When you drive a house on wheels down the road, you might hear a whole lotta shakes, rattles, and rolls from various places around the RV. And that can get to be pretty annoying as you travel.
After all, you’ve got pots & pans, silverware, dishes, glassware, and lots of other stuff stored in cabinets all over the place. And then there are windows and doors to consider. But most RV rattles can be dampened or eliminated completely with a little ingenuity.
After a couple of decades of full-time RV living, we’ve got a few ideas to share!
- 1) What to Do if Your RV Windows Rattle
How to Keep Dishes From Rattling in Your RV
- 2.1) Use Non-Adhesive Rubber/Grippy Shelf Liner Between Dishes
- 2.2) Use “Quieter” Plates & Bowls in Your RV
- 2.3) Use a Peg Board Drawer & Shelf Organizer to Stop Kitchen RV Rattles
- 2.4) Use Microfiber Cleaning Cloths or Cloth Napkins
- 2.5) Use Bubble Wrap Between Dishes, Pots & Pans
- 2.6) Use Silicone Caulk On Bottoms Of Plates
- 3) What if Your RV A/C Rattles?
- 4) Suppose Your RV Furnace Rattles?
- 5) What to Do if Your RV Screen Door Rattles
- 6) So, Your RV Water Pump Rattles?
How to Keep Things from Sliding Around in Your Camper
- 7.1) Line Shelves & Drawers with Non-Slip Rubber Shelf Liner (“No-Skid”)
- 7.2) Use Magnets and/or Magnetic Strips to Stop RV Rattles
- 7.3) Use Velcro Strips or 3M Dual-Lock or Command Strips
- 7.4) Use Bungee Cords While in Transit to Stop RV Rattles
- 7.5) Store Small Items in Containers in Drawers/Cabinets
- 7.6) Use Hanging Shoe Holders to Organize Small Things and Stop RV Rattles
- 7.7) Mount Items Using Putty
- 8) Are You Annoyed by RV Rattles from Your Camper or Motorhome While You’re Driving?
What to Do if Your RV Windows Rattle
RV rattles often come from windows shaking as you drive your RV down the road. Frequently there are small gaps that allow the windows to shake within the frame, causing the “rattling” you hear.
There are a few ways to address noise from vibrating windows.
Use Foam Under Window Casings
Many RVers have had success inserting foam stripping (or weather stripping) under the rattling window frame.
To do so, you’d want to loosen the window frame screws and insert the foam stripping, then tighten the screws back in. The foam fills the gap, preventing further movement within the frame, and rectifying the rattling noise.
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Use Foam Backer Rod or “Caulk Saver” to Stop RV Rattles
You can also do the same using a foam backer rod, sometimes referred to as “caulk saver”.
The type of weather stripping that works best will depend on the type of windows you have in your RV.
- Country of manufacture: United States
- Door and Cabinet Hinges & Hardware
Use Clear Caulk
Many RVers use a clear caulk to fill in the gap to stop RV rattles from windows.
Simply caulk the area between the frame and the window where the gap is, and the rattling should stop.
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How to Keep Dishes From Rattling in Your RV
Noise caused by dishes, pots & pans rattling in the RV during travel is a very common complaint from newer RVers. Fortunately, there are some very simple ways to deal with this annoying noise.
Use Non-Adhesive Rubber/Grippy Shelf Liner Between Dishes
Grippy, rubberized shelf liner (often referred to as “no-skid”) set between your dishes will prevent them from rattling against each other. You can cut the shelf liner to size, and simply set a piece between each of the dishes.
We use this stuff all over the place, and we imagine there aren’t many experienced RVers out there who don’t have a supply of it on hand. Besides quieting RV rattles, it also prevents things from sliding off the counter. We put a piece of it under our coffee maker on travel days, for example.
This also works for pots & pans, lids, etc.
- Ideal for: drawers and utility cabinets or in campers and RVs to keep objects from sliding while on the move
- Non-adhesive grip top and bottom holds liner and objects in place
Use “Quieter” Plates & Bowls in Your RV
You can also simply purchase plates and bowls that don’t make noise when stacked together!
Many RVers purchase dishware just for their RV, and they choose dishware made from more “picnicky” materials such as food-grade plastics or bamboo, etc. Several different types are available and most can stop your dishware from contributing to those RV rattles.
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As our choice is to use nice stoneware dishes, we stick with no-skid between them.
Use a Peg Board Drawer & Shelf Organizer to Stop Kitchen RV Rattles
Pegboards and shelf organizers are commonly chosen by RVers, but these work best in drawers and need to be sized properly so that the dishes, pots & pans are secure.
As long as they can’t rattle, you won’t be hearing noise!
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Use Microfiber Cleaning Cloths or Cloth Napkins
Cloth napkins or microfiber cleaning cloths are another good and inexpensive option for quieting your kitchen items while you drive. Since they’re less slip-resistant than no-skid, we generally reserve them for use between pots, pans, and bowls — things that nest securely and won’t slide while rounding a corner on a bumpy road.
Since cloth napkins and microfiber cloths have additional uses, they’re excellent multi-purpose items to bring along in an RV, where space is often limited.
