10 Tips for Maximizing Your RV’s Storage Space
No matter the size of your RV, it will never be as spacious as your home. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be as luxurious. You just have to be a little more selective about what you bring and then maximize your RV storage space by being strategic in the way you pack.
How you pack your RV will evolve over time – the more you camp, the more you’ll know what works for your family and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to try something on one trip and then do it in a totally different way on the next. There’s a little bit of trial and error involved in RV organization!
The unique storage solutions in the Bowlus Terra Firma and Endless Highways Edition provide RVers with ample space to pack both the necessities and the luxuries. That said, we’ve got a few RV organization tips, hacks, and storage ideas to help you on the way to your best RV life.
1. Make a List – and Don’t Overpack
Traveling in an RV means you can bring many of the luxuries of home with you – but you should carefully consider what you put into your luxury RV. Most seasoned RV owners keep a running list of the things they’ll need for every trip (plates, coffee pot, towels). They then customize it for each specific trip based on where they’re going and for how long.
When you’re making your RV road trip list, consider not only what you’ll need while you’re at your campsite, but also what you’ll need for your daily activities. Take a look at the weather forecast to make sure you have appropriate clothes for the weather. If you’re planning on hiking, your hiking boots should be on the list, as well as a backpack or whatever else you’ll need on your treks.
Do a little meal planning before you go and make sure all the menu items are on your list (including the condiments). Be sure to include your everyday items like food, toiletries, medications, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, a coffee pot…and whatever else is specific to the way your family likes to travel.
2. A Place for Everything
To avoid your luxury travel trailer looking and feeling cluttered, come up with a plan for where everything’s going to live. Consider adding Command hooks by the door for keys, your dog’s leash, or other small items that are easy to lose. Installing magnetic strips to hold your knives will maximize drawer and counter space (if you store sharp knives in the drawer, always use knife guards to ensure you don’t cut yourself). If you’re traveling with a pet, think about where you’ll keep her food and water bowls. Every Bowlus has a convenient drawer for your pet’s bowls, and we even include a personalized bed for your 4-legged companion.
3. Don’t Pack Your RV Unevenly
As you’re packing, make sure you’re balancing the weight over the length and width of your luxury RV. You don’t want all the heavy things on the same side of your travel trailer as that could lead to a tire blowout or trailer sway if you’re towing a larger RV.
4. Reconsider Packaging
Replacing bulky packaging with square storage containers will maximize space in your RV kitchen cupboards. Look for containers that have a strong airtight seal and your food will stay fresher than it would in the original packaging. The Container Store is a great place to shop for high quality storage containers of all shapes and sizes.
Also, fill smaller bottles with the soaps, shampoo, conditioners, and cleaning supplies you’ll need. If you’re headed out for the weekend or even a couple of weeks, the original package your brought home from the store will be way more than you need, and it’ll take up valuable space.
Transferring your spices into smaller containers and installing a magnetic spice rack on the wall will save you cupboard space and allow you to create flavorful gourmet meals. Just make sure the lids are securely in place before you hit the road or else you could discover an entirely different kind of flavor explosion when you reach your destination.
5. Get Creative in Your Cabinets
We’re big fans of not having a bunch of loose items just hanging out in our cabinets. Putting similar items in baskets, caddies, or other types of small storage bins helps to keep your cupboards organized and things in place while you’re in transit.
Consider the humble magazine holder, which is an unexpected RV kitchen storage solution. Most magazine holders are the perfect size to hold your boxes of zip-top bags, aluminum foil, and cling wrap. They’re also a great way to store canned goods – lay them on their sides and stack. Then, you can just pull out what you need like you would a can of soda from a 12-pack.
Whether your RV’s cabinets come with shelves or not, RV packing pros know how to make the most of whatever vertical space they have. Consider racks to stack your plates, stacking drawers, or even installing extra shelves if you’re looking for an easy DIY project. Going vertical turns wasted space into extra space!
6. Divided Containers
Hanging racks or storage bins with dividers are a great way to maximize your closet space. You can use some of the sections as a shoe organizer (shoes are notoriously bulky space hogs), and others for folded clothes. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and learn how to fold your clothing to maximize storage space.
7. Multi-Taskers for the Win
One of the best ways to maximize small spaces is to pack items that can be used for multiple things. For instance, a roll up dish rack can be used to dry dishes or freshly washed produce. Depending on what it’s made from, it could also serve as a hot pad.
You could also replace some of your RV kitchen appliances with a multi-cooker, which is the very definition of a multi-tasker. A fancy wood cutting board can also be used to serve appetizers, turning it into a practical and stylish multitasker.
8. Invest in Foldable and Stackable Items
Another great way to maximize RV space, especially in the kitchen, is to invest in gadgets that either collapse or nest in each other. Collapsible silicone mixing bowls and colanders are great space savers. When you’re purchasing pots and pans for your RV, look for ones that will stack nicely. We recommend putting a cloth or mat in between each pot to minimize rattles and prevent scratches as you’re traveling, especially if you’re bringing along a non-stick pan.
We also bring a collapsible trash can on our camping trips. These large receptacles fold flat when they’re not in use, but are great for your campsite, especially if you’re traveling with a crowd.
9. Don’t Forget Your Outside Storage
Your outside storage is another place where you can get creative. A mesh bag is a great way to store your freshwater hose, and small hose reels can be used to easily store your electric cable, or any other cables you may be bringing along. Plus, they make setting up and tearing down your campsite a breeze! For Class A motorhomes, larger plastic storage bins are a must to keep your basement area organized.
10. Secure Your Belongings
As you’re rolling down the road at 65 miles per hour, your RV is going through a mini earthquake. You’ll want to make sure that cabinets, doors, and drawers are secured before you leave. Many experienced campers place curtain tension rods inside their cabinets and refrigerator to help keep things in place during travel.
Also keep in mind that any accessories you’ve hung on the wall during your stay must be held there securely or they’ll come down while you’re driving. Finally, if you’re traveling with breakables such as wine glasses, you’ll need to pack them carefully using wine glass “socks” or some other cushioning material that will prevent chips and breakage.