Ask any RV owner for an opinion on upgrades or modifications and you’ll get multiple ideas. In fact, that’s why there’s this article. There are many things you can do to make your RV more efficient, run smoother, and look better.

Some upgrades and modifications can be DIY, but if you’re short on time, not as handy, or just want to feel certain it’s done right, then you may want to hire a service technician. What you do you to your RV is up to your individual preferences and goals for your RV life. These are some ideas to get started, although we’re pretty sure you’re already pondering something in your head.

Counter extensions

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and in an RV, the kitchen is the center around which all life revolves. In travel trailers and motorhomes, where there is a more dedicated kitchen area, counter space is still limited. So add some more. Custom make a cutting board that fits over the top of the sink, or look into counter extensions. Counter extensions can either slide out from underneath the existing counter or mount on the side of a counter to be propped up into the main floor space. Choose a counter material that is lightweight, durable, and easy to clean, such as maple, oak, or Formica/Corian.


This is a larger sized project that may require more investment on your part. One option is to replace the toilet with a small porcelain RV toilet. They last longer and are more durable. Another option is to convert to a composting toilet, which are economical in the long run and environmentally friendly. A compost toilet is self-contained and can be used when there are no plumbing or sewing facilities. It just needs a plug to power the fan and a way to vent.

Liquid soap and shampoo dispenser

If you have a personal bathroom in your RV, complete with shower, then you’re already familiar with many techniques to keeping such a small personal space organized, including this one: a wall dispenser for soap and shampoo. Spas and pools utilize this option all the time, which saves space and from bottles or bars of soap from having to be stored prior to transport or from moving around loosely. You can pick one up online or at food supplier stores.

Storage bay locks

It’s estimated that 75 percent of RVs (all types) share the same key and lock system, which is also popular with outdoor storage areas and garages. This means that a lot of other people could access your outdoor compartments. You can easily add security by replacing the standard-issue locks. It’s up to you how advanced you want to go: magnetic, tubular, disc tumbler, combination, etc. A quick online search or speaking to an RV parts supplier will help give you additional direction. And, they are easy to replace – just a few screws and nuts. For doors, it’s easiest to remove the latch, take it to a locksmith, and get it re-keyed. That way you have an original set of keys for the main entrance of your RV.

RV step rugs

This is an easy modification that could save you a lot of cleanup or from twisting your ankle. Step rugs add traction as well as attract dirt, sand, and snow from boots and shoes before they step into the RV. You can find a variety of textures, colors, and designs from RV and camping suppliers.

Under bed storage light

If you’re tired of holding a flashlight or locating a headlamp to scrounge around for something stored under the bed, then consider installing a light. You can opt for a permanent fixture that runs off the RV’s electrical circuit, or you can use a wireless battery-operated light. The light should come on automatically when the bed is lifted up. And while you’re under the bed anyway, consider building in some handy wooden separators to keep all your stuff organized and in place if your items are loose or you just want to be done with plastic tubs and baskets.

LED lights

Speaking of lights, we’ve discussed before all the benefits of converting to LEDs. They’re brighter, last longer, use less electric current, and don’t need to be replaced as often (if at all). Both interior and exterior. Just make sure you choose the right LEDs, ones that are relatively equal to the brightness of your old standard bulbs. In some places, you may desire “extra bright,” such as spotlights.

Vent fan

An efficient, powerful vent fan can make a big difference in keeping out moisture and keeping campers cool. You can make an update without replacing the vent or disturbing the rooftop seal. You just take out the screen and fan using a screwdriver and replace it. You may also choose to replace the vent altogether, which is a larger, more involved project. However, the extra ventilation the bathroom and living areas of your trailer or motorized RV will experience will be worth the effort. Many vents with fans cost less than $200, come with multiple speeds, and made of lightweight, durable material.