Insufficient storage is one of the biggest issues that RVers have — especially fulltime RVers!
Whether you have a small travel trailer or a large motorhome, if you can’t take all of the stuff that you want to take with you, then frustration will quickly set in.
Following are 7 ways to make the most of the limited storage space inside your RV…
RV Storage Issues
Prior to the mid 90’s, RV manufacturers didn’t give much thought to the problem of not having enough storage. Outside storage compartments were few and usually small in size. And with their long narrow doors, fitting anything of substantial size inside was nearly impossible.
Finally later in the decade, the idea of RV basement storage became popular, greatly increasing the capacity to store some serious cargo.
After liquidating our house and moving into a Bounder motorhome, the amount of storage space we had suddenly became a huge issue! We used every square inch and lusted for more.
Here are 7 things that I did in my motorhome:
#1 – Add More Rear Storage
If you have a motorhome, you can add a platform off the rear for extra storage.
I built a storage platform mounted off the rear of the motorhome where we carried a motorcycle, barbeque grill, step ladder, and other assorted outdoor items.
If you tow a car, a 2-inch hitch extender will extend the receiver out about 18 inches. This gives you some extra space for a platform while still allowing you to tow your vehicle.
#2 – Don’t Overlook RV Basement Storage
The RV basement space is perfect for the heavier items that you travel with or those items that you use less frequently.
With current fifth wheel trailers, the space under the bathroom is usually a very large storage space that can be accessed from either side.
It’s like having an 8-foot wide pass-through space that can hold everything from Christmas decorations to seasonal changes of wardrobe.
#3 – Use Large Plastic Storage Tubs
Rubbermaid storage containers provide an excellent water-tight and dust-proof storage.
Consider getting a bunch of them to fill up that space (mentioned above) in your 5th wheel.
Plastic totes keep everything neat and organized.
It’s much easier to set out a handful of containers to get an item that happens to be way in the back, than to sort through loose piles of junk that are stuffed inside with no rhyme or reason.
#4 – Build An Extra Closet
With an enclosed cap or truck topper, you have an 8-foot long space that can be set up with cabinets, drawers, or even a roll out platform for easy access. Some truck caps are even built to have side doors that allow access from the side of the truck.
Building a good sized shirt closet in your pickup truck will quickly double the storage space in most medium-sized RV travel trailers.
You can also put a clothes rod across the space provided in the car or extended cab pickup.
#5 – Utilize The Empty Space Under The Bed
Most RV beds lift up, providing great storage space inside. The best part: it’s a space that’s easy to get at.
Extra bedding would be a smart choice for that space. However, my wife who devours books, always kept a good selection of mystery novels in our RV bed storage space.
For added kitchen storage space, fill plastic totes or cut down cardboard boxes and use them as dividers for that under-the-bed storage space. It’s a great way to keep canned goods and other food items from rolling around while you’re driving.
#6 – Buy A Chest Freezer
Thankfully, great improvements have been made in refrigerator and freezer space — with some being as large as your refrigerator at home! But if you have an older RV, then your cold food storage space might be limited.
For our last couple years of full time RVing, we stayed in one place for many months at a time. A small chest freezer greatly improved our ability to stock up on a variety of food. That would be a great add-on for a bunkhouse model RV as well.
Another choice would be a portable chest freezer that can be added to your outside storage compartment — giving you extra space for frozen food.
#7 – Remove The Bunkhouse Beds & Create A Closet
With the addition of some closet organizers, then you’d have a huge walk-in closet for extra storage.
And wouldn’t it be nice to have a handy place to put your upright vacuum cleaner, or broom and dustpan in your new RV closet?
I took it a step further. I turned that space into an RV laundry room,
You could even create a whole new RV office space.
There is always one important thing to remember: your RV is only rated to carry so much weight!
So, make sure that you know the Gross Vehicle Rating (GVR) for your specific make and model of RV.
The GVR is the maximum total weight allowed for the RV and everything in it. (This includes water and waste too!)
After whatever changes you make to improve your RV storage are complete, load up all your stuff and take your RV to the nearest truck stop to have it weighed. That’s the only way you can be sure that your RV weight is still within the legal limit.
I’ve been involved in RVing for over 50 years — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs and motorhomes. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller… you’ve got a good idea of who I am. To date, I've shared my RV knowledge in over 300 articles here at The Fun Times Guide!