RVing, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Actually, I won’t even start — because I wouldn’t know where or how to. Combining the comfort of having your own private space to the liberation of the open road, traveling by motorhome is pretty much the best thing ever, especially if you’re one of those adventurers with seemingly infinite wanderlust.
But there is one minor drawback to bringing your whole house with you for your road trip: it’s gotta be a pretty small house if it’s gonna work. Even a luxurious 40-foot diesel pusher doesn’t have that much living space to work with, and just a tiny fraction of that area is devoted to storage space.
While it’s true that you probably have more room for your stuff than you would in your day-to-day vehicle, you also have more things to bring along when you’re RV camping — like kitchen goodies, cookware, and bath towels. Heck, you’ve even got full-sized furniture along for the ride! Add some kids into the mix, and you’ve got toys and childcare accessories to worry about, not to mention the bikes, kayaks, and other adventure gear you may be taking along for your exploration.
Which begs the question: where are you going to put it all?
RV Storage Ideas
When it comes to traveling in a house on wheels, storage becomes something of an art form. And it’s definitely a fact: the right storage solutions can make all the difference. With stuff spewing out all over the place, even the comfiest RV can begin to feel cramped and claustrophobic. But with the right attention to detail, a modest trailer or sleeper van can feel clean, cool, and ready for adventure.
That’s why we put together this post of some of our very favorite RV storage and organization ideas: to help ensure you actually enjoy every moment you spend on the road, not just the ones outside your RV’s four walls. The whole point of RVing is to enjoy a home-away-from-home atmosphere, so you might as well go ahead and make your rig homey — which means getting things organized!
From simple, premade organizers you can easily afford to DIY solutions, here’s our master list of RV storage and organization hacks.
It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes, adding a few extra items can help you keep the pile of stuff you already have much tidier. Here are a few affordable (and in some cases, even DIY!) RV organization accessories that will ensure everything is kept in its rightful place.
1. Closet conundrum? You’ve gotta keep it separated.
If there’s only one thing you take from this post to improve your RVing adventures, we hope it’s this: invest in an RV closet organizer. (And considering they’re available for less than $15 on Amazon, we use the term “invest” pretty loosely.)
Those traveling with families know all too well the unique frustration of trying to cram everyone’s wardrobe into a limited RV closet space. And even if you’re journeying solo or with a significant other, all those little pockets and shelves can serve to effectively double your clothing storage and help keep things neat and tidy. In other words, you and your boo will never get your underwear mixed up again.
2. Clutter by the bedside? Clean it up with a portable “night stand.”
You’ve got your cell phone, notebook, reading glasses, whatever it is you’re actually reading… and soon, you’ve got a great big mess right alongside your bed.
At home, you might be able to just stuff it all in the nightstand and forget about it. But depending on the design of your RV, you may not have a convenient nightstand junk drawer… or any nightstand at all!
That’s part of the reason we love this portable, caddy-style organizer. Not only does it offer extra room and encourage you to keep things separated and easy to find, but you can also simply pick it up and tote it along with you to the living room, or wherever your wind-down hours take you!
3. Try this cute (and functional) homemade toothbrush holder.
Toothbrush storage becomes so much more of a conundrum in a camper. Simply throwing your brush inside the bathroom cabinet with no protection is downright gross, and when’s the last time you had a toothbrush that actually fit inside those little hanging wall holders they make? Plus, then they’re exposed to the dust and germs out in the open air… it’s like there’s no way to win.
That is, until Stephanie of Crafting in the Rain came up with the perfect solution, which keeps your toothbrushes neatly stored and safe while still ensuring they’re handy and ready to go. (After all, twice a day is a minimum!)
Plus, with the adorable personalized letters on each of these easy DIY PVC-pipe holders, even stubborn kids will feel a little bit more motivated to brusha-brusha-brusha.
4. Extra TP is important. Here’s how to store it.
No one wants to be in the unfortunate position of running out of toilet paper at just the wrong time. But what are you supposed to do with all those extraneous rolls, especially if you’re traveling in a small camper with not a whole lot of basement or under-RV storage?
