It seems like there is an RV show about every weekend this time of year. How do you know which one you should attend?
The following are five things you should look for when deciding what RV show to attend this season.
1. First off, is it really an RV show?
Some events billed as an “RV show” are really just a parking lot sale put on by a single RV dealership. While they may list lots of different brands in the advertising, be aware that not all the brands listed may be new RVs they are licensed to sell by the manufacturer.
Many times dealers may mislead the public by also listing the used brands of RVs they are selling at their “RV show”. At one dealer “shows” you won’t find the large selection of new RVs that you would at a real RV show with multiple dealers.
Most of all, there is no competition between dealers assuring you are getting a fair price.
2. Is the show produced by a private promoter or an association comprised of local RV dealers?
Private promoters are in the RV show business primarily for the money. The money they collect from you at the gate and the money they collect from the dealers to exhibit.
If they aren’t making a profit producing RV shows they will either produce another event in the venue or move on to a different city where they can.
On the other hand, RV shows produced by a dealer-owned association are there to showcase the RV industry, lifestyle and all it has to offer with the goal of providing show attendees an educational and positive experience and if they are lucky, cover their show costs while doing so.
In other words, dealer-owned shows typically provide more bang for less money.
3. Size matters
Going to shows with the most dealers equates to more manufacturers, more brands, and a larger selection of each brand. Go to the show’s website and determine how many dealers will be exhibiting.
4. Manufacturer representatives
Just like you have to decide which RV show to attend, so do factory representatives. Once again, larger shows with more dealers are much more likely to attract factory representatives for the brands you are interested in.
Factory representatives are a great information resource as they typically know the models and manufacturing process much better than the dealership’s salespeople.
5. More than RVs
What else does the show offer besides hundreds of shiny new RVs? Look for shows that also feature educational seminars and exhibits as well as opportunities to learn more about RVs and places to explore.
Hopefully, these tips will help you find the right RV show leading you to many future adventures in RVing!
The small town of Ajo in Southern Arizona is surrounded by 12 million acres of public and tribal land waiting to be explored.
Featuring a warm, dry climate, Ajo is located in the heart of the unique Sonoran Desert. Given that setting, it’s no wonder that Shadow Ridge RV Park is a favorite of those visiting the area.
The pet-friendly Shadow Ridge offers 125 sites with full hook-ups and lots of amenities. These include free cable TV and Wi-Fi, restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, and nearby nature trails.
Also close to Shadow Ridge RV Park is the Ajo Country Club. Their golf course is built on naturally flat terrain and features elevated greens. Open year-round, the par 36, nine-hole course measures 3,093 yards.
It was built by locals and opened just after World War II in 1946. The signature hole is No. 9, a 123-yard, par 3, featuring water and tall palm trees protecting the front of the green. Golfers routinely share the course with roadrunners, coyotes, and deer. Another unique aspect of the golf course is the small airport runway adjacent to the course.
In addition to club and cart rentals, Ajo Country Club officials offer three days of free RV dry camping with use of the facilities. For details, call 520-387-5011.
Ajo residents are quite proud of their recent accolade, being named a Certified Wildlife Habitat, compliments of the National Wildlife Federation.
This town of 4,000 is the second Arizona Community (along with Mesa Community College’s Red Mountain Campus), and only the 65th in the nation to earn this distinct certification. The area is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, many unique to the Southern Arizona region.
The area’s unpolluted skies have attracted countless astronomy buffs and stargazers. Kitt Peak National Observatory allows visitors to peer through massive telescopes and also enjoy educational programs and Native American exhibits.
There is something special about experiencing the outdoors during the winter. The air is crisp and clear, the stars twinkle brighter, and the snow-covered landscapes twinkle with sunlight or moonlight.
Exploring by snowshoes or cross-country skis is a great way to work up an appetite for a welcome warm hearty meal. As well, during the winter months, there is less worry about fire restrictions for campfires or bears, snakes, or other hibernating animals visiting your campsite.
