Tips for Getting a Good Night Sleep while RVing

Posted on April 4, 2017

When asked what they would change about their RVing experiences, most people enthusiastically reply that they wouldn't change a thing. If there's one problem area that some travelers encounter, however, it's getting a restful night's sleep while traveling by RV. Many times, it's simply a matter of getting used to sleeping in a toy hauler, class A motorhome, RUV or other RV. However, if you continue to struggle to sleep well, you'll have a hard time enjoying yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to counteract the various noises and other issues that may occur while sleeping in a gas or diesel RV. Read on to learn more!

Noise Issues

Some people are naturally deep sleepers. As soon as they drift off, they seem to be impervious to any and all background noises. Not all of us are so lucky, however, and if you are more of a light sleeper, you may find yourself struggling to fall asleep or waking up constantly throughout the night. Needless to say, that's never any fun. The truth is that it is more than possible to have a terrific night sleep in a diesel or gas RV. The trick is identifying the issues that bother you and taking steps to correct them.

Some of the most common noises that disturb people who travel in RVs include:

  • Highway Noises - For a variety of reasons, motorhome parks and campgrounds are often located close to busy highways, roads and other thoroughfares. Even from within the safe, comfortable confines of your class A Toy Hauler or other motorhome, you may be able to hear the rumble of traffic, the squealing of brakes, the honking of horns and other annoying background noises. Unfortunately, in many areas, traffic continues into the wee hours of the night.
  • Truck Stop Noises - When you need a place to park and rest for the night, a truck stop is a natural choice. However, because they are frequented by vacation travelers, business travelers and, more than anything, truck drivers, truck stops tend to be busy hives of activity at all hours of the day and night. Long after the sun sets, you may be able to easily hear people coming and going from the buildings or having conversations in the parking lot. Long before you wish to wake up, you may be greeted by the sounds of truck engines firing up and other aggravating noises.
  • Nature Sounds - One would think that you'd enjoy some peace and quiet by escaping to more remote parts of the country. There's a lot to love about RVing out in the wild, but there's one pretty surprising drawback for some people: nature sounds. When you park a class C motorhome, RUV or other vehicle out in the wild, you trade human neighbors for animal ones. Depending on where you are, this might mean hearing wolves howling, dogs barking, geese squawking and other irritating sounds. Naturally, there's nothing that you can do to keep wild animals from doing their thing, so this can cause issues if you don't take certain steps.
  • Weather Noises - You might be hunkering down for a good night's sleep in your gas RV, but Mother Nature may have other ideas. Needless to say, there's absolutely nothing that you can do to keep thunderstorms from rolling through or high winds from screeching throughout the night. From rain to hail to snow, weather can drum up a lot of noise when it wants to. Since RVs are lighter in construction than homes with foundations, these types of noises tend to be much more apparent.
  • RV Park Noises - Finally, when staying in campgrounds and parks, you have to contend with the sounds of other motorhomes and their occupants. Most parks have rules about quiet hours and the like, but they aren't always enforced very well. Besides, everyone is on a different schedule, so you're apt to hear motorhomes rumbling into the park early in the day and clanking while being packed up later in the afternoon. There's also the commotion that goes along with having so many people in a fairly small area, which may include the sounds of kids playing, people talking, vehicle traffic and more.

Tips for Drowning Out Outside Noises

If you're the type of traveler who sleeps lightly and is awoken by everything, don't despair. There are plenty of things that you can do to drown out distracting background noises while traveling by toy hauler or class C motorhome. For example, invest in a decent pair of earplugs and use them every night. Some people prefer to pop in earbuds and listen to their favorite music. However, one of the best ways to not be disturbed by outside noises is by distracting your brain with some white noise. A simple standalone fan can work wonders in this regard. There are also white noise machines and even white noise apps for smartphones that you can use.

Movement Issues

Despite your best efforts, it may seem like you can feel the camper moving about while trying to drift off to sleep. It may not be your imagination. These vehicles are far more lightweight than actual houses, so they are more susceptible to swaying and moving. This may occur when occupants move around the camper or due to high winds or uneven ground.

Always take your time to ensure that your diesel RV is as well stabilized as possible. Consider investing in some extras like king pin stabilizers, under-the-frame jacks or tire-locking chocks to minimize this issue. Remember too that a small amount of movement is simply a fact of life much of the time. Most people adjust to it and are able to sleep right through minor movements during the night. If nothing seems to help, it might be time to buy a brand-new class A motorhome or other vehicle. Sometimes, you just have to trade up to get what you need.

Light Issues

Like some people, noises may not bother you that much, but light does. Unfortunately, lights are often a pretty big issue in many areas where people park their motorhomes. Truck stops, campgrounds, Walmart parking lots and other common areas to park are typically brightly lit during the night. If you have the misfortune of being parked right next to a light post, you may feel like a spotlight is being shone on you all night long. Then there are car headlights and even daylight when you need to sleep by day.

Once again, you don't have to take these kinds of disturbances sitting down. If you struggle to sleep well due to lights shining into your camper, investing in a quality sleep mask can make all the difference (and they’re normally less than $20). You might also consider buying covers for roof vents to prevent light from creeping in through. Whenever possible, ask for spaces that are not located near bright lights. In a pinch, you can always try using a thick blanket or towel to cover up a window that's giving you trouble. Attaching a manila folder to the shade can also help to block out more light, allowing you to sleep more soundly in a darker class A toy hauler or other vehicle.

As you can see, getting a good night's sleep while traveling in a motorhome can be a struggle for some people. However, most folks are able to adjust to life on the road just fine and learn to drown out distracting lights and noises on their own. For those who are just naturally light sleepers, there are plenty of ways to mitigate issues like noise, movement and light to more easily drift away into a deep, sound sleep--even if you're surrounded by lights, pets, people and other distractions.


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