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12 Ways to Modify Your RV to Create More Space (Guest Post)

12 Ways to Modify Your RV to Create More Space (Guest Post)

This is a special guest post by our dear friend and fellow traveler, Alyssa Padgett. Take it away Alyssa!…

When we moved into our first RV, I made the mistake of letting my future husband move his things in first. When I arrived, he had taken up every cabinet and drawer with his things.

“Where am I going to put all of my stuff? Half of this has to go,” I told him.

As it turns out, creating space in an RV is not as easy as it sounds (especially when your significant other has more clothes than you do).

After ten years of RVing and now running RVInspiration.com (where we help people remodel & organize their RV), I wanted to share a few ways to help you create more space in your RV.

Our 12 Ideas For Creating More Space In Your RV

There are simple modifications you can make to make your camper feel less cluttered and more like a home. Here are our top 12 ways to create more space in your RV.

Remove and replace your RV dining booth.

Removing the dinette booth in your RV is the most popular RV renovation we see. Bulky benches can make a space feel more closed off and cluttered. Replacing the booth with a table and chairs creates more open space, even if it takes the same amount of floor space.

The latest design trend is adding breakfast bars to replace the old booth. You can add comfortable chairs and mount your table to the wall, creating more open floor space. As a bonus, you can easily use this table as a desk if you’re working remotely.

An RV with a breakfast bar in place of a booth dinette.

Adding a breakfast bar in place of an existing booth dinette can be a much-improved use of space (photo credit Simply Sarah Rainwater).

For an even smaller footprint, grab a 1×12 plank of wood and some shelving brackets to create bar seating along your wall. You’ll have more open floor space, but retain a small indoor area for eating!

If you’re interested in renovating your dinette booth, check out RVInspiration.com for 22 ways RVers have removed and replaced their dinettes.

Add a countertop extension.

Expand your kitchen space by adding a countertop extension!

RV kitchen island showing an extension down and extended.

Whether it is folded down for more space or extended for extra countertop when cooking, a countertop extension is a great addition (photo credit RVing Dogs & Wine)!

A countertop extension can serve as extra food prep space or as an additional seating area like in the photo above. (Yet another way to ditch the dinette but still have room to eat!)

Remove the valances around your windows.

One unexpected culprit for feeling crowded in an RV is the valances around the windows. These can block out light and make a space feel cluttered. You can easily remove these valances with a power drill. Keep the existing blinds or replace them with day/night roller shades.

Gorgeous RV interior showing curtains where valances once were

Simply removing the valances from your RV’s windows and replacing them with curtains can make the interior feel more spacious (photo credit Wendy Kling).

Add a curtain rod at the top of the wall—not the window—giving the illusion of taller ceilings and a larger room.

Add a coffee table.

Adding more furniture may seem like a backwards way to add more space since it does take up some square footage. But a coffee table that doubles as storage and as an ottoman can add style and function to your living room. A folding table can be an easy solution that can be collapsed and stored as well.

RV couch with comfy ottomoan

Adding a coffee table or an ottoman can improve the functionality of your RV’s living space (photo credit Shawna Marie Designs).

Add a bed lift.

The space under your bed is sometimes an underutilized storage space. Consider adding a bed lift to make this area accessible for storing gear, out-of-season clothing, or valuables.

Replace your RV couch.

RV furniture is often heavier and bulkier than residential furniture. Swapping out your RV couch for a new one can transform your space and shed pounds in your RV. You can even find couches with hidden storage under the cushions!

A cozy aftermarket corner couch in an RV slide

Replacing your existing RV sofa can give you new options, like this L-lounge (photo credit Vieves)

We recommend shopping for couches at Ikea or on Amazon (here’s a list of 35 different RV-approved couch options). These couches will not be fully assembled when you order them, so they can easily be transported through your camper doors.

Don’t forget to install D rings and use straps to secure any new furniture added to your camper.

Transform your bunk room into an office or laundry room.

If you’re an empty nester, consider turning that bunk room into something new! Replace bunks with a desk for working remotely or follow this renovation’s lead by adding a washer and dryer. The shelf above the laundry is a bunk, keeping a spot for visitors to sleep.

RV bunk beds converted into a laundry room

Repurpose an existing space into something more useful, like this bunk converted into a laundry room (photo credit RVDesign.usa)

Use collapsible or foldable gear.

