Yes, Even You Can Do these Affordable (Cheap!) RV Upgrades
If you are new to RVing, you’ve probably watched videos, read articles, and checked RV forums to better understand your rig and find ways to improve your RVing experience. Just about everyone has suggestions for upgrading your RV and most of those are great. You can learn a lot from what others have done.
From upgrading your tires and braking system to changing out your fixtures and appliances, there are so many things you can do. Here I’ve included some easy and relatively cheap RV upgrades.
1. Command Hooks
Command Hooks are an RVer’s best friend. They go on easily, remove easily, and can be used on just about any surface. You can even find a water-resistant Command strip to use on your shower doors.
You can find Command Hooks for just a few dollars online or at your local hardware store, Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowe’s.
2. Retractable clothes rack
For about $15, this retractable clothes rack is worth every penny. Hang it in your shower for space to dry swimsuits, towels, or maybe clothes that you don’t want to put in the dryer. Any water drips go into the shower.
3. Screen door crossbar
The screen door crossbar protects your screen when opening and closing. At around $15, this handy RV upgrade also makes opening and closing the door easy. If you have kids running in and out, this needs to be on your cheap RV upgrades list.
4. Oxygenics showerhead
This is a popular choice among RVers because it mixes water with air to turn low water pressure into a nice shower with great pressure. It’s great for boondocking or at any park that doesn’t have great pressure. It also uses less water, another plus for boondocking. Water consumption, according to the manufacturer is about 1.5 gallons/min on high and a little less than .75 on low.
For around $40, you can get your choice of white, nickel, or black and there are many other models to choose from, depending on your needs.
“The nickel finish was so much prettier and more luxurious looking than the previous manufacturer’s white showerhead. It was easy to install and the instructions were very clear and simple. It is easy to pause while showering so you can turn the showerhead back on even with your face covered in soap and your eyes closed.” — Walmart reviewer
Read more about RV Showerheads: Should You Make The Upgrade?
5. RV bed lift system
You know that storage under your bed? You know the one that takes two people to use – one to hold the plywood and mattress up, and the other to dig around and find what you are looking for? An RV bed lift system can make accessing this area so much easier.
The RV Bed Lift System is around $60 and provides two hydraulic lifts that holds up the mattress platform and mattress.
6. Keyless entry door lock
This may not be the cheapest of RV upgrades, but it might be one you want to put on your list. The keypad provides a secure and easy way to access your RV and secure your valuables. It’s very liberating to not have to worry about losing your keys when you are enjoying the outdoors. These can cost anywhere from $100-$200 depending on the manufacturer.
7. Upgrade your RV mattress
Let’s face it, the mattress that comes with your RV is probably not going to be acceptable over the long term. If you full-time RV, this is a must-have upgrade. Frankly, even if you go with a cheap mattress, it’s probably going to be an upgrade anyway. There are a number of memory foam mattresses that have good reviews and sell for $200-$300. You may also want to consider a mattress topper like this one from Dormeo.
Read more about The 5 Best RV Mattresses For Quality Sleep.
8. Backup camera
A backup camera is not an essential upgrade but it can be relatively inexpensive, depending on what you purchase. Installation is simple and some RVs even come with a system and all you need to do is install the camera. These can range from $40 to $400 and everything in between. If you are pinching pennies, you can always start with a cheaper version and upgrade later.
9. Surge protector
Having a surge protector for your RV is a must-have. A surge protector plugs into the outlet where you plug in your RV. It acts as a buffer between your RV and the power coming out of the electrical outlet.
With a surge protector, you’ll keep your appliances such as the microwave and refrigerator as well as computers and other devices from being ruined by an electrical surge. The cost of surge protectors can run anywhere from under $100 up to $300.
Read more about RV surge protectors from Do It Yourself RV.
10. Upgrade vent fans
In a few hours and with a bit of elbow grease, you can upgrade your old vent fan with a Fan-Tastic fan. This upgrade is fairly simply to install and costs around $140. These fans are quiet, easy to use, and fit a standard 14 X 14 opening.
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2.com allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV upgrades, and much more.
Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.
Allen Charles Below-Gallina says
Some very good ideas.
Carlotta Kies says
I noticed that you didn’t put the Max air back on, after you installed the fantastic fan, is there a reason?
Margaret Hibbard says
We had the bed lift installed on our 27ftDSls, Grey Wolf. 1: anything put under the bed would have to be smaller than a shoe box, blocked opening. That night the whole thing exploded, tearing out the sides of the bed, and shoved the foot of the box against the wall, about 1 ft away!
Didn’t work for us!
Landon Cox says
I ordered a Keyless Entry Lock for our Winnebago Adventurer Class A from Amazon and it was significantly smaller than the existing key lock on our door so had to return it. Haven’t found the proper size.
Jeffrey P Mitchell says
Where can I find someone north of Detroit that will work on 22ft Envision TT. Heater is out.
Carolyn clark says
I installed a fantastic fan in my fifth wheel, looking forward to knowing that the lid would close if it ever rained. Camped in southern New Mexico and was out hiking when a low front came through. The wind was so strong that the lid wouldn’t close and the rain came in. I immediately put a cover on the vent ( of course after I had mopped up the water. ) Could have saved a bunch of money by thinking first and doing second if advisable.