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Use Bubble Wrap Between Dishes, Pots & Pans
We’ve heard of people using bubble wrap to quiet kitchen items in transit, so this can be another good option. Some RVers even wrap mugs, wine glasses, and the like in bubble wrap when they travel – not so much for the “RV rattles” factor as for the protection of their glassware.
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Rather than wrap delicate wine glasses in bubble wrap, we chose to jettison the idea of even owning delicate wine glasses. Instead, we bought a set of stemless wine glasses. They’re not only more stable in transit, being less likely to tip over, but they’re both reasonably priced, and less prone to breakage than glasses with stems.
- Stemless wine glass (set of 4)—ideal for everyday use or entertaining
- Lead-free; made of soda ash glass for optimal wine presentation and enjoyment
Our friends Nikki & Jason Wynn put out a video several years back about how they used silicone caulk and applied it around the base of their existing dishes, creating a custom rubbery “foot” that keeps dishes from rattling when stacked together in your cabinet. Check it out:
Or, if you’d rather read about it, you can check out their article: Simple Tricks to Make Any Dishes RV Safe
What if Your RV A/C Rattles?
Moving out of the kitchen, let’s take a look at other sources of RV rattles.
If you’re hearing rattling from your overhead AC unit(s), there are a few actions you can take to investigate (and hopefully address) the noise.
Debris In or Near Fan or Blower
It’s neither difficult nor uncommon for debris to get into the AC housing over time. If a twig or some other organic matter happens to move into the range of the fan blades or blower, you may hear some rattling from the area of your AC unit.
Removing the housing and removing the debris should take care of that RV rattle.
Broken or Bent Fan
A broken fan or even a bent fan blade can cause the blade to strike something internal which can, in turn, cause noise.
If you’ve got a slightly bent fan blade, chances are good that you can bend it back to where it’s not scraping against anything. But if you’ve got a broken fan, you may need to replace it.
Mounting Bolts Have Come Loose from Vibration
Another possible culprit where noise from an RV AC unit is concerned is AC mounting bolts that have loosened from the vibrations of traveling.
Remove the housing and check the mounting bolts of your AC unit to see if they’re loose. If they are, tighten them down snuggly.
When you’re up on the roof and you’ve got your AC shroud off, giving the unit a thorough cleaning is a good idea. For more information, have a look at our post on RV AC maintenance.
Suppose Your RV Furnace Rattles?
Another source of RV rattles could be your furnace. Let’s take a look at the most common potential sources of RV furnace rattles.
Tighten All Loose Hardware
Loose hardware is always a thing in RVs. Let’s face it – we travel for hours over many types of roads, some with rough terrain, potholes, and bumps. Even general road vibrations can loosen hardware throughout the RV over time.
So, when you’re hearing rattling in the area of your furnace (or anywhere else), be sure to check to make sure all hardware is tightened securely.
Clean Vents and Ducts
The vents and ducts of your RV furnace/HVAC system need to be cleaned periodically. If they’re not, dust and debris (sand, dirt, hair, etc.) can build up over time causing noises that may be difficult to pinpoint.
Cleaning vents and ducts as part of your regular RV furnace maintenance is great. But if you’re hearing noises in the vicinity of your furnace, be sure to check these areas thoroughly.
Clean and Lubricate the Fan/Blower
The fan/blower of your furnace requires adequate lubrication to operate well. Time and moisture can cause drying or rusting and build-up of dust and dirt around the fan/blower. This not only means that your blower won’t be operating optimally, but it also means that you may hear noises associated with a fan that isn’t turning well.
Keep this part of your furnace as clean and well lubricated as possible to avoid annoying noises and the potential seizing up of the fan/blower.
What to Do if Your RV Screen Door Rattles
RV screen door rattles are a very common complaint. Similar to windows, they may need a little shoring up to quiet the ride. Let’s take a look…
We know for sure that bumpers work to keep screen doors from rattling because Newmar (the maker of our motorhome) places bumpers between the main door and the screen door.
So, if you’re dealing with rattling due to a gap between your main RV door and the screen door, placing bumpers strategically between the two doors can work wonders.
Now, there are various types of rubber bumpers available, but you may need to do a little research to find out what would work best for your doors based on how much space you need to fill and the type of doors you have.
But something as simple as these can work well (if they’re the correct thickness for your application) and are easy to apply.
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Use Clear Caulk
As with window rattles, you can use clear caulk to hold the space between your RV main door and screen door. Simply running a bead of caulking along the offending area, and letting it dry before closing the doors, can serve to stop the rattling.
Use Foam Sealant or Weatherstripping
And again, as with your RV windows, using foam sealant or weatherstripping around the inside of your screen door should fill the gap sufficiently to keep the two doors from rattling together as you drive.
So, Your RV Water Pump Rattles?
Of all the possible sources of RV rattles, one of the most elusive just may be your water pump. If you’re having difficulty pinpointing the source of an annoying rattling noise and you track it down to the vicinity of your water pump, the pump itself just might be the culprit.
