Some RV features are in high demand, but manufacturers aren’t catching the hint. Many buyers immediately make upgrades to their RV after purchase to add features that are not even options from the factory.
These features make an RV more comfortable, easier to enjoy, and more suitable for an individual’s RVing style. So, wouldn’t it be easier if manufacturers started offering these RV features directly from the factory? Let’s take a look!
Factory-Ready RVs Can Be Old-Fashioned on Features
Very little has changed over the years regarding features when RVs roll out of the factory. The next generation of RVers expects more out of their rigs. They want modern conveniences no matter how or where they’re using their camper. They want the freedom to do some off-grid camping, plus the technology to stay connected for work or school.
With the boom in RV sales in recent years, we hope manufacturers say goodbye to old-fashioned features and offer RVers these in-demand options from the factory.
7 Features We Wish More RVs Came Equipped With
There are several things RV brands could do to better equip their rigs for their customers. If we could give a wish list to RV manufacturers, we’d like to see the following options become standard features on more campers. Let’s see what you think.
1. Lithium Batteries
More and more RVers are looking to do off-grid camping. However, if you’ve ever used your RV while unplugged, you’ve likely experienced the disappointing performance of lead-acid batteries. There has been no question in our mind that lithium batteries have been one of the biggest improvements we have made to our RVs.
For some RVers, lower-quality batteries will do the job since they’re likely not using their RV without connecting it to shore power. However, lithium batteries can provide a lot of extra power while boondocking.
Lithium batteries are more expensive upfront, but they last longer and are the most cost-effective option over the battery’s life. You can get twice the power from a lithium battery that you would get from a comparably sized lead-acid battery. Lithium batteries are also nearly half the weight of a lead-acid battery, which can help keep the weight of your rig down. In addition, a lithium battery will most likely last the entire life of the RV! No more replacing batteries every few years.
The biggest benefit to lithium batteries is just quality of life. No more worrying about keeping the batteries charged. They can run large appliances easily. Using solar, or running a generator for a short time charge them much faster and without degradation.
A few manufacturers like Keystone have announced they will start offering them, but it’s been a slow uptake.
2. RV Water Filtration
You can never be too safe when it comes to the water you’re consuming. It’s not just about the taste of the water, but also the chemicals and even bacteria that could be in it. Buying bottled water is wasteful and can get expensive. Having an RV water filtration system built into your RV would be tremendously beneficial.
We’d love to see all manufacturers include filtration systems before the water gets to the tank. This would help prevent bacteria and other contaminants from entering your water system. It would also ensure that the water you’re using for showering or cooking is as clean as possible.
Another favorite upgrade of ours is the Acuva water sanitization system. Learn more about it in the video below and get a discount if you want one by using coupon code “Mortons” for 10% off. GET 10% OFF ACUVA PURIFIER
Pro Tip: Even if you’re using a filter, it’s a good idea to sanitize your fresh water tank at least twice per year.
3. Cell Boosters
With remote learning and work becoming more common in recent years, many RVers add cell boosters to their campers. These devices help create a more robust and better-quality cell phone signal.
A cell booster isn’t just for school or work. You can also use it to improve your signal for weather updates and to stream your favorite movies or shows on those rainy days.
Manufacturers can help improve your cell coverage no matter where you’re camping. Whether you’re camping in a state park, national park, or on public lands, these devices do the job.
There has been some limited availability of devices like the Winegard connect systems on some RVs but they have not always been a well-thought-out solution. A router or cell booster needs to be robust and flexible like what Lynksys or Pepwave offer.
4. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
A tire blowout can ruin the day and do massive damage to an RV. By using a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), you can keep an eye on your tires while you’re traveling. While some manufacturers are adding these to their units, these safety devices should be standard on every rig.
A TPMS can alert you the minute it detects unsafe tire conditions. This can be a slow leak or even temperature changes. You want to avoid a blowout whenever possible. If you do have a tire problem, a TPMS will alert you so you can safely pull over and avoid catastrophe.
5. Tank Sensors That Actually Work
It doesn’t take long to discover that the tank sensors in an RV are notoriously inaccurate. A small piece of toilet paper or other debris can stick to the sensors and cause inaccurate readings. Even after dumping your tanks, the gauges often display as being fuller than they are.
