Did you know pool noodles aren’t just for swimming in pools or down a lazy river?! We’ve found some incredibly genius pool noodle camping hacks to use around your campsite, on your tent as well as in and around your RV! Because of their lightweight flexibility and offer great padding, these floating swim tubes can be cut, slit, bent and wrapped to size to protect your family from injuries around your campsite and damage to your RV or tent.
Pool noodles are the perfect solution for padding sharp edges and low clearances on your RV or camper. But they’re also great for keeping your camping area safe for everyone.
So, let’s see how many pool noodle camping hacks you can use next time you go camping! Perhaps you can come up with some of your own!
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Pool Noodle Camping Hacks for RVs & Campers
Why the Pool Noodle is a great solution to camping and RV safety
The inception of the pool noodle was primarily for flotation to use in swimming pools. They are lightweight, bend easily and come in many different colors and sizes.
Pool noodles are made of polyethylene foam. These colorful swim tubes are UV protected and salt water resistant. They won’t breakdown or deteriorate over time.
Why do pool noodles come with a hole that runs through the center of it? Well, it’s because that’s the easiest way to manufacture them.
Due to that design is why pool noodles are ideal for protecting your RV from damage and campers from injury.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in to see what great pool noodle camping hacks you can use in and around your RV and campsite.
Pool Noodle Camping Hacks for Around the Campsite
Tent Rope Covers
Part of the camping experience is tripping over tent ropes. Especially at night, this cause serious injury.
However, by slitting a pool noodle lengthwise and sliding it over the tent ropes allows them to be more visible. And, the padding helps alleviate serious injury.
For added safety after dark, attach a glow stick on each pool noodle for better visibility.
Camping Dining Canopy Roof
Installing foam swim noodles under your dining canopy or screen tent will help keep the corners from pooling and prevent collapsing when it rains.
✰ OUTSIDER PRO TIP ✰ Create a cool outdoor room using one of these Best Outdoor Gazebos and Screen Tents for Camping and RVs!
Camp Chair Anti-Sink Hack
If your camp chair sinks into the loose gravel or sand, simply cut a pool noodle according to the length of your chair rails that come in contact with the ground. Then, slice each lengthwise but only to the middle hole.
Once you’ve prepared them, open the slit and slide it over the bottom rails of your camp chair. This works on zero gravity chairs and beach chairs that have a solid bar or even thin posts that rest on the ground surface.
✰ OUTSIDER PRO TIP ✰ Do you prefer larger camp chairs but don’t know where to find them? Check out our 8 Best Oversized Camp Chairs for Outdoors and Events
DIY Camping Toilet Seat
If your camping but don’t want to dig a cat hole and squat on the ground, you can make your own simple and convenient camping toilet out of a 5-gallon bucket, a pool noodle and trash bag!
All you have to do is open a trash bag into the bucket with the open end over the enter bucket. Then, take a pool noodle and slit it lengthwise only to the middle hole. Then slide over the top edge of the bag and bucket to create a padded toilet seat.
Premeditated Survival provides a great blog tutorial on how to create your portable camping toilet.
Fishing Pole Protective Sleeves
Pool noodles make great protective covers for fishing poles so they don’t get damaged in your trunk, truck bed or inside your RV.
Since the foam swim tubes have a hole running through the center, simply slide your fishing pole end into the tube to protect it. No more damage or tangled lines on your fishing rods. You can even stick your hooks and lures into the foam so they don’t get lost, damaged or cause injury.
Field and Stream shares other simple fishing pool noodle tricks to extend the life of your fishing rods and reels.
Pool Noodle Hacks for RVs
RV Slide-Out Edge Protector
RV Slideouts are notorious for causing head injuries because the edges are sharp and are at precise head height.
So, to help prevent serious injuries, just slip on a pool noodle lengthwise to overlap the corners once your slide outs are fully deployed.
The Frugal Campasaurus shares directions on how to make their RV slide-out edge protectors using pool noodles.
RV Slideout Bottom Insulation
If you’ve ever stayed in an RV during frigid temperatures, you’re well aware at how cold the floor is; especially near the slide-to-floor gap. By implementing a pool noodle, you can help prevent cold air from intruding through your slide bottom.
Simply slice a pool noodle completely in half lengthwise so you have two long halves. Then, insert each half flat-side down part-way under the slide (both inside and outside!) to block the cold air from coming under your slide.
Just make certain to remove your pool noodles when you bring in your slides.
RV Slide Topper Silencer
If you have slide toppers, you know how they can be a constant noisy irritant on windy days or night. To win at that game, slip a pool noodle under the slide toppers to quiet the flapping sound when the wind blows.
Pool noodles also aid in allowing rain water to drain off instead of pooling in the middle of the slide topper. Just remember to remove them before bringing your slide in.
RV Awning Arm Protectors
Installing a pool noodle over your RV’s awning arms will help prevent head injuries from taller people smacking into them in the dark.
Slice a pool noodle lengthwise but only to the center. Then, open the cut end and slide it over the bottom of your awning arm.
Not only will this create a visual deterrent but should you accidentally run into your RV’s awning arms, you’re not going to split your head open or bust your nose. Just trust me on how I know this!
Bunkhouse Ladder Padding
Bunkhouse ladders are painful on little feet each time the kids climb up and down from their bunks.
