Love Your RV! Mods and Upgrades

RV Modifications and Upgrades

Over the course of the last five years RVing in our Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Trailer I have made a fair number of improvements. As you live in a trailer full time you begin to want to make it better suited for your unique RVing lifestyle.




I like to call these “Mods”. Here is a list of all my mods and upgrades I’ve made to the rig so far. The more time we spend in it the more I start to come up with things I can change to improve it. I’m sure this list will grow.

  • Portable Solar Panel Mod Feature Photo

    Building a Portable Solar Panel for My RV Boondocking

    Introduction Recently a solar panel manufacturer called Lensun sent me out a 100-watt flexible solar panel for a Love Your RV! product review. One of the reasons I agreed to review the panel was a plan in the back of my mind to utilize it as a…

  • cheap plumbing and wire clamp tip feature photo

    Cheap Plumbing and Wire Clamps for the RV Tip

    I learned this frugal little RVing tip from a good RVer friend of mine Eddie of Mobile Homestead Solar Services. First, you pick yourself up a roll of plumbers pipe hanger strapping found in any hardware store. 10 feet of it goes for around 5 bucks…

  • O-Grill Propane RV Barbecue Grill Review Feature Photo

    Why I Love My Little O-Grill RV Barbecue

    5 years ago when we hit the road as full-time RVers I needed to pick myself up a small portable barbecue grill. There was no way the huge old beast from the sticks and bricks patio was going to fit! I had a Coleman gas stove from my campervan days…

  • LevelMatePro Review Feature Photo

    LevelMatePRO High Tech RV Leveling Aid Review

    When I got an email from a company called Command Electronics asking for a product review of their LevelMatePRO wireless vehicle leveling system I was intrigued. It looked to be a very slick and quick solution for RV leveling. The hardware…

  • HepvO Valve Installation feature photo

    Upgrading the RV Drain System with a HepvO Valve

    A little while ago I released a blog post explaining the operation of a plumbing part called an Anti-Siphon Trap Vent Device (ASTVD) and how a failure of it could lead to waste tank odors making their way into the RV. At that time, I indicated plans…

  • Spring 2016 RV Open Road Cover Feature Photo

    Our Second RV Open Road Magazine Cover Shot!

    Thanks to my photographer wife Anne I have in recent years developed a passion for the hobby myself. While she is out chasing her beautiful landscape and animal photos, I’m most often found photographing my other great passion, “the…

  • 1000 watt Inverter Installation Feature Photo

    1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter *Updated*

    Soon after receiving our new Cougar fifth wheel I purchased a 1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter to be able to run our 21″ iMac computer and 32″ LCD TV while off the grid. I wanted a pure sine wave inverter to give our sensitive electronic…

  • 20 More Upgrades Feature Photo

    20 More RV Upgrades to Our Fifth Wheel Trailer

    Improvements to our Home on Wheels Last spring I detailed 20 RV upgrades I had done to our 2011 Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer to make our RVing life a little more enjoyable. Well, I have been a busy boy since then and I’m back again with…

  • Lippert Air Ride Fifth Wheel Pin Box Review Feature Photo

    Lippert Air Ride Pin Box Review and Demo

    Why Install an Air Ride Pin Box? A “pin box” is the part that connects your fifth wheel trailer to the hitch located in the trucks bed. The standard pin box you see on the majority of fifth wheels is solid steel with mounting holes on one end and…

  • Inteli-Power PD9260CV power converter install feature photo

    Installing an INTELIPOWER Converter for Better Battery Charging

    What is Wrong with the OEM Converter? I’ve always suspected that the manufacturer installed power converter in our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel did a poor job when it came to charging our batteries. They never seemed to pack the punch I felt they…

  • Garmin dash cam 20 Review Feature Photo

    My New RVing Gadget the Garmin Dash Cam 20

    Scratch another one off the old Love Your RV! Wish List. On Christmas morning, my lovely wife Anne surprised me with an extra present. She said I had been a very good boy this year and deserved something extra. I was shocked when I opened a brand new…