While many northern RV parks close during the winter season, Manor RV Park (part of the Trout Haven Resorts) in the picturesque town of Estes Park, Colorado remains open to RVs for dry camping. Nestled next to the Big Thompson River on the side of Prospect Mountain, the Manor RV Park offers year-round experiences.
During winter months, guests can enjoy a more quiet stay with campfires, ice fishing or skating on the on-site trout pond, or a jaunt up the road about 2 miles to experience Rocky Mountain National Park to hike, ski, or snowshoe.
Damien Boynton, general manager for the Trout Haven Resorts, says that winter RVing is becoming more and more popular.
Manor RV Park has 20 dry sites (power and WiFi, but no water) available during the winter months, and their bookings are filled or nearly filled most weekends.
Over the past 2-3 years, more people have been coming during the off-season or returning to enjoy the scaled back time of the year.
Originally from Australia, Damien has nearly a decade of experience in the camping and hospitality service, and five years living in Estes Park.
Damien says one of the highlights of winter RVing at Manor RV Park is a more personalized park experience and the ability to see wildlife during a very unique time of the year.
Some things to consider before you RV during the winter months are to look at the weather forecast so you have a good idea what to prepare for and to be cautious of the elements when you are out adventuring. This means dressing for the weather and making sure you have the equipment you need with you (and know how to use it).
Manor RV Park has 110 full hookup sites available during the summer with on-site movie nights, Bingo, and potluck Tuesdays. Manor RV Park is pet-friendly and has an office on the property to assist you with your year-round adventure plans.
The RV entry door lock shown below has probably been installed in hundreds of thousands of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and truck campers over the years. In this entry, I want to share two tips that could very well save you from aggravation during your travels.
1. How do you know if your door will unlock with a passkey?
For decades, the main latch/knob of RV entry door locks has been keyed with master keys, also known as passkeys.
Look for a small letter (C, D, E, etc) next to the keyhole. If you see a letter, this indicates which lettered passkey will unlock it. The reason for passkeys is the convenience for RV manufacturers, transport drivers, and RV dealers.
It is much easier for someone in the industry to carry around a few master keys than a key to every RV in their inventory. What this means to you is anyone with the corresponding lettered passkey can open the latched handle of your RV entry door (or knobbed handles on older RVs).
To counter this, most RVers (myself included) only use the deadbolt on the RV entry door. Deadbolts are uniquely keyed and, under normal circumstances, you control the only set of keys.
2. How do you fix the deadbolt if it wears out?
Those of you that follow this blog know that I travel a lot and go to a lot of different places, some which are a little off the beaten path, which equates to many miles on my RV. In fact, it is safe to say, my 2010 model travel trailer probably has 3 to 4 times the mileage of most RVs of similar age.
Therefore, when my deadbolt started acting up, I figured it was worn out and ordered a new lock assembly. Upon removing the lock from the trailer door, I discover the screws holding the rear plate of the lock had vibrated part-way out.
This allowed the rear plate of the lock to come loose, which in turn allowed the linkage that connects the deadbolt tumbler to the deadbolt to drop out of the cast holes that allow it to work.
Fixing the lock was just a matter of dropping the linkage back in the hole and screwing the rear plate back on tight, as the plate is the only thing that keeps the linkage from falling out of the hole.
Putting a little Loctite on the screws assures this won’t happen again. Fortunately for me, the linkage fell off when the deadbolt was retracted.
Hopefully by sharing this information, I have informed some about the dangers of passkeys and the pending failure of your deadbolt as the miles add up. Take corrective action before you find yourself locked out of your RV.
Being locked out of your RV in the middle of nowhere is an adventure in RVing no one wants to experience.
You can never go wrong with a stay along the California coast and that ever-present amenity, the Pacific Ocean. Pacific Dunes Ranch and RV Resort is a sand dune away from the mighty Pacific and is located in Oceano, 15 miles south of San Luis Obispo.
