I’m glad you asked because RV interiors can be pretty bland. Even if you have a high-end RV then the finishing will be really nice, but still bland. What makes an RV feel more like home is putting your memories on display. The good news is, there are lots of ways to hang things on RV walls to make it “homey”.
It’s best that you stay away from hanging options that puncture RV walls with nails, screws or other puncturing attachment methods. Instead use
- Command strips
- Sticky tack or putty
- Self-adhesive wall hooks
- Cork boards
- Black boards
- White boards
- Magnetic boards
- Clothes pins
Those are pretty much the best ways to hang things inside RVs.
I recommend that you only try to hang light objects, think pictures with no frames. An RV is built to move around and sway side to side a bit, you don’t want your glass framed pictures to come crashing down.
But if you must hang heavy items, I have you covered in this post as well.
Can you screw or nail into RV walls?
If you read the previous section then you already know the answer is no, you should not puncture the RV’s walls.
It’s because RV walls are thin. The interior walls are thin, made of wood, wood imitation, plastic or tile imitation. Behind the interior walls is a narrow space where electrical wiring, water piping and ducting is and after that comes the thin exterior wall. The exterior wall is usually made of metal.
RVs are built this way so that they’re light, so they’re easier to pull and more fuel efficient to tow.
A nail or a screw through the interior wall may puncture any number of mechanical, plumbing or electrical components built-in behind the wall. Not to mention, if you want to take your pictures down one day, you’ll have unsightly holes in the wall. You can’t just spackle the holes, sand them and paint over them, like you would in a house.
Puncturing the exterior wall is also a no-no because it will lead to leaks and rust over time.
So using nails or screws or anything else that punctures the walls is an all-around bad idea. I don’t recommend it.
So, then what’s the best way to hang pictures on an RV wall?
Anything that doesn’t puncture the walls 🙂
Hang light pictures with magnets or sticky tack
When I say, “light” I mean without a frame or a frame that weights next to nothing and doesn’t have any glass.
It turns out that there’s a good chance that exposed metal inside your RV is magnetic. So you can get a set of fairly strong magnets at your local office supply store like Office Depot, Staples or even Home Depot and use those to hold your memories on the wall.
And you can hang more than just pictures, anything thin and light-weight is fair game. Your latest drawing, your kid’s poem or grandpa’s map to the best fishing spots.
You can also use magnets to hold things on the exterior of your RV. Having a few magnets in the utility draw of your RV is never a bad thing.
Sticky Tack or Putty
Just like magnets, having sticky tack or adhesive putty, handy in your RV is a great idea.
You can get sticky tack at your local office supply stores as well, or Amazon if you prefer that.
Preparing sticky tack to work right is a little more involved than magnets, but it works well on most surfaces. Here’s your sticky tack crash course:
- Rip a pea or marble-sized piece of sticky tack off of the large slab you get from the store.
- Warm it up by kneading it with your fingers like you would play doh. Keep on kneading until it’s “sticky” to the touch. This means that it’s “activated”.
- Now place the picture you want to hang face down on the counter and press the activated sticky tack on it as hard as you can for 10 to 15 seconds. For smaller pictures you could get away with having one sticky tack piece in the center of the top picture. If the picture is larger you may want to put some sticky tack in each corner of the picture.
- Now hold the picture against the wall where you want to hang it. Press the picture to the wall at the location of the sticky tack, so you’re squishing the sticky tack between the picture and the wall. Use as much force as you can to push the sticky tack on the wall for about 10 seconds.
- Now stand back and observe your handiwork 🙂
If you’re hanging just a picture or a piece of paper, sticky tack should hold it on there for months.
I’ve found that stick tack stays stickier longer when the weather is warm and the RV walls are warm. It’s holding power is reduced when it’s cold and the RV walls are cold.
Another great thing is that sticky tack is reusable and should not mark your walls.
We use a lot of it to hang glow-in-the-dark stars and moons above the kid’s beds.
I don’t recommend hanging anything heavier than a picture or piece of paper with sticky tack and definitely nothing that will break or shatter if it falls to the ground.
Hang heavy things with wall hooks or Velcro
Unlike magnets and sticky putty, wall hooks and Velcro can hold heavier items like pictures with frames and glass fronts. Or basic tools or light jackets.
But that also means wall hooks and Velcro are more permanent that magnets and sticky tack and may damage the walls if you want to remove them in the future. The types of material they’re most likely to damage is wall paper.
Self-Adhesive Wall Hooks
These wall hooks are basically stickers that you stick on the wall where you want them. Command strips are a popular choice for these. We use them in the bathroom to hang extra towels and by the main entry to hang jackets.
But you can also use them to hang pictures with full frames.
When you are packing up your RV to drive it around you will need to take the pictures off the wall hooks because there’s a good chance they’ll fall down and break.
In fact, we usually take everything off the hooks when we drive. Less mess to clean up when we arrive at our destination.
This is a great option for holding pictures VERY securely.
First, you’ll need strong, good quality Velcro strips. You’ll need to get the ones with Velcro on one side and adhesive on the other.
Then stick one side of the Velcro to the strip to the wall and the other to the back of your picture frame.
I’m not sure if it matters which side of the Velcro you stick to the wall, the fluffy side or the scratchy side as my kids call them.
If your picture frame is very heavy or you just want to be safe, you should add velcro strips to each side of the picture. So you basically frame the back of the picture frame with Velcro.
And I recommend you take down everything that is Velcro’d to the walls when you are on the road with your RV
Other hanging methods
I call these the secondary methods of hanging pictures on the wall. For best results, most of these will require you use either wall hooks or velcro strips to put them up.
And then you can hang pictures on them. It’ll make more sense below.
Cork boards are inexpensive. I just found one that is one foot square for $14 on Amazon. You can hang these from wall hooks, or use Velcro, or lean them against the wall.
Then you can use pins to stick your pictures to them.
Without much setup you can quickly create a memory board showcasing all the places you’ve recently visited. You can pin collectors pins to them, campground maps, drawings and of course, your pictures.
Much like cork boards, these can be hung up using wall hooks or Velcro and black boards are often magnetic.
The biggest drawback is the dusty chaulk, but at least it’s not chemicals from dry or wet erase white board markers.
These are great for writing messages to your family or reminders for yourself. They are also magnetic and not too heavy, so you can use wall hooks or Velcro to mount them.
They are also less messy than black boards, but chaulk is more natural then the chemicals in the markers.
If you go the white board route, I recommend using dry erase markers. They’re so much better than wet erase ones.
While black boards and white boards are often magnetic, you can get dedicated magnetic boards that are not made to write on. They are made to hold things with just magnets.
This is probably the most creative option. You can tie a line from one part of your RV to another. Either from wall hooks that you placed or parts of the RV like handles, curtain rods, door hinges, etc.
You can use clothes pins to hang pictures from the line that you tie. You may want to make sure the line is not in a place that gets in your way when you’re moving around in your RV.
The line you use can be fishing line, string, skinny rope, string lights, LED string lights or anything else you can think of. Your only limit is your imagination!