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Upgrading Our RV’s Mattress…What Worked For Us 

 April 9, 2019

By  Steph

So you’ve picked out your perfect RV (camper) and you’ve taken all the steps to hit the road. You’ve taken you’re first trip and it was almost perfect. You can’t believe that you are living the full-time RV lifestyle.

There’s nothing holding you down. You’ve got the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and you don’t have to answer to anyone…

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One Small Problem

Life is almost perfect. You’ve hit the road with all the luxuries of home, your computer, your coffee pot, and your awesome new outdoor tv (we don’t have one but we always watch our neighbors'!). Your kids are thriving with their home school work and learning so much on the road! There’s just one small problem… your back is killing you!

Don’t worry…it’s not just you. 86% of RV owners suffer from back pain. Even if you never suffered from back pain before your maiden voyage, you most likely are still feeling the mystery back ache.

But what could it be? What is causing your back to feel like you were just hit by a transfer truck and tossed into a violent avalanche?

Could it be MRVMS?

Could it be from your posture?

Could it be from riding in your tow vehicle for eight straight hours?

Could it be from cooking in a tiny kitchen, bending down to connect and disconnect hoses, or from climbing up and down the rv ladder to ensure every last leaf and twig has been removed before pulling in your brand new slides?!

Sure…all of these are possible causes for your achy back. BUT mostly likely you are suffering from something called…

MRVMS …… Otherwise known as "Manufactured RV Mattress Syndrome."

Yeah…it’s a real thing …just Google it! Unfortunately, the only cure for this syndrome is to get an rv replacement mattress.  To make matters worse, aftermarket RV mattresses don’t really exist.

But don’t panic just yet. There is still hope!

The Problem With RV Mattresses

Our RV salesman was more than excited to show us our RV had a “KING SIZE MATTRESS!” Well, that sounds amazing in the beginning until you realize that there really is no such thing and that it’s really just a widened version of a short queen.

Here are some of the problems we encountered when searching for a replacement mattress…

Problem #1

Standard RV mattresses are almost always oddly shaped, and very few companies offer a custom rv mattress.

Problem #2

You will have a hard time fitting a regular mattress in through the door of the rv, not to mention it will be almost impossible to get it into the bedroom of some rv models.

Problem #3

We needed to KNOW that we were going to like our mattress. Most replacement RV mattress brands do not have a trial period or “return if you don’t like it” policy. I was not about to spend tons of money on something only to hate it.

How To Upgrade Your Mattress

If you want to upgrade your mattress (and if you do anything more than camp a few times a year, you should!), you need a comfortable sleeping, residential quality mattress.

There are “upgraded” mattress models available for order from most RV dealers. However, most of them are incredibly expensive and not much better than the original in quality, comfort, or longevity.

So what is a person to do if they want a good quality, long lasting, AND comfortable mattress?

There are a few places online that offer custom cut mattresses. They will cut them to fit any size and shape you desire and usually specialize in custom boat mattresses. Sounds awesome, right?! 

Here’s the problem…once you accept delivery of their product, they are usually not going to let you return it. And, what if there was a measurement that was wrong or you simply don’t like it?!

At close to $2500 for a decent quality one in the size we needed, I decided there had to be a better way…

The RV mattress industry has not come up with the rest of the mattress industry and so, we were left to search for a regular mattress in something that we could make work for us. (I think that the rv mattress industry still looks something a lot like this photo below…)

How Will We Get It Through The Door?

We considered purchasing a regular mattress and redoing our bedroom to make it work, but there was literally no way that our slide would close if we purchased a traditional inner spring mattress. 

BIG PROBLEM THERE! Oh, and HOW would we get it INTO the RV in the first place? That was going to require a gel memory foam mattress that was compressed during shipping. 

While visiting my parents, my dad blurts out, “why don’t you JUST CUT IT a few inches shorter?” “Cut it?” I said. I said there was no way I was going to spend that much money on a mattress and then cut it apart.

And then…I started thinking. There must be mattresses you can cut. If the custom boat folks can make a mattress made to fit the hull of a boat, I can cut a few inches off of one!

And so we started our research…

We researched about every high quality mattress out there. I looked at gel memory foam rv mattresses, latex mattresses, mattress toppers, and even air mattresses! We ultimately decided on the best rv bed and we are so happy with our purchase!

What Worked For Us!

One of the biggest trends right now is buying your mattress online. Sounds weird, right?! Well, it did to me at first too. Until I found a company that fit right into all of our needs!

We needed:

  • Must be able to size it down to fit our rv mattress size (remember, it is kinda important that the slide can close!)
  • Must be able to get it INTO THE RV and into the bedroom without taking any walls down!
  • I MUST be able to return it if we didn’t like it.

After many countless hours reading reviews, looking at what materials they used, and even calling to talk to their customer service department…we chose… A NECTAR mattress!

Why Nectar?

Nectar met ALL of my requirements.

Need #1 was I must be able to re-size it. The Nectar is made from an amazing blend of memory foam that is one solid piece. I was able to cut it down by shaving off several inches from one side with an electric carving knife.

You can literally turn it into an rv short king, rv short queen, or rv full sized mattress.

I was able to make it fit our space even better than the factory mattress that came in our rv!  We did wait a while to make sure we liked it before making any cuts!

Need #2 was that it be able to fit through the door and into the bedroom. The Nectar comes vacuum sealed and compressed in a bag. It is basically compressed and rolled up like a jelly roll and then shipped like that. 

We were able to walk it right in the door, place it at the foot of the bed, and THEN open and unroll it. It takes a few hours for it to fully expand but we did sleep on it the same night and we were in love!

Need #3 was that if we didn’t like it, it could be sent back.

The Nectar just so happens to be the ONLY mattress company (at the time of writing this article anyway) that offers a full 365 night trial!

Another selling point for me was that if I did not like it, they do not just turn around a re-sell them. They come get it, refund your money and then donate them to charity!

They are also Certipur US Certified which means no nasty materials used in the production!

Why Do We Like The Nectar?

We like the Nectar for it’s medium firm feel. It is not overly soft, and I don’t feel like I am sinking in to the top layer or have a hard time rolling over in the middle of the night as with some memory foam type mattresses.

It seems to be the perfect balance of support and cushion on all the pressure points.

It fit through the door and was easy to customize it’s size. And the best part is that my back pain is gone!

Basically, an awesome sleep experience!

9 Months In…

We are still loving our Nectar. Probably even more now than when we got it!

It site wonderfully on our RV's bed frame and looks great too.

I am happy to report that ALL of my back (and hip) pain, or 'MRVMS' has disappeared. I am sleeping better and waking up in the morning feeling great.

The bottom line is that RV mattresses are junk. 

If you are living full-time in your RV, or even if you aren’t, save yourself the hassle and all the research and do what we did!

Buy a Nectar! If you hate it (which I am sure you won’t!), return it!

At only $699 (Reg. $824) for a queen mattress…you can’t beat it!

Right now, they are offering $125 off AND 2 FREE pillows! (And the pillows are awesome. You can adjust the desired level of firmness by removing foam!)

About the author


Stephanie (Mom) is the crafty one. She puts up with everyone's nonsense with a smile...and a glass of wine.

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