Getting frustrated looking for RV furniture? Finding the right options for your traveling home can be an elaborate process.
Like regular furniture, you want it to be comfortable, durable and matching your personal style. However, you also want options that can handle rough rides and are secure enough to stay put even on the bumpiest of roads.
When I started my journey with RV living, I spent hours researching the best furniture options for me. Since then, I’ve consolidated all my tips into this nifty guide to help you find the best RV furniture to fit your traveling needs.
When you’re traveling in an RV, storage plays an important role in your journey. Since you’re working with limited space, you want to ensure you still have room to bring everything you need without creating clutter in your nomadic home.
RV cabinets are the perfect solution for your storage needs, and can be easily customized and organized to safely transport all your life essentials for each adventure.
Types of RV Cabinets
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or embracing RV living, the type of RV cabinets you have will determine your storage space, how your belongings are secured and even the interior style of your RV. You can stick with standard RV cabinets or customize your own, depending on your traveling needs.
Standard RV Cabinets
Standard RV cabinets are the factory installations that come with the RV. They are designed to be lightweight and often include features that keep them closed while traveling. However, like most mass manufactured furniture, they may not fit the exact function you need them for or look the way you want.
Fortunately, you can easily customize them with a coat of paint and add extra measures to keep their contents secure (more on that below).
Framed and Skinned RV Cabinets
If you opt to create your own RV cabinets, you have a couple of options on the storage style that fits your needs. Framed and skinned cabinets are a box construction that uses solid materials like wood, aluminum or steel. This box-like design provides significant strength, even when using lightweight materials.
Integral RV Cabinets
The other option for custom RV cabinets is creating an integral design, where you use a surface of the RV as the base and add the sides to the back, top and bottom. The design may be heavier, depending on the type of materials that you use, but it’s easier to build and creates a sturdier design for your storage needs.
Securing RV Cabinets
Cabinets are a great storage solution for RV’s, but all the moving around can take a toll on their contents. If not properly secured, important or fragile items could wind up dislodged, spilled or broken. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy fixes to keep your cabinets and traveling supplies safe.
If you have heavier items in your cabinets, the standard latches may not be enough to keep them from dislodging and opening cabinet doors while your RV is in motion.
Purchasing heavy duty magnetic catches is an easy way to prevent your cabinet contents from winding up all over RV as you get from A to B. This five dollar solution takes only minutes to install and can save you a world of trouble while traveling.
Many RV enthusiasts experience the avalanche of contents when they first open a cabinet door after a long day of travel. For smaller items, like the bottles in your medicine cabinet, a simple guardrail installation can keep your items in place rather than falling out as soon as you open the door.
Shelf Grip Waffle Matting
To keep items in place while traveling, consider adding shelf grip waffle matting to prevent items from sliding around. Acting as a shelf liner, you can purchase these products in a single roll and keep in on hand for easy replacement.
Maximizing RV Cabinet Storing Space
Now that your RV cabinets are secure, it’s time to focus on getting the most out of your limited RV space. A few simple solutions can help your RV hold a lot more, no matter it’s size.
Underside of Cabinets
When living in a small space, it pays to use all the surface space available. Add magnetic strips and hanging baskets to the underside of your kitchen cabinets to hold lighter items, like magnetic spice holders, sponges and towels or other lightweight cleaning supplies.
Add More Space in Cabinets
Triple your RV cabinets’ storage space by adding lightweight shelves that give you three surface areas instead of one. Install vertical tension rods in your lower cabinets to keep sheet trays and cutting boards from shifting during travel.
Organize Your RV Cabinets
Containers can keep your items secure while still adding more storage space to small cabinets. You can buy products, like caddies and airtight containers, or re-purpose everyday items. For example, attach a magazine holder to the inside of a cabinet to hold additional items, like rolls of foil and plastic bags.
Anyone who has experienced a long drive knows the importance of a comfy seat. When it comes to RV furniture, focus on finding comfortable, durable and ideally, multi-functional seating.
Types of RV Seating
Whether you’re the driver, passenger or guest, it pays to have a selection of seats that can keep up with you while you’re logging long miles on your journey. Invest in seating that provides enough support and comfort for a long drive or just relaxing after a day of camping.
Captain chairs are aptly named for the driver of the RV, and tend to be what most people think of when they picture RV seating. It usually sits at a higher level so the driver can easily reach the steering wheel and view the road. Possibly the most important piece of RV furniture, invest in a captain chair that fits your personal shape and size for maximum comfort.
