Monday, November 28, 2022


What’s the best modification you’ve made to your RV?

By Chuck Woodbury

In this Saturday’s newsletter I wrote about the best modification I made to my RV — an add-on push-button dumping system from Drain Master where I never have to go outside to dump my holding tanks. Gail and I have made other tweaks (we installed a nifty folding desk, for example), but nothing comes close in value to our effortless dumping system.

What about you? Have you modified your RV in a way that has vastly improved your RV life? It doesn’t matter if you or someone else did the work, just how helpful the modification was to you. Please leave a comment or tell us about it here. Attach a photo or two if available.

We’ll include some of the most creative, helpful ideas in an upcoming issue. This should be interesting.


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Brenda Bilton
2 years ago

At this point, we have replaced the really uncomfortable “L” shaped couch/hide-a-bed that was in our 5th wheeI with a residential power reclining love seat/theater seats and I removed one of the stock arm chairs and replaced it with a euro-recliner and ottoman that I bought. Hubbie had to build a platform with rolling wheels, mounted on the slide out, to put the love seat/theater seats on. Now we are both comfortable.

2 years ago

Took down all valances and cornice boards. Replaced with curtains. What a change to the looks and homeliness. Also painted the bathroom white and put in a tile backsplash. Recovered the headboard with black vinyl to go with the new curtains.

Paul Bernander
2 years ago

Replaced all interior incandescent and fluorescent tubes with LED bulbs. They light instantly and brightly, even in cool weather. I bought 4500-5000K, and I like the whiter light they produce than typical 3000K incandescent and fluorescent.

Gene Bjerke
2 years ago

Most of the modifications I have made to our RV have been modest conveniences. The one expensive mod has been to add solar panels, so I guess that would be the one having the most impact. Now I feel more comfortable about dry camping; not having to worry about having enough electricity.

2 years ago

Up graded suspension– Tows a lot better
Both LP tanks were on same side– split them one on each side
Added insulation to front storage bay– using 2″ R-13 dbl. foil faced foam board
Had the original Bristol dump valves removed–they leaked like a sieve–& Valtera valves installed
Plugged all holes that vermin could use to get inside
Moved spare tire from underside front to rear bumper
Installed spare battery opposite side of original

Just think if the Manufactures of RV’s would only do a better job of building them, one would not have to go through what I have done to make my RV more enjoyable…

2 years ago

Definitely the solar. I wouldn’t stay in a squished together RV park now if you paid me. I have beautiful views now which don’t include looking into the neighbor’s RV. I can spread out my stuff, put up a canopy, have tables outside and even play with my fabrics and quilting. I’m in a LTVA in Quartzsite and can take the UTV and run through the desert looking at all the sites. For $180 you get seven months of camping with water and a dump station. You can park as near or far from everyone as you’d like to. Bliss!

John Green
2 years ago

I have Micro-Air Easy Start “soft start” devices on my 2 roof-top A/C units. I don’t use a generator much but these units will prolong the life of an RV air conditioner. I also have an inside mounted 50A power management system that prevents almost all hazardous electric connections at a campground power pedestal.

2 years ago

Several changes!
1. A flip-up stand-up workstation for my wife who needs to stand up to work due to back problems
2. Victron battery monitor
3. Slide out table with my gas grill
4. Replaced the center-post table with two Lagun swiveling arm mounts
5. Permanent power for my Viair compressor
6. Cellular booster
7. Amateur radio
8. Storage bay lights

2 years ago

The last 2 RV’s I have owned I put in a on demand water heater. I will never have a water heater with a tank again. I love my on demand water heater with in 2 minutes I have hot water and I never run out. I read about the on demand water heater for a couple of years and when I bought my truck camper i had one put in it. I now have a travel trailer and I put one in that when I bought it. It cost a bit more than what I wanted to pay but it is worth it. I will be looking into the push button holding tank dumping feature.

2 years ago

Well, having had purchased OUR first RV way back in 1969, a year after my wife and I were married, it is very hard to list all the upgrades and changes in all of the units we have owned since then. We have owned all types of RV’s from conversion vans to class A’s. Only ones we haven’t owned is a 5’er. Then having rebuilt 2 totaled out salvage travel trailers over the years, became familiar with their construction. One of the last TT’s we owned was a small 19ft. Gulfstream. Nice unit but it had a permanent full size bed up front and a side dinette. Under the bed was all storage with the exception of the water tank and pump and an outside access door at the other side. Well I removed the bed as it was and bought new covered foam cushions and new matching covers for the dinette cushions and added a second pedestal mount table. There was only one cabinet door under the one side dinette bench and none under the new bench that was made when I removed the front bed. So framed up two new openings for doors, purchased two new doors that were made just like(well not exact, but if I didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t notice) and stained them to match and made new access to storage space. There was also wasted space under the range but above the storage doors below. So why not build a cutlery drawer and use that space. I built the drawer front using the wood trim and matching paneling from the wood that I removed from the new holes cut out for the new doors. I painted and sanded all of the unfinished plywood under the cushions, that the company never finishes, so as to give it a smooth finished look. Well, that is all of the main things that I remember. Thanks for letting me ramble on, and have a good, safe RV’ing!

