Combining the freedom of the open road with the convenience of having your very own place to stay every step along the way does come with a few drawbacks.
Specifically, we’re talking about space. RVs are great for a lot of things, but even the biggest ones aren’t exactly swimming in free storage space, and when you’re in a small motorhome or travel trailer, you could be dealing with a seriously truncated footprint.
That’s not such a big deal if you’re traveling solo or with a spouse, but if you’ve got your family along for the ride (or you just have a lot of stuff), it can become a pretty serious hassle.
Fortunately, there are some fairly simple ways to significantly increase your RV’s available storage and living space, and it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive or time consuming.
Here are some simple RV space savers that’ll be a godsend if you’re taking a longer trip, or if you want to make extra sure that you and your family all feel like they have some room of their own.
Motorhomes are especially prone to storage issues, because they almost always have smaller living spaces than their travel trailer counterparts. That’s because part of the space has to be devoted to an engine chassis and driving area, whereas travel trailers are towed by secondary vehicles and thus can make better use of all their space.
So here are some storage ideas specifically for motorhomes that’ll make it a little easier to navigate inside your home on wheels.
1. Hide-away Garbage Can
While we don’t usually think about it as “storage,” we do store garbage until it’s time to take it out… and if you’re dealing with a mid-sized RV, having your garbage can floating in the middle of the floor can make for a frustrating (and smelly) use of space.
So why not tuck away your garbage can with one of these nifty behind-the-cabinet-door garbage can setups? It’s an investment of less than $30 that will totally transform how you move around your motorhome kitchen, not to mention making your RV’s interior a less-odorific place — wins on all counts, if you ask us!
2. Collapsible Dishware
It may seem like a small thing, but the bowls and cups that take up room in your cabinet make it impossible to add, well, other stuff to your cabinets — and these days, you can get high-quality, collapsible dishware in easy-to-clean silicone. So why wouldn’t you?
Along with ensuring you have extra room to stow your food and other necessities, collapsible dishware is also shatter-free and, in most cases, both microwave and dishwasher safe. You can get collapsible food storage containers for meal prep or leftovers, as well as collapsible bowls, collapsible cups, and even a collapsible dish drying rack. The future is now!
3. Pot Lid Organizers for Inside Your Cabinets
Even if you’ve never traveled in a motorhome, chances are you can identify with the frustration of trying to find a good way to organize pots, pans, and their various lids. Even in a large cabinet, it can quickly become a cluttered mess, and the problem is only amplified when you’re dealing with a tiny camper kitchen.
One solution is to purchase a set of nesting cookware, which makes it easy to access all the items you need without having to devote a crazy amount of storage space to your kitchen gear. But it can be a hefty investment, with some sets costing hundreds of dollars, so if you’re looking to avoid that kind of expense, a pot lid organizer might be the better bet. You can find them in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, and often for $20 or less. And they’ll work with any existing cookware you have, so you don’t have to worry about buying a whole new set.
4. Cabinet Door Spice Rack
If you’re a gourmand who likes to have all your favorite flavors easily at hand, you’ve probably run into the classic RV problem of not knowing how the heck to store all those spices… or having them perfectly organized in alphabetical order, only to start rolling around as soon as you set out on your adventure.
There’s a super easy solution, however, that’s also really affordable! You can buy these in-cabinet plastic gripper clips for under $10 for a set of three, which holds 12 standard sized spice jars… and keeps those spices of yours both easily accessible and out of the way, not to mention secure for the road. It really is a perfect RVing life hack!
RV Closet Organizer
RV clothes storage is a challenge all its own. Although the ideal solution is to travel only with the clothing you absolutely need, if you’re venturing out in chilly weather or have a larger number of people along with you for the ride, sometimes, you just need a way to separate out some extra storage space.
Here are our best ideas for keeping your wardrobe in order.
5. Hanging Closet Organizer
If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard us sing the praises of this surprisingly simple RV clothes storage solution before. But what can we say? It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s effective — and it doesn’t take any time at all to install. Just purchase the hanging clothes organizer and suddenly you have lots of extra storage space in your closet for clothes, or an easy way to separate out storage areas for different members of your camping part. This version on Amazon is available for less than $15, and it comes in a wide variety of colors, to boot!
6. Plastic Shoe Rack
Even if you’re not someone who has a whole lot of different kinds of shoes, a hanging plastic shoe rack may just be the item you didn’t know you needed to add to your RV clothes storage solution list. We’ve seen clever campers use them for everything from TV remotes to building an indoor garden (seriously), and you can also cut them apart and install them around the foot of your bed or in other creative places to amp up your storage.
7. RV Shelving
Another option for those looking for extra storage for their campers is to add in additional shelving, which you may insert in your kitchen, bedroom, or even inside existing cabinets and closets. It’s a little bit more time and work-intensive, of course, but adding shelving can make a big difference when it comes to storing more stuff in the same amount of space.
Looking for brainstorming ideas and tips on camper renovations, including adding storage space? Check out the following posts on RVshare:
- 6 Practical RV Renovations for Older RVs (Plus Photos!)
- Top DIY RV Renovation Tips
- A Collection of Our 30 Best RV Remodel Tips
8. Under-RV Storage
Finally, if you’re traveling in a sizable motorhome, you may have access to another important storage space it’s all too easy to overlook: your under-RV storage area! When you pull up that RV storage door, you may find you’ve failed to use the space very efficiently, or even failed to use it at all. But this storage space shouldn’t be taken for granted, and offers RVers a great place to stow not only large, outdoor items like patio furniture or adventure gear, but also storage boxes stuffed with the items you don’t use as often, whether those are crafts supplies or books you only occasionally open.
If you’re new to the RVing lifestyle, you may wonder how so many campers get by traveling in these vehicles which really require their users to shrink down their lifestyles significantly, especially if they’re full-timing. But the truth is, it’s exactly that devotion to minimalism that draws so many RVers to the lifestyle in the first place. It really gives them a chance to discern what really matters to them, and to do away with the stuff that doesn’t!
Curious to see what the RV life is like for yourself, but not quite ready to make the major investment of purchasing an RV of your own? No worries! You can find an authentic and interesting RV to take a trip in on the peer-to-peer marketplace at RVshare, where you’ll find tons of rigs of every shape, size, and style to choose from.
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