Class A Captain Chairs
A similar style to the captain chairs, class A chairs sit at a lower level with the rest of the RV furniture. It’s a single seat that usually swivels to easily change focal points, whether that’s a table, TV or another area of interest in your RV. Often, class A chairs come with additional features, like massagers or the ability to recline.
Class C Captain Chairs
Class C captain chairs are the most basic form of RV seating. They may still swivel, but lack additional features, like reclining. Although they may seem like the least exciting option of the three captain chairs, it’s still important to keep comfort and individual needs in mind when selecting a class C chair for your RV.
RV Sofa Choices
Sofas are another type of RV furniture to consider when it comes to seating. Like most RV furniture, you want to opt for a sofa that provides several purposes, like storage. Most sofas can also easily transition into an extra bed for additional family members or company during your travels.
For a simple sofa-to-bed transition, easy beds lift up and pull out to form a double sized bed. Sleepers lay lengthwise and can easily place the bed back into sofa position in the morning.
Magic beds are like a mixture of pull-out couches and easy beds. You pull the sofa out like an easy bed, but it has two legs to support the extended position. Sleepers still need to lay lengthwise for comfort.
This option is essentially the pullout couch of RV’s. It converts to a nearly full size bed and can hold a standard mattress for pullouts.
Fold and Tumble Sofa Sleeper
A more compact alternative to the sofa sleeper, this conversion bed features a built-in inflatable mattress that is slightly smaller than a full size bed.
Materials for RV Seating
Once you have the type of RV seating you want picked out, the next step is determining your preferred materials. While personal style is an important factor, keep in mind that you need RV furniture that’s durable and can handle it’s fair share of spills.
Vinyl is a popular choice for RV furniture, since it’s low maintenance, durable and easy to clean. It also comes in an array of patterns and colors to choose from.
For a more homey feel, most RV owners opt for fabric covered furniture. It may require a bit more upkeep in the events of spills and stains, but it’s comfortable material for sitting and sleeping while on the road.
The leather options you find on most RV furniture are not actually leather, but more of a durable polyurethane material that mimics the feel and look of leather. Like vinyl, it’s easy to clean and maintain, but feels more luxurious on those long rides.
This is a top of the line fabric that’s super soft and durable. Although it may be more expensive upfront, it can be easily cleaned while still giving you the experience of a soft, fabric chair.
Like stationary homes, tables play an important role in your RV living household. It’s where you gather for meals, place items that may not have a home yet or sit to get some serious work done. Selecting a decent table is a big decision, and you want to be sure to pick something that fits your RV lifestyle needs.
Types of RV Tables
Unlike a stationary, brick-and-mortar home, your RV table may be the only flat surface besides counter space to put your things or have a meal. But don’t think that limits your options! There are several types of tables to consider for your RV furniture.
Standard RV tables come with your RV and are already installed and bolted down. Since they’re supplied by the manufacturer, they may already match everything in your RV (even if the look is generic) and are made from lightweight material that travels well.
Folding tables are a must-have for RV living. It gives you an extra flat surface to work on, and gives you an opportunity to eat outside when things start feeling a little cramped. I don’t think there’s been a single stop where we didn’t pop open our fold out table during our travels.
The ideal RV table can be easily re-purposed for other uses. Some RV tables can actually fold into a bed, giving you some extra sleeping space for guests or relatives. You simple fold down the flat surface of the table and cover with the surrounding booth-style seat cushions to act as a makeshift mattress.
Important RV Table Features
Like most RV furniture, you want your table to meet certain criteria for easy traveling. If you don’t want to go with the manufacturer’s table, you can install your own custom built table or thrift shop find. Just be sure that whatever you use matches your RV living needs.
Your RV’s performance is largely influenced by the weight inside while traveling. Opt for the lightest possible options to keep your RV from becoming imbalanced while on the road.
Even if you opt to install your own RV table, it’s important to use metal brackets to keep your RV furniture stable and secure. No matter its size or weight, you don’t want to risk your table flying across your home during a quick turn or bumpy ride.
A lot of dirt, debris and grime comes with RV living – it is essentially camping, after all. Your RV table will need to hold up against the elements, being easy to clean and able to handle a full load. Since it’s one of the few flat surfaces in your RV, you’ll have to rely on it to hold multiple items at all times, from groceries to computers to full meals.
Finding the best RV furniture is simple if you know what to look for. If you have any questions about RV furniture, leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to give you an answer. For more ideas on RV furniture and RV living tips, check out some of our latest blogs!