‘Tis the Season: How to Decorate Your RV for the Holidays

Oct 14, 2020 | Rigs

‘Tis the Season: How to Decorate Your RV for the Holidays

Are you traveling or living in your RV this holiday season? Here are some easy and affordable ways to make your space feel more festive, cozy, and fun.

By Sandra Crespo

Photo: Floshea Harrigan

Celebrating holidays in the tight quarters of an RV can lend itself to creativity and family bonding. I will always cherish the memories I’ve made during the fall and winter months since we’ve been full-timers. Even in our small space, we’ve managed to enjoy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with snacks, crafts, and holiday music. 

If you live in your RV, one of the biggest challenges with decorating it for the holidays is figuring out how to store your decorations when not in use. Once I got creative with storage underneath our bed, I was able to easily hide away holiday decor, so now I can access our festive items when it’s time to celebrate in our tiny home on wheels.

Tips for Decorating Your RV for the Holidays

When it comes to holiday decoration ideas for your RV, start by choosing a theme. This will give you some direction when you’re shopping. For Halloween, do you want a haunted theme or more general fall decor? For Thanksgiving, you can go in a direction that’s centered around the food or you can go with a general cozy vibe with flannel and candles. For Christmas, do you want traditional decorations in red and green, or do you prefer a more neutral color palette?

If you have a small RV with minimal storage, consider buying less expensive decorations that you don’t mind donating after the holidays are over. In this case, shop at stores like Dollar Tree, Target, or Walmart.

Another tip is to decorate vertically, which will keep your countertops clear. Hang items around the slides, on doors, or from your lights. It’s tempting to go overboard buying cute decor that sits on your counters, but it will quickly leave you with little to no usable space.

Garlands are versatile decorations that you can use for different holidays, and they don’t take up much storage space. For Halloween, hang pumpkins on your garland; for Thanksgiving, swap the pumpkins for leaves and pinecones; and for Christmas, add fairy lights and ribbons.

Festive throw pillows and blankets are another easy and inexpensive way to step up your RV holiday decor game. It’s a small change that will make your RV feel cozy and tie everything together. If you want to save on holiday decorations, shop right after the holiday for next year as items are often discounted to at least 50 percent. 

Holiday Decoration Ideas for Your RV: Halloween

We’ve celebrated Halloween differently every year since being full-timers. One year we spent it traveling and another at Cracker Barrel. However, RV parks and campgrounds will have celebrations of their own, making it an ideal holiday to be on the road for. 

Last year we enjoyed early Halloween festivities in a campground in Maine, right before it closed for the season. On the actual holiday, we trick-or-treated in a small town we were staying in. No matter where we are, we try to give our kids a festive experience.

Dad taking a photo of kids dressed up for Halloween in front of decorated RV
Photo: Sandra Crespo

Spiderwebs are Halloween staples for our family; they’re inexpensive and have an impact both inside and outside the RV. I also like to use caution tape on the doors, windows, and deck of our RV, as well as spooky outdoor lights.

Another easy way to add Halloween and fall decorations to your RV is with a visit to a pumpkin farm. Here you can purchase low-priced and smaller pumpkins to spruce up your outdoor space. (Learn how to carve your own RV trailer pumpkin here.) 

Holiday Decoration Ideas for Your RV: Thanksgiving

While you can definitely cook a full Thanksgiving meal in an RV, it’s often easier to purchase something pre-made. Many grocery stores sell pre-made Thanksgiving dishes that include everything from appetizers to turkey or ham, plus desserts. Check with stores near the campground you’re staying at for Thanksgiving and pre-order before the deadline. If you aren’t traveling far from home, you can also make some of your dishes ahead of time to take on the road with you.

Festive fall tray as decoration with flowers and pumpkin
Photo: Sandra Crespo
Exterior of RV front door with pumpkins and seasonal fall flowers
Photo: Floshea Harrigan

For Thanksgiving decorations in the RV, I always buy a new kitchen towel. Leftover pumpkins from Halloween can also double as Thanksgiving decor. Buying fall leaves from a dollar store and collecting acorns and displaying them in mason jars are two low-cost options that add a festive feeling to the RV.

This year, I’m going to buy a small stack of hay and use it to decorate outside our RV door with a few pumpkins. I’m planning on using it throughout the fall season and will dispose of it after the holidays. For even more inspiration, check out what your RV neighbors at the campground are doing. 

Holiday Decoration Ideas for Your RV: Winter Holidays

Our lack of holiday tradition has itself become a tradition. We’ve celebrated Christmas in different RV resorts and campgrounds each year since we became full-timers. This has allowed us to experience whatever weather and location we choose.

Normally, we spend the winter holidays in Florida because of the RV-friendly weather, but last year we decided to travel up north for a different experience. And because we were chasing the snow, I went with a winter wonderland theme inside the RV. I bought a small tree that fits on top of the counter space above our fireplace and hung garlands and lights on the borders of our slides. I also hung large snowflakes to dangle from the RV’s interior lights.

Two children building gingerbread house in an RV living room
Photo: Sandra Crespo

For the outside, lights are an easy way to add a festive feel to your RV. Whether you choose icicle lights on the roof or awning, or twinkling lights around the entire RV, you have endless options to choose from. Use small, clear Command Hooks on the outside of your RV and leave them up year-round so you can easily string your lights again the following year. 

One of the challenges with RV living during the holidays is gift-giving. If we’re away from friends and family, we buy gifts online and look to give experiences, like camping passes or a spa gift card, over things. We also have pared down on the number of gifts we give each other as an immediate family and instead enjoy an activity like ice skating or a sleigh ride. One of the benefits of RVing is experiencing a new location, so we like to take every opportunity we can to enjoy the surrounding area.

Ready to Have Some Fun Decorating?

Decorating your RV for each season doesn’t have to be complicated. Even just a few simple changes make a big difference when you’re in a small space.

Whether you live in your RV full time or you use it for trips throughout the year, decorating your RV seasonally makes traveling even more exciting. We love celebrating the holidays in our RV because it allows us to have a new experience each time, either with family and friends, or just the four of us. And, when you get the chance to experience seasons in different parts of the country, it makes each holiday that much more memorable.

What’s your favorite holiday to celebrate in your RV? Share photos of your RV decorated for fall and winter and tag @togo_rv on social media for a chance to be featured on our Instagram. 

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Sandra Crespo

Sandra has been living in a toy hauler RV with her fiance and two kids since 2016. They travel the U.S. collecting experiences and living out their own definition of freedom. They are teaching their children by example, using the country as their classroom and teaching them how to live their dreams.