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The Wow Factor

How many times have you bought something and experienced a real Wow! ?  In my case the first digital camera had that effect; so did the first GPS gadget. More times than not, I find new gadgets and appliances to be overblown; the ownership experience is disappointing or even embittering at times, and for good reasons. No gadget is better than its battery or its weakest connector or its cheapo plastic battery case lid. Typically the plastic display scratches up the first day.

Yesterday I experienced a Wow from a homemade gadget: a trailer brake and light tester. Knowing how cheesy the connector is between the tow vehicle and the travel trailer, and how amateurish the wiring is near the trailer brakes, a driver can feel a vague dread in the back of his mind when he is driving down the road with many tons of stuff under his "command".

The friend who brought it over spent two years as an RV tech and developed the gadget himself. It was so fun to get each one of the trailer wheels off the ground sequentially, spin it, and then push the brake actuator button, and hear that magnet inside slam against the end cap. The wheel stopped in a split second. I could have done that all day! I told him he should start manufacturing this gadget and sell it at Camping World.

The next Wow came from the Whynter 12 volt refrigerator which I've had in operation for a week now. Although the manufacturer says that you need six inches of clearance on all sides, that surely is an exaggeration, since there is no heat coming off the refrigerator on most of those sides. Even when you put your hands to the compressor fan vents on one side (which face the trailer aisle), the air feels merely luke-warm. I found that astonishing, especially compared to the blistering heat put out by a frig of standard design and efficiency.

The Wow of this will wear off over time, but it's right to dwell on it right now.


Anonymous said…
You've put your foot in the stirrup and are about to grab the saddle horn...

Tom in Orlando