Cool DIY Ideas has a great solution: use an old magazine holder! After all, these days, you’re probably reading off your phone while you’re in there, anyway.
5. Power up with extra electrical outlets.
When you’re camping, pretty much everything that takes up space should have not one, but two uses. Couple that with the fact that you can pretty much never have enough electrical outlets, and you get this storage solution hint: if you’re going to have a desk lamp on board, make sure it’s one that has an electrical outlet! That way, you can charge your electric goodies while you’re using the light for whatever you’re using it for — like using pen and paper, as if that ever still happens.
6. Towing a trailer? Keep the car organized with over-the-seat caddies.
If you’re in a travel trailer rather than a motorhome, you spend a lot of time in your tow vehicle — and it can get cluttered just as quickly as your cabin can. That’s especially true if you’re traveling with kids, who have to bring along their whole playpen in order to endure the long driving hours of a typical camping road trip.
These backseat car organizers can help keep everything you and your family needs within reach, without having it be spread all over the backseat itself. Even if you’re not traveling with kids, it’s an easy and affordable way to extend your RV’s storage space, especially for items that you don’t need every single day inside the coach itself.
RV Kitchen Storage
If there’s one place we could probably all use a little bit of extra room, it’s our RV’s kitchen. Don’t get us wrong, being able to cook your own meals on the road is revolutionary and all… but man, pots, pans, and eating utensils take up a lot of room, not to mention the challenge of packing enough food for your family into those tiny cabinets!
But there are a few relatively simple RV kitchen storage hacks that will help your mobile food prep area stay culinary rather than cluttered. In fact, if the kitchen is the heart of any home, these storage systems may just grow your rig’s heart a few sizes larger.
In a good way. Not in a catastrophic heart failure way.
7. Fresh fruit? Let it all hang out.
Fruit bowls are lovely displays, of course — why else would so many artists immortalize them in still life paintings?
But when you’re on the road, those carefully-arranged apples and bananas can quickly take to flying through the air if you forget to stow them away when you’re ready to pick up camp and move on. (All to say nothing of the fact that your beautiful bowl takes up precious kitchen counter space, which you probably don’t have too much of to spare.)
Our favorite solution to this potentially-sticky problem? A fruit hammock! Not only does it save you space, but it also helps your fruit last longer by providing gentle ventilation that won’t bruise or crush. And yeah, it looks pretty neat, too.
8. Use the power of magnets to organize your knives…
If you’re an avid chef, you know how important it is that the blade matches the purpose. But when you’ve got several knives on hand, it can be difficult to find a way to fit them all in your RV’s kitchen drawers… and big, clunky knife block is right out of the question.
Magnetic knife strips are a great way to keep your knives handy, out of the way, and also as sharp as possible, since they won’t be clanging around with other silverware in your drawer. Just make sure they’re well-adhered before you take off for a new campsite — you definitely don’t want those guys flying around inside your coach!
9. … or to help you spice it up…
The very best RV storage solutions are both functional and stylish, and that’s exactly what the clever Mrs. M pulled off with her creative, magnetic RV spice rack. Along with being a great way to keep your flavors close at hand and out of the way, it also makes for a really fun, affordable craft project — read more about how to make your own over at her blog, Living by Faith.
10. …or to hack just about any other RV storage challenge!
Honestly, using magnetized storage is one of our very favorite space saving ideas, both in an RV or a sticks-and-bricks home. You can find all kinds of neat magnetic storage solutions, like this all-in-one paper towel and utensil organizer by Great Circle. Just make sure it’s good and solid before you put, as they do in the photo, something as heavy as a full wine bottle into the caddy. And don’t forget, if you don’t have room on your RV refrigerator (or if it isn’t magnetic), you can always install magnetic strips on your RV’s walls!
11. Choose your cookware wisely.
One of the simplest ways to maximize the limited space inside your RV kitchen cabinets actually has nothing to do with retrofitting more shelving or finding clever ways to mount magnetic objects.
