8 Must-Have Coleman Rubicon 1200RK Upgrades

Contributor

Conner Lund

Favorite Trip

Backpacking Ozark Trail

Home Base

Bowling Green, KY

Favorite RV

Winnebago Revel

About Contributor

Conner Lund is a Technical Content Writer. He has both hands-on experience and real-world knowledge. He’s an avid outdoorsman: camping, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, hunting, and fishing are all things he enjoys that you could find him doing on any given weekend. He loves to travel and see new places. He does most of his exploring and camping out of his overlanding truck with a rooftop tent.

The Coleman Rubicon 1200RK is perfect for those seeking to adventure off the beaten path. Its lightweight design allows for easier towing, and the off-road tires, paired with a compact footprint, make light work of rough terrain.

If you’re looking to make your lightweight, off-grid camper even more enjoyable, check out these must-have upgrades.

Technician Tip: You don’t need to be a mechanic to install these upgrades on your camper. Most can be done with little to no mechanical experience and basic hand tools. However, if you don’t feel comfortable, there’s no worry, as you can always reach out to one of your local Camping World Service Centers.

Portable Generator

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Photo by Camping World

A portable generator is a must-have upgrade for any towable camper without one. It provides freedom, so you aren’t always limited to a campground power pedestal. They’ll power most of your essentials if sized correctly, keeping you cool and protecting your food from spoiling.

The Cummins Onan P2500i Inverter Portable Generator is my pick for the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK. It’s durable and has exceptional fuel efficiency. Don’t forget the Electric World 15 Amp to 30 Amp Adapter Round Cord so you can use your existing power cord.

Other Generators to Consider

Solar

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Photo by Camping World

Supplementing your RV’s battery charging system with a solar kit is an essential upgrade if you plan to avoid crowded campgrounds. Solar energy is great for keeping your batteries charged, and there’s no fuel to add or noise to deal with, like when using a generator. The Rubicon 1200RK is prepped for solar panels, making for an easy, plug-and-play install. I recommend the Go Power! 130-Watt Portable Solar Kit, which is easy to set up and compact to store when you’re moving to a new boondocking spot. 

Learn how to determine how much solar your RV needs and how to get the most out of RV solar panels.

Other Solar Panels to Consider

Go Power! 200-Watt Portable Solar Kit
Go Power! 200-Watt Portable Solar Kit

Power Vent Fan

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Photo by Camping World

The Rubicon 1200RK comes with one manual roof vent in the center of the camper. If you’re looking to bring in more fresh air to keep your camper cool, you can replace the manual vent with a powered roof vent fan. 

I recommend the MaxxFan 4-Speed Vent Fan because of the multiple fan speed settings and easy-to-use controls. If you want to use your upgraded vent fan in the rain, you’ll also need a cover like the MaxxAir FanMate EZClip.

Watch our tutorial on the steps required to replace an RV roof vent fan.

Technician Tip: Most trailer roof vent fans can be installed into a standard-size opening of either 14” x 14” or 14-1/4” x 14-1/4”. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about cutting into the roof. That said, you will need to use some new sealant on the vent flange atop the roof once finished to prevent leaks. We have a kit that makes this easy, the Dicor Seal-Tite Rooftop Accessory Installation Kit. You’ll also have to run a power wire to the battery for the fan motor.

Other Vent Fans to Consider

MaxxFan Deluxe Manual-Opening RV Ventilator System
MaxxFan Deluxe Manual-Opening RV Ventilator System

Bike Rack

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Photo by Camping World

If you enjoy riding bikes, transporting them is one of the biggest issues you’ll face while traveling. Bikes are big and bulky, so they’ll fit in very few places inside any RV and definitely won’t fit inside one this compact.

For the 1200RK, there is enough room on the tongue to carry up to two bikes if you mount the Lippert Jack-It Double Bike Carrier System. The Jack-It system requires the removal of your trailer’s tongue jack for proper installation but it is easy to load bikes on and off once installed. 

Trailer Tongue Jack

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Photo by Camping World

Like most smaller campers, the 1200RK has a manual trailer tongue jack. It takes a painfully long time to raise and lower the trailer, not to mention the sometimes unwanted workout required. 

For most people, this is the last thing you want after a long day of driving or a busy day enjoying your favorite camping activities. You can eliminate the strain and time-consuming task of raising and lowering your trailer by upgrading to a tongue jack that a compatible power drill can operate.

If you carry an electric drill on your trip for quick repairs, which I highly recommend, you can upgrade to the Trailer Valet JX2-C Manual Center-Mount Trailer Jack. This jack uses a drill adapter for power operation and still has a manual crank handle. There’s no wiring to worry about either, so installation will be easy.

Technician Tip: Trailer tongue jacks all use an industry-standard mounting pattern, so you don’t have to worry about drilling new holes. They are bolt-on swaps. 

Other Trailer Jacks to Consider

Lippert 3,500-Pound Electric Tongue Jack
Lippert 3,500-Pound Electric Tongue Jack

Backup Camera

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Photo by Camping World

Also known as “the marriage saver,” a backup camera is a must-have upgrade for your camper. These cameras will help you back into a campsite or parking space, and they also provide improved visibility while out on the road.

