RV camping should be a peaceful retreat from ordinary life. But if you wake up with back pain on every excursion, it’s time to get a new RV mattress. However, don’t begin your search until you follow these four (and money-saving) tips.
Don’t get a new RV mattress until you:
1. Consider how you’ll swap mattresses
Many smaller RVs are constructed around the sleeping quarters. Manufacturers put the mattress in place and then build the RV. Some RVers must cut a mattress in half to get it through the doorway and replace it with their only option, which is a foam mattress to fit inside.
2. Prepare to shop around
When you`re shopping to get a new RV mattress, it isn’t as easy as driving to the local furniture store. RV mattresses don’t have the same exact dimensions as domestic mattresses, even though manufacturers still label them “King” or “Queen” sizes. In addition, when you`re looking to get a new RV mattress, remember many RV bedrooms have a corner of the bed lopped off in order to accommodate interior shelves or doors. If your RV mattress needs to be an odd shape, you’ll spend even more time shopping around.
3. Measure the RV bed platform (and the mattress)
If you’ve tried to put queen-size fitted sheets on a RV mattress you know they don’t fit. That’s because RV mattress sizes are different from standard ones. Look at these dimensions from Mattress Insider:
- RV Full: 53″ x 75″
- Short Queen: 60″ x 75″
- RV Queen: 60″ x 80″
- RV King: 72″ x 75″
- RV King: 72″ x 80″
Simply, measure the platform for the size, then measure the air space between the mattress and walls.
4. Select RV mattress material
When shopping for the typical RV queen mattress, expect to choose between:
Coil Spring Mattresses: These replicate the feel of traditional mattresses. Their structure is supported by interior coils and a thick layer of foam creates comfort without adding weight. Quality and longevity varies depending on use and materials. Cost: $300+
Foam Mattresses: Foam mattresses are the least expensive, and easiest to modify. Simply, use an electric cutting knife so it can fit the platform. These are made of 100 percent petroleum and unless you line it with an air circulation liner, the underside can build up mildew. Cost: $100-$800
Memory Foam: By constructing memory foam mattresses with multiple layers of differing densities, manufacturers of memory foam mattresses can provide better support. Further, the drawback is that memory foam mattress are usually made from petroleum. They’re also a mildew breeding ground. Cost: $400 – $800
RV Air Mattress: Two types of air mattresses for RVs exist. These include typical camping air mattress and costlier adjustable bed air mattress like those made for traditional homes. The first is a good choice for occasional RVers with strong backs. The second is a wise investment for full-time RVers. The drawbacks? Cost and altitude – you’ll need to adjust it for high altitudes. An air camping mattress sets you back less than $100. High end versions exceed $800.
If cost is a major concern, don’t get a new RV mattress until you try some simple RV hacks. For instance, a futon mattress, foam RV mattress topper, a goose down feather bed topper or a new hi-density mattress topper, are all great temporary measures to get a better night’s sleep. In the meantime, keep shopping around until you find one the best RV mattress that works for your rig and wallet.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.