I have traveled extensively throughout the US for many years and enjoy helping people to make the most of their RV vacations.
If you RV for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to stock your camper, trailer or motor home with items that will provide that homelike feeling because doing this makes travel more pleasant.
There is only so much you can do to Make Your RV More Livable in terms of storage and living space, so it’s easy to become claustrophobic after awhile if you don’t have some things with you that calm and relax you.
If you like to read, there is nothing better to have on board than a few books you have wanted to read. Some may be old favorites, but all should be real books, not things you read on a Kindle or some such.
The reason for this is that most campgrounds have lending libraries where you can trade books as you go. Pick one or two up; drop one or two off.
For this reason, you don’t need to keep a big library with you. Four or five will do the job nicely, won’t take up much room and will provide you with hours of entertainment when you’re dry camping or staying in a park that doesn’t have good TV reception.
2. Steering Wheel Tray
One item that is really nice to have is a tray that can be mounted on any steering wheel.
I love having one of these with me because they are flexible, lightweight and easy to store.
You can use them for your laptop, reading books or eating, but what I like most is that you can put a colorful cloth over them on which you place a small lamp at night.
Doing this not only adds color, but also a bit of homelike warmth.
My personal favorite is the steering wheel tray made by Jeasun. It costs a bit more than some of the other brands but is better built and can hold more weight. You wouldn’t want to put anything really heavy on it, but it will hold a small laptop and certainly can hold a plate of food. It even has an indentation for a drink!
It’s amazing what a difference this one thing can make in the homelike feeling you get in your RV when using it.
3. Your Favorite Cooking Pot
If you like to cook, having a pot on board that you usually use at home will make you feel more connected to the things you’ve left behind.
Most cooks use a favored pot regularly, so there are many memories attached to the one you carry with you.
Making soups and stews in it will make you feel especially comfortable because of the wonderful odors these foods produce during cooking and the anticipation you always have while waiting to eat.
No matter the weather or what kind of day you’re having, there is nothing more comforting, better tasting or wonderful than a nice, hot bowl of your favorite soup.
If you make it in your favorite pot, all the better, but if not, it will still give travelers a nice warm feeling that reminds them of the kitchen at home.
Home made is always going to be best, but there is nothing wrong with opening a can of Campbell’s or even heating up a Cup-A-Soup to serve as a meal or side dish for lunch or dinner.
5. A Lap Blanket
Every RV traveler should keep at least one lap blanket on board. It should be colorful and light enough to carry from one spot to another.
I use mine to keep my feet warm when traveling, take naps with or drape over my shoulders when sitting outside on a cool evening.
Having a lap blanket is like having someone on board to hold and hug you when you need comfort.
6. A Comfortable Chair
Most recreational vehicles come with at least one living room style chair. The problem with them often is that they may look comfortable, but for many people, they really are not because few have good lumbar support.
Furthermore, they are big, bulky, take up a lot of space and are often in the way. In short, they subtract, rather than add to personal comfort.
When my husband and I purchase a coach, we always get rid of “the chair” and replace it with one that has a thinner profile yet is easy on our backs because it has good lumbar support.
There are a number of manufacturers who make such chairs, but our favorite is one made by Relaxazen. In addition to being as comfortable as many others we have tried, this one also has the ability to massage and heat the back.
What could be more comforting than that after a long day of driving!
7. A Quality Bed
Many RVs come with really thin, cheap mattresses that can make sleeping difficult and uncomfortable.
There is no reason for travelers to have to put up with them when they can easily exchange them for those of better quality.
Believe me when I tell you that a good mattress is worth its weight in gold when you’re on the road!
One word of caution here is to avoid buying any brand of air mattress because they lose air often due to road vibration and can be a constant source of problems.
A quality innerspring or foam mattress will give you all of the comforts of home that you will ever need.
8. Comfy Bedroom Slippers
When you’re in your coach, it feels great to slide into a comfortable pair of bedroom slippers.
Furthermore, doing this keeps your floors clean and free from scuff marks.
Too many travelers forget to remove their shoes when inside and, as a result, are never really as relaxed as they should be.
Feet need to breathe, and wearing soft, warm, slide on slippers lets them do it.
RVers often find themselves in situations where there is nothing much to watch on TV. They may also be stuck inside for long periods of time due to bad weather.
For this reason it’s a good idea to pack a few DVDs either that you have never watched or that you enjoyed so much that you don’t mind watching them again.
My husband and I are Old West buffs, so we always carry a copy of Lonesome Dove with us. This movie is one that’s especially enjoyable to watch if we’re staying in the Western US.
If you like western themed movies and haven’t seen this one, I strongly suggest that you do. There are two movies: the original and the sequel. Both are excellent.
There, of course, are many westerns from which to choose, but we enjoy those that are realistic in their depictions of the old west. Another favorite is Dances with Wolves, which is great to watch if you’re ever visiting the Black Hills because it was filmed there.
These both are movies we enjoy watching at home during times when we’re yearning to head back West in our RV and then again when we’re actually “there”.
Whatever you favorites turn out to be, take a few with you!
If you want to fill a space with emotion, there is nothing that can replace the playing of music.
Whether you carry CDs or use some other format, we have found that having music aboard is one of the best ways to make our RV seem like home.
We like to carry a variety: Native American and cowboy songs when we’re in the far west, Cajun in Louisiana and Mariachi in South Texas.
For relaxation we also keep some slow Jazz and even some Johnny Mathis.
When you’re parked in the woods of desert and far from home, turning on some music gives you that warm connection to home that you cannot otherwise have.
Years ago when we were staying in Waylon Jennings’ RV Park in his home town of Littleton, Texas it was so much fun to sit outside, play some of his music and sip our coffee after dinner.
That’s the feeling I’m talkin’ about!
Home Sweet RV
What makes RV travel great is more than the places you see or the people you meet along the way.
It’s also the way you feel when you’re in your campsite.
If you want to enhance your travels, doing the things suggested above are all things that will make your coach feel like home, which is exactly how you should want it to feel.
© 2018 Sondra Rochelle
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on February 22, 2018:
Hi Karen: Glad you liked the article. Hope one day your RV dreams come true!
Karen Hellier from Georgia on February 22, 2018:
This is a fantastic article. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I don't have an RV yet but I hope to some day and these tips are great. I do have a small pickup truck and often eat in my truck on shopping days. I am tempted to get a steering wheel tray just for that. I never knew such things even existed!
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on February 19, 2018:
Hi Mary: Yep. When traveling people owe it to themselves to do things that make them happy and comfortable. This really does add so much to the pleasure of RV vacations.
Mary Wickison from Brazil on February 19, 2018:
These are great ideas and would make the difference between feeling like home, or just a camping trip. Something as simple as slippers and a comfy pair of pjs to watch films in.