From small tweaks like adding shelving organizers to completely gutting and re-making an old RV, the DIY potential of an RV is endless. There’s certainly a market out there for custom RVs built from a hollow interior, but not everyone has that kind of time or money on their hands (not to mention expertise!). Still, you might find a few things about your RV that could use an upgrade from the way you originally bought it. The great news is there are some incredibly easy RV projects you can do that won’t break the bank but will make your RVing life way easier – and in some cases, comfier! We’ve compiled a list of 7 must-have RV upgrades.
Aside from driving, the majority of your time in your RV is spent sleeping. And since your RV is your home away from home (or for full-timers: it IS home), you shouldn’t be settling for a second-rate night of sleep. The mattresses RVs come with from the factory aren’t always the highest quality sleep surfaces, and you’d be amazed how much a good mattress can skyrocket your comfort level on your camping trips. Lucky for you, we’ve written an entire guide on how to decide whether you should replace your RV mattress. One of the most important things to remember is that often RV mattresses are shorter than residential mattresses to help make the most of the space in your rig, so keep that in mind if you’re shopping traditional mattresses. Changing your RV mattress is one of the easiest RV swaps that will provide the biggest payoff for your investment.
Another one of the most popular RV upgrades is to install solar power in your rig. It is an upfront investment, but it can save you a ton down the road. It can also give you more freedom to camp whenever and wherever you want since you’ll be self-sufficient and not dependent on finding a campground with electric hookups. More and more RVs are coming standard with solar prep at the very least, so purchasing the panels you need to get your solar power system up and running should be a quick and fairly painless task. We’ve written all about how solar power is the future of RVing – not to mention much cleaner for the environment.
Another energy-related upgrade for your rig is to replace your RV battery with lithium batteries instead of the more traditional AGM battery. Lithium batteries tend to have a higher charging efficiency and a longer lifespan so you save money over the course of its life cycle. They’re also much lighter than traditional batteries, and we know every pound counts when you’re towing! While this upgrade won’t be evident on the surface, it’s a smart switch that can lead to decent savings.
This changeup is as easy as heading to the hardware store to pick up some new lightbulbs. Changing out all the bulbs in your rig to LED bulbs will use up less energy and make your RV more energy-efficient. You can always go all-out with installing LED strips on the exterior or as floor lighting, but just changing your regular bulbs will help.
If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated with an RV park’s weak wifi or struggling to find a cell signal in a remote area, a cellular booster is an upgrade that’s well-worth your money. For those who work remotely or vlog on the road, we’d go so far as to say a solid internet connection is a must. A cellular booster takes the signal from nearby cell towers and boosts it so you have a faster and stronger internet connection. They cost anywhere from $200 to 600 and work in conjunction with a mobile hot spot. For more options to upgrade your RV internet, check out our post on how to get high speed internet in your RV.
Upgraded Bathroom Fixtures
Like mattresses, sometimes the factory-installed versions of RV bathroom fixtures just don’t get the job done. You may be hoping for something with a trendier design, or the water flow isn’t just right. You can find sink and showerhead fixtures that allow for full pressure water so you have a more comfortable shower and your RV feels more like home. If you do a lot of boondocking, you can also look into faucets that conserve water so your freshwater holding tank lasts longer. Make sure you check your RVs warranty before making any significant changes like this because you don’t want to do anything that will negate your warranty.
This upgrade is so popular, many RV manufacturers are including “backup camera prep” as a standard feature in their rigs. Everyone knows the struggle of trying to park an RV that just doesn’t want to be parked – it can feel as frustrating as trying to put a toddler down for a nap. A backup camera is a great solution that could save your sanity (and in some cases, your marriage) next time you try to park the RV. Even if your rig doesn’t post backup camera prep, you can still install a wireless system that will connect the live footage to your phone.
7 Must-Have RV Upgrades
This list is just a jumping-off point for those looking to get started in the world of RV upgrades. You can find plenty more projects to add to your to-do list that are as simple as installing a spice rack or re-upholstering your couches for a more modern look. The great thing about RVing is that you get to make it your own! To find the perfect RV, begin with a search on RVUSA.com. Then check out our blog for plenty more RVing tips and tricks.