Small Spaces: Keeping the RV Clean and Tidy

Daily life in the RV sometimes isn’t too much different from daily life in a house. One of the mundane tasks (just like laundry) that every family experiences is cleaning. Whether it’s a house or an RV, you have to keep your living space…live-able! Whatever that is to you. Here are my thoughts on cleaning the motorhome.

Cleaning Schedule

Ha! Good one. I don’t have a cleaning schedule. I never have, even with a house. I’m a pretty laid back person, and the thought of a cleaning schedule is way too rigid for me. If it’s dirty, I clean it. If it’s not, I’d rather spend my time doing other things so I leave good enough alone. I probably just made a lot of people cringe. But I promise we don’t live in filth. The main difference between an RV and a house? The RV gets dirtier way, way more quickly. Cleaning is a daily occurrence in the motorhome, because the small space means that it reaches “bomb just went off” status by 5pm. So instead of picking up the toys once per day, you pick them up any time you want to walk in the room. Although the cleaning is more frequent, it takes a lot less time than it did in a house. Overall, I spend a lot less time cleaning now.

In our house we had a mud room. I loved it. A place to kick off your shoes, throw your jacket on the bench, hang up your purse…all of those conveniences feel so far away now! We have 3 stairs, then you are inside Trudy. So there is nowhere to kick your shoes off but outside (if the weather is OK) or if not, in the living room. Purses, jackets, and water bottles end up thrown on the bench seat right inside the doorway. We quickly discovered that a door mat at the entrance to Trudy is essential. It helps to take some of the dirt off of our shoes before they come in the door. It’s surprising just how much mud, dirt, and sand gets tracked into the RV via the door and stairs.

In such a small space, there is a lot of dirt and food debris (hello, toddler!) that accumulates on the floor. Because of this, I usually vacuum at least once a day. The space below Calla’s highchair is cleaned up after every meal. We have the Dyson V6 slim, a cordless hand vacuum.  Why cordless? For ease of use, and we wanted to be able to use it even if we aren’t connected to a power source. We have the base of it attached to the wardrobe of our bedroom so it can charge and be out of the way. So far, I’m pretty happy with the Dyson. I’d give it a 7/10. It has good power, but my main complaint is the battery life. If I use it on max power, it only lasts about 15 minutes. It’s usually enough to vacuum the whole RV but sometimes it’s frustrating when it dies and I wasn’t quite done yet. If the battery life gets worse, I’ll be contacting Dyson. In my experience, their customer service is good.

The Dyson V6 Slim

The Dyson, charging in the bedroom

In addition to the vacuum, I use a Swiffer WetJet for the vinyl floors.  The tricky part to these long, narrow floor cleaning tools in the RV is that we have nowhere to store them. Unfortunately they have to be out in plain sight. The Swiffer usually just stays in the bathroom.

Hey there, Swiffer. Not really the bathroom decor I had envisioned!

Other Cleaning Products I Love

This post seems like a good place to give a shout out to some other cleaning products I love. Not necessarily related to RV life, but cleaning is cleaning, regardless if it’s a tiny space or a big one.

Method Cleaners – they smell awesome and work well. I love the Grapefruit one. The bathroom cleaner smells amazing too (eucalyptus mint) and I’ll probably go through the bottle quickly because of all the extra sprays I use – good one, Method!

Lysol Wipes – The ones with the scrubby side help to clean stuck-on food much more easily. I’ve been known to use these on the floors, too.

Dawn Free & Clear – We go through a lot of dish soap since we don’t have a dishwasher. I’m usually a believer in the store/value brand, but after having tried a couple generic dish soaps, I do think Dawn is the best. And I like Free & Clear because I don’t want my food smelling like a tropical rainforest.

Exterior RV Cleaning

I feel like we don’t have a lot of wisdom to impart here. We’ve washed the exterior of Trudy one time so far (cringe). It just kind of fell to the wayside when we were renovating, and we keep saying that we’re going to a truck wash to get it cleaned, but we just haven’t. We cleaned Trudy’s exterior when we stayed at my grandparents’ house. It’s kind of an undertaking! Not quite as trivial as washing your car.

We bought an extra-long handled brush from Amazon and were happy with it. We also used regular foaming car wash. I’m going to guess that they likely make special “RV wash” but we didn’t use it.

Washing Trudy in Aiken, SC

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