Each year, more than 25 million Americans hit the road and travel in their RVs. If you’re one of them, you know that the road can be equal parts fun, stress, and frustration.
When you’re traveling and living in such a tight space, even for short vacations, you need to find ways to reduce stress and turn your mobile house on wheels into a temporary home.
Don’t worry—it’s easier than you think. Here are a few key RV life hacks to help you do just that.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
One of the joys of RV living is being able to move whenever the mood strikes. However, that doesn’t mean you should pack everything up without a plan in place.
Think about where you’re going and map out your route a few days before you leave. Look at the road conditions, gas station locations, and rest areas you may want to use. Make a note of the spots you want to hit up and the ones you know you’ll need to avoid.
If you’re going to be traveling through an area with overpasses, make sure the ones on your route are tall enough to accommodate your rig. No one wants to accidentally scrape the air conditioner off the roof!
Planning ahead may take an hour or two, but it will spare you stress on your drive day.
Get Creative About Storage Space
Every RV, no matter how large it is, has limited storage space. This means you’re going to need to get creative about how you utilize the space in your rig.
Think outside the box and look for ways to create multi-purpose spaces. Store seasonal items under the booth or couch without sacrificing your closet space. Use plastic storage bins to maximize space in exterior storage spots
Keep things organized in your bathroom with an over-the-door organizer. Tack cloth shoe organizer to the base of your bed to keep your shoes organized and your floors clean. Don’t be afraid to use your oven as a storage cabinet when you’re not using it to bake food.
The longer you live the RV life, the more creative storage solutions you’ll discover.
When you first start living the RV life, there’s a temptation to see as much as you can as quickly as you can. Though it’s doable, try to avoid that temptation.
Instead, embrace slow travel. Stay in one place for more than a few days and get to see the sites and experience things the way the locals do. You’ll end up getting more out of each stop and will feel more connected to each place as you go.
You may even be able to save money by traveling more slowly. Most RV parks offer weekly or monthly discounts, making it more affordable to stay in one spot for a few weeks.
Remember, it’s okay to take your time and travel more slowly throughout the year. You don’t have to rush from one attraction to the other unless you want to.
Embrace Discount Clubs
Though long-term stays can save you money on campground fees, they’re not always practical. After all, if you’re traveling between states or destinations and only need to stop for a single night, you won’t want to book a long-term stay. That doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save money.
There are dozens of discount clubs you can join that will save you on campground fees for those nightly stays. Just make sure to do your research.
Choose a discount club that partners with the campgrounds you want to use or offers discounts on days that you most often travel. Read up on any restrictions those clubs may have before committing to a membership.
Remember, most membership fees aren’t refundable if you find yourself dissatisfied with the service. You’ll be stuck with it for at least a year.
Pay Attention to Your Rig’s Weight
When you’re traveling for an extended time or living in your RV full-time, it’s easy to fill every nook and cranny up with stuff. The more stuff you have inside your RV, the more the rig will weigh.
According to the dedicated team at Leisureland RV, every rig has a maximum weight capacity it’s rated to hold. Going under that capacity is fine, but going over that weight limit puts you at risk for safety issues on the road.
Get in the habit of paying attention to how much weight your RV is holding. You can always get the rig weighed at truck stops with commercial scales.
If you’re not near a truck stop and feel worried about how much you’re hauling, pay attention to the way your rig handles on the road. If you’re going through gas faster or notice that it’s harder to maintain control at speed, you likely have too much stuff in your RV.
Make a plan to offload some of that stuff when you reach your destination and slow down while you’re driving. It’s always easier to maintain control of your RV when you go slow.
Purge Every Few Months
Since stuff has a way of accumulating in your RV almost without you knowing it, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of purging every few months. Go through the items in the RV and any storage compartments on the outside.
If you have broken things or items you’re not using as much as you thought you would, get rid of them. Most campgrounds have places where campers can leave gear they no longer want to keep. If your campground doesn’t have a donation station, you can always take those items to a local charity and donate them yourself.
Going through your belongings every few months will help you avoid making your RV feel cluttered and disorganized.
Use Your Shower Stall for Added Storage
Unless you’re in a luxury fifth wheel RV, you likely won’t have much in the way of hanging space for your clothes. This means you’re either going to have to fold your clothing or look for innovative ways to hang them up.
The easiest option is to buy a tension rod and hang it in your RV’s shower stall when you’re not using it. Keep in mind that you’ll need to remove your clothes before you shower.
If you’re the type of RVer that prefers to use campground showers, this won’t be an issue.
Invest in RV Roadside Assistance
If you’re traveling regularly, you’ll end up encountering road hazards at some point. The last thing anyone living the RV life wants to do is get stranded on the road.
Consider investing in RV roadside assistance plans. Like standard roadside assistance plans, these cover the cost of a tow and allow you to get help if you blow a tire while driving. However, unlike standard plans, RV-specific roadside assistance makes it easier for you to get off the road quickly.
Most companies that offer standard plans don’t have a fleet of tow trucks capable of hauling your RV to the nearest mechanic. In some cases, they may even refuse to help you. Choosing an RV roadside assistance plan eliminates that risk entirely.
Avoid Peak Tourist Seasons
One of the best RV life hacks you can implement in your life is to avoid heading to popular destinations during peak tourist seasons. Instead, try to visit those locations in the off-season.
This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the sites and explore the area without feeling like the town is overrun by tourists. You may even find deals at campgrounds and attractions. Remember, when there’s less demand, business owners are more willing to lower their prices to attract additional visitors.
If you’re traveling during peak season, you’ll end up paying a premium for the same services and attractions because there’s more demand.
Upgrade Your Mattress
A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can get, especially when you’re traveling. However, 1 in 3 adults typically doesn’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.
If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep on a manufacturer-included RV mattress, you’ll quickly find yourself in that situation. They’re not comfortable and won’t stand up to frequent use.
Instead of accepting restless nights as part of your life on the road, do something about it. Upgrade your standard RV mattress with a higher quality version. These are available at your local RV dealership or you can order them online and have them delivered to your house or campsite.
Keep These RV Life Hacks in Mind
Traveling in an RV is a great way to see the country, but it’s not without its challenges. The small space makes it hard to stay organized and can leave you wishing you were back in your house, surrounded by plenty of storage options.
When you’re trying to make the most of your time in your RV, these RV life hacks will help you stay organized and happy on the road.
Looking for more helpful advice to make your travels simple, fun, and stress-free? Check out our latest posts for additional travel hacks and tips today.