Adapting to the RV lifestyle can be overwhelming – overwhelmingly fun. Sure, there are a few things here and there to get used to but, overall, it’s an adventure you’ll wish would never end. To relieve any stress or anxiety you may have about the new lifestyle, and to help elevate the fun of it all, we’ve gathered 50 RV hacks and tips you haven’t tried to ensure your next trip is your best trip.
1. Create an RV Departure Checklist
Whether it’s a physical copy or one stored on your phone, having a checklist available can save you the trouble of leaving something behind or having to turn around once on the road.
2. Plan an RV-Friendly Route
Regardless of where you’re going, take advantage of tools like the Good Sam Trip Planner that help navigate your RV through the country while suggesting campsites and RV parks along the way.
3. Level the RV Before Filling the Tanks
Level your RV before filling any of the tanks (freshwater tanks, especially). This will help ensure that you’re really getting a full tank with each fill-up by preventing false reads on your tank sensors.
4. Turn the Propane Valve Off Before Traveling
This should definitely be on the departure checklist, but fire safety is worth stressing more than once. Traveling with your RV’s propane valve open is a fire hazard. With all the shaking that occurs on and off the road, propane connections can loosen or come apart entirely while in transit.
5. Pack Pine Cones
Sounds weird, right? Pine cones are the perfect fire starter since they essentially burst into flames once lit giving a head start to any kindling or wood you may have on standby. Plus, nature provides them so they’re free!
6. Doublecheck Your Campfire
Before leaving, make sure your campfire is completely out. As a general rule, you should be able to touch the ground inside the fireplace or firepit. If it’s too hot, continue extinguishing the fire with water or smothering it with dirt. Leaving a fire smoldering could lead to a forest fire. Be a smart, safe, and considerate camper by practicing forest fire safety.
7. Get a First Aid Kit
Adventures can be unpredictable, so be prepared by having a fully stocked first aid kit in your RV.
8. Bring a Tool Kit
A basic tool kit could quickly become your best friend. You never know when you’re going to need a screwdriver to tighten/loosen something or a hammer to pound something in place. Better safe than sorry.
9. Have a Hairdryer On Hand
A hairdryer can do more than dry your hair, it can also warm up cold kindling or help thaw frozen pipes. Who doesn’t love a multipurpose item?
10. Be a Winner – Pack Games
Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, or your schedule gets away from you; having game options within reach that you can easily play inside the RV keeps boredom at bay.
11. Wash Your Clothes While Traveling
Throw your dirty clothes into a bucket with a tight lid along with water and laundry detergent then find a place in your RV where the bucket can be secured, like the shower. Every turn you take and bump you hit will agitate the clothes just like a washing machine does. After a few hours, once you arrive at your campsite, your clothes will be clean, ready to rinse, and line dry.
12. Hang Your Clothes on a Suspension Rod
Place a suspension rod in the shower and use it to hang wet clothes to dry or as additional closet space when the shower isn’t in use.
13. Stock Up on Collapsible Storage
Whether using it for dirty laundry or to haul items to and from the campsite, collapsible storage is the true MVP of RVing. It folds flat when not in use for easy storage and corrals whatever you need it to when in use.
14. Secure Cabinets and Drawers with Bungee Cords
Help keep cabinets and drawers closed, and contents contained within, while in transit with bungee cords.
15. Upgrade Your Shower Head
The low-pressure shower heads that come standard with most RVs leave a little to be desired. Upgrade your shower head to a high-pressure model and experience luxury on the road.
16. Double Duty Towel Rods
Install towel rods at a lower level inside the shower to hold bath products in place while traveling.
17. Use a Shoe Organizer in the Shower
If installing an extra towel rod sounds like a commitment, try using a shoe organizer instead. Hang it on the inside of the shower curtain as a liner and use the pockets to hold all your bath products.
18. Use a Shoe Organizer in the Bedroom
While you’re at it, grab another shoe organizer for the bedroom or closet. By cutting the organizer along the designated rows, you can use them to outline the perimeter of your bed. Then you can store your shoes neatly and out of the way.
