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9 Purported RV Hacks That Just Don’t Work

Many campers and RVers are constantly on the search for the best RV hacks to make RVing easier. Whether they’re kitchen hacks to slow down on cooking time or organizational hacks to make an RV a more organized place, some hacks are fantastic! 

Other RV hacks are downright ridiculous… and we’ve got some of them here in this article. So let’s get into it!

9 RV Hacks That Just Aren’t Worth the Effort

Some RV hacks totally change the game when it comes to camping – like using an Instant Pot to prepare quick and easy one-pot meals. Others… not so much! 

Here are 9 RV hacks that aren’t worth your time, money, or effort. 

Bigfoot Truck Camper Pre-Renovation Tour - We're Turning This Old Truck Camper Into an Overland RV!
Stay tuned to see what RV hacks we do/don’t use when renovating our Bigfoot Truck

Looking to update your space with your new hack knowledge? Discover 9 Fabulous RV Renovation Ideas

#1. Using Irish Spring Soap to Keep Mice Away

Coming in at the top of the list is using Irish Spring Soap to keep mice out of your camper. When we bought our motorhome, we found no less than 8 bars of Irish Spring hidden behind sofas, cabinets, and drawers.

Why This Hack Is Popular: Everyone wants a quick, simple, and cheap solution to this very big problem. Mice damage is no fun, and the thought of having little mouse poops littered throughout your camper can be nauseating.

The reason this hack is popular is because Irish Spring is a cheap and obnoxiously strong-smelling soap.

Why It Doesn’t Work: While it is true that mice don’t like many strong smells, the amount of Irish Spring you’d have to use to possibly be effective will probably drive you crazy as well.

I, for one, hate the smell of Irish Spring soap, and threw out all the bars that came with our motorhome. Instead, I recommend several more effective methods for keeping mice out of your camper.

How to Keep Mice Out of Camper

#2. Using a WiFi Booster for RV Internet

We had a WiFi booster when we first started RVing. We used it a handful of frustrating times, then gave up on it. Don’t fall for this piece of RV gear, as it is a waste of time and money.

Why This Hack Is Popular: RVers are always looking for ways to get mobile internet for cheap. And many campgrounds tout providing WiFi for their campers. A WiFi booster can be cheaper than a new cell plan or a Starlink dish, so seems like an affordable option.

Why It Doesn’t Work: This hack doesn’t work for several reasons.

  1. Campground WiFi usually sucks. Especially during the times you really want it to work, because all the other campers are also watching Netflix in the evening. It’s unreliable and usually very slow.
  2. You’ll want internet when you aren’t at a campground with WiFi, so will need another plan anyway.
  3. Other open WiFi networks require passwords or are very insecure.
  4. You’ll get very frustrated with it.

If you’re serious about mobile RV internet, you’ll need more than a WiFi booster, and once you have another (way better) option, you’ll never touch your WiFi booster again.

#3. Using Oxygenics Showerhead To Solve Your RV Shower Problems

For a while, Oxygenic showerheads had an almost cult following – they honestly still might. And we admit, we jumped on the bandwagon for a minute. However, after all the hype, we found ourselves disappointed in this purported “amazing showerhead.”

Why This Hack Is Popular: Oxygenics offers a wide array of water-saving RV showerheads. Since most RVs come with a lack-luster showerhead, upgrading is a popular choice. Many people hear of Oxygenics and think it is the be-all-end-all for RV showerhead upgrades.

Why It Doesn’t Work: Ok – it’s not that these showerheads don’t work, they just might not solve your real problem. The real problems here are 1) water pressure and 2) water savings in an RV shower. You see, everyone really just wants to have a residential shower experience in their RV.

Do this instead:

  1. For Water Pressure – This is dependent on your campground or your water pump. If the campground water pressure is lacking, turn on your pump with freshwater in your tank at the same time. This gives you a little pressure boost!
  2. For Water Savings – If you camp with full hookups, you don’t really have to worry about this. But if you camp without water and dump hookups, you have to be conservative. We find that using a simple on/off valve at the showerhead is the BEST water saver. Turn it on to have great, full-blast pressure when you need it. Then turn it off when you’re sudsing, scrubbing, or shaving. Use any showerhead you like!

#4. Using Only Command Stickers to Hang Art

Command strips are popular with RVers for many different reasons, from organization to decoration. 

Why This Hack Is Popular: RVers love using Command strips to hang art because they don’t damage the wall, and you can move them around without leaving holes behind. But this hack isn’t as awesome as it seems. 

Why It Doesn’t Work: The motion of an RV driving combined with changing temperatures, humidity, dust, and dirt can make Command strips fall off. It’s a constant battle replacing the strips holding your art on the walls! 

If you want to hang art in your RV, don’t rely on Command Stickers alone. You may want to try screwing your art into the walls. 

rv wall art decorations

#5. Covering Floors With Stick On Vinyl Planks

RV renovators everywhere love stick-on vinyl planks… For a few weeks, at least. 

Why This Hack Is Popular: Stick-on vinyl planks are an easy, cheap, and attractive solution to upgrading or changing your RV’s flooring. It’s popular with DIYers upgrading or renovating an RV, but they don’t pass the test of time. 

Why It Doesn’t Work: RVing is a dirty lifestyle, not just because you’re traveling, but because coming in and out of such a small space constantly causes dirt to pile up everywhere. Stick-on vinyl planks are very susceptible to dirt and wear-and-tear. 

These stick-on floor planks don’t stand up to daily use. Dirt, moisture, movement, and humidity get under the planks, causing them to peel up and shift out of place. The adhesive deactivates after exposure to dirt and moisture.

