The pandemic is changing the way Americans are vacationing. Concerns about social distancing have made communal travel by plane or train less appealing, and more Americans are taking road trips to satisfy their wanderlust. In a recent survey by the RV Industry Association, twenty-percent of respondents were more interested in traveling by recreational vehicles (RV) than traveling by plane, car, camping, cruises, or staying in vacation rentals. However, there is still anxiety about the cleanliness of hotels and public restrooms, and fifty-one percent of those planning on taking an RV trip cited health concerns as the reason for their increased interest in RVs. RVs, especially those with their own bathrooms, allow you to travel long distances without interacting with people outside your bubble.
If you are new to RV ownership or jumping back on the road after a long break, there are many things to consider when staying in an RV for an extended period of time. Rest and relaxation are a vital part of any vacation, and if you want to replicate the feeling of your home mattress, a standard RV mattress may not do the trick.
Most RVs come with a standard five or six inch memory foam mattress, and a low-quality, low-profile mattress will not be very comfortable if you are hitting the road for multiple nights. RV mattresses should also be replaced every 8-10 years, so if it has been a while since you last hit the road, you may want to consider upgrading your existing mattress.
Here are a few things you need to consider when shopping for a replacement mattress.
The size of the RV sleeping area may be smaller than you are used to.
RV mattresses are designed to maximize the limited space in a camper and a regular size mattress may be too large for the sleeping area. It is important to measure the bed platform before starting your mattress search so you can determine whether you will need a standard or custom-sized mattress.
Standard RV Sizes
Many manufacturers carry the following standard RV mattress sizes:
Twin (Standard and XL)
To save space, RV twin beds are often disguised as seating and can be arranged side-by-side or as bunk beds. Twin mattresses can measure the same as a single bed at home – 39”x75” or the Twin XL size – 39”x 80”, commonly found in college dorms.
Full or Double RV
Full or Double typically refer to the same size and can comfortably sleep one adult. RV Full mattresses measure 54”x 75” and are actually one inch wider than a standard full bed. It is the only instance where the RV version is larger.
Short Full or Three-Quarter Queen
A Short Full and a Three-Quarter Queen are different names for the same size – 48”x 74”.
Queen (Standard, RV or Short, and Olympic)
A standard queen mattress measures 60” x 80” while an RV queen mattress, sometimes referred to as a queen short, is five inches shorter at 60” x 75”. Olympic Queens are less common and are six inches wider than a standard queen at 66”x 80”.
King (Standard and RV or Short)
An RV or a Short King mattress is as long as a standard king, but it’s narrower by four inches. Standard King mattresses measure 76”x 80” and an RV or Short King measures 72”x 80”.
RVs can often have irregular sized sleeping areas. If your sleeping area does not match any of the standard dimensions, you may need a custom size mattress. If you determine that your sleeping area is not a perfect rectangle or has an angled corner, Custom Mattress Makers can help create a custom solution for your RV.
The additional weight from the mattress can affect your RVs performance and fuel economy.
A thick, heavy mattress that adds extra weight to your RV can affect your vehicle’s performance on the road and burn extra fuel. The mattresses that come with RVs are usually thinner than a regular mattress to minimize weight. When choosing the type of mattress for your RV, it is important to find a balance between weight and comfort. For instance, a latex mattress will be much heavier than an innerspring, foam or hybrid mattresses. If you are used to a latex mattress, try a hybrid mattress that combines latex upholstery with an innerspring mattress that will give a similar bounce with less weight. Hybrid mattresses that combine a steel coil support like an innerspring or encased coil system with poly-foam or memory foam on top are also great options.
The thickness of the mattress also adds additional weight and does not always guarantee additional comfort. Layers of high quality material can provide just as much comfort in a lower profile. Check out our Cape - 6 inch Hybrid Coil Mattress; its thinner profile reduces the load on your camper without forgoing comfort.
Choose the right mattress for how you sleep.
Even in an RV, mattress firmness plays a large role in how comfortable your sleep experience is. When shopping for an RV mattress it is important to consider your sleeping style while considering firmness.
For people who sleep on their side, a medium to soft (or plush) mattress works best to cushion pressure points in the hips and shoulders. A softer mattress, like our Cocoa- Soft Latex Mattress and the Cocoa- Gel Mattress, allows the body to sink enough to keep the spine aligned.
Back sleepers need more support in their lower back and softer mattresses can cause the body to sink and round the spine. People who sleep on their backs should try firmer mattresses like our Cocoa- Firm Latex Mattress and the Daytona- Firm Mattress.
Stomach sleepers face similar issues to back sleepers and need to avoid very soft mattresses that can cause them to sink into the mattress. The abdomen and pelvis tend to sink further than the back, so a medium to firm mattress, like our Cape- 6-inch Hybrid Coil Mattress and the Cocoa- Firm Latex Mattress, will offer support without extending the spine.
If you sleep in more than one position, a medium to firm mattress offers enough flexibility to support multiple pressure points. Try the Cocoa- Firm Latex Mattress, our medium-firm option.
Take care of your mattress, especially while you are on the road.
Mattresses can take a beating during your excursions, and proper care and maintenance is key to extending its life. Investing in a waterproof mattress cover is the first step to protecting the mattress from liquids, dirt, and other allergens you may encounter during travel. Condensation is also a common problem in RVs when traveling in cold or humid weather. A waterproof mattress protector may prevent mildew from forming at the base of your mattress if it is lying on a cold sleeping platform.
RV mattresses should also be cleaned after every trip. To clean your mattress, after removing the bedding, vacuum the mattress to pick up any dust and debris that could be lingering on the surface. If possible, take the mattress outside of the RV to receive fresh air and UV sunlight, a natural way to eliminate bacteria. If not, a hand-held garment steamer can be used on the surface to get rid of germs and dust mites. Spot treat any surface stains with a mattress safe cleaner. If your mattress needs deodorizing, cover the surface with a light layer of baking soda and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it off. Make sure your mattress is fully dry before making the bed to prevent mold and mildew from forming.
Finally, investing in quality bedding will truly make your bed feel like your home on the road. Many retailers sell bedding that fit RV-sized mattresses. If your preferred sheets do not come in an RV size, elastic sheet clips can help gather the extra fabric and secure the sheet in place.
To find the perfect mattress for your RV, contact Custom Mattress Makers to create a solution that fits your RV and your sleeping needs. Custom Mattress Makers can help create a custom solution for your RV. Click HERE to send us an email.