Last Updated on 12/20/2023 by Glynn Willard
During our RV full-time travels, we’ve come across some great ideas for travel trailer storage in a tight space!
Through trial and error with one great RV storage idea after another, we narrowed down what worked the best way for a family of four in a 28′ travel trailer.
And that’s not much space!
Hopefully, some of these RV organization tips will help you maximize your storage area in your RV.
Even if you have a small camper.
RV Storage Ideas Within The RV Living Space
There are nooks and crannies in all parts of an RV’s living space that can be optimized in a great way.
To make your life easier, you’ll need some accessories to outfit your RV. We’ll discuss their application later in the article.
Start by rummaging through your house before ordering anything. Save the rest of your money for your RV adventures!
Make sure you measure twice and only order once.
Yes, we’re an Amazon Associate, so some of the pictures are affiliate links. It makes it easier to guide you to efficiently outfit your travel trailer or RV.
Helpful RV Accessories
- Tension Rods
- Command Hooks
- Storage Bins
- Soft Sided Storage Bins
- Storage Baskets
- Shoe Organizers
- Collapsible Laundry Basket
- Laundry bag
- Hanging Organizer
- Hanging Closet Organizer
- Adjustable Shelves
- Drawer Dividers
You’ll need more than one tension rod, so this pack of 20 is the best bang for the buck.
You’ll need several sizes, so a variety pack is a great start.
If you already know the sizes of your storage spaces, it will be easy to find the right sized bins. So, shop based on all the things that will go in a bin. You can always grab more on the road. Oh, clear bins make it easier to find things in a small space.
A variety of wide open and slotted soft sided storage bins make it easy to organize your clothing. There are a lot of options on Amazon. Search carefully.
Plastic or wire storage baskets are great for dishes and food items.
We cut our soft shoe organizers to make them fit into smaller spaces.
Make sure your hamper is collapsible for easy transport when it’s empty.
You’ll need a way to transport dirty laundry to a laundromat or a friends washing machine. And it needs to be washable.
Make sure the hanging organizer will hold everything you need for the back of a closet door and in the bathroom. Also, more than one holes for hanging makes it usable with command hooks.
These work well for clothing in the bedroom closets/cabinets.
Adjustable shelves should adjust both horizontally and vertically for the most usability.
Separate dividers that fit together make it easier to accommodate small RV drawers. They need to be sturdy since your rig will bounce around a lot.
Again, measure twice, plan carefully and buy only what you need. One still has to consider the cargo-carrying capacity of your travel trailer or RV.
Besides, you don’t need the extra cost of stuff that’s useless or doesn’t serve multiple uses.
And if you forget anything, it’s easy to pick up necessities while at a hardware store or container store along your route.
Managing A Small Closet In An RV
Bedroom closets in an RV are not known for large closet space, so you have to be very creative.
We found adjustable shelves, hanging organizers and command hooks to reign strong for both large and small items.
Most bedroom closets have metal slots for hangers. If you need to hang any higher-end couture of different sizes, this is the perfect place.
Just make sure to adjust any shelving properly to accommodate both the hanging clothes and smaller items on the shelf.
We used collapsible containers on the shelves for T-shirts, sweaters and hiking socks.
The back of the closet door is a great place for a hanging organizer attached with command Velcro strips for undergarments and socks.
Under Bed Storage For Less Frequently Used Items
We found vacuum bags to be perfect for our winter jackets.
Yes, we generally stayed where it was warm, but we were glad we had them when touring Maine in the fall.
This is also a great place for larger items such as extra bath towels, space heaters, hiking packs, etc.
Accessing the under-bed storage wasn’t exactly easy access, so we kept infrequently used items there.
Better Organization For Your Shoes
I’m good with a pair of Keens and sneakers. The rest of the time, I’m barefoot.
But we still carried a lot of “just in case” shoes. Anything that was worn infrequently went into a bin in the truck bed or under the master bed.
We kept a tote bin lid by the door as a catch-all for shoes worn daily.
This made it easy to contain debris brought in by our shoes. All I had to do was pull the lid out and bang off the dirt.
It wasn’t pretty, but it worked well.
Shoes that were worn occasionally made it to the hanging shoe rack cut to fit the sides of the bed frame. We used Command Velcro strips to adhere it to the side of the bed.
Maximizing The Little Space in An RV Bathroom
An RV Bathroom is typically cramped. Especially for our family of four. Like the rest of the rig, every space needs to be well thought out.
The first thing we did was hang an organizer off of the shower curtain rod for the following small things:
- Shampoo during transport.
- Hair ties & clips.
- Face cleaning supplies.
Then we added another hanging organizer on the wall behind the door for clean towels.
We found Turkish towels to be perfect for both fast drying and easy storage.
You’ll need two for each family member.
There were already four factory-installed towel hooks to hang our wet towels.
The medicine cabinet contained additional makeup and whatever could fit into the small space.
The cabinet under the sink was only able to fit a few rolls of toilet paper and a hair dryer.
Utilizing Spare Space In The Bunk Beds
Each of our boys turned their bunk beds into their own “cave.” Can you blame them?
We placed several soft-sided packing cubes in the back corner of each bunk.
