How To Sleep Better In A Camper: Overcoming RV Sleep Challenges

Kelly Headshot

By Kelly Beasley

Picture this: You’re on an amazing road trip, exploring breathtaking landscapes and creating unforgettable memories.

But after a long day, you need a restful night’s sleep to recharge for the next day’s adventures. So, how do you sleep better in an RV?

Jayco Starcraft caravan in Australia

We’ve got you covered with our tried-and-tested tips for improving sleep quality in an RV, making your sleeping experience as comfortable as possible.

Let’s dive into solving RV sleep issues!

Short Summary

  • Upgrade your RV bedding and mattress for ultimate comfort
  • Block out brightness with blackout curtains, sleep masks, or DIY window coverings
  • Enhance your sleeping experience with SleepPhones®, mattress underlays & more!

Choosing The Right Mattress And Bedding For Your RV

We all know the feeling of waking up after a restless night’s sleep - it’s frustrating.

Two quick ways you can sleep better in an RV are these: Get a better RV mattress and block excessive light from coming in at RV parks and campgrounds.

So let's start with the RV mattress issue. Replacing your RV mattress can significantly improve your sleep quality. Just imagine how much more enjoyable your camping trip will be when you’re well-rested and ready to take on the day’s adventures!

Investing In A Quality Mattress

In some cases, standard household mattresses can be used in a camper for a great night’s sleep. But you may need to get a special RV mattress size for your camper bed platform.

Memory foam mattresses are particularly popular among RV owners, as they provide superior comfort and don't shake when one person rolls over.

Alternatively, you might be surprised at what a difference a new RV mattress topper can make. If your camper mattress is decent but not quite at the level of softness you like, a topper might do the trick without replacing the whole mattress.

Pillow top mattress

Selecting The Right Bedding

Investing in quality RV bedding ensures a comfortable and cozy sleep environment for better sleep quality in RVs. Opt for bedding that fits the mattress size and is suitable for the RV’s temperature conditions.

Temps can fluctuate depending on where you are in the country, so be sure to get covers that are good for various temperatures for your travel trailer or motorhome bed. The right bedding makes a big difference.

After all, a good night's sleep is essential for a comfortable camping trip, just as much as a good night’s sleep at home. Investing in the right quality bedding and using a sleep mask if things are bright can help you get the restful night's sleep you need for a successful camping trip.

Optimizing Temperature And Ventilation

The recommended temperature range for sleeping in an RV is between 60-67 °F (15-19 °C). However, less insulation, inefficient AC units, and humidity or dryness can make temperature control in a recreational vehicle a challenge.

To optimize temperature and ventilation, consider using fans, air conditioning, or opening bedroom windows to regulate temperature.

Thermometer reading Celcius

Additionally, use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels and keep the RV well-ventilated.

You can use your furnace for heat. But your furnace may be too noisy to sleep with, so you could get a portable propane heater such as a Wave Heater or Big Buddy Heater.

Sleep headphones can also help block out noise. These few tips make you one step closer to good RV sleep in your fifth wheel, travel trailer, or motorhome.

Creating A Safe And Secure Sleeping Environment

Feeling safe while sleeping in a recreational vehicle is crucial for a good night’s sleep.

To create a safe and secure sleeping environment, install a deadbolt lock on the door, park in well-lit areas, and consider investing in self-defense tools such as pepper spray.

Always be sure to lock your windows. Bears can and do open doors and windows alike.

Stay away from shady-looking and feeling areas or campgrounds.

Although some RVers feel less safe when sleeping in their RV compared to a traditional home, taking these precautions can put your mind at ease and help you sleep better at night.

Minimizing Outside Noise Disturbances

I don’t know if you knew this, but the majority of RVers claim to have been regularly woken up by outside noise. This might make it challenging to get a restful night’s sleep. People walk by outside chatting, dogs bark, vehicles are noisy, generators are loud, and more.

Minimizing outside noise disturbances leads to better sleep for most RV owners. Consider using noise-canceling headphones, earplugs, or ambient noise machines to block out unwanted sounds for a better night's sleep.

Kid yelling

Ambient sound machines, for example, can dramatically minimize outside noise disturbances and lead to much better sleep in an RV by providing white noise.

With the right tools, you can enjoy the peaceful soundscapes of the great outdoors without being disturbed by sounds from neighbors and other things.

Finding The Ideal Sleep Location

Choosing a quiet campsite can minimize outside noise disturbances and lead to far better sleep in an RV. Go for spots at the end of a street with few neighbors.

National and State Parks are the best places to get a good night’s sleep, as they tend to have less bright lights and noise pollution compared to a typical RV park.

