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
- 1.1) Remove and replace your RV dining booth.
- 1.2) Add a countertop extension.
- 1.3) Remove the valances around your windows.
- 1.4) Add a coffee table.
- 1.5) Add a bed lift.
- 1.6) Replace your RV couch.
- 1.7) Transform your bunk room into an office or laundry room.
- 1.8) Use collapsible or foldable gear.
- 1.9) Install organizers in cluttered places, like under sinks or in the RV’s storage bays.
- 1.10) Consider adding wall storage in your kitchen.
- 1.11) Build a spice rack.
- 1.12) Replace your mirror with a medicine cabinet.
- 2) How to Create Space In Your RV
- 3) Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews & Giveaways
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
- 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:
- 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.
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.
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!)
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.
Available in multiple design styles, you can find a medicine cabinet by shopping at your local hardware store or searching on Amazon.
- 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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