If you have an RV, you know first hand the challenge of keeping all of your belongings organized and stowed in your cabinets. But, there’s a huge problem. RV cabinet sizes are not standard to those in houses. So it’s up to the RV owner to find kitchen cabinet storage solutions that will work for their individual motorhome or camper. To do so though, you need to make necessary modifications to make them fit.
Think about this for a moment. You’re driving down the road in your motorhome or pulling your fifth wheel or travel trailer. Every bump, pothole and crack in the road is jarring not only your teeth but everything inside your RV.
Then, that uneasy feeling each time you open a cabinet door and everything falls out onto your head or hits the deck making a huge mess.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
We were frustrated too until we found a few different RV kitchen cabinet storage solutions that made our cabinet space more efficient AND safer to open!
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The Problem with RV Cabinets
Don’t you wish RV manufacturers would actually pay attention to what RV owners really want inside their motorhomes and towable?
What they fail to appreciate or embrace is space is a premium to begin with.
RV manufacturer engineers don’t take into account the sizes and dimensions of kitchen accessories, food storage containers, and small kitchen appliances.
They just haphazardly throw up some cabinets and call it a day. But then the end user has to deal with what they’re dealt.
The inside proportions of the cabinets are either too short, too tall, too deep, not deep enough or not enough shelves. In most cabinets in RVs, you can barely fit a box of cereal, olive oil bottle or even a tall dry spaghetti canister.
If only they would live in them for awhile to realize they need to design them better. Until that actually happens (like never?), it’s up to the RV owner to completely dismantle and modify them to be functional.
Some RVers are doing just that. However, that takes a ton of time, research and of course, you have to have the space and proper tools to build their own. The second best thing to tackle the problem is to look for reasonable modifications that will improve their function.
That’s exactly what we did to both of our fifth wheels; our Cyclone toy hauler and later, our luxury fifth wheel.
3 Genius RV Kitchen Cabinet Storage DIY Upgrades in Our Cyclone Toy Hauler
RV Kitchen Pantry Cabinet – Problem
We had a kitchen cabinet in our fifth wheel toy hauler that was such a pain in the butt to use.
It was tall, narrow and very deep with just two tall shelves; tall enough to put a huge bag of potato chips on. Each cabinet shelf measured about 8″ wide by 24″ tall.
And, the cabinet was also as deep as our bump-out slide (24″). I literally could stretch my entire arm into the cabinet without touching the back of the cabinet.
For it being a one of the only kitchen cabinets in the RV, it was totally useless except to jam in bags of chips and hamburger and hotdog buns which we rarely ate anyway.
It was too narrow for really any storage containers to fit either. And stack containers inside? Are you crazy? The shelf was so thin, it bowed at just the slightest weight set onto it.
We seriously had to figure out some sort of modification to make it useable.
After constantly hearing my constant grumbling, Dan just about had enough. To be honest, he was tired of it too.
So, he went straight to work to find a way to improve that kitchen pantry cabinet. After a few days of research and taking measurements, he did find an acceptable solution to better utilize the cabinet space.
RV Kitchen Pantry Cabinet – Solution
Because we’re well familiar with Rev-a-Shelf, a cabinet organizer company, he went right straight to their website to take a look a the options.
He found exactly what he was looking for; knowing he’d still have to modify the cabinet’s interior to make it work.
So, after careful measuring 10 times, Dan ordered ordered two (2) 448 Series Organizers for our toy hauler kitchen pantry cabinet directly from Rev-a-Shelf. However, now you can buy these cabinet organizers on Amazon.
Below is the schematic:
Again, it took a little extra modifying the inside of the cabinet.
First, he needed to reinforce the inside walls of the cabinet. Because as RV owners all know, cabinet boxes are just made with a thin luan panel.
He also had to mount wood blocks and heavy duty screws to the inside walls of the cabinet where the hardware slider mounts would attach to.
Once those two cabinet interior modifications were complete, he removed the entire cabinet door face from the hinges; also removing the hinges from the cabinet box as well as they weren’t going to be part of the new kitchen pantry organizer setup.
Then, he mounted both cabinet base organizers to the cabinet front.
When it came time to finish the install, it took both of us to finagle the entire cabinet ensemble into the slide brackets inside the cabinet.
After which, we both stood back and said to each other, ‘that’s how it should have been done!’
As you can see in our photos below, we can now store more than potato chips and hamburger buns!
I stored all of my dry stores as well as my plastic short canisters and tall canisters. I also put baskets on the bottom shelf to organize our dry food packets such as soup mixes, rice and noodle packages, and baking mixes.
And because these cabinet organizers are accessible from both sides meant I didn’t have to dig for anything. One of the great things about these organizers is the metal rails that keep everything intact; especially when rolling down the road!
Because Dan was diligent about making certain it would endure rough roads, this kitchen pantry upgrade worked flawlessly!
Now, let’s move onto another clever cabinet storage idea that we used in our Heartland Landmark fifth wheel.
