Enhancing Your Road Trip Van Setup with Eco-Friendly Mats

Embarking on a road trip is a unique and thrilling experience, and ensuring your van is well-equipped can significantly enhance the journey. One essential yet often overlooked aspect of a well-prepared van setup is the inclusion of mats. Mats serve various purposes, from providing comfort and cleanliness to defining living spaces both inside and outside your vehicle.

This article explores how to incorporate mats into your road trip van setup, the different types of mats available, and tips for transporting them, with a particular focus on sustainable materials like recycled plastic outdoor rugs and plastic rugs.

Why Use Mats in Your Road Trip Van Setup?

Mats are versatile and functional, offering several benefits for road trippers:

  1. Comfort: Mats provide a soft surface for walking, sitting, and sleeping, enhancing overall comfort.
  2. Cleanliness: They help keep dirt and debris out of your van, making cleaning easier.
  3. Insulation: Mats can provide insulation against cold surfaces, making your van more comfortable in cooler climates.
  4. Aesthetics: They add a touch of home to your van, making the space more inviting and visually appealing.
  5. Space Definition: Mats can help define different areas within and around your van, creating designated zones for activities such as cooking, dining, and relaxing.

Types of Eco-Friendly Mats for Road Trip Vans

1. Recycled Plastic Outdoor Rugs

Recycled plastic outdoor rugs are a fantastic eco-friendly option for road trippers. Made from recycled materials, these rugs are durable, lightweight, and easy to clean. They come in various sizes and designs, making them perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.


- Sustainability: Using recycled materials helps reduce waste and promotes environmental conservation.

- Durability: These rugs are resistant to water, mildew, and UV rays, ensuring they last through multiple road trips over many years.

- Easy Maintenance: Simply hose down or shake off dirt for quick cleaning. - Affordability: Plastic rugs are generally affordable, making them a budget-friendly choice for road trippers.

- Versatility: Available in various colours and patterns, they can easily match your van’s interior and exterior decor.

- Weather Resistance: These rugs can withstand different weather conditions, making them suitable for outdoor use.


- Place a recycled plastic outdoor rug at the entrance of your van to prevent dirt from being tracked inside.

- Inside the van, these rugs can provide a cushioned surface for sitting or sleeping.

2. Soft Weave Recycled Plastic Rugs

Plastic rugs made from spun recycled plastic thread to be as soft as wool, are another practical and eco-friendly option. These rugs are typically made from polypropylene or other recycled plastics, and made from an astounding 3000 plastic bottles each, offering the same benefits in terms of durability and maintenance, but with a great, soft, indoor feel.


- Quality: The entire process of manufacture is handmade with a close attention to detail and high required weave patterns to ensure they last many years.

- Soft to the Touch: Available in various weaves, as well as colours and patterns, the tactile softness is suitable for many different applications, such as high traffic areas or luxury relaxation areas.

- Mould, Stain, Moth and Water Resistance: These rugs can withstand heaps of nature’s nasties, making them suitable for outdoor or indoor use. They’re also machine washable, making maintenance and spill fixing extra easy.


- Perfect for inside the van or a tent if you have one.

- Use them inside the van to protect the floor from spills and stains.

- Use a larger plastic rug outside the van to create a comfortable outdoor living area for dining and relaxation, particularly great if you’re using floor seating such as Thai Triangle Pillows and low tables.

Where and How to Use Mats in Your Camp and Vehicle Setup

Inside the Van

  1. Entrance Mat: Position a small mat at the van’s main entrance to wipe off shoes and reduce dirt.
  2. Sleeping Area: Lay a larger mat under your bedding area to provide extra cushioning and insulation.
  3. Kitchen Area: Use a plastic rug in the kitchen zone to protect the floor from spills and stains and have something that insulates and is removable to clean.

Outside the Van

  1. Outdoor Living Space: Create a comfortable outdoor living area by placing a recycled plastic outdoor rug under your awning or canopy. This space can be used for dining, lounging, or playing games.
  2. Entrance Zone: Lay a durable mat outside the van’s door to clean off shoes before entering, helping to keep the interior clean.
  3. Cooking Area: Position a mat in the outdoor cooking area to catch spills and food debris, making cleanup easier.
  4. Away from the Vehicle: Used on the beach or on the grass for a picnic away from the van, or for a great footprint to change from a swim and keep your feet and gear protected from the sand or dirt.

Transporting Mats in Your Vehicle

Efficiently transporting mats in your van ensures they remain in good condition and are easily accessible. Here are some tips:

  1. Rolling Up: Roll up your mats tightly and secure them with straps or bungee cords. This method saves space and keeps the mats from unrolling during transit.
  2. Storage Tubes: Use storage tubes or PVC pipes to store rolled-up mats. These tubes can be easily mounted on the roof rack or stored under seats.
  3. Roof Rack: If you have a roof rack, secure larger mats, like recycled caravan mats, on top of the van using ratchet straps. Ensure they are tightly fastened to prevent movement while driving.
  4. Under Bed Storage: If your van has a raised bed platform, utilize the space underneath for storing rolled-up mats.
  5. Back Door Storage: Install a storage net or hooks on the inside of your van’s back doors to hold smaller mats and keep them easily accessible.
  6. Folded – Larger plastic mats, such as our caravan mats, come folded so they present a much smaller footprint in your vehicle and can often be placed under seats or in drawer storage.

Sustainable Road Trip Setup

Incorporating sustainable practices into your road trip setup extends beyond just using eco-friendly mats. Here are additional tips to make your van life more environmentally friendly:

  1. Solar Power: Install solar panels on your van to power your appliances and devices without relying on fossil fuels.
  2. Reusable Containers: Use reusable containers for food storage to reduce plastic waste.
  3. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies: Choose biodegradable cleaning supplies that are gentle on the environment.
  4. Water Conservation: Use a portable water filtration system to purify water from natural sources, reducing the need for bottled water.
  5. Minimalist Packing: Pack only what you need to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency and opt for products with minimal packaging.


Incorporating mats into your road trip van setup can significantly enhance your comfort and convenience while promoting sustainability. Recycled plastic outdoor rugs and plastic rugs are excellent options for eco-conscious travellers, offering durability, ease of maintenance, and environmental benefits. By strategically using mats both inside and outside your van and following efficient transportation methods, you can create a cosy and eco-friendly home on wheels. Embrace these sustainable practices and enjoy your road trips with a lighter environmental footprint.

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