If you take a look at the Love Your RV! mod/upgrade and product review archives you’ll find some long lists. With our rig now going on eight years of full-time RV living, its seen its fair share of upgrades, mods, and repairs. Every so often I like to do a roundup post letting folks know how these have turned out over time.
Previous updates include “Reviewing Our Many RV Upgrades – How Have They Performed?” and “20 Love Your RV Product Reviews – How They Have Performed Over Time“. Well, I’m back again with a new list: 20 More RV Product Review and Repair Updates. I hope they can be of some use when it comes to your RV upgrades and repairs.
For the link to the original post and video or more information click the titles below. At the end of this post, you’ll find a video detailing all 20 updates.
We have now had a chance to travel extensively with the Winegard ConnecT 2 (WiFi + 4G) system on the RV and heavily use the 4G feature. I have to say I’m impressed with the speed and coverage. We’ve traveled through some spotty cell coverage areas like on the Oregon coast the stock sim card plan has performed well. Price isn’t too bad either; we buy the 10-gigabyte 30-day plan for $65.
As far as WiFi boosting and router performance, they worked great for the months, we were at our summer RV park, no glitches or crashes. Distance performance is just OK. I imagine people that need to pull in long-range WiFi signals would do better with a direction antenna versus the ConnecT. Overall though I’m happy with the unit. It’s been a nice addition to our internet connectivity options.
I’ve had the EEZRV TPMS for over a year now and put on about 5 thousand miles in both dusty and wet conditions. No problems to report other than one dead battery to replace. The button batteries are relatively cheap, so I recently renewed all of them before this seasons snowbird trip.
The wireless signal takes 10-15 minutes to sync up when first turned on but after that remains solid. I usually turn off the display at the campsite and turn it on when getting ready to depart. Doing this extends the battery life, I generally only have to recharge it every month or two. I haven’t had any air leakage problems with the sensors and don’t regret not getting the flow through style. Its easy enough to unscrew the sensors when I need to add air up to my trailer tires.
I found a terrific application for my Ladder Gadget. It’s perfect for hanging a bird feeder right in front of our large back window. Loved it during the summer watching all the different birds feeding. I like the build quality of high-grade aluminum with stainless hardware. Its held up as expected.
I like the stylish look of it versus some cobbled together apparatuses I’ve seen hanging off RV ladders. A big minus my review was the price initially $139, they have since lowered it to $99. I’d like to see it even lower, but it is made in the USA by a small company so I can understand cheap labor and the economy of scale isn’t there.
This water filter system has been a welcomed addition to the rig. We don’t filtration it back in Vancouver Island. Our water quality there is usually so good, drawn from freshwater lakes. However, come snowbird season and down in the desert where poor well water is the norm, I use it all the time. It’s good peace of mind to run my freshwater tank fills for boondocking through the dual stage filters.
I haven’t had any problems with leaking, and the flow rate is pretty decent. My mounting mod on the trailer bumper has worked out well. The only quibble I can come up with is the paint has quickly faded on the metal, just a minor cosmetic thing.
I get lots of comments on “my places we have visited” stickers. Quite the conversation starter with my RV neighbors. 🙂 A year later now and no signs of degradation or peeling. I think it was a good idea to stick them to the slide wall. It’s retracted during travel and usually on the shady side of the rig.
We bought the LaCrosse weather station on sale at 50% off. Sort of an impulse buy. I like the wind speed feature, and the humidity is handy to have for deciding what to wear. A year and a half later it’s still working OK, but the plastic wind vane is getting a little noisy. Another problem I’ve found is the time on the display is always wrong.
Last winter I modded the power supply and wired a DC buck converter into it so the unit could run off our RV battery bank instead of replaceable alkalines. It’s worked flawlessly.
The “C” size batteries used to power the outside unit last about 4- 6 months. When I get some spare cash I’d like to upgrade to a better station, in the meantime, this one does the job.
The VIAIR RV air compressor has worked as advertised. It’s quiet and inflates tires quickly. It’s been a big step up from my old noisy Slime compressor. I’m happy I did the power receptacle install mod on the side of the fifth wheel trailer. It makes using the compressor that much quicker.
I guess the only downside of it is the price. I’ve had lots of comments and feedback that the same sort of compressor is available at a much lower price at places like Harbor Freight. All I can say is VIAIR is a name brand and has many great reviews. Sometimes its hard to tell just by looking at a product whether the internal parts are of the same quality. There are always knock-offs of popular brands. I guess time will tell but my feeling its this pump should last a long time.
Love this all in one appliance! As the chief cook in our RV kitchen, I use this device quite often, especially in the summer. After I got it, I gave away my old rice and slow cookers. I find it cooks things much faster compared to any other method and is a breeze to use. YouTube is full of yummy recipes. The small 3-quart mini takes up little cupboard space and is a perfect meal size for just the 2 of us.
I was hesitant about the stainless steel pot fearing food would stick badly to it, making clean up a headache. But, quite the reverse it cleans up very easily. Anne has even tried an Orange Chicken recipe with the Instant Pot, and it turned out awesome. She can now add that to her boiled eggs and toast cooking repertoire. 🙂
Adding Titan cooling fans to the refrigerator vent stack made a noticeable difference in the cooling capacity of our Dometic absorption style fridge. So far they have worked well and remained quiet for the most part. I do notice a low-frequency humming sound coming from the pair I mounted on the roof. It’s barely noticeable, Anne can’t hear it, but I do. I think it is from installing it on the plastic roof vent surround.