Although the 1200RK isn’t prepped for a backup camera, the installation isn’t complex. The running light circuit powers them, so whenever you have these lights on, the camera will also be on. 

We highly recommend the Trailer Life Pathway 5″ Wireless Backup Camera System. The system is wireless, so there are no wires to run to and from the camera. The 5” color monitor helps you see clearly, and the built-in camera lights help with visibility at night. 

Technician Tip: The round clearance lights atop the trailer will make this installation more challenging than usual, so you may need to get creative with camera mounting options.

Other Backup Cameras to Consider

TrailerLife Pathway 7 Wireless Backup Camera System
TrailerLife Pathway 7″ Wireless Backup Camera System

Stabilizing Jacks

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Photo by Camping World

The Rubicon 1200RK has two scissor jacks in the rear. If you find that the trailer moves more than you’d like when you’re inside, consider adding a set of stabilizing jacks to the front. This pair of 24″ Lippert Scissor Jacks is a great option because they mount directly to the bottom of the frame with self-tapping screws. 

Other Stabilizer Jacks to Consider

Stromberg Carlson 24- Scissor Jacks
Stromberg Carlson 24″ Scissor Jacks

Surge Protector

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Photo by Camping World

Your Rubicon requires a 30-amp power cord to plug into a campground power pedestal. But you’ll want to upgrade with a 30-amp surge protector to avoid replacing delicate electronics if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, electrical problems at RV park power pedestals aren’t uncommon. 

Open neutral, open ground, and reverse polarity are common problems you could encounter. These problems could create surges that send excess voltage to your camper and your appliances. If not protected, you could be left with a very expensive mess.

This is why we unanimously recommend using a surge protector anytime you’re hooked up to park power. The Hughes Autoformer Power Watchdog comes highly recommended and gives you the peace of mind you deserve while camping. 

Other Surge Protectors to Consider


We hope these upgrade recommendations help you enjoy more comfortable camping and easy road navigation. If you’re still shopping for RVs, check out this story about how two brothers tested the 1200RK to find out if it was their ideal RV.

What other areas of your travel trailer are you interested in upgrading? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Comment (10)
  • Mayola says:

    Where can I find a cover for this?

    • Conner Lund says:

      Hello Mayola,

      The Coleman Rubicon 1200RK has a unique shape, so finding the right cover can be challenging. You could opt for a custom cover through ADCO or another company, but these will be very expensive. The best off-the-shelf option we offer is the Eevelle S2 Expedition Travel Trailer Cover, Gray or Tan. Their smallest size is 15-16′, which will work, but there will be extra material to deal with.

  • Art Schauer says:

    Also, where can I find a wiring schematic for the 1200rk. I don’t see that in the manual.

    • Conner Lund says:

      Hey Art,

      A wiring manual is not something you’ll typically find from a manufacturer. We do not have access to any such schematics. That said, if you can let me know what exactly you’re trying to do, I may be able to assist in another way. Thanks

  • Art Schauer says:

    It says that the 1200rk has a fully walkable roof. When mounting awning brackets directly to the roof can they be mounted anywhere? Or, are there structural members that need to be found to bolt to? How would I find them, spacing?

    • Conner Lund says:

      Hey Art,

      Most of your awnings mount to the side of the trailer, not the top. That said, if you were going to secure something to the top, you would need to find the supports before doing so. We recommend reaching out to the manufacturer for this. Although walkable, there are still points with bracing that you must tie into for security. I hope this helps; let me know if you need anything else!

  • Matthew Deckard says:

    With a solid roof on these campers. What kind of roof rack would you recommend? We want to take our Kayaks, pop up cover and lawn chairs.

    • Conner Lund says:

      Hey Matthew,
      It can be a challenge to haul kayaks with you when you go camping. I typically recommend carrying the kayaks on the tow vehicle via a roof rack. However, as the 1200RK is rather low profile, it might be possible to place them on the roof of the camper. To do this, I’d recommend a track-style roof rack. The tracks can contour to the shape of the roof, and you can adjust the spacing for clearance of other roof-mounted accessories. In addition to the roof rack, you’ll also need a carrier. If you have multiple kayaks, I recommend going with the J-arm style so you can fit both with ease. It might be a bit challenging to load the kayaks due to the height of the camper but it’s possible. I’d also consult Coleman before drilling into the roof.

  • Timothy Flowers says:

    Are those generators enough power to run the rubicon? I’ve been told at least 3200 watts is needed. Please advise.

    • Conner Lund says:

      Hey Timothy,

      It depends on what you want to power. Most rely on a generator to power the air conditioner. The air conditioner in the 1200RK pulls around 2,300 watts starting but only around 400 watts while running. Therefore, a 2,500-watt generator will be able to start your air conditioner and then, once running, power other accessories. However, if you want to plug everything in at once and run it all at the same time, you might want to consider a larger size. The 1200RK is a small camper, so space is usually at a premium. Therefore, we recommend a more compact option but feel free to size up as needed.

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