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10 Great Tips to Sleep Better in Your RV

| Updated Oct 13, 2022

If you need to sleep better in your RV, you’re not alone! Most RVers need to make the following changes to improve their sleep while camping…

The crickets are chirping. The frog’s croaking. The owl’s hooting. The peaceful sounds of nature… keeping you awake at night!

Not to mention the obnoxious neighbors, A/C kicking on and off, and generators staying on beyond lights out. 

Your RV is designed to be a home away from home but “away” means new environments. And with it, new sounds and challenges to overcome to reach sleep. 

The following will help you overcome the various challenges you face when trying to get a restful night’s sleep while camping.

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How to Sleep Better in Your RV

From uncomfortable beds to noisy neighbors, here are the best tips for sleeping better while camping. For best results, use all of the tips combined!

1. Upgrade Your RV Mattress

RV mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable. In fact, you should factor in the cost of buying a new mattress whenever you buy an RV, because the ones they come with just don’t cut it! (Ask any seasoned RVer.)

So, the first and foremost thing you should do to get better sleep in your rv is to get a new mattress. Here are a couple resources to help:

2. Upgrade Your RV Bedding

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Now that you have a new mattress, you don’t want to cover it with cheap, scratchy materials. Nor do you want to use ill-fitting sheets and blankets that aren’t designed specifically for your rv-size mattress.

Refuse the urge to use extra bedding from your house and invest in a great quality set for your RV. 

Here are some helpful resources:

3. Invest in Noise Canceling Headphones or Earplugs

Sleep Better in Your RV

If you sleep on your back, you can use high-quality noise canceling headphones to do exactly what their name implies. They’ll block out the new and unpredictable sounds outside your RV, helping you fall asleep. 

If you’re a side sleeper or move around at night (or want a cheaper option), ear plugs will do the trick, too. I recommend always keeping these reusable noise canceling ear plugs in your RV. They don’t take up hardly any space and you’ll never know when you’ll need them. You’ll be grateful you have them when you do. 

4. Use Ambient Sound Machine

Use Ambient Sound Machine Sleep Better in Your RV

Instead of blocking your ears, you could block unwanted sound instead. An ambient noise machine can drown out disruptive noises with either white noise or peaceful soundscapes. 

It may take a little getting used to or testing out different sound options. But, once you find your sound sweet spot, you’ll fall asleep and stay asleep much more easily. 

5. Invest in Quality RV Leveler & Stabilizers

Have you ever felt like you’re holding yourself in place in your RV bed? Or woke up with a headache? Or is your RV a-rockin’ through the night for no good reason?

If so, you’ve realized you’ve been taking a level sleeping surface for granted all these years at your house. 

Many people inherit a leveler and jack stabilizers from the previous owner of their RV. Or, if you bought brand new, you might have purchased whatever the salesperson told you to. 

But not all rigs are created equal. Maybe you purchased stabilizers, but they don’t work well with your particular RV. Or your manual leveler leaves you frustrated and still unlevel.

If you want better sleep (and better comfort in your RV overall), I recommend carefully choosing a quality RV leveling system or stabilizers.

More Tips to Sleep Better in Your RV

6. Maintain a Sleep Schedule

I know it’s hard when you’re on vacation to maintain a schedule you practice at home. But keeping a similar sleep schedule while RVing will help keep your circadian rhythm on track. Your body will naturally fall asleep easier if it “knows” it’s time for bed.

One main suggestion I have specific to RVers is to follow the 330 Rule. This will ensure you get to camp with plenty of time to set up, have dinner, and enjoy your evening before turning in for the night.

The 330 Rule is traveling no more than 330 miles a day or stop by 3:30PM each day. Because of its positive effect on the entire road trip, RVers everywhere have embraced this rule. I suggest you do the same.

We even have 330 Rule coffee mugs and t-shirts as a reminder in our RV Lifestyle shop.

