Monday, August 8, 2022


Make your RV’s bed more comfortable without buying a new mattress

Finally! I had a good night’s sleep on an RV mattress! RV mattresses are notoriously bad. All you have to do is visit any RV-related Facebook group and read the comments to learn that!

We started out with a “premium” factory-installed foam mattress. It was so soft we automatically curled into the fetal position when getting in for the night. It was so uncomfortable that we turned it over to the hard base side.

Back for RV factory exchange

We had no choice but to return to the factory and complain about it. They finally installed a slightly less “foamy” mattress. Still sinkable. That one, too, was a no-go.

I fussed A LOT and they begrudgingly installed an air bed. The advantage of this one was that the motor is contained within the mattress frame at the end of the bed. It is a Freedom-Air™ by InnoMax®.  Rather than one king-size mattress, it was two twins. This is great for keeping the inflation settings separate, but also good at keeping cuddling to a minimum. We are old full-time RVers living in close quarters, so lack of cuddling wasn’t a particularly hard adjustment.

We did have issues with the tube attached to the motor leaking, but InnoMax was helpful and immediately sent replacement parts and directions on how to secure the connection better.

Lesson learned: If you have a new RV or one under warranty, you may be able to have a different mattress from the factory than the one that was installed.

More cushion, please!

This one was better, but I still wanted more cushion without deflating the mattress so much that it sank in the center. The solution? A mattress topper! Bigger is better, right? I wish I had taken a picture of the 4″ foam mattress topper expanding exponentially on the bed. It reminded me of a marshmallow over a campfire! Better would have been a video of my husband and me trying to roll it up to put back in the box to return. We lost a bungee cord on that one…

Oh, well. We’ll live with it

After the expanding topper experience, we decided to just live with it. That worked well until we ended up with a house and a new bed. An amazingly comfortable Sleep Number® bed. My husband keeps asking me as we are traveling, “Do you miss the house?” I answer, “Nope, don’t miss the house (don’t want the house). But, okay … I miss the bed.”

Trying again for a good night’s sleep on an RV mattress

Having been spoiled with a good night’s sleep back at our house, I have been looking at mattress toppers for the last few months while we are traveling. Some were excruciatingly expensive and some were of dubious quality. I saw a few on a buy-one-get-one 50% off sale. How many people are buying two overly priced toppers at a time? Not me!

The final decision…

Good nights sleep on RV mattress.

Finally, a sale I could live with while hoping it was not going to be another wrestle-it-back-into-the-box purchase. I read hundreds of reviews of The Big One® Cool Flow Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper and decided this was the one. I accepted the fact the nomenclature of “Cooling” was probably hype, but as long as it was comfortable, that’s what mattered.

A successful 10-hour sleep!

I unrolled the 1.5-inch thick topper and it was perfect! It has areas for more support in the neck, hips, and back regions, and it was very comfortable. We laid it under a heavy mattress pad and can still feel its comfortability.

It now covers the big twin dividing line on our bed, so cuddling is again obtainable (which can either be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your relationship). The Big One is currently sold out most places online. However, it’s still available for purchase in any size through Kohl’s.

There are a variety of mattress toppers available on Amazon in a variety of thicknesses, too, that you could try.

Finally! A good night’s sleep on an RV mattress! I am a seven-hour-at-most sleeper and this morning I dragged myself out of bed at hour ten! Moral of the story? Don’t give up! You CAN have a good RV night’s sleep!

For more on RV mattresses, make sure you read the latest edition of Tony Barthel’s Great RV Accessories newsletter where he reviews the GhostBed mattress.



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21 days ago

Nanci, I did do a select comfort in our trailer, just used a jackery 400 to keep the pressure and “number ” at the correct level. Got one at home and one in the camper…AHHHH

Ali F
22 days ago

It was too hard to lift the corners of our mattress to change the sheets.
So, our solution was to purchase a 6″ tri-fold firm mattress. I put a 3″ gel topper on it.
Now, I just fold the top 1/3 of the mattress towards me to install the fitted sheet corners.
I bend it back down to finish the job…No more heavy lifting in tight spots.

Micheal Whelan
22 days ago

Have to agree with the choice of a quality topper. Our last coach had a quality but overly firm mattress. We were going to purchase a new one but on an extended trip we had enough and stopped by a super store and purchased a good beaded foam topper…. best night we ever had.

23 days ago

Many of us can’t make our mattress any thicker or it won’t retract under the closet. 8″ max for me.

Cheryl E Lane
23 days ago

I have that same topper on my mattress at home, and I love it! It made my “slightly too firm” mattress perfect. And with my Kohl’s charge card and some coupons, I got it for a song!

Rick woodring
23 days ago

We purchased an innerspring mattress from It is so good we’re considering one for the house. We both hate memory foam and/or toppers, this has been the best experience for us

Donald N Wright
23 days ago

For my Aliner, I bought a queen sized foam mattress from Walmart. For my Airstream, it is two curved twins…What is a good knife to cut a foam mattress ?

Ron T.
23 days ago

Check the thrift shops for a used electric carving knife. I learned this trick from my BIL who did upholstery work as a hobby.

Dan kalm
23 days ago

We got a great topper at Costco, don’t remember the brand name but it was a game changer for our rv sleep.

Bill Braniff
23 days ago

Looks to me like another AD disguised as real thing.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
23 days ago
Reply to  Bill Braniff

Bill Braniff, It’s not an advertisement. No money or any other benefit was gained from it.

21 days ago
Reply to  Bill Braniff

lighten up please…how about taking a bit of advice. Are you gullible to take everything as an attempt to sell you something? What happened to listening and then deciding if it might be a good idea?

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