Clean Plus One: My Interior RV Cleaning Strategy

By:  Emily Rohrer

17th Jan, 17

Warning: By necessity, the photos in this post are going to show you what's in my fridge, closet and shower. Don't judge.

When you've got only about 350 square feet of living space, house cleaning is a breeze! It doesn't take much time, and also doesn't take much by way of cleaning chemicals or supplies. A good all-purpose cleaning spray, plain white vinegar, microfiber cloths and a vacuum cleaner can handle just about everything here in our Heartland Bighorn.

I spend 30-40 minutes every Monday morning on eliminating grit, and making our RV look good enough for company. We have no kids or pets onboard, so a weekly interval is adequate for us.

That said, I do try to add at least one "deep cleaning" item to my list each week, but even then I'm looking at less than an hour's worth of effort.

The Weekly Cleaning List:

- Wipe down kitchen and bathroom countertops and sinks with all-purpose spray cleaner

- Dampen kitchen sponge and disinfect for 30 seconds in microwave oven on high. The resulting steam loosens any gunk on the walls inside, which is then easily removed with a paper towel.

- Scrub interior of shower with a squirt of shampoo on a microfiber cloth; rinse

- Scour toilet bowl with mild soap; disinfect seat, rim, and lid with all-purpose spray cleaner on a paper towel

- Clean all mirrors using paper towels, and vinegar/water mix in a spray bottle

- Dust surfaces using a damp microfiber cloth

- Vacuum all floor surfaces

- Mop linoleum in bathroom and kitchen — by which I mean use one foot to scoot that microfiber cloth across the floors, after you've used it to clean everything else and given it a good rinse. No need to take up valuable closet space with a real mop!

The "Plus Ones" (1 per week, working out to about once a month for each)

- Wipe refrigerator shelves and trays with a solution of vinegar and water, which will clean off the crumbs and spills without leaving toxins behind. Clearly it's better to do this when you're low on groceries, especially if you have one of the 8 cubic-foot models like ours. I call it our glorified dorm fridge, and we usually pack it to the limit on grocery shopping day.

Wipe out the oven interior with more vinegar and water solution. Since I use mine so rarely, it actually gets dusty in there! Again, you don't want to use too many toxic chemicals where you store or prepare food; vinegar is a safe alternative.

- Flush out sink and shower drains to keep water flowing freely. I pour 1/8 cup of baking soda into each drain, followed by about 1/4 cup of plain white vinegar. The bubbling action will help jiggle loose some of the crud build-up inside the pipes. After it quits fizzing, I pour in 1-2 cups of boiling water to help flush everything through. (Caveat: This is the full extent of my knowledge of plumbing issues. If you've got something stubborn, consult an expert.)

- Gently vacuum the blinds and cornice boxes using a brush attachment. Those things get super dusty!

- Clean all window interiors using vinegar/water spray and a paper towel

- Pull all the shoes off the closet shelves and floor, and vacuum out the grit that has collected underneath them.

I'm sure others have even more tips for keeping camper, travel trailer and fifth wheel interiors dirt- and dust-free. Please share your favorite in the comments below.

Emily Rohrer

Emily Rohrer

Own Less, Do More

Goodbye suburbia. Hello, 2008 Heartland Bighorn! Rolling by the seats of our pants, searching for home.