If you’re planning more than just a long weekend adventure, every #RV owner knows that #storage is …. or will become … an issue. No matter how much storage you already have, there’s never enough. We learned from living aboard our sailboat how to take advantage of every available nook and cranny.
Since every travel trailer or RV is different, you’ll need to examine every space available. We have significant spaces that are going unused or underused – primarily in cabinets, under tables and beds. Space that doesn’t matter in a larger house, can be converted to valuable organizational utility in any camper or RV.
Open every door and evaluate — is there space above whatever is sitting on the shelf or base? If so, is there a way to add a drawer or slideout to utilize that empty space? The key is to do a self-inspection and decide for yourselves.
Here are some ideas:
1. If you’re lucky enough to be shopping for a new travel trailer, camper or RV, be sure to take into consideration future storage requirements. When we were shopping for a lightweight travel trailer to tow with our Toyota 4 Runner, we loved the “R Pod” trailers and probably would have bought one, but closer investigation showed lack of storage space to be a major concern for living in the trailer months at a time. We love all the storage our Lance 1685 trailer provides, and still allows us to tow it with our 4 Runner. Not many lightweight trailers have ample storage space for longer term (2-3 months at a time) adventures.
2. Even though it’s inconvenient at times, we utilize the microwave to store plastic storage containers and our microwave steamer. The oven is a great place to store baking dishes and cookie sheets. For the oven, make sure the items will fit in the smaller oven and square plastic storage containers – the nesting ones with the lids that attach to the bottom – make life more organized.
3. Convert hanging space to shelves for much more storage space. In our Lance 1685, we added shelves and increased our storage by 50%! We did leave a small amount of hanging space for the rare occasion we need clothes that can’t be folded and stored on shelves.
4. BIG underbed storage space is great, but not very functional. Dividing it up into storage containers that fit the space, makes it much more functional … and easier to find what’s needed! We found all the special sizes we needed at The Container Store.
5. Adding drawers under our salon table allows us a place to toss “stuff” — sunglasses, wallets, anything that might normally get thrown on a dresser in a house, now has it’s own space to live without cluttering up table or counter space.
6. A key rack above the door gives truck keys as well as camper keys a place to live. Once we got in the habit of always putting them there, we’ve eliminated constant cases of “where’s the keys-itis”.
7. The two hanging cabinets we didn’t convert to shelves have wasted space at the bottom, so we bought a plastic drawers to occupy the space. The drawers keep socks, underwear and swimsuits. There are a couple inches on one side for longer items such as the couple of dresses I take, just in case.
8. Adding an inside the door trashcan de-clutters living space and used some otherwise unused space. (Our doors were too wide for the hook over the top variety, so we had to search for one that fit in a bracket inside the door.)
9. Every door offers an opportunity to utilize a hanging over the door storage unit, inside the door storage – or at the very least a hook or two. Command Hooks come in different colors, are very strong and don’t use screws. We use Command Hooks because they can be removed without damaging the attached surface. We use hooks for jackets and other clothing that might otherwise just get tossed in the dinette area.
10. Adding wooden shelf racks can provide a place for magazines, remotes, other little items that get in the way. We have a spice rack and a magazine rack. We’re adding an upside down wooden rack to below our storage over the bed where our DirecTV receiver can live instead of taking up valuable drawer space — or sitting out on the bed.
If your camper is nearby, go inspect it now and see what opportunities may be lurking inside those doors and cabinets that providing space that can be better utilized. Do you see opportunities that I’ve missed?
Please leave a comment and share! Cheers! Jan