Added RV Shelving

youtubeAre you one of the thousands of newbies that have taken up RVing over the past year? Are you overwhelmed on where to store everything that you need to take with you and how to keep it in place during transit? Do you just end up piling everything in a closet or baggage compartment then sorting through it at camp when you need something?

Here are 6 tips to maximize your storage space and keep it organized:

1. Wire Shelving - Cabinetry is one of the most expensive components of an RV, therefore manufacturers tend to underutilize interior cabinet space to its full potential. Many overhead cabinets feature 14” to 16” of interior height. While this is convenient to store a box of cereal or two in an upright position, how many other tall items does an RVer take with them that need that kind of storage height? Head down to your local home improvement store and pick up some of that white wire shelving and install a shelf to break up the space. It is available in varying depths making it easy to find the right size for your RV cabinets (over head and under counter). Bonus tip: Install the vertical edge that is normally turned down in household applications, turned up instead, it acts as a lip keeping items from sliding off the shelf during transit.

Wire shelving can be used to maximize under counter storage too

2. Wire Baskets - How many RVers really need three or four full length wardrobes? Looking at some RVs you would think the designer believed the owners would be attending formal galas every evening and needed somewhere to hang numerous gowns and dress slacks. Convert some or all of those wardrobes into three or four horizontal spaces by installing wire shelving as listed above or wire baskets to store linens and towels.

Convert all or part of a wardrobe into additional storage with wire baskets and shelves

3. Coat Hooks - Wall space is always underutilized in RVs so take advantage of it by installing coat hooks near the entry door. Now coats that would normally take up closet space are out and available for use allowing you to place other items in the closet. Be sure to purchase one with multiple hooks on one cross bar (as shown) rather than individual hooks. It is much easier to find one or two studs to attach a bar to rather than individual hooks that might not have any backing.

Multi-hook coat rack provides more closet space

4. Bed Storage Containers - Purchase some plastic under bed storage containers with wheels. These work great in long deep storage compartments that extend the entire width of the RV. They easily roll in and out allowing access to your items, plus many compartment doors are tall enough to accommodate one on top of another maximizing the use of the space. If stacking two deep, make sure and buy the ones with indents designed to nestle the wheels of the unit above. This will keep them locked together during travel.

Under Bed Storage Bins

5. Drawer Organizers - Just like a home, a RV has to have enough silverware for the entire family along with all the kitchen cooking utensils, the only problem is RVs have a lot less drawer space to house them. Install drawer organizers like you have at home to keep silverware separated by type and in its place as you travel down the road.

6. Spring Loaded Curtain Rods - The thought process used while designing most RV medicine cabinets is questionable at best. Shelves that are just a few inches deep are made of plastic or another slick material that are supposed to keep items in place while an RV bounces down the road. As most new RVers quickly learn, the only thing keeping the items on the shelf is the cabinet door. Once opened, the items quickly exit the cabinet. To keep items organized, upright and on the shelf, purchase and install some spring loaded curtain rods. They are inexpensive, easy to install and you can adjust them to the height and depth needed to keep your items in place. Curtain rods also work great in the refrigerator too.

Spring loaded curtain rods keep things in place in the medicine cabinet

By employing these tips you will find you can keep items in your RV organized, secured better in transit and easier to find when needed making your next camping trip more enjoyable. For more RV organization tips, see our article on organizing for kids. You can also download our checklists for RV Essentials and Master Packing List.

Handy Checklists for Packing

Questions? Comments? Please add your thoughts below.

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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