Does the inside of your RV look like the picture-perfect interior of popular RV bloggers? Mine doesn’t, because I’d rather be spending time outdoors than inside redecorating. But after a decade of full-timing, I’ve saved my sanity by implementing this short list of simple, frugal RV organizing tips that don’t cost much time, money, or effort.
Most standard RVs are built with lightweight materials that don’t take well to organizing mods done to traditional dwellings. For instance, hanging too-heavy objects with double-sided tape on an RV’s smooth interior wall is asking for failure.
Eventually, the object falls when the outside temperature heats up the RV siding. Heavy-duty Velcro can do the job, but have you ever tried removing it from RV walls?
If you’re not into redecorating but want to tidy your RV’s interior, this short list of frugal organizing tips is a good starting point. None require much effort to end up with a functional and neat RV interior.
Use lightweight modular storage bins
Heavy-duty RVs like Prevosts typically have enough GVWR allowance to install just about any kind of traditional home cabinetry and storage hardware. For the rest of us, lightweight storage containers keep our RV’s weight in check.
Think like a square
Make the most of square RV interiors by banning round household containers. Also, fill storage areas with everything from square dinner plates to pots and pans.
Ditch canned foods
Canned food adds weight to RVs (and they’re round-shaped). Shed pounds and increase storage space by purchasing a pressure cooker and switching to dried beans.
They’re healthier, taste better than canned, and can be made in about 30 minutes. The pressure cooker doubles as a standard stockpot. It’s the only one I carry.
Bag similar items together
Pretty storage canisters are nice but they add weight to RVs. Instead, make Ziploc-style bags your best friend. Bagging similar items keep things tidy.
Put empty corners to good use
Does your RV kitchen countertop have one corner that’s hard to reach? If so, don’t waste it. That unused countertop space is perfect for small everyday appliances. If you stack vertically on an inexpensive rack you’ll use less counter space.
Capitalize on high ceilings
Tall fifth wheels have loads of dead space that can be used in better ways. Stackable interlocking bins are perfect for food. Mine are stacked based on how often I use them. We took advantage of tall cabinets by adding lightweight wire shelving.
Cool electronics with stacking shelves
Electronic components are only rated to operate within certain temperatures. Keep yours cool by separating them on stackable wire shelves. An AC server cooling fan with airflow pointed up will keep the temperature down.
Think twice about hanging things
Hanging objects behind cabinets is a good idea. However, I discovered that after a few thousand miles, hinges loosen and fall off. If you must hang towels or other items, replace wood screws on hinges with small machine bolts and nuts.
Get things off the floor
My husband made this rack that enabled us to ditch a box of magazines stored under the dining table. We no longer find clusters of dust balls under our feet.
After many years of living in a fifth wheel, these frugal RV organizing tips preserve my sanity. We would love to hear about yours, feel free to comment below.
Here are some additional examples:
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.