RV Furniture Ideas: 6 Ways to Make Your RV Feel Like Home on the Road
Posted: April 11, 2023
Categories: Travel & Lifestyle
Christina and Sean Conlon, along with their therapy dogs, Nash and Maverick, make up the Paws For Love crew. They have been traveling in their RV full-time since 2020 when they sold nearly everything and decided to hit the road to satisfy their cravings for adventure and nurture their entrepreneurial spirits. They now travel the country volunteering with Nash and Maverick any chance they get while sharing their journey on their various social media channels. Throughout their journey, they’ve realized the importance of making their rig feel like home. Read on to find out their top six RV furniture ideas and ways they’ve made their home on wheels work for their lifestyle.
RV Furniture Ideas: 6 Ways to Make Your RV Feel Like Home on the Road
By Christina Conlon of Paws For Love
Whether you RV full-time, part-time or on the weekends, your RV or camper is an extension of your home that can take you on incredible adventures. While your rig should be a safe space for you and your family, and ultimately a tool that gets you safely from Point A to Point B, it should always make you feel good when you walk into it.
But how can you do that with the same rig that thousands of other people have?
My husband Sean and I have been living full-time in our RV since November 2020 and have had the honor of having two amazing RVs along our journey. While we don’t travel with kiddos (yet), we do travel with our two adorable Golden Retrievers, Nash and Maverick. Before we hit the road, we purchased a 2017 Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS travel trailer and loved it, but ultimately knew we wanted a 5th wheel. In July 2022, we purchased a brand new 2023 Alliance Valor 42V13 and are so happy with our rig (that has two patios)!
While we’ve made many improvements and modifications to both of our RVs, we’ve never done a full renovation. Our friends Corey and Jessie Nickerson with Finding Our Someday say it so beautifully: “We don’t live in our RV to work on our RV, we live in an RV for it to take us places” – and that is exactly how Sean and I feel. But I knew with it being our home that I wanted it to feel like ours. But how could I do that without picking up a paintbrush and spending a ton of time and money swapping things out? I loved the challenge, and I am excited to share some budget-friendly RV furniture ideas and the top six changes we made, so you and other RV owners can implement them as well!
1. Organizing: Every Item Needs a Home
If you’ve been in an RV before, you know that they can get messy fast! Even a few small items left out on the counter can make a camper look and feel cluttered. Clutter isn’t just annoying to look at though, it can affect our anxiety levels, sleep and ability to focus. Over 55% of Americans find themselves stressed out over the clutter in their homes.
If you’re using your RV to create these amazing memories and take you on incredible adventures, you don’t want to be constantly looking around feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have with you. Whether you’re just getting ready to move into your RV or you’ve been in it for years, it’s never too late to get organized.
Whether that means tackling one drawer at a time or going all out and taking every item out of your RV and starting from scratch, take the time and invest in organizing. You won’t regret it. I truly think this is the most important step to creating a space you love and feel comfortable in.
Be sure every item in your rig has a home. RV and truck keys? Dog leashes? Purses? Extra beach towels? Don’t let those things linger around on your counters and chairs. Find a home for them and put those items away in that specific spot after every use. You’ll be shocked at how little maintenance your stuff will require when you are diligent about doing that.
Head to Amazon, Walmart, The Container Store or even the Dollar Tree for helpful bins, hooks and organizing tools to help you achieve an organization system that works for you! It doesn’t have to look perfect; it just needs to function for your family. Once you’re organized, we’re ready to move onto the rest of your home… I mean RV!
2. Consider Your RV Layout & Your Lifestyle
Sit back and look at the space in your RV interior. Do you need to add a desk if you’re a full-timer who works remotely? Do you have two couches but really only need one? Could you get more storage space by changing out your dinette chairs for storage benches? Think about what you can add to your rig (or take out) that will help your daily life function better. Remember, no RV is perfect, but you can absolutely make your space more tailored to your needs!
For us, when we moved into our first RV, we had to weigh the pros and cons of needing a dinette or a desk more. The desk won because we both were in a season where we were heavily working on our computers for a large portion of the day. In our new RV, we knew we’d use our garage as our office, so we removed the garage couches and made a simple sitting / standing desk from the existing HappiJac system! EASY! Don’t be afraid to change things that don’t work for you. Small changes can really impact your quality of life.
3. Decorate with Pillows, Blankets, Rugs & Curtains
This might sound like such a simple addition, but pillows, blankets, rugs and curtains can bring so much personality to your RV living space! Even better, you can swap out pillow covers and blankets seasonally if you wish and update your rug when it’s looking dull (which happens every 9-12 months or so in our RV with eight paws). Curtains are also an easy addition because they give an RV such a homey feeling that I love.
Other ideas that are simple and can be easily added to make your RV or travel trailer feel like home: plants (no one’s judging if you get some faux plants like we have, but real plants are awesome), a small arrangement of fresh flowers from a local store or farmer’s market you visit, and your favorite scented candle can go a long way.
Quick tip for purchasing rugs: I suggest purchasing a rug from a retailer with a brick-and-mortar store or a retailer that does free shipping and free returns if you don’t care for it once you get it. I have been stuck paying for return shipping on a few rugs that didn’t work out for us. Lesson learned!
4. Make Your RV Furniture Work for You
A great example I’ve already touched on: We’ve modified our dinette area in both our RVs. In our travel trailer, we took our dinette out completely and replaced that with our desk space. With Sean and I both working remotely, it’s important for us to have a designated space to work and store our computers. Now that we have our Alliance toy hauler, we use our garage as our office (which we love) and now we can use our dinette for mealtimes (which is very important to us)!
Our Valor dinette came with four accompanying chairs. Not only was it tough to secure those chairs safely on drive days, but we just felt like that space was wasted, so we worked to create custom fabric benches for our dinette space…with storage underneath! Everything in an RV needs to be multi-purpose and this is an example of making your RV-specific furniture work for you in your small space. Now, we don’t have to worry about securing chairs on drive days and we get more storage area to keep random things like Costco paper towels.
Think about ways you can make your pieces of RV furniture multi-purpose and make them work for your family in your season! I’d love to see Lippert make a couch with a trundle underneath, specifically with a dog bed, but that’s a good idea for another day.
Other ideas to consider: Lippert makes amazing accessories for Seismic Series couches, like reading lights, mini fans, tables (which work great if you don’t have a dinette), etc.! Those are easy changes that can make life a whole lot easier!
5. Display Photos of Your Adventures
Use Command™ hooks to hang framed photos (get plastic front displays) or even canvases on your walls. There is something so sweet about seeing photos of your adventures displayed on the walls of your home on wheels. Framed photos truly make a space feel like home. Not to mention, you get to relive your family travels over and over!
We also invested in a digital picture frame that we can upload photos directly to an app and they instantly get added into our photo rotation. That has felt so cool to see our memories with people and places we love pop up all through the day. We purchased the Aura Frame and love it!
6. Remember: Memories Over Beauty
While it’s important to make sure your RV feels like home, remember, it’s just a tool to get you out making memories. Don’t get lost in having the most Instagram-worthy RV or feeling like you have to over decorate or do a big renovation. If you want to do those things because they bring you joy, go for it! But remember that one day, when your RV season is over, you will look back and remember the memories you made more than what your rig looked like.
Create a space you feel comfortable in and get out and explore!