RV Pantry Storage Ideas & Organization Solutions
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Ashley Mann spent three years living full time in a 38-foot, 5th-wheel RV with her husband Josiah and their cat, Kitty. Her favorite thing about RV life is the challenge of finding the perfect way to organize a space, and she loves seeing all the creative and clever ways people come up with to customize their RVs.
Sometimes RV pantry cabinets aren't quite as functional as they need to be: too deep, too narrow, too tall, or altogether non-existent! Fortunately these brilliant RV owners came up with clever solutions for those problems, so you can borrow their ideas to organize your own camper or motorhome!
Pantry Problem #1: Cabinet too deep
One of the most common problems with RV pantry cabinets is that they're so deep it's difficult to reach things toward the back, especially on the upper cabinets.
Solution #1: The Rev-a-shelf cabinet system.
One excellent solution to this problem is the Rev-a-shelf cabinet system of pull-out wire racks, which is what RV owner Debra Jones used in her RV pantry pictured below.
Solution #2: Make your own pull-out shelves.
A much more budget-friendly option is to make something similar yourself, which is what these RV owners did:
If you would like to try a DIY cabinet storage solution, check out Ana-White.com, as it's a great place to find plans for this type of project. For example, this project or this one looks similar to what the McIntyres built.
Pantry Problem #2: Cabinet too narrow
Some campers and motorhomes have a pantry cabinet that's extremely narrow in addition to being deep.
Solution #1: Add narrow pull-out racks.
The Rev-a-shelf system also comes in a narrower width that's ideal for a situation like this. (This shelving system is sold at many home improvement stores.)
Solution #2: Build a pull-out shelf.
My favorite solution to the narrow cabinet problem is this beautiful pull-out shelf made custom by RV owner Karen Finch's son-in-law. Here's a DIY plan that could probably be adapted to use drawer slides instead of wheels if you wanted to try building this yourself.
Pantry Problem #4: Pantry too messy
I know this is closely related to the “too deep” problem, but what I noticed about these solutions is how by removing the original cabinet shelves and replacing them with something different altogether, these RV owners were able to really organize the space.
Solution #1: Add Elfa baskets.
The white wire basket drawers in the photo below are a combination of Elfa brand baskets from The Container Store and Closet Maid shelf brackets from Lowe's. RV owner Kathy Johnson explains the system in more detail in her Facebook photo album.
Solution #2: Add free-standing drawers.
The thing I like about this next idea is that it requires no DIY skill whatsoever, as the whole thing is a freestanding unit that just slides into the cabinet. RV owner Cindy Martin said she chose this Elfa closet organizer from The Container Store after comparing multiple options because it fit perfectly and even left room that would allow her to hang small narrow baskets on the inside of the pantry door.
Pantry Problem #4: Shelves too tall
Not only do tall, shallow shelves waste space at the top, they're also an avalanche waiting to happen when you open the cabinet doors at the end of a day of travel!
Solution #1: Add a wall-mounted rack.
One RV owner solved this problem by adding a nail polish rack to a cabinet. She bought hers at Marshall's, but you can also find racks that would work on Amazon, like this acrylic one or this wire one.
Solution #2: Add free standing wire shelves.
I have the same problem of tall, shallow cabinet shelves in my own RV pantry. To make better use of the space, I made a magnetic wall for my spices and added wire shelves and used tension rods to hold some of the things in place. You can order the wire shelves online, but they are usually cheaper at places like Dollar General.
Solution #3: Add additional wood shelves. (No drilling required!)
Later, after I'd already bought a bunch of wire shelves for my pantry, I found out about an easy way to add removable wood shelves to cabinets that doesn't require any tools, screws, or other hardware. I used that method to add a shelf at the top of this cabinet, and even had the wood cut for me at Lowe's. Personally I like this method even better than the wire shelves because it's sturdier and there are no bars for small things to fall through.
Pantry Problem #5: No pantry or not enough pantry space
If your RV doesn't have a pantry or you simply need more space, an organizer like one of these can be a good solution. The one on the left is from the Container Store and while it's designed to hang on a door, it could be mounted on a wall as well. It is kind of pricey, but there are cheaper alternatives.
You could also get one that hangs over a door like in the photo on the right. I really like this woven basket style, and have actually thought about buying one myself to replace a cheaper door organizer I use in my bedroom for clothes storage.
Hopefully that gives you some ideas for pantry organization!
For more RV kitchen ideas, check out these other blog posts I've written:
25 Storage Tips & Ideas for Organizing Tiny Kitchens
7 Organization Hacks for RV Kitchen Cabinets
9 Space-Saving Spice Storage Ideas
8 Fruit and Root Vegetable Storage Ideas
And visit my RV Organization Resource page to find ideas for organizing other areas of your RV!
Great ideas! Thanks!
RVers are geniuses. I’ve got a serious case of problem #2 and #4… I didn’t even know those rev-a-shelf existed until now! I’m definitely going to look into getting some of those – Maybe then I’d be able to keep track of all my spices lol
The Rev-a-shelf system is definitely goals for my next house! Knowing me I’ll probably hack a DIY version though….
Any ideas for akward shaped cupboards? I have a triangular pantry, deep and lots of space between three shelves.
Hmm….well first of all I’d probably stick stuff I didn’t use as often in the back….or what about a Lazy Suzan? If a Lazy Susan would fit, you could get wedge shaped storage bins like these to keep stuff from falling off the back.
Great tips! We are currently building an expedition truck and I’ve found your tips inspiring 🙂
Thank you for inviting us in and showing pictures of your home! Thank you for showing us your pantry space that reflects reality and a lived in kitchen!! I need functional and realistic, doable organizing tips.
God bless 😊