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RV Pillows of Hercules

| Updated Jul 29, 2014

Our camper van has a dinette in the rear.  It came with two long bolsters in back. They form seat backs on either side, and they make the rear single beds into a king bed when the table is used to span the aisle. Like many owners, “We hesitate to fiddle with what Roadtrek made perfect.” Then the light gradually went on: It’s our camper and we can modify it to suit our desires.  The more we used our camper the more little things we did to it that made it better fit our lifestyle.  First, we put one of the bolsters in attic storage. Dealing with the bolster for an afternoon nap was a pain.  Pillows were easily tossed aside.  And we could still make up a big bed with the bolster missing on one side.

Scatter Daisy Stripe RV Pillow
Scatter Daisy Stripe Lumbar Pillow

Scatter Daisy Square (Large)Second, we bought some outdoor pillows from Pier 1 Imports. The pillows were called “lumbar pillows” and are 21″ wide by 13″ high.  They beautifully serve the function of a seat back when the rear table is set up. And with a “king” bed they fill in the gap at the wall on one side.  We were so pleased with these pillows that we bought a total of 4 of them.  We made slipcovers for 2 of the lumber pillows with the blue striped outdoor fabric we had found at Jo Ann Fabrics.  We had used the same fabric for our TV cover and one side of our reversible rear window awning. All the pillows covers have zippers for removing them for washing. We treated them with Scotchgard stain preventive. These ‘lumbar” rv pillows were a perfect size and density to use for sleeping as well.  We just cover with a pillow case at night.  Their 13 inch height is perfect – big pillows shorten the length of the bed.  We have washed the pillows in a front loading washer and they came out looking like new.

Dinette Seats
Before Photo
Dinette - Driver Side
Colorful pillows used as seat back (on one side only).

We had some larger pillows we got several years before with blue and brown stripes.  But Pier 1 had coordinating 20″ square pillows in “Scatter Daisy” with the striped fabric around the border.  They looked like they would add some zip to the interior.

Many of the outdoor pillows from Pier 1 or Bed, Bath & Beyond will not enhance your RT interior. We found they are willing to let you take one outside the store and try it before you buy. The pillows are covered with a sturdy sun-fast fabric and firm enough to use as the bed head pillow with a suitable pillowcase.  Perhaps you can find something that is perfect for your camper!  See the before and after photos to see what a difference in appearance that made.

Why do we call them the Pillows of Hercules? Because they are tough, strong, and function well as seat backstops and bed pillows. We have seen wimpy indoor soft pillows that would not have worked so well. In spring stocks of outdoor pillow designs are at their peak.  By all means, try out any pillows you buy in your RV. Those that clash will scream at you. The right RV pillows will make your interior sing.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2014-07-29

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

5 Responses to “RV Pillows of Hercules”

August 04, 2014at1:13 pm, Susan Adame said:

We have lots of pillows that I made as well and we stuff them with our down jackets and other things that we are not currently using, but will need later. It saves on space and looks great.

August 04, 2014at8:20 am, Terri Reed said:

Another pillow idea which I found extremely useful is to buy a double size polartek blanket, and about five cubic feet of BB-sized polystyrene (styrofoam) beads, fold and sew the blanket on 2 edges, stuff the insides with the BBs, sew the top edge closed. It makes a wonderful body bean-bag or back rest on a bench that can be shaped anyway anyhow simply be punching it into the shape you want, and it’s lightweight enough to carry anywhere to lay down flat anyplace to take a snooze. It will attract pet hair, so I don’t recommend for pets. To clean, just spray with detergent water on a clothes line, and hose down for final rinse. The BBs are waterproof.

July 30, 2014at12:58 am, Emily said:

Love the pillows and the color scheme in your Roadtrek. Just my style. Good job!

July 29, 2014at10:13 am, Lynn said:

Linda – we also travel with 2-5 dogs all 40-55 lbs. But they are allowed on the seats. We bought two king size fleece blankets in blue that are almost a perfect match for our Roadtrek interior. You can see it on the seat in the photo with the colorful pillows. We cut one blanket in half to use to cover the dinette seats, and the other in 3 pieces to cover the 3 other seats. It keeps any muddy foot prints (but we try to wipe after wet walks) off the upholstery. We have Poodles so they don’t shed hair everywhere. They know what “move” means, so they get out of the way when needed! They love traveling

July 29, 2014at9:01 am, Linda said:

We travel with 3 or 4 dogs, from 10 to 60 pounds, in a 190 Popular Roadtrek. No one is allowed on the couch/bed, so we’re always tripping over someone. What the heck, they’re family, right? 😉

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