20 RV and Camper Hacks on a Dime


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We’ve all heard of the word ‘HACK’. Just about everything has a hack these days; even RV’s. HACKS are cheap cheats or inexpensive remedies; utilizing objects that are meant for other intended purposes.  We’ve put together a comprehensive list of hacks, tips and ideas to make living in an RV or camper easy and cheap.

1) SILICA GEL PACKETS

They are annoying yet genius in the same sentence. They come in almost anything that’s packed in a box for shipping or packaging; new small appliances, electronics, etc. This hack has a purpose though; to keep moisture away. We stow them in our cookware drawer, cutting board storage, herbs/spice containers, camera bag, cutlery and silverware drawers, handbags, luggage and totes, tea box, battery storage containers, razor storage, clothes and shoe storage, closets, tool boxes, fishing tackle boxes, gym bags, and more!  Instead of throwing them away, we toss them into any compartment to keep contents dry.

Warning: DO NOT OPEN PACKETS!  Keep out of reach of children and pets.

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SILICA GEL PACKETS
COST:  Free
FOUND:  Wherever you can find them

2)  CORD WRAPS

We call them ‘cord bendies’.  We’ve seen these in stores that are sold as a hardware/home item but they are expensive. We found them in the hair care section for a just a buck a pack!  When they wear out, just toss and buy a new pack.  They have a foam outer with thick wire inside.  Wrap them around electrical and electronic cords, etc.  These hacks come 5-10 per bag in different gauges and lengths.

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CORD WRAPS
COST:  $1 pkg of 5-10
FOUND:  Dollar Tree

3)  TENSION CURTAIN RODS

Camping and RV stores sell these but they are pricy.  However, just go to your dollar or big box store in the curtain rod section. We install these in our cabinets and refrigerator on moving days. They can extend according to the lengths you need and have grippy rubber ends to keep them in place.

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TENSION RODS
COST:  $2-3 each
FOUND:  Walmart, Dollar General

4)  OUTDOOR PAPER TOWEL HOLDER

We saw this cool hack on Pinterest and immediately started using it. What are they?  Simple garden flag holders.  They have two prongs that stick in the ground near the picnic table or just outside your basement/storage compartments. We even stick it in the ground near the truck when Dan’s working under the hood. Great picnic hack!

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OUTDOOR PAPER TOWEL HOLDER
COST:  $5-7
FOUND:  Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Lowes, Home Depot

5)  CRAFT STORAGE BOX

We have a bunch of these for storage purposes.  You can find them in the crafting department of big box stores or in the beading or crafting section of the craftstores.  Store everything from batteries, Command Strips and hooks, small hardware pieces, etc.  Label each to identify the contents on the ends and stack them in a cabinet. You can use this hack in every room of your RV.

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CRAFT OR UTILITY STORAGE BOX
COST:  $2-3 each
FOUND:  Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnn’s

6)  GRIPPY RUBBER SHELF LINER

We cut small squares and put them between dishes, inside pots and pans to protect the cooking surface while in transit and in cabinets so things don’t shift or slide around. They are placed under DVD players and electronics inside cabinets, underneath small indoor mats and rugs. We cut them the same shape as lamp or canister bottoms so they don’t slide around on the counters.  They can even be cut into a small square to use for opening new jars of pickles.  They also are great for putting under Krissie and Kandi’s pet beds so they don’t slide off the furniture.

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GRIPPY RUBBER SHELF LINER
COST:  $5-$10 Roll
FOUND:  Walmart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Dollar General

7)  FIRST AID/COSMETIC PLASTIC DRAWER ORGANIZERS

We already had these from our former S&B so we just brought them with us.  They are lightweight and can be stacked. We have stacked under the sink in the bathroom that has all of our first aid supplies and one in the bedroom that has all of Lisa’s cosmetics, nail care, travel size toiletries, etc.  We put the above rubber shelf liner under them so they don’t slide during travel.  We use an expandable curtain rod ‘vertically’ to keep the drawers from opening while in transit.

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FIRST AID & COSMETIC PLASTIC DRAWER ORGANIZERS
COST:  $7 each set of 3 drawers
FOUND:  Target or Walmart

8)  CABINET HANDLED BASKETS

Being prior military, we are so organized that we are borderline compulsive.  The first time we transitted, we opened a cabinet and had a bunch of stuff fall on our faces.  We remedied that by buying tons of baskets.  I took measurements of each cabinet, stored them in my phone and carried a small sewing tape measure to have when I went shopping.

We like baskets with handles for easy grabbing.  If we need something out of the cabinet, we simply grab the whole basket without having to rifle through the cabinet.  Nothing gets pushed in the back.  We use them in almost every cabinet in our RV. They are in the pantry and living area cabinets. We store maps, books and guides, motorcycle wear and gear, office supplies, small gifts and souvenirs. In the bedroom, we have them in our clothes closet that store ball caps, scarves, sandals, rolled t-shirts, etc.  Most of our baskets were found at Ross’s Stores; keeping them the same style for a cleaner and nicer appearance that we can show off when opening our cabinets.

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HANDLED BASKETS
COST:  $5 each
FOUND:  ROSS Store or anywhere you can find inexpensive baskets

9)  CLEAR PLASTIC STORAGE BINS

When I saw these in a Ross Store, I bought out the whole store because I knew I’d use them.  We store our jars and small things in the refrigerator.  In the food pantry, we store gravy and soup packets, dip mixes, oatmeal and hot cocoa packets and other small items.  These hacks keep everything orderly and easy to see the contents. We’ve seen them in big box stores and home stores for double, even triple the price we found them at Ross’s.