  • Elephant Feet Jack Pads Review Feature Photo

    Elephant Jack Foot Pads and Shoes Review

    Introduction Not too long ago I received a set of Lippert Elephant Jack Foot Pads for review. They are an oversized 10” molded plastic pad with a slip on rubber shoe designed to replace the regular OEM installed metal feet. The idea is to provide a…

  • RV Solar Upgrades Feature Photo

    Bogart SC2030 CC and Trimetric TM2030-RV Installation

    RV Solar Upgrades So, if you have been following my blog for the last while you will know that I have upgraded the RV battery bank from two six volt golf cart batteries to four. And just last week I added two more Renogy 100 watt panels to the roof…

  • Renogy 400 Watt Solar Upgrade Feature Photo

    Upgrading our Renogy RV Solar System to 400 Watts

    Our First RV Solar Experience About a year ago I popped my RV solar cherry and installed a simple little 200 watt RV solar kit from a company called Renogy. We didn’t have too much dough to spend on solar, but I believe I got a good bang for the…

  • Saggy RV Stairs Temp Fix Feature Photo

    Why The Heck Are My RV Entrance Stairs So Saggy?

    The fold out RV entrance stairs on our Cougar fifth wheel have never been the most rock solid things. They’ve always had a little bit of give and spring to them. It’s just the nature of fold out hinged RV steps. But, lately I’ve been…

  • Waste valve pole feature photo

    Tip for Hard to Reach RV Waste Valve

    Our 2011 Keystone Cougar trailer has three waste dump valves on her. One for the black tank and two grey tanks. The black tank and the grey tank valves that empty the shower/bathroom and toilet tank are conveniently located inside the driver side…

  • Flex Air Pin Box Install Feature Photo

    Installing the Flex Air Pin Box on our Fifth Wheel Trailer

    Why A Fancy Pin Box? Our Keystone Cougar 276RLS trailer came with a basic solid steel pin box. This works well on smooth highways, but things can get a bit jarring when the roads get rough. I find it particularly annoying when we travel through…

  • Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl Review Feature photo

    Review of Infinity LWV Flooring for the RV

    What is Infinity LWV Flooring? LWV stands for “Luxury Woven Vinyl”. The vinyl material is woven together by the manufacturer Infinity LWV in such a way that the product acts like a hybrid between regular carpeting and traditional vinyl flooring.…

  • RV Battery Bank upgrade feature photo

    Upgrading My RV Battery Bank and 12 Volt System

    A Little of My Rigs Battery History When we bought our 30 foot Keystone Cougar fifth wheel new it came with one preinstalled deep cycle battery rated at 85 ampere hours. Having camped for many years in a campervan with a similar sized coach battery,…

  • 8 Simple RV Solar Tips feature photo

    8 Simple Effective Tips for an RV Boondocking Solar Power System

    Guest post by Eddie from Mobile Homestead Solar Services One of the biggest and most liberating changes in the 7 years that my wife, daughter, and I have been full-timing is to go solar in our RV. This was not without hesitation, followed by many…

  • Beefing up the RV roof seals feature photo

    Beefing Up My RV Roof Seals with Eternabond Tape

    Recently we went through some typical socked in rainy west coast weather. Day after day of drizzle, rain and sometimes pounding rain. It’s the tradeoff for living in the emerald beauty that is the Pacific Northwest. While huddled in the rig waiting…

  • Camco RV Winterizing Kit Installaton Feature Photo

    My Not So Easy RV Winterizing Kit Installation

    Why Install the Kit Our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer didn’t come with any sort of easy winterizing tools with the exception of the water heater bypass valve. It didn’t concern me much as we are snowbird RV full-timers and usually blast off…

  • RV Summer Renovations Recap Feature Photo

    Summer RV Renovation Part 7 – Finished Results

    Very Happy with the New Look So summer is drawing to a close and so is our RV renovation. We are super pleased with how everything turned out and happy to have a much easier to maintain RV interior. The main goal of the renovation was to get rid of…

  • Custom Built RV Daybed Feature Photo

    Summer Renovations Part 6 – Completing the Custom RV Daybed

    Let’s Make the Daybed Look Pretty In a previous blog post, I detailed the construction of my custom RV daybed platform. It consists of mostly plywood held together with screws and pine lumber. These materials keep the box pretty light weight but…

