Do RVers decorate their campers for Christmas and other holidays? You better believe it!
In fact, many campgrounds have contests for the best RV Christmas decorations with prizes to make getting into the holiday spirit even more exciting!
If you’ve got a Christmas camping vacation planned and you’re unsure what to do to decorate your RV, I’ve put together 11 ideas to help inspire you.
Come along to learn what RVers do at Christmas time and see if you want to join in on the fun!
10 Great RV Christmas Decorating Ideas
The key to decorating a small space like an RV for any holiday is to keep the displays simple, as you don’t want to decrease living space; only enhance it.
Most RVs have a very neutral decor inside, and exteriors are typically in the tan, cream, brown, or beige range, so adding reds, greens, silver, and golds really pop at Christmastime.
Lighting is another feature that most RVers already have covered for outdoor spaces, such as awning string lights, rope lights around patios, or LED strip lighting. It’s easy to add to these lighting elements to make your campsite and RV more festive without much effort.
Check out these easy ideas to deck the RV halls in holiday cheer!
1. Rethink the Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are a traditional holiday display, but finding space inside most RVs for even a small one is challenging.
The best solution is to select a tall skinny Christmas tree with flexible branches, so you can reduce the size even further by pushing down the back branches and tucking it closer to the wall. This brand offers thin trees in many heights so that you can find the one most suitable for your RV type.
I love the look of this style of tree, as it’s very rustic and fits in well with the holiday camping theme. I also find the sparseness of the branches makes it much easier to decorate and tuck down for storage once the holiday is over.
Another great option is to get a real or faux tree and set it up outside on your RV patio. With an outdoor tree, you can enjoy the festive look and lights yet still have full use of your RV’s interior space.
Placing an outdoor tree under your awning creates protection and a cozy feel and is a great way to allow “Santa” to visit and leave presents for the little ones without any hassle.
Many “experts” like to suggest going with a wall-hung tree, but the reality is that most RVs have very little wall space for hanging anything, let alone a large decoration.
2. Create a Wreath
Most RVers bypass the door and instead love to hang a giant wreath on the front of their motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer where everyone can see it.
The problem with this trend is that storing such a large decoration inside the RV can be difficult.
The best solution to get around this issue is to create a wreath from natural materials found around your campsite or campground. I love scavenging around the local area to see what I can find to make my wreath each year!
Pine boughs, tree branches, vines, tall grasses, and even palm fronds can be woven or tied into a wreath shape. Then, add pinecones, flowers, leaves, fruit, or seed pods for decoration and hang or tie it on with a colorful ribbon.
Once Christmas is over, you can easily remove the ribbon, cut apart the wreath and leave the materials to decompose in a wooded area or even burn it in your firepit.
Make sure you aren’t trespassing or causing harm to any plants when you harvest materials to make a wreath. Creating a wreath from scratch is fun and free and will add new memories to your holiday camping trips.
Another option is to carry along a reusable faux wreath and decorate it as a family before hanging it on your camper. Adding a new ornament with the year and camping destination is a great way to start a tradition that will grow with each holiday trip.
Most artificial wreaths are reasonably thin and flexible so that you can slip them into a storage compartment on top of your standard camping gear.
3. Add Some “Swag”
Draping your camper with swags of garland instantly delivers holiday cheer. My favorite spots to decorate are:
- Over interior windows
- Along tops of cabinets
- Over exterior doors and windows
- Along bottom of awning rail
- Around top edge of RV exterior
For the indoor garland, you can go with paper chains of snowflakes, create or purchase strings of color-themed pom-poms, or wire together a series of poinsettia flowers in place of standard artificial green pine boughs.
I find the bright colors pop against bland RV interiors versus the green on pine garlands.
For the outdoor garland, the best option is to stick to the traditional long strands and tie on colorful ornaments and weather-resistant ribbons, so you don’t have to worry about rain or snow ruining your work.
If you want a more natural holiday decorating theme, tuck in found branches, berries, pinecones, or shells.
Hang all the garlands using small 3M Command hooks that are easy to remove without harming your camper’s surfaces.
TIP: Avoid using hot glue to attach decorations to outdoor wreaths or garlands, as the weather extremes often cause it to fail. I find a clear silicone all-weather adhesive is better, or use fishing line or wire for a durable hold.
4. Add Sparkle With Lights
What is Christmas decorating without lights? Unfortunately, for RVing, the addition of many strings of lights can be problematic.
Not only will you need to have cords running around to plug everything in, but you’ll be taxing your campsite and camper’s electric system. Too many harsh lights will also annoy camping neighbors who may not appreciate the glare through their windows at night.
