Living in an RV, I love having the ability to move wherever we wanted to go. Living in an RV simplifies a lot of things, but also amplifies a lot of things…like dirt!
Condensing life into small spaces forces you to live closely with one another, with the dirt, and mess of all the adventuring. Really, you should try it at least once in life.
We lived in an RV full-time for three years with three kids. We made great memories during that time. One of the most significant learning curves was figuring out how to keep the RV clean.
Here are 15 hacks I learned at that time, and still use today.
Life Hacks To Help You Spend Less Time Cleaning.
A place for everything.
Storage baskets or bins are your new best friend.
When you need to pack stuff in cupboards or under bed storage, having organized drawers where you can grab a lot of things at one time is vital.
Getting out three baskets instead of 20 little things is much easier and faster.
Storage that looks pretty makes your RV more like home and more comfortable to pack up while on the move.
Space Efficient Cleaning Tools.
There is only so much room inside an RV. Think about multi-purpose tools. A canister vacuum is perfect for the RV; it dusts, vacuum, and fits in the compartments easily. Plus, it can be used for cleaning up beach sand out of other vehicles.
Even RV cleaning supplies should be multi-purpose. Baking soda and lemon are excellent for all types of cleaning. Or just an all-purpose cleaner.
My favorite is Puracy, especially around kids or pets, and for people who do not like to use strong chemicals.
Every cleaning tool should be multi-purpose.
Top To Bottom.
“Start at the top and work your way down.” How many times have you heard that phrase? In cleaning inside your RV, it’s so true.
If you start dusting, when you get to the floor, your home-away-from-home already feels so much cleaner…which means you can enjoy more fun.
Some of the best places to have adventures are the dirtiest.
Cleaning Hacks For RVing With Pets.
Man’s Best Friend Makes Adventure More Fun.
Your RV lifestyle can and should include pets. Just make sure to have a few life hacks in place to help them be comfortable, and make cleaning inside your RV easier.
Having a stand for their dishes is most efficient when moving often, and keeps messes to a minimum. If moving their plates from inside to outside, it also keeps grass and dirt out of their bowls.
Rubber gloves use static electricity to grab fur off furniture and clothes. They are also great for helping clean up indoor messes that you might want to avoid touching — definitely a must for cleaning inside the RV while living with pets.
Don’t forget the pet bags for keeping your floors, garbage, and outdoor living area clean and odor free.
Entry Area Cleaning Ideas.
The entry into your RV is sacred. On the road, it is your home. Your safe place.
Take time each day to check the outdoor and indoor entry into your RV. It is essential to clean inside your RV; the areas you see the moment you walk in the door are important for relaxing.
If you walk in and find clutter, you will not enjoy your trip as much.
When setting up your RV for each trip, think about what you need to organize, save time, and enjoy your trip to the max.
- You need places to put things.
- You need to see touches of comfort and fun from the trip, not clutter.
- You need it to reflect your trip and personality.
- You may need a rug for indoor and outdoor dust collection.
A basket near the door is great for holding keys, phones, wallets, etc.
If you are RVing in the winter, you may want some rice socks to put in mittens, and boots to help things dry faster.
A boot tray and hooks kept near the vents allow the gear to dry.
Bonus points: the rice socks can be used to help you stay warm. In super cold climates, we also kept a space heater inside to keep the condensation from freezing the door shut.
Hooks on the inside of closet doors are also great for quick access to hoodies, rain gear, out-of-sight storage for keys, and personal items.
A Few Minutes A Day.
When on vacation, you don’t want to be cleaning. You want time to enjoy the adventure.
Cleaning inside your RV shouldn’t take all your time. Experiences and relaxation should be the name of the game. So, clean smarter, not harder.
If you take 5-15 minutes a day to tidy and put things in their places, it will keep the clutter under control. If it helps sing a few Mary Poppins songs while you do this. 🙂
Work Smart Not Hard.
When cleaning the microwave, heat some water to use the steam loosen the grime.
Give the cleaning products time to work.
Speaking of the floor, keep a bin near the door for shoes. To cut down on dirt tracked inside. Just remember to keep a lid on it, if it is outside the RV.
Don’t track sand into your RV. Keep shoes in a bin near the door.
Wet Wipes Are The RV Cleaning Superheros.
Any wet wipe is your RV cleaning superhero friend and will save you time while living your RV lifestyle. Yes, many contain chemicals; but if you are leaning towards living a chemically free lifestyle, there are some decent alternative choices.
Wet wipes are pre-packed in space efficient containers. They can easily be tossed in a travel bag to bring on your adventures away from the RV.
Wipes are superheroes when it comes to cleaning the inside or outside of your RV while saving you time.
Condense Your Cleaners List.
It is keeping the list of cleaners to just a few choice items. Cutting helps free up storage space for the fun stuff, like volleyball, body boards, and the like. My go-to list for keeping inside an RV clean is…
- All-Purpose Cleaner (preferably streak free)
- Canister Vacuum
- Microfiber Cloths
- All-Purpose Scrub Brush
- Trash bags
- Cleaning Wipes
That is the list. Seven easily stored, and readily useable products to help keep a home on wheels fresh and enjoyable.
Honestly, a lot of these items can also transfer home, so they do double duty. If you RV away from home often, it is worth just buying two of everything so you can keep cleaning supplies in the RV.
Organizers From Surprising Places.
I cannot stress how important organization is in an RV.
Soda cans are surprisingly helpful.
Aluminum can tops are a great resource of life hacks for the RV life. They are readily available and work well for double hanging items in the closet.
Wooden crates add extra space and visual appeal. They also allow dirt to fall out the bottom of the box, so you don’t bring the dirt in the RV with you.
The items you use for the most extended portion of time should be readily available.
Over the door, organizers become your best friend in an RV with swinging doors. The bathroom door in our RV opened up right in front of the bathroom sink, which made it the perfect place to hang an over the door organizer, giving us a second medicine cabinet.
Keep Your Bathroom Smelling Fresh.
I will never forget the first time we had someone stop by to see the RV, and one of our family was in the bathroom.
The whole RV wafted with the smell from the toilet. Both the guest and I were trying not to acknowledge the awkwardness of the moment.
To avoid such socially awkward situations, finding solutions to keep smells at bay in the RV was crucial.
Things like black water tank enzymes help process the waste in the tank and keep odors controlled. This also works if you plan to be in one location for a long time, or if you winterized already and did not want to move the RV.
A portable black water tote is a huge help when it comes time to empty grey and black water tanks.
An air purifier is a great hack for keeping the air inside your RV clean. Especially on tank empty days. I like this portable one. I also use it in our house, and van, when not RVing.
Adding sensory items to your RV will help get rid of the stale smell if your RV has been sitting for a while.
The smells of RVing can be unusual: BBQ grills, the wafting smoke from the campfires.
Inside the RV at night consider a diffuser to help with calming evening scents.
A bin of blankets is a must have item. It can easily be stored under one of the beds and brought out to keep people warm around the fire.
Citronella candles or lamps are also needed.
Improve The Lighting.
One thing I learned from living in an RV for three years is that the standard lighting is not usually a very bright option.
A lot of indoor-outdoor LED lighting options can be found on Amazon.
Having a menu plan helps reduce clutter and allows you to buy and pack the food you need. Leaving more room inside the RV.
Invite Friends Over.
Yes, we are those crazy sometimes annoying RV neighbors that will say “Hi!” and even invite you and your kids over to share in the fun part of your RV life.
Enjoying life with friends actually helps make keeping the inside of the RV clean a priority.
Any cleaning hacks you would like to share? Leave us a comment below!