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RV Hacks, Tips, & Tricks

No matter if you’re a long-time pro at RVing or just starting out, the following RV hacks, tips and tricks are sure to make your RV trips easier, more comfortable, and hopefully more enjoyable. The following ideas may need to be implemented by purchasing an item or two from your local store. In many cases, however, you probably have the needed items in your home already. 

Curious? Then read on to discover some very useful RV tricks and tips!

RV Tips for Storage

Command Hooks

Let’s get started with a great dollar store hack: Command hooks. Command hooks will hang almost everything without damaging the walls in your travel trailer. Command hooks can: fasten pictures to the walls; hook coffee mugs closer to the coffee maker; add a hook for your bathrobe near the shower; or designate a place to put your keys, right near the RV entry door. These handy hooks can also keep pots and pan lids safe for travel. Hold your lid in place on the inside of a galley cupboard door. Do so by using three hooks, one at the bottom of the lid and another on either side.

Folder Boxes

This RV hack will keep foil, wax paper, and other kitchen supplies handy. Store these items on end inside file folder boxes. Mount the boxes to the inside of a cupboard door using heavy-duty Velcro strips.

Toothbrush Storage

A suction-cup toothbrush holder applied to the inside of the medicine cabinet or to the bathroom wall is one of our health-focused camper hacks to keep your toothbrush off the bath sink counter and keep that toothbrush easily accessible.

Cupboard Organization

Make the most of your cupboard space with this travel trailer tip: Use plastic nesting cups, bowls, and storage containers. Hint: Square or rectangular shapes take up less space than round.

Full-time RVers like to contain cereal, baking supplies, and other items inside baskets or sealable, plastic containers. Not only will you keep “like items” together, but your camper’s cupboards will also be organized. Label containers or use see-through types to find things quickly.

Handy Collapsibles

Consider using collapsible garbage cans and laundry baskets. These ingenious items easily collapse for travel or storage and pop back quickly when you need them.

RV Tips for Temperature

Bubble wrap 

Bubble wrap will help you stay warmer in your RV this winter. Fill a spray bottle with water. Add a drop or two of dish soap. Spray a light mist of this mixture on the inside of your RV window. Then apply bubble wrap, making sure the bubble side touches the glass.

Hairdryer

Your hairdryer will come in handy for these camping hacks. If your RV pipes freeze you can thaw them with the hairdryer. Just be sure to use a low temp setting. The same goes for cold kindling. Warm it up with your hairdryer and your campfire will start more quickly.

Styrofoam

Need an inexpensive way to insulate the window on your RV entrance door? Try styrofoam. Hold newsprint (or any paper) to the window and trace the resulting shape. Transfer the shape to the styrofoam. Then use a box cutter to cut the styrofoam to size. Affix the insulation to the window using velcro for easy on and off.

Oven Pizza Stone

Here’s an RV hack that will help your rig’s oven heat more evenly: Place a large pizza stone inside on the lower metal shelf – even when not making pizza. The stone will absorb the oven’s heat and prevent it from cycling on and off so frequently. (You can substitute a pizza stone with a 12 x 12-inch ceramic tile also.)  

Vent Covers

RV roof vents are great, until winter arrives and it seems like all your heat is sucked right out of your rig! You can avoid this heat loss with a great camper tip: Use a vent cover like this one. Or, try this RV hack: Use a similarly sized sofa pillow to place inside the ceiling fan vents. Bonus: Vent covers will help hold out the blistering summer heat, too!

RV Hacks for Lighting

Glow in the Dark Tape

Do not stumble outside in the dark! Try this travel trailer tip instead: Use glow-in-the-dark tape to mark walkways, steps, and your RV hitch. Also, apply the tape to slide-outs to prevent head bumps in the night. Read about the many great uses for this tape here

Awning Lights

Use this RV hack to hang decorative awning lights without damaging the awning fabric: Name tag clips work like a charm.

Bargain LED Lights

You can get LED lights from IKEA for bargain prices. These lights run on a camper’s 12-volt system too. Perfect for camping.

Flashlight

Always keep your flashlight within reach with this handy camping hack: Use a Command broom holder to secure the flashlight. Put the holders in your RV basement, near your bedside, and in your vehicle for easy access, anytime.