Save on cabinet space by using only collapsible or foldable gear. The kitchen is a great place to start, with collapsible silicone bowls and utensils. These bowls are great for food prep as well as storing leftovers:

CARTINTS Silicone Collapsible Food Storage Containers-Prep/Storage Bowls with Lids – Set of 4 Round Silicone Lunch Containers – Microwave and Freezer Food Containers (Blue)
  • Size: Set of 4 assorted collapsible silicone containers - Includes one of each size for the best value: Small (4.7''), Medium (5.5''), Large (6.3''),...
  • Safe: Each container is made of food healthy silicone and easy to clean. Airtight covers make these great for the office, camping, road trips and...

You can find collapsible and foldable options for plenty of household gear, like buckets, baby and pet bathtubs , or even your kettle:

Ultrathin Upgraded Food Grade Silicone Travel Foldable Electric Kettle Boil Dry Protection Portable with Dual Voltage and Separable Power Cord,555ML 110-220V US Plug
  • Safe Food Grade Protective: Made of safe food grade protective material PBA free. Heating plate and kettle lid is made of 304 stainless steel.
  • Ultrathin Design: Folded size: 170*139*132 MM; Unfolded size: 149*139*50 MM, comes with zipper foldable storage bag: 6.5*8CM. ldeal for traveling,...

Install organizers in cluttered places, like under sinks or in the RV’s storage bays.

The storage bays under your RV can become a mess of clutter! Install organizers and shelves to keep this area clean and easy to access. Once organized, you’ll find more space for the gear you want and can get rid of everything you don’t need!

Check out this video for how to get your storage bays organized and under control:

Consider adding wall storage in your kitchen.

Add a magnet wall to store knives or consider a utensil bar for hanging spatulas and utensils. This can free up a drawer and make everything you need in the kitchen easier to access.

A magnetic knife rack mounted to the side of a storage shelf

A magnetic knife rack is a great use of space, keeping these important kitchen utensils handy, but out of the way (photo credit Julienne)!

Magnetic strips for knives may seem intimidating. We’ve asked a few travelers how the knives fair down bumpy roads, and they’ve all said the magnets hold strong!

Build a spice rack.

Spices are one kitchen necessity that requires organization! Older RVs often have a small shelf built-in that’s perfect for spices. On a newer RV, you may need to get creative and build your own. This RVer built shelves to fit her spice jars. (She also added a heavy-duty utensil bar to store her pans on the wall!)

Custom RV kitchen with a built-in spice rack on the wall next to the stove.

Building a spice rack into a wall is a great way to keep them handy AND out of the way (photo credit Gumboblood).

If you’re traveling in your RV, consider adding an extra strip of wood to keep spices from falling off the shelves, or try one of these spice storage ideas.

Replace your mirror with a medicine cabinet.

For more storage space in the bathroom, swap out your RV mirror with a medicine cabinet.

A stylish RV bathroom with vanity mirror storage and a vessel-style sink

Replacing a simple bathroom mirror with a medicine cabinet is a great way to make use of previously unused space (photo credit Catherine Janes).

Available in multiple design styles, you can find a medicine cabinet by shopping at your local hardware store or searching on Amazon.

TEHOME Farmhouse Black Metal Framed Recessed Bathroom Medicine Cabinet with Beveled Mirror Rounded Rectangle Bathroom Medicine Cabinet 16x24 inch
  • Aluminum Framed Medincine Cabinets: Premium aluminum door with matte black finish, framed with an elegantly beveled mirror. Door is coming with strong...
  • Tempered Adjustable Glass Shelves: Including 2 adjustbable tempered-glass shelves which is anufactured through a process of extreme heating followed...

How to Create Space In Your RV

You can’t change the square footage of your camper, but you can create more space by optimizing your furniture, adding storage solutions, and reworking your space. Which of these space creating hacks would make the biggest impact in your RV? Share your favorite space-creating solution in the comments below!

Besides being a dear friend of ours, Alyssa Padgett is the best-selling author of A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV  and RVing Across America . Alyssa and her husband, Heath, visited all 50 states for their honeymoon and have been traveling ever since (including spending a couple of months with us on two RV trips around Europe). They’re currently exploring the world with their two young children. Follow the Padgetts at their website HeathAndAlyssa.com, and get more great ideas from them about renovating your RV at RVInspiration.com.

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PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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