FTC Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this article for more information, visit our Advertising Disclosure Page.
You’ve bought an RV, and now you’re ready to launch full steam ahead into the RV lifestyle. Before you embark on a trip of many days, it’s best to take a practice run, even if it’s just to the next town over. Spending a few nights on the road (but close to home) will allow you to learn how all your RV systems work and what might need to be added, fixed, or replaced before your longer trek. Once you’ve completed your practice run, you may determine that you would like to add the following upgrades.
Getting a good night’s sleep is imperative when you’re on the road in charge of driving a 20,000-pound vehicle in traffic. Evaluate everything about the beds for comfort. Even though you may be tempted to use cheap polyester bedding to make your bed, don’t do it. Make your bed with cotton sheets and firm pillows (or whatever style of pillow you like). Upgrade the mattresses because lumps mean tossing and turning. Opt for several blankets rather than an oversized comforter so that you can remove or add layers. Blankets are more flexible than a comforter. They are better suited for wrapping around you when you sit outside to look at the stars, sitting on at a picnic, and washing at a laundromat.
New carpet is attractive and soft on bare feet, but RV carpet doesn’t stay new for very long. Because of space limitations and the complete lack of a mudroom, there is no way not to track the outside world into the same small area. Replacing the carpet with good quality linoleum is an inexpensive fix. It’s much easier to keep clean and looks just as lovely as carpet. A broom, mop, and dustpan take up less room than a vacuum cleaner. Attach stick-on hooks to the inside of the door and hang a pair of flip flops or slippers from them for everyone traveling with you to cut down on bringing in the outside dirt as much as possible.
You’ll never know how well your curtains or mini blinds work until you park your RV under a bright street light at night. You may discover that there are gaps around the edges of your window covering that reveal too much of what’s going on inside or prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. A tension rod with a blackout curtain quickly fixes the problem. If you prefer a more permanent solution, consider installing a double rod with a dark curtain over a sheer liner. Another option is custom “top-down, bottom-up” shades that can be adjusted in numerous ways to maximize privacy and lighting.
There is never enough room in an RV kitchen; however, you can add a wee bit more space with an add-on counter extender. Make your own with a hinge and plywood piece, or purchase one specially designed for an RV to give yourself an extra foot or two of prep space. While you’re making changes, add in some under-the-counter task lighting, so you don’t have to have the entire living space lit up just to make a cup of coffee. Trash cans are also tricky in an RV because floor space is at such a premium. It might be worth it to give up cabinet space to attach a pull-out trash can. That way, you’ll never have to worry about it tipping over on a sharp turn or accidentally kicking it while maneuvering through the narrow hallway.
It’s almost impossible to keep anything dry in a tiny RV bathroom. Consider installing a retractable drying rack so towels can air dry while you travel. Not all RV sites allow outside clotheslines but keep a rope and clothespins with you just in case. Stow a box of extra-large Zip Lock bags under the bathroom sink. They come in handy for keeping towels, clothes, and toilet paper dry while you shower.
RVing is more than just a way to travel; it’s a lifestyle. Outfitting your RV is just as crucial as furnishing your home. Comfort is key.
Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by using the comments section located below.