Upgrade Your RV: Incorporating Residential Items In Your Rig

washer dryer in RV, residential items in an RV
Photo by Gwendolyn Call

Make Your RV Feel Like Home With These Residential-Style Upgrades

Who says your RV has to feel like a camper? After all, RVs are just homes on wheels, so having some residential-style items in your RV will make it feel just like home.

RVs are designed to give the comforts of home while on the road and while camping. They are somewhat limited due to space and weight restrictions; however, modern RVs are becoming more and more like small homes.

The number of people living in RVs full-time proves that today’s RVs have all the comforts of home. For those full-timers and anyone renovating an RV, adding some residential-style items can make it a much more livable space.

Home is where you make it, so let’s take a look at some popular items found in residential settings that you can add to your RV.

Residential fridge

A common complaint among RV owners is the small fridge that many units come equipped with. This is especially a problem for those who live full-time or take longer trips.

Switching to a standard home refrigerator can simplify grocery shopping and reduce its frequency. Even during a week-long camping trip, families require an abundance of food and drinks that may be impossible to fit in a small refrigerator.

RV refrigerators can operate on three distinct power sources: AC electrical, DC electrical, and propane gas, making them a more versatile option than residential refrigerators. Selecting a residential refrigerator, in contrast, would restrict you to utilizing a 120-volt AC power source while camping, but it may still be a valuable improvement.

“In a best-case scenario, traditional RV refrigerators have an average lifespan of about 10-15 years. The lifespan varies considerably based on usage and how well the unit is maintained. Residential refrigerators tend to function reliably for closer to 18-20 years or more.”

– via The RV Geeks

Closet organizer

RV closet organizers are a cost-effective and easy solution to elevate your RV’s functionality. With limited storage capacity in RVs, optimizing space is essential.

An RV closet with a single hanging rod along the top is not a great use of closet space. Installing a closet organizer and folding clothes can give you more space. Adding closets or making the current ones larger is not usually an option, so closet organizers are the answer.

Often, the shelves (or lack thereof) in RV kitchen cabinets make storing food and kitchen items difficult. Closet organizers can also be used in some kitchen cabinets to create a pantry-style storage area.

Washer and dryer

For weekend warriors, a washer and dryer is not worth the space or modification. However, for those who engage in long-term camping or full-time living, it can be a significant improvement.

Relying on campground laundry services and laundromats can be inconvenient, and the cost can add up. Being able to do your laundry when you want and without a pocket full of change is a convenience homeowners enjoy.

Many newer RVs have the option of washer and dryer hookups, and if you plan on spending lots of time in your RV, it can be a worthwhile option to have. Space is a challenge with washer and dryer setups, which is why stackable models are the preferred option for RVs.


RV furniture tends to lack the comfort and durability of residential furniture. Thus, it has become increasingly common for RV owners to replace their couches, chairs, and dining tables with residential alternatives. Replacing a dinette with a dining table or upgrading to a plush sofa with a chaise lounge can completely transform the RV’s interior.

Residential furniture may not fit through small RV doors, but it is still possible to make it work. RV windows can be easily removed and replaced, and there may even be one large enough to fit your beloved couch.

Residential couch being moved trough the removed window of an RV - residential
Courtesy of Dashboard Drifters

Residential floor fan

Installing a residential floor fan in your RV can greatly enhance its comfortability while remaining affordable. While RVs do have a fan option in their A/C units, they are frequently noisy and cannot be adjusted to your desired direction.

A modern bladeless floor fan can quietly cool a specific area, making it ideal for use at night in sleeping areas or for keeping pets cool in an RV. Additionally, a high-quality floor fan can reduce the need to run air conditioning, resulting in cost savings on electricity if the usage is metered.

Faucets and sinks

RV faucets and sinks fall short of residential models in a big way. Many times, cheap plastic faucets are used as well as sinks that are way too small.

Replacing the sink and faucet in your RV requires some modifications, but the effort is worthwhile. Although your RV’s kitchen and bathroom layout may restrict your choice of sink and faucet, there are options available. In addition to being of superior quality, residential faucets offer a vast array of choices.

In certain instances, substituting the bathroom vanity with an entire residential installation could be a viable solution. Even a minor increase in countertop area or a marginally deeper sink can enhance the pleasure of RVing.

Get tips from other RVers

Increasing the comfort and convenience of your RV can enhance your experience and encourage you to go camping more frequently and for longer durations. Integrating residential amenities can be particularly beneficial.

If you are planning a long road trip, seasonal camping, or going full-time, having these residential-style items will make everyone happier. Modern RVs have come a long way, and they do offer a much more residential feel.

Upgrading your current RV with some residential items can give you the same feeling without spending all that money on a new RV. Anyone renovating an RV definitely needs to look at adding some comforts of home.

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.

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