When enjoying either the part time or full time RV living lifestyle, one cannot survive without some of the cheap RV accessories that are available to buy! Well yes, you can survive, but some of these cool RV accessories sure make RV living just a little better!
Cheap RV Accessories
One of the really cheap RV accessories that you can buy these days is led lights to replace the current incandescent and fluorescent bulbs in your RV. There are so many advantages to switching over to this newer technology, whether you are living in a sticks and bricks home or in your RV. But especially the RV given its limited 12 volt capacity when using all your RV lighting.
Let’s face it, most RV’s can only carry so many batteries, and solar panels can not keep them charged under heavier demand. When plugged into shore power, you can make your converter work pretty hard if you draw a lot of 12 volt power when using all your lights. Remember, the 12 volt batteries are your piggy bank. The converter will keep you going while plugged in to shore power, and the batteries are your energy supply when off the grid.
Either way, you can save a lot of power by switching to led bulbs in your RV! They consume approximately one-tenth the power compared to incandescent bulbs. Here are some other benefits of using led RV lighting:
Bulb Type % Creates Heat % Creates Light
Incandescent 85% 15%
Florescent 50% 50%
LEDs 15% 85%
Why use LEDs for RV lighting?
Safer – hot incandescent and fluorescent lights can cause fires in RVs – LEDs do not get hot enough to start a fire or blister your fingers
Cooler – LED light bulbs run at a maximum of 165°F, 200 degrees cooler than incandescent and 800 degrees cooler than halogen bulbs
Power Savings – a LED light bulb uses 15% of the electrical power required by an incandescent or halogen bulb for the same amount of light
Longer Lasting – the expected life of a LED is 11 years of full time use; normal incandescents last up to 1,000 hours – 1% of the life of a LED – some are rated to sixty thousand hours!
Are there any savings from using LEDs? Yes! Save hassle, time, and money!
– Batteries stay charged much longer and so, live longer
– Replacing bulbs is no longer a continuing task and cost
– Generator does not need to run so much, saving on expensive fuel
– Solar Panels can keep up even if you burn LED light bulbs all night
– Bugs fly away to find warmer lights
– Boondock longer and stay ‘off the grid’.
Are LEDs dimmable?
It depends on the type dimmer you are using whether LEDs are dimmable and to what extent.
LED light bulbs are fully dimmable with a pulse width modulator style dimmer. The PWM works by turning the lights off, then on, then off, then on again, at a rate so fast that our eyes only see the total amount of light. As the ‘offs’ get longer, the lights appear dimmer.
Now a rheostat dimmer works by reducing the amount of voltage to the lights. LED light bulbs will dim to about half their brightness and at about 6 volts, they turn off. There is not enough power to keep them lit. With LEDs, the rheostat dimmer can be used as an on/off switch and for slight dimming.
What kind of bulb should I use?
These are a must have of the cheap RV accessories options. I love the light they produce!
I have talked about other cool RV accessories elsewhere on this website:
- Tire Pressure Monitor Systems to keep you safe on the road
- Electrical Management Systems to protect your RV electrical system, your expensive appliances and electronics when plugging in at RV parks!
- Induction cooktop units for safer cooking in your RV!
- Wireless handheld backup camera system for travel trailers, fifth wheels and toads
- King controls jack antenna upgrade to allow for improved TV reception in today’s digital age
Water usage aboard your RV is something that should be monitored for both quality and pressure. As we have traveled around the country we see large differences in water quality and hardness. Also, water pressure can vary greatly in RV parks depending on if the park is on well or city water. I always check the water pressure at the faucet before hooking up. I keep a gauge in my water bay to remind me to do that. Maximum pressure on my rig is 60 psi. Some parks I have been in have been over 100 psi! That can ruin an RV’s water system pretty fast if you are not aware of that!
I have been in other RV parks where the pressure is at 40 psi. Trying to take a shower is like standing under a weak garden hose with that pressure. In those cases, I just use my water pump to take an adequate shower. Also, the non-adjustable water pressure regulators that everyone like to use don’t provide enough pressure for today’s RV’s!
But, most parks do offer robust water pressure and the best way to have enough pressure, but not too much, is to have an adjustable water pressure regulator. We use Valterra’s lead-free brass regulator. I set it right at 60 psi and that allows adequate water pressure inside the RV. We have some residential water fixtures in the RV and we really need the pressure to be right at that maximum of 60 psi!
Consider an adjustable water pressure regulator as one of the best cheap RV accessories that you must have! It will save you from a lot of possible water damage from RV park water systems.
Blessings and Safe Travels,
Howard and Pam