Being that this RV will be our full time home for the foreseeable future, we needed some additional items, more than what we would consider for a weekend camping trip. You've heard the phrase, "All the comforts of home" right? Well that is what I am referring to. There are things that you "put up with" or "make do with" for a weekend camping trip, but we are talking about this being our home and if we are doing this long term, we would like to be a bit more comfortable than just "roughing it". Not just that, but also for safety. As we travel down the road or up the mountain, we want to insure we, as well as our rolling house, are safe. In addition, as we roll on down the road, it is like a moving earthquake, so maintenance and upkeep are a constant and expected. With that being said, here are some of the items we have purchased for our rolling home and some of the upkeep we have done to keep our rolling house in tip top shape.
With 16,000+ pounds behind you, traveling down the road at 55+ mph, you can never be too safe! First off we are investing in a tire pressure monitoring system. We would like to be aware of what is happening with all the tires, not only on the truck, but also the RV. We have known several people who have had blow outs going down the road and if the TPMS system gives us a warning on a tire going down, we can safely pull over before it causes too much damage or even an accident. We already have a TPMS system on the truck but we will also tie in the RV as well. We purchased the Tireminder Smart TPMS system that continually monitors not only the pressure of our RV tires but also the temperature. It alerts us to anything out of range in either category and we can quickly attend to it before it becomes a bigger issue. Admittedly we thought we had an issue with it on our first trip, but after adjusting the placement of the wireless transmitter, we have been issue free. The company was also very responsive to our issue and even sent out new tire transmitters to ensure that was not our issue. We love that this integrates with an app on our phone for us to monitor and doesn't require another monitor sitting on our dash in the truck.
We also purchased the Furrion Wireless Observation System that will allow us to not only back into a site easier, but also monitor traffic around us as we are going down the road. It is nice to know what is coming up behind us as we think about changing lanes or making a turn. Installing the camera was easy and took less than a half hour for everything since we already had a pre-installed bracket from the RV manufacturer.
Another great addition is the RVLock Keyless Lock on the entry door. We can lock or unlock with a keyfob or code, just like a vehicle. This took about 15 minutes to install, with very clear directions. I really like being able to go for a walk and not have to worry about grabbing the keys to the door. RVLock runs specials all the time so watch for them, especially around Black Friday.
As we move around to different areas and campgrounds, we experience all different sorts of water quality/pressure issues. One of the first things we did when we bought our new 5th wheel is to upgrade the shower head to an Oxygenics shower head. We had one of these in our previous camper and it is amazing at how it amplifies existing water pressure while minimizing the amount of water you use. Absolutely worth every penny! Another must have for water pressure is a water pressure regulator valve. After reading alot of great reviews, we bought a Renator Pressure Regulator Valve. It comes with a quality gauge and is easily adjustable. It has really done a good job of keeping us supplied with good water pressure.
We also invested in a 50 Amp Power Cord Adapter. We had noticed that the heavy 50 amp power cord really pulls on the connection end at the RV and this adapter relieves that stress. We have had all sorts of folks ask about it as they had the same concerns.
After seeing this neat screen door handle on others RV's, we decided to get one for our own and it really is nice to have the handle to close the door rather than moving the plastic slide door back and forth and trying to grab the lever. It also seems to make the door a bit more sturdy. This one is expandable and fits just about every RV door. Super easy to install!
One other big upgrade we finally decided to bite the bullet on, is a new mattress. We initially started off with a lovely 3" gel memory foam mattress topper on top of the original RV mattress, which did a great job for awhile, until the mattress underneath decided to flatten out. We started to feel like we were sinking straight to a hard board. The mattresses that come with an RV usually aren't the best for the long run and with all of my surgeries and joint issues, it was time to search out an alternative. So, as I usually do, I researched for several weeks. We wanted to find a memory foam mattress that would be best for side sleepers and that had support for hips/shoulders. We narrowed it down to a couple that were highly recommended. Well we decided on the Tuft and Needle queen adaptive foam mattress. They also offered a military discount, 100 night sleep trial and free returns, which sealed the deal for us. It came in a small box and immediately started to expand right out of the box. Too cool! It is supportive and I have really noticed the hip and shoulder pressure point pain has gone away, however, we missed having that poofy mattress pad from our old home bed that made it feel like you fell into a cloud. Unfortunately Kohls does not carry that particular one anymore. But, never fear, with my sleuthing capabilities, I found an even better one on Walmart.com here. OMG, it is like a fluffy cloud and does not take away from the supportive mattress at all! We have slept on the new mattress for a week now and are really liking it. I don't think we will need to exercise the free return policy.
In addition to all the groovy upgrades, we have also kept busy with some upkeep. Knowing our house would be rolling down the road and encountering some bumpy roads, some much more than others, we knew we would continue to have to keep an eye on everything and it is now second nature to glance over everything as we set up at each new stop. Rick noticed that some screws on the skirting were coming loose and decided to replace them with stainless screws and used a dab of silicone to keep them in place. Inside, we have come across some trim in various areas that need to be secured and have used gorilla glue to get the job done. We did have one cornice above the dining window come loose and it looks like the finish nails just missed a secure attachment to the other piece, so Rick re-nailed those.
As we prepared to move to our latest location, we took off the tire covers, (which are really a good thing to have when you are stationary for awhile in a very sunny area like AZ), and noticed that one of our RV tires was flat. Ugghhh, well better here than while on the road! There was a screw in the tire which we must have picked up backing into this site. This was our first tire change on this 16,000+ pound behemoth, but Rick handled it like pro! He retrieved the spare from under the back of the RV and used two wood planks and his bottle jack to lift up the RV and switch out the tire. Now that we made it to our new location, which was 3 miles away, we will have a new tire mounted on the rim and put it back on the RV.
We also needed to clean the awning. After our cross country travels and some dusty, dirty locations, it accumulated a good amount of dirt and streaks. We had heard of folks having some success using Mr Clean Magic Erasers and we found a Mr Clean Magic Eraser Mop and decided to try it out. WOW! It really does the job. It is nice to use the mop as it's on a long pole and you don't have to worry about getting out a ladder.
Whew!!! Thats alot of information but thought it would be good to put it in one post. We have been really happy with our upgrades and really feel they have been helpful and have improved our travels. If you have any questions on any of them or want to see additional pictures, just drop us a line! Thanks for stopping by!!
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