10 Tips for Maximizing Space In Your RV


Wade Thiel

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Wade divides his time among various outdoor activities in both urban and rural environments. An adventurer by nature, he is always up for a challenging hike, fun hunt, or day out on the water with friends and family. When he isn’t enjoying the outdoors, he’s writing, reading, or tinkering with motorcycles and cars.

Space in an RV isn’t exactly abundant. Many RVers struggle to find room for all the things they want to take along. While most RVs — like the Happier Camper, for example — do a good job of making the most of their square footage, there’s always things you can do to maximize that space even more.

Here are ten of the best ways to best use the space you have available inside your RV.

1. Use Camping-Specific Household Items

Collapsible Camping CookwareFirst thing’s first, you’re in an RV, so make sure the items you take with you are designed for that space. That means camping-specific kitchenware, smaller toiletry items, a smaller trash can. Get things that fit the space. Don’t try to make the space fit your things.

Kitchenware is easy. There are all kinds of pots, pans, plates, and utensils created to be compact and useful. Collapsible cookware is extremely handy and easy to use. Having a kitchen that’s outfitted with RV and camping-specific items will help you make the most of your limited kitchen storage.

2. Eliminate Useless Items

In addition to buying items designed specifically for an RV, make sure you eliminate unnecessary items. Make a list of all possessions you have in the RV, and then sit down and go over the list to see what can be eliminated.

Be honest with yourself. If you truly need something, keep it on the list. If you have something you’re on the fence about, talk it over with your significant other, family, or whoever you’ll be traveling with. If you don’t need it, don’t take it along.

3. Have a Place for Everything

food cupboard, pantry with jars

Staying organized while in your RV is one of the best ways to make the most of your limited space. Before you head out in your RV, have a place for everything, and make sure the people you’ll be traveling with know where each item goes.

I’m not saying you need to be a neat freak. You’re camping, things are going to get dirty and cluttered, but it’s always nice to know that everything fits in the RV easily, and having a specific place for your things makes cleanup a cinch.

4. Use Your Wall Space

One thing that I notice most often in a lot of RVs is that usable wall space isn’t being utilized. When you have such a small floor plan, you need to use the vertical space for storing items. Some RVs have more wall space than others, but you should make the most of whatever you do have.

Hooks, shelves, magnet strips, and hanging storage units are great for using wall space. Whether it’s clothing, kitchen utensils, or electronics, there’s a way to use your wall space and get items up off the floor or out of cabinets.

5. Use Divided Organizers inside of Drawers

Organization of storage of socks and panties in the drawer of the chest of drawers, cabinet.

Inside the drawers in your kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, you don’t want to just toss things in there. It becomes a jumbled mess. There are a variety of organizers out there for drawers. If you want to best utilize that space get some that fit your RV.

Silverware, cooking utensils, and toiletries all fit in drawers better if you have an organizer. Even the famed junk drawer can become a reasonably usable space if you have the proper organizer in the drawer.

6. Hang Items On the Inside of Cabinet Doors

Similar to using wall space, you can use the inside of your cabinet doors to hang items. There are a variety of organizers that will either hang over the cabinet door or attach to the door. You can even put hooks on the back of the doors if needed.

The back of cabinet doors works well for things like sponges, brushes, and cleaning supplies in kitchen cabinets. In the bathroom, you can use the inside of your cabinet doors for storage containers that can be a place for toothbrushes, toothpaste, or a hairbrush.  For more RV bathroom supplies, check out this page here at Camping World.

7. Install Drawers Under Tables

Need a little extra storage space for placemats, utensils, or a deck of cards and other odds and ends? Add a drawer to the underside of a table in your RV.

The size and depth of the drawer will depend on the seating around the table, and if it’s a collapsible table, you may have to take that into account when adding the drawer.

8. Hang Shower Items

hook for fixing furniture

It’s always surprising to me how many things end up on the little ledge around a tub or shower. Instead of leaving those things to sit on a ledge, why not get a shower caddy or some kind of wall hanger for your shower?

This will best utilize your vertical space and allow you to have everything you need without tripping over something while you wash. The idea is a lot like utilizing wall space in the rest of your RV. The walls of the shower are just sitting there. Why not use them?

