If you’re an avid RVer, you know that upgrading your recreational vehicle (RV) can greatly improve your travel experience. From adding solar panels to upgrading the heating and cooling system, there are many ways to enhance your RV. Plus make it feel like home on the road. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of upgrading your RV. As well as discuss popular upgrades people make and things to consider before upgrading. In addition to weighing out the decision to do it yourself or hire a professional.
We love making upgrades to our RV that make RV Life easier and more comfortable. And we love these types of upgrades, even more, when they are EASY to perform or install!
We are going to tell you about some recent upgrades we’ve made. These upgrades not only make RV life easier and more comfortable but these upgrades are SUPER EASY! Anyone can make these mods & RV upgrades.
Why Upgrade Your RV?
There are many good reasons to upgrade your RV. First and foremost, upgrades can increase your comfort while traveling. For example, adding a new air conditioning unit or upgrading to a memory foam mattress. These can make a huge difference in your quality of sleep. Upgrades can also improve the performance of your RV, such as by increasing fuel efficiency or adding more storage space. Finally, making updates to your RV can also increase its resale value. Especially if you take good care of it and keep it in top condition.
Let me start by saying we are not “handy” people. Neither Ben nor I have any sort of construction or mechanical background or “professional” experience in renovating.
So any upgrades we have done need to be simple.
Popular RV Upgrades
There is a multitude of upgrades you can make to your RV. The specific ones you choose will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Some popular upgrades include:
- Solar panels: Solar panels can help you generate electricity while you’re on the road. This can be especially useful if you’re boondocking (camping without hookups). They can also help you save money on your energy bills.
- Heating and cooling system: Upgrading the heating and cooling system can improve your comfort while traveling. Especially if you’re in a particularly hot or cold climate.
- Water heater: If you’re tired of taking cold showers, upgrading your water heater can be a game changer. Tankless water heaters are a popular option. This is because they take up less space and provide an endless supply of hot water.
Things to Consider Before Upgrading
Before you start upgrading your RV, there are a few things you should consider:
- Budget: Upgrades can be expensive, so it’s important to have a clear budget in mind. Consider what you’re willing to spend and prioritize the upgrades that will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Time: If you’re planning to do the upgrades yourself, it’s important to consider how much time you’re willing to invest. Some upgrades may require more time and effort than others, so be sure to factor that in.
- Needs: Think about the specific needs of your family and what upgrades will make the most difference for you.
Our Top RV Upgrades
One of the FIRST things that many RV owners do after purchasing their RV is upgrade the mattress. We’ve had a couple of different RV mattresses over the 4 years we’ve owned RVs. But we were recently introduced to RVmattress.com and decided to give their mattress a try.
What we really like about this mattress is it feels like a “real” bed. The mattress we decided on is super thick and sits up nicely and high on the bed platform. We love that these mattresses are made in the USA. And the process to ship and get it in the RV is SUPER simple. If you’ve ever tried moving a mattress in or out of an RV, you know it’s NOT easy. Our mattress from RV Mattress came rolled up in a box and wrapped in plastic. It’s easily hoisted into the RV (they are heavy when they come – it’s a two-person job). Then, unwrapped the plastic and it “poofed” right up! And super fast too! It was ready to sleep on within minutes.
All of the mattresses from RVMattress.com come with a 10-year warranty. So we know we won’t have to replace this mattress until after the kids are in college!
A new mattress was one of the easiest RV Upgrades we’ve made yet. And we do want to thank RVmattress.com for sending us our new mattress with their compliments!
Simple RV Upgrades – Micro Air Thermostat
This thermostat has many benefits. But one of our favorite benefits is the ability to check on the temperature inside our RV remotely. The Mirco air thermostat is connected to wifi. This enables the ability to remotely check on the temperature inside the RV. You can also adjust the interior temp remotely too! This smart thermostat will automatically go from A/C to heat if needed. This keeps your RV within the temperature range and comfort level of your choosing.
This thermostat is SUPER easy to install. It literally took us less than 5 minutes!
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DIY RV Upgrades – Installing an (outside) Fridge Fan
Most RVs have a dual-mode fridge (meaning the fridge will run off both propane and also electricity). These dual-mode refrigerators are absorption fridges. These fridges keep food cold by removing heat from the inside of the fridge. Versus traditional compressor fridge methods of pumping cool air into the fridge. Because of how this works it’s imperative to keep the heat removal process as efficient as possible. One way to help this heat removal process is by using a fan on the outside of the fridge. This helps keep air moving up and away from the back side of the fridge. And also helps to keep the heat moving away from the fridge.
Installing this style of fan is a simple upgrade that can help keep the fridge colder. And in turn, keep your food fresher, and longer.
- DESIGN FOR VENT & GRILLE MOUNTING VENTILATION- Great for refrigerator vent & grille ventilation in your motorhome, camper van, camper truck, caravan or any cabinets.
- FLEXIBLE AND SMART SPEED CONTROL MODE- Auto Temperature Control/ 6-levels manual controller to adjust for particular needs
- ALL WEATHER ACCEPTABLE- IP 55 Waterproof &dustproof fan, perfect for outdoor use
RV Upgrades For Interior Comfort
Another upgrade we’ve made to our Fleetwood Discovery is replacing the factory roof vent fans with Maxair Fans from Etrailer. Unlike factory-installed fans, these fans can be operated in two different ways. One way is to bring air into the RV. The other option is to suck the air out of the RV. You can even set one fan to pull air into the RV. While the other fan pulls air out creating circulation inside the RV.
These fans also have built-in vent covers so no need to install the typical vent covers over the fans. The fans themselves open and close when in use.
As a side note, we really do like etrailer for RV upgrades. There are many options for RV parts. So you want to ensure you get the right part or component for your RV. Etrailer has phone support available, making it easy to order the right part or component for your specific application.
Upgrading RV Batteries – Lithium
Lithium batteries and lead-acid batteries are both types of rechargeable batteries that can be used in recreational vehicles (RVs). They both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. And the best choice for a particular RV will depend on the specific needs and usage patterns of the vehicle.
Here are some key differences between lithium batteries and lead-acid batteries:
- Cost: Lithium batteries are generally more expensive than lead-acid batteries. But they have a longer lifespan and may be more cost-effective in the long run.
- Weight: Lithium batteries are much lighter than lead-acid batteries. Which can be important for an RV where weight is a concern.
- Power density: Lithium batteries have a higher power density. This means they can deliver more power in a smaller and lighter package.
- Cycle life: Lithium batteries have a higher cycle life than lead-acid batteries. The benefit of this means they can be discharged and recharged more times before they need to be replaced.
- Charge and discharge rate: Lithium batteries can be charged and discharged at a faster rate than lead-acid batteries.
To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?
Overall, lithium batteries may be a good choice for RVs that require a high level of performance. Such as those that need to power a lot of appliances or electronics. They may also be a good choice for RVs that are used frequently and need to be charged and discharged frequently. However, they may not be the best choice for everyone, as they can be more expensive. And in some cases may require specialized charging equipment. It’s important to carefully consider your specific needs and budget when deciding which type of battery is best for your RV.
We have replaced our led acids with lithium batteries from Battleborn. We started with a direct replacement of the 4 coach batteries and have since added two more for a total of 6 one hundred amp-hour lithium batteries.
Check out the playlist below to see more videos on RV Upgrades!