Headlamp Lantern

Brighten up your nighttime by transforming your headlamp into a lantern. All you need for this RV hack is an empty, clean plastic milk carton or water jug. Position your headlamp around the outside of the bottle with the light facing inward. You may want to add a bungee or carabiner so you can hang the light from your tent center pole. 

Motion Sensor Lights

RV manufacturers do not put lights in every dark camper spot. It’s inconvenient to lug your flashlight around, so try this RV trick: Install motion sensor lights in upper cabinets, basement storage areas, under-bed space, closets, and more. 

Bucket Light

Light up the night with this easy camping hack. Use a clean, five-gallon bucket. It’s best if the bucket features a handle. Inside the bucket, place an LED battery-powered light, like these. Hang the bucket in a tree and use the remote to turn the light on and off, change the light’s colors, and more!

LED Strip Lights

Consider installing LED strip lights beneath galley cabinets, along hallways, behind the TV, and other places where you want ambient light. 

Push or Tap Lights

Looking for an easy way to instantly brighten up almost any place in your travel trailer? This travel trailer tip can help: Use push lights. Push lights come in a variety of sizes, configurations, colors, and brightness. Most lights feature easy self-stick mounting, or you can use your own Velcro, too. Put these handy lights everywhere you need more light.

Other RV, Camper, and Travel Trailer Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

Many RV hacks fall within the “common sense” category. Other camper hacks apply specifically to the RV experience. With that in mind, here are some additional hints and tricks:

  • Checklists – Lists make RVing easier. Think: departure lists, packing lists, maintenance lists, etc. You can find detailed checklists online. Print out your favorite or save the list on your cell phone. Then use the list. You’ll be glad you tried this camping tip!
  • RV Traveler Apps Not all roads are suitable for RVers. Avoid low clearances and other RV hazards by using an RV road trip planner mobile app which is specifically designed for RV travelers. 
  • Always pack a First Aid Kit – Be ready for medical emergencies. Always pack a first aid kit in your rig, along with a pet first aid box if Fido is coming along.
  • Important Measurements – Keep yourself and your rig safe with this important RV tip: Measure the height of your RV from the ground to the roof. Then add to that the height of any appliance (AC) or other items permanently mounted on the roof. Note the total height on a sticky note or piece of masking tape. Place the measurement on your dashboard where you can easily refer to it.
  • Level Before Filling – Be sure your travel trailer is on level ground before filling your freshwater tank. That way you’ll be sure to completely fill it.
  • WiFi – Finding and maintaining a reliable WiFi connection while RVing can be tricky. There are many WiFi boosters, range extenders, and repeaters on the market today. These include interior and exterior installations, a variety of sizes/weights, and can greatly vary in price. A valuable RV tip is to research each product thoroughly before making your purchase.
  • Basic Tool List – What tools do you really need when traveling down the road? This basic tool list is one of my husband’s most valuable tips: torque wrench, tire pressure gauge, impact wrench and bottle jack (for tires), hammer, multi-bit screwdriver, battery-powered drill, pliers (Channellock, vice grips), socket set, multimeter, thread seal tape, Allen wrenches, wire cutter, duct tape, zip ties, bubble level, work gloves, utility knife, measuring tape, and a flashlight/headlamp.
  • Eliminate Pests – Pests like flies, wasps, ants, and mice can dampen the enjoyment of any RV trip. That’s why this camping tip is so important. Mice go where there is food. Keep cupboards, countertops, and floors free of crumbs and food bits. Store food inside secure plastic or glass containers. Seal off any mouse entry points, both inside and outside your rig, using steel wool or expandable spray foam insulation. Traps work best in eliminating mice that get inside your RV. Ants, also, travel in search of food. Follow the advice for mice (above) and keep ants from entering your RV by sprinkling powder or salt at entry points. 
  • Use Screens – This RV tip may save your refrigerator or other appliances. Flying insects often nest inside RV vents. Before this happens, install screened covers over all exterior RV vents.
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System – Tire blowouts can be catastrophic. You need a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to warn you before this happens to your RV. A TPMS allows you to constantly monitor your tires as you travel. You’ll be warned well ahead of any tire failure so that you can take steps to prevent it. This RV tip may just save your life.
  • Furniture Refresh – Does your RV furniture need a refresh? Here’s a do-it-yourself RV hack that almost anyone can do. Think of the dining bench, seat cushion, or even the sofa seat as a gift package. Wrap your replacement fabric over the area, just as if you were wrapping a birthday gift. Use duct tape to hold the edges in place on the underside of the seat. 
  • Add Electrical Adapters – If you have an older RV, chances are that you lack electrical adapters to, say, charge your cell phone. It’s easy to implement this RV life hack: Add a surface mount electrical adapter. You can find these adapters at your local hardware or Walmart store. They look something like this.
  • Instant Pot Meals – Easy and delicious meals are a snap with an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Not only can you cook meals faster, but you can eliminate the extra humidity in your RV by venting the pot outside. This RV tip will keep excess humidity out of your rig. 
  • Veneer Repairs – Much of the RV’s interior is veneer-clad “wood” instead of actual solid wood. Why? Weight. So, to fix the loose veneer, you will need a syringe and some wood glue. Fill the syringe (like this one) with wood glue. Slowly apply the glue to the back of the veneer at the lowest point that’s loose all the way to the end. Firmly press the glued veneer back into place and hold or clamp so that the glue securely bonds.
  • Drying Clothes – There are many options when it comes to drying clothes while camping. If your RV features an onboard clothes dryer it’s a no-brainer. What if you don’t have a dryer in your RV? Try this camper hack: Apply removable suction cup hooks on the exterior of your RV and dry individual towels on them. Or place a folding, wooden clothes rack inside your shower. To dry very lightweight items, extend your awning. Fasten one end of a plastic clothesline to one awning brace and the other clothesline end to the opposite awning brace. If you’re somewhat handy in making things, you can search RV hacks online for PVC clothes dryers and make your own. Or install a manufactured clothesline like this.
  • RV Exterior Care – Periodically check the exterior of your rig. Look for places that are beginning to rust and attend to them. Think: steps, frame, etc. First sand off the rust or use a rust remover. Then clean the surrounding metal from dust, grease, and other debris. Use an exterior-rated spray paint to coat the entire metal component. This maintenance tip for your RV will help it look much better and last longer too.