  • Slide Out Flooring Install Feature Photo

    Summer Renovation Part 5– Replacing the RV Slide Flooring

    Introduction As many RVs do our Keystone Cougar trailer came with a fair amount of carpeting. It looked real nice when it was brand new, but that didn’t last too long. It is a pretty low-quality product and once it had some traffic and use it…

  • Replace Noisy Fridge Fan Feature Photo

    Replacing My Noisy Dometic DM2652 RV Fridge Fan

    That #$@*ing Fan is Driving Me Nuts! Our Keystone Cougar 276RLS trailer came equipped with a Dometic model DM2652LBX refrigerator. It does a pretty good job of keeping our food cold or frozen but has one annoying little quirk that drives me crazy at…

  • RV Power Plug Conversion Mod Feature Photo

    Installing a Marinco 30 Amp RV Power Plug Conversion Kit

    Introduction Recently I removed the small end table at the rear of our Keystone Cougar trailer to replace it with a custom built computer desk. The new desk is awesome and I love it but it’s created a problem with storing the RVs long power cord.…

  • RV Computer Desk Feature Photo

    Summer Renovation Project Part 4 – RV Computer Desk

    Planning the New RV Computer Desk At the rear of our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel, there are two swivel recliners with a small table between them. This little table is where I use the computer, not an ideal situation. So, as part of the summer…

  • RV Sewer Hose Storage Feature Photo

    Waste Master RV Sewer Hose Storage Solution

    I recently replaced my old worn out RV sewer hose with the new Waste Master RV sewer system. (See my full review and demo video). I’ve used it for a few weeks now and really like it. It’s quite a step up in quality over the traditional RV sewer…

  • RV Summer Renovation Part 3 Feature Photo

    Summer RV Interior Renovation Project Part Three

    Two Simple Upgrades In part three of my summer RV renovations, I tackle a couple very simple upgrades. First up is the installation of a light fixture in the under the bed storage area. This has been a long asked for addition by my lovely wife. Since…

  • Summer RV Reno DayBed Feature Photo

    Summer Interior Renovation Project Part Two – RV Daybed Build

    Deciding on Daybed Size I wanted the daybed to be as long as possible but still be able to use the dining table and place our beagles kennel between them. This gave me a max length of 68”. For width we are limited by the slide out width. I want to…

  • Keystone Cougar Remodel Part One Feature Photo

    Summer RV Interior Renovation Project Part One – The Plan

    Our Rig Info Four years ago we purchased a brand spanking new Keystone Cougar 276RLS fifth wheel trailer. We absolutely loved the gorgeous interior and furnishings. But over the course of time some things have become tattered and worn. We are pretty…

  • 360 Siphon RV Vent Install Feature photo

    Installing the 360 Siphon RV Fume Extractor

    Nasty Smells in the RV Sometimes after towing our trailer I will notice during setup at the campsite the smell of waste tank odors. I think what happens is with all the rocking and rolling the trailer endures while on the road, the water in the…

  • 580 watts of RV solar feature image

    My Friends Awesome 580 Watt RV Solar Power System

    Introduction I recently had the great pleasure to meet up and do some boondocking with some RVing friends from Wyoming. Eddie, his wife Aileen and daughter Laura are full-time RVers living in their 40-foot fifth wheel. This winter they decided to…

  • Mr Heater Low Pressure Install Feature Photo

    Mr. Heater Big Buddy Hooked to My RV LP Gas

    Introduction Our Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane heater has been an awesome addition to the rig. We use it a ton, especially when camping off the grid without electrical.  The Big Buddy heater uses no electricity and is much more efficient at heating…

  • Landing leg repair Feature Image

    Repairing My Broken Fifth Wheel Landing Leg

    Clunk, Oh Oh! The passenger side landing jack on our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel suffered a major failure last week. I was in the process of jacking the trailer off the truck when I heard and felt a loud clunk. In fact my wife who was inside setting…

