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Campers Rank the Most Overrated RV Technology in Revealing Study

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.


Sunday 28th of February 2021

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

M Bruce Parker

Sunday 28th of February 2021

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?

Peter McDonald

Sunday 28th of February 2021

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!!

Kyle & Olivia Brady

Sunday 28th of February 2021

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

Gregory Cassini

Sunday 10th of May 2020

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.


Sunday 10th of May 2020

While I'll agree that GPS Routers may be extreme for smaller units they CAN BE ACTUAL LIFE SAVING DEVICES for those in bigger rigs. In '18 our son, flew hubby & I to VA to drive his vintage 1976 BlueBird Wanderlodge RV, back to Texas due to a job change. (I'd owned a Class A 35' with my ex husband and was literally taught by the dealership to drive it, thus I was only one son trusted to drive his "baby." Current hubby suffers seizures and no longer licensed.)

Anyway, as my previous driving experience was nearly 10 years prior and back then "routing" Apps hadn't reached the mainstream, I had no clue they were a thing. So good old Google Maps "routed" our return trip. For those unaware, VA & WV are EXCEEDINGLY mountainous! They also have "major through ways" that in great part are literally 2 lane roads. Let me break this down "Barney Style." HUGE climbs, loaded BEHEMOTH of a bus (31'), max incline speed - if you get a good running start - 40 mph, 2 lane road with NEAR CONSTANT oncoming traffic, VERY sparsely populated. Now you get MOST of the picture. Add to this, an EXTREMELY heavy (probably overweight) DEFINITELY poorly packed UHaul 12 x 8" trailer and disaster was INEVITABLE!! Between the terrain and the trailer, we'd been on the road 3 hours and managed 75 miles! As we were plodding away up yet another "hill", we'd picked up quite a "following." Being NO WHERE but a plunge over the mountain to pull off to, we did all we could! (Yes, I HAD pulled off the road whenever possible to allow the following to pass, but it had been a good 10 miles since the last available spot.) As we crested this particular spot, it was an immediate decline with immediate rise with a blind curve at the next top! FUN! Just about the 3/4 point of the decline, an impatient 4 wheeler shoots into the oncoming lane during a very BRIEF lull in the traffic (he QUICKLY learned WHY there was a momentary lull.) Just about the point that he was just north of the 1/2 way point of passing us, up ahead, coming round that blind curve I mentioned, was a fully loaded logging truck, black smoke a rollin from both stacks!!! The 4 wheeler FLOORED it and BARELY nipped in front of us as that 18 wheeler was MAY BE 15 feet from crushing it!! The 18 wheeler was BLARING the AIRHORN, I was doing what I could to slow us down! The 4 wheeler cut in SO CLOSE that despite literally being "on the windshield, (flat nose bus, you can literally see the road less than 4 feet in front of you) I SWORE he'd clipped us!! As, way back in the dark ages, when I took Driver's Ed., the instructor had JACKHAMMERED the importance of human life into us so well that, that is ALWAYS my first thought whenever in dicey driving situations. Therefore, my first reaction to this was to pull - I didn't jerk, as I knew how disastrous that would be for us - to the right. Unfortunately due to the attached trailer, the drop of the edge of the road and the speed in which this happened there was simply NO WAY to get the old girl back on level ground, and ultimately, the trailer pulled us into the ditch, a mere 10 feet from an easy 700 foot PLUNGE! We "landed" at a 75ยฐ angle that required hubby to squeeze out thru the top of the entrance door!! I was extracted by emergency personnel through a side window and a ladder stretched over the ditch! Every single emergency worker who responded was patting my hubby on the back, giving "atta boys," congratulating him on some "AMAZING" driving, etc. UNTIL they learned I was behind the wheel!!! (Apparently this specific area was "renown" in the area as a literal death trap! 98% of all calls for that location were FATALITIES!) I'm STILL SALTY over the complete SILENCE that occurred once the responders learned a WOMAN had been in control!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I tell this story to EMPHASIZE just how VITAL GPS Routers can be to bigger rigs!!

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