Why update a brand new RV?

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Why update a brand new RV?

Friday, June 5, 2020



You've done all of your homework and bought a brand new RV.  Right out of the gate, it seems like there a laundry list of changes and modifications that people will suggest to you for your new rig.  Why?  Is it necessary to make these changes?  And, how much is just too much?  We made several updates to our travel trailer, but I have been cautious and slow in executing these decisions.

Why update a brand new RV?


I think RV modifications fall into a couple of categories - comfort and cosmetics.  The cosmetic changes create a customized retreat tailored to your own personal tastes.  Moreover, decorative updates can create that homey, cozy feel an RV lacks when it is driven straight off of the lot.  If you spend a lot of time in your RV, the attention to decor will create an inviting space you love.

Comfort changes are less aesthetic and more functional.  You can really improve your overall experience with these options.  We found out quickly that comfort options range from both inexpensive to costly.  We weigh our options each time we have invested in something new, and I feel we have chosen wisely.  

However, at what point are you recreating your entire travel trailer and camping experience?  When is it no longer worth it to keep making changes?  At this point, it might be wise to consider a whole new travel trailer, but that is an entirely different discussion.


Comfort Upgrades

One of the biggest overall complaints that I see through online camping communities is the RV mattress.  Our original RV mattress was awful.  It was lightweight and functional.  It was in no way comfortable, and I couldn't have lived with that forever.  

We ordered a new mattress pretty quickly.  It is a custom made hinged mattress from Tochta.  These mattresses are not cheap, but they are worth every penny.  We have replaced our mattress and our son's top bunk mattress.  I'm in the process of replacing the bottom bunk to complete all of them.  They are comfortable, well made, and can be customized to any space by height, width, and shape.  Since these are custom made for your specific shape, there is no retrofitting.  The mattress comes with a 10-year warranty.  The attention to detail shows the quality craftsmanship from the stitching to the custom cover.  If you plan on using your RV regularly, don't go cheap or all DIY!  



We have also upgraded our showerhead to a new Oxygenics Furry Showerhead.  This is an inexpensive project that is easy to absorb financially. This task was completed in less than 30 minutes and cost less than $60.  The results are a better shower with improved water flow that also saves water.




I also consider slide awnings to be comfort updates.  You can certainly live without a slide awning.  I know people that don't have slide awnings that are just fine.  However, it can provide additional insulation and protection from the elements.  It also reduces noise during a rainstorm.  

The final comfort upgrade that has been a winner for us is our RV Lock Keyless Entry.  We can access our RV with a code on a keypad.  We do have 2 back up keys in case we need them.  But, this makes it easy to lock and unlock our doors without having to fumble with keys.  Our original lock was fine, but this is such a better set up!

I see people replacing sofas, dinettes, and everything else you can imagine.  I'm not really sold on the idea of going this far.  But it all comes down to how long you spend in your RV and your own personal needs.  Comfort upgrades can be costly, but not all of them are.  Look for sales on the items that you have your eye on and weigh out your options.  You can also do these over time!  Don't feel like you have to do them all at once.

The main way that I weigh out and decide on comfort upgrades is the amount of use we will obtain from the changes.  We shower and sleep in our beds daily as we travel.  These are easily justifiable to me.  I don't spend a lot of time sitting on the sofa in our RV.  I spend more time sitting in my camping chair outdoors.  Therefore I would rather have a really comfy camp chair.  Choose wisely and you won't break the bank, and you won't regret your decisions.



Cosmetic Updates

These are truly things that don't HAVE to be done.  The results are decorative and appealing to the eye.  I like customizing the interior of our camper.  I have paced myself over the past year and taken my time.  The point of having a brand new RV is not having so much work!  If I feel like adding a decorative touch here or there, I do.  If not, I don't.  

Some of my favorite projects that I have done are:


I plan to add some peel and stick wallpaper in our bathroom at some point.  But this is a project that is not necessary.  I actually prefer to trim our interior with seasonal and well-placed items that I love but can be changed on a whim.  They are less permanent and don't have to be done at once.

What I do recommend is getting out there camping and enjoying your new RV before you start making any changes.  Get to know your RV and your personal needs to be comfortable and feel at home on the road.  Absorbing the cost incrementally is so much easier on the pocketbook.

And, it's not about the gear and personal touches of the interior or exterior decor.  Focus on building personal relationships with those you love and the time you have together.  Those other things are just an added bonus of the RV lifestyle.  



RV Update Tips

  1. When you are shopping for your RV consider how much you are going to want to change the interior for comfort and cosmetics.
  2. If you are going to redo nearly everything on the interior, you might be better off purchasing a gently used RV and saving the money to purchase the upgrades you want.  Or, you might consider an entirely different model altogether.
  3. It is wise to automatically factor in the cost of new mattresses for your RV.  Try to negotiate in a way that offsets that expense when making your purchase.  
  4. Determine where you will get the most return for your investment in updates.  Make those changes first.  Some things you will find that you can live with and don't really need a swap after all.
  5. If you are absolutely set on purchasing something that is more expensive, realize that you may give up the budget to make the changes you want or thought you needed.  
Everything is a trade-off in life.  It is certainly that way in an RV.  You gain one thing and give up another.  But, if your overall goal is to get in an RV and travel more, then you win either way.  

Until next time...

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