  • 20 RV Upgrades Feature Photo

    20 Upgrades We Have Made to Our RV

    Improvements Made to Our RV We purchased a brand spanking new Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Trailer Model 276RLSWE just about 4 years ago and headed out on a one year RVing journey of exploration. We absolutely loved our time on the road. So much so it…

  • RV Roof Reseal Feature Photo

    Resealing My RV Roof With Eternabond Tape

    Introduction Our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer is now nearly 4 years old and starting to show signs of age on the roof seals. It is a rubber type roof using a material called EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) and sealed for the most…

  • Solar install Feature Photo

    Installing a Renogy 200W Solar Kit in the RV

    Introduction Well Love Your RV! is finally getting some solar! This Christmas, Santa (my lovely wife) sent me a special package from Amazon containing a brand new Renogy 200W Solar Kit. Woot! This is a starter kit and will get our feet wet in the…

  • Twist On Sewer Valve Feature Photo

    Twist On Waste Valve for the RV

    Valterra Twist-On Waste Valve I’ve seen these twist on waste gates attached to some other RV’s sewer outputs and always thought they would be a good idea for my Keystone Cougar fifth wheel. My rig has three waste tanks (Black, Galley, and…

  • Fantastic vent fan install feature photo

    Installing the Fantastic Vent Fan into our RV

    Introduction Well, I was able to stroke another one off the old RV wish list the other day with the arrival of a new Fan-Tastic Vent Fan. I’ve wanted one of these babies for a while now after hearing how good they are for keeping the rig cool…

  • Secure RV Storage Bay Locks Feature Photo

    Are Your RV Storage Bay Locks Secure?

    Did you know that if you have a key for your RV storage compartments marked CH751 that almost any other RVer can open them? What!? Yes it is true; many manufacturers use the exact same key for all the RV storage bay locks. I guess it saves them a lot…

  • RV Roof Vent Install Feature Photo

    Howto Install an RV Attic Roof Vent Tip

    RV Attic Vent Tip We get lots of terrific tips, mods and upgrades shared over in the RV Happy Hour community. I particularly liked this quick and fairly easy upgrade to the RV ventilation recently posted by RVHH member Eddie. Eddie and his family…

  • LED RV Pantry Lighting Install

    Adding LED Lighting To My RV Kitchen Pantry

    I love the large RV kitchen pantry in our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel. It is quite tall and has nice deep shelves. It’s a great spot to store all our dry grocery goods and heavier items like books, beverage bottles, cans, etc. Being that it is…

  • Beths RV Tips Feature Photo

    Inventive and Inexpensive RV Tips by Beth

    One of my readers “Beth” was kind enough to share with me a few inexpensive RV tips she uses in her travel trailer. I found them to be very inventive and asked her permission to share them on Love Your RV! in the Reader-Submitted Tips…

  • StarLights LED RV Lamp Feature Photo

    StarLights Brilliant Light LED RV Fixture

    Upgrading a 12 Volt RV Lamp Fixture Recently I updated our Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheels lighting systems to new LED bulbs. While installing the new bulbs, one of my fixtures was damaged. Due to the heat produced by the 12-volt incandescent bulb the…

  • RV Shower Fixture

    Installing Swanky New RV Shower Fixtures

    Introduction For the last little while our RV shower fixtures have been acting up. The cold tap has been really wonky. We have to really play around with it to get a constant stream which makes adjusting for good pressure and temperature a real pain.…

  • Ripping Up the RVs Carpet Feature Photo

    Ripping Out My Fifth Wheels RV Carpet

    Why Rip Out My Fifth Wheels RV Carpet? I was doing the spring cleaning of our RV after another great snowbird season down south and got to work tackling the carpets. For carpet cleaning I use a Bissell portable steam cleaner, great little unit and…

  • Wilson Sleek 4G Cell Booster Feature Photo

    Boosting RV Internet with the Wilson Sleek 4G

    Why We Need to Boost the Cell Signal For a few years now we have traveled in our RV using a Verizon MiFi Hotspot as our primary source of internet connectivity. It works through the cellular data networks just like a smartphone but without the phone…

  • Roughing it smoothly Feature Image

    New Free RV eBook called Roughing It Smoothly

    Roughing It Smoothly eBook Review A couple days ago I had the pleasure to get my hands on a new free RV eBook called Roughing It Smoothly. It is written by one of our RV Happy Hour members named Ray Whyte. Ray has taken his approximately 50 years of…