Other Rev-A-Shelf options should you be looking at modifying your RV pantry or kitchen cabinets:
- 448-BCSC-5C 5″ Base Pullout Soft Close Cabinet Storage Organizer
- 448-BCBBSC-8C 8″ Kitchen Pull Out Cabinet Organizer with Shelves
- 448-BCBBSC-5C 5″ Kitchen Pullout Cabinet Organizer with Shelves
- 448-BCSC-6C 6.5″ Base Pullout Soft Close Cabinet Storage Organizer
- 448-BC19-5C 5″ x 19″ Pull Out Base Kitchen Cabinet Organizer Shelves
Kitchen Trash Can Storage – The Problem
One of the first things we wanted done in our Landmark fifth wheel was to get the trash can out of plain sight. I can’t stand seeing them; no matter how state of the art trash cans have evolved, in our home or RV.
And since we live in a small RV, we can’t afford that extra space trash cans take up; even if there’s a designated corner.
But, I have to admit, Heartland got it half right. They threw a 13 gallon plastic trash can (no lid) in the right side of the kitchen island and called it a day. It was kind a pain in the butt to pull out when I’d be prepping meals; throwing away waste; especially when it was nearing full.
But while the kitchen trash can was the perfect size for our needs, it did lack stability needed for travel. Unless we emptied the trash completely before hooking up and hauling out, it was a problem child.
After a day of travel on the road, we’d open the cabinet door and #$&@#%!! The trash can would topple out all over the floor making a huge mess. It only happened twice before Dan took my queue (the #$&@#%!) to take care of that problem immediately.
Kitchen Cabinet Trash Can Storage – The Solution
He went right to work with more research and found another Rev-A-Shelf cabinet storage solution; a kitchen cabinet trash can pull-out.
This kitchen cabinet storage solution comes with a trash can that nestles perfectly into the pull-out bracket. The hardware slide brackets mount inside a kitchen base cabinet where your trash can be stowed out of sight, out of mind.
Now, Dan did have to modify the floor of the cabinet first. Just the same as our kitchen pantry cabinet in our toy hauler. The cabinet floor is made of a thin-grade luan board which can’t take very much weight before it starts to bow.
He also added wood braces to the floor to mount the trash can pull-out hardware onto.
And, here’s our finished project: (sorry about the photo being so small)
Do know that the kitchen cabinet trash can pull-out hardware can be installed lengthwise as we did to allow better accommodation.
Now, our kitchen trash can stays intact while rolling down the road. Thus, no more trash falls out of the cabinet when we open the cabinet.
Best of all, the trash can slide in and out easily; making it so much easier for me to throw away kitchen waste as I’m prepping our meals.
Note, this can also be used for recycling, storing soiled laundry or even hold your bigger dog food storage containers (you’ll need to take measurements).
There are an array of other trash can cabinet slide outs that come in different sizes and dimensions. Always measure and double check those measurements before ordering.
Oh, and I’m sure you noticed our paper towel holder that Dan mounted on the inside cabinet door. Like our trash can, I hate having paper towel rolls cluttering up my countertops.
PRO TIP: Rev-A-Shelf is a trusted industry leader in cabinet storage solutions. Make certain you measure your spaces precisely for the best fit.
Wine Glass and Stemware Storage
Wine Glass and Stemware Storage – The Problem
I admit, I’m sort of a wine connoisseur. I believe wine should always be served in clean glass stemware.
Also, as I learned growing up in wine country, wine glasses or any stemware should never be stored top down as it traps air and chemicals from the surface it sets on. And you certainly don’t want to store them upright as they will collect dust.
That said, when living in an RV, glass doesn’t fair well through travel for one. The different shapes and sizes of stemware takes up a lot of space in our kitchen cabinets.
But I’m not sacrificing not having my favorite stemware pieces just because we “live” in an RV. And while we only had two wine glasses, a stemmed beer glass and brandy sniffer, I needed a viable solution on how to store them safely.
So, the best option to accomplish that is mounting a couple stemware racks.
However, I did not want them mounted under any of the kitchen cabinets because by the glasses hanging low, they’d get in the way of food prep and cooking. Also, they’d collect dust and film. So, what’s wine-loving girl to do?
Dan installed two stemware racks on the underside of the top shelf inside the cabinet. By installing my wine glass racks inside the cabinet, it helps keep our wine glasses and stemware from falling onto the counter or floor and braking.
But, there are a couple caveats that I had to add to ensure they wouldn’t break rolling down the road.
First, I’d tie a simple little girls’ pony holder (with the two balls) around the front ends to keep the glasses from sliding off (they’re also great for bundling electrical cords together too!).
And second, I would slide each glass into a thin sock to keep them from clanking together and breaking. I’d buy the socks at the Dollar Tree as they were much cheaper for their intended use.
PRO TIP: Check out our highly popular 20+ Genius RV Hacks to Organize & Store Things in Your Camper
That’s a wrap!
So, those are just a few kitchen cabinet storage solutions we installed in our fifth wheels. These custom RV upgrades help make better use in our cabinets as well as keep us organized and tidy.
A couple last notes, make certain you have the necessary building supplies and tools to complete these type of RV upgrades. It’s important that you reinforce the cabinet interior with the proper screws and fixtures.
And lastly, always take into consideration of the weight of these cabinet storage models as they may affect your RV’s GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).