Wednesday, November 29, 2023


A 10-minute daily clean will make a world of difference in your RV

If you’re traveling in your RV, mornings are busy as you prepare your rig for the day’s drive: securing loose items, clearing the floor to allow slides to be retracted, preparing snacks for the day’s trip, and more. Cleaning is the last thing on my mind on our travel days. But when we are stationary, camping in our fifth-wheel rig for more than a day or two, I like to use my “10-minute daily clean” routine before we head out for the day.

Why a daily clean?

Face it. No one enjoys cleaning the RV, especially if everyone else is out sightseeing, hiking, biking, or fishing. On the other hand, I don’t enjoy returning to a mess in our RV at the end of a busy day either. By taking just a few minutes at the start of each day I can avoid both. (I’m most productive and energetic at the start of my day. If another time works better for you, by all means, choose 10 minutes at your peak time.)

Here’s what I do (and the order I do it) for my daily clean:

  • Wash dishes. As the sink fills with water, collect any coffee mugs or other dishes left around the RV and bring them to the sink. Wash and rinse the dishes and place them in the drainer to dry.
  • Galley area. While dishes air dry, quickly wipe down the stovetop and microwave (if they’ve been used to make breakfast.) Give the countertops a quick swipe with Clorox wipes or microfiber cloth. Ditto for fridge and cupboard handles.
  • Dining table. Declutter. Remove newspaper or other paper clutter and put it into the recycle bag. Wipe down table.
  • Living room. Fold up lap blanket. Shake and reposition sofa pillows. Put away TV remotes and any other clutter.
  • Entry rugs. Shake out the rugs and put them back in place.
  • Bathroom. Wipe down sink. Hang towels on towel rack. (Usually by now everyone’s finished in the bathroom. If not, they will wipe down the sink and hang towels.)
  • Bedroom. Make bed. Put clothes and shoes into closet and/or hanging laundry bag.
  • Dry dishes. Dry and put dishes away.

All in 10 minutes? Yup!

Here are a few things that help make my daily cleanup process go smoothly:

  • Minimum supplies. We bring only the dishes, cups, silverware, and cooking items we need. No extras. (I keep paper plates on hand for those rare times we need extra plates.)
  • Cleaning supplies within reach. The kitchen sink and bathroom sink cabinets each hold a container of Clorox wipes. There are also microfiber cloths in both places. (Want to know more about incredible microfiber cloths? Read this.)
  • Trash/Recycle combined basket. I use a black plastic bag for trash collection and a white plastic bag for items that can be recycled. I put both bags into one trash bin under the kitchen sink. That way, I can easily sort and place unusable paper/cardboard/trash right where it belongs.
  • Shower squeegee. Everyone knows to use the squeegee after they shower. Wiping down the shower walls not only cuts down on excess humidity in the RV, but it also prevents water spots from forming. This means less work to keep the shower glass clean.
  • Hanging dirty clothes bin. We tried placing a clothes basket on the floor of our RV’s closet. It just didn’t work well for us. The basket limited floor space which meant no room on the floor for shoes. With the dirty clothes bin up off the closet floor, it’s easier and quicker to put shoes and sandals away. I no longer need to search the closet floor for clothes that need laundering either. Here’s a hanging laundry basket that might work well for your RV.
  • Floor rugs. We always have a rug at the bottom of our RV’s exterior steps as well as a rug right inside the RV door(s). These rugs catch a lot of sand and dirt, making it easier for me to keep floors clean. Shaking the rugs daily helps keep dirt and dust inside our rig to a minimum. (Always move away from the RV before shaking rugs. This will keep the RV outdoor mat and steps clear of debris and dirt.)

By taking a few minutes each day to declutter and surface clean, I can enjoy traveling in our RV that much more. How do you keep your RV clutter-free and clean day-to-day while camping? Share your hints and tricks in the comments below or on my forum page.


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



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DPJ (@guest_164376)
1 year ago

I do all that you do plus I run the vacuum & then swifter the floor after shaking out the rug. Our fifth wheel is pretty small and if it is dirty would drive me nuts. We always take our shoes off at the door and slip on our slippers.

Bob Palin (@guest_164266)
1 year ago

This nonsense is why I am single!

judy (@guest_164233)
1 year ago

For those who have granite countertops, you should never use Clorox wipes on them!

Dawn (@guest_164258)
1 year ago
Reply to  judy

Why should you not use Clorox wipes on granite countertops?

Tony Grigg (@guest_164224)
1 year ago

I’m going to guess the author travels with children. Otherwise, 2 adults can easily avoid many of the tasks on her list by simply putting things away when they are done with them.

Ellie (@guest_164235)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Grigg

She might just have a husband who doesn’t pick up after himself!

Grace Wilfong (@guest_164223)
1 year ago

I also sweep the floor every day. It is amazing how much dirt can get in a small trailer even with an outdoor mat and an indoor mat.. It only takes a few minutes,

Debra Rohn (@guest_164212)
1 year ago

May I add this to Gail Marsh’s cleaning article?
We remove our shoes at the entry door. It keeps dirt and yuck outside where it belongs.

Gail (@guest_164215)
1 year ago
Reply to  Debra Rohn

Absolutely, Debra! Great tip. “No shoes inside” really eliminates a lot of mess!
Enjoy your day!

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