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So often the cabinets inside motorhomes and campers have a lot of wasted depth or vertical space due to not having enough shelves. I had this problem in the shelves over the window in my living area, so I decided to use this technique shared by DIY guru Isabelle LaRue to add more storage space to these cabinets.
I wish I had known about this idea before I spent money on extra wire shelves when organizing kitchen pantry cabinets, because this would have been cheaper and sturdier! And not only is this shelf easy to make, if you decide later to remove it (or if you’re afraid to use screws in your RV), you can take it out completely and it won’t leave a trace!
After measuring my cabinets, the first thing I did was make a trip to Lowe’s to buy lumber for the shelf and have it cut. To avoid adding any more weight than I had to, I decided that instead of making the shelf the full depth of the cabinet, I would just make a long narrow shelf, just 4.5″ wide, on the back wall of the cabinet. Also, instead of making supports that were the same width as the shelf, I used narrower pieces for supports.
In addition to two supports at each end, I also used three more supports against the back wall of the cabinet along the middle of the shelf. You can see one of them in this photo.
Make sure when measuring that you take into account all the strips of wood inside the cabinet that can make the length of shelf need to be shorter than the actual width of the cabinet.
The real key to this project is acrylic mounting tape. I use this stuff for all kinds of projects in my RV because it is super strong yet amazingly easy to remove and has never damaged any of my walls or left behind any residue. It even works in the shower where it’s constantly wet.
For these shelves, I put three or four 1-inch pieces of tape on the backside of each of the supports and pressed it up against the wall. Then I set the shelf on top…which was a bit of a job because of the divider in the middle of my cabinets; I thought for a minute I was going to have to have the board cut in half and put each piece in separately with an extra support in the middle, but I was finally able to wiggle it in.
Then I realized that a few of my supports were a tad too short. So, I just folded some of the mounting tape and used it to add a few extra millimeters of height, which worked perfectly.
Now the shelf is very sturdy and makes the perfect place to store a few extra books and some longer items like rolls of gift wrap. I will definitely use this technique again in the future!
For more ideas for organizing and storing things in a camper or motorhome, check out my RV organization resource page!