How To Get The Most Out Of Your Camper

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Not all of us in camping-land can afford a brand new rig.

Whether it be a travel trailer, 5th wheel or motorhome, we all have visions of sugarplums and new campers dancing in our heads.

Unfortunately, many of us fall into the category of purchasing someone else’s well-loved camper that might be a little long in the tooth.

When the thrill of the purchase turns into the realization that your new home-away-from-home needs a few modifications to fit your four kids, three dogs and all of their clothes and toys then you can turn to this list and hammer your hearts away!

Nesting bowls

Metal pots can cook lots of food! I have 2 sizes of them and can bake, fry, and boil food in them!

Magnetic strip for knives

Velcro items to your kitchen counter so they will stay put when traveling.

Large cutting board on stove cover

Rubbery shelf liner keeps things from sliding around and can be used between plates and bowls too.

Use a pool noodle vertically in your microwave to prevent the inside plate from moving.

Slice off a piece of swimming noodles to put between glass plates. Keeps ‘em from cracking while traveling.

Hang kitchen utensils but keep away from the stove

Use top of cabinets for slow-cooker dish strainer etc.

12” x 12” Tile over stove burners for added counter space.

Gooseneck to 5th wheel adapter to save you from having to have a 5th wheel hitch permanently mounted on the bed of your beautiful truck.

Window sash lock to secure your shower door when driving.

Trailer wheel metal chocks that look like an x. They are placed between the tires and put gobs of pressure on both tires so they cannot move. Brand name examples are BAL X Chocks and Ultra-Tow Tandem Wheel Chock/Lock.

Roll on trailer tire jack – make sure it’s rated for the weight of your rig. Makes changing your tire a dream. Brand example Springfield Drive-On Jack Quick Change Trailer.

Cup hooks for keys at the door.

Water pressure reducer on the line coming in from the campground.

Boot scraper and shaggy mats to get sand off.

9V small shop vac

Recycled plastic rug

Desiccants in closet - silica cat litter work great

Window squeegee to remove water from the shower

The curtain between bedroom and living room to keep in heat

Oil filled radiator instead of cube hot air heater. Cube heaters are noisy and dry out the air (and your nose).

Humidifier for those cold nights with lots of hot air heat.

Prepare to vacuum often small spaces show dirt way quicker than your old home

RV screen door opener

RV screen door bar – it beefs up the screen door sturdiness and provides a great handle to open and close the door without puncturing the screen

Grab bar so you don’t punch out screen

Grab bar on stairs

Throw rugs – much easier to shake clean than wall to wall carpet

Make an extra shelf for storage at the foot of the bed

Get rid of giant tv’s and replace with flat screens so you can use the big open spots for storage

Folding chairs with pipes along rug and not points to cut rug your rug if you have one made out of recycled plastic bottles

Small insulated bag for drinks to carry with you to your neighbor’s campsite Paint the cabinets or walls if they are in tough shape

Command brand hooks everywhere with a FREE Harbor Freight flashlight on every hook

All in one, LED light switch for the spots where there should be a switch for the overhead lights

Insect screens on furnace, water heater, and refrigerator to keep bugs out!

Strainers for the sink drains to keep your pipes from gumming up

Push-in LED light strips in the cubbies next to the bed for reading lights

Pour mineral oil in your toilet and let it sit for a few minutes. Keeps the seal from drying out.

Magnetic spare key holder stuck under the camper or in the fuel fill compartment. If you hide it under the rig, make sure you remember exactly where it is. Road grime will camouflage it.

New front window. Will make the drive so much more enjoyable.

Self-stick window tint to make the cab cooler and keep out the blinding light down south. Will keep the rig cooler on a sunny day too.

Convert cigarette lighters into USB ports

Automatic turn on LED lights in cabinets.

Auto turn on lights in the bathroom for those middle of the night runs. Only problem is dogs that wander at night.

Clear 90-degree septic adapter – no more guessing if the tank is empty.

Use cast brass fittings pared with the plastic fittings on RVs. They keep hoses from leaking and popping off.

Some chilled beer or good wine. Sure helps the mood after the argument about leveling the rig!

Peel and stick wallpaper for sprucing up a tired RV

Spray paint hinges, handles and light fixtures with the trendy color of your choice. Good-bye gold!

