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RV Vacuuming Tips: Use Your Vacuum Like Never Before

RV Vacuuming Tips: Use Your Vacuum Like Never Before

Why a post on RV vacuuming tips? Because RVs can collect dust, dirt, sand, and other unwanted debris very easily. You’re camping, after all, and stuff gets tracked in.

But an RV is also a small living space, and small spaces need to be kept as free of dirt, dust, and other types of debris as possible. Maybe its just us, but we think it’s more comfortable to live in a clean space.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to clean a small space, so let’s grab a vacuum cleaner and gather some tips and tricks from cleaning experts to make the process even easier and more effective!

11 Pro Tips for Vacuuming Like a Cleaning Service

Just to be clear, we’re not here to tell you how to do your regular cleaning. We assume you all know how to keep a home clean… vacuum in one direction, then the other, blah blah blah.

What we’re sharing with you today are some tips and tricks that are more like add-ons to enhance the use of your vacuum cleaner, based on suggestions from professional cleaners.

Here we go!

Get a Good Vacuum

This one probably goes without saying, but it’s one of the top tips from the pros… so we’re including it anyway.

Buying a decent vacuum is a worthwhile investment. Not only is it important to have a vacuum that sucks (haha), it’s an appliance you’ll regularly use, so it’s worth grabbing the best vacuum you can afford right from the start. Chances are fair that if you don’t, you’ll be replacing it before you know it.

Take a look at our post discussing 7 of the best RV vacuum cleaners, including our own. That post has something for every size RV and every budget.

John using our vacuum in the living room of our RV

Here’s John using our vacuum to clean the living room of our RV. This vacuum might be too large for a Class B motorhome, for instance. So check out our post to see some of the best RV vacuum cleaners for any size RV and any size budget.

Use the “Stocking Method” to Locate/Retrieve Small Items

Retrieving small items from tight places (can you think of any of those in your RV?) can be tricky, especially if you don’t want the vacuum to consume the item! Finding small things you’ve lost in your carpet can be tricky too. So, check out this pro tip:

Take a piece of stretchy material similar to hosiery, tights, or a thin sock and stretch it over the top of your crevice tool (or just over the hose if you don’t have a crevice tool). Use a rubber band or tape to hold the material in place on the hose/tool, and use your vacuum cleaner to suck the small item up.

The material allows the vacuum to suck up the item/items, without them ending up in the bag/canister.

This method is also great for finding a small item you’ve lost such as an earring. Stretch the material over the tool or hose and start in the area where you think you lost it. Before you know it, your lost item should be stuck to the material stretched over the suction piece.

Clean Your RV Vent Fan Screens Without Removing Them

Use the upholstery brush attachment to clean your RV vent fan screens without removing them. Many of you may already do this, but here’s the pro tip part:

Turn the fan on high before you start, so anything that’s knocked loose and not sucked up by the vacuum will get held in place on the screen and/or blown outside.

Use a Vacuum to Clean Your Window Treatments

According to the pros, vacuuming your fabric window treatments and coverings is the best way to clean and dust them.

A man using a brush tool to vacuum window blinds

You can use a brush tool to vacuum dust away from window blinds and other window treatments. Just don’t allow the dust to build up for too long.

If your vacuum has a small tool, you may want to use it. Just be sure to vacuum them somewhat regularly… waiting too long allows dust to accumulate, making it more difficult to keep them clean.

Use a Vacuum to Clean Your Window Screens

Most of us remove and thoroughly wash our window screens at least once a year, but vacuuming them on a regular basis is a great way to keep them free of dust and debris.

Use a Vacuum to Prevent a Fire!

If your RV (or your home) has a clothes dryer, be sure to vacuum your lint trap & dryer vent regularly.

This handy attachment may be very helpful – thousands of reviewers say it is!

Holikme 2 Pieces Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit, Dryer Lint Vacuum Attachment and Flexible Dryer Lint Brush, Vacuum Hose Attachment Brush, Blue
  • Home Essentials: Holikme dryer vent cleaner kit can easily help you to remove years of built up lint from your dryer vent, making your appliance runs...
  • Home & Kitchen Gadgets: Flexible and handy vacuum hose is perfect for cleaning behind appliances beyond your reach. Suitable for most dryer types,...

Use the “Paper Towel Tube Method” to Vacuum Narrow Spaces

Use a paper towel tube in place of a lost or missing crevice tool to vacuum in very narrow spots such as window tracks.

Place the tube over the hose and close the end of the tube to your desired width.

Join Forces with Baking Soda

Enhance your carpet cleaning by sprinkling baking soda over your carpet or rug. Allow it to sit there briefly and then vacuum it up.

The baking soda absorbs odors and helps to deep clean carpet fibers above and beyond just sucking up the surface dust and debris.

Don’t forget your area rugs…unless, of course, you’ve got washable area rugs from My Magic Carpet like the ones we’ve been using and machine washing for years now!

Change the Vacuum Bag/Clean the Canister!

If the “change bag” indicator light comes on (if your vacuum has one), you’ll obviously want to change the bag before using your vacuum again.

But professionals suggest changing your bag or emptying the canister more frequently, long before the bag becomes full! Even if you only vacuum once a week, they recommend emptying/replacing it at least once a month. (Of course, that recommendation is based on the average-sized sticks-and-bricks house… you can probably extend that frequency based on the small size of typical RVs!)

In addition to ensuring that your vacuume thoroughly cleans your RV and doesn’t start spewing dust onto your carpets, regular bag changing (or canister emptying) also helps to keep the vacuum operating much more efficiently.

Check the Filters!

If, like our vacuum, yours has additional filters for dust and allergens, be sure to check them regularly. 

If your filter isn’t clean, the performance of the vacuum is likely to suffer. Clogged, dirty vacuum filters restrict airflow which means that the vacuum’s suctioning ability will be limited.

Sweep Hardwood Floors

That’s right – even if you have a “hard floor” setting on your vacuum, professionals recommend sweeping (or dry mopping) rather than vacuuming hardwood floors.

That’s because some hardwoods scratch very easily and the risk is high that you’ll scratch the floors regardless of the vacuum’s setting.

A vacuum on a hardwood floor with a red X

If you have hardwood floors, professionals say it’s best to sweep or dry mop them rather than vacuuming which can scratch some wood very easily.

Got Any RV Vacuuming Tips to Offer?

If you’ve got tips for how to use a vacuum that maybe the pros haven’t even thought of, toss them our way in the comments section below!

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Tuesday 12th of December 2023

We have 25ft trailer and travel wth a 1-gal contractor-grade Shop Vac we use for housekeeping and cleaning the 3/4 ton GMC van we tow with. We have also used it several times as a leaf blower by reversing the hose to clean campsites.


Tuesday 12th of December 2023

Sounds like a great setup, Kat! Handy to have a single device (shop vac) doing double duty (vac & blower)!

Pat Parker

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Great tips thsnks

Scott Floyd

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Good tips. I didn’t know most of them. Thank you.

John S.

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

For the first time in all your years of posting tips this is the first one that I think is ridiculous:

"But professionals suggest changing your bag or emptying the canister more frequently, long before the bag becomes full! Even if you only vacuum once a week, they recommend emptying it at least once a month."

On the other hand, I suppose that if you are rich enough to change a vacuum bag out after just four uses then you have enough money to hire professional cleaners every week - the ones that need to change filter bags every month.

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PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use 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.

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