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9 Purported RV Hacks That Just Don’t Work

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 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. Replacing Your RV Furniture With IKEA Pieces

Coming in at the top of the list is replacing your RV furniture with IKEA pieces. It’s incredibly popular in the world of RV renovation… but it’s a terrible idea!

Why This Hack Is Popular: IKEA makes beautiful furniture at low prices. Many IKEA pieces are ideal for tiny living and small spaces and are optimized for maximum storage while taking up minimal space. But this RV renovation hack isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

Why It Doesn’t Work: IKEA furniture might be beautiful and functional, but it can be very heavy. Heavy furniture isn’t ideal when you have to be mindful of your cargo carrying capacity! 

Another reason IKEA furniture isn’t great in an RV is it moves around when driving. If you have to brake suddenly, it could damage the furniture and/or your rig. Of course, you could buy straps or drill the furniture into the RV frame, but that adds complexity to this “easy” furniture solution. 

Instead of IKEA furniture, try purchasing furniture explicitly made for RVs that bolt down to the frame. You might be pleasantly surprised at the beautiful and functional options offered by companies like RecPro and more! (Get 5% off your order with coupon code “ONTHEMOVE5”)

RV hacks furniture
RV hacks can sometimes seem like great ideas, but aren’t ideal for long term use

#2. Hanging Plastic Baskets on Command Hooks

RVers are always looking for new ways to decorate their space and add or enhance storage and organization options. Hanging baskets on Command Hooks is a popular RV “hack.” It’s a great idea… but it just doesn’t work! 

Why This Hack Is Popular: Command Hooks seem like the perfect solution to hanging art, baskets, and storage cubbies on thin RV walls without putting holes in them. Screws and nails damage the RV walls, and often the walls aren’t thick enough to support much weight. Command hooks are lightweight and easy to apply and remove. 

Why It Doesn’t Work: Command hooks are overall cheap and don’t hold up over time. Especially not to the rigors of driving! Instead of using cheap command hooks to hang baskets on walls, use over-the-door hooks on cabinet doors. 

#3. Using Door Pocket Organizers

Again, any kind of storage or organization option takes off like wildfire in the RVing community. Door pocket organizers seem like a great idea… but we’ve got another opinion.

Why This Hack Is Popular: Door pocket organizers typically hang on a door and have several rows of pockets to stash items. Some RVers even cut the rows of pockets to make smaller organizers for a bedside cubby, sofa side, and more. But is this hack really all it’s cracked up to be? We don’t think so. 

Why It Doesn’t Work: Door pocket organizers are made with cheap materials and bad stitching. As a result, they break, rupture seams, and don’t stay in place. With the added rigors of driving, this problem becomes even worse! 

If you like the idea of door pocket organizers but want something that actually holds up, try reinforcing the seams or sewing your own organizers instead. 

#4. Using 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 easily. 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 hacks hanging pictures
Our RV Hack: Instead of hanging heavy art, try a lightweight clothes pin photo strand

#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…

RV hacks laundry
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! 

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 this faux-marbling paint technique that’s sealed with clear epoxy resin. This solution is cheap, 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 have 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 hacks toiletries and bathroom use
Buy a travel-sized toothpaste tub instead of the overly recommended RV hack toothpaste dots

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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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.

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