Also, these planks frequently get stuck under RV slides–they’re just not a great solution!

If you want to renovate your RV floors, look at using floating laminate flooring instead. It can move with the RV and clicks together. It can withstand heavy use and fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Plus, it’s not that much more expensive!

DIY RV Reflooring with a Flush Slide-Out
Learn more about our experience using floating laminate planks while reflooring our RV

#6. No-Sew Reupholstering Your RV Furniture

Reupholstering is expensive and time-consuming. So it’s no wonder the idea of no-sew reupholstering for RV furniture is popular!

Why This Hack Is Popular: Who has time to sew? No-sew reupholstering takes less time, less work, and is far less expensive than a traditional reupholstering job. But it ultimately doesn’t cut it in an RV!

Why It Doesn’t Work: No-sew reupholstering typically consists of holding the fabric in place with twist pins and staples. RV furniture tends to see quite a bit more wear-and-tear than regular items, so staples and tacks won’t keep it together for the long term.

If you want to update the look of your RV furniture, try buying slipcovers, adding unique throw blankets and pillows, buying new cushions, or updating your furniture altogether. 

RV hacks upholstery
RV hacking with staples and tacks won’t maintain quality as your furniture sees a lot of wear-and-tear

#7. Hang Dry Your Clothes Inside with a Suspension Rod

Some RVs come with a washer and dryer, but not all RVers have that luxury. And laundromats can be a nightmare! 

Why This Hack Is Popular: Whether you wash your clothes in the sink or need to hang up wet towels and swimsuits to dry, using a suspension rod in your RV is a quick and convenient clothes drying option. Or so it seems…

tom driving a class b rv
RV hacks don’t always consider how a smaller living space impacts daily tasks

Why It Doesn’t Work: Hanging your clothes to dry inside your RV takes up a lot of space. Clothes take a long time to dry, and the excess moisture can create humidity! While this can work for items that aren’t time-sensitive for the next use, we’re here to tell you there is a better way.

If you want to wash and dry your clothes in your RV instead of using a laundromat and you don’t have a washer or dryer, try getting one of these ladder-mounted clothes drying racks instead. 

#8. Use Contact Paper to Cover Your Dinette

RV renovation is all the rage right now. Using contact paper is a quick and easy way to change up the look of your RV without making permanent changes. 

Why This Hack Is Popular: Contact paper comes in many designs, including faux marble. It’s easy to apply, and it’s cheap to purchase. This hack takes under an hour, so it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular option! So, why doesn’t it work? 

Why It Doesn’t Work: Contact paper is cheap and shows wear and tear quickly. If you can’t get the paper to lay down perfectly or around rounded edges, you’ll get to look at it every day.

In addition, the adhesive doesn’t last long, especially if you use your table often. So using contact paper to upgrade your dinette table will look cheap and gross after just a month or two of use. 

If you want to upgrade your dinette’s look without replacing the table itself, try using an epoxy countertop pour! We did this in our truck camper and absolutely LOVED the results! This solution is fun, beautiful, and will stand up to everyday use with no problems.

RV hacks furniture and kitchen updates
RVs see a lot of wear-and-tear which RV hacks don’t tend to withstand over time

#9. Brush With Toothpaste Dots

Toothpaste dots are dried-out pieces of toothpaste sliced into pea-sized ‘dots’ that many travel websites claim as a great travel and camping hack. 

Why This Hack Is Popular: Toothpaste dots are most likely popular because they’re an unusual take on brushing your teeth and can pack down easily for travel. But is this really a good hack for RVing? We don’t think so. 

Why It Doesn’t Work: Why waste time making toothpaste dots when you can just buy a travel-size toothpaste tube? For weekend camping trips or even full-time RVing, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle by just bringing along a regular tube of toothpaste. 

RV sink and water filter

Looking for some RV cooking hacks? Enjoy some easy recipes here: 5 Best Instant Pot Recipes for easy RV cooking

Be Realistic When Trying RV Hacks

We get it – we all want to make our lives easier. Life hacks can sometimes be terrific for saving time, money, and energy and making things so much easier!

But, be realistic when reading about or trying certain RV hacks. 

Use your common sense… if it doesn’t seem like a good idea, it probably isn’t. If it doesn’t seem like it will stand up to the rigors of RVing, it probably won’t. 

Do you have any favorite RV hacks that have saved you time, money, or energy? Let us know in the comments!

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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Warren Gress

Tuesday 18th of June 2024

I would add the idea of putting ice down your toilet and driving around will make your black tank sensors work again. There have been a couple of demonstrations that disprove this.

Gene

Monday 20th of September 2021

Ikea furniture isn’t always heavier. Replaced our (much hated) Thomas Paine theater seating with 2 chairs. Gained floor space and lost 170 pounds.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 20th of September 2021

That's great! Shedding 170 pounds of weight by replacing your seating is quite impressive. :)

Herbert+Stephens+(Herb)

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Our first try with command strips was for a simple hook in the bedroom to hold pajamas. The adhesive held well enough, but it started to peel the wall surface ( something like wallpaper) away from the wall panel. So, screws to the rescue.

Marcus Tibesar

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Command strips suck, and they are a waste of money. They just aren't strong enough to endure the constant movement of our camper. We've replaced them all with 3M super strong tape strips.

Marc Stauffer

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

There are a lot of choices to fill those holes created by hanging pics and stuff . Putty fill sticks come in a variety of colors and epoxy sticks work wonders as well. We use industrial Velcro to hang our pics and stuff. Need to remove it? A hair dryer on high and a bit of patience and it comes right off.