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 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!
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?
- 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.
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.
- 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!