Having trouble making it look a lot like Christmas in your RV? If you are still scratching your head, trying to figure out how to get that 8-foot Fraser fir into the doorway, you might want to check out these Christmas decoration ideas from experienced RV, bus, and van dwellers. They share their advice on how to decorate the RV without compromising space or comfort.
Avoid clutter when decorating
It only stands to reason that when you live in a small space, there won’t be much to fit in it. This applies to decorating for the holidays. The only catch here is finding ways to add a bit of Christmas joy, without adding too much to the point where it becomes an annoyance.
“We feel it’s important to keep the atmosphere calm and cozy without overdoing it and causing more clutter and chaos than we already have with three little boys,”said Kimberly Dekker.
This year the Dekkers will be spending their first Christmas in their remodeled RV.
To get around decorating their RV with bulky objects that take up valuable space, especially with their full house, they opted for functional decor. Holiday-themed bed sheets and throw pillows replace the usual bedding. Similarly, kitchen and bathroom towels, oven mitts, and doormats can be substituted for festive ones.
Add a touch of Christmas
Will and Kristen Watson, along with their daughter, Roam, and playful pooch, travel in their 180-foot skoolie. They agree that a little goes a long way. “In a tiny space a few decorations will have you feeling like you’re in a winter wonderland,” the Watsons said.
They keep a letter board by the front of the bus and display funny holiday quotes for everyone to read. Something else that can add a little decor is holiday-themed window clings. Kids will enjoy arranging snowflakes, Santas, and reindeer on every window.
Make a little room for the tree
For some, Christmas is not quite the same without a tree. Short trees and skinny trees are RV-friendly Christmas trees. They can be placed on tabletops or corners of a room. The Dekkers chose a miniature tree as a centerpiece on their table. The Watsons went with a live tree, small enough to fit in the front of their bus.
Be unconventional with gifting
For all the happiness that presents bring on Christmas day, finding a place to put all of the new toys can become an inconvenience. These nomads have found ways around receiving tangible items.
- Instead of gifts under the tree, the Watson family wishes for dream vacations. “We don’t buy each other gifts; instead, we pick a destination and take a Christmas trip there,” they said.
- Sydney Ferbrache is a solo RVer that has traveled in her 70 square foot van for 3 years. She follows the same sentiments as the Watson clan, but, instead of traveling to faraway destinations, she spends the winter with family in Indiana.
- The Dekkers, in contrast, haven’t forgone the tradition of gift-giving; however, there is a caveat to this receiving. After Christmas, they get rid of older items and toys to make room for the new ones.
Bring the outdoors inside the RV
Bringing in elements of nature like live greenery inside the RV not only adds a sweet fragrance but also makes for some creative art pieces.
The Murphy family, including Andy, Kristen, Kieghan, and Kinsler Murphy, uses many natural elements to decorate their RV. “We try to forage what we can to create fresh, natural decorations each year rather than buying new from the stores,” the family shared. “We have enjoyed it much better, and the kids love getting to make things year over year.”
The Dekkers added, “We love to bring nature treasures into the RV anyway, so we’ll be crafting some simple pine cone garlands, stick stars, things of that nature.”
Katie and Eric of Mountain Modern Life have decorated their motorhome inside and out using live greenery. In the video below, they give a tour of their RV featuring many natural elements. The decorations transform the look of their RV, from coach to a cozy cabin in the woods.
Where do you put Christmas decorations after the holidays?
Where do all of the decorations go when Christmas comes to pass? Storing it in a tub, tucked away in a compartment is not a feasible option for RVers with already limited storage. Consider the following alternatives.
Store it away
Ferbrache makes room for the few decorations under her bed because they carry sentimental value. “If I’m going to make room for the decorations in my small space, they have to be worth it,” she explained.
Reuse and then donate
“We didn’t want to be wasteful and buy brand new decorations just to get rid of them,” the Watsons said. “We decided the most sustainable way to decorate for our family would be to buy our decorations secondhand at a thrift store and then re-donate them after the holidays.”
The Murphys save a little money like the Watsons by buying used. They scour second-hand stores for decorations and recirculate them after the holidays for others to use. “I donate or sell locally what I don’t want to keep early in the season, and then I aim to only buy what I cannot DIY,” Kristen said.
Find more Christmas decoration ideas
There is a limit to what holiday decorations you can fit in your RV, bus, or van, but there is really no limit when it comes to ideas. For more Christmas decoration ideas, check out IRV2 forums. RVers are always sharing pictures and ways they are bringing Christmas along for the ride.