TIP: If you see something in Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, etc. buy it immediately as their stock is not regular.

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CLEAR PLASTIC STORAGE BINS
COST:  $3-$5 each
FOUND: ROSS Stores, Bed Bath & Beyond

10)   CLEAR LUCITE LAZY SUSAN

We had all of our small medicinal and prescription bottles on one of those tiered shelves in the medicine cabinet.  After our first transit, I opened the cabinet only to muttering words a salty sailor would be proud of.  Everything fell out into the sink and at my feet. I found these at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Though pricey, they work beautifully and are worth their weight in gold.

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CLEAR LUCITE LAZY SUSAN
COST:  $15
FOUND:  Bed Bath & Beyond

11)   COMMAND STRIP VELCRO

Velcro aka ‘hook and loop’ fasteners are a necessary expense in your RV or Camper.  We attached remote controls near the recliners, the outdoor tv remote to the inside compartment, small wall art and picture frames to walls, items to inside cabinet doors, etc.  Command Strip Velcro now come weight rated on the packages. Even our LIBERTY quarterboard is attached to the outside of our 5th wheel and is easily removeable for underway days.  Unfortunately, these are on the pricy side so we more careful planning is used when utilyzing them.

TIP: Be mindful with how much weight is put on them though as to not have the hook pull the wall paper away from the bulkheads.

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COMMAND BRAND VELCRO STRIPS
COST: $4-$10
FOUND: Walmart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Dollar General

12)  COMMAND ADHESIVE STRIPS & HOOKS

These are for attaching things more permanently.  We use them for attaching hooks.  We use the hooks for attaching temporary decorations, strings of lights, etc. Great wall hanging hack!

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COMMAND BRAND ADHESIVE STRIPS & HOOKS
COST: $4-$10
FOUND: Walmart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Dollar General

13)  MUSEUM or POSTER MOUNTING PUTTY

We learned this little trick from other seasoned RVers when we first began our on-the-road travels.  Amazingly, most knick-knacks won’t not moved while in transit.  We’ve applied it under the feet of our tea box and faux flower pot on our buffet counter. We love this stuff!

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MOUNTING PUTTY
COST:  $3-4
FOUND:  Dollar General, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnn’s

14)  TENSION SHOWER CURTAIN ROD

These are awesome to install on the wall side of the shower and adjust it to rest on the upper edge of your shower stall.  We hang wet clothes or towels on it to dry.  We also hang our bathhouse shower bag, loofahs, body scrubbies, etc.  For extra holding power, we put mounting putty between the rubber ends and the wall.

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TENSION SHOWER CURTAIN ROD
COST:  $10
FOUND:  Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Lowes, Home Depot

15)  SMALL PET FOOD STORAGE

We found this storage container at a Ross Store in the small pet section however, we’ve seen them at big box stores in the bird seed section. We just open the top of the new bag, slide it in and seal.  No bugs or stale pet food.  What’s cool is it has a flip-top pouring spout.  You can find bigger ones at big box stores as well.   You can even store your charcoal in it too!

NOTE: we no longer feed our cats dry food for health reasons. We donated ours to a local shelter.

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SMALL PET FOOD STORAGE CONTAINER
COST:  $10
FOUND:  ROSS Stores, Lowes, Home Depot

16)  DOOR SHOE POCKET ORGANIZER

We’re glad we didn’t toss these when we sold our home.  It fits perfectly on the door of our laundry/utility storage closet in the galley area. We keep bear spray, sunscreen, bug spray, cat brush, lint roller, flashlights, shopping tote bag, packing tape and markers, etc. in it’s pockets.  There’s no limit to this cool must-have for an RV or camper.  Just don’t overload it to affect the sway of the door or to put stress on the hinges.  We put little pieces of adhesive moleskin on the backside of the hooks as to not mar the door finish.

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DOOR SHOE POCKET ORGANIZER
COST:  $10
FOUND:  Target

17)  KOOZIE CAN AND BOTTLE SLEEVES

One day, we grabbed a bottle of wine out of the liquor locker cabinet and a dozen Koozies fell on the floor.  It dawned on us that if we cut off the bottom and slid it over a bottle like a sleeve, they won’t clang together or break during transit.

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KOOZIE BOTTLE SLEEVES
COST:  Free
FOUND:  Fairs, Shows and Expos

18)  HEADLAMP LIGHTS

Oh, these little buggers are awesome!  These can be found them in a big cardboard promotional bin in Walmart.  Simply cut off the strap, attach museum putty to the backside and stick one  to the underside of a shelf in the pantry cabinet to light up the shelf below.  We put them everywhere; one inside our gauge and control panel, under the cabinet that lights up the commode in the middle of the night, in cabinets, inside drawers, etc.

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HEADLAMP LIGHTS
COST: $1 Each
FOUND:  Walmart

19)    GLASS STEMWARE SOCK SLEEVES

Don’t worry, they’re clean…and new!  We bought a 10 pair pack of the cheapest ankle socks to slide over our glassware when they are not in use.  And even if they do break, the broken glass will remain inside the sock.

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GLASS STEMWARE SOCK SLEEVES
COST: $5 for 10 pair
FOUND:  Flea Market

20)    JEWELRY DISPLAY/ORGANIZER

This frame had a generic cardboard picture in our bedroom when we bought our RV.  We converted it by mounting 1/2″ foam rubber, adhering fabric to the board, and hanging the frame back up. Never had a single earring come down during transport and necklaces hang without coming off the pins.
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So, those are our Top 20 RV and Camper Hacks on a Dime. You probably have some of your own that you should share; anything to make it easier for others who come after us.

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