Giving your tanks a good cleaning and using chemicals are a couple of tricks RVers use, but ultimately tank sensors that actually work are what RVers want. We hope manufacturers take note and improve this essential RV feature.
There are a few good options that use capacitive sensors or ultrasonic that work well and we hope to see these on more RVs in the future.
6. On-Demand Water Heaters
A hot shower is a great way to cap off a day of camping adventures. Unfortunately, campers typically come with RV water heaters that only store around six to ten gallons of hot water.
Having a factory-installed on-demand RV tankless water heater means you’ll have a seemingly unlimited supply of hot water. This is especially helpful when you have dishes to do and you also want to take a shower. You won’t need to wait for the water to heat back up and be ready to use.
7. Composting Toilets (as an Option)
A standard RV toilet can use a lot of water, and it can be challenging to find a place to dump the tanks. Some RVers are eliminating the entire black tank and the standard toilet and replacing them with a composting toilet. This helps minimize water usage and adds flexibility for disposing of waste.
We have been using a composting toilet full-time for 3 years now and found it to be a fantastic option in an RV.
➡ Composting toilets would be excellent options for RV manufacturers to include if they really want to do away with old-fashioned features. Find out why here: What’s So Great About RV Composting Toilets?
This toilet alternative could also help minimize manufacturing costs by saving time on parts and labor during construction. RVs wouldn’t need as many plumbing or waterlines if composting toilets were available.
8. ABS Braking Systems On Trailers (And Some Motorhomes)
When towing on wet of slippery roads you want to know that your trailer will follow you when you slam on the brakes. Unfortunately in most scenarios today that will not happen. This is because almost no manufacturers add ABS options to trailers.
Anti Lock Brakes or ABS is a system that is required on cars because it adds massive control in slippery conditions. If your tires lock up you lose all steering control, but if you pulse the brakes to let the tires roll a little you can usually still retain control. While your vehicle has ABS most trailers do not and the trailer brakes will lock up under hard braking. This will cause the trailer to fishtail and could cause your vehicle to lose control as well.
Having towed for many years in many different conditions we personally have experienced this situation more than once and it’s very scary. We think that ABS should be standard on all trailers and motorhomes. (Yes some motorhomes still don’t have it)
9. Backup Cameras
Like ABS backup cameras have become mandatory on all passenger cars. However, when towing many do not have rear view capability. Given we are so used to having it, it seems crazy that it’s not available on many trailers.
Many manufacturers are at least adding the wiring so you can add an aftermarket system, but why not include it from the factory? It would also be great if a standard was developed to hook the backup camera directly into the vehicles built into the camera system. Wired cameras are the most reliable and if the vehicle could take a signal through the pigtail connector we could automatically have a clear view behind all trailers.
10. 12V Compressor Fridge
Some manufacturers are finally starting to option 12V fridges but many are still not. Compared to propane absorption fridges a 12V compressor fridge performs much better and has no need for propane. They also reduce the fire risk associated with propane fridges.
11. Mini Split AC’s
Air conditioning is an area that RV’s have always struggled in. From not staying cool to loud and inefficient units rooftop air conditioners have been frustrating RVers since they came out. While manufacturers are promising us better quieter units in the future a great option already exists. The mini split.
Mini-splits are designed for residential applications but tend to work very well on RV’s. However, the design of the RV makes them hard to retrofit, hence a factory install would be much better. These units tend to be much quieter and more efficient than any RV-specific unit. Many RVers would love to purchase a unit that comes with a mini split.
RVs Need an Upgrade
The way people use RVs is changing drastically. Families and business professionals are learning to embrace the nomadic lifestyle. As this trend continues, manufacturers will eventually catch up to the demand.
RV manufacturing is a massive industry and typically doesn’t change overnight. Manufacturers usually make a change or two each year as they evaluate the market demands. It can take years for them to do a simply decor update.
There’s no perfect RV. And there’s a good chance that even if RV manufacturers included the options we’re requesting, we’d find a few more features to add to the list.
It’s a never-ending cycle as the needs of RVers constantly change. What could be useful today could be useless in a year or two. However, the more manufacturers listen to RVers, the more likely they are to offer the items we really want in our RVs.
Fortunately, for those who are willing to think outside the box and get a little creative, you can add practically anything you would to a house to your RV. We’re certainly not willing to wait for the RV manufacturers to catch up.
What features would you like to see become standard on factory-ready RVs? Drop a comment below.
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