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Campers Rank the Most Overrated RV Technology in Revealing Study

Campers Rank the Most Overrated RV Technology in Revealing Study

RV technology has come a long way in the last five years. Elkhart, Indiana (the RV manufacturing capital of the world), however, has been dragged kicking and screaming into the technological age.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, it’s extra challenging to convince old-school manufacturers to integrate the latest trends.

Brands like Zamp Solar, Battle Born Lithium Batteries, and Dometic have helped tech-hungry RVers install aftermarket innovations into their RVs.

But trends come and go. Technology can fall out of fashion with speed. And the newest RV technology can quickly become overhyped and overrated.

Here’s how the survey works, we researched the top RV tech and gave six options.

  • Lithium Batteries
  • Cell Boosters
  • Solar Panels
  • Smart Phone Apps
  • RV GPS Router
  • USB Ports

We know that a lot of additional RV tech exists. These were simply the most popular and most searched of the tech options.

We’ll rank them below from least-overrated to most-overrated.

Let’s dive in!

RV & Camping Smartphone Apps

Smartphone apps are the big winner in this survey. Only 10% of the RVers we surveyed said they’re overrated.

It makes a lot of sense. These apps save you money (GasBuddy), help you find camping (Hip Camp), and entertain you along the way (podcast of your choice).

86% of the RVers we surveyed said smartphone apps enhance their camping experience. That’s a huge number!

Likewise, only 17% of RVers said their smartphone is a distraction while camping.

Solar Panels

Solar panels rank directly behind smartphone apps, with 11% of the votes.

RVers see the value of renewable energy. It can save them money over the long run, and they don’t make noise (unlike generators).

With the price of solar panels decreasing, this form of energy becomes more popular every year. While there are reasons you don’t need solar, you won’t hear them from the tech-loving crowd.

RV Lithium Batteries

RV lithium batteries are the last piece of tech on this list that isn’t overrated. According to our survey, only 16% think these batteries are overrated (the remaining tech all has 20% or more votes).

We love our custom lithium battery setup in our vintage Airstream.

They indeed cost a lot. However, if you plan on maximum usage, they’ll last much longer than standard lead-acid batteries.

Battle Born even offers a ten-year warranty.

RV GPS Router

An RV GPS Router is an essential tool…if you drive a big rig. For those RVers who tow a small trailer or drive a Class B RV, this specific GPS router may be overkill.

20% of the RVers we surveyed think these routers are overrated. I’d imagine if we asked only Class A RV owners, the results would be much different.

In our 24′ Airstream, we use RV Trip Wizard with the RV life app. It’s the smartphone-based router that saved us about $300 from buying a standalone RV GPS router.

At $40, we find it to be useful (definitely not overrated).

Cell Boosters

20% of RVers also think cell boosters are overrated.

I can completely understand this sentiment. In fact, we’ve been using a cell booster for five years. During that time, it’s been essential for around six months on & off.

Here’s the thing, when it’s essential, the cell booster is the least overrated tech we own. It becomes our lifeline to connectivity. It allows us to make calls in dead zones and connect to the internet for work.

We’d never get rid of our booster, but we rarely celebrate its existence. 

USB Ports

USB ports win the most overrated RV tech award. Five years ago, RVers begged manufacturers to install them; now, they couldn’t care less.

RV manufacturers not only began installing USB ports, they installed them every-freakin-where.

Additionally, RV sales associates brag about the number of USB ports.

We get it; you listened to the consumer. Quite frankly, 3 USB ports will do.

I think all RVers would like a few USB ports in an RV. Don’t try to sell us a new unit based on USB ports, though.

Overselling is why they’re now considered the most overrated piece of RV technology.

Free Camping Does Exist (and most campers don’t know about it)

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy). You should give it a try! A matter of fact, these free campsites are yours.

Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

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  1. Michael Butts says:

    My pet tech peeve with my 2017 Forest River motorhome is the awful Lippert OneTouch. Instead of simple wall switches, everything was replaced with an inconvenient touch panel. The system can also be run by an even more inconvenient mobile phone app. I dread the day this system dies because there’s RV dealer on earth that service this thing.

  2. Larry Mohr says:

    With many devices and cables favoring USB-C, factory installed USB-A ports do seem overrated.

  3. Brian Burry says:

    Satellite Dish TV, what a WASTE! Can’t get service, no tech can respond. Dumped it in favor of a simple HDMI Cable to I-Phone cord, now all the apps on my cell, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and more are on all three of our RV TV’s. Dish is worthless, these are so great and around $60 or less, you own it!!! Try it, you will like it. It just plugs into the HDMI Port on any TV, and the other end into the I-Phone, bingo, watching what we watch at home!!!

  4. Gregory Cassini says:

    These are minor things. The real issues are the useless convection mircrowave ovens, induction cook tops (didn’t we all in aluminum cookware to save weight), and the worst tech of all are tankless water heaters.

  5. Peter McDonald says:

    Hi! Regarding solar, I think you kind of missed the point. I doubt RVrs like solar just because it is renewable and saves them money. It’s because it gives them freedom to not be plugged in. Freedom to boondock. And indeed, THAT really does save them money!!

  6. Kyle & Olivia Brady says:

    True, but a generator does the same (and potentially saves more money)

  7. M Bruce Parker says:

    Has anyone considered hydrogen fuel cells as a source of off-grid power? Quiet. Probably expensive. Sketchy H2 supply. The power source is less dense than gasoline but shares some of its advantages. When, oh when?

  8. Jean says:

    Always love your articles. Did learn something about HDMI cable to I phone. Thanks. Jean