Spray paint or replace the orange and brown old-style decals on the side of older campers.

Tension rod inside of shower to dry bras, towels and bathing suits

Indoor/outdoor carpet on fold-out steps.

Replace all bulbs with LED

Add LED push puck lights in dark spaces.

Update the look of your cabinets with new handles and drawer pulls

Spray paint heater vent cover under refrigerator and heat vents in the floor

Replace the old Suburban thermostat with a digital version. You’ll see the interior temperature if you do. Bonus!

Add plexiglass to the top and bottom on your screen door for cooler weather. That way, you can still get the natural light but not the chill. Use screen door clips so you can put up and take down quickly. Store them behind your couch!

Rubber wedge-shaped door stops to keep doors from swinging open or shut.

Create a box that’s a step next to the bed for those height challenged folks.

A bonus is you can store crafts or an extra lap blanket there.

Magnet child safety locks – Never find the contents all over your camper when you arrive at your destination again. **Always put the magnet in the same spot because you’ll have to unscrew the hinges if you cannot find it! Move the shower curtain rod out a few inches for more real estate while showering.

Dryer sheets in hidden places keep your rig smelling fresh.

Silica cat litter can be used as a cheap desiccant when storing your rig for the season. You can also keep some in a used yogurt container with a coffee filter held on by an elastic in the bottom of your closets. It works! Die-hards use Damp Rid.

Multiple plug outlets in kitchen and bath for all your gadgets. (Know where your breakers are before using too many of them at one time)

Last year’s foam noodles on slide outs to prevent forehead ‘eggs’

Put noodles on your tent, awning tie downs, and canopy tie downs.

Use pipe insulation on your hose on cold nights.

Small diameter tension rods in cabinets and refrigerator to keep things from falling out after traveling. Think medicine cabinet.

Protect sensitive skin and add foam pipe insulation to handles and grips to soften them. You can wrap them with duct tape to keep in place and weatherproof.

Make a remote control for your after-market generator. Purchase a transmitter kit, and away you go!

Add a grab bar in the toilet room and shower.

Add small sections of noodles to the bottom of the table legs. No more ouchy toes!

Mount, a paper towel holder in your compartment outside that, holds your septic equipment.

New shower head with easy to use shut off switch

Paper towels and Windex at the passenger seat. Co-pilots are responsible for clean windows.

Get a screw in dog leash holders from the dollar store and cheap ratchet tie-downs to secure awnings and canopies

Cheap ax for splitting kindling and driving tie downs.

Handles on the screen door inside and out. Make sure it will close with the handle before installing.

Add shelves to closets instead of hanging everything

Over door shoe organizer inside the bathroom door. Great for kids to put all their toiletries. A clear one is nice but shows all the dirt.

Add a window sash lock up high to your screen door to prevent runaway babies.

Make new curtains out of a beautiful shower curtain.

Make skylight insulation with ¼ rigid foam cut to size and covered with fuzzy white cloth. I didn’t even sew mine. I duct taped it on the side that you don’t see from inside the camper. Take a long piece of the duct tape and let it flop over the edge before pushing it in the hole. You can use the flaps to take the insulation back out. Some folks use small pillows from a thrift store.

If you’re going to be stationary for a while, bubble wrap in the front window works great and lets the light in too.

Put clothespins on the end of roof drainage hoses. Keeps the water from running down the side of your rig

Tension rod for hanging spray bottles Lazy Susan for the deep corner cabinet

Replace those old mini blinds with paper shades for a new look.

Clean out your septic tank with Camco Dual Flush Pro Holding Tank Rinser with Gate Valve- Thoroughly Cleans Entire Septic System and Breaks Down Tough Clogs in Pipes

Move your shower head if it doesn’t feel right for you. Use this to anchor it to the wall.

Change out your shower head to an air-infused shower head to increase pressure and use less water

Small clip-on electric fan to hang it on the cabinets over the bed at night.

Replace your ugly old bathroom sink faucet.

Use Tub and sink paint to spruce up stained sinks and tubs

OK, that’s my list gleaned from over 50 years of camping and listening to folks that are smarter than me and thought up some of this list!

feature image credit: Photo by Eric Gilkes on Unsplash