The roof vent fan I installed in the bedroom is helpful for clearing the air after a shower. Anne doesn’t like the noise they make in lower speed operation, though. Her preference is for the Fan-Tastic fan versus the Titan in this application.
Until recently I was pleased with this RV thermostat upgrade. It was nice to have a digital thermostat that could auto-switch from cooling mode to heating mode. It worked perfectly for almost a year however recently failed. The heating cycle would sometimes stick on, and we would wake up too hot.
At first, I thought it was the furnace to blame but ruled that out by reinstalling the OEM manual slider fixing the problem. I think I will try another FocusPRO 5000 in hopes that the previous one was just a dud.
Four months and many full tanks later my repair to the black and gray waste tanks is holding up. I’ve tested them numerous times by letting the tanks fill right up before dumping. We have also traveled after several extended dry camping stints, no leaks. Yay!
Before I left for this year’s trip, I replace all the trailer brakes plus installed new bearings and races. The brakes have worked perfectly. Using my EEZRV TPMS for a rough measurement I’ve found the wheel hub temperature are line with norms. They usually read 5-10 degrees above ambient outside temperatures. There is, of course, some variation with the sunny side versus the shady side of the rig.
I’ve also observed that temps are generally higher on the back wheels versus front, I guess from the trailer being a little nose high with the new truck. The curbside wheels run hotter than the driver side wheels likely due to the road camber. All are within an acceptable range with the rear curbside wheel constantly running the warmest.
I have my TPMS set to alert me if a wheel temp is too high and when stopped after towing I feel brake hubs making sure they aren’t running too hot to touch.
Our trailers Goodyear Endurance tires are coming up on two years now. We’ve towed from the southwest to British Columbia and back twice. All the tires have a fair amount of tread left on them except one. They hold air exceptionally well and have provided smooth towing. To big pros for me for these tires were Made in the USA and a max speed rating of 87 MPH. Total price paid $540 for four tires.
One of the tires has had a wear issue. I assume its not the tires fault but instead a minor axle alignment problem with the trailer. The rear driver’s side tire has worn uneven with the inner portion worn almost to the low tread marks. I’ve recently replaced it with a lightly used Endurance tire I found for $50 that matches the wear on the other three tires.
This last summer I did a significant upgrade to the RV sewer system by installing electronically controlled electric wastegate valves. One for the black tank and one for the shower/bathroom gray water. I wanted to get rid of the annoying and in the way manual push/pull rods. The upgrade was a little pricey, but as full-time RVer, I think for the investment in something we use all the time.
After six months I still smile a little each time I use them. A simple push of a button to open and close each valve. They worked perfectly with no leaks or jam ups. I appreciate the extra storage shelf space I have now freed up by removing the original rods and handles.
When I installed this last December, my main concerns were battery life, durability and the annoying loud beep it made. I can put those concerns to rest. Battery life has been excellent, lasting nearly a year. The RVLOCK has proved more rugged than I imagined and I learned of an option to mute the beeping. You hold down the #1 key for a few seconds to disable and again if you want to re-enable.
Another piece of information I discovered was there are cheaper versions on the market that look just like the RVLOCK but about $100 bucks less. Now I’m not sure if they are exactly alike, could be cheap knock-offs, but to my eyes, the RVLOCK looks and functions the same. The only difference appears to be the branding and higher retail price. It may be worth the money for warranty and support versus buying a no-name brand off eBay for example
I haven’t needed the new eZV3200P generator much so far. I used it a few times coming down the Oregon coast and once while desert boondocking in cloudy weather. Each time it’s functioned well. It’s not nearly as quiet as my old 2000 watt generator but not overly loud either. Being a much larger engine (208cc versus 80cc), I guess that’s to be expected. I find if I run it in the back of the truck with the tailgate up it dampens it substantially. I love the wireless and push-button starting features.
One issue I’ve had is with the battery. It’s been dead a few times. I thought maybe I had a bad battery but turns out I was inadvertently leaving it on for long periods. Turns out rather than the power switch cutting power from the battery its the gas line switch that does so. I had accidentally forgotten to turn it off a few times.
These have turned out to be terrible. We have gone through two of the Kidde smoke alarms in the last year. Getting rid of each for too many false alarms. They are way too sensitive for our RV. One was going off at 3 in the morning just because it was a little cold and humid. I’ve replaced the Kidde with a First Alert brand instead. Much better!
Adding a filter to the cold air return has helped keep the dust and dirt down in the rig. So far I haven’t noticed any negative impacts on the operation of the furnace. The air flow feels the same out the floor vents.
I repaired a sagging storage bay shelf that was about ready to give away completely. It was put together with long staples. My repair and upgrade mod has worked out well. It’s so strong now I don’t anticipate any further problems. Soon it will be time to do the one on the other side.
Last year I pulled apart my failing trailer wheel fenders. Many of the mounting screw holes were cracking, and soon I feared it would fly off the rig while underway. I beefed them up with a combo of SikaFlex 291 marine sealant and rubber grommets. It looks like I got them in time and solved the problem extending the lifespan of the old fenders.
20 RV Product Reviews, Mods, Repair Update Video
I hope you found these 20 updates to my various RV product reviews, mods, and repairs useful. Stay tuned to the blog and YouTube channel. I’ll soon be putting out a review post, and video detailing my early impressions likes and dislikes for our new Ram 3500 diesel truck. It has over 4000 miles on it now with about 2000 of those miles towing our Cougar fifth wheel. Cheers, Ray