27 Mar

Making the RV Bed: Sleeping as Comfortably on the Road as You Do at Home

Jayco Whitehawk Master Bedroom

When we bought our first travel trailer, we made two big rookie mistakes:

  1. We went out and bought discount store, cheap bed-in-a-bag sheets and blankets for all our beds.
  2. We slept on the original RV mattress for over three years.

Now think about this. We had invested in a brand new, bunkhouse travel trailer in order to have the comforts of home while we were on the road and at the campground. But then for some reason, we skimped on the beds and bedding.

This makes zero sense, folks.

We just accepted that we would come home from our extended trips with achy backs and necks.

And then the light bulb went off.

I could sleep as well in the camper as I could in my bed at home with a pretty minimal investment. In fact, I was shocked when I realized how affordable some of the internet mattresses were.

RVers are now catching on to this way more quickly than we did. There are frequent posts in our forum, Facebook Group, and on social media from people looking to upgrade their sleeping arrangements. All we can say now is: Do it now. It’s worth it. You will NEVER regret investing in a good night’s sleep.

I’m going to share the products that we have purchased and used for the last two years in our RV. But first, I want to explain a couple of no-no’s.

No-No #1: DO NOT buy cute camper bedding from big camping box stores just because you like the print or it is specially fitted for RV mattresses. Comfort is the number one priority and I have never seen a great quality sheet or blanket from these outlets.

No-No #2: Don’t assume a mattress topper is going to be cheaper than a mattress. Compare and research price points carefully. There are now mattresses you can buy online for close to the same price as a quality topper.

Now onto the recommendations…

The Mattress

When I first started shopping for an RV mattress, I figured I was in for a big investment.

Not true.

I found out that one of the best reviewed “Short Queen” mattress online came in at about $200. We ended up purchasing the Zinus Sleep Master Ultima Comfort Memory Foam Mattress and absolutely love it. In fact, I like it more that my more expensive mattress at home.

The Zinus Sleep Master Short Queen mattress comes in an 8-inch model for $199.99 and a 10-inch model for $229.99. We went with the 10-inch version, because…live a little, you know?

Many of our podcast listeners have purchased this same mattress, and we have only heard positive feedback so far. We have also received a lot of other recommendations from the RVFTA community and wanted to pass along the expertise (price listed is for queen, however other sizes are available):

Bottom Line? You bought an RV for all the comforts of home. Now you need to buy the mattress, so you actually have all the comforts of home.

The Bedding

Jayco White Hawk Bunkhouse

Bedding is a bit more simple than choosing a mattress. Basically, whatever you love at home, replicate in your trailer. I’ve gone through a couple of rounds of RV bedding, mostly because my boys’ preferences have changes as they have gotten older.

Top Tip #1: Look for great sales during the off season. I wanted a down comforter in the RV, but didn’t love the price tag. I ended up scoring a great deal on clearance at Target. We also love lightweight flannel sheets, and I waited until the end of the winter season to find a new set for 50% off.

Top Tip #2: Coordinate all the bedding in the camper, especially if you have a smaller RV. This will help your tiny space feel comfy and tidy, instead of chaotic. You can read about my ‘one-pop-of-color’ rule in our post about Easy RV Makeover Tips.

For the kids, I am in love with the Pillowfort Line from Target. They have some fun outdoorsy, animal prints that won’t make your camper look like a kid’s room.

This year, the boys decided they were too old for prints (sniff.) and wanted solid colors. They really like cozy bedding, so I got them each a set of the Room Essentials Jersey Sheets in a denim color, which gels nicely with my new blue-pop-of-color for the Toy Hauler.

I also found these Pillowfort Comforters for 50% off on clearance. Seriously. Stalk those Pillowfort aisles.

Wesley liked the Rugby Stripe

And Max and Theo chose the Navy Triangle Stitch Quilt

The Pillows

I’m going to admit it. Last camping season we were still carrying pillows back and forth from the camper to the house, because we all love our house pillows so much.

So this year, the family bedding splurge was a complete set of camper pillows. We bought 5 bamboo pillows and the boys are wild for them. They actually call them their panda pillows, which is an adorable mix up that I just can’t correct.

If you make spring camping resolutions (because, don’t we all???) let this year’s be about creating the most comfy, cozy camper bed that you can possibly imagine. If you’re not sleeping well in your RV, then there is no way that you’re fully enjoying the RV experience. How do we know? Because we finally fixed our camp bedding years into RVing, and just can’t believe it took that long.

Sweet dreams at the campground…

6 thoughts on “Making the RV Bed: Sleeping as Comfortably on the Road as You Do at Home

  1. We REALLY enjoy the RV Superbag as recommended by Mike Wendland on the Roadtrek group. It is compact to put away and since we don’t have a dedicated bed in a Class B (Pleasure-Way Excel TS) that is an important issue. It is so much better than just a regular sleeping bag because it has sheets and pillow cases that match and are velcroed into place, and they do stay. It is so comfy and really easy to get out and put away. Would recommend it for any one who does not have a dedicated bed, or even for someone in a popup or hybrid.

  2. I too hated schlepping my pillow back and forth. We found outstanding pillows at Costco. 2 pillows for $10. They are made of memory foam “pieces”. Sounds “jenky”, but they are great!

  3. Fun to read this post! The pillowcirt sheets you showed are the same ones my daughter picked out and we also chose to use navy as our pop of color for our new trailer. I took your advice this past winter when we were decorating our new rig and picked one color to go throughout and it was navy.

    After our last trip of 11 nights we realized we need to do something for our mattress. My back was super achy by the end of the trip. I’ll have to check out your recommendations.

  4. Good advice! One caveat: I ordered the sheets with the cute animals, and they’re 100% polyester. Way too hot for us to sleep in, and they don’t breathe the way cotton does. But they sure are cute!

  5. Did you put some other type of mattress on the bunks?

    After just two trips out, the kid are already complaining about the non-mattresses they have!

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