trend #5 Get into specifics
Customisation is the word of the hour, with more and more accessories being tailored to specific vehicles. There’s no more trying to shoehorn an appliance intended for a motorhome into a caravan. The Thule A Frame Caravan Light Bike Rack from RV Super Centre for instance is a lightweight carrier especially designed for caravans, or the Camper Trolley CT2500TAM Caravan Mover, a remote control trolley with caterpillar tread tyres, which will help move or park your caravan for you. And it’s not just the big things – you can pick products that are the exact fit for your vehicle right down to finding the perfect dining set to match your vehicle. When it comes to your RV accessories, the world is your oyster.