Wood-paneled walls and shelves of an RV that act as a storage vessel.

RV Space Saving Ideas: Maximize Your Travel Trailer

Whether you’re enjoying a road trip or living in an RV full time, the limited space of these homes on wheels can be challenging. Many RV owners struggle to declutter and organize their belongings to live comfortably and clutter-free while on the road. Don’t let the confined interior and lack of storage options stress you out. Plenty of innovative ways exist to maximize the space in your travel trailer. Our team at Cheyenne Camping Center in Walcott, Iowa, put together this guide to help you.

Creative Storage Solutions

Wood paneled walls in an RV that are creative storage vessels.

Creative storage solutions help you effectively stow travel essentials and eliminate clutter. Look for unused spaces where you can create hidden storage solutions. For example, you might have room for containers and suitcases under your bed. Many RV models have hidden storage compartments under the sofa bed and behind the recliners. Look for items that nest for easy storage, such as bowls and measuring cups. Square and rectangular containers are ideal for stacking and help you optimize cupboard and drawer space, as they occupy less room than round ones.

Vertical storage solutions, such as shelves, wall-mounted hooks, and hanging baskets, allow you to use the walls and create room on the floor. A fruit hammock is a practical option because it helps maximize the vertical space and allows air to circulate around your fresh produce to slow down rotting. Consider purchasing multipurpose furniture, such as shelves that double as tables and ottomans with removable tops that provide seating and storage.

Space-Saving Furniture and Appliances

While multipurpose furniture helps to eliminate the need for multiple pieces, compact, space-saving items can also be helpful. For example, you could choose a small table if you eat alone or with a partner. Consider collapsible pieces, including chairs and tables, that you can fold flat for easy storage when they’re not in use. Installing a narrow desk with a slide-out tray can provide a space for working remotely or sending emails to loved ones back home.

A significant benefit of RV travel is having a kitchen. Eating in is a great way to save money while on the road, but the various appliances you may use can clutter up your countertops. Look for space-efficient appliances, including compact cooktops, slim-fit fridges, dish drawers, and collapsible appliances that fold flat when not in use. Consider multifunctional appliances, such as multicookers that slow cook, pressure cook, fry, and steam. Air fryers are also incredibly versatile, as they can grill, bake, roast, and more, allowing you to prepare various dishes, including meats, seafood, and desserts.

Organizational Tips for Daily Living

These organizational tips for daily RV living can help you keep your space tidy and reduce clutter on the road:

  • Have a place for everything, and always return items to their place.
  • Cook simply, choosing one-pot or air fryer meals over dishes requiring several appliances.
  • Wash your dishes after every meal to reduce kitchen clutter.
  • Dispose of items to free up space when you purchase something new.
  • Buy only the groceries you need, regardless of bulk discounts.
  • Permit yourself to let go of anything you don’t use or love.
  • Sell, donate, or trash any duplicate items.
  • Make the items you use most accessible.
  • Wear a capsule wardrobe of apparel items you can mix and match for different looks.
  • Choose digital options over physical ones, such as audiobooks or e-books instead of physical versions, and stream music and movies rather than CDs and DVDs.
  • Purge what’s inside your RV at least once a year, then organize what’s left.

Decor and Layout Tricks To Enhance Space

To optimize your RV’s available space, consider the décor you choose and how you organize it. Painting the interior a light color can make it seem larger, while darker colors typically appear to decrease the size of a room. You can also brighten up your space by replacing heavy curtains with lighter ones or installing blinds that let in more natural light.

Try to create multipurpose areas in your RV, such as a work zone that doubles as a bench for both preparing food and dining. Consider installing swivel seats you can use while driving and rotate to integrate into the living space. You may also take some of your essentials outside. For example, you could use fold-out tables and benches for dining alfresco.

DIY Projects and Customizations

Owning an RV gives you the freedom to customize your vehicle and install space-saving DIY solutions. Attaching a shower kit with pop-up privacy panels to the side of your RV allows you to reclaim bathroom space. Herbs and spices are useful for creating delicious dishes on the road but can take up valuable pantry space. To solve this problem, consider building a spice rack that folds out from the bottom of an overhead kitchen cabinet. If you’ve got sewing skills, you could make a headboard slipcover with pockets for bedside items, such as books, reading glasses, and eye masks.

Creating a quick-drop zone is a task even novice DIYers will enjoy. Just take a piece of timber, add hooks for hanging sunglasses and keys, and mount it on a wall for easy access whenever you’re heading out. Another simple project is attaching brackets or hangers to the walls and ceilings that you can use to neatly store items, such as cleaning supplies and torches. You could also put up a pegboard in your cooking space for vertical storage and to hold pots, pans, and frequently used utensils.

Try These Tips To Maximize Space in Your RV

Whether you’re a new RV owner or a seasoned traveler, there are plenty of ways you can maximize your RV’s space. Try these tips from our team at Cheyenne Camping Center in Walcott, Iowa, and share them with your friends. By implementing our helpful space-saving ideas, you can organize your belongings effectively, maximize the interior area of your RV, and enhance your travel experience.

RV Living by Kathy McGraw is licensed with CC BY 2.0 DEED