It’s human nature to want to “fluff our nests,” so to speak. To take a space and put our mark on it, making it reflective not just of our personality, but also of our individual lifestyle. And no matter how perfectly a house or RV checks every box, there’s always some lttle optimization you can make to solve a problem or make your life a little easier. Here is a collection of RV hacks, projects and storage solutions we love for making your RV into a space that works just for you.
EASY LIGHTING HACKS
You may find there are some places around your RV you need a little bit of extra light. For instance, in the basement storage, in cabinets, at the back of drawers or closets, etc. Since electricity is at a premium in an RV, especially when you’re boondocking, why not use rechargeable or battery-powered LED lights?
LED under cabinet lights are long, skinny lights that are great for larger areas, like basement storage and (obviously) under kitchen cabinets. Many of them come pre-equipped with magnets so you can stick them easily to magnetic surfaces; adding a Command Velcro strip is an easy way to hang them in areas that won’t hold a magnet. Smaller, round LED touch lights are the perfect RV hack for cabinets, cubbies, drawers and pantries. Just stick one wherever you need better visibility and you’re good to go. Both under cabinet lights and touch lights often come with the ability to set motion sensors–so that, for instance, when you open a closet, the motion triggers the light to come on.
If you’re feeling really creative, you can even affix LED touch lights into the kinds of wall sconces you’d find at your favorite home decor store. Just hang the sconce with Command strips with the LED touch light glued inside and you have a high-end touch for areas where you want a bit of extra style–no cord required.
What to do when you have a super specific storage need for a hobby or RV passengers? Bust out your tools and create your own solution.
One Heartland owner found they needed a space for ski boots and winter boots to dry out during cold weather RV road trips. So one RV hack they tried was to build a custom boot drying rack in the bench of the dinette, underneath the seating surface. Another owner uses dinette storage to store vacuum sealed off-season clothing, bedding and shoes in a safe but out-of-the-way location. And the owners of a Cruiser MPG 2400BH made a DIY project of opening up space beneath the bottom bunk to create storage space in an area that wasn’t being used to its full capacity.
The best RV hacks are the ones that solve a problem to make your life a little easier. For people who live in their RVs full time, customizing their space can open up a world of possibilities. In one Prowler 285LX, the owners removed the bunk beds and converted the space to an office. With a bit of planning, construction knowledge and elbow grease, they made the space more functional for them. They framed the seating area to preserve plumbing access, and added a fold-down table that conserves space when it’s not in use. Best of all, concealed storage inside the desk and along the wall holds a hidden library with a treasure trove of books.
KEEPING THINGS IN PLACE
In a moving vehicle that doubles as a home, keeping things where they should be can present a challenge. One great tip is to use plastic organizer bins for your refrigerator and pantry to keep loose items gathered together so they don’t fly around when you’re driving. They come in all kinds of sizes–look for small ones for kitchen and bathroom drawers or medicine cabinets; medium sized bins for closets, dressers and pantries; and larger bins for the fridge and kitchen cabinets.
Another tip for keeping those bins from sliding around is to use something called Quakehold! Museum Putty. Designed to keep tchotchkes from falling off of shelves during an earthquake, a dab of this putty on the bottom corners of storage bins, drawer organizers, and anything else you don’t want sliding around will help keep it in place, even on the road.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
One of the most precious resources for any camper is water. Unlike a sticks and bricks home, constantly hooking up and unhooking from campsite water supplies can be a pain––and can even create leaks at the joints. And inconsistent campground water pressure can damage your RV plumbing if it’s too high, leading to problems over time. Two inexpensive tools can massively upgrade your water experience: a hose quick connector and a water pressure regulator.
The quick connector has two pieces: one screws onto your water connection and the other piece screws onto the water hose at your campsite. Once they’re in place, you can just snap your hose onto your water port and in a snap, you’re hooked up. No leaks! You can find quick connectors for less than $10.
The second tool, a water pressure regulator, is another piece you can attach to your water connection that has an adjustable pressure gauge. If the water pressure at your campsite is off the charts, you can control the flow going into your unit as easily as tightening a screw on the valve. This accessory costs about $30 but saves you from future, costlier repairs.
WHAT ARE YOUR RV SOLUTIONS?
There are a million and one ways to optimize your RV’s space to suit all kinds of needs. We’ll be sharing more of these clever ideas as part of a series, and we want to hear what projects you’ve done in your RV to make it a more efficient space. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about your favorite RV hack, DIY project or storage solution.