The outdoor area of an RV is just as important as the indoors. The patio increases the living space, creates an area for lounging and hosting people and it adds a really homey feel to the RV. The way you go about setting up this area largely depends on the permanency of your setup. Full on patio sets are an option for long term campers while folding furniture makes it possible to transport a patio for mobile RV living.
Cover the Ground Area
The ground area outside is likely rocky or or covered in dirt. Adding a ground cover quickly converts this area into a clean and attractive space. It also helps to define the space much like a deck or paved patio does at a house. Grassy turf mats are an excellent idea as are the woven ground mats designed specifically for RV’s and camping. If the space allows, several ground mats can create a large patio area that is ideal for hosting groups and having parties. An additional bonus is the fact that a ground cover makes it easier to walk outside without needing shoes. Wear your slippers or go barefoot when you want a breath of fresh air at night. The ground cover cleans shoes and provides a protective layer against the ground.
The grilling zone and chilling zone are two very different spaces. While it’s tempting to place a grill in a convenient location, immediately adjacent to the RV and furniture, space is ideal for safety. Move the grill 6-10 feet away from the RV and away from the patio area. This is especially important when cooking with wood or charcoal. While grilling is plenty safe, ensuring your living area is protected is just prudent. Also, close any RV windows that are in the wind path of the grill. The smell of cooking meats is great but the smoke will not vent immediately and can leave a lingering smell long after the grilling is finished. A small folding table can really help the grilling area by creating a place to set seasonings, food platters and grilling accessories. Many grills come with shelf space but the portable models do not always offer this feature and a folding camp table can easily transition between the grilling space and the seating area.
Build Your Chilling Zone
The outdoor lounge area can be simple with a couple of chairs and a small table or more extravagant with a full patio set. Permanent and semi-permanent RVers who have access to off-season storage can really go wild here. For communal gatherings, other RVers can also bring their own chairs over while simplifying the whole hosting process. Add an outdoor trash and/or recycling bin to collect waste without requiring trips into the RV for each soda can and napkin. An ice chest for beverages is also a major asset that prevents trips back and forth to the kitchen. The ice chest is also useful on outdoor excursions and picnics which justifies the storage space requirements. Even a soft sided ice chest would do the trick.
Shade for Hot Summer Days
Shade is a major requirement, especially during the warm Texas summers. Ideally, your RV will have an incorporated awning that naturally extends over the patio area. This shade can easily create a 10-15 degree drop in the heat while blocking harmful UV rays. It makes evenings on the porch comfortable and the space will quickly become the favorite area for summer hangouts and lounging. If an awning is not incorporated into the RV, purchase one that will mount on the camper or choose an independent standing model to avoid adding mounting hardware to the camper.
Outdoor Entertainment and Accessories
Turn the patio space into an activity filled area for entertainment as well. Keep a deck of cards and a cribbage board handy and add chess or checkers if your neighbors and friends enjoy playing. The addition of a dart board is also a fun way to pass the time on the porch. These activities will keep everyone entertained and make the porch feel like home. Lastly, add a few items to keep the insects at bay. Your RV outdoor light will attract moths and other pests like yellow jackets will arrive when fresh meat hits the grill. Citronella candles will deter mosquitoes and gnats and a yellow jacket trap strategically hung near the grilling area is a great addition. Add an electric bug zapper for the late night moths and you are all set.