We have purchased the RV we plan to live in. It is a 2017 Leprechaun 190CB class C motorhome. We chose this particular model because it is only 21.5’ bumper to bumper which would allow us to (barely) squeeze into a regular parking space. We had looked at various Class B van campers including the Hymer Aktiv which were of similar length but we decided they were really too small for the three of us. The 190CB gives us everything we were looking for, 2 permanent beds, adequate storage and the ability to park in regular spaces.
Although the RV was pretty new we had a lot of maintenance and upgrades we wanted to make before we were ready to make it our permanent home. Our upgrade list includes:
- Clean roof and add UV protector– basic maintenance
- Change oil plus oil and air filter – basic maintenance
- Flush and sanitize water tank – basic maintenance
- Flush and sanitize black water tank – basic maintenance
- Upgrade all three ceiling vent fans to Maxxfan – as we plan to spend a lot of time in hot weather upgraded fans are a must to keep cool.
- Add Henry’s Tropicool UV protectant, sealant and insulator to roof – will help seal the roof while keeping it cool
- Add backup/dashcam camera – for safety and security
- Upgrade storage bay locks – for security
- Upgrade coach door lock with keyless remote lock – for extra safety and convenience
- Upgrade suspension (Sumo Springs) – for the rough roads we expect to encounter
- Upgrade steering (Safe-T-Plus) – for the rough roads we expect to encounter
- Upgrade steering (Roadmaster Active suspension) – to help with the heavy load and rough roads
- Make covers for windows – darken for comfort and keep the heat out
- Add refrigerator fans – improve fridge performance in hot weather
- Add refrigerator white board – for fun
- Upgrade showerhead to Oxygenics shower head – because we want to be clean.
- Add Viper car/rv alarm – for security
- Install wall mounted soap dispenser – for convenience
- Add liner to all drawers – so contents are quieter and don’t slide around
- Add UV under sink water filter – so we have safe water to drink
- Add extra waste valve – to avoid icky messes
- Change driver and passenger seat bases so they can swivel – to add seating
- Add whole house Electrical Management System/surge protector- to protect electric system
- Last but certainly not least upgrade to 705 Watt solar / 400 Amp lithium system – to provide plentiful power and ability to comfortably boondock.
Whew! That is a long list of upgrades! That doesn’t even include all the stuff we will need to buy to put in the RV like bedding, tools, kitchen stuff. I would like to discuss a few of our most expensive upgrades, particularly the Solar/Lithium upgrade which costs over $17,000 alone. That is a lot of money and not worth it for regular owners who only use their motorhomes a few weeks a year. However since we plan to live in the RV full time it will provide us with a number of key benefits. First, it will allow us to run the air conditioner a few hours a night. We would not be able to sleep well without it. This will be key as we will likely be spending a lot of time in hot, humid climates. The solar panels will not be able to generate enough electricity to recharge the batteries but we would be able to selectively use the generator and/or drive to recharge the batteries. Second we would be able to do things such as use the microwave, hair dryer, blender, rice cooker and charge our laptop and other electronic equipment without turning on the noisy generator. In short we would be able to use electricity much like in a regular house, with a few restrictions. This will make the RV much more like a home rather than a camper. We will also be installing Maxxfan Deluxe fans in all our roof vents to provide cooling and adding a silicone roof coating to protect against the heat of the sun. With the solar panels, silicone roof coating and upgraded fans I hope to keep the coach cool under most conditions and be able to use the power hungry AC only as needed.
Other key upgrades are going to be the Sumo Super Springs which should improve handling over rough roads while raising the vehicle while raising the vehicle an inch or two. This might make all the difference if the roads get rough. The rest of the upgrades are in the “nice to have” category but I believe cumulatively they will make the RV a quite comfortable place to live.