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RV travel tips no one told me about that I wish I knew when I started RVing

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Little things can mean a lot, especially if you forget to do the little things as you get your RV ready for travel day. Sure, I have the checklists (like this one). But I’ve learned a few extra little things that can really help travel day go smoother. These are the RV travel tips no one ever told me about. How I wish they had!

Interior doors

Interior RV doors vary from unit to unit. Going up and down hills, along with curving to the left and right, can sometimes cause doors to bang open/shut, causing damage. Travel conditions like rough roads can put a strain on hinges or other door mechanisms unless the door is secured in some way. Check your interior doors to see if there is a way to secure each of them for travel. Here are some tips for the RV doors I’ve experienced.

  • Shower door. We have a 2018 fifth-wheel RV. Our shower features a triple-paned glass door. For travel day, the dealership recommended that we always move the panels all the way to one side, then use the hook-clamp to hold the doors in position. “You don’t want the glass panels rattling around as you bump on down the road,” the dealer explained. What he failed to mention is that the hook clamp needs to be pushed securely into place. This takes a bit of force—not much—but more than simply flipping the hook into position. One cracked glass panel later, we now know how to firmly secure those shower doors!
  • Bedroom door. RV bedroom doors can be as simple as a pull curtain or as sophisticated as a double-hinged door. No matter what kind of door you have, be sure to secure it in place on moving day. Friends of ours failed to tie back their bedroom “room divider door” and upon arrival at the campground, they found the divider, hanging hardware, and track in a heap on the floor! We have a hinged bedroom door. It’s held open and in place with a strong magnet. I make sure it’s open and stuck tight each moving day.
  • Pocket doors. RV pocket doors make so much sense! They take up zero floor space—a big plus in a small place. The downside to pocket doors is that if they are jiggled or bounced off their track, it can be tricky to fix them because everything is inside the wall! Our bathroom pocket door has a lock feature, specially designed for travel days. When locked in place, that door is not going to come off its track—even on the roughest of roads. If you have a pocket door in your RV, check to see if it has a travel lock feature. And be sure to use it every time you travel.
  • Closet doors. I love having full-length mirrors on our closet doors—until travel day! I worry that the door will jiggle in transit and cause the mirror to crack. Our current RV has a hook and clasp mechanism to hold the closet doors securely closed. They are fashioned much like the one on the shower doors. We make sure to securely hook the closet doors together for travel. Friends have installed their own hook closures on their doors to keep them still. (Hint: Use caution placing things on the bed for travel. You don’t want an item to slide off the bed and hit the mirrors!)
  • Laundry doors. Be sure to latch the RV front-load washing machine door (and dryer door) on days you will travel. I can’t think of too many things worse than a washer door that gets tweaked during transit!

Cupboards

Most folks have learned to secure cupboard doors for moving days. We use Velcro-type strips, pipe cleaners, zip ties, or even florist wire to secure opposing cupboard handles together. What I didn’t know at first was the importance of securing items inside the cupboard, too.

  • Secure items. Even with cupboard doors secured, the cupboard contents may jump and jiggle around during travel. Then, when you open the cupboard doors upon arrival, items may come raining down on you! Avoid this by pushing items away from the door opening as far as possible. Secure them in place with a spring-loaded rod or pool noodle wedged in front of the items.
  • Secure glassware. We’ve drastically reduced the amount of glass items we take along on our RV trips. Plasticware is much less troublesome. But then, there’s coffee. And wine. We like to drink some beverages from a glass mug. To keep glassware from cracks or breakage I put bubble wrap around our glass mugs on RV travel days. Wine glasses fit inside plastic tumblers for protection. Securing glassware gives me peace of mind and helps prevent breakage as we travel.
  • Secure food containers. Before traveling, make sure all food containers are tightly closed. Spilled oatmeal, rice, beans, etc., can make a mess. Who wants to clean cupboards when there are trails to be hiked?

Refrigerator

  • RV fridge. Our Dometic refrigerator features special shelf brackets that can be positioned to securely hold contents safely together for travel. If you have a residential refrigerator in your RV, see if you can wedge a pool noodle or spring-loaded rod like these in front of items to hold them safely in place. If in doubt, transfer fridge items into a cooler during travel.
  • Residential fridge. If you worry about your residential fridge doors opening as you travel, you can buy these nifty closures or these.

Hanging clothes

I got tired of re-hanging clothes in our RV closet after travel days. Now I use twist ties to fasten several hanging items together and then use an additional tie and tightly fasten the grouped items to the closet rod. The clothes stay on their hangers and the hangers remain on the closet rod. Much less hassle.

Loose items

  • Pillows/throws/remote controls. Be sure to secure all loose items before you travel. These can shift during travel and potentially cause issues. For example, one of our TV remotes “jumped” off the RV’s sofa during transit and became wedged between the slider side and sofa. When we started to extend the slide, the remote got stuck. Luckily, we were able to remove it before it broke. Reminder: Always, always check before extending/retracting the sliders to make sure there are no obstructions!

How about you? Have you learned some simple, yet important steps to secure your things on RV travel days? Share your RV travel tips in the comments, please!

##RVDT1985

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Wolfe
28 days ago

I use springs/pistons/elastic cord in all sorts of ways to make as much as possible auto-close/open. I also use fairly strong magnets to make doors/panels bi-stable (soft-“sticking” in both open and closed positions, but not obnoxious to simply pull to the other mode in use). By eliminating most “limp” movement, however I leave things is where they’ll stay in transit.

