Want to cut down on some of the almost inevitable rattles in your motorhome or campervan? Start right here…
Because it rolls – and shakes – your motorhome or campervan is going to rattle. Even the best-made vehicles develop unwanted noises at certain times. With a bit of skill, though, you might be able to keep them down without having to resort to turning the stereo up. And also prevent a costly mishap when you arrive at your chosen destination.
So, read on if you want to want to have a (non) rattling good time when you’re touring…
A few top tips to reduce rattles
- Go plastic or bamboo? Glass rattles… and can cause serious problems if it breaks. Plastic is an altogether more user-friendly material when you’re touring. Use it for storage (anything from herbs and spices on up). Also, you’ll be surprised you can get good quality plastic drinks glasses these days, too.
- If you’re insisting on glass bottles of drink, simple mesh collars will prevent them banging against each other.
- Plastic-handled or bamboo cutlery and serving utensils rather than all-metal can be a good sound-deadener. Again, it’s not hard to source decent quality products nowadays.
- Put a sheath around any sharp blades. Not only is this good for personal safety, but it will also help to prevent the possibility of unwanted noises.
- Put paper plates between your dishes and use the packaging from your pots and pans.
- Remove the microwave plate and ring when in transit. Simply wrap it in another tea towel and pop it in a locker with your clothes!
- If you have a wardrobe, go for padded or velvet-wrapped hangers that won’t rattle if they don’t have clothing on them.
Proper packing is key to preventing rattles
General advice is to pack heavy items as low as possible (even a tin of baked beans can become a lethal missile in a road crash and can quickly tumble out of a locker onto the oven top for a motorhome insurance claim when you arrive at your campsite!)
Also, pack really bulky items like awnings on the floor so that it’s above or between the axles.
Other tips to reduce accidental damage
- Proper packing means less chance of any damage when you’re travelling or even when you arrive at your destination. Worktops, for example, are easily damaged by small but heavy items accidentally falling out of high-level lockers. It can make for a costly repair process and a common motorhome insurance claim for accidental damage.
- Lightweight items designed for camping or outdoor use are often more appropriate than heavier versions designed for home use.
- You’ve probably already got a fridge, but if you want to supplement this, a soft-sided coolbag can help – squishing it down when it has products in it will stop them from clanking together.
- By all means bring your best china with you on tour, just be wary of the need to be more careful and to wrap it all up properly when you’re on the move.
Adding a retaining clip or two can work wonders. It’s not unusual for drawers or doors to fly open whilst on the move. Leisure vehicle accessories shops (and, often, boat chandlers) sell them – often in the same design as other catches etc in your vehicle.
There are a few products for home use that can be cut down to fit in your motorhome lockers. One owner cut down this wire racking shelving, which is great for keeping tins and jars secure when travelling. See above for keeping tinned items stored low down.
Do note if you’re planning major modifications – removing or changing items of furniture, for instance – it might be worth checking with the manufacturer first in case there are consequences for structural integrity and/or warranties. Sound deadening materials for van conversions and campervans are available from a wide range of brands. They will definitely reduce road noise (and up insulation levels if you don’t’ already have any side wall insulation fitted).
Just don’t go overboard with modifications… it could de-value your leisure vehicle when it comes to trade-in time.
Ten great products that will help reduce rattles in your motorhome and protect your gear
- Tea towel
Yes, the humble tea towel can be a real game-changer when it comes to battles against rattles. Put one between the (glass, usually) lid and the hob cover as well as the cover and the gas burners (oh, but do check the hob cover hasn’t lost any of its rubber lugs) and you’ve solved a key source of rattles.
Same for the oven and grill – just get wrapping! You’ll need a few towels, most probably. Do make sure your cooker is cool before you give it the tea towel treatment, however.
A tea towel or two packed tightly over the top of your cutlery drawer will reduce rattles too.
- Shelf liners
Loose lining material that can be cut to fit is ideal for lining the bases of lockers and shelves – and it can make a world of difference. It helps stop items moving about, for a start. There’s also non-slip matting which would work well here.
Different thicknesses are available from different sources.
Pieces of. Expanding, from a can. Self-adhesive strips. Whatever form it comes in, foam can be a great suppressor. Don’t forget it has insulation properties, too. Using the foam sheet packaging used when you bought your new pots or pans is great for stopping rattles and protecting them for longer.
Or try these anti-scratch pan protectors – great for plates too!
- Adhesive pads
Again, variety is key here. Grab yourself a pack of different-sized adhesive pads and you can happily while away an hour or more adding them wherever there’s a gap that turns into a rattle as soon as you’re on the move. These are great for sealing gaps between locker doors or ill-fitting furniture etc.
- Silicone spray
It’s not just rattles. You might well find over time you develop little issues like squeaky hinges and locker catches that start failing. You won’t need much, but the smallest squirt of silicon spray or (where appropriate) a proprietary oil-based spray like WD40 will work wonders.
A creaky floor could be the sign of something worse. Get your vehicle booked in for a full habitation check!
Or rather, a set of. Go around your vehicle and gently tighten all the screws. It can make a real difference. Just don’t over-tighten.
- Plastic boxes and crates
Gathering up smaller items and holding them in a suitably sized crate in a locker will reduce the propensity for any rattling about – and may make them easier to find when you need them!
A set of small plastic boxes with lids will always prove their worth, too – for similar reasons. Make sure they’re suitable for food use, dishwasher safe, freezer-proof etc.
- Top tapes
Add a roll of adhesive tape to your vehicle’s “first aid kit” or toolbox. More, in fact. Insulating tape, foam-backed tape etc. Even fabric sticking plaster on a roll (so that you can cut it to size). They will all serve a rattle-cutting purpose, such as between the fixtures and the motorhome door, or windows.
A selection of clothes pegs will always come in handy when you want to suppress a spot of clatter
Not a sure-fire guarantee, but they can often reduce rattles from blinds, rooflights etc. You might have to experiment a bit here.
If pegs won’t do it, carry a selection of elastic bands with you – like so much of the above, they’re truly multi-purpose.
- Fiamma Omni Stop
Here’s a clever device for keeping a set of plates in place – and yes, stopping them from rattling. Coming in two parts that simply slot together, there’s a metal sleeve and a plastic arm that moves up and down to suit, depending on how many plates you want to stack.
Our thanks to Lakeland for its help in suggestions and some of the products mentioned above.
Also, don’t forget your local specialist iron mongers – if you’re lucky enough to have one – can be a great source of rattle-curing items you’ve never even thought of. And advice.
Over to you…
Got any advice on how to reduce rattles in your motorhome and to keep things in place to prevent surface damage that you’d like to share? Please feel free to add a comment below.