We put together our ultimate guide to the best campervan storage ideas to help you make the most of living in a tiny space!
It’s taken us a lot of years and plenty of trial and error, but we have discovered some great space-saving storage hacks that we think you will find valuable before you head out on your next road trip.
Campervan Storage Ideas that are Guaranteed to Save Your Space!
When we were packing our van, we were trying to think of ways to organize each section and make the most of all the space. Storing everything needed to be structured and organized to keep it tidy. Having the best camper organization is key and one of our top tips for van life.
To begin with, there are a few things to do before organizing a camper:
List everything you have
This is something many do not do and just pack their campervan or RV. Write a list of every item you have so you know what you have and where you put it.
This is not only helpful for the organization. But also it will be important in the event you are involved in an accident or theft and you can provide this list to your insurance company.
Get rid of what you will not need
Before you start packing and organizing, think about the things you may actually need and use. In many cases, this will depend on whether you are traveling solo, with a partner or even as a family.
There are very few instances where you could possibly need 6 plates and 6 cups. So before you start packing, cut it down. You won’t be hosting parties in your van. Most campers will understand this and bring their own plates and eating utensils when they do decide to have a potluck meal.
Think minimalistic and think about what you will use regularly and will not use. If you only use it once in a blue moon, do you really need it in the van? And do you really need all of the shoes, clothes and bags that you may keep at home when you’re out on your road trip?
Now you have all your items sorted out and organised it is time to store them efficiently. Here are some great storage ideas for campervans and RV ideas for storage.
Underneath the Bed Storage
Selecting your bed style is an obvious way to save space when you build out your van. Van lifers will decide whether to have a fixed bed or a convertible one that will turn into a table to have more space.
Having a fixed bed will provide you with so much more storage space in your campervan. This extra storage space beneath the bed is generally called a “garage.”
A great camper hack is to make the garage big enough that you can fit bulky items such as bikes under there. And you can find creative ways of designing it to be long enough for a surfboard along the interior side of the campervan.
This is one of the most common campervan storage ideas but it relies on building a platform bed. Alternatively, some van lifers will even build the kitchen out the back and have it on rollers so it can slide out.
Bedside Storage Shelves
Because most campervans are a little curved on the inside, people tend to build little storage shelves on the edge of the bed. You won’t be able to store bulky items. But you can build it to hold books, a water bottle holder and a little shelf for your glasses.
By doing this you are making extra space by not wasting that wall space. We have even seen some van dwellers put their bedding in there. This storage hack is great for campervan and RV living storage organizations.
Related: These are our best organization hacks for living in a campervan!
Add upper shelves/cupboards where possible to maximize space
Having wasted and unused space is the most frustrating thing, especially when you already have such a small living space. Adding shelves in your campervan will give you so much more room in the van and save space for other clothes and miscellaneous items.
This can store your clothes or cooking utensils. You may not be able to put shelves on both sides of your campervan as you may not have space but at least you have them on one side.
You could also add upper cupboards above the bed area to pack clothes, shoes and other items. The upper cupboards all depend on how tall your campervan is. By having overhead shelves/cupboards on both sides of the campervan you are able to store so much more stuff.
One side could be for clothes and food and the other for toiletries and electronics. It gets items up and off the counters in your campervan or RV and organized.
This storage idea also stands for the area above the passenger and driver. In a small camper van, you can put extra shelves to take advantage of this, especially above the driver and passenger area. A lot of people do not take advantage of this easy-access space.
You can store so much up here. Some store their bedding or dirty clothes, while others store items that they do not use regularly, such as hiking gear or winter gear.
If you do not have the space you can add elastic bands such as bungee cords and put soft lightweight items there instead. You can also do this on the roof in other areas of your van.
Having kitchen drawers in the kitchen area instead of cupboards gives you so much additional space for storage. Having dividers in the drawers is a great way to organize your kitchen by having multiple areas to access.
In our campervan kitchen, we have 3 drawers, a short pull-out pantry area and a cupboard underneath the sink. This is great as I am able to store my dry food in one drawer, cutlery and cooking utensils in another drawer and plates, cups, pots, pans and bowls in another drawer.
I keep some kitchen electronics, like my Nutri Bullet and toaster, under the sink. In the slide-out pantry, I can easily store my cereals and cooking ingredients like flour, coconut and nuts in plastic bags or space-saving storage containers.
If you have a small camper van that does not have enough space to have an inside kitchen, having a pull-out kitchen where you cook will save you space for your bench. You use it when you need and then slide it away when you don’t.
This will maximize your living space and help you organize your kitchen. You can have one of these at the back in your garage area or inside your camper van to store kitchen items like pots and pans.
We feel that these slide-out kitchens are a genius idea and are one the best storage solutions for this area of a campervan. A little tip is to stick a lock on the drawers so each one does not accidentally open while you are driving.
The More bench space the better
The more drawer storage areas you have in your campervan, the more bench space you will have. But be sure that you aren’t just setting miscellaneous items on your bench that can fall off the bench while you are driving.
So make sure that every item has its own home. Get the stuff off your benches and clear the living space. Apply this principle to your counter space as well.
This will make the campervan, motorhome or RV feel much tidier and more spacious.
Hanging Storage under the shelves
You can create hanging storage for light items under the cupboards with a nail, or a hook or place bungee cords there to hold small items.
This is great for the kitchen to store jars for your spices. Just make sure they do not screw off while you are driving. That would be a mess to clean up (trust us!).
