Welcome to the first edition of the new column, “The RV Gadget Box,” in Escapees magazine.

In each column, I will review a neat and helpful RV gadget, one that I have personally used and tested. Gadgets are something every RVer needs, because they make our RV lifestyle easier and more productive. Plus, gadgets are just plain fun to play with and share with other RVers. So, let’s have fun and share some gadgets. Here’s one of my personal favorites:

Infrared Thermometers
Infrared thermometers are a versatile addition to your toolbox. Why, you ask? Because they let you determine the temperature of any item without actually touching it. I have wanted one of these for years but always felt the price was prohibitive. Well, not anymore. A fairly decent infrared thermometer can be had for as little as $30 to $40.

I use mine every time I stop for fuel, to check all of my tires and wheel bearings. It takes just a few seconds per wheel, and your hands stay clean.

Just “point and click” the thermometer at each tire sidewall or wheel hub for a few seconds for a reading. Any abnormally hot tire or bearing can be looked into before it goes catastrophic on the road. This use alone is worth the price of the tool, but I have found many other uses for my IR thermometer. The possibilities are endless.

• Diagnose vehicle problems of your air conditioning, brakes, engines.
• Verify temperatures for crafting projects.
• Assure safe and comfortable temperatures for pet environments.
• Check temperatures in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer.
• Verify safe holding, cooking and serving temperatures of food and drinks.
• Avoid guesswork while canning and candy making.
• Check the temperatures of cooking surfaces when grilling or frying.
• Monitor temperature of hot water and adjust water heater settings.
• Check thermostats for accuracy.
• Inspect doors and window seals for drafts and heat loss.

Complete Product Name: Noncontact Handheld Infrared Thermometer

Online Shopping Links:

Average Street Price: $11.45 and up

Original Publication Date: ND/09