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Our Top 5 Must-Have RV Upgrades

RV Bedroom interior, room inside of motor home. Bed with colorful pillows, comfort house design with blanket, tray with cups. White furniture in boho camper van, cozy decoration with light bulbs. feature image for RV upgrades
Make your RV more comfortable. Photo via iStock

These 5 RV Upgrades Are Worth The Money

There are endless lists of gadgets you can get for your RV and ways to hack RV living. However, every RVer has their own individual needs. What works well in someone’s fifth wheel might not work so well in your motorhome. I’ve compiled a list of five things that don’t come with your RV, but they will make your life better no matter what your RVing style is.  

1. Get a better night’s sleep with an upgraded RV mattress

Upgrading your RV mattress with a residential-style RV mattress should be high on your priority list. Sadly, few RVs come with a mattress that is more than four inches of lightweight, pressure point inducing foam. What’s the point of camping in an RV if you can’t sleep comfortably in it?   

Sometimes the key to comfort is as simple as adding a 4″ memory foam topper to your existing RV mattress. Other times you’ll want to replace the flimsy mattress in your RV with a new mattress. This upgrade can cost between $100 and $2,000, depending on which RV mattress upgrade you choose. Either way, there are many excellent options available. 

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Having an RV mattress shipped makes it easy to install because they are delivered rolled and compressed in a box. You’ll just need to unpackage the mattress on the bed where you want it and it will magically expand to fit perfectly. Here are a few examples of RV mattresses that get rave reviews from RVers:

  • ZINUS 4-Inch Green Tea Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper: Zinus gets a lot of raves from RVers, and this 4-inch mattress topper is no exception. RVers really love this memory foam mattress topper.
  • Zinus 8-inch Memory Foam MattressThis mattress comes perfectly sized for the short queen bed in many RVs. Reviewers like the comfort level, quality, and price of this mattress.  
  • Wilderness Mattress Montana Hybrid Pillowtop RV Mattress: This luxurious mattress gives you the best of both worlds, and RVers love that it has customizable comfort levels. You can order it in Firm, Plush, or Soft pillowtop, depending on your comfort preference. Wilderness Mattress lets you test their product for 100 nights, and if you don’t like it, you can find a local charity to donate the mattress to and they will send you a refund. This mattress is a higher-end option at $1,240. 

2. Upgrade your RV propane safety with a propane shutoff device 

Most RVers use propane in their RVs for cooking, barbecuing, heating, or refrigeration. While propane is handy stuff, many RVers don’t think about the hazards involved in transporting and using a tank containing this highly explosive and potentially deadly gas. A leak in your propane system can have terrible consequences. 

When we’re traveling, everything in the RV is getting jostled around. Propane lines can be damaged by age or rodents. It makes sense to have a device that will prevent disaster by shutting off propane as soon as there is a leak in the system. For this reason, the GasStop is on our list of top upgrades to get for your RV.

3. Have a good fire extinguisher in case of emergencies

RV fires can rapidly become disastrous and/or deadly due to the large amount of highly combustible materials in an RV. RVs usually come with a small fire extinguisher mounted somewhere in the RV. Keeping a Class ABC rated fire extinguisher handy in two or three areas of the RV will allow you to be ready in the event of a fire. 

A Class ABC fire extinguisher will allow you to extinguish all three common types of RV fires. These are ordinary combustibles (like wood and paper), liquid flamables (e.g., kitchen fires), and electrical fires. There are many good fire extinguishers on the market, but you’ll want one that is big enough to handle the job. For this reason, stay away from fire extinguishers that are less than 1 lb. Amerex’s 2.5 lb Fire Extinguishers will give you enough firefighting power to get most small RV fires under control without taking up a lot of space.

4. Get a good RV sewer hose and a sewer hose elbow 

RVs frequently come with a flimsy blue RV sewer hose that has no connecting attachments on either end. Using one of these to dump your RV gray water or (worse) black water can only end in utter disaster. For this reason, if your RV came with one of these sewer hoses, don’t even try to use it. Instead, donate it unused to a small animal rescue (click here to find a local one) and get a sewage hose that actually connects to your RV sewage outlet and doesn’t flop around. 

A clear elbow will allow you to connect to the sewer hookup or sani-station at the RV campgrounds and see when your holding tanks finish draining. Camco RhinoFLEX RV sewer hose kits include the elbow and handy end covers that prevent the hose from leaking when stored.

5. Add an RV mat to your camp setup

An outdoor RV mat will do more than tie together your outdoor decor. Having an RV mat also helps keep the outdoors out of your RV. Many RV mats are lightweight and made of plastic strands, which makes them super easy to clean with just a quick shake. 

While there are many different ways to upgrade your RV, we picked five things that we feel are essential to have in your RV, whether you’re new to RVing or you’ve been at it for awhile.

Forums such as and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

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