So you just bought a truck camper and you’re basking in the glow of your new purchase. Your new, “home on wheels” has everything you need to live comfortably on the road—a warm bed, a refrigerator, hot and cold running water, a bathroom, and a kitchen. At this point, you might be thinking, what’s next? That’s a great question. Now that you have a camper, it’s time to make it your own by personalizing and modifying it. These truck camper “mods,” as they’re called, can be relatively minor like adding a spice rack in the kitchen, hat hooks next to the dinette, or something major like installing an RV cell booster on the rear ladder, a DC to DC charger, or a 3,000 watt pure sine wave inverter with a transfer relay. Over the last few years, we’ve been blessed with an abundance of technological advances that has transformed the RV industry, especially truck campers. In no particular order, here are what we think are 10 best truck camper modifications for 2023.
1. Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor
A battery monitor is a truck camper owner’s best friend, especially for those who like to boondock. A battery monitor, like the Victron BMV-712, takes the guess work out of the state of your battery bank. It keeps track of current flowing in and out of a battery bank and uses a sophisticated algorithm to display battery’s state of charge as well as the number of amp hours remaining. It also displays voltage and amps, time to go, consumed energy, and keeps track of historic data including battery efficiency, average discharge, deepest discharge, and number of cycles. It also comes with over-voltage, and under-voltage alarms. The Victron BMV-712 is one of the best battery monitors for boondocking. Not only can you access all of this vital information on the monitor itself, but you can also access it on your smart phone via Bluetooth. The BMV-712 also features an additional voltage input that can be used to measure an auxiliary or starter battery voltage, midpoint voltage or temperature with an optional temperature sensor. One of many well-engineered features is that the wiring from the shunt to the monitor uses a 30-foot-long, ready-made six-conductor data cable with network type plugs. The best battery monitor that money can buy, you can purchase the Victron BMV-712 for only $206 on Amazon.com.
2. Expion360 Lithium 360 ‘Cube’
The lithium battery has revolutionized the 12 volt electrical systems in today’s recreational vehicle, and the Expion360 VPR 4Ever Platinum 360 Cube is one of the best. The 360 amp hour battery measures only 13×15×10 inches and sports one of the smallest battery footprints for 360 amp hours. How is Expion360 able to pack so much power into such a small case? By using 2650 high density, 4,000 milliamp hour cells. Simply put, these higher density cells offer more power than the standard density cell found in other makes of lithium batteries. Putting these higher density cells into a single battery box also means more space for more cells. To give you an idea of how special this lithium battery truly is, the usable capacity of the Expion360 Cube nearly equals three 8D AGM batteries that provide only 382.5 amp hours of total usable capacity. Worse yet, each 255 amp hour 8D battery weighs 156 pounds and measures 20x10x8 inches. Ten years ago only massive rigs made by EarthRoamer and GXV could accommodate so many 8D batteries. With the Expion360 Cube, now many of today’s truck campers now can. Features a repairable BMS with automated low-temp discharge and auto-shutoff to prevent charging in freezing temperatures as well as a number of other safety features, including low and high voltage cutouts, high temperature cut-outs, over current and short circuit protections. Yes, the battery is expensive at $4,000 through Camping World, but there isn’t a better lithium battery in today’s market and that’s saying a lot. Still not sure the cost is worth it, check out our recent review.
3. Xantrex Freedom X 3000
Inverters are a wonderful thing, especially for those who like to boondock. Inverters allow you to run 110 volt household devices, like microwaves, induction cooktops, coffee makers, and even air conditioners without actually being plugged into shore power or running a generator. We recommend purchasing a good 2,000 watt or 3,000 watt inverter, but don’t just buy any inverter. Buy one that wires directly to your battery and comes with a built-in transfer relay to keep your 110 volt outlets powered up. In addition to the inverter, you’ll need a separate AC breaker box to keep the inverter 110 volt output separated from your main AC panel. One of the best models we’ve tested is the Xantrex Freedom X 3000. This 30 amp, 3,000 watt pure sine wave inverter comes with a remote that allows you to activate it and control it with a simple push of a button. The Freedom X 3000 measures 15x11x4-inches and weighs 20 pounds. It features include a 6,000-watt surge rating, ignition control, and can be configured and monitored system via a Bluetooth app using the optional Freedom X Bluetooth remote panel. It offers a 91 percent efficiency, which puts it on par with nearly all pure sine wave inverters of this rating, and can operate in temperatures from -4F to 104F. The slender design also means it can be mounted in locations where other inverters can’t. Lists for about $1,200 on Amazon.com.
