The Most Important Space Savers for RVs

Updated on October 7, 2018
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I am an RV enthusiast with more than 50 years of experience owning, traveling and living in recreational vehicles.

One of the best lessons RV owners can have is to understand that most of the accessories, tools, chemicals and gadgets that are advertised are not the ones they need to have or should even purchase.

People who load their coaches with excess items spend a lot of money doing so and often find that they either don't use them or that they are taking up so much room and adding so much weight that they actually create problems during travel.

Because recreational vehicles look so much like little apartments, people tend to treat them as such and, in so doing, forget that there are space and weight limitations that they need to respect.

This is a terrible mistake that can lead to unhappy vacation experiences and sometimes even accidents.

RV items that save space and reduce weight.
RV items that save space and reduce weight. | Source

Weight and Space Limitations Matter

An RV is actually nothing more than living quarters on wheels. Therefore, the items you buy for it need to address both while at the same time taking space and weight limitations into account. How to Load and Pack Your RV for Safety and Comfort shows you what you need to do about this issue.

For example, dishes and silverware can add a good deal of weight to a coach. This doesn't mean you can't keep them on board, but it does mean that you shouldn't keep a service for eight and that you should use lightweight, dishes that stack, like the ones we use that are made by Corningware.

You can buy a service for 6 but only take a service for 4 with you. Then you will find that you have a set of dishes that take up much less room than, say, stoneware, won't break and will serve most of your needs. You can always supplement with paper and plastic if need be because these items are easily replaceable and are great to use when you entertain guests.

If you use the same concept for silverware, you will always have what you need for dining and will save weight and space.

The point here is that while every RVer needs to keep dishes and silverware on board, they shouldn't overdo!

Here are some other products that all RV owners should keep on board so that they can travel more comfortably and more safely.

Cabinet and Refrigerator Bars

Years ago my large pill container fell out of our RV refrigerator when my husband and I stopped in a rest area to have lunch. The contents went everywhere, and it took me hours to pick them up, sort them and put them back.

I swore after that that I would never have that problem again, so I began doing some research.

Like many RVers, I didn’t know that there was a product on the market that could keep things like this from happening.

Until I found the fix, this problem was continually creating messes and sometimes damaging my coach’s cabinets, upholstery and flooring.

Once I discovered refrigerator bars, my problems were over.

Refrigerator bars come in packs of three, are extremely sturdy, are expandable and are the best way to keep refrigerated food in place while traveling.

The ones I have always used are manufactured by Camco. This was the first company that produced them, but now there are others as well. Mine have held up beautifully for years, so I stick with this brand.

They are extremely easy to use because they are adjustable and have rubber tips on the ends.

You simply adjust them to the correct width and slide them into place. No RVer should ever travel without them!

No matter which brand you buy, one package of three is not quite enough, so buy two sets to make sure your refrigerated food supply is well protected.

While it’s possible to use short curtain rods for this job, they are not nearly as sturdy, bend easily and will rust over time. You won’t see these problems with Camco refrigerator bars.

This company also produces cabinet bars which essentially serve the same purpose. They come in brown or white and can be used to keep items you store in kitchen or bathroom cabinets in place.

This is important because using them allows you to stack things higher so that you can have more room for the items you need to carry with you.

Expandable Garden Hose

I absolutely hate having to wrestle with hoses when I'm vacationing in my motor home.

They are heavy, hard to store and can really get dirty. More often than not, I end up watering myself rather than the things I'm trying to wash because standard hoses are so awkward to use.

This is especially true if you are an older RVer or have health problems that keep you from having the strength to lift, clean and store heavy items.

One of the best products I've ever seen, which is an expandable garden hose, eliminates all of these issues.

This is a product I absolutely love. We bought one last year and are so happy that we did so that now we have two of them; one for the RV and another for our house.

We also make it a point to buy them as gifts for loved ones because we know that having this type of product makes life much easier for them.

These expandable hoses are very light weight, are easy to use and store and take up much less space.

There are many brands available, but we wanted to make certain that the type of expandable hose we purchased would be sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of travel. The Pocket Hose has more than met this goal and has done a great job for us during our RV vacations.

Many of our friends bought theirs after seeing ours, and people we've met along the way during our vacations also think expandable hoses are great items for RVers to own.