9. Organize the Storage Under Your Bed

Most RVs have storage underneath the bed in the main sleeping area. If yours doesn’t, first consider updating your bed frame to one that does have some kind of storage underneath it.

Having space is one thing. Utilizing it properly is another. Totes and dividers can help make the most of that space. You can store laundry under your bed or use it for any number of other items.

10. Get an Organizer for Your RV’s Basement

Many RVs have storage spaces known as basements, and usually, it’s just a large open space for storage. Don’t let that space become the catchall for random stuff. You can get totes and dividers to make the most of that storage space.

When you divide up and organize the basement of your RV you’ll have more room for other items, meaning you won’t have to store those items inside the RV, freeing up more space indoors.  Are you still short on space? Check out how you can maximize your space using tankless water heaters.

Want to give a fresh look to your RV cabinets? Check out how you can paint your RV cabinets with ease. Want to bring your design vision to life by updating or renovating your RV? Check out the Camping World Design Center! With over 46 locations nationwide, Camping World Design Centers help RVers plan, create, and complete custom interior design projects.

How do you make the most of your RV’s limited space? Leave a comment below.

  • Comment (18)
  • Marilyn says:

    We have a toyhauler that has pullout drawers installed under the upper bunk bed in the cargo area. They pull halfway out on both sides of the bed . My son and his girlfriend had plenty of space to keep their clothes, toiletries, etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    We use the microwave for storage!

  • E jolly says:

    It’s really hard to let go of things that take up space. My trick put painters tape on everything in the motorhome at beginning of season. When you use it take off the tape, at the end of the season if it has tape on it you don’t need it.

  • Al Wouters says:

    There’s just the two of us. I have an RL. Two chairs and love seat (fold out bed).
    Thinking about removing love seat and putting in a dresser style cabinet.

  • Happy camper x2 says:

    We have a toy Hauler so very little drawer space . but I hung plastic shoe totes in the cargo area that hold about a dozen pair of shoes. I use them for dish clothes, curling iron, hair and cleaning supplies. They are hung with push pins and command hooks.

  • BJ says:

    3M Command hooks are the best!!

  • B Wise says:

    Hanging items on the walls would be great, but, for the most part, there is nothing behind the wall surfaces to affix nails, screws, etc to. Also, wiring is behind the paneling or wall surface. Command hooks will work for a period of time but , especially in the summer will fall off.

  • Brenda Ragland says:

    How do you know where you can put a hole in the wall?

  • Patty Ashworth says:

    We use tension curtain rods to hang up towels and damp clothes. Use rolls of paper towels to keep things from moving around in the cabinets. Empty Kleenex boxes are great for spices, and bathroom items.

  • kristine says:

    Hi Amy,
    what sort of glue did you use?

  • Natasha says:

    Where do you store the tote when you arrive at your destination?

  • Julie McAllister says:

    Instead of using traditional means of hanging items, use command hooks instead- easy to remove no damage so you can change things up when you want.

  • robert tower says:

    use stud finder about $20,,, command hooks for lighter items. toggle bolts for medium weight things if no stud. where there is an outlet there will be wires. For live AC wiring you never know. usually staight down from a swich and then about a foot down goes left or right. an inductive amplifier such as 200EP can help (about $90 new but many used ones out there for $60) . just go slow

  • Sherry says:

    Going rving… 1st time from Indiana to So-Cal
    Any hints to make it easier ???

  • Anonymous says:

    Under the bed.

  • Pam says:

    You can buy folding totes. Walmart sells cardboard/ fabric ones $5 ea . They work great!

  • Andi says:

    The dollar tree has different shaped collapsible boxes. Beige and brown colors.

  • Amy says:

    We glued (construction adhesive) appropriately sized 1” thick boards to the walls, and then screwed the shelf into the board. It’s been 3 years, and still going strong! We put several shelves in the living room and dining areas, and a 2 shelf unit in the bathroom above the toilet. I use baskets on the shelves so items can be quickly stowed away when we are traveling! (Baskets go into a tote that gets stored in the shower while we are under way)

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