Smart Storage Solutions For RV Living

15 September 2020

Stephanie Skinner-Trotter

One of the most common reasons that people do not think they could live the RV life full time is space, or lack thereof. Downsizing from a house or an apartment to a home on wheels means significant compromises on storage space.

If you are ready to make the leap, you are a newbie or you are an accomplished RV-er already, we are here to help. These RV storage hacks will save you space and a headache down the (metaphorical and literal) road!

The good news is that you probably have more space than you realize. Inefficient storage can make a small space seem even smaller, whereas optimizing your space with smart storage solutions and hacks can make all the difference.

Let’s get down to it.

1. Get Organized

Know What You Have

This may not be what you want to hear, however in order to save space you must get organized. That means knowing what you have so that you are not carting around junk you do not use or need simply because it is hidden in the bottom of the closet.

Go through and list everything that you have. You may be surprised to learn that you have multiples of items, for example more plates than you truly need. Decide how many of each item you actually need and off load the excess.

Have a place for everything

Have a place for every item and have every item in its place. You have probably already figured out that this is important for safely driving so items are not crashing around as you take turns, but it also serves a space saving purpose too. This is like a game of tetris. It will be easier to figure out which pieces fit snugly together one time, rather than rearranging every time you access them.

Do you need to bring it?

It is time to get real with yourself. What do you really need to take with you for your trip or extended adventure? Can you wash clothes as you go? If so, how many pairs of pants does that mean you need? Do you need multiple snow jackets, or is that a style choice? The thing here is that we are human: if a choice does not seem logical on paper, but you know that it will make you happy to have certain things with you, then you should still bring them. You can always make it up in other areas that are not so personally burdensome to you.

2. Optimize, Modify and Switch Products

Easy Storage Modifications:

The following ideas are ways to optimize your current storage areas for maximum ease of access and efficiency.

Door Mounts

As many hooks or organizing systems you can situate over the back of doors the better. Doors are basically empty space ripe for becoming smart storage solutions! This door mounted organizer is well-loved on Amazon.

Storage Bins On Shelves

Placing storage bins inside of the overhead shelves in your RV will help maximize that space. You can place them either upright to pull out when accessing, or place them on their side to separate the wide shelf into a more organized space. Check out these fabric closet organizer bins.

Drawer Units

Using empty space above and below surfaces is important when maximizing the storage in your RV. You can repurpose under sink drawer systems in order to do this. These units can help get more usable space out of bedroom closets and other places in your RV.

Peg board

This is a bigger project, but if you are handy or know someone who can help, consider incorporating pegboard into your kitchen area in the RV. You can fully customize the pegboard to store pans, utensils and more. The only limit is your imagination! Read more about this idea here.

If DIY is not your thing, consider this magnetic strip that can hold knives, utensils, pans and a cutting board.

Space Saving Products:

Once you have optimized your storage areas, consider the following products as smart storage solutions to hack your storage space.

Nesting bowls

The theme here is to choose dishes that can stack together with the least wasted space. You may love your wooden carved bowl, but if it needs to be stacked alone it may be better off left behind for your RV adventure.

There are sets of stacking bowls that you can purchase, or evaluate your current options and see if you can organize them in such a way where they nest inside each other for storage. If you are looking to get a new set, consider getting a bowl set that includes lids so your bowl set doubles as both food preparation bowls and containers for leftovers.

You can also purchase nesting pots, pans and more. This full size set by Calphalon is wonderful for both in the RV and in your home kitchen.

Hanging fruit basket or fruit hammock

You need every square inch of counter space when preparing meals in an RV. Even when BBQing outside, the inside kitchen area will see use daily. Further limiting the counter space by having an assortment of fruit waiting to be eaten seriously cramps your movements. Using a hanging fruit basket or a fruit hammock solves this issue. Not only do the bright colors of the fruit decorate the kitchen area, the banana’s, apples and tangerines are up in the air, safely out of the way of food preparation.

Portable “Nightstand”

In an RV, there is only so much surface space and that does not change in the bedroom. The bed stand table gets cluttered even in brick-and-mortar homes, despite the additional square footage, so it is no surprise that RV’s either have limited or no bedside surface space. A portable nightstand product takes the bedside table clutter off of the surface and hangs it over the side in a neat and low profile pocket organizer.

Dish Cradles

By putting your dishes in a secure dish cradle, you free up a lot of space in your storage. By stacking vertically instead of horizontally, the space is betting optimized, making this hack a smart storage solution. These dish cradles double up as both space saving products and dish dryers. Just pull these out of the cabinet, place over a dishcloth and voila!

3. Make Your RV a Home

Organization and smart storage solutions make all the difference for RV living. Feeling like you are living in a comfortable space is what makes your rig a home, and not just a vehicle. Now that you have set everything up for success, it is time to follow your dream and make your RV your home.