Are you considering Coleman Lantern LT 17B upgrades that will make your bunkhouse travel trailer even more comfortable and functional?
The 17B is an affordable, family-friendly camper that’s great for those just taking the leap into the RV lifestyle. If you’re already a 17B owner, it’s natural to start wondering how you might upgrade your RV’s living space.
Must-Have Coleman Lantern LT 17B Upgrades
The desire to upgrade comes to all RVers eventually. Even if things don’t break, an upgrade can dramatically improve your RV. So here are our favorite upgrades for your Coleman Lantern LT 17B:
Technician Tip: All of these RV upgrades can be professionally installed by a certified RV technician at your local Camping World Service Center. Find a location near you.
Sure, the mattress that comes with your camper is much better than sleeping on an inflatable pad in a tent. But the first thing that many RVers do when they purchase a new or used unit is upgrade the mattress.
Many standard RV mattresses are thin and don’t provide much comfort. We recommend upgrading to the Brooklyn Bedding Medium 10.25″ Dreamfoam Hybrid Mattress, which does an excellent job of maintaining body temperature and providing support/comfort. If you would also like to upgrade the bunk mattresses, check out the Cozyway RV Bunk Mattress.
Technician Tip: In the 17B, the main bedroom mattress is a short queen, which measures 60” wide x 75” long. The bunk mattresses measure 29” wide x 72” long.
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.
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. Simply plug and play.
Technician Tip: To install a backup camera on an RV that is prepped for a camera installation, remove the rear cover plate on the camper held in place with four screws. Once these screws are gone, attach the camera to the pre-wired plug and secure the camera using the same holes as before. Plug the monitor in, and that’s it!
When camping off-grid, you’ll need a way to replenish your battery. This can be done with a portable generator, of course, but supplementing your RV’s battery capacity with a solar kit is an essential upgrade if you plan to avoid crowded campgrounds.
Solar is also great because it’s self-sustaining, and there’s no fuel to add or noise to deal with like when using a generator. The Coleman Lantern LT 17B is prepped for solar panels, making for a plug-and-play install.
We recommend the Go Power! 200-watt Portable Solar Kit for this camping trailer. It’s a complete kit and has everything you need. It’s also portable, so it’s easy to set up and take down when done.
A portable generator is a must-have upgrade for any camper that doesn’t come with a built-in generator, which is honestly most towable RVs. A generator provides freedom so you aren’t always limited to a campground power pedestal.
As generator technology improves, the smaller and quieter they get. The Honda EU3200iAC 50-State Inverter Generator comes highly recommended with enough power for your entire camper. It’s durable and has exceptional fuel efficiency.
Power Vent Fans
The Coleman Lantern has two vents, one in the living area and one above the shower. If you want to bring more fresh air into the camper for cooling purposes or to remove cooking odors, you can replace the manual vent in the living area with a powered vent.
We recommend the Dometic Fan-Tastic Roof Vent with Fan. This unit has a thermostat so you can set your desired temperature, multiple fan speed settings, and it’s very quiet. If you want to be able to use the vent fan in the rain, you’ll also need a cover like the Dometic Black Ultra Breeze Vent Cover, or the Dometic Ultra Breeze Vent Cover.
Technician Tip: A powered vent fan should not be used above the shower due to the chance of humidity coming into contact with the circuit board. Trailer roof vents are 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.
If you’re like most people, one of the first things you look to replace in your camper is the toilet. The small seats are often very uncomfortable and, unlike the toilets in your house, most have a plastic bowl that holds smell and stains easily.
In some cases, RVs are made with low-profile toilets that make it hard to get up and down. If you share these complaints, switch it out for one like the Dometic 320 Series Gravity RV Toilet. This is our favorite RV toilet upgrade because it has a standard seat height, an elongated bowl, and a ceramic base that won’t stain or hold smells.
Technician Tip: The Dometic 320 Series requires a rough-in (distance from the wall to the center of the toilet flange) of 11” or more.
Electric Tongue Jack
The Coleman Lantern LT 17B has a manual crank trailer tongue jack as the standard option. Manual tongue jacks take longer to raise and lower than an electric model, not to mention the sometimes unwanted workout required.
For some, manually operating a tongue jack is the last thing you want to do after a long day of driving to the campsite or enjoying your favorite camping activities. The strain and time-consuming task of raising and lowering your trailer is virtually eliminated with an electric trailer tongue jack.
The Lippert 3,500-pound electric tongue jack is a great option that won’t break the bank. It operates with the flick of a switch and has a built-in light for use at night. If you carry an electric drill with you, which we highly recommend, you can save some money with the Trailer Valet JX5-C Manual Center-Mount Trailer Jack. This jack uses a drill adapter for power operation, as well as still having a manual crank handle. There’s no wiring to worry about either, so installation will be much easier.
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. However, when upgrading to electric, you will need to run a power wire to the battery, but as the battery is on the tongue, it’s an easy task that most can do themselves.
The Coleman Lantern LT 17B has two scissor jacks on the rear. The tires and tongue jack serve as the remaining points for stabilization. If you find that this trailer moves more than you’d like when you’re walking around 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. They’re an easy addition to your 17B, and they come with a crank handle in case you’ve misplaced yours.
You’ll need a good set of wheel chocks to stop the trailer from rolling. Some experienced RVers employ wooden blocks or logs as wheel chocks, but we highly recommend using a product that’s specifically designed for this purpose.
Plus, most wheel chocks are lighter to carry in your storage compartment than wooden blocks or logs. The Camco RV Double Super Wheel Chock With Rope is great as it has a rope to keep both sides together. You can simply use one set on either side or both for added security.
The Coleman Lantern LT 17B is built with a single manual entry step. Depending on your camping location, this may result in stepping quite high to enter your trailer. Sure, you could supplement with an adjustable step stool, but an entry step upgrade is also a great choice.
The Lippert SolidStep 26” RV Double Step is one of the most popular options. Unlike the factory pull-out steps, the SolidStep makes direct contact with the ground, improving stability and removing the bouncing and wobbling. They also swing inside the trailer for storage and provide a nice wide step for your foot.
Your Lantern camping trailer is filled with delicate electronics. Electronics you don’t want to replace if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, problems at the RV park power pedestal are not uncommon.
Open neutral, open ground, and reverse polarity are just some common problems you could run into at the park. These problems could create surges that send excess voltage through your camper and to your appliances. If not protected, you could be left with a very expensive mess.
This is why we recommend using some sort of surge protector anytime you’re hooked up to park power. The Hughes Autoformer Watchdog Surge Protector comes highly recommended and gives you the peace of mind you deserve while camping.
If you enjoy riding bikes, one of the biggest issues you’ll face is transporting them. Bikes are big and bulky, so there are very few places they’ll actually fit in most RVs. That’s why you’ll either need a hitch-mount, bumper-mount, or tongue-mount bike rack to carry them.
For the Lantern LT 17B, two of your best bike rack options are the Lippert Jack-It Double Bike Carrier System (tongue-mount) and the Stromberg Carlson Platform-Mount Two-Bike Rack (bumper-mount). These options both allow you to carry up to two bikes.
Technician Tip: Exceeding the rear bumper’s capacity or the acceptable tongue weight for your tow vehicle can result in serious injury or loss of warranty. Consult a service center if you’re unsure which rack is best for your trailer.
By no means do you need to upgrade every facet of your camper. This list has some common upgrades that others have found worth the cost of upgrading. The most important thing is that you can enjoy the weekend with your family. The Coleman Lantern LT 17B is a great camper you’ll enjoy each and every trip.
What other areas of your travel trailer are you interested in upgrading? Let us know in the comments below.