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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!
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. An 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.
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.
Problem #2: Cabinet too narrow
Some campers and motorhomes have a pantry cabinet that’s extremely narrow in addition to being deep. 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 in addition to being sold online.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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: