Living in an RV that doesn’t feel like home feels like living in a hotel, but not being about to leave. It feels impersonal like you’re squatting at a stranger’s house. This is a common feeling among many people when they first buy an RV, so trust me, you’re not alone.
If you’re feeling this way, you may think that RV-living is not for you. However, this is usually not the case. You just need to make your RV feel more like home.
Here are 15 unique ways to make your RV feel more welcoming, cozy, and comfortable.
1. Change out your mattress
The RV’s bedroom is one of the most important rooms that should always be kept clean and comfortable. If you cannot get a good night’s sleep, you might not experience the home feeling you yearn for. When I purchased my camper, the mattress that came with it was slim and uncomfortable. I immediately knew that I had to get a good mattress to enjoy my stay.
Some people go to the extent of taking the mattresses from their homes for use in the RV. Although it is a wise idea, it can be tedious and time-consuming. I prefer getting a new mattress, but you can purchase a mattress topper instead. It has the same purpose – making sure that you get the best night’s sleep.
2. Fill it with plants
It’s scientifically proven that being in nature helps reduce stress, so why not bring some of that into your RV? Plants are a beautiful way to liven up space and they’re also great for purifying the air. Try growing basil or mint in your RV and you’ll notice that you can also use them for food. A few other benefits of having plants include reducing background noise, increasing humidity, and regulating temperature.
In such a small space – they’re something I can’t live without.
3. Play music
Playing your favorite tunes is one of the best ways to make your RV feel like home. Music has a nostalgic quality. When you play a song, it has the ability to bring you back to the first time you heard it. Play songs that remind you of home.
If you’ve ever been stuck in your RV for long periods of time, you’ll know that it’s the best way to lighten up a situation. For those RVs that don’t have an inbuilt music player, owners can purchase Bluetooth-enabled speakers. They’re not only ideal for outdoor adventures, but also aesthetically attractive.
4. Bring your pets
Bringing pets in an RV with you comes with several benefits, including improved moods, increased exercise opportunities, enhanced cardiovascular health, and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. They provide you with something to work towards and give you much-needed company.
Imagine a dog or cat cuddling up to you on a cold day. Nothing says home more than that.
5. Expand your living space to the outdoors
Like I mentioned earlier, being in nature is a great way to feel relaxed. Why not take it a step further and expand your living space to the outdoors?
A lot of people that live in RVs have mentioned that they regretted not taking advantage of space outside earlier. They said that once they designated a specific routine for setting up a proper outdoor space, they felt more at home and happier.
So what can you do? Start small.
Get comfy outdoor chairs and tables. Get an awning. Get bug repellants. Hang strings lights on your RV, so that you can see at night. Over time, you’ll gradually adapt your outdoor space to something that you really love and you’ll feel more at peace.
6. Use natural lighting
Natural lighting comes from the Sun, illuminating RV spaces, and making them feel cozier. You see, RVs tend to have a lot of harsh lighting that can make a space feel unwelcoming. This is a big no-no if you ever want to feel at home.
Luckily, adopting natural lighting in your RV is easy. All you have to do is uncover your windows during the day and the light will come flooding in.
Here’s another benefit to this – you’ll use less electricity. If you’re in a location where you have to pay for your electricity bill, you’ll save money. If you rely on solar power, you’ll use your power more efficiently.
7. Use candles and oil diffusers
Ever smelled something and been immediately hit with a memory from the last time you encountered that scent? Smells turn on the nostalgia receptors in our brain, catapulting us back in time. Therefore, if you want to make your RV feel homier, use smells that remind you of times where you felt relaxed and comfortable.
Candles and oil diffusers can be a great way to do so. Maybe gingerbread reminds you of being at home for the holidays. Maybe citrus scents remind you of your mother’s all-natural cleaners.
Whatever scent you may love – use it. I’ll be honest, you don’t even have to use candles or diffusers. Cooking your favorite foods is often enough.
8. Get rid of clutter
An RV can be pretty small, so it’s normal for messes to accumulate. Even in such a small space, we have a habit of accumulating more than we need.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to avoid this in the first place. Avoid bringing too much stuff from your home. Imagine that you’re going backpacking through Europe and can only carry 2 suitcases worth of stuff.
What’s the worst that can happen if you forget something? More often than not, you’re stressing for no reason.
9. Keep it clean & organized
A motorhome can get messy very fast. Cleaning isn’t an exciting task for many people, but it is very relevant for making an RV feel like home. Living in a tidied up space enhances calmness and makes you feel more relaxed.
Adopt a decluttering schedule. Every week or so, go through your RV and get rid of everything you don’t need. If possible, deep clean your vehicle at least once or twice a month. A small vacuum can be helpful for cleaning small messes in-between.
Also, before you go to bed at night, make sure to make a habit of putting everything where it belongs. That way, when you wake up, you’ll be ready to tackle the day without the stress of a messy home.
10. Hang stuff on your walls
Having your favorite art, photos, or images on the walls makes you feel more comfortable in your space. It makes you feel like it’s really yours, making it seem inviting and aesthetically pleasing. The good thing about living in an RV is that there’s not too much wall space. As a result, you’re going to be forced to only put up what you really love. That’s a win in my book.
However, keep in mind, that anything on the walls can sway when the RV is in motion. Therefore, make sure to secure them properly. I recommend velcro strips or command hooks, as they won’t damage the walls.
11. Display cherished mementos
I’m personally not a big fan of mementos, but I know that many people find comfort in them. If you’re one of those people, bring things into your home that remind you of happy events in your life. This can be pictures, shirts, toys – anything, really.
Try to stick to things that are practical or that you find visually appealing. Remember it’s a small space – too many impractical items in your RV will create unnecessary clutter.
12. Paint the walls and add wallpaper
Okay, maybe it’s just me, but RVs can be really ugly. A lot of them are manufactured with lots of dark browns and heavy-looking furniture and for a small space – that just doesn’t work.
If your RV is painted a really ugly color, you don’t have to keep it that way. It’s easier to paint it than you think. You can even do it yourself in less than 2 days for less than $100. If you’d rather not paint, add wallpaper instead. I recommend non-stick so that you can easily take it off if your taste ever changes.
Trust me, you’ll be happier in a place that fits your personal preferences.
13. Get rid of ugly RV fixtures
Because RVs tend to be mass-produced, a lot of them tend to have fixtures that are cheaply made. This can have an outstanding impact on how you perceive your home.
Think of plastic faucets, wonky doorknobs, and harsh lighting. These are all common things in many standard manufactured RVs. But tell me, does this make you feel at home? If you’re like me – no. These things cause added stress because they usually don’t work well. They also make me feel like I’m living in a prepackaged box with little elements of home.
So get rid of the ugly fixtures in your RV and replace them with higher quality ones that you love. You won’t regret it.
14. Add cozy decor
The coziness of the interior décor determines the comfort, calm, and homey feeling that one gets in a mobile home. Such includes throw pillows, drapes, and rugs, which make the space more appealing and give people a pleasing tactile feeling.
For instance, throw pillows are inexpensive, yet they transform normal couches into more luxurious and comfy seats. Replacing valances with curtains is also another way to achieve stylish and cozy interior decor.
Ottomans are also great additions to enhance your décor. Besides being ideal for placing your feet after a long hiking day, an ottoman offers additional storage space and can also be used as an extra seat.
15. Decorate it for the holidays
Being away from home doesn’t imply that the holidays will pass without celebrations. The RV is as much of a safe and convenient place to celebrate. Holiday dates are very clear on our calendars. Therefore, if you predict that a particular holiday will meet you on the road, decorate it as you would your home.
You don’t even need to bring all of your decorations with you. Be creative. Make a macaroni garland with your family. Decorate a branch that you found outside. Set up a mini Christmas tree. Put pine branches in empty wine bottles. Hang battery-powered lights.
My advice – ignore all the showy decorations that come with the holiday season. The things that you can only use once a year. You’re living in a small space. Don’t make it feel smaller with extra clutter.
If you’re living in an RV with kids, I’m sure they’ll love making their own decorations. They’ll look at those memories fondly when they grow up.
Whether you’re living in an RV temporarily or using it as a full-time residence, your space should feel comfortable and welcoming. I’m confident that the information on this page will help you create a space that you enjoy living in.
If you found this article useful, please check out my other articles. I write on a bunch of topics including how to make money on the road and how to stay safe while doing so.