Hacks, Upgrades, and Links to Fancy Up Your Rig
You know when you are excited about something and you feel like you have to tell everyone because they need to know too? This is how I feel about our Apex and all of the things we have done to personalize it, upgrade it, and just make the best possible use of our small space. I love seeing what other people have done to their RV because it inspires us. That’s the goal of this blog post, to inspire you and give you ideas to personalize your rig.
We purchased almost everything I am referencing in this post on Amazon. We love using Amazon because it can be shipped anywhere, and with Amazon Prime, it can usually be delivered in just a day or two. You may or may not know, but Cruisin’ with the Colemans is a new venture for us (we started in June 2018), and we are hoping that travel blogging will become our full-time gig in the future. Therefore, we are starting to figure out how to make money and one way we can do that is Amazon Affiliate links. This means if you buy any of the products we suggest then we get a small percentage of your purchase when you use our link. There is no extra cost to you. We can make two promises when we share products with you – (1) We will never share products that we haven’t used. (2) We won’t share products if we don’t think they are amazing!
On to the good stuff – our video! Here is a link to the RV tour on YouTube.
Outside of the Rig
On the outside of the rig, we haven’t done too much. Brian told you about what we have done to add stability to our rig, which included using x-chocks and added 2 additional stabilizer jacks. He also gave you his favorite outdoor hack and upgrade. Lightweight rigs are great because they don’t use as much fuel and you can tow it with a smaller truck. We tow our rig with a Ford F-150. Our F150 has a 12,000 towing capacity. One of the drawbacks can be stability inside of the rig when you have a lot of people walking/jumping around.
If you have duel axel tires, you will like the x-chocks. They keep your rig from moving. Bonus: It’s harder to steal your rig with x-chocks between your tires!
Upgrade: Stabilizer Jacks
These are so much better than what came with the rig! I can’t wait until we upgrade all of our stabilizer jacks.
Brian’s Favorite Hack: Command Cord Bundlers
As you saw in the video, these are great for storing items on the sides of the walls in your pass-through.
Upgrade: Bumper Bike Rack
We weren’t sure about adding this weight to the back bumper, we have heard that you shouldn’t put anything on the back bumper. However, this bike rack is very lightweight, coming in at only 21 pounds. We carry 2 bikes on the rack and have not any problems.
Upgrade: Slim Shade RV Window
If you have not heard about the slim shade, you are missing out. We heard about it in our Apex Facebook group and it took less than an hour to install. It makes your RV window a useable window while providing shade at night.
Hack: Cat Doors
Brian showed you how we converted the outdoor kitchen into the cat litter box space and storage area. This the cat door we used. I am sure an outdoor kitchen is great for many people, but this was the best decision we could have made to ensure cat litter isn’t all over the inside of our rig.
Inside the Rig
Time to move inside the rig! There are so many things we have done, I am sure something will be missed in this blog post. No fears though – just leave a comment and we’ll help find whatever we leave out. I listed my favorite hack as the IKEA baskets; however, it is so hard to pick just one favorite. Everything we have done, inside and outside, has made both our lives easier, made time in the rig more enjoyable, and has creates less clutter overall because everything has its place. Let’s start with comfort!
Upgrade: Dorel Living Slim Recliners
The couch that came with our rig was so uncomfortable! If you are active, like we are, you need a comfortable chair to come back to and put your feet up. Yes, we lost a hide-a-bed; however, we still have the dining table that can convert to a bed and we have no plans of having that many people sleeping in our rig. Haha These recliners are so comfortable, they come broken down so they are easy to get in the rig, and they fully recline.
Hack: Collapsible Drink Holders
My dad is a truck driver and I remember these cup holders from when I was little riding with him in his semi. Putting together the right keywords to find them on Amazon was the hardest part. This is something so small, yet so helpful when you need a place to put your drink while you relax in your recliner.
Hack: Acu-rite Weather Station
A hack? An upgrade? A necessity? I don’t know what to call it but we love this weather station. We actually bought 3 different ones before we settled on this version. The first was too small, the second needed to be plugged in if it was going to work, but this one was just right. 🙂 Another reason I love Amazon, easy returns!
Necessary: Rosewill Electric Oscillating Tower Heater Fan with Thermostat/Portable Ceramic Space Heater with Remote Control
This is called a heater fan; however, in the summer it works as a cooling fan. All you need to do it set the temperature at whatever you want the rig to be set at and it will either warm up the room or blow cooling air. It helps us use less propane in the winter and keeps the air moving in the summer.
Hack: Mounted Spice Rack
As you learned in the video, I am not the cook in the family. Brian not only cooks but enjoys being creative in the kitchen. If you have tried any of his recipes from his “Recipe of the Month” blog posts, you know how good his food can be! What Brian tells me, is when you’re cooking it’s important to have a few basic things close by, like oil, salt, pepper, etc. We found this spice rack on Amazon and then Brian cut a piece of pipe insulation which just sits behind the spices to keep them from moving when we’re going down the road. Brillant, I tell you!
Hack: Flexible Cutting Board for Freezer
This wasn’t our idea at all, we saw this idea in other RV Tour videos and it works great to collect the build-up of ice in your freezer. We bought this flexible cutting board and then cut it down to fit our freezer. I mentioned in the video that we hadn’t determined if it worked yet and I am happy to report that it works beautifully! No more puddles of water or scraping the back of the freezer! All we do is pull out the cutting board, shake it off outside or in the sink, and put it back. Voila!
