To date, we have owned 2 different rvs – the first was a 30′ bunkhouse travel trailer that we used and enjoyed for 5 years, and currently we have a 40′ Wide Open toy hauler. I have loved both of our rvs, but there were a few things about them that frustrated me. My main complaint was that while both of them came with an ample amount of cupboards, none of those cupboards came with shelves in them. In the kitchen, this made for an organizational nightmare! In an attempt to utilize the space as best I could (with minimal amount of effort), I used stackable wire shelves to help organize the kitchen cupboards. While this was much better than nothing, these standing shelves would sometimes shift while driving and the contents stacked on them would then fall out when the cupboard was first opened. Plus, the modulars didn’t fit the cupboards very well which resulted in wasted space. With cupboard space limited as it is, every inch counts; I needed a better solution.
I let my husband know of my frustration, and he got out his tape, took a few measurements, and came home with several 4 and 8 foot sections of white wire shelving. Did I mention yet how great my hubby is? 😉 Meant for installation in pantries and closets, these shelves need to be cut to fit, and then mounted. These shelves are the perfect application for rvs – they can be either permanent or temporary, and they weigh next to nothing, which can be important if you are trying to keep within your GVW!
When the guys went to install the shelves in the kitchen for me, they cut the shelves to fit the length of the cupboard, and then installed slotted tracks on the wall to be used with L brackets – this way I can adjust the height of the shelves if I would like them changed down the road (literally). I also had the guys install the shelves with the lip pointing up so that I could put small items on the shelves without having them fall out after a move. The track and brackets were not designed to be used with the shelves, but they work great together!
My DH and sons actually ended up installing these type of shelves 3 different ways, in 3 seperate areas, because of different applications. In the ‘garage’ are also cupboards – the guys installed a shelf in one of them as I use the cupboards for groceries, which don’t always stack well. I knew that I would not want to change the height of this shelf, so they used the permanent brackets that are meant to be used with these shelves. The brackets are screwed into the wall, and the shelf snaps down into the bracket. Clean and easy install, but if you want to move the shelf later, you must drill new holes.
In the bedroom of the 5th wheel, we have cupboards that run wall to wall across the top front. Because these cupboards are 21 inches tall, the clothing that we keep in there will sometimes shift and subsequently fall out when the doors are opened. I don’t know about you, but the last thing that I want to be doing during camping/vacation, is REfolding clothes! Because the wall that makes up the back of the cupboards is slanted, the track system wouldn’t work, and I didn’t want the shelves to be permanent, so we couldn’t use the brackets. For these shelves, hubby used cleats, which were 1 inch pine, screwed horizontally, on the wall (or ends of cupboards), and then the shelves just rest on these cleats. We used this system quite a bit in our other trailer, as we could take the shelves out if needed (leaving the cleats), and then put the shelves back in when wanted.
I love to find ways to personalize our rv and make it fit our family better. These shelves are really easy way to help you organize your cupboards, and to utilize otherwise unusable space. It’s also easy! If you are considering installing shelving into your rv, there are a a couple of tips that can help make your ‘mod’ go smoothly:
*Be sure to measure the inside of your cupboards accurately (taking into account existing cupboard cleats, sometimes found in the corners).
*Measure the width of the end wood of your cupboards if you are considering cleats, also measure the width of the cleats, and make sure that the screws you intend to use are long enough to go through the cleat and bite into the cupboard, but NOT long enough to exit out the other side (you’ll really hate your shelves if this happens! :-O )
I love my new shelves – my cupboards are so much more organized than before!
I would like to share one other quick fix that my hubby threw together for me. In the garage, there is a heating duct in one of the front corners. What a silly place to put the duct – makes the entire corner unusable unless you know for certain that you will not be using the furnace! We have a little fridge that we keep in the garage for sodas (and for when I go to the grocery store hungry and buy too many perishables), and I really wanted it out of the way – in THAT corner. So, this is what hubby built for me last night…
he continued out the ducting so the vent is now in the front of the cubby, and he installed another shelf so that I had more storage. This stand weighs quite a bit more than my rv friendly shelves in the kitchen, but is worth every ounce!
I love to personalize our rv by doing mods.
~ I can hear you husbands out there muttering,”that’s because you are not the one doing the actual work!” – hehehe!!! 😉
No matter who’s doing the cutting and installing, I would love to hear about some of the modifications that you have done on your rv, or any ideas that you may have! But, whether or not you choose to modify your rv, the important thing is to get out there and USE IT!
“Not all who wander are lost.” J.R.R.Tolkien
Kitchen mods make life easier!
May 14, 2010