Even though an RV is technically a tiny home on wheels, there are several differences to this lifestyle! There are different furniture designs, compact layouts, and a finite amount of storage space. These complications can make it difficult to transition between a life at home and a life on the road. But you can opt for repurposing household items to save money and make everything easier!
Simple, everyday objects can transform into useful tools, organizers, and even decorative accents. Upcyclers have found many ways to turn trash into treasure! If you have the skill set for it, you can even create large pieces like tables and hanging gardens. But the hacks we want to cover today are cheap, simple, and quick.
So don’t empty out your junk drawer just yet! With a variety of odds and ends, you can transform your RV into a more cozy, efficient, and clean living space. Below, we’ll explore 12 DIY ways you can try repurposing household items for RV use.
1. Trash Can as a Sound Amplifier
We all enjoy listening to our favorite tunes, especially when relaxing in our RV or at the campsite. However, there are times when your phone’s speaker or even a portable Bluetooth speaker doesn’t quite deliver the sound quality you desire within your own space. For those moments, a simple yet effective hack is to use a plastic trash can as a sound enhancer.
Just place the speaker inside, point it in the right direction, and enjoy the amplified volume. Small or large ones will both work just fine. Plus, you can use the trash can for its intended purpose or as a storage container afterward.
2. Paper Towel Tubes and Hair Ties as Cord Coilers/Organizers
This next hack is a twofer. I think we all have more cords and cables than we know what to do with. These can turn into a confusing, tangled mess if they’re just tossed into a bin. So, if you want to properly label, coil, and organize everything, you can use a couple of simple household items to get the job done.
For starters, use elastic hair ties to keep your cords neatly coiled and bundled. But you could still forget what each cord does and how long it is, so you can use cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls (or paper towel rolls if you need something bigger). Just slot the cord inside and write the relevant details on the outside of the tube. It’s an easy and cheap way to stay organized!
3. Electric Toothbrush for Cleaning
When it comes to repurposing household items for your RV, you can use a collection of old and new items. This next tip is a bit more expensive than some, but the performance is great. If you have an electric toothbrush that has passed its prime, you can use it as a powerful cleaning tool.
We’ve all heard of using a toothbrush as a miniature scrubber. But it can be exhausting to do so much fine detail work by yourself. When you need a bit of extra power, switch to an electric model and let it do the work for you! The vibrations will help you scrub faster and more thoroughly than ever.
4. Pillowcases for Spare Clothing
Clothing is one of the hardest items to store in an RV. Fabric can take up a lot of space, even when it’s folded up. If you’ve run out of room in your closets and dressers, you may wonder if you have to leave the rest of your clothes behind. But why not store them in plain sight?
Instead of downsizing your wardrobe or over-stuffing your closets, fill an empty pillowcase with clothes. This works especially well with bulky items like coats and sweaters. Now you have a new decorative pillow that doubles as a secret clothing stash!
5. Tension Rod Storage Tricks
Tension rods are a useful all-purpose item for RVers. They can be used in so many different ways, so it’s a good idea to pack a couple of these everywhere you go. Tension rods (also known as curtain rods) can be used to create additional hanging storage in small gaps. They’re the perfect size for clothing hangers and other small hooks.
In addition, you can use tension rods to add stability to wobbly cargo. Place tension rods inside your refrigerator or cabinets to stop items from falling and sliding around. You can also use a tension rod to create an additional shelf for small items like spices. If you want to try repurposing household items in your RV, you can’t go wrong with a couple of these tricks.
6. Coins To Fix Wobbly Furniture
There’s nothing more annoying than a wobbly table or chair. If the legs are uneven, you can easily spill your drink or be forced to deal with a persistent rattle. The solution is right inside your wallet! Coins are usually the perfect thickness to balance out a leg that’s too short.
With a dab of hot glue, you can stick coins to the bottom of your furniture and level out anything that wobbles. This is a hack that literally costs between 1-25 cents! You can’t get much cheaper than that.
7. Silica Gel Packets To Absorb Moisture
Plenty of new purchases come with a few silica gel packets in the box. These are designed to absorb excess moisture and prevent mold. You may be tempted to throw them away once you unwrap your new item, but hang onto these little packets!
They can help you reduce humidity in your RV if you place them in damp areas, such as underneath your sink or along your windowsills.
8. Sticky Putty for Decorations and Appliances
When you travel in an RV, you need to ensure that your belongings don’t slide or fall when the vehicle is in motion. If you love to decorate or leave things out in the open, this can be a challenge. But sticky putty is here to help! This tacky substance will keep your possessions locked in place, even as the RV bumps and sways.
Just stick a little piece underneath your decorations, appliances, dishes, and anything else that you want to prevent from moving. It’s fairly powerful, but it can also be removed whenever you need to move things around.
9. Pool Noodle Hacks
There’s a good chance that you’ve seen other RVers use a pool noddle to protect their awning arm (and anybody who might run into it). Although this is a popular application, foam pool noodles can actually be used for a huge variety of DIY hacks around your RV.
You can use a rounded piece as a wrist rest as you work on your laptop, place a chunk behind your silverware organizer to prevent it from sliding around, or use them to pad sharp edges around your RV. If you want to try repurposing household items, you can never go wrong with a pool noodle.
10. Fuzzy Socks as Dusting Rags
Dusting can be a pain in the neck, especially when you need to reach into little nooks and crannies. Finding a good dusting rag can also be hard, so why not use an old fuzzy sock? These are made from the perfect material to pick up dust, plus your hand can fit neatly inside.
If your favorite fuzzy socks have started to lose their plush texture, give them a second life as a cute and efficient dusting rag.
11. Metal Flowerpot for Hanging Storage
Hanging baskets can be a good way to create additional storage space in your RV. If you want a basket with some cute style, you can repurpose a hanging metal flowerpot. These sometimes have interesting designs and colors that make them perfect accent pieces! Then you can place plants, stuffed animals, fresh produce, seasonal decorations, or other fun items inside.
12. Used Plastic Containers for Miscellaneous Storage
Finally, don’t overlook the power of repurposed, cheap plastic containers. These versatile containers, which once held everyday items like ice cream, cat litter, butter, or detergent, can be easily transformed into efficient storage solutions. They lie flat against walls and doors, offering a vast array of pockets and compartments. These upcycled containers are ideal for organizing a variety of items, ranging from pantry staples and kitchen utensils to cleaning supplies and toiletries, effectively bringing order and accessibility to your space.
We’ve covered a lot of ground on how everyday items can be cleverly reused in your RV. From space-saving storage solutions to reimagining everyday objects for new uses, we’ve seen that a little creativity goes a long way on the road.
Now, it’s your turn to share. What household items have you repurposed for your RV adventures? Whether it’s a simple fix or a creative project, we’d love to hear about your own RV hacks. Your ideas can help others make the most of their space and might even inspire the next great RV solution. So, let’s hear about your experiences and tips in the comments below. What’s your favorite RV repurposing hack?