My Best Tips for Organizing and Saving Space in an RV Kitchen
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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.
Here are some of the best RV kitchen storage solutions I've found for efficiently organizing using every bit of storage space in a small RV kitchen.
Tip #1: Use wall space to add storage to your RV kitchen.
Wall Mounted Knife Caddy
Just about every empty wall in my RV is used for storage, like this wall of my RV kitchen where I have a knife holder (a vintage one from a thrift store that I repainted; I've seen some similar ones for sale on Etsy) and a wire storage basket.
I initially tried hanging the basket with three Command hooks, but since the items I keep in it are pretty heavy, it eventually it fell down, so I used screws instead.
Wall Mounted Organizers Used as RV Kitchen Storage
My friend Brooke mounted a narrow spice rack (which she spray painted blue) on a wall in her travel trailer, along with a galvanized metal file organizer she uses fas plate storage.
Tall Cabinets Added for Extra RV Kitchen Storage
The owners of the RV pictured below doubled their kitchen cabinet space by installing two kitchen cabinets purchased at a home supply store, which they stacked on top of each other and secured to the wall with screws. Since they matched the oak color of their existing cabinets, you can't even tell they weren't part of the original design!
Storing Spices on RV Kitchen Walls
One of my personal favorite uses of wall space is for spice storage. I made this magnetic spice storage wall in my RV, which I wrote about in a separate blog post. (I also have another blog post where I shared lots of different spice storage ideas.)
Update: My New and Improved Adhesive Spice Rack
We now own a motorhome instead of our fifth wheel, and in that kitchen I used adhesive stainless steel strips as a place to hang magnetic spice tins. It was a lot easier than the other spice wall I built where the wall itself was magnetic, but at the time I made the other one I couldn't find anything like these small strips of stainless steel.
Tip #2: Look for other vertical spaces in your RV kitchen that can be turned into storage.
Wrap Rack Used for Storing Cutting Boards and Cookies Sheets
I purchased this rack to hang over a cabinet door, but it ended up being too wide, so I used screws to mount it over this panel which conceals our converter and other electrical components. If I hadn't already purchased this one, I would have bought a wall mount style instead. This one can be installed either way, over a cabinet door or mounted on a wall.
Mug Hooks Used to Hang Wire Baskets on the End of an RV Kitchen Cabinet
One of my favorite small camper storage ideas is to hang baskets on the wall wherever extra storage is needed. In my fifth wheel, I used mug hooks to hang wire baskets from the end of an RV kitchen cabinet as a place to store fruit and root vegetables. (For more fruit and vegetable storage ideas, check out this blog post.)
If you don't want to use hooks that would leave holes in your walls or cabinets, you could try this type of wire basket hung with adhesive hooks.
Magnetic Pizza Pan Storage
Here's an “RV kitchen storage hack” that I'm particularly proud I thought of. The gap next to my microwave seemed like wasted space, so I stuck a couple of magnets to the side of my microwave and it became the perfect spot to store my pizza pan.
Storing Items on RV Refrigerator Doors
Another RV kitchen storage idea is to use the doors of your refrigerator for added storage. If your refrigerator doors are magnetic, you can use magnetic hooks to store all kinds of kitchen supplies, as seen below, where I've got measuring cups and spoons, pot holders, and a plastic bag holder hung on my refrigerator.
If your fridge isn't magnetic, you can either replace the panels with magnetic stainless steel sheets, or use adhesive hooks instead.
Tip #3: Utilize the Bottoms of RV Kitchen Cabinets for Under Cabinet Storage.
Pots and Utensils Hung Underneath RV Cabinets
First of all, I just love the wall decor in this kitchen. But also, I love how the owner of this motorhome hung her pots and pans and other kitchen items from the bottom of her cabinets.
Under Cabinet Storage for Kitchen Utensils
This rotating adhesive hanger can be stuck to your backsplash (it bends) or under a cabinet for hanging utensils in your RV kitchen.