7. Choose Your Site Carefully

Campground Laundry Etiquette

When choosing a campsite, consider nearby noise creators. While it’s nice to be close to the laundry room and bathroom, that also means lots of people will be passing back and forth by your RV at all hours.

The same is true for the entrance to trails and areas where people walk their dogs.

Also think about where large groups and families may prefer to camp and choose a spot away from them. For instance, away from the pool and playground. 

Some campgrounds even offer “adult only” sections that are separate from family campsites.

8. Know How to Confront Noisy Neighbors

While you may be able to choose your campsite, you can’t choose your neighbors. Unfortunately, you’ll get some bad camping neighbors from time to time that either don’t realize they’re being too noisy or don’t care.

When it comes to handling bad camping neighbors, I recommend reading the following:

9. No Screens In Bed

Sleep Better in Your RV - no phones

We’ve all heard that watching tv or playing on your phone before bed makes falling asleep more difficult. We’ve all heard that because it’s true.

Multiple resources suggest you turn off screens at least 1 hour before you go to bed. This allows your mind and eyes to relax and recover from the high stimulation and blue light screens emit. 

10. Listen to Audiobook or Read Before Bed

Many of us love to RV because it takes us away from our To-Do lists at work and at home. However, those To-Do lists often become stowaways in our mind on our vacation. 

We end up lying awake at night, thinking and worrying about things that need done… or anything really. Our minds just can’t seem to stop wandering.

Listening to an audiobook or reading before bed can help focus your mind on one thing. It transports us to another place where we don’t have to think… just read or listen.

Keep in mind, that e-readers are great for bringing lots of books in a compact bundle; however, their blue light can keep us awake. (Bringing us back to Tip #9 above). Some e-readers have night-time settings to help alleviate this.

Your best bet is to read a printed book using a rechargeable clip-on reading light. Oh, and by the way, I have a list of the 10 Best Books to Read While Camping.

What are your Sleep Better in Your RV tips?

Let us know in the comments!

Check out this Southwest Adventure Guide Bundle (Arizona, Utah, & Colorado)

10 Great Tips to Sleep Better in Your RV 1

When Jennifer and I travel to the southwest, we are continually amazed at the majesty and beauty this country has to offer. And it's really hard to stay in just one state! So we created this Bundle for you in case you like to travel as we do. 

We put together our Southern Utah Guide, Colorado Guide, and our NEW Arizona Guide into this 3-State Bundle at a very reduced price!

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All together these guides are over 300 pages of content! 

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-10-13

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.

7 Responses to “10 Great Tips to Sleep Better in Your RV”

June 03, 2023at12:21 pm, L Mason said:

Cover the dinette sleep area with a stretchy bamboo sheet, add toppers, put rubber mats under mattresses, bring extra pillows


October 13, 2022at5:05 pm, Linda Fox said:

We put a featherbed topper on the mattress and have a small tabletop fan we use to block outside noise. Having blackout shades on the bedroom windows is a huge plus!


October 14, 2022at11:11 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Great tips, Linda – thanks for sharing! Team RV Lifestyle


October 13, 2022at9:33 am, Mike Cook said:

My wife and I sleep better in our Travel Trailer by putting a topper on the mattress that came in the camper. (The same topper we have on our home mattress). This way there’s not a big difference in the feel as you lay on it.


October 13, 2022at10:33 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Using a topper is a great tip – Thanks for sharing, Mike! Team RV Lifestyle


October 14, 2022at7:27 am, Lisa Christman said:

We replaced our MH mattress with a Thread & Needle (boxed mattress) for a great sleep experience.
We use high quality (Soft Surroundings) bedding/linens.
I like airflow so we have a bedside fan (great for white noise) and another up on the bureau. If we’re in warm weather we set the AC on low temps for a cool night’s sleep. If colder weather we prefer no heat but we dont camp in super cold climates.


October 14, 2022at11:13 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

All great tips – thanks, Lisa! Team RV Lifestyle


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