An RV Tip Never to Be Forgotten

Finally, this camping tip is one everyone needs to know and follow, and that is to make sure your campfire is completely out. Once the flames have died down, spread the coals around. They will cool faster, and any remaining fuel will not reignite. Using at least two buckets of water, completely douse the area. (Stand away from the rising, hot steam.) You can also douse with dirt or sand but apply only a thin layer to avoid insulating the coals which may flame up later. Stir the ash and coals. Then repeat the dousing procedure until the campfire is cold.

Do You Love RVing? Then RVtravel.com is For You

The open road beckons and you’re craving new adventures. You’re ready to exchange your regular routine with some travel – RV travel, that is. And we’re here to help. As RVers ourselves, we can supply you with all the tips and tricks we’ve learned and perhaps even share a “camping hack” or two that will make your journey even more enjoyable.

Have a question or concern? You can voice it in our comments section or join our wonderful, new forum communities. We’re all in this together, so take RVtravel.com with you no matter where you roam. Click here to sign up today!

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23 Comments
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Thomas Knein
7 months ago

The command hooks idea is BAD. It will loosen the wall paper, that is stuck to the plywood substrate, on many rvs. It depends on the glue that the paper was stuck with.

Ken
7 months ago

Hi Everyone. I enjoy your newsletters and have for many years. One thing that i have noticed with Chuck’s retirement is the attitude and genX shift. While statements and editorial comments may be funny to the staff you may be irritating older readers with comments about COVID masks and global warming accusations. There are millions of us that are old school, that have prove it and show sources attitude, who do not believe the sky is falling reported on the news or preached by biased government officials. We do our research independant of Google or CNN/CBS etc. Plesse edit carefully and stick to the facts not hearsay or WOKE montra. Thank you.

Leonard Rempel
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Wow, someone is grumpy today!

thelms
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Hey Ken, I’m old and not as grumpy as you. Did you ever think that your sources are the problem? Just enjoy the newsletter or change the channel and not comment on it.

Derek
7 months ago
Reply to  thelms

Bingo!

Scott
6 months ago
Reply to  thelms

Remember…this is a RV newsletter. Please check the political opinions / rants about the idiots in the everyday world at the door. We camp to leave this debris behind. Just enjoy life and let these distractions behind as you enjoy the view and partake your beverage of choice

Mike Albert
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Hi Ken,

I started to reply to your statement about facts and sources of the same. My sources are from CDC, doctors and nurses working at various hospitals and private practices.
Then I remembered what a wise man once said. If you don’t like it, turn it off or change the channel!

