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RV Options: Enhancing the Comfort and Value of Your Vehicle

Recreational vehicles come in many types, makes, and models. This can make it difficult for people to choose a unit that would best fill their needs, application, and desires. In addition, they must fit it into their budget. This selection holds true whether a potential buyer is seeking a new or a used RV. Options are critical to this decision.

For those purchasing a new rig, there may be more financial discissions to make as optional equipment and possible add-ons are offered. Some of these optional extras are not only a great feature but may also increase the down-the-road resale value. Let’s look at some of the choices that may be available and worth consideration.

Green hydronic heating unit installed in RV.

Hydronic Heating. Photo: Peter Mercer

Hydronic Heat System

In lieu of an RV furnace and a hot water tank, the hydronic heating system can deliver both interior heat and hot water when needed. The forced air heat is supplied by the circulation of glycol to strategically installed fan-driven air movers. This is a far superior RV heating system in its air distribution. For house hot water, this can supply a near-continuous flow. While this is a somewhat pricey option, it has a substantial return on resale value.


While seemingly not a needed appliance for a trailer or motor home, it can deliver worthwhile benefits. A dishwasher can alleviate the need to wash dishes every day while keeping the sink and galley tidy. Additionally, it will reduce the freshwater quantity due to only requiring one wash every few days.

Auto-Start Generator Option

This reasonably priced option can start and stop your generator when either low voltage on the house bank is present or the air conditioner demand temperature is triggered. As well as providing convenience, this feature can ensure a pet’s comfort when alone in the RV in camp during a power outage. It also can save fuel and generator run time if boondocking on a hot night. This starts and stops the A/C all night, maintaining a set temperature.

sleek LED light

Elipse 12-volt LED dome ceiling light. Photo: Camping World

L.E.D. Interior Lighting

This is a great option for an RV if it is offered. L.E.D. bulbs provide bright illumination without radiating the heat of incandescent lighting. Additionally, they have a service life that will last for years and years in the RV application.

GPS Navigation

A GPS in an RV is a perfect fit. Unlike your auto at home, your RV travel involves traveling the less-traveled roads and by-ways. Directions, service locating, destination distances, shortcuts, and more, are just some of the often-desired guidance needs.

Tire pressure monitor built into dashboard

Tire pressure monitor. Photo: Peter Mercer

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Whether you order a tire pressure monitor system as an option or add it on an existing RV, this is a great feature that is very worthwhile. Your tires are the only thing between your RV and the road. You need real-time status on their operating condition. This will give you that.

Power Inverter

An inverter produces 120 volts of alternating current from 12-volt direct current. This allows the operation of items that you typically might use at home, such as televisions, satellite receivers, coffee makers, phone chargers, etc., to run without the need for an RV to be connected to shore power. They are available in many wattage-output sizes to meet the need. This is, at the least, a handy option or a necessity for most dry campers. There are two inverter configurations: true sine, and modified sine. I would recommend the True Sine type over that of the modified one.

Back-Up Camera

Available as a wired or wireless system, these can display a view looking rearward behind your RV. They can be mounted at the back of a trailer or motor home. These provide added safety as well as visual situation awareness when backing or while driving.

RV Options are critical — Side View Camera

Side View Camera. Photo: Peter Mercer

Side View Cameras

These cameras are usually installed in the outside rearview mirrors or below the body. They are good at revealing vehicles that may be in the blind spot. However, as a mirror replacement for backing, they may be questionable. Accuracy in-depth perception is probably better using the standard outside mirrors.


These shade-producing options are available as a manually extendable model or a powered type. The manual units are generally very sturdy using extruded aluminum frames, and are relatively easy to handle. The electric models start with a light-framed 12-volt powered actuation and go all the way up to 120 VAC horizontally extended self-retracting packages.

Blue awning for trailer

Carefree Awning. Photo: Camping World


These are a major option usually determined and built within designated models. While they may not have a separate option price tag, the cost is already accounted for in the floorplan. These moving wall extenders expand the living space within the coach. RVs equipped with these generally increase the resale value compared to those that do not.

However, not all options are a must to have for every RV owner. There are several options, in my opinion, that are probably worth taking a pass on. Here are some.

Side Mount Security Lights

More commonly called “Scare Lights,” these clear lights are affixed to the sides of many trailers and motor homes. Other than providing illumination for the immediate short area, they serve little benefit except running your batteries down and annoying a neighboring camper trying to sleep.

Roof Mounted Remote Spotlight

Offered by many Class A RV manufacturers, this feature, while pretty spiffy, has little real-world application. I have owned six Class A coaches, and I ordered this feature on five of them. I have traveled in all but one Canadian province and every continental U.S. state for over thirty-three years. I used one once after arriving late in a dark campsite. Looking back, I believe my docking lights would have been more effective.

Air Horns

Unless your motorhome comes with air horns, this one is probably not a needed add-on. The regular electric horn(s) are quite sufficient to communicate your driving intentions. If you must have a set, you can add them later from an aftermarket.

Well, there are some thoughts on RV-option shopping. Many options can increase your RV’s value. While others may not necessarily raise your resale value, they can make your unit more desirable. In addition, keeping your rig in top condition holds its valve. Unique touches and details can make your RV stand out in the camp and on the road.

Changing Directions

So you’ve loaded your RV with all the options possible, and you’ve gotten a lot of use out of it. Now you’ve decided to sell it. Check out the Good Sam RV Valuator, which will help you get the best value for your RV.

Peter Mercer – With Option Add-Ons

The post RV Options: Enhancing the Comfort and Value of Your Vehicle appeared first on Good Sam Camping Blog.


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