14 Killer RV Upgrades
Many individuals enjoy the pleasure and freedom of RVing. An exciting way to travel with many of the comforts of home at your own pace is just one reason people are investing in RVs, buses, and campers.
Whether you purchase a $10,000 travel trailer or a $200,000+ Class A motorhome, there are some amazing upgrades available to help you customize your RV to suit your needs as well as protect your investment. Here are some suggestions to consider as we begin to move into warmer weather and peak RVing season.
RV Safety Upgrades
Of course, you’ll have your fire extinguishers and first aid kit – among other safety necessities – up-to-date and ready to go, but there are upgrades you can make to improve the safety and comfort of your RV and those sharing it with you, as well as those around you.
1. Sway Bar
Even if your RV came with a sway bar, you may still be feeling like you’re wandering when driving down the highway. Replacing your factory sway bar or adding a rear sway bar is affordable and will certainly improve the stability of your RV.
2. Blind Spot Detection
When you’re backing up or changing lanes, having a blindspot detection system is a proven way to help prevent accidents and injury.
CUB's blindspot detection system makes changing lanes safer and simpler.
Easy to install, this system – for use with any motorhome or towable, including fifth-wheels – is the most reliable system on the market.
Traveling in your second home is made more fun and relaxing when you have the latest upgrades that make it perfect for you. Make sure to protect your investment with a blindspot detection system that lets you focus more on camping and travel.
RV Solar Upgrades
One of the top reasons people decide to purchase a motorhome or RV is so they can enjoy the freedom of traveling in the comfort of home. For many who are interested in boondocking/dry camping, solar is an ideal upgrade.
Installing – or upgrading – solar panels provides you with even more freedom to explore off-the-grid destinations that won’t drain your propane or battery, or wear out those generators.
The type of solar kit you go with will depend on several factors:
3. Device Efficiency
If you are using older, less energy-efficient devices, you may want to consider upgrading or factor the energy usage of your existing ones. Even small upgrades such as from a laptop to a tablet or switching to LED lights can cut down on consumption and extend the life of solar batteries.
4. Device Use
Understanding what – if any – devices will be continuously running (for example, a refrigerator) is important in choosing the right solar kit for your RV. An RV with devices that will be continuously running will need more robust systems with higher-capacity battery banks.
5. Solar Output
Different geographic locations, weather, and time of year can all affect the output of your solar panels. Factor in these things when deciding on a kit to determine if you might need tilt mounts to adjust the panels for optimal sun exposure, or other aids to get the most out of your solar panels.
6. Battery Bank Capacity
Depending on the devices you are using, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of your energy needs and calculate the number of amp hours necessary for you to have a full battery bank. This will help you avoid excessive, unnecessary costs while also providing you with the optimum amps to run everything off-grid.
Bear in mind that not all solar products are ideal for RVs/campers/motorhomes so before deciding on a system to invest in, be sure the warranty covers the panels on mobile units.
Smart Technology for your RV
The Internet of Things (IoT) provides RV and motorhome owners with tools to monitor everything from movement to battery life, temperature, humidity, and GPS tracking when their RV is in storage. There are a number of options of mobile network-connected security and monitoring systems that help owners keep track of and protect their mobile investments.
RV Whisper, which makes use of IoT technology, gives you the ability to remotely track a number of things in your RV including the temperature of the vehicle (especially important if you have pets), the temperature inside your refrigerator, the current level of your holding tanks, and the status of your batteries, charging system, and/or solar panels. Perhaps most importantly, you can even remotely secure your RV with motion sensor alerts.
After hours of travel, reclining or other comfort seating can offer relief to aching backs. Consider replacing old, worn-out couches or seating areas with reclining seats.
Replacing carpet with vinyl or wood flooring can give your RV a fresh new look while also offering easier clean up with less equipment (ie, vacuum) to keep the floor clean without breaking the bank. An additional option is the simple Skampcan dustpan alternative which makes sweeping out your RV a snap.
9. Charging Ports
Many of today’s electronics come with a standard universal charger. Strategically placing charging ports around your RV/motorhome means you can charge your devices such as phones, speakers, or laptops while driving and while lounging.
10. Vent Cushions
Because RVs don’t have the same type of insulation that a home has, it can be harder to regulate the temperature inside it. A good way to make your RV more comfortable is by installing vent cushions, which can be purchased at most stores like Home Depot in the RV section.
RV Storage Solutions
Even with a 45-foot Class A motorhome, space can be a challenge and having even just a few things out of place can make a weary traveler feel claustrophobic and cramped. It’s helpful that everything in your RV serves at least two purposes but even the tidiest travelers can struggle to find a space for everything. Smart storage solutions can provide you with a cleaner, more organized area making travel more fun.
11. Add Shelves
Within your cabinets is extra unused space. Adding small shelves inside of the cabinets will double the storage capacity.
12. Hidden Storage
Dual-purpose areas such as a custom cabinet that houses a pop-up flat screen television provide an additional workspace when the television is not in use. Using baskets or storage bins within existing cabinets frees up a lot of space without a huge price tag.
13. Hang Items Where You Can
This can be particularly helpful in kitchen areas. A hanging basket for food items or a custom-fitting pegboard are both simple, inexpensive ways to free up kitchen cabinet space. You can also mount an attractive wall coat rack to hang everything from shoes to towels and this is an easy, inexpensive DIY project.
14. RV Bumper Mount
Having outside storage certainly saves space inside but there are a variety of different mounts that allow for extra space. A new bumper mount can allow you to do a lot of interesting new things, including offering a convenient place to have a barbecue grill.