Wine Glasses Hung Under Cabinets Over Dining Area
I hung wine glasses from the bottom of one of my RV cabinets using a couple of racks like this one. We've only moved our RV once so far since I hung them, and unfortunately, I forgot to run a bungee cord across the end of the rack before we left so they wouldn't slide off, and a few fell off and broke. But the ones that stayed on the rack did just fine with liquor bottle sleeves over them. (I use those sleeves to protect my actual liquor bottles and glassware as well.)
Paper Plate Dispenser Attached to Bottom of a Kitchen Cabinet
For RV owners who prefer to use paper plates, one of these paper plate dispensers mounted to the bottom of a cabinet could come in really handy.
Magnetic Knife Strip attached to Bottom of a Cabinet
A lot of people mount a magnetic knife strip on the wall of in their RV kitchens, but I'll bet you could attach one to the bottom of a cabinet also, although you might have to buy shorter screws. I often suggest using acrylic tape for hanging things as an alternative to screws, but this is not something I would try that with. The last thing I would want would be for a bunch of knives to fall down on my hands while I was preparing dinner!
Rack for Wraps and Baggies Mounted Under a Kitchen Cabinet
A wrap and bag holder like this one, which is designed to be mounted on a kitchen cabinet door, could just as easily be mounted to the bottom of a cabinet. You could even try using Command hooks or adhesive cable clips to hang it if you wanted, although I would probably choose mug hooks myself so that the height and angle could be adjusted as needed. You could also spray paint the rack to be whatever color you wanted.
Under Cabinet Rack for Coffee Pods
Do you use a Keurig to make coffee in your RV? If so, under the cabinet can be a great place to store K cups.
Under Cabinet Organizer for Small Items
This space saving “stuff” organizer (it's literally called an “Anything Keeper” has a similar design, but can be used to store anything. It comes in either black or white, but of course it too could be spray painted to match your RV decor.
Adding Small Drawers to the Bottom of an RV Kitchen Cabinet
Here's another under cabinet storage idea that I would love to try sometime. It's a set of wooden drawers that could be mounted to the bottom of a cabinet using L brackets, acrylic mounting tape (since it's very small), or countless other ways I'm sure. If you do this, please send me a picture!
Rod with Hooks for Hanging Utensils
The owners of this RV use the space under their kitchen cabinets as a place to store kitchen gadgets in their camper by hanging them from a utensil rack. These can be purchased in different lengths and you can even get an adhesive one, but be sure to measure the height of your space before buying one.
I actually tried to make something similar myself using a tension rod and S hooks, and it was a total failure because 1) the S hooks were too long and made the utensils hang down too low, and 2) the tension rod wouldn't stay put and the whole thing came crashing down. So don't be like me, haha. I would probably buy one of the screw mounted ones if I were try this again.
Tip #4: Use countertops for adding RV kitchen storage.
Spice Rack Next to Backsplash
Here's a neat idea that one of my blog subscribers sent to me in an email. It's a nail polish rack, which she keeps on her counter, held in place by clear Command hooks. The bottom was originally rounded, her husband used a grinding wheel to make it flat across the bottom, but if you're like me and have no way of cutting metal, you could get a rectangle shaped one instead. I'm sure these could also be secured in place with a bit of my trusty friend, acrylic mounting tape.
Store Silverware On the Counter
I know most of us grew up with a silverware drawer as a basic kitchen essential, but after experiencing the convenience of having a silverware caddy next to my sink where I can easily grab a handful of silverware from off of my drying mat and put it away in just a few seconds, I can never go back to individually drying and neatly stacking forks and spoons.
I made this caddy by putting some tin cans in a basket I got at a thrift store. I wrap a bungee cord around it to hold it in place when my RV is in motion. Adding some rubber shelf liner to the bottom would probably prevent it from moving too.
There are some really neat silverware caddies on Amazon, such as this galvanized metal one, which would be super handy for carrying outside to eat at a camp table or picnic table–one of those “must-have RV kitchen storage accessories” if you eat most of your meals outside.
I think my favorite silverware storage idea is to use a wooden sugar mold. They come in different lengths with varying numbers of holes.