Boondocking, or camping in isolated areas without utility hookups, is almost always the best option for a peaceful night’s sleep.

The key is finding a location that suits most of your needs and preferences (cellular connection, views, proximity to amenities or super remote, etc.).

If in a campground or somewhere outside light penetrates your environment, consider using a sleep mask to block out light for a more restful night.

Establishing A Consistent Sleep Routine

Staying on a consistent sleep schedule helps your body’s circadian rhythm maintain a healthy rhythm of rest and alertness. You should try maintaining healthy sleep habits in an RV.

Doing this lets you keep your body in tune with its optimal cycle. To help establish a consistent sleep routine, follow the 330 Rule: travel no more than 330 miles a day or stop by 3:30 PM each day.

This allows you enough time to get ready and have dinner. You can also relax and enjoy your evening before getting some rest.

With a regular sleep schedule and the 330 Rule in place, you’ll be well-rested and ready for the next day’s adventures.

Young woman sleeping in bed

Enhancing RV Sleep Quality With Relaxation Techniques

After an exciting day of exploring and adventuring, it’s important to unwind and relax before heading to bed to ensure good RV sleep.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and focusing on pleasant thoughts can help enhance rest in an RV.

Box breathingyoga nidra, and meditation are particularly effective at helping you unwind and fall asleep faster. Try these relaxation techniques and see how they improve your rest quality.

Managing Light Exposure For Better Sleep

Excess brightness can hinder your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep and increase the temperature within the RV.

To manage brightness exposure for better sleep, use blackout curtains, sleep masks, or DIY window coverings to block out excess light from the campground.

Blackout curtains can help stave off light and increase privacy, leading to better sleep in an RV. With these light-blocking solutions in place, you’ll be on your way to a better night’s sleep.

Dealing With Noisy Neighbors And Pets

Noisy neighbors and pets can be a challenge when trying to fall asleep in an RV (they have notoriously thin walls).

This can be tricky to do, but you can try to communicate with neighboring campers about quiet hours and noise levels. Also, consider investing in sleep headphones or reusable noise-canceling earplugs.

Dog looking upwards

In addition, keeping pets off the bed can lead to better sleep for you and your pet. With these strategies in place, you’ll enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep without disturbances.

If your pet is easily triggered by noises at night, with your RV's thin walls, you may need to use a white noise machine to keep them quiet at night or during the day while camping.

Overcoming sleep disturbances in an RV like these aren't too hard to deal with.

Tips For Sleeping Better With RV Sleep Accessories

Sleep accessories can make all the difference in your RV sleeping experience. Sleep headphones, such as SleepPhones®, block out noise and double up as a headband and eye mask for eliminating light.

Mattress underlays for your bed can help control humidity and temperature, providing a more comfortable sleeping environment.

Quality levelers and stabilizers provide a stable sleeping surface, ensuring better comfort in the RV overall. With these sleep accessories, you’ll be well on your way to a restful night’s sleep in your camper.


In conclusion, improving your sleep in an RV involves a combination of factors. Overcoming sleep challenges in an RV involves a few things, such as:

  • Getting a new mattress or topper
  • Choosing the right bedding
  • Optimizing temperature and ventilation
  • Creating a safe and secure sleeping environment
  • Minimizing outside noise disturbances
  • Finding the ideal sleep location
  • Establishing a consistent sleep routine
  • Enhancing sleep with relaxation techniques
  • Dealing with noisy neighbors and pets
  • Using RV sleep accessories.

By taking these easy steps, you’ll be on your way to a better night’s sleep, ensuring you’re well-rested and ready to tackle the next day’s adventures.

No more RV sleep challenges for you! 

Camp chair and table with wine and fruit

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Practical To Live In An RV Full-Time?

Living in an RV full-time can be a practical and enjoyable experience with the right planning. There are costs to consider, such as campsite fees, fuel, RV payments, and activities while traveling.

You also need to factor in maintenance, repairs, groceries, mobile phones, WiFi, insurance, and other daily costs.

If you’re up for the challenge, living in an RV is an exciting adventure!

Can You Live Comfortably In An RV?

Living comfortably in an RV is an attainable reality and can even be a budget-friendly option with the right planning.

Boondocking and investing in upgrades like solar panels and new batteries can help you keep your costs down from RV parks while giving you an experience of a lifetime!

With all the amenities available for RVs, it’s easy to customize your life on the road and make it comfortable for you and your family.

What Is The Recommended Temperature Range For Sleeping in An RV?

It’s recommended to sleep in an RV with a comfortable temperature range between 60-67°F (15-19°C) - so get ready for some restful sleep!

Kelly Headshot

I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}