Camping tent for a Prius
Prius Tent


This page lists a few products that look interesting, useful and unique to me — products I’d never seen before and thought when I first saw them “what a clever idea”.



If you have any suggestions, please let me know.




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An amazing VW van RV that has been converted to run on electricity and gets a significant portion of its power from onboard PV panels 


Bret converted a gasoline powered VW van to an electrically powered camper.  The van includes a sort of pop top in which the tilt up roof is made from four 305 watt PV panels.  The tilt up top provides for more efficient PV charging and provides a large sleeping area.

Amazingly, the total cost of the project (including the used VW) was only $25,510.  A planned phase II will go to Lithium batteries that will increase range significantly.

The website for the van is Solar Electric VW Bus

There is a very detailed article in the Nov/Dec 2016 issue of Home Power magzine.  This article also describes a 1400 mile trip in the van with the whole family of four.



Zodi makes a number of simple and innovative shower and water heating products

Zodi makes some very simple products for getting a hot shower with no electricity or running water.REIPZodi02

One of them uses what looks like a one of the pressurized can garden sprayers to hold the water and pressurize it.  The heater is basically a propane canister powered cook stove and a 6 ft rubber hose delivers the pressurized water to a shower head.  Takes about 10 minutes to warm up the water for a shower.

Another version is basically a compact version of a instantaneous (tankless) water heater.  The heat source is a propane canister and a 12 volt pump is used to pump water through the tankless heater for a shower with no wait.

They also offer shower tents and other accessories.








Telescoping Ladder

Vans RV conversions are tall, and if you want to be able to get to stuff on the roof or maybe tilt up your roof mounted solar panel, you pretty much need a ladder — but ladders are tough to store.

This is a clever telescoping ladder that gets you up on the roof safely, but stows away in a small space.










Clever Drawer Lock

This is a clever, simple, and cheap  DIY method to keep drawers from sliding open when you go around corners.  The wood wedges installed on the bottom of the drawers prevent the drawer from opening until the drawer is lifted slightly to clear the wedge.



Gary December 2015