RV Trash Can Ideas To Keep Your Camper Clean

trash can on RV door - RV trash can ideas feature image

The Best Portable Trash Cans For RV Camping

Trash is a natural part of life, but it seems to accumulate quickly when you’re in a small space like an RV. Large trash cans are great for convenience, but most of them don’t fit into the carefully designed floor plan of a camper. Luckily, innovative travelers have come up with a variety of RV trash can ideas that will prevent the mess from taking over.

There are several different strategies you can use when you want to tackle the garbage problem. Some people like to use collapsible cans that are easy to store when they’re not being used. Others prefer the hidden method, where trash cans hide behind doors or within cabinets.

There are many other ways you can adapt your trash cans for RV life, and we have eight suggestions below. Even if you don’t like all of them, at least one method is bound to be useful when you head out on your next trip. Take a look at these RV trash can ideas!

1. Cupholder trash can

I don’t know about you, but while I’m driving, trash builds up quickly. Receipts, wrappers, and various other items get tossed into cupholders or end up on the floor. It’s annoying and can be distracting for the driver. 

If you’re looking for a solution for the front seat, try using a cupholder trash can. These are small enough to fit in a standard cupholder and give you an easy place to throw your odds and ends. Of course, you can always just use an empty cup if you want a cheap solution, but there are also great store-bought ones you can try. 

For instance, the YIOVVOM Car Garbage Can has a lid that lets things in, but not out. This is handy for those times when the cupholder gets full and things start to spill out. A good lid will keep everything in place until you’re ready to empty it. 

2. Console trash can

Another good RV trash can idea for the driver’s seat is a front console trash can. These can be a bit bigger than the cupholder type, and there are lots of great products on the market. For a budget-friendly option, just take a plastic grocery bag and hang it over the console. This will work fine in most circumstances, but it is a bit unstable and fragile compared to store-bought alternatives.

A fantastic option for a console trash can is the EPAuto Waterproof Car Trash Can. This comes with a lid with an expandable opening. It has a sturdy structure that easily attaches to car and motorhome consoles.

The can itself also has a waterproof liner, so you can dump anything inside without worrying about leaks. It also has a mesh pocket around the base that’s perfect for wrappers, receipts, and other small items. 

3. Hanging trash bags

Now let’s talk about some RV trash can ideas for the main living space! This is where you need to get creative because standard trash cans take up a lot of room and get in the way of everything. Most people like to have trash cans in the kitchen, bathroom, and maybe in the bedrooms. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and standard cans aren’t always a viable option.

That’s where hanging trash bags can come in handy. These are simple to set up and they won’t occupy any floor space. You just need to install a few hooks or wire holders in strategic areas and hang a garbage bag from them. Command hooks are ideal for this purpose because you won’t have to drill any holes in your walls or cabinets.

Just make sure everything is secure because the last thing you want is a bag falling off and spilling everywhere!

4. Cabinet-mounted trash can

Cabinets are great real estate for trash cans. There are several mounted trash cans you can stick to the sides of cabinets. If you prefer a hidden approach, try attaching the trash can to the inside of a swinging cabinet door. If you want easy access, you can stick a can to an open space on the wall or closet. 

This Camco Cabinet Mount Trash Can is perfect for RVers who need to save some space. It was specifically designed for mobile living spaces, so it won’t spill or fall over during travel. Just like a standard can, it also has a swinging lid and can be outfitted with liners for easy removal. 

This is one of the most common RV trash can ideas and for good reason! It’s simple, effective, and easy to install.

5. Slide-out trash can

Another good solution is a slide-out trash can. These tend to take up a bit more space, but they’re easy to tuck away when not in use. You’ll also have to dedicate one or two of your RV cabinets to this purpose, so make sure you plan out your storage space accordingly. 

Slide-out cans are great because they’re easy to access and easy to stow away. You can also fit two cans with some setups, so you can store more trash at a time or separate it into trash and recyclables. This Under Cabinet Single Sliding Trash Can Caddy from Amazon is a good option for RVers. It’s small enough to be manageable, but large enough to give you plenty of storage.

6. Narrow trash can

If you prefer to keep your garbage can out in the open for accessibility reasons, there are RV trash can ideas that can help you out as well! For instance, narrow trash cans are popular in the RV community because they can easily fit into tight spaces. Maybe you only have a bit of free space and a standard can wouldn’t fit.

Narrow trash cans can be quite tall, so they can fit a good amount of garbage before they need to be emptied. The Slim Jim Plastic Rectangular Trash/Garbage Can is a space-efficient can that’s perfect for RVers. It’s hardy enough for a life on the road and gives you plenty of space to work with. If you like having easy access to your garbage can, a narrow one could be the perfect fit.

7. Collapsible trash can

Collapsible trash cans are awesome for campers who love adaptability. These cans can expand to their full size, serve their purpose, and be tucked away before you travel again.

The main downside of these cans is that they might not always be available when you need them. For instance, if you forget to prep it ahead of time, you will have to expand and set up a trash can before you can throw away your food scraps. 

However, if you plan ahead, collapsible trash cans can make a great addition to your RV. If you want a large floor model, try a Trailersphere Collapsible Bin. This comes with a lid and a good base structure. For everyday use, maybe a small silicone model is better. These are perfect for bathrooms and bedrooms because they don’t take up much space. 

8. Use several small cans

If none of these RV trash can ideas are speaking to you, you can always go back to the basics! A single large trash can just isn’t practical, so you can scatter a variety of smaller models throughout your floor plan instead.

These might need to be emptied more frequently, but you will save a lot of space. Plus, it can be a good habit to empty your trash regularly. If you keep garbage out of your RV, you will deter pests and bacteria growth. 

Find more RV trash can ideas

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