In lots of ways, the RV life is hard to beat. When your house has wheels, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
Say you wake up some random Tuesday morning with that unshakable wanderlust — the same one that would make you feel bummed out and helpless if you were tied down by stationary life. Not so with an RV! Just unplug your rig from any electric, water, and sewer hookups, roll in your awning, and make sure your antenna’s in, and boom: you’re instantly ready to hit the road and follow your sense of adventure.
But if you’re into customizing your house to make it more like home, foundation-built houses and apartments do have one slight advantage. Mounting something on your wall, be it a television, artwork, or even a set of shelves, is a lot more straightforward. You pretty much grab a hammer and nails or an electric screwdriver, check for wall studs, and go to town… unless you’re trying to get a security deposit back, that is.
But it is possible to mount things on your RV’s interior walls. It just becomes a bit more of a project. It’s highly inadvisable to drill, nail, or screw things into a motorhome or trailer’s interior, since there may be complex electrical systems running right beneath many surfaces. If you go too deep, you might even expose yourself to the chance of leaks and water damage. Plus, any damage you cause to the wall itself might be just about irreparable, since you can’t exactly just stuff it with putty and paint over it.
But nothing’s insurMOUNTable (get it?) — there are ways around these problems!
Here, we’ll give you ideas on how to decorate and deck out the inside of your camper, whether you’re looking to hang a TV, mount your favorite painting, hang a clock, or keep your set of wooden spoons close at hand in the kitchen.
1. For televisions and other large, heavy items, consider a mounting bracket.
While you likely won’t be able to mount a TV to the wall as you would in a regular home, there are a variety of capable TV brackets on the market that offers a good solution. When you find one that’s a good fit, screw it into the underside of your cabinetry or other wooden fixtures — perhaps under the set of cabinets that run above the cockpit in a Class A or Class C motorhome, for example.
No matter what type of TV mount you go for, you’ll need to make sure it’s steady and stable for when you’re underway. The last thing you want is your heavy TV to fall on your head while you’re driving down the road!
2. For paintings and other artwork, consider removable adhesive hangers.
With more and more renters and even homeowners becoming conscious of the damage done by traditional hammer-and-nails mounting jobs, there’s been a proliferation of removable hanging devices on the market. But these hangers also have a great advantage in your trailer or motorhome: They won’t damage your RV interior going up or coming down. You could try hook and loop fasteners, velcro strips, or adhesive hooks that quick-release when you’re ready to remove them.
Adhesive hooks in particular are great for keeping things handy in the kitchen — we’ve seen campers use them for everything from cooking tools to creating dispensers for plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
3. You can also mount them as normal, with wire and nails, if you’re willing to screw into your camper’s solid wood.
Just as with your TV, you could use a regular mounting system for paintings and other small, light items if you’re willing to make holes in your rig’s wooden fixtures. However, unlike a properly mounted and stored television, these light items can bang around in transit, so be sure to take them down when you’re driving!
4. For tabletop display pieces, like vases, try museum putty.
Interior design is about more than what goes on your walls.
If you want to display vases or even just avoid having to store your small countertop appliances, like coffee grinders, each and every time you move your rig, you’ll want to keep some museum putty handy. This grippy goop will keep your goods exactly where you put them, without leaving stains or sticky messes on the items themselves or the surface you’re sticking them to.
Another option for slightly-less-permanent stuff you still don’t want slipping — like your sunglasses or spare change — are dashboard pads. Their nonslip, nonadhesive surface is perfect for helping those small items you put down quickly stay put. And did we mention that they’re dirt cheap, too?
5. As far as shelving and storage, don’t be afraid to get creative.
The thing about living in an RV is, it takes a little bit of creativity. (OK, sometimes a lot.)
If you find yourself in need of extra storage, it’s not exactly easy to build in a new shelf or find space for an IKEA cabinet. But clever campers have made use of all kinds of available spaces, from their motorhome stairs to the surface around their bedframe. You can also take advantage of magnetic surfaces to hang everything metal, from knives to tools — we’ve even seen some crafty RVers use magnets to make spice racks!
Finally, it might be a good step to think twice about exactly how much stuff you truly need to store, and perhaps to reprioritize and reorganize. After all, for many of us, one of the most appealing things about the RV lifestyle in the first place is the promise of living lightly and using that sense of minimalism to stock up on experiences rather than things.
That said, it can be very difficult to part with your favorite kitchen gear, books, and artwork, not to mention your TV… so if you’ve come up with any other creative solutions for mounting and storing items in your RV’s interior, let us know! We’re always looking for creative new ways to make RVing even better.