To make those hard ladder rungs more comfortable, cut a pool noodle the width of each step. Then, slit each only to the center lengthwise only to the center. After which, split each pool noodle sleeve and wrap it around each rung.
✰ PRO TIP ✰ Protect your kid’s feet from hard bunk ladders with more tips! 5 Bunk Bed Ladder Padding Hacks – How to Make Bunk Ladders Safer
RV Door Edge Protector
When our Grandson was a toddler, he was eye level with the bottom corners and edge of our RV door anytime it was open.
So, to protect him from serious face or head injury, we slit a pool noodle lengthwise and slid the foam tube over the edge and corner of the door.
Just make certain you remove them before shutting the door.
RV Bunk Mattress Lifter
To keep the little ones from rolling off the top bunk or out of bed, slip a whole pool noodle under the sheet towards the outer edge of the mattress. That said, this method only works with a snug fitted sheet.
Another suggestion is to run a rope or long bungie cord through the the slit lengthwise and attach the ends underneath the bunk mattress. Then, fit your bunk sheet over the mattress and pool noodle completely.
Or, you can just slip a jumbo pool noodle under the whole outer mattress edge to keep them from rolling out of bed.
RV Mattress Ventilation
RV mattresses are prone to mold because they set flush against the bed platform.
To create a moisture barrier, slice several pool noodles in half lengthwise. Then, place each pool noodle half flat side down onto the wood bed platform. After which, carefully set your mattress on top of the pool noodles without disturbing the arrangement.
The pool noodle barrier between your mattress and the bed platform will create ventilation channels for air to circulate under your mattress. This will which help prevent condensation buildup.
✰ READ MORE ✰ How to Prevent MOLD from Growing on Your RV Mattress
Fifth Wheel King Pin Protector
Fifth wheel pin boxes are notorious for jumping out the you least expect it. Particularly in my case, I was doing something under the cap of our Landmark.
When I got up and turned quickly, I smacked the bridge of my nose right into the edge of the pin box causing a hefty gash and bloody mess. Had I hit it harder, it would have broke my nose.
Well, I beat it at its’ own game. I found a left over pool noodle scrap Dan had in the back of our truck. So, I cut it down to the width of the front part of the pin box. I then slit it half way to the center lengthwise. I slid my concoction over the hard metal edge to protect myself from doing that stupid thing ever again.
Motorhome Windshield Wiper Protectors
If your motorhome (or even toad or tow vehicle) sits for long periods of time in the hot sun, your windshield wiper blades will quickly degrade.
To prevent that from happening, simply cut a pool noodle according to each windshield wiper blade length. Then, slit them halfway only to the center hole. Now just slide your wiper blades into the slitted opening.
This method also works in freezing temperatures, snow or ice storms when your windshield wiper blades may freeze to the windshield.
RV Refrigerator Containment
Items in your RV refrigerator tend to move and roll around during transit.
To keep them from sliding forward and toppling out when you open the refrigerator door, simple slide a thinner pool noodle over the front edge. Just make sure your refrigerator door closes properly for efficient operation.
RV Electric Cord Protector
Long runs from your campsite electric pedestal to your RV exposes your electric cord to damage from landscapers, being stepped on or bicycles rolling over them. Or, it ends up being a tripping hazard.
So, to protect your RV electric cord (and you!), simply slit however many pool noodles you need lengthwise. Then wrap each of foam tube around your electrical cord. If you’re going to be stationary, you may want to join them together using glow-in-the-dark duct tape to make them visible in the dark.
RV Water Hose Insulation
Similar to protecting your electric power cord, you can also use pool noodles to prevent your water hose from damage as well.
You could also use pool noodles to insulate your water hose in freezing temperatures. A few dollars spent on pool noodles will help prevent your hose from freezing and splitting.
✰ PRO TIP ✰ Did you know that a standard pool noodle will wrap completely around a 1″ diameter PVC pipe.
Which type of pool noodles can you use for RV and camping pool noodle hacks?
You can purchase pool noodles and foam pipe insulation tubes at most big box stores or even dollar stores. But you’re limited to exactly what’s available which may not work the for the DIY pool noodle project you’re doing.
Believe it or not, pool noodles and pipe insulation comes in different sizes and gauges in thickness.
During off season, in certain locations or even regions of the country, swim noodles may be difficult to find.
So, another great source is Amazon. We’ve taken the guesswork out of trying to find what fits to your pool noodle camping hack.
- Black standard pre-slit pool noodles – 1″ diameter hole
- Jumbo pool noodles – in assorted colors
- Jumbo pre-split pool noodles – in assorted colors
- Black pre-slit pipe insulation (thinner than standard pull noodle)
- Pipe insulation elbow – for corners
- Heat cable – for inserting with water hose into pool noodles to keep water from freezing
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Let’s start using your noodle!
As you see, pool noodles aren’t exclusively for using in the pool. Pool noodles and insulation foam tubes can be used all around your campsite.
As well, these pool noodle hacks can be used inside and outside your RV or camper and even your tent. These foam tubes are great deterrents that can help minimize serious injuries and/or damage to your RV, vehicle, or tent.
Check out these other camping hacks
Looking for more helpful RV tips, check out RV Love’s Book “RV HACKS”
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