  • LED lamps for the RV Feature Photo

    Install and Review of StarLights LED lamps for the RV

    Introduction I’ve been looking to swap out our fifth wheels OEM incandescent light bulbs to the more energy efficient LED lamps for a while now. As luck would have I got an email from a high-quality LED lamp manufacturer asking if I would like to…

  • RV upgrade ideas

    Upgrade Ideas For Your New RV

    My New RV Needs Upgrades? Yes, like any other product out there the manufacture is on the look out to keeping costs down and leave it up to the customer to add on or improve some things. Drawing from my experience RVing full time here are a few of my…

  • Mr Heater Big Buddy Feature Image

    RV Install and Review of the Mr. Heater Big Buddy MH18B

    Big Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Radiant Heater While snowbirding in the US South West last winter we got the chance to do a substantial amount of dry camping out in the desert. I quickly discovered how much juice it took to run the big onboard RV…

  • Lux Thermostat Feature Image

    Update RV Thermostat Tip

    Using Lux DMH110A to Update RV Thermostat I  previously wrote a blog post describing my upgrade mod to my RV heating/cooling thermostat and posted a video on YouTube detailing the install. I used the Hunter brand model 42999 and it works great in my…

  • Replacement Waste Tank Valves Feature Photo

    RV Waste Tank Valve Replacement Keystone Cougar 276RLS

    RV Waste Tank Valve Replacement A little while ago when running some wiring to install a headphone jack in the Cougar I decided to have a peek inside all areas of the underbelly. As I inspected the area where the gray and black tank valves are…

  • Hunter 42999B Digital RV Thermostat feature photo

    Hunter 42999B Digital RV Thermostat Install

    Our Keystone Cougar 276RLSWE Fifth Wheel came equipped with a Coleman-Mach Analog Thermostat to control temperature when using either the Airxcel Air Conditioning or the Suburban LP Gas Furnace. I noticed a problem right away with trying to maintain…

  • cubby hole mod

    Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Shoe Storage Mod

    One thing that was lacking in our 2011 Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel was a place to put our shoes. Generally they get placed by the entrance door in a heap. The other day I was exploring the space under the kitchen counters and noticed a large void…

  • RV AC opened up

    Installing Hard Start Capacitor into my RV Air Conditioner

    Why do I want a Hard Start Capacitor? When dry camping there are times I would like to run the roof-top air conditioner to cool the camper down. I have a pair of Champion 2000w inverter type generators that I can parallel together for 4000…

  • Headphone-Jack-Installed

    Installing Headphone Jack in my Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Trailer

    Living full time in the trailer in such close quarters using the headphones becomes essential. Like if I want to watch some annoying guy stuff and my wife is busy writing on her computer. So we have been using the existing headphone jack but I wanted…

  • RV mattress topper

    Make the RV Mattress more Comfortable

    OEM RV Mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable, especially after some use. The springs soon poke through and stick into your body. A new deluxe mattress would be ideal but expensive. A cheaper solution is a memory foam topper. Since we added ours…

  • Convex Auto Mirror for RV

    Add Fish Eye Mirror to The RV

    For a better view of the road behind and a decreased blind spot area add a convex “fish-eye” mirror to your regular RV mirrors. The more you can see the safer your RV adventure will be. Also aids in backing up the rig or trailer into your…

  • camco sewer vent fan

    Help Vent Smelly Sewer Odors from the RV

    If you’re having problems with smelly sewer odors in the RV a tip is to install a special inexpensive fan on the roof top sewer/waste tank vent. The fan will draw odors and sewer gases out of the rigs waste tanks. Super easy to install. Camco…

  • RV Fridge fan

    Place Small Fan in RV Fridge to aid cooling

    By placing a small battery operated fan in the RV Fridge it will cool more efficiently and odors are reduced. There are several types available, some come with a small charcoal filter.  …

