Whether your truck camper is the latest model on the market or a great buy you snagged from an ad, brand-new or used, your RV isn’t quite ready for camping mode until you’ve made some tweaks to meet your travel needs. Those modifications can be as simple as mounting a few command hooks for additional storage or more involved projects like installing a new solar power system.
There are many ways you can upgrade your truck camper to enhance your travel and camping experiences. The following modifications are meant to improve comfort, extend off-grid excursions, and boost safety features.
All-In-One Sleep System
Both hard-sided and pop-up truck campers have the main sleeping area located in the cabover section. Even if you don’t feel cramped in the space, you may be waking up with back pain from your mattress. On another note, there is minimal, if any, air circulating under the mattress, which makes this surface prone to condensation, a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
To rectify this predicament, the German-based company Froli devised a sleep system, essentially a mattress foundation comprised of a grid of plastic springs. These springs are made from a very durable Hi-Tech thermoplastic elastomer, which provides precise flexing under a load. Each and every spring elevates the mattress above its platform allowing continuous airflow underneath
Froli has designed three separate sleeping systems, all made with the same high-quality material but differing in spring height, surface area, and design. These systems can be used on bed platforms in boats, RVs, and residential homes. The systems are modular and meant to fit any size and shape sleeping surface, including the curved and odd-shaped sleeping areas of RVs.
A single sleep system can include springs with different firmness levels to accommodate sleeping preferences. One side of the system can comprise the firmer springs for the sleeper that likes a firm mattress, while the other side can have the springs for a softer base.
The following video from Kara of the Everlanders explains how a Froli sleep system can be utilized in an RV sleeping area. The RV couple is from Canada; however, Froli ships their products worldwide, including the U.S.
Solar Power Set-Up
For some RVers, solar power is the way to go, particularly if you are an avid boondocker. Solar power systems reduce and or completely eliminate the need to run noisy, smelly gas generators to recharge batteries. This eco-friendly, green solution requires minimal maintenance, is lightweight, and takes up zero room as the panels are mounted to the rooftop. Other system parts can be tucked away in the camper’s compartments.
Also, it is not uncommon for RVers to install their own solar power system. The major components are solar panels to generate a charging current, a charge controller to regulate that charging current, and one or more deep cycle batteries to store that current. The following video from Explorist Life-DIY Campers gives a detailed description of how a solar power system works, along with a tutorial on installing one on a truck camper.
Plumbing Fixture Upgrades
Conserving water while boondocking, especially with a small RV like a truck camper that has minimal in-house fresh water capacity, is a challenge. A quick and easy modification you can make to prolong your water supply is to change out plumbing fixtures like showerheads and faucet aerators.
Check your shower head to see if it is one that has a flow restrictor. If not, it’s time for a change. Brands like Oxygenics and Delta make showerheads that deliver efficient water pressure without wasting water. This means the water in your fresh tank lasts longer.
Faucet aerators, small screens attached at the base of your kitchen or bathroom faucet, help reduce water flow as well. Like the showerhead, this is a quick and painless upgrade that helps conserve water and extend your stay off-grid as well.
Safer Entrance Set-Up
Truck campers sit high above the ground, and sometimes the stairs in and out of the RV can be a bit of a challenge to ascend/descend for some. If you are traveling with little tikes of the human or canine variety, or if you or a family member is prone to losing balance, adding safety features to your entry steps might be a good idea.
The Torklift GlowStep aluminum folding scissor steps are trendy among the truck camper population. Dubbed the “GlowStep Revolution,” Torklift boasts that its stair system is the best in class for adjustability, DIY installment, versatility, and durability. Regardless of where you park, the steps quickly level on uneven ground and are sturdy, no more shaking as people or pets enter/exit the RV. The GlowStep stair system comes with up to 6 steps, has a 7.5-inch step riser height, slip-resistant treads, and glows in the dark.
Many accessories can be added, including the SafeStep. This a vinyl riser guard that velcros to each step, covering the gap between steps. This added safety measure prevents young children and pets from falling through as they climb up or down. The guards can be left on when the steps are folded up and removed for cleaning.
The Torklift DirtDestroyer is a cleaning brush that can be attached to the GlowStep ladder. Campers can scrape their shoes or boots on the bristles before stepping into the RV. This small attachment keeps dirt and other debris out of a small space that can easily get messy otherwise.
Another accessory to add more safety is the GlowGuide Handrail. As the name suggests, it glows in the dark. The handrail works with most rear-entry truck bed campers and is attached to both the camper and scissor steps. The rail collapses down and stores on the camper when it’s time to pack up.
Best Upgrade Option
Perhaps the best upgrade to any RV is ensuring safe travels through Coach-Net’s roadside assistance program. Since 1987, Coach-Net has been offering specialized care and attention to RVers.
It’s a Coach-Net promise. “Whether you need advice from an RV technician who can guide you through many common technical and operational issues or roadside and campsite assistance when you’re on the road away from home, our extensive provider network throughout the United States and Canada is available whenever and wherever you need it.”
Having peace of mind, knowing you and your family are being protected on the road is the best upgrade to make to any camping venture. Learn more about their roadside assistance and other supplementary programs here.
About The Author: Natalie Henley and her husband, Levi, have been full-time RVers for over 5 years. They have also been Coach-Net customers for the same amount of time. They travel and workcamp around the U.S. in their 26-foot Itasca Sunstar motorhome with their two cats. They write for multiple RV-related publications and recently co-wrote “Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It.” You can follow their adventures on the road at henleyshappytrails.com.
Shelley B. ~ “We have been a Coach-Net member since 2010 and have never had a problem. Their call agents are always so pleasant. I always talk to people about my coverage and suggest they give Coach-Net a try.”