We are very often asked what things in our RV would we not be willing to travel full-time, without? This page will attempt to answer that question and to explain why we insist upon having these things. I will also mention the items that we do not have, but really wish we did.
Dual Pane Windows - I put this one first because I consider it to be the most important item that is very often optional in RVs. RVs always have problems in cool weather with condensation on windows and window frames. Dual pane windows go a long way to solve that problem. And they greatly improve both the heating and cooling abilities of the RV systems due to loss or entry. I will never again own an RV that does not have them.
Power Leveling Jacks - For a week end or vacation RVer, this is a very nice item to have. For a fulltimer it is as important as a door step. None of us are getting younger and as we age the chore of leveling the RV becomes more difficult. It takes away one of the most difficult chores involved with stopping for the night. While they will not correct for an extreme out of level condition, and I do still carry a few blocks, in most sites they are all that is needed. I probably use blocks today in no more than 10% of our stops and I never use more than two blocks under one wheel. I just do not stay in a site that is too uneven for this much correction.
Electric Step - This one is much more important for the motorhome owner than for a trailer traveler. An automatic step makes entry and exit of the motorhome much more easily. As a word of caution, if you have one always check to see if it is down before you step out, and listen to hear it retract before you drive away. They are a great feature, but they can fail and a bent step will ruin your whole day!
Spacious Bathroom & Shower - Some people may consider this a strange item, but as you look at RVs, notice how often the designers make the bathrooms small and compact to save space for the living areas. That kind of thing will show very well, but this is a space that is one of the most vital in day to day living. Many RV facilities are so cramped that larger people have difficulty in using them. Our bath has a 3/4 tub and we also love that. While we may go months between times we use it to soak in, when we want it, there is no substitute and the tub means that our shower is much larger than is typical. You will use these facilities several times each day, in the middle of the night and when you do not feel well. They are just as important as anything in your RV for long term living. Pick whatever floor plan you like, but do not scrimp on floor space here!
Waste Tank Flush System - One of the best, yet least expensive additions that I made to the motorhome is the tank flush system. I believe that ours cost only about $10 per tank. In our motorhome the tanks are easily accessible so it was very easy to install and I did not need one of the kits for a remote water connection. But when you live in your RV, a flush system will pay off very quickly.
Florescent Lighting - Our RV did not have this type of lighting when we got it, but we have found that the standard lights just are not enough light to read or do fine hand work by. For that reason I have replaced several of our most used lights with florescent lights. The two that we use most are of the "full spectrum" type. Full spectrum lights are much more expensive, but they make reading and fine work much easier to do and they are very cheery on a dark and rainy day. I will be adding more as time goes on.
Microwave/Convection Oven - This is one that we did not get and wish now that we had. There is very little that a convection oven will not do which can be done in a conventional RV oven. When we purchased our RV, Pam was not convinced so we did not buy one. We have seriously looked for one that will fit into our motorhome because they are as great as folks say that they are.
Washer/Dryer Laundry Equipment - This is another item that we did not get, and while not critical, we have come to the conclusion that it would be very nice to have and we would use it at least some of the time. They are usually small and will not do the bedding but it would be very nice to have the ability to do this when you wish. At the same time, with our floor plan, we would have had to give up our tub and a significant amount of floor space in the bathroom to get one and that we would not do. So it is something we would add if we were to move up to a larger RV, but we would not change how we ordered this one.