Michelle’s Favorite Hack: IKEA Rimforsa Baskets
Installing the boards on the wall and then hanging these baskets was so brilliant. We tried using command hooks and hanging baskets with them but it was pulling off the wallpaper. This hack works perfectly and now we can store fresh fruit and veggies, bread, and stuff that you would have in your “junk” drawer. One thing I mentioned in the video was that I store the baskets on the dining table bench while we drive but I didn’t mention that I put non-adhesive gripping shelf liner on the bench first and then set the baskets down and they don’t go anywhere. I use that liner on all of my shelves. It works great!
Hack: Pantry Door Organizer
Oooohhhh my pantry! Didn’t you love it? It’s big and there is plenty of room for everything I need to store. We have the laundry basket, various cleaning rags, kitchen towels, and of course food and snacks. It was tough to find a door organizer that was narrow enough for our RV pantry door but Amazon came through again! Brian drilled this into the top and the bottom of the door where it’s not hollow and so far, so good! As you saw in the video, I use this organizer for all of my cleaners, cans, and just odd shaped stuff. I am not sure if I will always organize it this way, but it works for now.
Necessary: Bissell Bolt 2-n-1 Lightweight Vacuum
This is an absolute necessity in my mind. It weighs only 5 pounds and has a removable handheld vacuum. It works great on the carpet and laminate flooring. It works on a rechargable battery and the charge lasts a long time. I have one in the RV and in my home.
Upgrade: Homlody High Pressure Shower Head
I feel like we have tried every showerhead out there! Haha It took a while for us to agree on the perfect showerhead but I am happy to report this is the one! We know that a lot of people rave about the Oxygenics showerhead. Brian liked it but I hated it. To me, the Oxygenics felt like a clogged hose. The showerhead pictured below has great pressure, turns off with ease, and doesn’t use a ton of water. Now we don’t boondock so I can’t attest to how it works when boondocking but we do camp with electric and a full tank of fresh water. We can easily go 3-4 days with just electric.
Hack: Shower Light, Motion Sensor, Waterproof
Who would have guessed that it would be dark in the shower at night with a skylight in the shower? I would assume we aren’t the only ones who shower at night when we smell like a campfire. But I need light in my shower at night! This light is perfect because it’s a motion sensor and only goes off when we open the shower door. It runs on batteries and it’s waterproof because it’s an indoor/outdoor light. How did we hang it up? Command strips of course!
Hack: Shower Foot Rest
Ladies, can I have your attention for a minute? We all know that men design showers because they don’t think about us and our need to lift a leg while we shave. Haha This footrest is one of five that I tried out, again thank you Amazon. Brian hung it up with the sticky pads and silicone caulk that it came with and thankfully it won’t be coming down!
Necessary: Adhesive Towel Bars
This is a simple but necessary hack. We have command hooks for extra stuff to dry but we like towels laying flat to dry as they dry faster. They are up with adhesive and we got the same style for our toilet paper holder.
Hack: Folding Bathroom RV Door
As we said in the video, we needed to remove the door that came with the bathroom because of the cat tower. The tower and the door were just too much in the same space. The only downside to this door is that your opening is just a bit narrower; however, we haven’t found it to be a problem.
Hack: Stick On LED Lights with Magnetic Backing
These are in our closets in the bedroom and in the passthrough. They provide plenty of light in those small spaces. They have magnets that hold the light to the base and then we have the base held with command strips. The idea is the you can leave the base up when you take it off to change the batteries. They only downside is that they are battery suckers, but we are in/out of our closets a lot.
Hack: Shoe Holder Storage Cart
Ok, did this one make you get excited? I love this hack! My only question to Coachmen is why the heck is there this dead space between the bed and the center console? Well, now I am glad there is this space! It took quite a bit of searching to find the right size. We tried using shoe boxes but the stacking and re-stacking of boxes irritated me and Brian’s giant shoes didn’t fit, haha. This is perfect, the wheels make it easy to slide in/out and it fits plenty of shoes.
Not Mentioned in the Video...
There were a few things I meant to talk about in the video but I forgot. So here are just a few more ideas to inspire your creativity as you personalize your rig.
Vinyl Lettering Over the Bed
This is a small touch that makes a big statement and adds a pop of color over our bed. Unfortunately the vinyl lettering that we used throughout the rest of the video is no longer available, I am sorry. If it becomes available again, I will update this blog post.
Everyone needs a good outdoor rug that easily rinses off and adds a bit of personality to your home of the road.
Caravan Sports Zero Gravity Chairs with Cup Holders
Zero gravity chairs are all the rage and we love ours – especially the price coming in at only $40! That’s why I had to share the link with you. We bought one for our daughter-in-law, fell in love with it, and then bought some for ourselves. Below the link to the chairs is the cup holder. Be warned, there are several sizes, this is the biggest one. The last link is the bags we bought for our chairs. The chairs fit perfectly in them and we store the chairs in the back of the truck.
Our tour comes to end. Did you play the drinking game every time I said command hooks and tension bars? Haha! Command hooks are your best friend in an RV. If you enjoyed the video, please help us build our future by subscribing to our website and our YouTube channel. Then give them both a thumbs up. This helps to ensure more people see our content.
Do you have questions? Need to know more? Leave a comment below. We love hearing from you!!