Cleaning Essentials for RVers

When we downsized from our 2,500 square foot house to our 400 square foot home on wheels, I realized we had a lot of cleaning supplies we wouldn’t need or even have room for. After living full time on the road for almost a year, I have figured out which cleaning supplies we actually need and want to share that list with you!

Floors

We have a mixture of carpet and vinyl laminate in our rig. We have a large rug covering a lot of the vinyl in the living room, so I wanted to have a vacuum in the rig for the carpets and rugs. I did a LOT of research on small vacuums and found one I absolutely love. It’s a Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Stick Vacuum. It’s small, lightweight, comes apart in 3 pieces so I can easily store it, and it’s really powerful. It comes with multiple attachments which are perfect for getting crumbs that hide under the slides or in other small spaces.

I also bought a very small hand broom with a dustpan for those times when I just need to sweep a little dirt outside from the front door or do little spot jobs, so that I don’t have to get out the vacuum each time.

For “mopping” the laminate we have a Swiffer Sweeper Floor Mop Starter Kit. It’s perfect for our small space. It breaks down into small pieces, making it super easy to store, and cleans dirty floors quickly and easily!

Windows and Mirrors

I use a glass cleaner to clean mirrors, windows, and the glass panes on our RV storage cabinets. I often spray down our RV fridge panels and wipe clean with it.

Shower

RV showers are different that “regular” showers. I used to love cleaning my house showers with bleach products, but they aren’t good for RV showers. Bleach can degrade the seals around your tanks over time. In fact, My RV shower has a sticker stating that if bleach is used in the shower, it voids all warranties!

After some trial and error, I figured out that a homemade mixture of 1 tbsp. dish soap, 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups water in a spray bottle works well. I spray down the entire shower, let it sit for a few minutes and then use a scrub brush in a circular motion to clean.

We have a glass sliding door on our shower, which easily gets water scum build-up. I found that cleaning it with my homemade vinegar mixture mentioned above with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does the trick to clean it!

Toilet

My homemade mixture of 1 tbsp. dish soap, 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups water in a spray bottle works well for the toilet. I spray the inside of the bowl and use the toilet scrub brush I keep behind the toilet to clean the bowl. Bleach isn’t recommended, as it can damage the seal.

Kitchen With no dishwasher, I hand wash dishes with dish soap. Our porcelain sink starts looking dingy pretty frequently. The kitchen sink is the one place I use bleach! A quick spray down with a cleaning product containing bleach works wonders in the sink! I spray it down, let it sit for a minute or two and then rinse out. Always be sure you’re in a well-ventilated area before using bleach! I always turn on the overhead exhaust fan before cleaning the sink.

All Other Surfaces

I keep a healthy supply of cleaning wipes around for all other surfaces. I use them to clean bathroom and kitchen counters, the outside of the toilet, the kitchen table, and to wipe down the RV walls when needed.

I hope this list of cleaning supplies helps you get a good idea of what you’ll need to keep your RV interior sparkling clean!


About the Author: Lauren is a wife, mother of two, photographer, blogger and lover of nature and adventure! Currently traveling around the U.S. in a fifth wheel, Lauren and her family seek to live life to the fullest and continue to look for ways to simplify their lives in order to live larger with less. Follow along on their journey by visiting their family travel blog.


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20 Responses to “Cleaning Essentials for RVers”
  1. Arlene Monnar
    Arlene Monnar

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Outlaw, RV Year: 2019

    Our outlaw is a toy hauler with the ramp in the back of the RV to get the toys in the garage. therefore we don’t huave a ladder in the back like most standard class a’s. i heard there is a ladder that can be purchased that can be installed that sits on rails on the RV (rails get installed also). have you heard of anything like this

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Arlene,

      I have not heard of a ladder that attaches to rails. The ones I am familiar with attach to the roof itself. I tried doing some research and wasn’t able to find any information on a ladder as you described so it could be something from a single manufacture or something custom made. I will provide a link to a list of the most common ones I have seen used.

      https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-RV_Ladders.aspx

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
    • Denise
      Denise

      RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Raptor, RV Year: 2013

      They installed the ladder on the drivers side rear on our toy hauler and it fold in when not in use.

      Reply
      • Jim Johnson
        Jim Johnson

        RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: 33SAB Cougar, RV Year: 2017

        Because of rear wall window placement, our trailer also came without a ladder. I searched for the mentioned folding sidewall ladder. It seems to be a proprietary design of a specific RV manufacturer and not sold as a retail accessory. What I purchased was a 12 foot telescoping ladder (lots of bad imitations so read reviews carefully). It weighs about 20 pounds and when fully collapsed into itself is about 2 feet tall. It easily fits inside a bay without taking up a lot of space. The other advantage over a fixed ladder is the telescoping ladder can be placed almost anywhere against the trailer enabling me to do maintenance high on sidewalls without hanging over the edge of the roof.

        Reply
  2. Rob Kirkpatrick
    Rob Kirkpatrick

    RV Make: Winnebago , RV Model: Forza, RV Year: 2019

    Great ideas! And since we travel with our parrot, your cleaning mix is even more appropriate as they cannot tolerate most cleaning solution fumes 😯. Water, mild detergent (the lowest scent the better) and vinegar are the go-tos for about everything. No windex, bleach, 409, lysol, solvents, ammonia and more, or their lungs could be damaged. You hit it 100% for us!