Shower Caddy Used in an RV Kitchen
Sometimes the best camper organization ideas involve using items in a way that was different than their intended use: RV owner used a caddy purchased in the bathroom department at Walmart to add extra storage in her kitchen.
Tea or Coffee Station
This caddy would be perfect for organizing tea or creating a coffee station.
Raised Shelf Behind the Sink
A friend of mine added a small wooden shelf behind the sink in her RV kitchen when she renovated her RV to create a place to set decorative items while keeping them up and off the counter.
Tip #5: Look for other empty spaces that be used as RV kitchen storage.
Stashing Snacks in the Microwave
Here's a cool space saving idea if you're really desperate for storage space in a small camper or travel trailer: use the microwave as storage. RVer Amanda Kehler keeps a basket in her microwave which she simply removes whenever she needs to use the microwave and replaces afterward.
Hanging Storage – Pot Rack Hung from the Ceiling
In my RV, I put the kitchen ceiling to use by hanging a pot rack above my sink. The screws in my RV's vent cover happened to be perfectly located where I was able to remove them and replace them with hooks, but I've seen other RV owners hang a pot rack from a wooden light fixture.
You probably won't want to try this idea if you have a motorhome, because I can't imagine that you'd want to listen to pots and pans banging around as you're driving down the road!
Multi-Level Drawer Organizer
Giving drawers a storage upgrade with multi-tier cutlery trays and drawer dividers is a good way to utilize space near the top without them becoming to messy. RV owner Kathy Johnson is a pro at drawer organization, as you can see in the photos below.
Panel with Empty Space Behind It
Many RV kitchens have panels with empty space behind them that can be turned into storage, like this spot I found underneath my pantry cabinets.
Want to see more ideas for RV kitchen organization? Check out these other blog posts:
7 Organization Hacks for RV Kitchen Cabinets
5 RV Pantry Storage Problems & Solutions
9 Space-Saving Spice Storage Ideas
You have given me some good ideas on how I can increase storage in my kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m going to start looking for interesting things at garage sales and thrift store that will help organize and add some interesting decor at the same time.
Great ideas! We have a ladder on the back of our pantry door and I think I want to hang baskets from the rungs.
That would be so cute, and handy too!
You’ve totally sold me on acrylic mounting tape! Using your link to order some! I too use a utensil holder in my camper for silverware–a basket with 3 veggie-can sized compartments. Just a caveat–my utensils rusted on the bottom (I must have put them away damp and the basket material held moisture), so now I put a small pad of paper towels in the bottom of the compartments. Thanks for all the great ideas!
You’re welcome! And thanks for the tip for preventing utensils for rusting! Hope you like the acrylic tape as much as I do!
My parents just purchased an RV in a park. Its older but well kept and has has some remodel done. Where can she find mini valances for the windows ( she has a kitchen window that stretches the entire front ) also appliance replacements and parts? Smaller, comfortable furniture. And fixtures that look nice and not cheap.
You can find replacement RV furniture and valances at RecPro.com. However, you could also replace the valances with regular curtains. Check out my article about RV window treatment ideas to see some examples.
Same with the furniture – you can just use residential furniture, especially if they are planning to leave the RV stationary, but even if they intend to travel as long as they stay within the RV’s cargo weight limit. Wayfair.com has a great selection of furniture and you can see the dimensions before you buy; I’ve bought several pieces of furniture from there myself. Or if you live near an IKEA that’s where I would shop for furniture.
As for the appliances, I would just do a Google search for each individual appliance. If you’re looking for the same brand, include the brand name in your search; otherwise you can do a general search and big name RV parts suppliers will come up in the top results.
Thank you for all the tips and ideas. We just bought a ‘new to us’ camper, first time ever and we are 68 years old! So excited but nervous about learning how to use it. LOL
Congratulations! I hope you enjoy many adventures with it! 🙂
I am so thrilled that I found your page.
such great info..
so helpful.. in about a year were heading off to live in ours for maybe a year just traveling around.
thanks for all the tips…keep em coming