19. Handwashing Station
It might sound weird, but it works. Use pantyhose as a makeshift soap dispenser. Drop a bar of soap into the toe of a pair of pantyhose and tie it to the water spigot or outdoor faucet at the campsite – an instant and convenient handwashing station.
20. Use Press’n Seal on Cups
For both kids and adults, use Press’n Seal plastic to turn regular cups into travel cups and avoid those inevitable spills that happen on the road.
21. Suction Cup Caddies for Kids
Use suction cup bath caddies to corral toys, games, and devices by sticking them to the windows around the dinette or beside the passenger seat.
22. Install Accent LED Lighting
By installing stand-alone accent LED lighting, you can illuminate your RV without pulling from your main power source.
23. Deter Ants with Gorilla Tape
Wrap a few strips of strong Gorilla Tape around openings that ants usually enter and stop them in their tracks. Literally.
24. Deter Wasps with Flea Collars
Propane tends to attract wasps. Stop infestations before they start by placing cut-up flea collars in various compartments.
25. Deter Mice with Irish Spring Soap
Fun fact: Mice hate the smell of Irish Spring soap. Keep a bar in the RV to deter mice, especially during winter.
26. Non-slip Liners Inside Drawers and Shelves
Use non-slip liners inside drawers and shelves to keep items from rolling around while traveling.
27. Protect Glasses with Socks
A pack of cheap socks can protect your bottles and glasses. Slide a sock over each item to keep them from breaking if they bump into each other while going down the road. If they do break, the sock will hold all the glass inside for easy clean-up.
28. Command Hooks are an RVer’s Best Friend
Hang everything using command hooks. We’re talking cooking utensils, coats, pictures, curtains – you name it, command hook can hang it. You’ll never make a million nail holes or screw something into the wall again.
29. Command Velcro is also an RVer’s Best Friend
You can have more than one best friend, it’s okay. Use Command Velcro to hold remote controls in place near seating, hold pictures and art to the wall, or attach utensils inside of cabinet doors. The possibilities are endless.
30. Insulate Your RV Windows with Bubble Wrap
RVing in the winter or during cold weather? No worries. Use bubble wrap to cover your windows and help insulate the space.
31. Get a WiFi Booster
Off-grid doesn’t have to mean offline. Sure, most campgrounds provide wireless internet, but the signal isn’t always the best. Avoid the frustration with a booster to improve your WiFi reception while on the road.
32. Protect Your Head with a Pool Noodle
Ever walk right into a metal awning strut? It’s not fun. Protect yourself by slitting a foam pool noodle and wrapping it around the struts. You’ll get visibility and safety all in one.
33. Stock Up on Free Condiments
Save all those unused condiment packs from restaurants you visit along the way. They take up less space than full-sized bottles, plus they’re free.
34. Invest in a Collapsible Ottoman
RV living requires some items to be double-duty. A collapsible ottoman is a perfect option for extra seating, a place to put your feet, or as an extra storage space. When you don’t need it, collapse it and store it. Win/win.
35. Recover the Dinette Cushions
You may not love every detail of your RV, but simple updates in a few places can change the entire feel of your space. Recovering the dinette cushions in a fabric you like is one of those simple updates.
36. Change the Curtains
Another simple update is changing out the curtains. Replace the panels, recover the valences, or remove them entirely – either way, you’ll fall in love with your space all over again.
37. Use Museum Putty to Hold Items in Place
Want to keep the coffee maker on the counter? Put museum putty to work. It doesn’t ruin your counter or your breakables but holds them in place until you decide otherwise.
38. Freeze 2-Liter Bottles to Use as Ice
Before you leave, clean and fill a few 2-liter bottles with water and freeze them. When you’re on the road, they’ll act as ice inside the freezer or cooler. When they melt, you’ll have clean drinking water.
39. Creative Egg Storage
Who doesn’t enjoy scrambled eggs while out and about? Avoid the disaster of having broken eggs on the road by cracking them in advance and storing them in a clean, empty coffee creamer container. Easy scrambled eggs!
40. Have Binder Clips Ready and Available
Surprisingly, binder clips are the perfect tie-down solution. They’re also great for hanging outdoor lights. Instead of mounting tape, use a binder clip to attach your string lights to your awning. If you have an abundance of clips, they’re phenomenal as chip clips and keep your favorite snack fresher longer.