Other amenities in this pet-friendly facility include 30/50 amp electrical, water, sewer, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, horse rental and boarding facilities, cable TV, and Wi-Fi.
Horseback riding is popular in this area, and some RVers bring their four-legged friends along. Visitors can also rent a horse and experience a trail ride that includes the beach and sand dunes.
Also featuring their version of a sand dune in the form of a sand trap is the nearby Cypress Ridge Golf Course. This picturesque course offers mature cypress trees throughout, along with lush green fairways and cool fresh ocean air. The 18-hole, par 72 measures 6,803 yards from the tips and is a favorite of visitors and locals alike.
A Peter Jacobsen Signature designed course, Cypress Ridge Golf Course is located in Arroyo Grande. Its layout includes many elevation changes, ocean views, and numerous stunning Cypress trees which the course is named for.
Hiking the dunes or walking the beach are serene activities that most visitors usually look forward to when visiting. Don’t miss the nearby small town of Pismo Beach, a few miles north of Pacific Dunes Ranch and RV Resort.
In Pismo Beach, you’ll discover various restaurants, wineries, beaches, and the Monarch Butterfly Grove, which shelters migrating butterflies during the cooler months.
A few other options include exploring the Pismo Preserve, a 900-acre nature preserve open to the public for docent-led hikes, runs, bike rides, and horse rides; explore the 11-acre Dinosaur Caves Park; or visit Avila Hot Springs, which was discovered in 1907. The hot springs offer a hot mineral soaking pool along with a heated freshwater pool that also has a water slide.
There are two things that make me want to spend money on a new RV product, and that is usefulness and versatility. There just isn’t room for items that don’t get used on a regular basis, and the more reasons to lug around an item, the better (hence why we’re in love with our Instant Pot!).
We shopped around for new RV essentials and found some really useful items that should be in every rig. These must-have items will give you extra space where you need it the most!
1. A stovetop cover for extra counter space
Some RV kitchens come with a stovetop cover, while others could use the extra space for meal prep. These hardwood covers fit over most 3 or 4-burner stoves and include a cutting mat to protect the finish. You can set them up in minutes by attaching their rubber feet to the grates.
When you want to use the stove, the covers can be removed just as easily. They can also help silence annoying stovetop rattles during transit.
2. An extending shower rod
Most RV showers could use more elbow room. These handy rods by Stromberg Carlson can extend out to give you more space while showering and pushed back after you’re done.
The extra space keeps the curtain from billowing in and sticking to you while you’re trying to lather up. The shower rods also work great for air-drying laundry.
3. Hidden storage keepers
Install one of these Anything Keepers under your kitchen cabinets or tables for your everyday items. This could be your phone, keys, medicine, glasses, or even important receipts. A lot of RVers have also used these bins as charging stations for phones or tablets.
They’ll keep the items out of sight and from getting lost or cluttering up your counter space. Installation is quick and easy using the included screws or double-sided adhesive.
4. A portable trash bag holder
Portable trash bag holders are a lighter alternative to garbage bins. The Trash-Ease holders can be set up inside or out on kitchen counters, picnic tables, and more.
No tools are needed to set up the holders. Just slip the holder and a bag on a table near you and you can clean up wherever you go.
5. Tissue box holder
During allergy season, having quick and easy access to a box of tissues is much needed. These Pop-A-Tissue holders will help clear up counter space by moving the tissue box to an open space on your RV wall or cabinets.
You can set them up to dispense sideways or downward. The dispenser can be installed using the included screws or double-sided tape.
6. A portable washer
If your RV is without the luxury of its own washer/dryer, you may want to consider investing in a portable washer like the Wonderwash. You’ll save time on laundry trips, not to mention loads of quarters. Plus, you’ll never have dirty laundry piling up until you can find a laundry room or laundromat.