4. Jackery SolarSaga 100
When it comes to designing a powerful solar power system for your truck camper, the best approach is to employ what we call a split configuration, consisting of both roof-top solar panels and portable solar panels. Why? Because truck campers lack the roof-top real estate for large numbers of solar panels. Throw in an air conditioner and a few skylights and vents and you have even less. One of the best portable solar panels we’ve tried is the Jackery SolarSaga 100. If you’re not familiar with the Jackery SolarSaga 100, it’s pretty neat. Rather than being rigid and heavy, the SolarSaga 100 is semi-flexible and light. Constructed using monocrystalline silicon cells with an impressive 23 percent efficiency, the SolarSaga 100 weighs only 9.1 pounds, comes with its own kickstands, and can generate a rated 5.5 amps. Construction features a thin layer of top-rated solar cells, covered with Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a fluorine-based plastic polymer. The one-piece ETFE-black laminated case is attractive, durable and water-resistant and includes a large storage pouch with USB charge ports. Latching for the folding portable is accomplished quickly and easily through the use magnets, which are built-in to the orange TPE handle located at the top of the unit. If you’re tired of lugging around a heavy portable solar panel, the 9.1-pound SolarSaga 100 is for you. Still skeptical? Check out our recent SolarSaga 100 review. You can buy a SolarSaga 100 on Amazon.com for $299.
5. Expion360 DC-to-DC Alternator Charger
Yes, we all love solar power. It’s an effortless way to keep the batteries in your camper charged, but you can’t always rely on it being there when you need it. On the other hand, the alternator in your truck is always there. Why not use it to charge the battery in your camper while you are driving? The Expion360 EX-25A is one of the best DC-to-DC lithium battery chargers in the market. It measures 7.09 x 4.72 x 1.57 inches, weighs only 2.5 pounds, and offers an efficiency of 91 percent. The charger is designed to charge the battery in your camper using the alternator and starting battery in your truck. Moreover, the mobile charger is specifically designed to charge the Expion360 VPR 4Ever Classic and Platinum batteries and can be used with other LiFePO4 chemistry batteries that recommend the same charging profile. The Expion360 DC-to-DC Lithium Charger can be parallel connected with two units. By parallel connecting the chargers, the charge rate will double from 25 amps to 50 amps, while maintaining the required 14.6 volts. The Expion360 DC-to-DC Lithium Charger uses a two-stage constant current (CC) constant voltage (CV) charging profile at 14.6 volts and 25 amps. The list price for the Expion360 DC-to-DC Charger is $275. If you’ve been dragging your feet on getting this modification, you need to stop. This is one of the best truck camper mods you can buy—period!
6. Dometic RTX 2000 DC Air Conditioner
The Dometic CoolAir RTX 2000 is a DC-powered air conditioner with a long history of success as a “parking cooler” by truckers. Rated at 6,824 BTU, the CoolAir RTX 2000 uses a variable speed inverter-to-cylinder compressor, which provides both high efficiency and quiet operation. Featuring four modes of operation—Boost, Auto, Eco, and Manual—this rooftop unit is controlled using either the control panel or via remote control. In the Boost mode, the unit cools the camper for no more than 20 minutes at maximum power and then switches to the Auto mode automatically. The Dometic CoolAir RTX 2000 also features a battery monitor that switches the unit off automatically as soon as the battery voltage falls below a preset level to prevent over discharging. While it’s true that this 6,824-BTU unit has trouble keeping up with 120F temperatures, it does just fine in temperatures 100F and below. Easy to install using a slightly larger 14.5×19-inch roof vent opening. Weighs only 72 pounds and consumes only 19.5 amps DC in the Eco mode and 29 amps DC maximum. While the amperage draw is relatively low, we still recommend having at least a 300 amp hour lithium battery, like the Expion360 Cube, to run this amazing, little unit. Available in both 12 volt and 24 volt models. Lists for $2,729, but the cost is well worth it if you like staying cool during the summer.
