I’ve been RVing full-time since July 2016 in my 17’ Taylor Coach travel trailer. All RVs involve trade-offs and for me, a nimble and fuel-efficient setup continues to work best. Most of my upgrades are related to making life better in my small space. From major appliance upgrades to luxury décor improvements to little conveniences, these are the upgrades that make my little camper feel like home.
HEPA Air Purifier
My single most cherished appliance is my Hepa Air filter. Why? Because when RVing you can’t always control what is in the air around your rig. Forest fire smoke, campfire or cigarette smoke from neighbors are common culprits. One time a farmer sprayed chokings pesticides on his field right outside my door! Gross and carcinogenic! Being able to close up my home and clean the air fast is a non-negotiable for me. I recently wall-mounted this compact unit from Pure Enrichment upside down over my bed so it is always available when needed. With a CADR of 80 CFM, it gives me 9 air changes per hour (ACH) in my tiny rig. Choose higher CADR ratings for larger spaces.
Mini Electric Water Tank Heater
Most RVs have a 6 – 10 gallon propane water heater located across the rig, which is overkill for washing up a few dishes. This electric water heater heats 1 gallon of water in just 5 mins for a quick clean up and you can install it under your sink for a short run to the tap for minimal water waste. Having an electric back up for hot water allows you to put your excess solar power to good use on sunny days while reducing annoying trips to refill your propane tanks. It’s not an easy install with plumbing and possibly electrical required, but for me, it was well worth the effort.
Breville Smart Oven Pro
After years of making do with a toaster oven, I decided it was time to upgrade to a proper countertop convection oven. This one was recommended by Jason and Nikki of Gone with the Wynns and it is great! Powerful with 5 heating elements compared to just 2 in my toaster oven, quiet convection fan that can be turned off if desired, with multiple settings, the newer Pro version includes the interior light. It’s large enough for a 12” pizza but still just fits in the cabinet under my countertop for storage during transit and when not in use.
While instant pots have been all the rage the past few years, they do not call to me. Instead, I am quite smitten with this air fryer. This compact unit perfectly crisps up a single meal size serving of a variety of frozen foods like fries and fish filets faster and more efficiently than my convection oven.
If your RV is equipped with the basic slide lever thermostat, you have probably also woken up in the middle of the night way too warm with your furnace running. Upgrading to a digital thermostat solves this problem with precise settings. This simple unit is affordable and easy to use, on/off switch, and temperature setting without the fuss of a programmable unit.
Plasma Arc Lighter
If your propane cooktop doesn’t light automatically, a plasma lighter makes lighting easy. A visible electric current flows between two iodes at the touch of a button for quick ignition. The battery lasts a long time and the USB rechargeable version makes charging easy.
LED Strip Lights
Fun, affordable and easy to install, I put 3 of these LED strip lights recently in my RV. Each came with their own remote but one remote works on all of them, leaving me with 2 spare remotes. USB powered, they work efficiently all the time on your DC power, no inverter needed.
DC USB Ports
With so many USB powered devices, you will appreciate additional charging ports. This DCpowered 4 port USB outlet efficiently powers your USB devices by avoiding the double conversion of invertering to AC and converting back to DC like regular household USB ports do. Only downside is the always on indicator light which you can block with some electrical tape. If 4 USB ports is overkill for your needs, this compact 2 port DC USB can be installed just about anywhere and has no annoying
These glossy peel and stick gel tiles by SmartTiles add a bit of luxury to your RV kitchen. They are easy to cut and install so it’s easy to do a professional job. Warning: they won’t stick to standard RV wallboard but this is easy to fix: simply apply primer to the surface first and you will have no problems with adhesion.
Standard RV dinettes are notoriously uncomfortable. This microfiber wedge pillow is well made with firm foam, comes in multiple colors, and at 18″ fits perfectly at my small dinette seat providing me a comfortable back rest
while sitting sideways. As a bonus, wedge pillows are handy for a variety of other applications if you catch my drift. 😉
Campendium: Margot Bai
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