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When we set out in our first motorhome, there were many RV tips and tricks that other travelers knew and implemented regularly, but that we had yet to discover. Now, after nearly two decades of full-time RV living, we’ve got LOTS of tips and tricks up our sleeves, and we still learn a few new things from time to time.
10 RV Tips and Tricks Every RVer Will Love!
In today’s post, we’re sharing ten of our favorite RV tips and tricks not only for the benefit of newer RVers just learning the ropes but also for seasoned RVers who might find a new helpful idea as well. Keep reading… or skip to the end to watch the video!
Use Cloth Napkins to Reduce Noise
Pots, pans, plates, and bowls are among the noisiest items in an RV when traveling down the road. We’ve eliminated this irritating noise by using cloth napkins set between these items. In addition to dampening noise, the napkins also eliminate any scraping and scratching that can occur when dishes and bowls are constantly bumping together as we drive over rough terrain – or any terrain, really.
We like using napkins for this job because they’re a great size, form-fitting, multi-purpose (you CAN actually use them as napkins, too), washable, and inexpensive. You can use cloth napkins that you’ve got on hand, or you can pick some up very inexpensively on Amazon:
- Spongy and Comfortable: Made from premium fibers, our linen napkins can be set left of charger or fold elegantly & place center of dinnerware for...
- Economy Pack: Tailored with Mitered corners and a generous hem, our poly cotton linen napkins came in a value Pack of 12 Pieces measuring 18 by 18...
Install a Brass Y (or “Wye”) Valve on Your City Water Connection
This gives you two connections – one for the city water connection, and the other free to use for additional water needs while you’re hooked up.
This might seem unnecessary, until the first time you have to disconnect from your city water hookup because you need to access your water for another reason (washing the car/RV, flushing your tanks, etc). At that point, it becomes a game-changer for a very small investment.
It can even help you to be a good neighbor when staying at sites with shared connections.
- Stainless steel quarter-turn pressure seated shut-off valves
- Features easy-grip valve handles and hose connection
Carry a Hose Exclusively for Flushing Your Black Tank
Carrying a 10’-20’ length of hose for the sole purpose of flushing your black tank (and nothing else ever) is a great way to make sure you’ll never accidentally contaminate a hose that will be used for other purposes.
We suggest buying this hose in a different color, to help remind you and your traveling companions that it’s specifically for black tank flushing and nothing else. Like this one:
- 👍 NO KINK OR NO TANGLE - New upgarde 5-layers high technology PVC material prevents hose from tangling and kinking. Extremely durable hose for...
- 👍 BRASS COUPLINGS, NO LEAKING - Industrial male and female connectors leak proof. Solid brass fittings are reinforced with high-grade industrial...
Carry a 1-Gallon Plastic Pitcher
A plastic pitcher can be useful for many reasons, including mixing a bleach and water solution for sanitizing your fresh water tank. But one of our favorite uses of our one-gallon pitcher is to run up our hot water before a shower while boondocking, bringing the shower water up to a comfortable temperature.
We run the water into the pitcher instead of running it into the drain. This serves two purposes. First, it avoids filling our gray tank up too fast when we’re boondocking. And second, it allows us to use the water rather than wasting it, which is a very important consideration when you’re boondocking.
We leave our pitcher in the bathroom, add water every time we run the shower water to temperature, and then use the water to flush the toilet. Perfect temperature shower, no wasted water, and no unnecessary filling of the gray tank.
PRO TIP: Couples should take showers back-to-back, one right after the other, to avoid running water up into the pitcher twice in one day.
Use a Swinging Door as a Level
When we’re leveling our motorhome, our bathroom door is like a canary in a coalmine warning us if we’re off-level by swinging one way or the other until we level things out.
You can fine-tune your jacks until a swinging door in your RV will stay right where you put it, both front to rear, and side to side. Of course, our LevelMatePRO+ allows us to get perfectly level, too. 😉
Carry Baking Soda for Multiple Uses
Many people keep a box of baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors. That’s a good idea, but baking soda is good for other uses as well.
Put a little baking soda on a wet sponge and mix it a bit until it forms a paste. This makes a great non-toxic cleaner that won’t scratch hard surfaces like your RV’s sinks/countertops.
It also makes a great non-scratch cleaner for your stovetop. The baking soda works wonders on grease and grime that’s built up from lots of cooking.
And finally, pouring a little baking soda down your sink drains helps absorb odors there as well.
Keep Your Grill Clean With Aluminum Foil
Our grill has remained in nearly new condition for years. That’s because we line the inside of the lid with aluminum foil to keep grease from accumulating on it. We replace the aluminum foil liner every few months.
Carry an Infrared Thermometer for Tire Testing
Whenever we make a stop on long travel days, we point our infrared thermometer at each of our tires.
This quick but important tire check can alert us to a tire that’s heating up more than the others, an early sign of a potential problem. This is cheap insurance and well worth the investment. And you’ll surely find other uses for the infrared thermometer as well.
- NOT FOR HUMAN: Temperature readings from these devices are inanimate objects. The measured temperature for humans or animals will be inaccurate
- BETTER ACCURACY: 12:1 D:S, meaning it can accurately measure targets at greater distances compared to most others; For best accuracy, the distance...
Monitoring tire condition is so important, we recommend monitoring not only the temperature, but the pressures as well. (We love our EEZ Tire TPMS system, which is now available with a color monitor.)
Tie Your Doormat to Your RV Steps
About 15 years ago we lost a doormat in a windstorm, but it has never happened again because we learned to tie our doormat to our RV steps.
Poking a small hole in a corner of the mat using a small Phillips head screwdriver, and threading a length of twine through the hole allows us to tie the mat to the steps.
No matter the weather, we won’t lose our doormat now. And, speaking of doormats, the GrassWorx Clean Machine is our absolute favorite! It’s reasonably priced, durable, and actually cleans your shoes before entering the RV!
And speaking of steps, there are no better RV step covers than our Prest-O-Fit Ruggids.
Avoid Water Spots on Your RV with a Silicone Squeegee
When we wash our RV we avoid water spots by using a silicone California water blade to squeegee excess water off of the RV.
This method of removing water from large clean surfaces is a quick and easy way to avoid the annoying spotting that water can leave behind.
- Made in China
- Flexible silicone blade molds to the shape of the surface
Watch Our RV Tips & Tricks Video
More of a visual learner? Here’s the video we made on these RV tips and tricks several years ago:
We hope there might be a nugget or two within this list of RV tips and tricks that might be of use to you as you travel in your RV. Be sure to pass along any of these helpful tips to your fellow RVers, and feel free to share any of your favorite RV tips and tricks in the comments section below. Safe travels!
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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.