These non-electric units are powered by a hand crank and use less water than regular machines. You can read more about the washers & accompanying dryers in our previous article on Do It Yourself RV.
7. A multipurpose shoe tray
A boot/shoe tray can be used for all sorts of things around the home and RV. You can use them to store dirty or wet shoes or even to prevent gas or oil spills on the carpet.
They could also be used as a paint tray or for an indoor garden. Pet owners can also use the trays to set down a litter box or pet food/water that spills often.
8. Shelf bins
These shelf tracks with sliding bins will help organize your pantry storage in less than 20 minutes. They provide easy access to small items (like gum, toothpicks, or salt/pepper) that you don’t want to lose in the cupboards.
The sliding bins can also hold small containers of aluminum foil, plastic bags, and plastic wrap. They’re available online for only about $5.
9. Stackable cabinet organizers
Shelf organizers can also make a big difference in your cabinets. Use them to organize anything from pantry items to your cups and plates.
When you’re moving to a new RV, they can easily be folded down and removed. The organizers are available in a two-pack on Amazon.
10. A screen door handle
RV screen doors are notoriously flimsy and expensive if damaged. This handle will give the screen door more stability and also gives you something sturdy to hold on to while making it down the steps.
The bars extend from about 21 to 28 ⅝ inches. They come with a mounting template and all screws needed for installation.
Climate change forecasts grow more dire by the day. But a new all-electric motorhome could shine a bright spot in the bleakness when it hits the European marketplace in early 2019.
The RV of the Climate Change Age: Iridium, the All-Electric Motorhome is Here
By the time you read this article, a real world all-electric motorhome will be on its way to the January 2019 CMT travel trade show in Stuttgart, Germany.
The exciting clean energy breakthrough in the European campervan industry is the result of a partnership between two German automobile companies, WOF and ElektroFahrzeuge Stuttgart (EFA-S). Both are known for their work in the country’s robust electric vehicle marketplace. The campervan’s electric-powered chassis is built by WOF, while the drivetrain and battery technology is made by EFA-S. Swiss RV designer, Maurer Fahrzeugbau built the RV body. The end result is a sleek motorhome that’s a leap forward in the clean energy vehicle marketplace.
Images of the interior won’t be released until after the January reveal. But this promotional video of a conceptual solar-powered RV design highlights what Iridium’s European-style living quarters might look like:
Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries: the Electric RV Breakthrough
Until now, the biggest obstacle in creating an all-electric motorhome has been wind. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to move a heavy, tall vehicle at 65 miles per hour. A RV’s wind resistance places a huge load on batteries. This limits most large electric vehicles to a short driving range, typically under 100 miles of travel before they need recharging.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are the new kid on the block. They weigh less, are more efficient than lead acid batteries, have a longer life expectancy, and require less maintenance than old-school lithium ion batteries. This video explains more lithium iron phosphate battery advantages:
Meanwhile the Iridium RV has a travel range of about 125 miles — for now. Company representatives say that rapidly changing developments in the RV battery marketplace will give buyers’ driving range a boost in in the near future.
“Iridium customers can benefit from the fact that battery capacity is rapidly increasing,” says EFA-S Managing Director Bastian Beutel in the press release. “The same vehicle can, therefore, more than double its range in the near future with the same battery weight by replacing the battery”.
Travel distances aren’t as much of a problem in the densely populated areas inside Europe. Thankfully, Iridum buyers won’t need to worry too much about where they recharge the batteries. Each of these units comes with an integrated charger. This component enables owners to charge batteries anywhere from campgrounds to electric vehicle charging stations.
Meanwhile Across the RV Pond . . .
Back in the States, Winnebago is currently toying with their version of an electric specialty motorhome vehicle. The experimental RV is so new it doesn’t even have a name yet, but Ashis Bhattacharya, Vice President, Strategic Planning and Development, and leader of the Specialty Vehicles Division, says this is just the first step in a marketplace Winnebago will be a part of. “We believe that all-electric vehicle applications continue to evolve to serve numerous end-user needs and this is our first step as a participant in this space,” says Bhattacharya.
