Modifications and add-ons that make RV life better

Modifications and add-ons that make RV life better

Last updated on January 19th, 2020 at 10:26 pm

RVers usually make changes and add things to their RVs that make living and traveling in the RV safer and more convenient. Below are a few of the modifications and add-on we’ve done to our fifth wheels over the years.

2007 Coachmen Chaparral 340QBS Floor Plan
2007 Coachmen Chaparral 340QBS Floor Plan
  • Our second RV was a bunkhouse model fifth wheel which included a second bathroom.
    We remodel the forward bunk room by removing the two side-wall bunks and the upper forward bunk. We also raised the remaining lower bunk to make more adult-friendly. In place of the to sidewall bunks, we installed a small chest of drawers and a computer desk for Fran’s computer. That made a small but adequate bedroom/office for Fran.
  • A curved shower curtain rod. The glass shower stall encloser leaked and I could not find it. So we decided to remove the glass surround and replaced it with a curved curtain rod and shower curtain. Some well-placed velcro kept the curtain closed when in use. Besides eliminating the water leak, we lost the weight of the glass surround. The shower also felt roomier.
New front black tank plumbing test fit with Darin Master Waste Valve
  • Added electric-powered holding tank valve on the forward black tank. Our Coachmen bunkhouse floor plan was designed with two toilets, one upfront in the bunkhouse and one in the rear with the master bedroom. We had to have two sewer hoses going into a ‘Y’ fitting at the sewer hookup. It was a real hassle and required carrying nearly double the amount of sewer hose which was difficult to stow.
    But that wasn’t the worst of it. To connect a sewer hose or operate the valve on the front holding tank, I had to get my hands and knees and crawl under the trailer to reach it! After a plumbing makeover, we no longer have to crawl under the RV. See how I did it here: Electric Waste Valve Key to RV Plumbing Makeover
Tire Blowout and Damage
Tire Blowout and Damage
  • Lined the wheel wells of the fifth wheel with heavy gauge sheet metal so blowouts won’t tear up the subfloor (again). If you put enough miles on your trailer you are going to experience a tire blowout. If it’s bad enough it can cause costly damage to the floor, plumbing, and electrical wiring.  It happed to us.
    As part of the repair, the RV shop that did the work recommended linning the top of the wheel wells with heavy gauge sheet metal and reduce, or even eliminate future damage. We agreed and it didn’t add that much to the cost.
    You can be proactive by making this modification BEFORE you have a blowout.
  • Added extra turn signal lights to Fith Wheel.
    On our first fifth wheel, the back of the truck was very close to the front of the trailer and the truck tail lights were hard to see from the back of the trailer. My solution was to mount a pair of combination signal/marker lights at the front corners of the fifth wheel.
    When we purchased our second fifth wheel, one of the first modifications I did was to add a pair of signal/marker lights. And, on the theory that more is better, I added two more signal lights to each side.
    I have seen some new trailers come from the factory with these turn signal lights installed so maybe, in a few years, this modification won’t be needed.  But in the meantime, you might want to upgrade your RV.  I wrote an article with more information on how I did my Trailers. Turn Signal & Marker Lights Upgrade for Trailers
  • The plastic panels in the screen door obscured the view when looking out while sitting in the living room. Replacing the opaque panels with clear plastic ones improved the view considerably.

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