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5 High-Tech RV Trends: Can You Dig It?

5 High-Tech RV Trends: Can You Dig It?

RV trends are a mixed bag. Over the previous decade, the industry moved at a snails pace when implementing modern tech.

USB ports finally became a standard amenity. Factory installed solar is still a rarity (“solar-ready” doesn’t count). And, don’t get me started on basic battery set-ups.

However, it finally looks like the folks in Elkhart, Indiana (RV manufacturing capitol of the world) are listening to the consumer. Boomers and millennials alike are ready for high-tech RVs.

Let’s take a look at the 2020 trends!

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1. Lithium Batteries Included

It’s no secret that lithium ion batteries are amazing. They weigh substantially less than lead acid batteries and you can drain them to (almost) zero without damaging the cells. Additionally, the warranties on these lithium batteries last ten years!

However, prior to 2020 it was hard to find lithium batteries installed on new units from the manufacturer.

In 2020, we’re beginning to see the lithium RV trend! Battery & RV manufacturers are teaming up to create unique batteries for specific models to conserve space an offer more power.

2. Smart RV Systems

In 2019 we saw smart home devices become a household staple. According to Statista, 156 million smart home monitoring devices were sold.

2020 is the year of the smart RV. Dometic introduced its RV control system on select 2020 Leisure Travel Van models. They say:

The all-new Dometic IoT Solution allows users to control and monitor their RV’s components with the touch of their finger. Six touchscreens are conveniently located throughout the coach which control and monitor the RV’s electrical components including lighting, climate control, awnings, water heater and tanks, water pump, batteries, inverter status, and LP Gas. View multiple functions at the same time via the flexibility of Dometic’s modular screen design. RVers can even customize comfort controls as well as set scenes that can run multiple tasks at once. Scenes can also be automated to run at specific times throughout the day. Intelligent predictive monitoring provides a forecasted view of the system’s usage indicating when critical resources are reaching their limits. For the connected user, the system can be controlled remotely from a smartphone or tablet. 

3. Trip Planning (by Algorithm?)

We love the RV Trip Wizard tool for planning our route. It uses your unique RV specs, travel style and budget to create the best path for your adventure.

In 2020 the tool will become even smarter. It’s introducing more reviews, content and RV destinations. We hope all of this will allow RV Trip Wizard to curate “recommended trips” for their users (think, how Spotify learns what music you like and recommends similar songs).

In 2020 you could potentially take a completely computerized route with all your ideal stops and travel style based on an algorithm!

4. RV “Sharing” Takes On Traditional Rentals

RV Sharing is similar AirBnB. RV owners rent out their units directly to others – allowing more options and better prices for the customer.

Sites like RVnGO, RVShare and Outdoorsy have been offering up this service for a few years. In 2020 we’ll see more people than ever before renting “peer to peer”.

It’s a great way to test out RV classes before buying!

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5. Solar Everywhere

New RVs are finally becoming equipped with solar panels. 2020 has seen a slight increase in solar panel price…however, demand is huge for this energy generating technology.

Unlike the “solar ready” RVs and Trailers of the 2010s, new RVs actually have the panels installed and wired (in some cases, paired with lithium batteries).

Will RV solar be able to run your Air Conditioner….probably not. But, The Fit RV addresses this subject pretty well in this article.

They say, “(Boondocking) is the ideal use case for Solar energy in an RV.  If you’ve got no hookups, and you’re not driving, solar power starts to look a whole lot better.  Yes, you can run the generator (if you have one), but people generally don’t like the noise and the fumes if they’re avoidable.  Solar power can help you avoid exactly that.”

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  1. nomadlyweds says:

    I installed a 300Ah AGM battery bank when I put in our solar setup, and while I like the AGMs I REALLY wish I could have budgeted the extra $1,000 or so for the lithium batteries. Nice write-up!

  2. John P Mudri says:

    just didn;t know you could replace lead acid with Lithium without any other modifications