Upgrading your RV’s Electronics
RV owners everywhere are welcoming the warmer weather sweeping across North America. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a full-time traveler, or long-term RV camper, chances are that your RV may need some upgrades. Recently, we’ve covered upgrades ranging from tires, to necessities such as toilets, and comforts like your RV mattress. Now it’s time to unpack some fun, not-so-necessary upgrades like electronics and tech. Get comfortable with your favorite beverage, and let’s take a look at some electronic upgrades for your RV provided to you by Harvest Hosts.
Stereo and Speakers
Upgrading a stereo system or speakers throughout your RV can make a huge difference, especially in older models. It’s standard to have a stereo system and speakers up front in your RV to use while driving, and some models are equipped with speakers in the back bedroom or even outside. If your RV is lacking sound quality, or if you’re looking for a sound boost or needing a new stereo system, check out our suggestions below. Be sure to check compatibility to ensure your new stereo or speakers will fit in the allotted space.
When selecting a new dashboard stereo, there are many options to choose from. These range from no-frills options to mid-range options to deluxe touchscreen stereo/backup camera/GPS combinations. Simple stereo options can include the Jensen LCD Multimedia Receiver or Dual Electronics Car Stereo, which are both Bluetooth compatible. Most mid-range options include more features, such as the Touchscreen Double Din Stereo, Jensen Stereo with Wireless Charging, or Touchscreen Jensen Stereo with Camera Compatibility. Lastly, there are all-in-one solutions that can replace your stereo, backup camera monitor, and GPS. These are typically pricier but are similar in function to tablets. Highly-rated ones include the CarThree Android with Backup Camera and GPS and Touchscreen Double Din with Backup Camera.
Replacing your RV’s interior speakers, whether that be in the cab, living room, or bedroom, is an important decision to make. They not only need to be durable, but they must also be mounted properly for safety reasons. After all, setting up speakers and breaking them down again isn’t always feasible when traveling. Interior speakers don’t necessarily need to be waterproof or water resistant, but these features can help, especially if your RV ever becomes humid. Check out some options such as the Dual 6.5” Mounted Speakers, Herdio 5.25” Speakers, Pyle 6.5” Mounted Pair, or Polk 8” Mounted Speakers. It’s important to replace your current speakers with a similar size or the ceiling or wall may need to be patched.
Some RVs come equipped with outdoor speaker, and some folks add this feature as an after-market product for either music or TV. If your outdoor speakers are lacking in volume, consider purchasing amplifiers to boost their sound quality. Be sure to purchase a marine amplifier or something waterproof like the Rockford Fosgate Marine 100 Watt, MB Quart 400 Watt, or BOSS 1100 Watt amplifiers, which can attach to your existing speakers.
Amplifiers can be an expensive option, whereas replacing just the speakers can be a cheaper option. Similar to outdoor amplifiers, be sure to purchase a marine or waterproof option like Boss 350 Watt Speakers, Polk 300 Watt Speakers, or King Outdoor Bluetooth 100 Watt Speakers.
TVs and Mounts
Replacing a TV can be one of the most exciting electronic upgrades, especially in an RV. Most folks go for the largest TV possible in their homes. However, this choice is not always feasible in an RV, due to lack of space. It’s important to choose a good-sized TV that has nice picture quality, as well. While any brand, size, or model can technically work in an RV, brands such as Jensen are built to withstand the vibrations, temperatures, and humidity. Keep in mind that the TV should also run on 12V power, or an adapter may be required.
When mounting your TV in your bedroom, almost any mount should work depending on where you mount it. Be sure to install the mount according to the directions and mount the TV correctly to prevent damage. Mounts can be installed so that the TV lays flat against a wall or flush against the ceiling. Wall mounts typically tilt, slide, or swivel. Ceiling mounts are available with manual or motorized extensions.
Some are surprised to learn that some RVs come equipped with outdoor TVs or are capable of having one installed. Upgrading or selecting an outdoor TV for your RV comes with different needs than an indoor TV. An outdoor TV needs to be able to resist water, dust, insects, humidity, cold or hot temperatures, and other conditions related to the elements. Brands such as SunBrite or SkyVue manufacture TVs specifically for outdoor use, with features to reduce the glare of the sun for better viewing.
Similar to homeowners, some RVers prefer to install interior or exterior security cameras, or even a pet camera. This added peace of mind can make leaving your RV for the day (or even overnight) much less stressful.
Leaving behind your furry family member while exploring for the day can be stressful for all parties involved. Typically pets enjoy being with their owners, and owners can let their imaginations run wild with worry about their pet. A pet camera can allow you to view your pet, and sometimes even communicate with them. The most popular pet camera is the Furbo which allows owners to view, speak to, and even treat their pet, all from their phone! Amazon and other online retailers sell other lesser known brands that can be more affordable. No matter how you choose to check in on your pet, be sure that your RV can power the device while you are away. In addition, some cameras must connect to WiFi, as well.
Staying long-term at a campground may not require a security camera, since campers typically have close neighbors and the added security that is included with the campground itself. However, boondockers, or those who travel to new places frequently may need a security camera or two for more peace of mind. The best suggestion for an RV security camera is one that is both solar-powered or rechargeable. Popular solar security cameras include the COOAU Wireless Outdoor Camera or the Giwana Waterproof Outdoor Camera. Rechargeable security cameras are priced a little lower than solar-powered ones, but these do require occasional recharging, like the Conico Wireless Rechargeable Pair of cameras.
Upgrading electronics in your RV can be a fun experience, involving researching the perfect product, installing it, and enjoying your new gizmo. With all the choices out there, it can be tough to figure out which options are best. We hope our article has helped you or given you some things to consider when thinking about upgrading some of your electronics! Looking for information about upgrading your RV GPS? Check out our handy article on some of the Best-Reviewed RV GPS options around.
Have you upgraded any of the electronics on our list? How hard was the installation? What are some of your favorite brands or stores to shop for electronics? Tell us about it in the comments!
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Who do you suggest I contact to learn about my electronics in my travel trailer. I am a visual learner. Thanks
I would recommend contacting a local RV dealership or mechanic to see if they can help you learn or make upgrades. Hope this helps!
For the fulltime RVer, what does it usually cost to upgrade the electrical system itself from 30amp to 50amp for an average gas Class C & Class A?
Hey Heather, I’ve never done any type of upgrade like this, but from what I can find online, it seems to cost anywhere from $700-$1200+ to upgrade the electrical, depending on the cost of the parts and the shop’s hourly rate. Hope this helps!
This is the type of RAdio/stereo upgrade that is most popular now.
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Thanks for sharing, Daryl! 🙂
Thank you for the article. We have been talking about upgrading our front mounted TV for some time, but could not find one to fit the space. The last photo in your article is exactly what we need! Can you tell me where that was done ? or how you did it ?
Thank you! Stay safe and healthy!
Hey Marcia! Sounds like you have a fantastic upgrade planned. I found the photo on an RVing forum, without a link to where it was purchased. However, there are a bunch of TV mount options that can be found on Amazon and Camping World. I believe they usually have pretty good instructions, but if you’re uncomfortable mounting it yourself, you could always have a contractor or RV specialist come out and do it for you. Hope this helps!