Some RVers prefer a more quiet setting without kids running around everywhere. These 55-and-older RV parks are dedicated to traveling seniors and they have some fabulous amenities.
1. Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Seniors and snowbirds love Southern New Mexico for its sunny year-round weather. This RV park is ideally located in Las Cruces with easy access to Interstate 10, I-25, and US-70.
The resort is 12 acres large and has 40-foot-wide spaces with full hookups. You’ll appreciate the wide gravel roads, laundry room, restrooms, and meeting room facilities. Discounts are available if you’re a member of AAA, AARP, Good Sam, or Escapees.
2. Waters Edge RV Resort, Punta Gorda, Florida
Southern Florida is another hot spot for senior RVers. Waters Edge RV Resort is a popular favorite for its central location between Sarasota and Fort Myers in Punta Gorda.
The resort surrounds a 20-acre fishing lake with over 100 RV sites for rent and for sale. They have activities planned throughout the year; from November through March, the events range from golf and water aerobics to game nights and Bingo.
The community comes together to celebrate events like Thanksgiving dinner, a Super Bowl party, and even a cribbage tournament. If you’re staying long-term, join them on an organized trip like dinner theater, a ladies’ luncheon, fishing, casino trips, or cruises.
3. Voyager Resort & RV Park, Tucson, Arizona
Voyager Resort is a quick stop off I-10 near Tuscon with over 1,500 spaces for RVs. The gated RV park has full hookup sites as well as park homes and hotel rooms.
The resort has their own bar and grill, 9-hole golf course, and heated pools. They also have outdoor sports like pickleball, volleyball, tennis, shuffleboard, and horseshoe pits.
4. Venture In RV Resort, Show Low, Arizona
A scenic drive north of Tucson will lead you to this resort in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona. The RV park is at 6,300 feet in elevation and opens seasonally from May through October.
Some of the best trout fishing in the state is within a half-hour drive. Their facilities include a game room, laundry, a clubhouse, library, and access to bike and hiking trails.
5. Lakewood RV Resort, Flat Rock, North Carolina
Lakewood Resort lies off Interstate 26 in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Their large shaded sites include full hookups, concrete patios, picnic tables, and WiFi. Discounts are offered for members of AAA, Good Sam, FMCA, and for seniors.
They also have a clubhouse, a large heated swimming pool, a catch and release fishing pond, and a dining area with a full kitchen. The resort is a quick drive to downtown Hendersonville, the local Cracker Barrel, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
6. Caliente Springs Resort, Desert Hot Springs, California
This mineral springs resort in the hot and dry California desert is a true oasis. Caliente Springs Resort has hot tubs you can soak in along with matchless views of the San Jacinto Mountains.
Their sites are big-rig friendly and have full hookups and spacious patio pads. Cable TV and WiFi are available as well as laundry facilities, a clubhouse, and a couple of grassy, fenced dog areas.
7. Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, Casa Grande, Arizona
You can play pickleball, tennis, billiards, or a round of golf on their 18-hole course. Afterward, cool off in one of their three swimming pools or Jacuzzis and soak in the mountain views. They also have card games, lawn bowling, and special events planned every week.
8. Mesa Spirit RV Resort, Arizona
Mesa Spirit RV Resort is about an hour north of Palm Creek Resort in Old Town Mesa. They have over 1,800 full hookup sites as well as park models for rent and for sale.
They host seasonal activities and amenities including a pool, fitness center, and laundry room. The historic town has lots to see and do including Mesa Grande Cultural Park and Papago Park.
9. Olde Mill Stream RV Resort, Umatilla, Florida
Central Florida has year-round sunshine and close access to big-name attractions like Disney World. Olde Mill Resort is about an hour north of Orlando with 427 sites, each with a concrete pad, picnic table, and full hookups.
