its time to hit the road!




Before we took delivery of our Fleetwood 26J, we had El Monte RV install a super-cool new awning from Carefree. Installation was done by Camping World of Dallas. The awning rolls out and retracts easily. No rips, wrinkles or stinky mildew. A thousand-dollar value!


Campground electricity can be very uneven and unreliable. High voltage, low voltage and weird wiring can (and will) be encountered sooner or later. To protect valuable and expensive RV systems, electronics and lights, we installed a Hughes 30-amp Autoformer. The Autoformer corrects for uneven voltage and spikes. We opted for the permanent install kit. A $450 value! 

More information about the Autoformer can be found here:


You can really go off-the-grid with THREE 100-watt solar panels! The efficiency panels are routed to the batteries through a Renogy 40-amp MPPT charger. Power usage can be easily monitored with the MT-50 remote meter display.


For extra circuit protection, we also use a Camco 55312 30-AMP Circuit Analyzer/Protector. We use it mainly to protect the Autoformer from catastrophic spikes such as lighting strikes or miswired power pedestals. $75 value!


The water heater included with this RV is a fairly common and reliable automatic propane unit. However, it can gobble up propane, especially in cold weather. So we added a Camco Hybrid Element. This allows you to heat your water with the campground’s electric service rather than more expensive propane. IT GETS VERY HOT!! Better still, if you run the propane and electric at the same time, your water heater can recover much, much more quickly. $70 on Amazon!


A bright LED spotlight was added to the rear exterior of the coach. We really appreciated it for the times we hooked up the tow when it was dark outside. It’s great for security, too!


This might be our favorite little upgrade. Driving an RV isn’t too hard, really, but other drivers on the road can make it very difficult. Maneuvering through crowded city streets, entering or exiting the highway, climbing or descending grades – these are all situations where other drivers can really be a pain – especially in big cities like Houston.

These strobes make other drivers pay attention and get the hell out of your way. They really, really work, too, even on impatient or aggressive drivers. We noticed a difference in the way other drivers behaved almost immediately. Just turn them on at intersections or highway ramps – any time you need a little more courtesy and visibility on the road.   These strobes are also very helpful for roadside emergencies.  

They are also good for spontaneous disco dancing or raves. Party on!

There are a total of eight strobes, which are activated by a switch located on the dashboard. There are two strobes at each corner of the RV.  An 185 dollar value!


Honestly, backup cameras aren’t really all that necessary with such a short RV but we added two backup cameras anyway. One camera looks directly back, which is great for backing in to campsites or keeping an eye on tailgaters. The other camera looks to the rear and left, which really helps with lane changes and especially when backing out onto busy streets or crowded campgrounds.



Holy crap, this was an expensive fix!  The actual installation wasn’t too difficult but how in the WORLD is a new slide motor this dang spendy?  OVER $800!!  Well, the new owner won’t have to worry about it because these tend to last ten years or so.
Have a look for yourself:


If you plan on towing a vehicle, this stylish little skirt will keep rocks and other flying debris from cracking your windshield. Plus, it looks cool – like the camper has a fun party to go to. $85 on Amazon!


Propane/electric fridges generally work okay but they can use a little help to keep them running more evenly and more efficiently. We added a “Snip The Tip” thermistor replacement to allow a more precise adjustment of refrigerator temperatures.

Find out more here:

To help monitor fridge  interior temperatures, remote digital thermometers have been installed. That way, you know the exact fridge temperature without opening the door.

The refrigerator’s efficiency is very dependent on airflow over the exterior coils. Several low-amp cooling fans were added in stages along the back compartment of the fridge, pulling cool air in  and pushing hot air out. The fans were purchased from EPO Parts Outlet in Houston.


The stock door entrance handle was too small, especially when exiting the motorhome. The Stromberg-Carlson folding RV handle makes entering and exiting the RV easy and safe.


The Fleetwood 26J has tons of storage except when it comes to the sewer hose. For the sake of safety, health and hygiene a Valterra EZ Carrier has been installed underneath the camper. It works great but the end-cap can be kind of a pill to remove sometimes.


On our very first trip across the US, the 12-volt convertor crapped out in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fortunately, our campground was literally right next door to a Camping World. We replaced it in a matter of an hour or so. The new one is a standard WFCO 55-amp module. By the way, WFCO stands for World Friendship Company. No kidding. Weird, right?



Since this little RV was our home, we had to travel with personal items such as cameras and electronics. For increased safety and security, secret compartments and other security measures have been installed. The buyer will be briefed on these measures in-person.