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The Best RV Basement Storage Ideas

The Best RV Basement Storage Ideas

We were sick and tired of searching for tools, parts, and supplies in our RV’s basement storage compartments. So about ten years ago we set out to implement some of the best RV basement storage ideas we’d found. We did pretty well overall, and in fact, we even made a video about it.

But our technique for finding things still needed some tweaking. So several years ago we updated our process enough to  to share some additional tips that can really make a difference in getting organized. 

As most of our readers know, we’ve been full-time RVers for nearly two decades now. We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in our motorhome, and it’s our only home. We love everything about our way of life. But like any other lifestyle, there are some things that cause irritating, time-sucking issues. For us, one of those issues was finding our stuff.

We eventually got our anal-retentive selves squared away to the point where we’ve organized our RV basement storage in a way that works really well for us, and we think it might work for you, too. So, today we’re sharing our best RV basement storage ideas.

What is RV Basement Storage?

An RV basement is a compartment (or several of them) located under the main floor of the RV… thus the word “basement” is used, even though you can’t walk down there. RV basement areas are intended for storing anything from tools to recreational items to seasonal clothing to supplies to… well… just about anything.

Some basement storage areas are “pass-through” which means that the compartment goes from one side of the RV to the other and can be accessed from either side.

Some basement storage areas even have slide-out trays like the ones we have in our Newmar Mountain Aire, which make it super easy to access stuff.

RV basement storage slide-out tray

The slide-out trays in our RV basement storage compartments are very helpful in keeping our RV basement well organized, and provide easy access.

Depending on how much you travel, and if you’re a full-timer like us, you may have a LOT of stuff to store in your RV basement. Or very little.

As full-timers, our rig is pretty large. That’s great, but there are so many storage areas inside and out, that we really had to get organized to keep from going crazy searching for things when we needed them. It’s amazing how many little cubbies and other hidden places that things can get squirreled away in.

Part of the process of being able to locate what we want when we want it involved putting into practice our best RV basement storage ideas and then fine-tuning them even more. Basement storage areas, after all, tend to be large. And being full-timers, we carry pretty much everything we own.

If you live in a sticks & bricks house, think about your cupboards, basement, attic, garage and anywhere else you keep tings stashed. We need to carry a lot of what you have stored in those areas of your home in our RV’s basement storage.

How Do I Organize My RV Basement Storage?

Here are some of the best tips we have for organizing your RV basement storage areas, whether you have pass-through storage, slide-out trays, or both. Some of these tips can even be used inside your RV’s living areas, too.

Use Clear Plastic Storage Bins

Clear/translucent plastic totes are fantastic for organizing your RV basement storage areas. Not only can you see (somewhat) through the sides of the bins, but containing many small items inside a single bin makes it easy to slide one bin out of the way, allowing you to get to the one containing the item you need.

Plastic bins are also great for holding liquids like cleaning items, motor oil, and other fluids so that any spills or leaks (pump & spray bottles tend to leak some due to changes in elevation when driving in the mountains) will be contained in the bins.

You can use plastic bins of various sizes, which are widely available at any Walmart or other big box store or from Amazon.

clear plastic bins for RV basement storage

Translucent plastic storage bins of various sizes are key to organizing RV storage areas.

These bins are part of our all-time favorite RV basement storage idea (which we’ll get to shortly).

These work nicely and they’re easy to move in and out. You’ll just need to choose the appropriately-sized bins for your RV basement storage area.

This is a 30-quart version:

No products found.

Or, if your basement is large enough, you could use something like this 53-quart version:

IRIS USA 54 Qt Stackable Plastic Storage Bins with Lids, 6 Pack - BPA-Free, Made in USA - See-Through Organizing Solution, Latches, Durable Nestable Containers, Secure Pull Handle - Clear
  • MADE IN USA: Our storage bins are proudly crafted in the USA using high-quality, durable materials, ensuring your belongings stay safe and secure.
  • SEE-THROUGH DESIGN: You can easily see what's inside the box without opening it, thanks to its transparent design.

Smaller or shorter bins can also be useful as you plan your RV basement organization.

Use Bamboo Mats

Many of you have seen us using our bamboo mats to lay on when we’re working on our RV maintenance or a DIY project. We also use these mats to line the bottom of our RV basement slide-out trays. Not only do they protect the carpeting of slide-out trays or pass-through storage compartments, but they also make it easy to slide a large storage bin out of the way to access an item you need.

Bamboo mat in our RV basement storage

Bamboo mats not only protect the carpeting in the storage compartment but also make it easy to slide the bins in and out.

Bamboo mats aren’t expensive, are useful in multiple ways, and are available in various sizes & styles.

While these aren’t the same ones that we have (we bought ours over 18 years ago!), they’re the closest we could find to what we’ve been using.

iDesign Formbu Bamboo Mat Rug Runner for Bathroom, Kitchen, Entryway, Hallway, Office, Mudroom, 34" x 21", Natural Wood
  • BAMBOO FLOOR MAT – Elevate your home for functional beauty with the iDesign natural bamboo rug and floor mat; water-resistant with a non-skid...
  • WATER-RESISTANT – Great as a bathroom runner or hallway runner rug, it’s made of natural bamboo with water-resistant coating and a fabric border;...

Store Small Items in Ziplock Bags

Gallon-sized Ziplock bags are perfect for keeping smaller items organized. You can write on them with a Sharpie noting the contents, and then store the bags in your plastic totes.