Paul T
2 years ago

Surprised nobody has mentioned an RVLock electronic lock. We have one and it is hands down the best mod we’ve made to our fifth wheel. No more looking for the keys or trying to get the key into the lock. And, whoever gets to the camper first just inputs the code and opens the door. We’ve done a few other things that are also helpful, but this one is the best.

2 years ago

Replaced the jackknife sofa with 2 RecPro recliners.

2 years ago

Over the years I’ve made a a list of possible improvements and upgrades now totalling well over 100 items and reading the comments here about all these upgrades people have done I wonder why RV mfrs don’t build rigs this way to begin with?
It seems like it would be a matter of simply listing the enhancements and pricing them into the total cost. Other than big ticket items like solar, adding a lot of the items would increase the price only hundreds to low thousands of dollars and would GREATLY increase customer satisfaction. I know I would be very happy to pay a bit more upfront knowing I wouldn’t have to pay someone to do the work post-purchase or do the work myself.

David Lee
2 years ago

I added an 1120w solar system that includes 6 solar panels, 8 Crown 6v batteries and a 2800w Magnum Energy inverter. Putting my most important electrical circuits, including my residential refrigerator, on a dedicated sub panel allows me to boondock at my leisure, limited only by my waste tank capacities.

Jim Knoch
2 years ago

I have 2 best mods for my RV, 1) I installed a slide topper, no more climbing a ladder on uneven surface to sweep off the tree debris, and 2) a 5″ Fence post with rain-gutter insert for the sewer hose and attachments … no more stinky slinky in the storage bay!

2 years ago

Some of the best things we have done is installed an inverter from which i put outlets around for certain uses. One being in the kitchen so that on travel days my wife can load the slow cooker and when we arrive we have a hot meal ready. Another is installed a small freezer in one of the bays. When we get ready to go out for a couple months at a time she cooks up soups, chili and other meals ahead so as not to have to spend so much time cooking instead of enjoying the camping. In the benches of dinette built full length drawers that make it so much better than taking off cushions and platform to get to things. In the corner sink cabinet put a divider, the door side holds trash can and cleaning supplies and the other side built a full length drawer to reach to back corner. Store some pots plus a small ice maker. When we need ice pull drawer out add water push start and close drawer as i put outlet in there so never have take ice maker out. Last year added surge protection and also rerouted the sewer drain. This year I’ve installed a TMS. My cousin calls his motor home (ALWAYS SOMETHING) which is so true.

John Bloxham
2 years ago

My best modification to my Motor Home was adding solar. It allows us to boondock while not using the generator so much, keeps the batteries properly charged in outdoor storage, charges batteries even while driving.

2 years ago

when we bought our current MH (2016 Itasca Suncruiser 38Q) we made a ton of modifications including a custom couch, computer workstation, powered electric cord and water hose reels, rooftop satellite dish, built-in water pressure regulator and much, much more. all enhance the livability and enjoyment of the MH. but the one thing that has eliminated a ton of worry and anxiety has not been a modification per se. it’s our residential refrigerator. no more worry about the door being open too long or watching the interior temp climb towards 40. after 36-years we’re not so much campers anymore. we’re travelers and have at least an electric hookup virtually every night. but we also have a 2K-watt inverter for those rare nights when we dry camp. love the resi fridge!! but after reading Chuck’s comments about the DrainMaster electric valves I just may have found the next best thing to the resi fridge!

2 years ago

I added a second air conditioner to our Class C. Summer camping in Florida is no Buenos with just the one A/C unit. Added a 13500 BTU unit where the fan was in the bedroom. Wired it down into the basement and it plugs into the 110 spot on the pedestal.

Virginia Reeves
2 years ago

Took out the hide-a-bed couch as it is just my husband and I in the 5th wheel. In the space, put in a long dresser (yay for thrift stores) which added lots of storage. Eliminated the dresser that crowded the bedroom. Also removed the sliding glass doors and shelves in the bedroom area. Now have one long pole that is higher up. Much easier to get to the clothes and more room underneath for shoes, blankets, or whatever.
Thanks to everyone who shared – got some new ideas.

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