41. Glow-in-the-Dark Tape
To preserve battery life and electricity, use glow-in-the-dark tape for surfaces like RV steps. Doing so allows you to navigate your way around the RV in the dark without having to turn on any lights.
42. Wear a Headlamp
For those times when you’re taking the dog out for a quick walk or potty break at night, a headlamp is an ideal solution. It keeps your hands free, and you don’t have to turn on any additional lights inside the RV to find your way out and back in again.
43. Create a Pet Nook
If you have a cabinet to spare, try removing the door and putting a pet bed inside to encourage your pet to use it as their space while traveling. It will keep them contained and safe while freeing up valuable floor/furniture space for everyone else.
44. Outdoor Paper Towel Holder
A garden flag stand doubles as a paper towel holder. Whether you choose to put it near your water spigot for handwashing or next to your outdoor kitchen for maximum convenience, it’s a game-changer.
45. DIY Tank Cleaner
Take a cup of Borax detergent and ½ cup of Calgon Water Softener and you have a tank cleaner that helps control odor while preventing waste from sticking to the walls of the tank. Maintaining your RV toilet is super important.
46. Dry Erase Board Info Station
Hang an inexpensive dry erase board, or use peel-and-stick dry erase wallpaper, in your RV to write down important information like the name of the campground, spot number, phone number, etc. so it’s easily accessible for everyone should they need it.
47. Vent Cushions Help Regulate Heat
Looking for a small investment that goes a long way? Look no further. A vent cushion helps regulate the temperature inside your RV which can be a lifesaver at parks that charge for electricity.
48. Tire Monitoring System
Investing in a quality tire monitoring system, like the TireMinder TM-77, can save you thousands of dollars in repairs by helping prevent a blown tire in transit.
49. Clear Utility Boxes
A few clear utility boxes can corral items like batteries and command hooks so they remain organized and contained instead of rolling around a drawer.
50. Cutting Board Counter Space Enhancer
Create more counter prep space by placing a cutting board over the stovetop when not in use. Easy and effective.
Turn off propane? So how do we keep the refrigerator running, How does a spouse cook a meal while the other is driving? (tight timelines) ect… I get the safety issue, but practicality, not so much.
Borax contains Boron. Boron does not break down with time, so NEVER dump it anywhere except city sewer systems which are treated, filtered and processed before being put back into the water systems.
Fun fact: Borax/Boron will kill ‘creeping charlie’ weeds in your yard, but only use it to treat any given area ONCE, because of its ‘everlasting’ properties.
Repurpose an old garden cultivator to use to reach and pull items from the back of the storage areas. The one I use has had two tines broken out of it, but the two that are left work just great for this job. I have also used it to reach so I can position and roll out the RV cover across the roof while I stand on the ground. It can also be used to reach and push items under the RV.
I use flat sheets to cover my cushions and then can take them off and wash them when I get home.
Thanks for the tips
Add screw on or hang over the door towel racks in the bathroom.
Use sticky cup hooks upside down on either end of a small trash can to hold plastic grocery bags that are used for trash.
This article was packed with super ideas! I am going to try out a few next time we are out and about!
When putting out fire. If using dirt to smother the fire, make sure it is fine dirt and not a shale type. Some soils end up only insulating the fire. Heavy winds can blow off dirt and blow embers out of pit after your gone.
Love these! Some are tried and true and many are new. I especially like the ones that are multi-purpose, make use of what is already lying around and help conserve resources. For us, I would put a small towel at the wash station since we don’t use paper towels. We’d rather they remain as trees.
Thank you for the great suggestions!
Also a cutting board across an open drawer for extra counter space.
Some motorhomes are designed to allow you to keep propane on while driving to maintain the temperature in your refrigerator. For travel trailers, however, it’s recommended to turn propane off before traveling to prevent a possible explosion in the event of an accident. Many travel trailers have exposed propane lines underneath and there’s significant risk to having propane in those lines if they are damaged by road debris or in an accident. We understand it may not be practical always, but it’s better safe than sorry, and we’d also steer clear of operating your oven or cooktop when driving your motorhome.
Nice. Thanks for the tip!
Great idea Rochelle!