Ziplock bags of various sizes are generally available at your local grocery and big box stores, or in larger quantities at places like Costco or on Amazon.

Use Printed Lists of Bin Contents

This is surely our #1 favorite on our list of best RV basement storage ideas!

We mentioned in our original basement organizing video how we’d use packing lists inside our clear plastic bins noting the contents of each bin. We hand-printed these lists and put them inside the bins facing outward so that we could, at a glance, see what was inside each bin.

Hand-printed lists of contents in storage bins of RV basement storage compartment

We’ve been using printed lists of the contents in our clear storage bins for years. But we used to hand-print them. We’ve since raised our standards to a new high with an awesome new technique that offers multiple benefits.

Over the years we refined that system in a way that has served us amazingly well. Now, instead of hand-printing the lists of contents, we create the lists on our computer and print them out.

Small change? Not really. This is actually a very significant change. And not just because it looks better.

Digitally printed lists of bin contents in our RV basement storage

There’s more to these digitally printed content lists than meets the eye! These have been a real game-changer for us.

Now, whenever we need an item, we simply pull up the list on our computer, type what we need into the search bar, and just like that… we’re shown the exact location of the item, including which storage area of the RV’s basement we need to go to, and which bin in that storage area holds the item we’re looking for. Even the tiniest of items are easy to find in this way.

And since we have all of our bin lists included in one master document (with each individual page of the document showing the items in one particular bin), a single search of the entire document will find anything in the basement, regardless of which bin it’s in.

For example, if we need to find a small PEX fitting for a project, we simply type “PEX” into the search bar and the exact location of our PEX parts in our RV basement is revealed.

We now use searchable computerized lists.

These days our bin contents lists are computerized and searchable for very easy access to absolutely anything we have in our RV basement storage areas.

Now we can go directly to the right section of the basement, and to the right bin, and there we’ll find exactly what we need, even if we haven’t seen that item in years. We don’t even need to remember what area the bin is in, because our computer’s memory does that for us (which is good, because OUR memories aren’t getting any better, LOL!).

Our bag of PEX components, easily located with a computerized search.

Now everything can be found quickly and easily with a quick search of our computerized database.

If you’d like to use our master list and edit it with your own items, here’s a Microsoft Word version that you’re welcome to use as a starting point.

Another benefit to using computerized lists is that when things get added or removed to a bin, it’s super quick and easy to update any list and reprint it. The same goes for lists that get old or torn. We can print our a replacement in a second.

And if you’d like to see both our original and follow-up videos, we’ll include them right here for you to see.



As long-time full-timers, we’ve found organizational skills to be absolutely critical to our life on the road. With just the tips we’ve noted above, we can quickly find and access any item we need, saving a lot of time and potential frustration. That includes the frustration of running out to buy (or ordering online) a replacement part or supplies that we already have onboard but just couldn’t find.

We hope some of our favorite RV basement storage and organization ideas are helpful to you, too!

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Tuesday 5th of October 2021

Since the Geeks' RV is a bit older, it looks like there isn't a raised rail. For those that have the raised rail, since you can't stack bins higher than the rail, how do you use that upper space?


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

The clear storage bins are something I have been using for years. The searchable Word document is an excellent idea! After reading it in your article it makes perfect sense. Why did I not think of that years ago? Always enjoy your write-ups but this one is over the top! Simple, Cheap, and Functional are all pluses.


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Yeah, we smacked ourselves in the head(s) for not thinking of it sooner, too, rag_ftw! We were actually WRITING LABELS BY HAND before. DOH! Having it electronically just makes it so much more useful. Glad you found this helpful!


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Great video. I need to revisit this subject. I had my old coach Fairley well organized. OK not as nice as you but I could usually find stuff. Now I have the added challenge that we have moved to a different coach. Now in a 08 Mountain Aire. Just got back from a long road trip (97 days) so I will try to clear out some of the clutter and get it set up. You have my admiration for doing it when you are full time.


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

We feel you, William! After we moved into our current rig, it took us a couple of years to stop looking for things in the places they'd been stored in our first RV!! LOL! And, being full-time, it's a NECESSITY for us to be super-organized... it's too easy to lose things in the nooks and crannies on RVs (who knew there were so many little spots, LOL!). Happy de-cluttering! ????

Susan Johnston

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Thanks for sharing your tips and, especially, for the Word document! I'm going to put that into practice in our FullTime Newmar KSDP! P.S. Do you guys ever attend the Kountry Klub Rally?


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

So glad to hear, Susan. We hope it helps!

P.S... no, we haven't attended a Kountry Klub Rally since back in 2006 when we went to the International Rally in Vermont! Don't seem to coincide with our travels!

Deborah Kerr

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

I love how you 2 are SO organized and clean!! I could live with you!! lol I am that way also, but I live with hubby who is not, so it's unmanageable. I guess I have to pick my battles!! Thank you for the great ideas - I could try to do that, but then he puts stuff away in the wrong bin!! lol I can't win!!


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Mixed marriages can be tough, Deborah! We feel for you... and count ourselves lucky that we have reasonably-similar levels of cleanliness/organization. If you DO tackle this organization idea... you might need to create a bin for hubby to put things into when he's done using them... so YOU can put them back where they belong. Work it like a library, LOL! ????

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