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Unexpected Uses For Everyday Items While RVing

wine bottles and glasses in cabinet, feature image for unexpected uses for everyday items while RVing
Keep your RV cabinets organized. Photo: Shutterstock

Unexpected Uses For Everyday Items In Your RV

When you live in an RV, sometimes you need to get creative! It’s hard work to find the right space for all your clothes, shoes, appliances, cleaning supplies, and other necessities. Although there are specialty products you can buy to make RV life easier, there are some unexpected uses for everyday items that you might be overlooking. 

Whether it’s storage, decoration, safety, or comfort, there are always things you can improve in your RV setup. You don’t have to spend hours combing through expensive RV products when there are simple DIY hacks you can employ instead. 

The suggestions below are easy to make and cheap to buy. You may have some of these items just sitting around your house anyway, so it’s the perfect way to turn trash into treasure. Check out our list of unexpected uses for everyday items below! It might make your next RV trip that much better. 

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Plastic shoe organizers

First of all, you’d be surprised at how useful plastic shoe organizers can be! These are sheets of plastic or fabric with small plastic pockets sewn into them. They’re quite cheap and you can buy them at almost any general store. 

As the name suggests, these organizers are typically used to store shoes. If you want to use them for their intended purpose, you can hang these over the back of any door and stick shoes into the slots. For those who have lots of travelers in their RV, it may be helpful to label certain pockets for certain people. 

If you’d like to go off the beaten path, these organizers can be used in many other ways! For instance, you can cut the sheet along the rows of pockets so you have long horizontal sections. Then, attach these to the side of your bed. Now you have easy places to store cords, electronics, accessories, and maybe even some snacks!

These organizers can also be used for bathroom storage. It can be hard to find space for everyone’s hygiene products, so try hanging one of these items over the back of the door or on the exterior of the shower. You can also place it inside the shower if you’d like to use it for soap storage. However, it’s best to get an organizer with mesh pockets if this is your intention. 

When it comes to unexpected uses for everyday items, the plastic shoe organizer is one of the best options out there!

Collapsible laundry baskets

Next up, we’ve got collapsible laundry baskets. There are lots of ways to store laundry whether you’re in an RV or house/apartment. If you need something that is useful but won’t take up space when it’s packed away, these coiled laundry baskets are the perfect solution. 

For their traditional use, you can use them to gather laundry, shoes, or other loose items that need to be stored in a single location. If you’d like to go further though, use these laundry baskets as a collapsible garbage can. 

Garbage cans are essential, but it’s sometimes hard to find space for a permanent fixture. These laundry baskets work great as indoor or outdoor garbage cans. Just put a plastic liner in and you’re good to go! There are also specialty collapsible cans you can use instead, but the essence is pretty much the same between these two products. 

If you’d like to buy a collapsible laundry basket, check out this Pop Up Laundry Hamper from Lavish Home Stpre.

Pillowcases for extra storage

This next hack is one that I absolutely love. I first saw it in this video from vanhalla adventures™. The couple had to make every inch of space count in their camper van, so they had some really unexpected uses for everyday items. One hack was about using extra pillowcases to store your clothing!

Closet space is limited in RVs, so people have to get creative when it comes to finding places for their shirts, pants, and sweaters. Decorative pillows are a fun addition to any living space, but it’s a good idea for everything in your RV to have a purpose. You can kill two birds with one stone by removing the pillow/stuffing of your pillowcases and replacing it with clothing.

If you have seasonal clothes like coats or sweaters, this is a good place to keep them. It will keep the pillows fluffy and let you hang onto these bulky items. Plus, you can still use the pillows for comfort and decoration; they’re just more useful now.

Pool noodle for the RV awning

This is a fairly common RV hack, but it’s worth mentioning here. RV awnings are useful additions that provide shade during hot times of the day. However, the beams that support it can get in the way, and more than one person has run headlong into these supports. If you travel with kids, this is especially common. This can be painful and it can also cause damage to the awning.

To protect everyone involved, try placing a pool noodle over the exposed awning beams. These items are super cheap and easy to find. All you need to do is cut a line down the length of the pool noodle and wrap it around the beam once it’s fully extended. Give it a shot and enjoy the added protection. 

Non-slip liners in cabinet

RVs move frequently, so the contents of your cabinets will shift as well. This can be dangerous, especially if you have things that are made of glass, ceramics, or other breakable materials. An easy way to fix (or at least reduce) the problem is to add nonslip liners to your cabinets. 

A great option for RVers is this Smart Design Classic Grip Shelf Liner. You can cut it to the appropriate size for your cabinets and it will help prevent items from sliding around as you drive. The material is made of rubber and it’s easy to clean. If you’re happy with its performance, you might want to add some of these liners to your refrigerator as well.  

Pegboard/cork board

Once again, storage space is precious within an RV. You need to utilize every inch of real estate you have, including vertical spaces. Hanging items on walls or the back of drawers is very useful because it makes them easy to access. 

If you like unexpected uses for everyday items, try adding a pegboard or cork board to your RV. These surfaces are ideal for hanging pots, pans, measuring cups, spices, and any other small items that you need to use regularly.

For those who love organization, you can create labels or trace the outline of the item that’s supposed to hang in a certain space. Don’t overlook the potential of hanging storage!

Use bubble wrap/styrofoam as insulation

Most RVs have some insulation, but they can still get hot in the summer or cold in the winter. If you want to improve your heat retention, try adding some bubble wrap or styrofoam cutouts to the equation. These materials are easy to come by and are great at improving insulation. 

RVs have decent protection for the ceiling, floor, and walls, but there are still vulnerable spots that can let heat in or out. These include windows, doors, and vents. Try cutting out appropriately-sized sections of bubble wrap or styrofoam to fit these gaps. You don’t need to use them 24/7, but it’s good to have the option on hand if the temperatures are extreme. 

This video offers more unexpected uses for everyday items.

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFEDo It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air ForumsForest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

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