I find the absolute best way to avoid these problems is to go with solar or battery-operated LED light strings when possible and use a timer on standard 110-volt plug-in strands.
A few packs of LED fairy lights with rechargeable batteries are ideal for interior garlands and trees, and the light they emit is softer and easier on the eyes.
I love that you can switch colors or adjust the settings, so the lights twinkle or fade in and out for an even more festive ambiance. If you plan to use these lights outside, ensure you buy a set that has a waterproof casing.
Solar LED string lights are another excellent option for outdoor Christmas lighting for RVs, These lights only require a few hours of sunlight on the panel each day to have your campsite glowing beautifully in the evening hours.
I only use solar string lights for my outdoor RV decorating and use them all year long. I set the panels on the roof of my camper once I set up at each new campsite and drape the lighting along my awning rails and around the perimeter of my campsite patio.
The strings hold up great in any weather, and I’ve stepped on them plenty of times without causing any damage, making their already affordable pricing even more of a value.
Another convenient aspect of solar string lights is that they fade out after a few hours, so you don’t have to worry if you’re bothering other guests all night. For plug-in lights, do use a timer to automatically shut off lights at a reasonable hour.
5. Turn Windows Into Colorful Frames
RVs have plenty of windows, so making use of them at Christmas time to add interest and punches of color is easy with the help of window clings.
Instead of blocking campsite views with clings all over the window, consider framing the edges, so you get to enjoy the decoration and scenes of nature together!
TIP: Clean your windows well with rubbing alcohol and let dry for the best cling. Many window cleaners leave behind residue that will cause the decorations to curl up at the edges or fall off entirely in a matter of days.
6. Turn Pillows and Chairs Festive
Pick up some Christmas-themed chair back covers and use them to add cheer to your RV interior without buying unnecessary decor.
Chair covers are inexpensive and come in a wide range of designs like Elf or Santa faces, stockings, or scenes of snowmen or reindeer.
The best part about chair covers is that they easily double as pillow covers to add flair to your RV couch or recliner. Slip them over your current pillows and tuck up the bottoms, or pin them in place for an instant boost of holiday spirit.
7. Switch to Holiday Rugs or Doormats
A simple way to make your winter camping trip feel more seasonal is to swap out your standard floor coverings with a holiday rug or doormat and spread out a patio mat that is heavy with greens or reds.
Changing to Christmas-theme doormats and interior rugs for the main living space, kitchen, or bathroom is another way to add color without taking up valuable space.
Doormats are a fun touch, like this one ideal for a beachy Christmas camping trip, that will bring a smile to every guest and occupant that walks through the RV door.
8. Wrap Your RV Refrigerator or Cabinet Doors
Taking RV features already in place and spicing them up for the holidays is the perfect decorating solution.
Invest in some good quality wrapping paper that won’t easily tear, and use double-sided tape to attach the paper around the edges of the doors.
Increase the design appeal by adding ribbon strips or bows, or forgo the paper and only use ribbon to make each door look like a wrapped present. You can purchase premade cabinets bows, like these from Fresh Finds, to make the task a breeze.
9. Fake a Fireplace
Many fifth-wheels and Class A motorhomes come with electric fireplaces that bring a tremendous amount of holiday coziness to your winter RV trips. Even in warmer climates, you typically have the option for faux flames without the heat.
Luckily for the rest of us without an RV fireplace, you have many options to turn your camper’s TV into a fireplace place complete with flickering flames and crackling noises.
Many streaming companies offer fireplace visuals, but if you have a compatible television, you can also connect via a mobile phone app or select free options that come with many smart TVs.
10. Hang Stockings
Even a tiny camper will become holiday-ready with a couple of colorful stockings!
Many full-time RVs forgo presents under the tree and instead stick to small gifts that fit into a stocking to keep RV clutter down throughout the year.
Pull out some stronger Command hooks and use them on the ceiling, mirror, or upper walls to hang personal stockings. A full stocking can get weighty, so don’t skimp on the hook strength.
Keeping the stockings up high will keep them out of the way when moving about the living space, plus keep nosy pets and children from poking around to see what’s inside.
11. Don’t Forget the Music
Lastly, don’t forget to decorate the air by playing festive music.
You can download hours of your favorite Christmas tunes and play them softly all day in the background, both inside and outside your RV, if you have external speakers.
Having a soundtrack for your holiday camping trip will create lasting memories, from relaxing instrumentals to peppy songs perfect for celebratory gatherings around the campfire.
When you RV, decorating for the holiday is a delicate balance between storage space and clever ideas that allow you to bring the most Christmas spirit to your campsite.
I hope you find the ideas in this guide helpful when planning your next Christmas RV trip, so you and your whole family can get into the spirit without spending a lot of time or money!
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