Friday, March 24, 2023


Tips for overcoming RV claustrophobia

Do you ever feel a bit claustrophobic inside your RV? It can happen. For some folks, that “closed in” feeling can become intense. In some cases, it can even be a deal-breaker! Here are some tips to help you overcome RV claustrophobia.

Feeling claustrophobic? Here are some outside suggestions

Often claustrophobic feelings can be lessened or even eliminated by simply going outside your RV for a while. But then what? Try these suggestions.

  • RV site. Decorate your RV “yard” in a pleasant manner. Put down a colorful rug and place comfy chairs on it. Add a fan, heater, or blanket for comfort. Put a cloth on the picnic table and use your fire pit for visual enjoyment as well as cooking. If your rig features an outdoor TV, take advantage of that, but remain mindful of nearby neighbors, of course.
  • Separate enclosure. Consider purchasing an outdoor screen enclosure. This extra “room” may offer the additional space you crave. We like this one.
  • Outdoor time. Spend as much time as you can outside. Hike, bike, golf, or walk to enjoy the wide-open spaces. Take along your camera and/or binoculars to investigate and “capture” your outside discoveries. Revisit them once you’re back inside your RV.
  • Be a tourist. Check out touristy activities near your campground. Museums, local historical sites and more await you! After a full day of sightseeing, you may be tired and more than happy to retreat inside your RV.
  • Campground rec room. If the weather forces you to be inside, consider spending time inside the campground’s rec room. Often this will be a large, open space, conducive to playing board games or watching television. You may even meet fellow travelers and establish long-term friendships.
  • Campground amenities. Many campgrounds offer extra amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, and shuffleboard areas. Take advantage of these extras to occasionally escape the confines of your RV.
  • Join a club. Many campgrounds and nearby towns have organized groups that may interest you. Think: square dancing, pinochle club, photography groups, and more.

Inside suggestions

There are many things you can do to lessen your feelings of claustrophobia inside your RV. Consider these suggestions.

  • Clear clutter. Small spaces can seem even smaller when they’re cluttered. If possible, keep flat surfaces free of objects that take up “visual space.” Discard or neatly store away all pamphlets, magazines, and papers. Reduce or eliminate items on countertops. Keep decorative objects to a minimum.
  • Remove/replace furniture. Many folks do it! Take out the RV furniture that you do not use. Then enjoy the extra space. Or replace your RV furniture with something smaller. For example, remove the large, built-in, U-shaped dinette. Instead, use small, collapsible tables when eating. Take out the RV sofa if you never use it. In its place, place a chair for reading. Include a petite end table to hold a lamp.
  • Rethink windows. If your RV has heavy cornices and/or valences, you may want to remove them to open the space. Replace heavy, dark-colored drapes with light-colored, airy curtains. Or forgo curtains altogether. Instead, use retractable shades for privacy.
  • Keep it light! If dark RV cabinetry seems to make your space feel smaller, consider repainting them a lighter color. While decorating sparingly, use light colors rather than dark tones. Pillows, throw rugs, etc., can add brightness when they are light in color.
  • Add lights. Replace existing light bulbs with brighter LED ones. Add minimalistic floor lamps or table lamps that take up little visual space but keep the interior bright.
  • Flooring. Many folks I know have replaced their RV’s flooring with brighter, lighter vinyl. (Check out YouTube for ideas.) Consistent flooring throughout your rig will help make the space feel larger.
  • Walls. If your RV features dark-paneled walls, consider painting them a lighter shade. Remember, lighter and brighter often makes a space feel bigger.
  • Open up. Reduce that claustrophobic feeling by keeping all window shades up during the daytime hours. Keeping windows open can also help reduce that “closed-in” feeling.
  • Move the air. Some people say that air movement raises their comfort level when in small spaces. Open windows will allow breezes to enter your rig. Use floor and ceiling fans to move the air if your weather dictates that windows remain closed.

When shopping for an RV

If you experience claustrophobic feelings in small spaces, you’ll want to keep that in mind as you shop for an RV. Here are some things to look for:

  • Interiors. Light and bright interiors may be best.
  • Slides. Opposing slides (one on each side of the RV) can enlarge your living area.
  • Windows. Look for rigs that feature many and/or large windows, especially in the main living area where you’ll spend most of your waking hours.

Do you sometimes feel claustrophobic inside your RV? Try these tips and suggestions. Then let us know if they are helpful to you, or if you have other ideas to share.



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Neal Davis
8 days ago

Thank you, Gail. I am claustrophobic, but, thankfully, have never felt that in our RV. I tend to think of it as our spaceship, or an escape pod. I especially enjoy sitting inside while rain pelts the RV (fresh water tank full, gray and black tanks empty).

8 days ago

I have no problem during the days. It’s at night that is a big issue. So, a small oscillating fan at night helps tremendously.

Jim Johnson
8 days ago

Hint: When decorating your yard (and we do), be mindful of how scattered you place your decorations along with your utility connections. Try to keep tight groups and run straight hoses & power lines, keeping the excess off the grass. Park workers have to maintain any grass areas and spreading stuff around makes it more difficult – – and frankly increases the chance of damage to your ‘stuff’.

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