Top 10 RV Modifications for Truck and Fifth Wheel Trailer
Sometimes, I may forget to tag a post. And with that list growing long and cluttered now, I thought I’d compile this short list to point out a few of my favorites projects…
1. RV Solar Power Upgrade
Above all, we couldn’t live the life we do and enjoy it to the fullest without our RV solar power installation. Upgrading the new trailer with half a kilowatt of power has to be one of the best investments we’ve made for our location independent lifestyle, since we enjoy boondocking way off the grid over cramming into crowded campgrounds any day! See all solar posts.
2. Mobile Satellite Internet Installation
Of course, we couldn’t afford to live this lifestyle–let alone spendy RV solar upgrades–if we couldn’t work from anywhere. And we couldn’t do that without our RVDataSat Satellite Internet system. While the absolute best internet for RVers is redundancy, MobilSat enables us to work from our favorite remote locations without any cellular service. See all RVDataSat posts and previous satellite internet posts.
3. Titan Hydraulic Trailer Brakes
Another top-ranking upgrade we made to the trailer is adding Titan Hydraulic Trailer Disc Brakes. If doing it all over again, this would have been one of the first things I added when purchasing our first fifth wheel. And I’ll do it again on our next, if we ever get another.
4. ATS Turbo and Exhaust Manifold
The noticeable boost in performance I experience after installing our Turbo and Exhaust Manifold from Aurora Turbo Systems immediately made that expense worthwhile. The fuel conservation was just icing on that cake. It also settled the debate about whether or not we let the diesel engine idle to cool off after long hauls, once and for all.
5. Pullrite Superglide Fifth Wheel Hitch
The very first upgrade we ever did to the truck, even before picking up our first trailer, was adding the Pullrite Superglide 3300 fifth wheel hitch. More than 100,000 mile later I still swear by my Superglide! To anyone shopping for a fifth wheel, I highly recommend spending the extra money on an auto-sliding hitch.
6. Air Lift Air Suspension Springs
This is another one of those wish I would’ve done is sooner upgrades. The LoadLifter 5000 Air Bags I installed on our Dodge Ram provide a smooth ride, ensure better handling, and prevent uneven wear on the truck tires.
7. SmartAIR II Automatic Self-leveling System from Air Lift
I learned about the SmartAIR Self-Leveling System when it was announced at SEMA 2016, nearly a year after I installed our Air Lift suspension upgrade. Otherwise I would have added this handy kit at the same time. I have never had to manually inflate or deflate our air bags ever since.
8. Fifth Wheel Stabilizer Braces
One of the less expensive upgrades we’ve added to the fifth wheel was installing our Winfield Landing Gear Cross Brace Stabilizers. These simple looking–and just as simple to install–turnbuckle braces drastically reduce rocking of the rig, even in crazy winds.
9. RVLock Keyless Entry
More than the security factor, I think the greatest benefit of our RVLock Electronic RV Door Handle is the keyless entry. Using the keypad allows me to secure the rig and go for a run without having to take my keys. The optional remote key fob also comes in handy when your hands are full.
10. RV Fresh Water Plumbing Modification
One of our more popular RV Lifestyle videos is my demonstration of how I use our Modified Water Pump Plumbing to easily fill the fresh the water tank from external collapsible water jugs. This simple hacks makes extended boondocking stays much more comfortable.
Close Runners Up:
Here’s just a few more truck and trailer upgrades we’ve done that almost made the cut for Top Ten:
I’m still looking forward to installing an Exhaust Temperature Gauge in the truck–to keep an eye on that manifold heat, so we don’t piss off any other knuckleheads who don’t understand the need to let diesel engines cool down. Now, if I could only figure out how to add a lightweight, compact, hot tub that doesn’t require full hookups.
What modifications have you made to your rig that improve your nomadic lifestyle?