  • pvc pipe rv tip

    PVC Pipe Holders for Hair Appliances

    Cut 2-3” PVC tubes into 4” lengths and adhere the pipes to the inside of cabinet doors. These work great to store coiled cords and hair appliances   Photo Credit: Homemakingtoday.com…

  • corkboard

    Cork board on RV cupboard door

    Use a Cork board on the inside of your cupboards or pantry door for recipes or little notes. Found this little gem of a tip making the rounds on Pinterest…

  • oxygenics shower head

    Better RV Shower Tip

    Replace your OEM shower head with one from Oxygenics and enjoy a more powerful spray and save water. Ideal for boondocking. Even with low campground water pressure you’ll enjoy a better shower. I have recently installed this unit and very…

  • Hunter Thermostat Model 42999B

    RV Thermostat Upgrade

    Our RV came with a basic manual slider type thermostat. By installing a digital model I get much more precise temperature control. Also the furnace maintains a more even temperature. Check…

  • Cupboard

    Utilize RV space with wire storage baskets

    In our RV there is a lot of high cupboard space. So we can use it, I have installed various sizes of wire storage baskets. This lets us use the otherwise wasted space and they hold items secure during transit.…

  • rv led light

    Led Replacement Lights save Power

    Replacing your regular incandescent lights in the RV with LED type can reduce power consumption dramatically. Some LED lights use 1/10th the power. This means when camping without hookups you will get longer battery life and need to recharge less…

  • Drink cup holder

    Cup Holders

    Need a cup holder in the RV. My wife likes to have water at night or hot tea at bedtime and needed a secure place to keep it. I picked up this great cup holder which works great, is right next to the bed and folds out of the way.  …

  • Cougar-276RLSWE-Roof-1024x768.jpg

    Help prevent Black Streaks on the RV

    Wash your roof often, most black streaking is caused by dirt and grim from on the roof. Clean roof equals less black steaks. Also buy gutter spout extenders or attach a cloths peg to the gutter spout to cause the water to drip further from the RV…

  • 6 Volt Trojan battery

    Trojan 6 Volt Batteries RV Install

    I added to the standard 12v deep cycle battery that came with the RV with 2 of the T-105 Trojan Six Volt golf cart type batteries. This update more than tripled my amp hour capacity from 85 ah to 310 ah and gave me a very robust dual battery bank…

  • progressive industries EMS-HW30C

    Progressive Industries Model EMS-HW30C – RV Surge Protector

    This Xmas I got a wonderful present, especially for a tinkerer and do it yourself person like me. I opened up a Progressive Industries Model EMS-HW30C Electrical Management System. It is a RV Power Surge Protector and much more.  AHHHH!  Gadget…

  • O-Grill Review

    O-Grill 1000 Gas Barbecue

    This is our compact O-Grill  Gas Barbecue we use for our RV BBQ.  I like many things about the O-Grill 1000 Gas Barbecue 1. It easily folds down into a compact size which fits nicely in my basement RV storage compartment. 2. Came with its own…

  • Vent Mate

    VentMate – Vent Covers

    First thing I would want on any RV is vent covers.  Being from the pacific coast of Canada they came already included from the dealer. They allow the top vents to be open even when it is raining.  With the ones from Vent Mate I’ve been able…

  • Wingman RV-WING UHF Add-On

    Wingman RV-WING UHF Add-On

    We added the Wingman RV-WING UHF Add-On to our Winegard Antenna that came with the RV and immediately notice a big difference in the number and quality of stations we were able to pull in.  We received many more HDTV stations.  The installation was…

  • Jefatech RV WiFi Repeater

    Jefatech Long Range WiFi Repeater Kit for RVs

    Finding it tough to pick up the campground WiFi in many parks I was looking for a solution.  I ordered the Long Range WiFi Repeater Kit for RVs What a pleasant surprise when I was able to pull in weak signals.  As an example I was camped at the Rio…




    • Kimberly Layton

      I have a 2014 class A Fleetwood Bounder and have a question regarding the linoleum flooring. It seems to be coming apart in the middle of the galley and wanted to know why it’s not all one piece. Would the manufacturer do that for or a reason for flexibility? And how would I repair the floor myself. Thanks

    • Great experience and a valuable creation. A big accomplishment.Cheers.