Getting a new RV is always fun, but as you already know, most RVs do not come with any of the safety products that we consider must-haves. The list of new items you need to add starts growing rapidly, and although we have been RVers for 7 years and have accumulated a lot of gear, since we are moving from a 50A motorhome to a 30A camper, we are not able to transition all of our things from one to the other. Last week, we took a short trip to the TechnoRV office to go shopping for some of our favorite RVing extras that we plan to add to the new truck camper.
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TST Tire Pressure Monitoring System
On our motorhome, we used the TST 507 TPMS with flow through sensors on the RV tires and cap sensors on the Jeep. With the truck camper and trailer, we are moving to all cap sensors since the tires all have rubber valve stems. (Flow through sensors can only be used with metal valve stems.) TST has redesigned their sensors since we put ours on our motorhome, so we picked up the new sensors for the truck camper which work with our existing 507 monitor.
I really cannot stress the importance of a TPMS enough for those traveling in an RV. Tires on a RV are typically under a lot more stress than tires on a passenger vehicle. RVers often run at full load, and most RVs sit for long periods of time which is not great for tires either. The point is, monitoring the pressure and temperature of your tires will save you a lot of headaches at some point in your travels.
As you know, we recently started using the LevelMatePro on our motorhome and travel trailer. This device makes leveling so easy that I am putting it on the truck camper too, although the use of it may be a little different than for a travel trailer. Because we will sometimes be on uneven ground as we boondock, the LevelMate will help me quickly find the most level ground for the truck camper, and assist me in making adjustments to get the truck to a level state.
The LevelMatePRO simplifies the leveling process and reduces the stress this causes by giving you the information you need to level the right way from the beginning. It can help you pick the most level spot to start with and then shows you which side of the RV you need to add blocks to and the distance you are off from level. When you pull onto the blocks, it lets you know when you are level without having to get out and check leveling bubbles over and over again. It also shows you how much you need to raise your jacks for front to back leveling and saves this position which makes hitching back up easier. This app based device is so simple to use and I recommend it to all RVers now.
VisionWorks Rear Observation Camera
We used one of the VisionWorks cameras on our motorhome (it is on the back of the Jeep and Tami isn’t willing to give it up), so we had to pick up a new 7-inch kit. The kit we picked up for the truck camper comes with one main camera, but since it has the ability to view multiple cameras at the same time, we picked up an additional camera for the back of the trailer as well. These will be critical for us since we lose our rearview mirror in the truck when the camper is in it.
Not only will the VisionWorks Observation Cameras give good visibility, they will also allow us to monitor what is around us at night when we are boondocking. With the monitor inside the truck camper, we can easily turn the system on and check out our surroundings without having to go outside. It can record and has incredible night vision which will be helpful in remote areas. Of course, we will have to wire the cameras into power coming from the camper and not the truck lights to do this, but it will be worth the effort to get the additional security. If you are not wanting to use it for this, the install is simple since the VisionWorks is designed to be used with the prewired Furrion and Voyager mounts that come with many RVs. We are not sure if we are going to add side marker cameras on the trailer yet, but we will decide once we get it in and check out our visibility with side mirrors.
We installed a SoftStart on two of our motorhome AC units in order for us to run both ACs while we were on 30-amps. We will be leaving these with the RV, so we had to pick up a new SoftStart for the truck camper. Since this is a 30-amp RV, what the SoftStart will allow us to do is run the AC with a 2,000 watt generator. Without a SoftStart, we would need to carry a larger generator which increases weight and takes up more space. Although a 2,000 watt generator is plenty to run an AC, it does not have the power to handle the spike that occurs at startup. The SoftStart reduces this spike creating a “softer” start therefore reducing the amount of power required to run an air conditioner. Tami can handle a lot of “roughing it,” but having an AC at night is non-negotiable if we are in warmer climates. With the SoftStart, we both win - I worry less about the weight of a larger generator and she enjoys a cool evening.
Surge Guard 34930 Total Electrical Protection and SmartPlug Connection
We are moving from a 50A motorhome to a 30AS camper, so we had to pick up a new Surge Guard 34930 and adapter. Although you can use adapters, you should always have a Surge Guard that matches the RV you have. We don’t plan to be in campgrounds much, but when we are, the Surge Guard will keep us and our electronics safe from faulty power.
