Space Saving ideas to maximize the use of your RV

Proper organization and storage can turn a cluttered and stuffed RV into a well cared for and prestigious camping vehicle, and to be honest following these six steps can truly change your RV experience.

How to maximize space in an RV

We all know that the biggest challenge on a cross country RV tour is finding the room for everything you think you may need.  And this problem boils down to the simple task of organization. Because of the limited space in an RV, it’s far too easy for clutter to become overwhelming. Continue reading to see how you can carry all the stuff you want in your existing RV through organizational skills.


Take a one time inventory and toss what you truly don’t need

The first step to solving a problem, is to recognize that there is one! Take the time and make a list of all the items that you currently have in your RV and write down everything. If necessary break it down into a list of things that work and things that could use repair.

This will help define what is important or if you are transporting duplicates.

As you continue to make your way through all of your RVing stuff, make a note of all the stuff that you haven’t used on the last 2-3 trips. If you really don’t need it, now’s the time to take it out.

Ask yourself some tough questions like: Do you need all of these clothes? Do you need all of the plates, cups, and silverware? When’s the last time you read through some of the books or magazines in the back?

A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in the last 12 months, put it in storage somewhere else.

It may be a good idea to do a thorough clean before summer and before winter. In most cases there are specific items for each season that may be just taking up space.

Use our inventory Checklist here:

RV Space Saving Checklist and Inventory – Copy


Organize what is valuable and used into its own area

If you ever look at clutter, you’ll notice that it’s never a large item like a stove, microwave, or refrigerator that is taking up space and causing clutter. In most cases, it’s the small items lying around. This could range from, clothing, books, plates and bowls, fishing gear, extra shoes, or other nick nacks. These items should be accounted for on the list you should have just made, and be categorized into its own storage space. Remember the 12 month rule. If you haven’t used it in the last 12 months, find a new spot for it!

Create a spot for specific categories of items, like entertainment, outdoor gear, loose change and keys, etc.

Organize the bathroom

The bathroom is notorious for have a large number of small sized items. Get a small bathroom organizer to keep track of soap, shampoo, shaving, and other bathroom accessories. This will keep all of the critical bathroom items in one easy to use location. The other option is to get an organizer that hangs on the wall or the back of the bathroom door. These items allow for personal items, toiletries, and other specific items to be compartmentalized and easy to access.

Organize the kitchen  

Kitchens are always prone to clutter because it is one of the most used rooms in the RV. Items in use range from cooking utensils, to food, and even cleaning supplies. The real challenge is to find ways to store and match different types of storage ideas. In our RV we have a magnetic rack to hold many of the cooking utensils as well as a cabinet to store cups, plates, and other sharp objects. Then the space underneath the sink is perfect for a small trash bag as well as other cleaning supplies.


Storage bins, Storage bins, and more storage bins

If you’re struggling to group items into categories and store them away, try buying multiple smaller storage bins with multiple drawers. These drawers and shelves provide excellent organization in a compact space. You can even go as far as labeling them so you know that you will always go back and place the same items in the same spot. These can be used to store clothing, utensils, food, tools, and emergency equipment. Bottom line, storage bins are an excellent way to stay organized.


Foldable Items for Compact Storage and use

If you’re really tight on space to using foldable items. These can be packed up and stored when not in use. Foldable items can refer to tables, chairs, beds, and even bags or backpacks.


RV Road Trip – Tips for you and Your Dog

Every dog owner knows that as soon as you start your car or RV the dog knows and wants to be apart of the trip. In my experience, as soon as we start packing a cooler for a road trip or excursion our dog will go outside or sit in the RV so he won’t be left behind. He will sit in the passenger seat until we are done packing and ready to go. He knows we’re going on a trip and as a member of our family he needs to be with us.

Our black lab / golden retriever mix loves camping, the woods, the plains, all the outdoors, and above that he loves getting away from our same-old-same-old suburban fenced in backyard. And come to think of it, it’s important for my wife and I too to get away from the daily grind at least once a month when the weather is permitting. These small escapes are what keeps our sanity in check and our spirits high!


What Do I Need to do to Bring My Dog RVing?

But flashing back to when we first adopted our little puppy it took awhile for him to understand the purpose of our road trip vacations. He loves fresh air and the great outdoors, so staying in an RV while we drive for 8 hours was something that took getting used to.

When we’d hop into our first RV for our annual three week cross country road trip, our poor puppy couldn’t grasp why we’d always want to be in the vehicle or confined to a leash at different RV parks. He wanted to run around and smell the smells of the wild nature.

As we move closer to today, my wife and I started looking for ways to keep our annual trip and our dog happy both getting to and at our final destinations. The goal was, and still is, to ensure our dog is safe, comfortable, entertained, and to keep our annual trip going.

As we grew accustomed to stopping at more open and dog friendly stops, and as our puppy learned to adjust, he grew into the dog that won’t leave the RV if he sees us packing. He comes to enjoy both the RV excursion and the visits to various parks and RV parks throughout the Midwest.

So without further adieu, here are some of the most useful tips that my wife and I developed over the years to improve the RV experience (drive and destinations) for us and our dog.

Don’t use a crate or a kennel during the drive – use a child proof gate when necessary

After much whining, confusion, and maybe a puppy accident, we decided that using a kennel during our rides was one of the main stressors our dog was feeling. Instead we purchased a cheap baby gate that we set up so he can’t get into the driver cabin. This allows him to roam around the back and even sit on his favorite blanket, or even stick his head out the window to smells the smells. We know that there is an element of safety to be considered here and that animals are most likely to avoid injury if they are placed safely in a harness. So if you decide to take a more cautious approach, we certainly understand. But looking at what makes our dog happy we decided it was the right thing to do. This is something each owner should consider individually and make the decision right for them and their pet.

Make Frequent stops

During our three week annual excursion, we were never in a tremendous hurry after we got on the roads, so we’d do everyone a favor and allow for frequent stops for our dog to run around and take a “potty” break. In our case Sam gets restless after sitting for 4-5 hours and will start whining. So we plan accordingly to stop at rest areas with a nice lawn. We typically use google satellite view on rest areas when planning to make sure that there is enough space for him to walk around for a while.

Bring Toys

At a glance this might seem obvious, but we found that it is what helps the most. By brining elements that our puppy is used to on long trips makes him feel more at home and less out of his safe zone. Therefore, our packing list always includes his favorite blanket, chew toys, and even a tug-o-war rope.

Pack a comfortable dog bed

For everyone’s best interest, we bring our puppy’s dog bed to sleep or otherwise lay down. While this won’t keep him from sticking his head out the window, it will provide a familiar setting for him to get comfortable and relax. Another bright idea would be to bring blankets to cover the RV furniture. This can keep the dog hair to a minimum and cleaning easy.

Pick a Dog Friendly RV Park

Do your homework up front when selecting an RV park. Check out the google map satellite view of any potential RV parks you are considering.  This can give you an idea of the size of the RV spots, the common area, and any extra space for your dog to roam free. Most parks have a leash policy, so be sure to reach out to them or find out what that is in advanced.