Robert
29 days ago

Styrofoam egg cartons are superb for securing items inside the refrigerator and cabinets. They weigh little and easily adjust to fit by tearing down to 10, 8, 6, even 4 cups. Plus they come free each week with our eggs.

Rosy
1 month ago

I stand the microwave glass turntable on end between the pages of an old Rand McNally atlas and set that in a basket. Yellow sponges secure items in the fridge doors and the coffee maker in the sink. Elastic ponytail hair ties secure the faucet handle to the faucet to keep it off. Seven years ago I wrapped all glass bottles in a paper towel, then put that into a sandwich baggie, then put that into plastic bins. I am still reusing the paper towels and baggies as needed, as well as the storage bins. After cleaning up a broken lightbulb, I now secure a plastic grocery bag over the lampshade and set it upside down in a chair. It takes time to pack up but the goal is to arrive with no damage or messes to clean up!

Carol
1 month ago

I take my sofa pillows and stuff them in cabinets to keep the contents from shifting.

Jim Schrankel
1 month ago

To hold clothes on hangers in place, I use a spring clamp like the one used in woodworking. I push all the hangered clothes to one side and push the clamp over the rod against the clothes. Everything stays in place!

Gary
1 month ago

We use empty bottled beer cardboard six pack containers for glasses, spices and whatnot in our cabinets.

Vicki Wilmarth
1 month ago

We travel cross-country frequently with our travel trailer, so many days are travel days for us. For glassware, wine bottles, etc., the best solution we have found is a Rubbermaid deluxe carry caddy for cleaning supplies. It has 8 rounded sections for securely carrying sports bottles, wine bottles, all kinds of drinking glasses.

For hanging clothes, our solution is non-slip velvet hangers. We have hit pot holes, twisted around mountains and driven bumpy Oklahoma interstates (the worst!), and our clothes have stayed in place on the hangers in our closet.

Sandi Pearson
1 month ago

We have the 3 glass panel style shower door. We learned on the way home after picking up our new to us coach, that even if the doors are latched closed…they can jump off the track and fall into the fiberglass shower. We heard it..but couldn’t imagine what we heard…until we got to the RV camp site and went into the bathroom! 2 greenhorn newbies were shocked to see our shower doors helter skelter in the shower! My fix? I place a shower curtain tension rod behind the door, snuged up against the door and tight against the end walls. The door is closed and latched, then I add a rolled hand towel between the glass panels. 17,000 miles later..it has not happened again…and rattle noise is reduced. The rod is easy to store while we are stationary.
I also use the rubbery shelf liner in all my cupboards and layer a piece of it between each dish, bowl, and any thing that will potentially vibrate. We travel with my everyday chi dishes (not stoneware) from home..not a chip ..so far so good!

Grace Wilfong
1 month ago

For our glasses and Correll mugs, my husband made custom holders (like small wine boxes with dividers) out of ceroplastic. That way everything fits perfectly without shifting, is easy to get in and out, and is waterproof.

Karen Bates
1 month ago

We don’t have a travel lock on the pocket door to the bathroom so we stuff a hand towel in there to keep it still. Also, using strips of velcro to keep cabinets closed works great!

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

*We are a fan of Ikea’s vinyl shelf liner. It is far from a breeze to cut and fit, but it is super durable and (if/when needed) washable.
*Use bins for small appliances, food or some clothing, inside cupboards. Items might shift inside the bins, but they aren’t going to fall out of the cupboard when you open the door. It isn’t that hard to pull out a bin to remove/replace items. The biggest trick is finding bins that fit. While cupboard depth varies, most RV openings are 11 inches wide. And door catches might get in the way if the bin is too tall. Except where carrying liquids, fabric bins are your best bet.
*Bungie cord loops with a ball at the end are better than those with hooks to secure cabinet doors. You can loop them through themselves to leave attached to one knob/handle and simply stretch over to the other knob/handle with the ball end. No hooks to catch and scratch.

Joe
1 month ago

We always take the microwave turntable out and put it on the bed. We learned that the hard way when we hit the mother of all potholes in New York and the door flew open causing the tray to crash against a wall breaking it and putting a big gouge in the trim.

Dennis Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

I was going to add the same tip. Ours flew out and shattered when we had a blowout and the tread slapped the bottom of the fifth wheel so hard it dislodged it. Finding a duplicate turntable was a major chore!

Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

I cut a pool noodle, snug fit up & down, and place in the middle of the turntable.

Wayne Caldwell
1 month ago

Our travel trailer has the galley cabinets going primarily across the front of the trailer. It also has one slide that is about six inches from the face of the cabinet doors. After returning home one trip, I pushed the button to extend the slide and after a couple of seconds heard a crunching sound. One upper door had opened and the handle had caught the interior edge of the slide, almost tearing the door apart. Wood clamps and super glue repaired the door, but I made a label in large red letters that I taped above the slide button telling us “Check Cabinet Doors Before Opening Slide”.

Tom
1 month ago

Everything in it’s place and secured before hitting the road.
Only takes one lesson. Hope it’s inexpensive.

McTroy
1 month ago

I have a small bar in our travel trailer. It is easy to pack for moving by using wine boxes. Just slip a glass into each slot. For bigger beer mugs and liquor bottles get liquor boxes that have bigger spaces. Quick, easy and cheap.

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