The landscaped resort has mature trees, grass, shrubs, flowers, and lampposts that light up after dark. The Rec Hall and Clubhouse house their laundry room, billiards and more. They’re within a day drive of attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Gatorland.
10. Mission Bell RV Resort, Mission, Texas
In Southern Texas, Mission Bell Resort is only minutes from the US-Mexico border. Their amenities range from two saltwater heated pools to a dog park and a pet wash station.
Guests can also make full use of their laundry room, picnic areas, and library. Their current activity schedule lists a little something for everyone from Bingo and potlucks to quilt making and cribbage.
11. Pegg’s Adult RV Park, Long Beach, Washington
The Long Beach Peninsula is a scenic stretch of the Washington Coast. One of the most popular age-qualified resorts on the peninsula is Pegg’s Adult RV Park in Oceanside. From your campsite, it’s an easy walk through the dunes to reach the sandy ocean beach.
Long Beach claims home to the longest continuous beach in the country that you can drive on (at 28 miles). This area has lots of museums and local shops and restaurants, and every August they host the International Kite Festival. I highly recommend visiting the wacky and wonderful Marsh’s Free Museum to see Jake the Alligator Man, their quirky gifts, and antique coin-operated machines.
If you’re not bringing the RV, you can rent one of their cabins or luxury alpine fifth wheels. They have local artistic wooden sculptures throughout the park as well as a pond and a book exchange.
13. Tropic Winds RV Resort, Harlingen, Texas
Tropic Winds RV Resort is less than an hour from South Padre Island on the Gulf Coast. The resort includes over 500+ RV sites along with a swimming pool and spa, fitness center, and a clubhouse.
The RV park is open all year with daily, weekly, and monthly sites available. You can learn more about Tropic Winds Resort on RV Park Reviews.
14. 81 Palms Senior RV Resort, Deming, New Mexico
You don’t have to venture far off I-10 to reach 81 Palms Resort in Deming. The senior resort has 106 long pull-thru sites with full hookups and access to their community amenities. They have spotless restrooms and hot showers, an indoor heated swimming pool, coin-operated laundry, and a pet run.
North of Phoenix, Sunflower Resort offers RV parking in addition to resort-style amenities. They have a swimming pool and spa, a Tiki patio bar with Happy Hour, an on-site salon and spa, and various activities like water aerobics, ping pong, tennis, and pickleball.
The resort is close to a golf course, as well as the NHL Phoenix Coyotes arena and NFL Arizona Cardinals Stadium at the nearby Glendale Sports Complex. If you plan on boating or fishing, you can easily reach Lake Pleasant about a half-hour north.
A new RV resort recently opened in the Verde Valley region of Central Arizona. Just south of Flagstaff and Sedona in small-town Clarkdale, Rain Spirit RV Resort has full hookup RV sites with panoramic views and some amazing places to visit nearby.
The resort can accommodate RVs of all sizes with their wide paved roads and 63 large sites (both pull-thrus and back-ins). From your RV, you can get wide open views of the Tuzigoot Monument, Verde River, and Sycamore and Verde Canyons.
When you’re not exploring the area, make full use of their brand new facilities. You can take a dip in their heated pool and Jacuzzi, or relax in the air-conditioned rec room with a pool table and a kitchen. They also offer a fitness room, dog run, laundry room, and WiFi throughout the park.
Nearby there are enough attractions to keep you busy for weeks or even months. Take your time to explore Tuzigoot National Monument (about a mile from the resort) as it has Sinagua ruins dating back to 1100 AD. Grab one of their RV spaces 8-18 for the best views of this ancient Puebloan structure.
Verde River Canyon should also be on your list of places to visit. This vast area has ATV trails, kayaking, fishing, biking, bird watching, and the Verde Canyon Railroad tour train. Park your RV in one of their sites numbered 1-7 for a view of this massive colorful canyon.