You would want these items to be easy-access things that you use regularly. This is one of the best campervan storage solutions if you do not have a lot of storage space.
Back of Door and Chair Storage
The back of the front driver and passenger seat in your camper van is a great place to store all sorts of items. You can buy these great flexible storage slips or a shoe organizer to fit any chair that has pockets on it to store small and larger items.
This is an easy storage place to put books, shoes, reusable grocery bags or other items you use regularly as it is easy to access.
Another great idea for a storage area is on the inside of the doors. If you have a sliding door, you can be restricted. But if you have any door that opens up, such as in the back of the camper van, then you can store a lot of items there.
We have seen some van lifers use this space to hang their toiletries, shoes or even cleaning supplies. These are sometimes kept at the back of the van as they may have a portable shower and it is easy to access.
Anywhere you can fit a storage hanger, do it. Being on the back of the doors, your items can be hidden and out of sight making your campervan organized and tidy.
This is a great space-saving idea for your campervan, RV or motorhome.
Roof Storage Box
If your campervan is able to have items on the roof, then take advantage of this space. To do this, your campervan will have to have the best roof racks. If you do not have roof racks think about installing them on your campervan as well as a storage box.
Why jam all the items inside your motorhome, RV or campervan, when you can put some on the roof? You can buy these lockable storage boxes that you can attach to the roof as a perfect way to store larger items that you do not use regularly. This may be tools, camping gear, a fire pit, cold-weather clothes, and all sorts of other stuff.
This one is one of the more brilliant camper storage ideas out there if you need to find space to store things you just can’t live without.
Bumper Storage Box
If you can not store items on your roof, maybe think about a bumper storage box that is for the back of your campervan, RV or motorhome for extra storage.
This helps out if you do not have enough storage space inside your campervan. The downside with this is that you may not be able to open your back doors easily unless you have a great swing arm to move it out of the way.
Both rooftop and bumper storage boxes are campervan storage ideas that will have an extra cost. But keeping the clutter out of your van will pay for itself in peace of mind.
Storage Boxes, Folder Boxes and Baskets
These are all great RV storage ideas for organization and making the most out of less space and will quickly become your best friend for being multi-functional storage solutions.
We have so many smaller boxes and storage containers in our campervan. And you can label each container so you know what’s in there.
If you can find a storage container with an airtight lid you’ll appreciate it even more as they are great at keeping the dust and bugs out of your items. They come in all sizes so measure your space where you want a storage box to go and purchase the one you need from a container store.
If you need a place for your bedding during the day why not get a foldable storage box and store your bedding in there? And if any of your storage boxes are sturdy enough and have items you use daily in there, why not use them as a chair?
Or you can use the foldable box for storage when you are stationary and need to place everything in a box to keep your campsite tidy. This is a great RV storage idea with no extra cost.
When it comes to basket storage, you can either store items in each basket that you use regularly so it does not need a lid, or you can hang it on a wall and put a plant in it.
If you hang the baskets off the wall, use command strips and make sure the weight is not heavy as it may be only attached by one side of the basket.
If the basket is on the bench, make sure you have it attached down to your cushion covers so it does not move when you are driving. This is one of the great storage ideas for the RV interior.
Extra Seating – Hide your toilet
This is one of the great campervan storage ideas for anyone with an onboard toilet. Having a useful toilet in your van is so handy. But it does take up space. Why not put the toilet under a seat so you are able to utilize your space in your campervan?
Make sure your toilet is sealed well so the smells do not leak. You would have a lid to cover it and put cushion covers on top.
This will create space for you to have a dining table with a hidden toilet for the middle of the night when you need it.
Hidden Table or Stow-Away Tables
We have seen so many van lifers doing this. This is one of the best campervan storage ideas for making more space.
With the hidden table, you are able to pull the table out when you need and put it away when you are not using it – giving yourself more room to move around your living space.
Packing cells for RV Organization
Packing cells are great camper organizers and one of the best clothes storage ideas. We used these all the time when we were living out of our backpacks and we found they worked perfectly to secure our clothes when we transitioned into van life.
They are a great storage hack to help organize your clothes into different packing cells. There are even different colors to make it even easier to remember which stuff is each one.
You can not only use these for your clothes but also for other items. The packing cells are soft so they can fit into a lot of space that your boxes may not be able to.
Command Strip Velcro and Adhesive Hook
Velcro and Hooks are a great way to attach items on walls or benches and to secure small items to create more counter space. You can use velcro to hold your fly screen up at the door, put picture frames up on the wall or hold a potted plant down on the bench.
By using Velcro for your bug fly screen, you can put it on and pull it off when you want. And we also use velcro to hold our storage boxes on our benches so they do not move while we are driving.
We use space-saving adhesive hooks to hang up jackets or backpacks. This can help any van dweller with their storage and lift things off the ground and out of the way.
We can not tell you how many velcro strips and adhesive hooks we have scattered around our campervan. These are some of the many motorhome, campervan and RV storage hacks that we use regularly.
Vacuum bags are another of the great clothes storage ideas that are useful to compress your winter clothes or your winter blankets. As these items are so large, they take up so much space.
This is one of the awesome campervan storage solutions that is multifunctional because you will also use your vacuum to keep your van neat and tidy as well!
We hope all these RV, motorhome and campervan storage ideas were helpful. There are so many other great RV storage ideas out there so let us know what we may have left off our list!
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