Check Water Pump Mounting Bolts and Tighten If Loose
The bolts that secure your water pump to the wall or panel can jostle loose from the vibrations caused by driving over time. Check those bolts to make sure they haven’t come loose. If they have, snug them up… just not too much.
RV water pump mounts are designed to allow some isolation between the pump and the wall they’re mounted to. If torqued down too tightly, they can transmit the vibration of the pump into the wall of the RV. It’s a bit of a balancing act and might take a little trial and error to get it just right.
Add Thicker Rubber Mounts
Sometimes the tiny rubber mounts that come with your water pump just aren’t enough to lift the pump away from the wall or panel where it’s mounted and dampen any sound from movement. If this is the case, then simply adding thicker rubber mounts can do the trick.
Remove the old mounts and replace them with mounts of a greater thickness, to help provide more vibration absorbing material between your RV’s base and the wall/flooring it’s mounted to.
Add Foam or Sound Deading Material Around the Pump
If you check your water pump and it’s properly mounted, and the mounts are of adequate thickness, then you may need to add some foam or other sound-deadening material around the pump itself.
This is not the most likely scenario, but if all else fails, adding a piece of foam to the back of the pump or around it can often do the trick.
Here’s a tip: Instead of buying actual sound-deadening foam which can be expensive, a pool noodle can work very well for situations like this. They can be sliced to any thickness you may need. Stick a little piece of that foam behind your water pump and you might just be on your way to more peace and quiet!
How to Keep Things from Sliding Around in Your Camper
When RVers take their maiden voyages, they quickly learn that things slide around when they’re driving. They stop at their first campsite or overnight spot and open a cabinet only to find things falling out or strewn about. “Items may have shifted during transit…”
There are a few ways to prevent this from happening, depending on where your problem areas are.
Line Shelves & Drawers with Non-Slip Rubber Shelf Liner (“No-Skid”)
The first step, of course, is to line the shelves and drawers of your RV with a non-slip rubber shelf liner. The grippy kind shown earlier in the post is a good bet.
Use Magnets and/or Magnetic Strips to Stop RV Rattles
Magnets or magnetic strips are useful for hanging cutlery, small metal containers of everything from spices to paper clips to anything else that’s small and needs a place to be securely attached.
Small magnets can also be great for keeping things still while you drive.
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Use Velcro Strips or 3M Dual-Lock or Command Strips
Velcro strips, 3M dual-lock, or Command Strips can hold lightweight things securely in place. Just be sure to place them on areas that won’t be damaged should you choose to remove them. (Command Strips are specifically designed for easy removal by pulling straight down on their little tab.)
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Use Bungee Cords While in Transit to Stop RV Rattles
Bungee cords are great for holding things in place while you’re traveling. We’ve seen people using bungee cords to secure water containers, coffee pots, and other small appliances, and just about anything else you can think of during transit.
Assorted bungee cords are a good thing to have on hand in an RV anyway – because there always seems to be a task for a bungee cord!
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Store Small Items in Containers in Drawers/Cabinets
Instead of placing small items independently in drawers and cupboards like you might do in a sticks & bricks home, you may want to store small items differently in your home-on-wheels. This can help immensely with RV rattles from “stuff” rolling around in drawers & cabinets.
Placing small items in containers and then storing the containers in the drawers and cupboards can keep a very big mess from happening every time you turn a corner… or when you open a cabinet door after a day of driving.
That’s especially true for small, items that are prone to falling over, such as spices. We bought this YouCopia turntable organizer for our spices. It not only keeps things from falling over (or out of the cabinet) but makes it easy to find what we’re looking for.
- STORAGE YOU CAN SEE: Includes 3 removable clear bins with handles so you can find and grab what you want without a search.
- BRINGS THE BACK OF THE CABINET TO YOU: Rotates a full 360° on stainless steel ball bearings, so items sail into view for an easy find.
Use Hanging Shoe Holders to Organize Small Things and Stop RV Rattles
Many travelers use shoe holders to store small items. For example, a shoe holder on the door of an RV bathroom might hold hair brushes and combs, toothpaste, razors, shampoo & conditioner, etc.
With everything stored securely in the pockets, there’s nothing being strewn around drawers & cupboards as you travel.
- Store 12 pairs of shoes or 24 pairs of sandals without taking up valuable floor space
- Mesh fabric pockets allows your shoes to breathe
Mount Items Using Putty
Mounting putty (often called “museum putty”) can be very helpful for securing small, lightweight items to shelves, countertops, desks, and nightstands.
- Gorilla Mounting Putty is ideal for hanging light weight items in place of traditional tapes, push pins, and fasteners.
- NON TOXIC: Gorilla Mouting Putting Squares are non-toxic, repositionable, and long lasting.
- Ideal for securing antiques, collectibles, and other breakable items from falling
- Works on almost any surface
Are You Annoyed by RV Rattles from Your Camper or Motorhome While You’re Driving?
What sorts of noises does your camper or motorhome make as you drive? Have you been able to discover the sources of any annoying RV rattles in your rig? And what have you done to quiet them? Share your tips in the comments below!
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