In addition, we picked up a 30A SmartPlug Kit to replace the existing twist style power connection on the Northern Lite. The SmartPlug provides a much tighter power connection which reduces heat and increases electrical transfer, plus it is way easier to connect. The install is not difficult, and the benefits are well worth the effort.
Pepwave Cellular Router
In our motorhome, we used the Pepwave Max Transit Duo Cat 12 with a Poynting roof-mounted antenna. After all the work we did during installation, we do not plan to remove the roof-mounted antenna. Although we have enjoyed having the dual modems in the Max Transit DUO, since we added it to the motorhome they have come out with newer models that we are considering for the truck camper. As of now, we plan to use the new Pepwave BR1 Pro 5G in the truck camper with a new roof-mounted antenna. When we do that install, we will share more about the router and antenna we chose and how we mounted it. A powerful router and antenna is going to be critical for us since we will be in more remote areas, and you don’t get much better than the Pepwave routers.
GasStop Propane Shutoff
Since our motorhome was all electric, we never had the need for a GasStop Propane Shutoff. We installed two on our Rockwood trailer, and we will be installing two GasStop on our propane tanks in the Northern Lite as well. We picked up two of the ACME style GasStop from the office and since the propane tanks are in a bay in the truck camper and not under a tight cover, we will not need to add the GasGear 90-degree extension hoses like we did on the Rockwood. For those who do have their propane under a cover, we now have two styles of 90-degree extension hoses at TechnoRV - rubber and braided stainless.
Having propane on board full-time will be a new thing for us, but with the GasStop, we will have peace of mind that we will be protected in the event of a leak. GasStop is the only device on the market that completely shuts off your propane if you have issues. Without one, you would still have a small amount of propane that would continue to flow if you have a line rupture or a leak. Click here to see the GasStop Propane Shutoff in action.
You know what I just realized? I think I listed just about everything in the TechnoRV store! I mean, our business model is that we use and test everything we sell, so I guess it makes sense that if I was going to list everything I am adding to the truck camper that it would be a lot. Luckily, we did not have to get everything new for the truck camper though. We were able to use many of the things from our motorhome since they are not specific to one type of RV.
VIAIR Tire Inflator
Knowing that you need air in your tire does you no good if you don’t have a way to put air back in the tires. This is where the VIAIR Tire Inflator comes in. The VIAIR is compact, powerful, and is a must have on the road. SInce it operates on 12-volt power, iIt will be perfect for when we are boondocking! There are 4 different VIAIR models and each model is designed to fit certain size RVs. I used the VIAIR 450 in my motorhome, and I plan to keep it for the truck camper, although I could easily get away with a 300 model with a SRW truck. (Dual tires need the 400 or 450 models since they require a 45-degree chuck which comes with those 2 models.) Many people who could use the 300 model still choose to move to the 400 simply because of the extra accessories you get with the 400. I made a video showing the differences between those 2 models if you are on the fence.
Garmin RV GPS
Because of the big tires and suspension lift that I put on the truck, my truck camper measures a height of 12 feet, so I will obviously need to be careful with low clearance areas. For this reason, we will be using our Garmin RV GPS in the truck instead of our in-dash navigation system. I know that once I enter the dimensions of my camper into the Garmin, it will route me on roads that are safe for me and my RV. In addition, the Garmin has so many RV related points of interest, it will make finding camping spots much easier. We will also be able to quickly locate propane, laundromats, dump stations, water, and more along our route saving Tami time looking through multiple apps while we are traveling.
Berkey Water Filter
As little space as there is in the truck camper, we are still bringing our Travel Berkey since it is a portable filter that can be easily moved from RV to RV or even into your house. We recently replaced our black filters after 6 years of daily use, so we are good to go there, but we picked up a pair of fluoride filters at the office since these need to be changed every 6-12 months. We know a lot of truck campers that use the Berkey water filter, and while space is at a premium, the Berkey still makes the cut. Not only does it provide consistent and clean water, but it eliminates the need to haul around bottles of water with us which helps with weight issues many people have in smaller RVs. We hear it all the time, once you start drinking Berkey water, you will not want to drink any other.
Once we get these installed and ready to go, we will start looking at items outside of TechnoRV that we will need (and hopefully add to the site eventually). Stay tuned for more on the truck camper move!