By Mike Willis
Whether you own a used RV or are in the market for one, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy some of the same luxuries that come with a newer unit. The aftermarket accessories available today are endless and make upgrading easier than ever.
The following items are excellent upgrades that make a tremendous difference in your RVing experience:
LED Light Bulbs
LED bulbs are a great way to brighten your RV while minimizing power consumption. Whenever you utilize your RV and are not hooked to electricity, it is great to have lighting that does not consume power excessively.
Most people don’t realize just how much power older light bulbs use when compared to newer LED bulbs. Having LED bulbs enables you to dry camp for several more days than you could with older bulbs.
Each bulb will cost a little over a dollar. As with most things, you save by purchasing in bulk.
Roof Vent Cover
If you have owned an RV for any time, you likely know the importance of airing it out. Leaving everything sealed up for months can be very problematic. Fumes, moisture, and gas emissions (from appliances) can cause unwanted odor build-up.
Roof vents are incredibly effective for keeping fresh air flowing through the RV. As heat builds up inside of your RV, it naturally rises out of the vent. However, traditional roof vents can’t be left open at all times. Heavy rains can easily find their way inside of your RV when the vents are open. Additionally, towing your RV with vents open can cause damage, which would require immediate repair.
Aftermarket vent covers act as a hood over your original roof vent. The vents open and close inside of the hood, just as they usually would. However, it is protected by a housing that is also vented but blocks rain and wind. By installing a vent cover, you give yourself the ability to leave vents open during rainstorms and transport.
The roof vent cover will set you back approximately $20.
Power Tongue Jack
Power tongue jacks are the greatest invention in the RV industry. Power tongue jacks assist you in coupling and uncoupling the trailer. Rather than the manual crank, you can now simply press a button to adjust the trailer tongue elevation.
Once coupled to the vehicle, the power tongue jack will also assist you in the installation of sway bars. By raising the truck hitch and trailer together, your sway bars can be installed without using a pry bar.
The power tongue jack is, by far, my favorite RV feature. For less than $200, you can purchase one of these jacks. This single feature eliminates the majority of the “work” associated with hooking your truck up to an RV.
Hot Water Tank Drain Valve
One common issue with hot water tanks is that people trap old water in them. It can be challenging to flush hot water tanks and keep them sanitary. Further complicating matters, most hot water tank drain plugs are very difficult to remove. This tedious process deters people from frequently draining their tank.
Aftermarket drain valves are a great way to solve this common problem. Aftermarket drain valves are mounted on a plug that takes the place of your original hot water tank drain plug. Your tank can now be drained by simply opening the valve instead of unthreading the plug.
Always ensure that your hot water tank heat source is shut off before draining!
Hot water tank drain valves can be purchased for under $10.
After making these relatively inexpensive upgrades, you will likely find yourself more satisfied with your RVing experience. Having these upgraded features reduces the need to invest in a brand-new unit. Additionally, it is much easier to sell an older RV that has had these upgrades!