It’s actually as simple as purchasing pots, pans, and other cookware items that were made to fit in as little space as possible, such as this space-saving six-piece set by Calphalon.
The $299 price tag might seem steep, but as long as you take care of them, pots and pans really only need to be purchased once. And by choosing a single, stacking set like this (as opposed to just bringing along whichever pieces from home you feel like), you’ll capitalize on your RV’s kitchen space and buy yourself more room to store other goodies — like, you know, actual food!
12. Or invest in quality cabinet organizers.
Not in the market for a whole new set of cookery? We get it. Fortunately, there are less-expensive ways to achieve more or less the same result.
A simple kitchen cabinet organizer can help keep unruly pans and lids at bay, both increasing your usable storage space and making it way easier to find the piece you’re actually looking for. And at less than $15, it’s a far cry from purchasing a whole new set!
13. Want a DIY solution? Try tension rods.
Here’s a way to keep your kitchen goodies separated and secure that’s both super-cheap and fully customizable. Instead of buying a wire cabinet organizer, try a pack of tension rods — yup, the kind you might use for window curtains. A pack of six will run you about $15 on Amazon, and you can easily install and reinstall to your heart’s content.
14. Opt for a roll-up dish rack — yes, it’s a thing!
Cooking in your RV is one thing, but clean-up can be a whole different ballgame. After all, you most likely aren’t packing a dishwasher, even in the most luxurious of rigs… and you can only fit so much into even the most generous of kitchen sinks.
Taking up counter space with a traditional drying rack could spell disaster if you forget to put things up before you pull out of camp, and besides, even the folding ones are pretty unwieldy to store. That’s why we were so excited to find this roll-up dish rack — it’s almost like it was custom made for RV travel! Just unroll it over your sink to allow your dishes to drip dry, and then curl it back up tight when it’s time to store it and move on. Super simple, super brilliant, and it’ll only set you back about $20.
15. Don’t want to stare at garbage all day? Tuck it away with a cabinet can.
Garbage is a smelly problem even in the best of circumstances — and that goes double when you’re traveling in the tight quarters of an RV. A traditional garbage can not only allows obnoxious odors into your rig’s coach, but also takes up precious floor space. Definitely not ideal.
These convenient in-cabinet garbage cans are perfect for RVing; they keep your garbage out of sight, out of mind, and — most importantly — out from underfoot. They’re small, but in a rig, you’ll be wanting to take out your garbage pretty frequently anyway. And they’re cheap enough that you can easily invest in one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom!
16. Extend your shelf space with under-shelf baskets.
Finding yourself just a little bit short on space, even after getting really creative with how you store things?
Maybe you just need a little bit of extra room — which these easy-to-use, under-shelf baskets can provide in a jiffy. They’re great for packing extra dry goods into your kitchen, but as the photos show, you can also use them in the bathroom or bedroom for clothes, towels, and more!
Sometimes, the very best RV hacks and home storage solutions are also the easiest — not to mention the cheapest. In fact, in many cases, a simple DIY solution can totally change the way you camp.
Here are a few storage ideas so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t already think of them. (But no worries: now that you know about them, they’re so easy you can set them up this very day!)
17. Pin up those little papers and notes.
If you’re anything like we are here at RVshare, your travels are chock-full of little bits and pieces you don’t want to forget. From the ticket stubs from that once-in-a-lifetime attraction to your grocery list (hey, it can’t all be exciting), it’s easy to lose track of small scraps, even when they’ve got a whole lot of importance.
Good thing Love Your RV came up with a super-simple, easy DIY solution: pin them up on a corkboard! By placing it inside a kitchen cabinet, you won’t clutter up your RV’s walls, and you’ll be reminded of your favorite adventures (and upcoming errands) every time you grab a mug for your morning tea or coffee.
18. Don’t underestimate the power of velcro.
Got a habit of losing the TV remote? (Or, let’s be real — in 2018, it’s more like the three TV remotes, all of which you only use for like two functions. How have we put a man on the moon but not come up with a way to control the television with one object? I digress.)
