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HOW TO: Make a Fitted Sheet fit an RV Mattress

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Published on Mar 28, 2012

Although we only have personal experience with two RVs, it seems that we're not the only ones who've found that "King" and "Queen" beds aren't always exactly the same size we were used to in a stick house. Typical residential mattresses usually come in pretty standard sizes, which is handy for buying the right size sheets.... particularly fitted sheets. Some mattresses are thicker than others, but at least the widths are pretty standard.

Our first motorhome, a 2002 Fleetwood Bounder Diesel, came with a queen-size bed. We found that the mattress was just a little bit narrower than a standard queen mattress, but it was substantially thinner. This caused our fitted queen-size sheet to be really loose, since there wasn't enough mattress to hold it tightly in place. Moving around during the night caused it to pull out of place, and get all bunched up underneath us as though it was hardly tucked in at all.

It didn't take long for us to hatch a plan to solve the problem, figuring that some sort of elastic strap beneath the mattress would keep it pulled tight. During a stroll around Wal-Mart (during a typical overnight camping stop) we discovered the perfect solution: suspenders!

We purchased two sets, making sure to buy the type that have clips on the end (some types require that suspender buttons be sewn into the pants, and we were not about to sew buttons on our sheets)! We also made sure that they weren't sewn permanently into a "Y" or "X" shape, but instead had the two sections held together by a metal guide, which we promptly (and easily) broke off, separating the two straps from each other. Happily, this style of suspenders is the cheapest of all. lol Since we decided to use only three of the four straps, we still have a spare.

When we purchased our new Mountain Aire in 2005, we had the exact same problem, but this time with a "King-size" bed. It isn't really any thinner than a standard residential mattress, but it is about 4 inches narrower. Luckily, we'd kept our suspenders from the Bounder, so no need to go buy more (the extra one is probably still somewhere with the spare parts in the basement too). ;-)

Making the bed up with clean sheets does take a minute or two longer, and requires two people. One of us stands at the foot of the bed and holds up the end of the mattress, while the other connects the straps. Not really too difficult a task once a week after doing laundry. It's well worth the effort, since the sheet stays tight as a drum now. And when not changing the linens, there is no difference in making the bed at all.

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The intro music is my own piano performance of Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag from 1899.

Full-Time RVers since April 11, 2003, we share DIY (do it yourself) RV maintenance, repair, travel, upgrade and operational tips & tricks.

While we're not RV technicians, we're very mechanically inclined and have learned a lot about RV systems over the years. We've handled most of our own minor service, maintenance and upgrade work on both of our RVs.

We meet lots of newer RVers who are eager to learn some basics about using, maintaining and caring for their rigs. After more than a decade on the road, we're happy to share what we've learned (some of it the hard way). ;-) We hope our experience can help other RVers go DIY, saving time & money while experiencing the satisfaction of a job well done. We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, but our opinions are our own and we only feature products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence. The RVgeeks participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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