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RV Storage Door Holders: 3 Options For Easier Basement Access

RV Storage Door Holders: 3 Options For Easier Basement Access

Are you tired of getting whacked by RV basement storage doors falling on your head? Are you looking for RV storage door holder options so you can stop holding up your rig’s basement doors with your back? In this post, we’ve got you covered with some easy DIY options for RV storage compartment door holders.

Many RVs come with holders/clips for holding basement doors up out of the way. But if your RV lacks factory-installed clips, keeping your basement doors held open while you access your RV’s storage compartments is an easy retrofit.

What Are the Best RV Storage Door Holder Options?

If you’ve ever tried to hold open your RV storage compartment doors using your back or one hand while you try to load or unload the compartment with the other hand, you already know there’s a need for secure compartment door holders. Fortunately, there are several DIY options for keeping your rig’s storage doors open securely so you can do what you need to do without getting banged in the head or using a part of your body to hold the door open.

Below are the most common RV baggage door holder options. They’re easy to install and will improve your RVing experience. Having rented multiple RVs on extended international trips, we’ve experienced a variety of solutions for securing baggage doors. We also installed our favorite type on a friend’s rig (details and video below).

Storage Door Spring Clips

Sometimes referred to as “baggage door clips” these holders are spring-loaded and require two hands to use — one to hold the baggage/storage door open and the other to flip up the holder and clip it onto the door.

Depending on how your door is oriented, these clips can be mounted either above the door to hold it open from the top or alongside the door to hold it open from the side.

RV Storage Door Holder Clips

Note that these are plastic door holder clips. They do come with screws, which should be all you need to install them.

RVGUARD RV Door Holder, 2Pcs White Camper Door Holder, Keep The Baggage Door Open, for RV, Trailer, Camper Vans
  • Keep the storage door open without hitting you, especially useful when you are not convenient to hold the doors open.
  • RVGURD RV door catch with all-weather high-impact ABS with UV stabilizers. It can be long-term used in various outdoor environments.

Stainless Steel Upgrade Option

For about twice the cost of plastic, you can buy a stainless steel version that’s likely to last longer and still won’t break the bank. Note that the option below does not come with the mounting screws. But if you’re like us (dedicated DIYers), you probably already have screws in your supply of RV parts that will do the trick. Otherwise, a trip to the local hardware or home improvement store may be in order.

Magnetic RV Storage Door Holders

With magnetic door holders, no extra hands are needed. Simply lift the door up to the magnet, and it will stay in place. Just be aware that in very windy/gusty conditions, these may not hold firmly enough, so you’ll want to use caution when it’s windy.

These magnetic storage door holders come in black or white. Half of each holder/pair mounts to the outside of the storage door, and the other half mounts to the side wall of the RV. For larger doors, you may want to mount two pairs (one on each side of the door) for extra holding power in windy conditions.

Our new towable RV (which we expect to take delivery of within the next month or so!) comes with magnetic catches. We’ve seen how firmly they hold basement doors in place and are looking forward to this latch style becoming the norm for us from now on.

#1 Selling/Rated - Magnetic Baggage Door Catch - Holder - Clip - Latch for RV, Trailer, Camper, Motor Home, Cargo Trailer, Boat Compartments - Replaces Plastic Spring Clips (Black 2-Pair)
  • ➊One Handed Operation Easily Keeps Doors Open Without Them Crashing Down on You
  • ➋ Replaces Sun Damaged/Broken Spring Loaded Catches

Gas Strut Door Lifts

Unlike other options, RV compartment door gas struts assist in opening the door as well as holding it in the open position. Our Mountain Aire came from the factory with gas RV compartment door struts on the basement compartment doors, so we’ve always known how great they are.

We loved our rig’s gas struts so much that we installed Hatchlift kits (which are very similar to the struts on our motorhome) on a friend’s RV. As with other options, larger doors may require two struts — one on each side — to support the weight of a heavier door.

They’re easy to install and work great. We even arranged for Hatchlift to provide a special RVgeeks discount. Use the coupon below to save 10%.

