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Although we only have personal experience with two RVs, it seems that we’re not the only ones who’ve found that “King” and “Queen” beds aren’t always exactly the same size we were used to in a stick house. Typical residential mattresses usually come in pretty standard sizes, which is handy for buying the right size sheets…. particularly fitted sheets. Some mattresses are thicker than others, but at least the widths are pretty standard.
Our first motorhome, a 2002 Fleetwood Bounder Diesel, came with a queen-size bed. We found that the RV mattress was just a little bit narrower than a standard queen mattress, but it was substantially thinner. This caused our fitted queen-size sheet to be really loose, since there wasn’t enough mattress to hold it tightly in place. Moving around during the night caused it to pull out of place, and get all bunched up underneath us as though it was hardly tucked in at all.
It didn’t take long for us to hatch a plan to solve the problem, figuring that some sort of elastic strap beneath the mattress would keep it pulled tight. During a stroll around Wal-Mart (during a typical overnight camping stop) we discovered the perfect solution: suspenders!
We purchased two sets, making sure to buy the type that have clips on the end (some types require that suspender buttons be sewn into the pants, and we were not about to sew buttons on our sheets)! We also made sure that they weren’t sewn permanently into a “Y” or “X” shape, but instead had the two sections held together by a metal guide, which we promptly (and easily) broke off, separating the two straps from each other. Happily, this style of suspenders is the cheapest of all. lol Since we decided to use only three of the four straps, we still have a spare.
When we purchased our new Mountain Aire in 2005, we had the exact same problem, but this time with a “King-size” bed. It isn’t really any thinner than a standard residential mattress, but it is about 4 inches narrower. Luckily, we’d kept our suspenders from the Bounder, so no need to go buy more (the extra one is probably still somewhere with the spare parts in the basement too). ;-)
Making the bed up with clean sheets does take a minute or two longer, and requires two people. One of us stands at the foot of the bed and holds up the end of the mattress, while the other connects the straps. Not really too difficult a task once a week after doing laundry. It’s well worth the effort, since the sheet stays tight as a drum now. And when not changing the linens, there is no difference in making the bed at all.
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.