The hillside mining town of Jerome is also less than ten minutes from the resort. Explore their local museums, art shops, gift shops, and restaurants, or visit Jerome State Historic Park to see the old Douglas Mansion built in 1916.
While you’re in town you’ll also want to visit the Gold King Mine Ghost Town. This abandoned town still preserves an old mine, dilapidated buildings, and various old cars and trucks.
Have you visited Rain Spirit RV Resort yet? Let us know about your experience on RV Park Reviews!
Modern RVs have plenty of creature comforts, but hard ice cream hasn’t always been one of them – until now. Residential RV refrigerator installations are on the rise as RV owners are opting for sticks-and-bricks refrigerators in their rigs. But does the thought of having a “real” refrigerator live up to the expectations? Most RVers who have made the leap say “Absolutely!”
They Rarely Regret a Residential RV Refrigerator Purchase
“We did it and never looked back. Lots of ice and stays COLD!! This Samsung has a lot more room and did I say it stays COLD!” says iRV2 Forums member Mark Miller shares about his 2008 Damon Tuscany motorhome’s unit.
Another RVer on Facebook agrees. “Love my residential. Same footprint as the rv one, way more room. New residential fridge, inverter and 400 watt solar system to run it when boondocking was cheaper than a Rv fridge,” explains Dan Aldridge.
In fact, scan any iRV2 Discussion Forum topics about Residential Refrigerators in RVs and you’ll likely discover that the vast majority of RVers who have opted out of traditional gas absorption style refrigerators say that it was a good idea to do so. They agree that although traditional RV gas absorption refrigerators can be powered three ways – by liquid propane, 120V conventional power and sometimes 12V power produced by the RV’s batteries – the downsides of owning a unit outweighs the positives.
Pros and Cons of Residential RV Refrigerators versus Traditional RV Refrigerators
Look at the basic differences between a residential RV refrigerator versus a traditional RV refrigerator and you’ll see subtle but important differences:
Residential RV Refrigerator Pros
More space inside
Consistently cold temperatures
Performance not effected by outdoor temperatures
Shorter time to power up and cool down for travel
Costs less money
Typically longer lifespan
Residential RV Refrigerator Cons
RV interior modifications are often necessary for the unit to fit.
Usually requires extra RV batteries, larger generator and solar power investment to power while dry-camping
Not built for travel: doors will need to be secured during travel
Sticks-and-bricks appliance technicians may not work on unit unless it’s removed from the RV
Traditional RV Refrigerator Pros
Multiple ways to power the unit
Smaller size fits nicely into RVs
Built for rugged travel
Traditional RV Refrigerator Cons
Costs significantly more than a residential RV refrigerator
Propane and ammonia-driven cooling power increases fire risk
Requires precisely level campsite for efficient operation
Consistently improper leveling may damage unit over time
Requires several hours to chill before packing food inside
Is a Residential RV Refrigerator Good for Boondocking?
The power consumption of a gas absorption-style refrigerator versus a residential RV refrigerator are so similar that most RVers say they don’t notice the difference. But because residential RV refrigerators can only be powered by conventional electricity, many people are under the impression that boondocking is not an option when you install one of these units. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“We dry camp often. Have residential refrigerator. Don’t find it to be a problem. With our coach the RR option included six rather than the standard four batteries,” explains vsheetz, an iRV2 Forums member.
“We also dry camp a lot and have upsized from Group 24 to CG2 golf cart batteries – 4 total. The refrigerator will consume about 25% of the battery capacity in a 24 hour period absent any charging,” says 2Escapees iRV2 Forums members.
If you keep your RV long enough, your refrigerator will need replacing. If you’re thinking of buying a residential RV refrigerator, rest assured that for most RV owners, installing one of these units was the best thing they ever did to enhance their RV travel experience.