The Coleman Rubicon 1400BH is every adventure seeker’s dream. Off-road tires, a lightweight fiberglass body, and a compact design make this trailer perfect for families looking to get away from crowded campsites. You don’t need a big truck to pull it; it sleeps up to four comfortably, getting you off the ground and eliminating the setup and breakdown required with a camping tent.
Check out these must-have upgrades if you’re looking for ways to improve your already great off-road travel trailer.
Technician Tip: If you’ve held off on upgrading your camper because you don’t know where to start, it has never been a better time to learn. These upgrades can be installed with little tools or mechanical knowledge. However, you can always reach out to a Camping World Service Center if you need help.
The Rubicon 1400BH is prepped for solar, so upgrading your battery’s charging system is easy. A solar panel will charge your battery like a generator without all the extra noise and gas fumes. Solar is self-sustaining and maintenance-free, a must-have for boondockers where resources are limited.
I recommend the Zamp Solar 140-Watt Portable Kit, which is portable, so you’ll have to unpack and connect to the pre-wired port on the front of the camper for charging. It’s a complete kit with everything you need, from the charge controller to the wiring.
Other Solar Panels to Consider
A backup camera is a top-selling upgrade for nearly every type of travel trailer that doesn’t feature one as a standard option. Even though the Rubicon 1400BH is compact, a backup camera will dramatically improve your visibility when backing into a campsite or parking space.
Although this small camper isn’t prepped for a backup camera, the installation isn’t complex. The running light circuit powers them, so the camera will also be on whenever you have these lights on.
We highly recommend the Trailer Life Pathway 7″ Wireless Backup Camera System. The connection between the camera and the display monitor is wireless, and built-in camera lights further increase your visibility when pulling into campsites after dark.
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
A portable generator is a must-have upgrade for any travel trailer or fifth wheel without one. Portable generators greatly expand your campsite options, allowing you to explore beyond campgrounds with electrical hookups. They’ll power most of your essentials if sized correctly, keeping you cool and protecting your food from spoiling.
Other Portable Generators to Consider
The 1400BH comes with two rear stabilizing jacks. 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 an easy addition to your Rubicon because they quickly and easily mount to your trailer’s frame with self-tapping screws. They’re an easy addition to your Rubicon.
Other Stabilizing Jacks to Consider
If you find yourself frequenting campgrounds, you’ll want to invest in a surge protector. A surge protector is installed between the campground’s power pedestal and your shore power cord. It protects the camper’s appliances from voltage spikes by blocking power when an issue occurs.
Although rare, electrical problems at the campground’s power pedestal can wreak havoc on your camper, costing you thousands in repairs. Having a device in place is important to prevent these potential issues.
The Hughes Autoformer Power Watchdog is my recommendation. It has replaceable surge modules and even a mobile app so you can monitor everything wirelessly. Best of all, it gives you peace of mind while camping so you can spend more time with the family.
Other Surge Protectors to Consider
Power Vent Fan
The Rubicon 1400BH base model has a single manual roof vent in the center of the roof. While it helps with ventilation, it doesn’t include a fan to accelerate airflow. The unit has a wall-mounted air conditioner, but upgrading to a roof vent with a fan is handy when you camp off-grid.
If you’re interested in this upgrade, consider replacing the manual vent with the MaxxFan 4-Speed Vent Fan and installing the MaxxAir FanMate EZClip so you can open the vent and run the fan when it’s raining.
Technician Tip: Most trailer roof vents can be installed in standard 14” x 14” or 14-1/4” x 14-1/4” rough roof openings. 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
Trailer Tongue Jack
Because it’s one of the most affordable small campers out there, you won’t find a power tongue jack on the Coleman Rubicon 1400BH. There are benefits to manual tongue jacks, but they do require extra time and effort when raising or lowering your trailer. After a long day of driving, this might be the last way you want to spend your remaining energy.
Fortunately, a power drill-compatible tongue jack can eliminate the strain and time-consuming task of raising and lowering your trailer.
If you carry an electric drill for quick repairs, which I highly recommend, consider upgrading to the Trailer Valet JX2-C Manual Center-Mount Trailer Jack. This jack uses a drill adapter for power operation, and there’s no wiring to worry about when swapping it for your existing manual tongue jack.
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
Bikes are a great addition to any off-grid camping trailer, but most don’t offer an easy way to transport them. In a compact micro camper like the Rubicon 1400BH, shoving your bikes inside to store them between destinations isn’t realistic.
Luckily, the 1400BH has enough room on the tongue to install a tongue-mounted RV bike rack. We recommend the Lippert Jack-It Double Bike Carrier System for those who want to upgrade their bike carrying capacity. The Jack-It allows you to carry up to two bikes, it’s easy to install, and easy to load bikes on and off because this trailer is closer to the ground than others.
Portable Washing Machine
If you have the space for it, either inside the trailer in transit or in your tow vehicle, a portable washing machine is a great upgrade. It’ll help you extend your campground stays without paying for coin-operated laundry facilities.
We recommend the Simple Nest Portable Washing Machine because it plugs into any 110-volt AC outlet and includes a spin cycle to remove excess water before you hang your clothes to dry. It can handle up to seven pounds of clothing per cycle, and you’ll need just 1.5 gallons of water per load.
Other Portable Washing Machines to Consider
Portable Power Station
A great upgrade for those interested in off-grid camping, a portable power station lets you keep smaller electronics charged and reduces your generator’s fuel consumption. They also deliver cleaner power that’s safer for more sensitive electronics like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
The Southwire Elite 500 portable power station can power up to 10 devices simultaneously and requires three hours to achieve a full charge. It’s perfect for upgrading your 1400BH because it can be recharged by a generator, solar panels, a DC outlet in your tow vehicle, and AC outlets inside the trailer when connected to shore power.
Other Portable Power Stations to Consider
Every RV requires upgrades over time. As you learn more about RVing and define your personal preferences, changing your setup to fit your style is natural. We hope these upgrade ideas provide some easy options for you to make your next camping trip easier and more comfortable.
What other areas of your trailer are you interested in upgrading? Let us know in the comments below.