How to keep playa dust out of your RV at Burning Man

RV Dust Defense: Battening Down for the Playa

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For RV campers, one of the biggest challenges at Burning Man is keeping that insidious playa dust from infiltrating every nook and cranny. With some preparation and discipline, you can minimize the dust apocalypse inside your home on wheels.

Here are some battle-tested tips:

Tape up any seams or gaps within the interior of RV where there is light / air gaps since dust could get through these. Also tape the inside and outside of window joints with white painters tape.

Tape air filters to outside of RV in any open filtration gaps (except furnace/heating vents). Do this as close to BM as possible, preferably when waiting in the mammoth queue to get in which could take several hours. Tape any cracks / joints that the filter can't cover.

Dust will still get in.  Clean up regularly to prevent it from spreading and accumulating.

Bring several bottles of white vinegar for cleaning feet before entering the RV. A mixture of water and vinegar in a bowl does the job quite well. Playa dust is extremely alkaline, so the acidity of the vinegar removes the dust easily from skin. You can also use a vinegar and water mix to wipe down countertops inside the RV.

Get an old stained rug….. people will sell these for next to nothing or give them away. 6x6 feet is big enough, but larger works too. Put this in front of your RV, and either weigh it down or use lag bolts to screw it to the playa.

Place a non-shedding door mat on the carpet right when you walk in to the RV, so you can scrape your shoes.

Have a bucket at the door so you can immediately remove your shoes on the steps of the RV, and place them in the bucket.

Keep RV doors closed as much as possible. Consider hanging a sheet inside the RV to act as a door curtain to reduce dust blowing into the RV.

Have a bucket and towel at the door for people to wipe their feet before entering. This will help to keep the dust from tracking in.

If possible take a quick shower before getting in RV. This will remove any dust that you've tracked in on your body.

    Items You'll Need
    • Thick carpenter's plastic sheets or tarp (plastic sheets are better for indoor use). Tape this securely to floor and, if desirable, upholstered furniture
    • Superfluous amounts of painters tape (for taping down sheets internally)
    • Superfluous amounts of duct tape (for taping air filters externally)
    • Several air filters to catch dust which might otherwise flow into RV through ventilation holes
    • Broom for regular cleaning (dust will accumulate despite your best efforts)
    • Several bottles of white vinegar - good for cleaning dust from surfaces like table etc and for cleaning feet before getting in RV
    • Bucket and towel for cleaning feet before getting in RV
    • Probiotic black tank solution to kill toilet odour and liquify solid waste 
    • Shade structure with holes in the material so the wind won’t take it down
    • Solar panel to charge up RV battery while off-grid, unless you have sufficient generator capacity at your camp
    • 2 x proper camping tablecloth which can be strapped to indoor table and outdoor table which can handle a water/vinegar mix
    • Aluminium reflective padding for windows to reflect sun 
    • Extra bed sheets. Keep in trash bag and only open when needed. Do same for clothes and shoes
    • Old 6 x 6 outdoor rug 
    • Non-shedding door mat for indoor entrance to RV
    • Bucket at door to put shoes in to contain dust
    • Door curtain (not necessary if you are good about keeping the door shut)


    The Playa Store saves you time by delivering all the essential items you need for Burning Man, in a few clicks. Skip the research and prepping, just buy and go at

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