Just a small strip of velcro on an unassuming side of your RV couch can help you keep those zappers close at hand at all times. That way, you won’t miss even a minute of your favorite show because you’re busy scrambling around searching!
19. Need just a few extra pockets? This storage solution is a shoe-in.
We hope you’ll forgive us for the awful pun once you see how useful this ridiculously easy storage solution is. All you need is one of those cheap, commercially-available cloth shoe storage racks, some scissors, and some velcro… and you’ve got an amazingly versatile storage hack to add anywhere in your RV you see fit. (Some choice spots include along the base of the bed in the master or on the sides of your RV couch.)
Shout out to Do It Yourself RV for breaking down how simple this storage hack is to implement.
20. Make better use of your RV bathroom towel rack.
Seriously, when’s the last time you actually used the rack rather than simply hanging your damp towel over the door?
RV bathroom cabinet space is already crazy limited, so why not give yourself a little bit of extra wiggle room by installing some storage bins on your towel rack instead?
21. Use plastic grocery bags for everything? Here’s how to store them.
From trash can liners to makeshift shower caddies to tote to the campground bathhouse, there’s not much plastic grocery bags can’t do… aside from being easy to store, it seems.
Enter this incredible (and so, so simple!) idea from Infarrantly Creative, which repurposes an old bleach wipe container into a handy, one-at-a-time plastic bag dispenser. Plus, it’s cute. Yes, please!
Creative hacks and innovative camping storage ideas aside, there are a few items that simply must be stored in traditional containers. Like food.
But even in these cases, going about it the right way can save you a whole lot of room… which means you can bring more of the good stuff on board with you!
22. Food storage containers are worth the money — as long as they’re square!
Time for some basic geometry. How much more food can you fit into your rig’s tiny kitchen if the storage containers you use all fit neatly together?
Don’t worry, we’re not actually going to make you do any math. But it’s definitely a lot more than you’ll be able to pack in if you’re using round or otherwise irregularly-shaped containers.
A good set of airtight food containers can help you keep leftovers and dry goods fresh for longer than they’d stay in a bag or box, as well as allowing you to pack more of it into your RV’s kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. You can even look into smaller, single-serving containers made specifically for meal prep — see? Staying fit on the road doesn’t have to be a headache!
23. Got old food storage canisters and boxes? Reuse ’em!
Want to be green and store things more efficiently? You know the drill: reduce, reuse, recycle!
Old lemonade and milk jugs make great pourable containers for cereal or granola, and also allow you to buy from the bulk bins, which is more cost-effective than boxes. You can also repurpose coffee creamer bottles and the little canisters the shakable parmesan cheese comes in!
24. Keep those rolls from rolling around with a magazine organizer.
Aluminum foil and saran wrap help you keep your food fresher longer… and can be a total pain in the you-know-what to store in your cabinets.
Rather than trying to figure out how to shoehorn those long boxes into your short kitchen drawers — or worse, letting the rolls wander around inside as you drive, getting loose, dirty, and disheveled — try this brilliant and simple hack from The Kitchn. After all, in the digital age, when’s the last time you used a magazine file for actual magazines?
25. Another idea: mount them!
If you’ve got the extra room on your RV’s walls, you can make your quest for food storage accessories like aluminum foil and cling wrap even easier by mounting the rolls of aluminum foil and saran wrap on the wall. Crazy easy and useful, right? A great idea from Anna Moseley over at Ask Anna.
We hope these RV storage and organization solutions help you create a comfortable, efficient space to serve as a cozy home base for your next great adventure. When everything in your RV is safely in its place, you’re free to explore the wide world around you knowing you have an uncluttered home environment to return to and rest in.
And by the way, if you have any favorite storage hacks… let us know in the comments! You know the old saying: necessity is the mother of invention. It’s no surprise, then, that many of the very best storage ideas we’ve seen have come directly from inventive campers like you! We’re always looking for fresh, new ideas, and no one’s more creative than the camping community. So please feel free to share your own ideas and hacks below.
Happy, well-organized trails, campers!
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