One of the “newbies” around the campfire the other night was really out-of-sorts. In fact, he, Matt, admitted to his grumpiness. The cause (according to his wife) was their RV bed. Specifically, their RV bed mattress. “It’s a joke,” Mara said. She rolled her eyes. “I’ve been telling Matt since our first camping trip three weeks ago that we had to get something better. I figure after this weekend, his sore back will convince him better than I can.”
Almost everyone around the fire agreed. The mattresses RV manufacturers install are junk. What we didn’t necessarily agree upon was the best way to “fix” this predicament. Here are some comments and suggestions heard around the campfire.
Replace the original RV mattress
George insists, “Just toss out that sorry excuse for a mattress—the one that came with your RV. Get yourself a new household-type mattress. One you can actually sleep on!” Sleep is important. Whether on vacation or living in your RV full time and holding a regular job, you need sleep. It’s important for your physical health and emotional health, too!
Things to consider
Buying a replacement mattress can be a big expense. Before you pull the trigger on that idea, be sure to consider:
- Type. Is it best to get an upgraded RV mattress? Some people think so, especially if your bed platform is an unusual size. (Many RV beds feature a non-standard-size platform.) Then there are folks like George who insist that a mattress manufactured for sticks-n-bricks homes is best. Compare costs and warranties for both types to help you form a decision.
- Use. How much use will your RV mattress get? If you’re living in your RV full time, it’s worth it to purchase a better mattress. If, however, you only plan a few weekend camping trips in the summer months, you may get by with a less-expensive mattress.
- Materials. There are so many different choices in mattresses today: foam, memory foam, innerspring with plush top, etc. You also have air beds and adjustable beds to consider. Your choice is a personal one, of course. Most folks tend to purchase a mattress that is similar to the one they have in their sticks-and-bricks home.
- Weight. Consider the weight of the mattress you want to buy. (This isn’t something you think about when buying bedding for your sticks-and-bricks home.) Be mindful of your rig’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). A heavy king-size mattress just may tip the scales in the wrong direction.
- Thickness. If you are replacing the mattress for an overhead truck cab bed, you must consider the thickness. Too tall a mattress may mean you lose headroom and vertical height. Also, think about whether a thicker mattress will impede your slide from retracting as it should. Finally, be sure that you and your sleep buddy can get in and out of the bed safely. (A high-profile mattress may make it difficult to safely get in/out of bed.)
- Length and width. If you’re replacing your RV mattress with a typical home model, you’ll need to know the size of your RV bed platform. If the replacement mattress is just an inch or two larger or smaller than the platform’s dimensions, it should still work. A size difference of much more than that may require modifications.
- Access. Check that the new mattress will fit through your RV’s entry door. Foam mattresses can bend. Innerspring mattresses are trickier. Once you get the mattress through the door, will it fit down the hallway and make the turn into the bedroom (or whatever floor plan you have)? Think about it before you buy.
Get a “topper”
Tina disagreed with George. She said, “I can’t afford a new mattress. I got a foam topper at Walmart and I’m good.” I agree with Tina. Toppers can be a good alternative to purchasing a whole new mattress. We’ve had good luck with the topper we recently purchased. We used an electric knife to trim it to fit on top of our standard RV mattress. Our topper is four inches thick and is really comfortable. It works well for us.
Custom order an RV mattress
You can go online and search “RV replacement mattress.” Or search on Amazon for “RV mattress.” There are reputable companies based in the USA that get good reviews. At the campfire, Candice mentioned that she ordered a mattress for her home and used the same online company for her RV mattress (Tochta). MattressInsider® was also mentioned at the campfire. While I have no firsthand knowledge of either one, they may be worth checking out.
So, add your opinion to those shared around the campfire. Have you replaced the mattress that came with your RV? If so, what did you do? Tell us in the comments below.
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