This was enough to hold all of each boy’s clothes, a few toys and their tablets.
Fortunately, the bunk beds in our Outdoors RV travel trailer were large enough to accommodate such a setup.
Efficient Use Of Drawer Space and Counter Space
Counter space is seriously scarce real estate in an RV!
We wanted to free up drawer space, so we purchased a utensil caddy that could fit in the sink.
Why in the sink? Well, it set on the back of the stove and then got to ride in the sink during moving days. It was the perfect solution!
We then used drawer dividers for the drawers to house our cooking utensils.
A fruit basket was a great way to manage loose fruit and it also rode in the sink during transport.
We also traveled with a plant that rode in the sink during transport too. It’s nice to make the effort of a living plant in any RV.
Paper towels were held in a tension rod placed vertically from the top of the sink to the bottom of the cabinet.
The trash can and all cleaning supplies went in the cabinet under the sink.
Finally, the drawers under the dinette were the living space for our video and photography gear, cleaning supplies for our bearded dragon and games.
Pushing The Kitchen Cabinet Boundaries
RV kitchen cabinets need to store your dishes, dry goods and cleaning supplies.
Kitchen cabinets also include your pantry closet (available in most RV’s).
Generally, they’re open spaces without shelving or limited shelving.
You can add a second bottom shelf by using an adjustable shelf to make additional space for dishes and dry goods.
Then you can use plastic baskets or wire baskets that keep the dishes contained. It makes it easy to pull it out and grab the necessary dishes.
Especially if it’s an overhead cabinet.
We found this to be a great solution for coffee mugs and other fragile dishes.
When we grocery shopped, we would take all of the boxed items out of their packaging, place it in the baskets and dispose of the trash in the trash bins supplied by the grocery store.
It was a perfect way to stay organized and save weight.
RV Refrigerator Storage
Regardless of how one organizes their refrigerator, I suggest using tension rods to keep things in place on moving days.
We spent most of our time boondocking way off the beaten path.
That translates to some really bumpy roads.
And the last thing we wanted was to open the fridge and have everything fall out!
Tension rods preemptively eliminated that potential!
Not All Walls Should Be Bare
We used various sizes of command hooks strategically placed on bare spaces around the walls.
This was a great place to hang our jackets, raincoats, hats and purses.
Command hooks really help to free up floor space!
Managing Your Dirty Laundry
Dirty Clothes resided in the collapsible laundry hamper. The hamper stayed in the tub until a family member had to shower.
Then we just moved it to the living area until all showers were completed.
I was in the habit of wiping down the shower once we were finished, so it was dry to store dirty laundry.
That habit helped keep the shower clean as a bonus.
When it was time for the dreaded laundromat, we transferred the laundry into two laundry bags with shoulder straps.
That way, we could easily transport the laundry and wash the bags with the dirty laundry.
Perfect for transporting clean clothes in a clean laundry bag back to the rig!
Clothes Storage Ideas
Rolling your clothes rather than folding certain articles makes it easier to find and store them.
But, I’m not gonna lie. We started out that way and then just ended up folding and piling the clothes.
The hanging organizer on the back of the closet door was the “game-changer” for keeping smaller clothing items accessible, neat and organized.
If you’re going full-time, you may decide to take a lot of different “just in case” clothing. We did and it was a mistake.
Turned out that we only needed one nice “going out” outfit.
Keep in mind that there’s nothing written in stone that says cabinets in other parts of the RV can’t be used for additional clothing.
One last note on this subject. You’ll end up buying additional clothing on the road suitable for your current situation.
Make sure you have the additional storage room.
RV Storage Ideas For RV Exterior
If you’re in a bumper pull travel trailer, you still have the truck bed of your tow vehicle available.
And of course, there’s the exterior storage compartments of your RV. Your basement if it’s a motorhome.
Easy Way To Organize Your Truck Bed
Your tow vehicle has a lot of storage space if you have a bumper pull trailer and a hard, lockable tonneau cover.
We were able to safely store the following items in our tow vehicle:
- A tote bin with less frequently worn and seasonal clothing.
- A shoe bin for hiking boots.
- Two generators and a fuel can.
- A bin for additional food (sealed, nonperishable goods).
- Extra paper towels and toilet paper.
- Most of the tools for the trailer and tow vehicle.
- Three, 5 gallon storage containers of additional potable water.
- The spare tire for the trailer.
It sounds like a lot, but it fit well and stayed within our truck’s GVWR.
The truck bed drawer systems are nice, but we found the open space more valuable.
Extra Storage Space In Your Exterior Compartments
Most RV’s have additional storage on their exterior. These compartments are a great place for tools, outdoor gear and hoses.
We stored our outdoor gear (chairs, balls, etc.) in one compartment, septic hoses and electrical gear in one, tools and leveling equipment in another and finally one for our potable water systems.
Closable tote bins were our friends!
Wrapping Up Camper Storage Ideas
There’s no right or wrong way.
And you’ll start with a well-intentioned plan and it will change as you take more road trips or live in your RV.
Our storage methods and management of clothes started one way and finished a completely different way.
So, I encourage you to be flexible and open to “rearranging.” Besides, you can pick up different organization systems at a container store along your travels.