The attached video review shows you how it works and the results it got when tested by Consumer Reports.

I don't know how we ever got along before we found our Pocket Hose, and think you'll love having one, also.

Small, Folding Step Stool

Many years ago my husband and I came across the EZ Foldz Step Stool. It is likely the handiest thing one can have when traveling. It was the first one of its type that we had ever seen, and we still use it today.

Now there are similar designs of step stool available, and although I have not personally seen any of them (didn't need to...didn't need another step stool!), I'm sure any of them would do the same job.

There are also many styles of small step stools on the market, but this one folds up flat, is unbelievably stable and sturdy and serves many purposes. These things make it perfect for RV use.

  • I use it to put my feet on when we’re on the move.
  • My husband uses it to stand on when he’s washing our RV windows or to sit on when he is using items from our basement bins.
  • It’s great to stand on to reach upper kitchen shelves, too.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.

After using it for awhile during RV trips, we decided to buy this product to use at home. We quickly found that it is just as handy there as it is in our motor home.

This is another product we give as gifts to our loved ones because we know it is safe for them to use and also very easy to handle and store.

You can actually hang it on a wall hook or slide it in beside a cabinet in the kitchen for easy access.

Some step stools are large, heavy and awkward to handle, but not this one. As a person who suffers from Arthritis, I always prefer to buy products that are smaller and lighter, and my EZ Folding Step Stool meets those requirements.

Electric Cord Reel

All RV owners struggle with electric cords and hoses because they are heavy, awkward and can take up a good deal of space.

The answer to this problem is to purchase an electric cord reel. There are many types and brands, but we chose the one manufactured by Bayco that is a bit more costly but is much easier to use and is more stable.

When either retrieving or replacing an electric cord, all one has to do is turn the handle and the cord wraps neatly around the circular foundation of the reel or pulls off of it as needed.

Using this item makes using electric cords much easier and eliminates the need to lift them in and out of the RV basement storage area. It also is a big space saver.

Lidded plastic containers save a huge amount of space in an RV cabinet.
Lidded plastic containers save a huge amount of space in an RV cabinet. | Source

Lidded Plastic Containers

I learned a long time ago that using plastic containers that are all the same size, can stack, are clear, are unbreakable and don't weigh much are an RV traveler's best friend.

I like the ones made by Gladware because they are so sturdy. I've had mine for years and use them for everything from storing dry foods and sewing items to small tools.

Their uses really are unlimited and they are the perfect storage item because if they fall out of a closet, they don't break, they can be refrigerated or frozen and they let you see what is in them.

People who don't use them when RVing really miss the weight and space saving boat!

RV Cargo Trays

Another space saver is an after market addition most people can purchase for their coaches that really helps with organization issues.

We added the one made for RVs that is produced by Stromberg Carlson that has made all the difference for us in controlling what we take as well as being able to access the items easily.

There are a number of brands and types out there, but it is important to make sure that you get the one that is the right size and weight for your coach, and is also strong enough to hold the items you with to use it for.

We researched for some time before buying this particular tray because we wanted to make sure it suited our needs. Not all brands are the same, so if you decide to buy a cargo tray, choose carefully.

This one was a bit pricey, but we feel it was worth every penny.

Choose Carefully

You should remember that when you're on the road,your recreational vehicle is your home. You spend a good deal of time in it and often are inconvenienced in a number of ways, therefore you need to choose what you keep with you for travel carefully.

There is no reason to avoid keeping items on board that enhance your RV travel experience, but there also is no reason to overload your coach with items you really don't need and probably won't use.

The ones I have listed here are those we have found to be most important and helpful space savers, Give some of them a try and see what you think!

If you travel in an RV, which one of these items would you most like to own?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Sondra Rochelle


    Submit a Comment

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      11 months ago from USA

      Kari Pulsen: Thanks. Even though it's too late for them, you may have friends or other relatives who RV who would like to have some of these things. Thanks for stopping by.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 months ago from Ohio

      These are great ideas! I wish I had read this while my parents were still rving. :)

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      12 months ago from USA

      Hi Shyron, I only know that as an RVer myself, I love having these items! Nice to see you again. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      12 months ago from Texas

      Hello Sondra, some neat ideas for RVers.

      Blessings my friend


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