Thursday, June 8, 2023


Using painter’s tape while RVing in brilliant ways you’ve never thought of

Among the “must haves” in our RV toolbox is a roll of painter’s tape. We’ve used the tape for many things, but never for painting. At least, not yet. We used to carry masking tape but disliked the sticky residue it sometimes left behind. So … painter’s tape it is! Check out these tips and tricks for painter’s tape and I bet you just might add a roll to your RV toolbox, too!

14 ways you can use painter’s tape in your RV

  • Label tools. My husband and I take our big toolbox to work camping jobs. With several volunteers working at a job site, it’s difficult to keep track of our own tools. So, my husband used painter’s tape to label all of them. Now we can tell at a glance which tools are ours at the end of the workday. Hint: Put the tape in a location that won’t wear off as the tool is used.
  • Straight caulking line. I noticed that the caulk on our RV shower needed to be replaced. I wanted a clean, straight caulk line. So, I applied a strip of painter’s tape to either side of the gap where we planned to caulk. As I applied the caulk, I didn’t need to worry about making a smooth, straight line. Once the caulk was applied and smoothed, I just pulled up the tape to reveal a perfect line. If your hands get tired of applying caulk, use a caulking gun. This is the favorite. Hint: This procedure also works for neatly applying glue to joints. Any excess glue is removed when you pull up the painter’s tape.
  • Notes. I often walk in the early mornings, before my husband gets up. I will write a “Good morning” or “Lake Trail” (the location I’ll be walking) on a piece of painter’s tape and place the tape on the RV bathroom mirror, where he’s sure to find it.
  • Accurate measuring. When replacing the RV’s outside weather stripping, we needed several different lengths. I kept track of the varying lengths by noting each measurement on a separate piece of painter’s tape. I applied each measurement to the flat side of my tape measure, one measurement on top of the next in a stack. Then as I measured and cut to the right length, I removed the top piece of tape from the stack and placed it on the corresponding length of weather stripping.
  • Drill bit flag. When needing to drill a hole to a specified depth, my husband will measure that distance from the end of the drill bit, then apply a “flag” of painter’s tape at the mark. That way it’s easy to see how deep to drill the hole—when you reach the bottom of the flag, you stop.
  • Mark wires. We used painter’s tape and a permanent marker to keep track of the electrical wires behind our RV television. There are so many wires: cable connection, speaker wires, Dish satellite connection, and TV wiring, too. The tape identification tags are very helpful.
  • Visualize. When purchasing new RV furniture, we used painter’s tape directly on the floor in the shape and size of the furniture we were considering. The tape helped us envision how big a footprint the furniture would take, and quickly helped us decide on the right-sized furniture for us. Hint: You can use this same idea when placing a picture or shelf on the wall of your RV. Use painter’s tape directly on the wall to create a visualization of your picture’s dimensions. You’ll know in a flash whether you’ll like the placement, just by seeing the outline.
  • Label drink cups. When grandchildren RV with us, we label each child’s cup with their name. No more mix-ups! (And far fewer cups to wash, too.) When kids leave, the tape is easily removed with no sticky residue.
  • Remove pet hair. Wind painter’s tape around your hand, with the sticky side out. Then use the tape to remove pet hair from furniture. Rotate the tape as you clean.
  • Chip bags. In a pinch, we’ll use a bit of painter’s tape to keep chip bags closed. It works well because it’s easily removed and can be used multiple times.
  • Reminders. My husband will often place a piece of painter’s tape on our truck’s steering wheel as a reminder before we hit the road. We often forgot to extend our truck’s outside mirrors before leaving the campground. The tape reminds us to do that before getting on the road.
  • Corral small items. Form a loop of painter’s tape with the sticky side out. Stick the tape on the countertop. Place screws, washers, fuses, and other small parts on the tape to keep them within reach as you work.
  • Clean tight spots. Painter’s tape can help you clean small spaces, like your laptop keyboard. Just bend the tape to the shape you need and let the sticky side capture dust and crumbs.
  • Fun and games. Grandkids love it when we play tic-tac-toe on rainy days. I put painter’s tape directly on our RV’s vinyl floor in the shape of the game’s grid. We use two different coins for x’s and o’s. When the kids tire of the game, the tape pulls up easily. (When the boys were younger, I’d make painter’s tape highways throughout the RV. They loved running their Hot Wheels on the “road.” I also securely taped plastic zoo animals to the RV dining table. “Freeing the animals” kept little hands entertained and busy while I made dinner.)

Do you carry painter’s tape in your RV? How do you use it? Tell us in the comments.

Suddenly feeling like you should stock up on some painter’s tape? Find some here.

Speaking of painters…


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Terri R
2 months ago

Hurricane on the way? I use painters tape on every window & joint of the RV while ratchet strapping the frame down to screws in the ground. Just make sure to take the tape off in a day or two or it is difficult after the sun has been beating on it. Has kept the inside of the camper perfectly dry thru all that blowing water….

Larry H Lee
2 months ago

Since painter’s tape is always going to be removed, I bend one end under on itself to make a small flag that does not stick down. Now I have a place to grab hold of it to easily pull on it for removal. No more scratching at the end with my fingernail to get it started.

Bev Murphy
2 months ago

Painter’s tape is great for labels on bags, jars, containers & I keep some in the kitchen along with a permanent marker. Anything going in the freezer gets a label to remind me what I put in that container.

2 months ago

I fashioned “wings” of painters tape for my refrigerator door after the handle broke

Deborah Mason
2 months ago

When my husband changes the oil in the RV (or cars, etc) he writes the next service-due mileage on a piece of painters tape & puts in in the top left corner of the windshield where it is out of the way, yet easy to check at each fueling.

2 months ago

Gail, you mention workcamping with volunteers. I’d love to see an article about your experiences with RVers using their skills & mobility to help others. The United Methodists have a volunteer RV group called NOMADS. I can’t remember the official name; the joke is that it stands for “Northern Older Methodists Avoiding Deep Snows”. I’m sure there are lots of similar groups out there.

Glenda Alexander
2 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

There are several such groups in Escapees (called birds of a feather). Here’s a link where you can find them:

Vanessa Simmons
2 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

FMCA has ministry groups that respond to disaster areas.

2 months ago

I even used painters tape for – wait for it…. painting the exterior swirls and stripes on our motor home! Thanks Gail, some neat ideas – altho a little expensive these days.

Jim Johnson
2 months ago

When we started RVing, I assembled a repair kit – mechanical, wood, metal, electric. Other than a cordless drill/driver and largish assortment of bits, all the tools fit in one bag. A second bag includes a variety of ways to finish or join parts – screws, sandpaper, adhesives, many kinds of tape. There is always a roll of painters tape for temporary uses where clean removal is important. It’s not like I use a lot, but when I need it, I need it and screw the cost. I buy the good stuff.

2 months ago

We use slap bracelets on the truck steering wheel for reminders. They have multiple colors and can also be used to coral cords. I need a reminder to turn off the water when we leave the campsite so a blue one is used on my side of the RV. Inexpensive on Amazon! We use rubber bands for bag closures.

2 months ago

Use cloths pins to keep chip/cracker bags closed.

Neal Davis
2 months ago

Thank you, Gail! You have given me some great ideas.

Bob M
2 months ago

Painters tape is to expensive anymore. Did use painters tape from Dollar Tree for awhile, but than the quality went down where it gets hard to use without ripping.

2 months ago
Reply to  Bob M

Agreed. I had to stop and think about how bad I wanted a roll the last time I bought some. Ain’t cheap no more. Most these useful tips can be done with items that can be used over and over again.

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