We recently purchased a 23′ Class C RV. It is 2009 and a pretty basic RV. Nothing fancy here. It has the bunk over the cab, a bed in the back and the dinette which converts to a bed. It has a small bathroom with a shower, roof AC and pretty good cupboard space. We have used the shower on a few occasions and while it is small, we are able to get a satisfactory shower in it when required. Greg at 6’3″ tall can stand up in it which is a bonus. We do make use of campground showers when they are available. No generator or solar. We have been getting out and about in it this summer, getting used to it and learning things. So far we have not done too much to it, just a few small things.
- We took out the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. It was a really cheapy plastic thing with a broken latch held together with a bungee cord. So out with that. We ended up making something to hang on the wall. It has little shelves in it designed to hold little travel sized toiletries, our toothbrushes, toothpaste etc. We put up a little mirror on it. We made it out of some scrap pieces of wood and beadboard we had kicking around. It is great because we made it the exact size to fit in our space and made it to fit the things we wanted to put in it. We painted it with some paint we had so this cost a total of $7.00 for the mirror. We did purchase a shampoo caddy thing that attaches to the shower with suction cups. We purchased an oxygenics shower head which is awesome. So far that is the extent of our bathroom upgrades. We are looking for a basket to hang up above the toilet to house some towels. We may end up making something so we can get it the exact size we want.
- We did purchase a new sewer hose for the RV. Not much to say on this topic other than it is only a 10 foot hose. It has been fine so far but we think we will purchase another 10 foot one to stow away just in case we encounter a situation where the 10 foot one is not long enough. Cost was somewhere around $30.00
- We also purchased a water filter, a surge protector and a water pressure regulator. These were all minor purchases that were recommended to us by a friend that we buy. Glad we did. Cost of these was around $150.00
- We made a map/brochure/receipt holder rack to hang on the wall by the dinette. I am a great brochure collector when we go places and I do love my maps. Again making it ourselves allowed us to make it the exact size to fit into the space. Cost was zero as we used scrap pieces of wood we had on hand and paint we had on hand.
- We purchased an awning for the RV as well. This was the most expensive part of the upgrades we did. I consider an awning a necessity of life as we live on the west coast. Also I don’t do sun well so it is really nice to have. The only issue we had with this was that there wasn’t enough room between the door and the cab to put the arms there. So what this meant was the awning does not go over top of the door to the RV. We could have gotten around it by purchasing a more expensive awning system with different arms. But we are on a budget and didn’t feel it was worth the extra cost. We are happy with it. The other thing in this category is we bought a mat for the ground. This thing is worth its weight in gold. Sure keeps out the dirt. Cost of the awning and the install was $1,500. Cost of the mat was $35.00
- We upgraded all the lights in the RV to LED. These are a lot less draw on the house batteries which is important to us. We discovered some on line that we bought for a lot less money than what we sourced out locally. Cost for these was $24.00. Well worth that cost.
- We have found that the bed in the back is way too hard for us. So we did buy a memory foam mattress topper at Costco. I love this thing! The bed is now super comfortable. I was concerned about being too hot. But it came with a cover and I put our mattress cover over that and then a sheet over that. So there has been no problem at all. I am very happy we bought it. Cost was $159.00 for a double size. We plan to buy another one for the bed over the cab.
- When we first got the RV we took it to have the mechanical all checked out. We were very happy with the results of the inspection. We got an oil change, tune up and had everything checked over. We had to replace the battery and have the back brakes done. But all in all we were happy with this and glad we did it. It has given us piece of mind for sure. We will probably replace the tires next spring before we go on the road for our 15,000 km trip we have planned. Cost was $1,200.
- Greg bought some Macguires cleaning, waxing and polishing products. The cleaner is a deoxidizer. He spent a few days up on scaffolding getting this all done. It looks great. We want to keep it looking good for future resale. Cost of that was $48.00.
- A level so we can get as level as possible when setting up. The fridge works much better when all is level. Cost was $5.00. We also did buy 2 folding camp chairs. Cost was $40.00 for those.
- We just purchased portable solar panels. We had 2 ports installed on the RV. One on each side so we can simply plug in to whichever side has the best sun. We have had a chance to use them once and are happy with them. They are 140 volts. Now we can keep our house batteries topped up when boondocking and keep devices and camera batteries charged. Cost was $500.00. At the same time we had a 12 volt plug in and 2 USB ports installed on the wall in the dinette area.
- We bought a portable radio for the RV. It is one of those that you can get weather alerts on which we thought could be good to have. It can be charged via AA batteries, USB or solar. It also has other emergency alarms and short wave.
- In anticipation of going south this winter we bought a small heater which we can run with those small propane bottles. We thought that we could use it in the desert when the temps dip at night. We plan to use it in the evening and first thing in the morning as required. We will not use it overnight as that scares me a bit. At least it will help us conserve battery power by lessening our use of the on board furnace.
We do not plan on any other upgrades or purchases other than the tires. We do not have a TV and do not plan on getting one or doing any other electronic upgrading. If we are in remote areas with no cell service we will just unplug. We feel on our long trip next year we will be in cell service enough along the way to keep in touch with family and do any research we need to do and banking on line. Perhaps this will change once we start experiencing being away for long periods of time but that is our thinking at the moment.
So far we have spent $4,000.00 on all of this. I don’t think we bought anything that wasn’t really necessary. I anticipate our spending will be well worth it considering all the experiences we will have.
I am hoping we don’t have to spend too much more on “RV stuff”! I know this can be an endless thing one can get carried away with. We want to be able to get out and travel a lot over the next couple of years and will need gas money! So no more spending!