BYE!

BillyBogey
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Ken; simply, “Give It A Rest!!”

Most of Us “Old Boys” are out on a Day Pass!!
Which we enjoy!!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Hi, Ken. This “staff” member is 75. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, no matter the age or what their particular generation is called. But we at RVtravel.com are not going to limit our statements or comments just so as to not offend us Baby Boomers, etc. We try to keep everything as factual and unbiased as possible. If the wording or topic offends some readers, we apologize for that – it’s not intentional. Take care. 🙂 –Diane (one of the “older” ones)

Jesse James
7 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I think climate change is another political subject where everyone has their own opinion–never to agree. I love this website for the wonderful and helpful information that you publish. Could we leave all the political and controversial subject out . At the young age of 81, I form my own opinions from all the other news and professional? media.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  Jesse James

Thanks, Jesse. I agree with you. However, it seems like anything and everything these days can turn into a political free-for-all. And just like our wonderful readers express their own opinions, so do our contributors. So it’s kind of a fine line we’re walking. But thank you for your insightful comment. (Yay! Someone older than me! 😆 ) Have a healthy and terrific 2022, Jesse. 🙂 –Diane

Derek
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Ken, Just because you are older doesn’t make how you feel right. You are being political and it shows in your comment. We do our research as well and don’t get it from Fox or OAN and places that lie because of their political stanch. Grumpy and old is how you should describe yourself. Keep doing what you do Chuck.

Linda Mudge
7 months ago
Reply to  Derek

So your saying fox or OAN lie? Sad comment.

KR-G
7 months ago
Reply to  Linda Mudge

FYI, OAN is pure Putin propaganda. Founded by a San Diego tech multimillionaire who had the money & felt Faux News wasn’t right-wing enough. He uses reporters who simultaneously work for RT–Russia TV. What is sad is that any American actually gets his/her news from OAN (or Fox for that matter, now that all the legitimate anchors have quit)

Sharon
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Ken, if you disagree with something, just scroll past it. The post may help someone else.

Traveler
7 months ago

I have to ask( because it takes sooo long to go through their slide show of ads), what is the plastic bottle on the tire/ in the wheel for?

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  Traveler

Not sure what you’re talking about, Traveler. Sounds like it might be an ad auto-inserted by Google, which we don’t have control over, not to mention that we probably can’t explain what it’s for. Also, different ads show up for different people, so we may not even see what you’re referring to. Sorry. Take care. 🙂 –Diane

Judy
7 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

It’s clickbait, a fake ad about a fake topic to entice you to click on it and then click through a ton more pages looking for the answer. The advertiser gets revenue for each page you view. Rvtravel doesn’t control the ads you see and we don’t all see the same ones. They come from your browser.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  Judy

Thanks, Judy. If we could see it, or if someone could send us the URL, we could possibly block it from popping up on our pages. However, as our IT folks explain, they can always just change their URL and come right back. It’s a never-ending battle. Sorry to put you all through those. We try to keep them under control, but when we don’t see them ourselves, it’s kind of difficult. Have a good night, and a healthy and happy 2022, Judy. 🙂 –Diane

Kathy Niemeyer
7 months ago

Our dining area was always cold. There were pull out drawers under the dining seats. We pulled up the cushions and unscrewed the boards under the cushions. We decided to insulate the area under the seats with Styrofoam. I wanted a “clean” edge to the Styrofoam and researched how to do this. A heated long blade knife does the trick. We were able to use some Styrofoam that came with some products we had ordered recently. Heating the knife made it go through like butter! We were able to line the entire sections beneath the dining seats and now it is so warm there!

Betty Danet
7 months ago

Great tips. Other collapsible items include storage containers and mixing bowls. I have tap lights in every dark cupboard and closet. Another important measurement is how far out the slides go. And if there’s only one thing we recommend new owners bite the bullet and buy is a TPMS system. Ask us how we know. 😒 One of the best tips articles all in one place I’ve read to date.

Shellee L
7 months ago

Bucket lights are illegal in some parks. They can throw out a lot of light and bother campers next to you. As a campground host we’ve had to tell many campers to take them down.

Seann Fox
7 months ago

Ditch the pizza stone, use 2 layers of heavy duty aluminium foil instead. It weighs less and not prone to shattering like a pizza stone. (Costs way less too)

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