7. WeBoost Cell Phone Booster
For many truck camper owners, reliable cell phone service is not only a nice thing to have, it’s a necessity. Yes, the truck camper allows us to get away and relax, but a good number us still work and need Internet connectivity to do our jobs. A 5-star product in a recent review, the WeBoost Drive X RV Cell Booster is also one of the most popular cell boosters in the market. Made specifically for recreational vehicles, the system boosts both 4G LTE and 5G cellular signals up to 50 dBm and can support numerous users at once whether you’re parked at a campsite or cruising on the interstate. Using omni-directional antennas and a patented smart technology that senses signal conditions in and around your truck camper, the Drive X automatically optimizes and adjusts the booster’s output to provide rock-solid connectivity with only a 2 amp DC power draw. This results in fewer dropped calls, better voice quality, faster data speeds, enhanced streaming, and improved hotspot capability. Like all WeBoost boosters, the Drive X works with all cell phones, hotspots, cellular-connected tablets, and other cell devices on all U.S. mobile carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Made by Wilson Electronics out of St. George, Utah. The cost for the WeBoost Drive X RV Cell Booster is $499.00.
Hands-down, the best truck camper stabilization product in today’s market, the StableCamper fills an important need for those who like to use their campers dismounted off the truck. Unfortunately, truck campers have a tendency to a bit wonky when used off truck. The StableCamper addresses this annoying, potentially damaging issue by using a simple, yet ingenious system consisting of two short and two long poles that attach to the rear tie down and the front support jacks of the camper. The StableCamper is also the only truck camper system that addresses both side-to-side and front-to-back stability when the camper is used off of the truck. Moreover, the StableCamper decreases stress at jack point connections, is easy to install, and stores on the outside of the camper using exterior mounting brackets. Constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum, the StableCamper can be used either during campouts or when stored at home. Those who like to pull boats will particularly like this product as it allows you to setup camp beforehand and put your boat in the water after dismounting your camper. StableCamper has drill and no-drill kits for all makes and types of campers including fiberglass Bigfoot and Northern Lite truck campers. Made in Oregon, you won’t find a better truck camper storage solution on the planet than the StableCamper. The StableCamper sells for around $450.
9. Dometic Fan-Tastic Vent 7350 Fan
There’s no doubt about it, the Fan-tastic Vent is a must-have truck camper mod for those who want to stay cool in the summer without having to run a smelly generator and a noisy air conditioner. This 12 volt, two-way, multi-speed fan moves a tremendous amount of air while consuming a minimal amount of amperage (between 1.86 to 3 amps depending on the speed selected. When shopping for a fan for your truck camper, we recommend buying the Fan-Tastic Vent 7350. This remote-controlled roof-top fan not only has a temperature setting that activates when the inside of your camper reaches a certain temperature, but it also has a built-in rain sensor that automatically closes the vent lid when the first drops appear (no need for an ugly vent cover on your roof). Better yet, the remote control—with an impressive seven fan speeds—allows you to control the fan from the comfort of your dinette or bed. Made in the USA, this rugged, well-built fan also comes with a lifetime warranty and an industry-leading customer service reputation that is second to none, even under the ownership of Dometic. The folks at Fan-tastic Vent will often replace damaged or worn out parts for free after minimal troubleshooting over the phone or via email. Lists for around $330 via Amazon.com.
10. Froli Star Modular Sleep System
Getting a quality night’s sleep in today’s truck camper is often difficult. When you consider that one-third of each day is spent in bed, that’s unfortunate. The Froli Modular Sleep System addresses this vexing problem in a clever, innovative way. Imported from Germany, the system consists of a grid of high-tech plastic “spring elements,” which together work like a standard box spring mattress. Each spring, measuring roughly 5×5 inches, is made of a thermoplastic elastomer, a high-tech material that combines the flexibility of rubber with the strength of a durable, space-age plastic. This material offers a memory-like effect for precise flexing while returning the spring to its original shape at rest. The Froli provides three spacing options to set the overall firmness of the bed, two sets of color coded springs that provide a different level of firmness—dark blue, firm; light blue, soft—plus a set of red tension clips shaped like four-leaf clovers that provide even more firmness in certain areas if needed. It’s a clever and ingenious design, unrivaled by anything else in today’s market. Better yet, not only does the Froli provide a better sleep, but it also helps eliminate condensation underneath the mattress, a huge bonus. Reviewed recently on Truck Camper Adventure. The Froli Star System for a queen-size bed retails for $398.00.