Stick ‘Em Up
Personalizing an RV comes with the territory. Most owners add décor items and hang accessories to make their rigs feel like home. For the most part, the fastener of choice is a screw or picture hanger. Unfortunately, they make holes in the wall, leaving unsightly blemishes when the hung item is removed and relocated — and that’s when you can find a stud.
One solution that we’ve found is Quake Hold Museum Putty.
We spent most of our lives in Southern California, so securing loose items on shelves or bookcases to prevent damage during an earthquake was part of the lifestyle in the Golden State. It wasn’t a question of “if” but “when” an earthquake would strike — and we went through a few strong ones. RVs aren’t much different — they’re akin to “rolling” earthquakes — so keeping items in place while on the road is always a priority. Rather than removing all décor items before leaving the RV park, Quake Hold Museum Putty allows you to keep them in place while bouncing around on the road.
Earthquake putty is commonly used to hold loose items, like flower vases, securely on shelves, but we’ve found a number of other uses over the years. For one, we mounted a sound bar on the shelf below the TV with this putty — and it’s been there for more than five years and 50,000 miles. It hasn’t budged one iota. We’ve also hung pictures and other items on the wall, and unless the wall is subjected to intense heat for long periods of time, the earthquake putty holds well. There are limitations, though: You can’t hang heavy items on the wall; heavier items fare better when placed on the shelf where gravity will not play a role.
Quake Hold is available for a variety of purposes, but we’ve been using the Museum Putty grade for as long as we can remember. The putty feels like the stuff kids play with and is non-toxic. To use, simply tear off a small amount of putty and roll it into a ball. Strategically place the ball(s) on the item you want to hold and press down until the putty squishes out. Trim the putty, and you’re done. The putty will never dry and can be removed easily from the surface when desired. After a while you’ll find dozens of uses for this stuff and chuck the glue and screws. Quake Hold (quakehold.com) is available online and at just about any hardware store, and it sells for $4 for a 2.64-ounce package. Amazingly, the putty lasts a surprising long time.
I found another item when insomnia one recent night caught me watching a commercial for Alien Tape, a product said to hold items without screws or glue. Watching a heavy item “stick” to the wall in seconds piqued my interest, so I bought the Alien Tape (tryalientape.com) online. In true infomercial form, the package comes with way more tape than logically needed for RVers, but what the heck — I figured if this tape works, I’ll find things to hang and secure. After all, it’s supposed to hold items up to 17.5 pounds using “nano-grip” technology (remember the “nano tape” marketed years ago?). While I haven’t tried to hang a brick on my picture window, this tape does have good holding power for lighter items. For example, it works well holding plastic utility cups to a medicine cabinet wall, or décor items to an interior wall.
The key is making sure the surfaces are clean (use alcohol), smooth and flat. I wouldn’t consider using the tape to hold heavier items to walls, like bricks and weights as seen on TV, but for items like hooks for towels or shower-stall items, it’s perfect — and you can say “goodbye” to suction cups. It works even better if the item is stuck to a wall while being supported by a shelf, like the one in the aforementioned medicine cabinet. I would refrain from trying to hold things on a porous wall, wallboard or painted surfaces, which are typically not issues in an RV. I hung a sample item on glass to test the Alien Tape and after a number of days it took quite a bit of effort to remove it, which illustrated the product’s holding power.
You get three 10-foot rolls for 20 bucks and can be ordered online or purchased in stores that display this type of stuff.