    Reply
    • Jim Johnson
      Jim Johnson

      RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: 33SAB Cougar, RV Year: 2017

      I would like to point out the homemade cleaner in Cleaning Essentials for RVers probably should not use the Dawn brand of dish soap. Dawn’s ‘secret’ ingredient is a bit of household ammonia. While there is no real danger in mixing ammonia and vinegar, it’s often counterproductive. Because vinegar is acidic and ammonia basic, they cancel each other out, essentially creating salt water and robbing both components of their cleaning properties.

      Reply
  3. Bob
    Bob

    RV Make: Roadtrek , RV Model: C200P, RV Year: 2001

    What’s a living room? Lol! No 400 sq feet in a class b, but I do have a little cordless Shark vacuum for 16 sq feet of carpet, half of it stupidly in the cab area.

    Reply
  4. Niels Jensen
    Niels Jensen

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: SunSeeker MBS 2400W, RV Year: 2016

    My door to the “House” squeaks. I can’t figure out how to make it stop. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Neils,

      There are some lubricants that you can try. I recommend a dry silicone spray. Spray the hinges and open and lose the door many times while spraying every so often and see if it goes away. This usually helps. I have heard of people taking a bar of soap and rubbing it on the hinge to help as well. Usually spray lubricants are the best and I’ve had good luck with the dry silicone.

      Sincerely,
      Dan RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Sincerely,

      Shelley
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  5. Gwendolyn Long
    Gwendolyn Long

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: North Point, RV Year: 2021

    Has anyone used an irobot for mopping? I’m constantly cleaning the floor with a swifter, and considering purchasing one to make life easier. Nevertheless, I’m not sure if it’s safe to use in an RV. Water is not your friend in an RV.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello GWENDOLYN!

      Please provide more information in regards to your question, what is the year, make, and model of your RV?

      Thank you

      Ayan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  6. Lynda Thompson
    Lynda Thompson

    RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Brave 32v, RV Year: 2004, Brand: Wheels

    To clean using natural products

    Reply
  7. Lionel Bradley
    Lionel Bradley

    RV Make: Rockwood, RV Model: Ultra light , RV Year: 2015, Brand: See the truck. As

    Shower door fell off but Did not break but will not close good and stripping is messed up

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Lionel,

      It depends on what type of shower door you have but there are some curved doors that have brackets at the top and bottom to hold the door in place. These top brackets can be adjusted to change the height to make the door close more flush. Make sure to check these brackets thoroughly for damage as it might be why the door came off in the first place. If you have a trifold door then there could be something wrong in the top track preventing it from closing properly. The stripping just clamps onto the side of the glass, it can usually be pushed in to re seat but if it is too bad or won’t stay in place then it most likely will need replaced. I have used adhesive behind these stripping to keep them in place as well.

      Sincerely, Dan RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  8. Jeannette Wiseman
    Jeannette Wiseman

    RV Make: Solaris, RV Model: Sunliner, RV Year: 1999, Brand: Solaris, Model Number: 6351382

    I was woundering if anyone has a mold on the front of there cabinets,

    Reply
  9. robert mccord
    robert mccord

    RV Make: Salem, RV Year: 2021

    Two questions:
    1) Is there a downside to using a plastic tarp to cover my rv? RV covers are expensive.
    2) What is the best product to use to clean the roof of my RV?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Robert,

      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:

      You never want to use a tarp to cover the RV. RV covers are made to breathe and prevent issues like mold, mildew and early deterioration on the rubber and the seals. You need good air flow to go across the roof and tarps can trap moisture and cause a lot of damage. If you use a tarp it is best to create raises on the roof and the ends and sides to allow air to pass over. This can create issues with high winds though. RV covers are made special to prevent issues from happening on the unit, it is always best to use one made for RV’s. I recommend the cleaner and conditioner from ProtectAll.
      https://www.protectall.com/

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  10. Joe Groussman,PMP
    Joe Groussman,PMP

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Cambridge, RV Year: 2008

    I used “Rain-X” on the outside windows of my 5th Wheel .. really happy with the results as I watch the rain drops run down and off. Supper clear windows now! (Been almost a year now).

    Reply
  11. Steve
    Steve

    RV Make: airstream, RV Model: 27fb, RV Year: 2007

    great idea for the toilet cleaner thanks

    Reply
  12. Martie 239
    Martie 239

    RV Make: National, RV Model: Sea Breeze, RV Year: 1996

    I found an old email list of things that Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets are good for, one is wipe down the interior shower door to dissolve soap scum….it works in the house as well as in the shower in my Class A.
    Also, cleaning your kitchen sink with a cleaner w/Bleach product may work on your porcelain surfaces but if you rinse and wash it down the drain, aren’t you taking the risk of degrading the washers and seals to your sink plumbing that flows to the grey water tank? I find that Barkeeper’s Friend works wonders for my daughters farm sink as well as her septic tank.

    Reply