SAVE 10%
Hatchlift Logo
Hatchlift 10% Discount

We replaced our worn-out basement door gas springs with high-quality units from Hatchlift. If your RV isn’t already equipped with door lifts, Hatchlift makes complete installation kits… and bed...Show More

We replaced our worn-out basement door gas springs with high-quality units from Hatchlift. If your RV isn’t already equipped with door lifts, Hatchlift makes complete installation kits… and bed lift kits, too!

Check out our Hatchlift Video

Save 10% on your entire order with the coupon code listed here.

Show Less

Follow along with our video to see how we installed Hatchlift kits on our friend’s 5th wheel:

Important Note About Installing Storage Door Holders

Any time you’re mounting anything to the outside surface of an RV, be sure to read the installation instructions that come with it. But consider adding butyl tape to help seal it and prevent water from penetrating.

You’ll want to use the butyl tape (also known as “putty tape”) to cover the back of the holder before placing it against the outside wall/storage door. The tape will create a weather-tight seal to prevent water damage. It’s normal for the tape to squish out as the screws are tightened down. A quick swipe with a disposable plastic knife will clean off the excess.

Dicor BT-1834-1 Butyl Seal Tape - 1/8" x 3/4" x 30' Repair Tape for RV, Trailer, Motorhome, Window, and Vent Sealing
  • TAPE USE: Ideal for sealing uniquely shaped joints; Installs quickly, without gaps; Because the sealant is on a continuous roll, it's easy to install...
  • EASY APPLICATION: Sticks and conforms to any smooth or irregular surface, including S-locks; Apply along unusual patterns

With these easy DIY options for securely holding RV storage doors open, you won’t need to use your back, arm, head, or any other part of your body to hold the doors open while you access your storage compartments.

For a related method for holding an RV bed up to access under-bed storage more easily, check out our post on RV bed lifts.

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Mark Von Lanken

Saturday 23rd of March 2024

I could not find this in the search feature, so I'm hoping you can direct me to a post you have made on the topic. I have the same year and model of Newmar that you had for so many years. Two of my basement latches have stopped working in the closed position, and yes, they are unlocked. I have searched your site and and have not found a post about this that applies to my RV.

Have you made a post on this topic or found a resource for solving basement door latch failures, especially when the door fails in the closed postion? Thanks so much!

Mark Von Lanken

Tuesday 9th of April 2024

@TheRVgeeks, Thanks for taking the time to respond in so much detail! My failed door is the same as yours, so your step by step description is very beneficial. Thanks So Much!!!


Saturday 23rd of March 2024

Hi Mark. Sorry to hear you’re having that problem. Even though we experienced it too, we never made a video or post about it. The only door that we had that happen to (several times over the years) was the rearmost east/west (side swinging) door on the passenger side, right in front of the pegboard compartment. Since the door opens from left to right, with the hinges on the right side, that meant the latch was fairly hard to access from the right side as it was a whole door-width away from our only access point, which was the door just forward of it. Here’s how we solved the problem… We pieced together as many long socket extensions as we could lay our hands on and selected the correct socket for the bolts that hold the catch in place on the side wall of the door frames. Sliding the full length pass–through slide tray out the driver’s side allowed me to crawl into the basement a little bit, clearing as much gear as I could off the three-quarter slide tray behind the stuck door (pulling gear off the side of the 3/4 tray), and then reaching as far as I could using the extensions and our cordless drill, just allowed me enough reach (and using a flashlight to see in there) to get the socket onto the nuts that hold the catch in place. Once those two nuts are removed, the door will now swing open with the catch still attached to the door latch. Now that the door is swung open, it’s easy to work on it and open the latch, remove the catch, and reinstall it to the door frame. We figured out that the reason this happens is due to either the bolts on the catch loosening slightly, or the door sagging a little bit, causing the door latch and catch to be misaligned. Once that happens, one good slam will send the latch into the wrong spot on the catch, preventing it from releasing. Hope this method is reachable for you, and hope this description isn’t too difficult to picture.

Mike Brant

Monday 18th of March 2024

I bought the Calpalmy magnetic door latches to double up on my passthru doors after an Arizona wind storm bonked my head so hard it briefly changed my political affiliation. I found that the Calpalmy latches had significantly weaker magnets than the OEM magnet with no name. I ran around exchanging magnets on smaller and less-lethal doors, so I made this work, but there is really no excuse for a weak magnet, honestly. (The magnets would have costed exactly the same to make.)

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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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