Old Blue's Blog - Camping Gear

Camping Gear

Kitchen & Related Gear


Product: World Famous Stovetop Camp-A-Toaster

Comments: Came with the van. I had no clue what it was, but my parents knew immediately: Toaster! It actually works great! (Mine isn't as pretty as a new one, so stock image used.) Stows at the front, bottom of the kitchen cabinet.


Product: Bus dishes

Comments: I had lightweight plastic dishes in the van, but plastic dishes with Buses on them are even better! Not in photo: Platter and giant salad/serving bowl (in storage). This design is NLA.


Product: Umbra Udry Rack and Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Comments: Compact and works well. Stows at the bottom of the cabinet where the Dometic fridge originally was.


Product: GSR Bugaboo (medium)

Comments: Compact, non-stick. Stows away in the sink.

Jet Boil

Product: Jet Boil

Comments: Used to quickly boil water for hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and soup. While others prefer using a kettle, I prefer not running down the Westy propane tank merely for hot water.


Product: ARB 50 portable fridge

Comments: After the trip to Laguna Seca in August 2014, I'd had enough of dealing with ice… Time to join the modern era! Chose the ARB due to its features, 3 year warranty, overwhelming positive feedback, low power draw, cost (got a smoking deal via eBay) and size. The fact that it's blue/gray to match the van was merely a bonus!

trash can

Product: Two 3-gallon trash cans from Walmart

Comments: Inner can is for trash, outer can is for gray water. Used to have a collapsible version like GoWesty sells; while it was a convenient "closed" system, it's a bitch to effectively clean out and stays rather stinky; the can is much easier.


Product: Cadac Safari Chef

Comments: Grilling, BBQing, cooking. Compact gas-powered unit that works great! If interested in buying one, I recommend the Safari 2 as it comes with fewer components and a better-designed griddle. Safari 3 is a flat table-top version.

LPG extension

Product: Marshall fill valve extension (#ME574EXT)

Comments: Tired of seeing attendants struggle to fill the propane tank. Found this solid brass extension in 2016 (eBay, Amazon, etc.) with bleed valve… attendants are now much happier to fill the tank! (I got it for $60; haven't seen it below $100 since.) Stows under rear seat in pencil pouch. Nash Fuel sells similar extensions.

Comfort & Misc. Gear

Teton Sports pad

Product: Teton Sports foam pad (regular size)

Comments: Not compact, but super-comfy!


Product: Little Red Campfire

Comments: Propane-powered portable camp fire, complete with ceramic logs and metal lid. No nauseating smoke and legal for when fire restrictions are in effect (in most places). Doesn't crackle, but produces decent heat. Runs off of five to twenty-pound propane cylinders, or, with an adapter, little 1-pound bottles. I added an internal cover and strap to keep the logs from breaking during transport. Uses a Manchester 5-pound propane tank.


Product: O2 Cool tent fan

Comments: Strong magnetic base, it mounts to the pop-top latch cover, or other places in the van. It runs off AC power, DC power, or 8 D-cell batteries. Puts out a lot of air, so it's great for summer camping, and for white noise. Fan gets stowed in the cubby next to rear seat.


Product: Nexpow 300W Portable Power Station

Comments: Compact lithium inverter. For emergency fridge power, to run the O2 Cool fan, to charge mobile devices, etc.


Product: Camco Leveling Blocks

Comments: Convenient and safer than using rocks. Easy to use and relatively compact.

level ramps

Product: Homeon Wheels Leveling Ramps

Comments: More convenient than the blocks, and adds to four-corner leveling.


Product: Black Pine Sports Turbo Toilet

Comments: Sometimes, you just gotta go at inconvenient times. This toilet is compact (plus), but a bit low to the ground (minus)… it works for its intended purpose and that's what matters most. Compact and stows in the horizontal cabinet above the cubby. This toilet is NLA, but similar products are available on Amazon.

Privacy Shelter

Product: Ozark Trail Privacy Shelter

Comments: For when camped in one place for a few days. Comes in handy for changing, toilet, shower, or just saving a camp site.


Product: Zodi Hot Shower

Comments: Another item that came with the van. Water heater works quite well, aside from not liking a breeze (need to make a wind break for it). The shower nozzle is rather anemic.


Product: Ivation Shower Head

Comments: Used by itself, or with the Zodi. Produces a better shower spray than what comes with the Zodi.

Teton tent

Product: Teton Sports Cot Tent

Comments: I found this tent online, but bought it locally at Sportsman's Warehouse. Can be used on or off a cot and is very quick to set up and take down.

Updated: 1-Feb-2024