Whether you’re a first-time RVer or a full-time RVer, anyone can benefit from learning a few tricks to make your next road trip even smoother. After all, RVing basically means traveling to new destinations with your entire house on wheels, and an expedition like that is not without its fair share of surprises and challenges. A truly memorable RV trip allows you to focus on making memories—hiking in the mountains, exploring new towns and eating s’mores by the fireside—instead of vehicle maintenance, organization, and unexpected problems.
From creating more space inside your RV to making the most of your KOA campsite, here are 20 cool ways to make your RV even better.
1. Use white vinegar to absorb odor.
Have you ever cooked salmon for dinner and then woke up the next day to the lingering smell of fish? In an RV, cooking odors—and all other odors—can really stick around and make your small space intolerable, so keep a bottle of white vinegar handy for these situations. When things get a little smelly, simply pour some into a bowl, set it somewhere inside your RV and wait a few hours. The odor will magically vanish.
2. Use shoe organizers for more than shoes.
Shoe organizers are a total game-changer once you think outside of the (shoe) box. Hang one on the back of each door and use it for storing rolled up t-shirts, kids’ toys, books, cleaning supplies, kitchen supplies, and anything else that will fit.
3. A dry-erase board keeps information where you can see it.
Hang a dry-erase board in your RV and use it to keep information easily available. Update it at each stop on your route with campground WiFi details, ideas for local attractions, daily itineraries, and business hours and contact information for local restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, libraries, etc.
4. Save dryer lint for starting campfires.
Next time you clean out your dryer’s lint trap at home, don’t reach for the garbage. Keep the lint in a plastic sandwich bag and bring it on your next RV trip. Lint is a great way to get a campfire going.
5. Use shower caddies outside of the shower.
A shower caddy might take you back to your college days, but it can be very useful in the RV world, too. Use shower caddies to store condiments, utensils and napkins, or magazines, books and maps. Anything that has the potential to create clutter can be kept in a shower caddy.
6. Command hooks make hanging things a breeze.
If you’re on a longer RV trip, Command hooks can be a great way to hang decorations inside your RV (Christmas on the road, anyone?). For more practical purposes, a few well-placed Command hooks can be a great place for your keys, a hanging flashlight, cooking utensils or anything else that you’d like to have readily available.
7. Watch your step with glow-in-the-dark tape.
Every RVer knows a person—or has been that person—who has tripped in the dark. Put safety first by placing glow-in-the-dark tape on the steps of your RV.
8. Master the art of internet on the road.
Whether you’re working remotely and RVing full-time or you’re just trying to post your Instagram photos, reliable internet is a must. WiFi is available at KOAs, but you may want to stay connected while on the road. An unlimited data plan and a mobile hotspot will allow you to keep up with emails while traveling.
9. Save water by soaping up first.
Trying to conserve water on the road? Stand in the shower just long enough to get wet (i.e. a few seconds), then turn the water off and shampoo your hair and soap up. Once you’ve done that, turn on the shower to rinse off. You’ll still get clean, and you’ll use half the water.
10. Buy lamps that have USB ports and outlets.
For just about any traveler (especially families with teenagers!), sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough outlets for everyone’s smartphone. Create extra power sources by buying bedside lamps with USB ports or outlets to keep everyone’s device charged.
11. Keep ants out with a little water.
Who doesn’t want to dine al fresco while in nature? If you want to enjoy dinner at your campground picnic table but you don’t want to deal with ants crawling on you (and hitchhiking a ride into your RV), place each leg of the table in a container of water to stop bugs from climbing.
12. Save condiments from restaurants.
Those full-size bottles of ketchup, mustard, and soy sauce are taking up precious real estate in your tiny RV fridge. The next time you eat at a restaurant or fast food joint, ask for to-go packets of condiments and stock your RV with them.
13. Buy RV toilet paper.
RV veterans know the value of buying RV-specific toilet paper, but if you’re a newbie to life on the road, you might not be familiar with it. RV toilet paper—often referred to as rapid-dissolving toilet paper—breaks down easier than traditional toilet paper and won’t clog your black water tank.
14. Use velcro to keep stuff stable on the road.
Don’t want to deal with any items shifting during transit? Use velcro to keep things like your coffee maker, trash can, and plants in place while driving.
15. Spice up your life with magnets.
A good spice collection is an important tool that every RVer should have in the kitchen, but all of that garlic powder, paprika, and cumin can take up so much space. Swap out those store bought spice containers for magnetic spice jars that can be kept on the fridge instead of the counter.
16. Insulate with shrink film.
If your RV travels take you somewhere frosty, keep warm by insulating windows with a shrink film insulator kit. Precious heat often escapes through windows, and this is a great way to keep it in.
17. Open your awning after rain.
There are two kinds of RVers: Those who use their awnings every chance they can get and those who almost never bother to pull it out. If you fall into the latter camp, make a habit of at least unrolling your awning after a rainstorm to prevent mold from growing as a result of water getting inside. You’ll be glad you did the next time you want to kick back beneath it on a sunny day.
18. Avoid broken glassware with socks.
Dilemma: You want to celebrate your first night of camping in your RV with a glass of wine, but you don’t want to risk traveling with glassware that could end up broken. Yes, you could swap out your wine glass with a plastic cup (we promise that your pinot noir will taste just as good), but you could also put socks over your glassware while traveling to prevent breakage—just make sure the socks are clean.
19. Count on RV-specific GPS.
You might be used to using Google Maps or Waze for traveling by car, but traveling with an RV requires you to plan your route around obstacles such as low clearance bridges, narrow roads, and areas where large vehicles aren’t permitted. Download an RV GPS app, like SmartRV Route to ensure that your directions always account for the height and length of your RV.
20. Use a collapsible hamper as a trash can.
When looking for space-saving RV products, the world “collapsible” is always a good sign. A collapsible hamper is an ingenious way to have a trash can available when you need one. Empty it before you hit the road and store it somewhere out of the way.
Written by Krista Diamond for RootsRated in partnership with Kampgrounds of America.