One of the many problems RV owners face is a lack of space. Yes, that’s to be expected when you hit the road, either full-time or on a vacation, but it’s a solvable issue. Your RV is full of unique, interesting storage solutions waiting to be utilized. You just need to think a little creatively.
One popular spot for storage in the RV is under the bed. Most RV beds will be able to lift, revealing a space underneath. However, it is mostly a blank, open box, without any dividers or compartments. It’s easy for this storage space to become cluttered and unorganized.
For some unique RV under bed storage ideas, you can try solutions like garment bags, photo storage cases, or archival garment boxes. Making dividers yourself can also help you compartmentalize everything you want to keep under the bed of your RV.
RV Under Bed Storage Ideas
The only real limit to what you can store under the bed of your RV is the space allotted. It’s usually a reasonably big space, so a lot of household goods will stash under there nicely. That huge space, however, can leave a little bit too much room for imagination. Here are a few suggestions:
Clothes And Shoes
Most RVs have closets, but like everything else in the vehicle, they’ll run on the smaller side. If you’re a clothes horse, or if you just have a lot of bulky winter coats that will do you no good in the heat of summer, then under the bed is a safe spot.
Under the bed is also a good storage space for things that might not hang well, like socks, underwear, or some trousers.
How To Store Clothes Under An RV Bed
There are a few ways you can store clothes under the bed of your RV.
- A garment bag. They’re specifically built for clothes, and will easily zip up for safekeeping. They’re also good because you can designate one area of your under bed storage as the ‘clothes’ spot.
- Archival garment boxes. If you have some treasured pieces that you want to keep in good condition, an archival box is the way to go. They’re smaller, but better for more fragile clothing items like wedding dresses and veils.
- Careful Folding. If you’re familiar with the Mari Kondo method of clothes storage, then you might find that the methods will help you fit more clothes into the space. Almost any article of clothing can be neatly folded this way, from shirts, to dresses, to suits. When they’re compactly folded, you might be able to fit your entire wardrobe under the bed.
- Smaller containers. Just using the space under your RV bed to store little things like socks and undergarments? Try to find a smaller, sectioned container that you can fold or roll each article into. If you’re loohntainers. Egg cartons work well for folded socks, too.
- Vacuum sealing. If you have the technology, using a vacuum storage bag can help you stick a lot of clothes into a tight space. This is excellent for puffy winter clothes, but it works on most anything.
- Shoe organizers. If you want to stash your shoes without hearing them clatter around every time you turn, shoe organizers are a must. They’re usually flat anyway, meaning they’ll slip into your RV’s under bed storage space without issue.
If you like to change up the way the interior of your RV looks by swapping out art, wall hangings, rugs, or other items, under the bed is a great place to store them. Roll up rugs and lay art pieces like prints or paintings flat.
Holiday decorations can also be stashed under the bed to be brought out when you’re ready. A helpful way to do this is to save the boxes the decorations came in, if you have them. Some decorations, however, might be heirlooms or hand-me-downs. In that case, photo storage boxes or any appropriately sized box will do.
Another way you can store art is in portfolios. Art supply stores will usually have these; they’re shaped like massive envelopes or file folders. If you have prints or art pieces that aren’t too bulky, this is a smart way to literally ‘file’ them away under your RV bed.
Blankets And Linens
Comforters and duvets are a challenge to store in any household, and RVs are no different. When you store them under the bed, they’ll be that much closer to where they need to be. A vacuum sealer can make quick work of a fluffy down comforter, but if you don’t have one, even folding it tightly will help keep it stored.
If you’re storing linens, try to find moisture-proof bags to do so. This will keep mildew and mold away when you’re in more humid climates.
If you are living in the RV full time, you will have taken along your much needed files. Tax documents, legal records, birth certificates, diplomas, licenses, and more are all things you don’t want getting lost.
Under the bed of your RV is a safe, easy to access place to stash these vital documents. To keep them secure and organized, you can look in a flat locking box. They will usually either have a pinpad lock, but you might see traditional turnkey styles too.
The most important tactic here is to not forget your password or lose your key. If you’re using one with a key, put the key to it on the same ring you carry the keys to the rest of your RV.
If you feel a bit more secure, you can just find a flat storage container to keep your papers. It’s entirely up to you and how much you need to store everything.
Keeping your RV tidy is an essential part of keeping it in good working order. The only problem with cleaning is that it often requires equipment or other supplies.
If you have a smaller vacuum, under the bed might be a convenient place to store it. Sponges, buckets, and gloves will sit away nicely under the bed. Even things like brooms or mops will keep well under the bed.
It’s not advised that you keep any chemicals under your bed, as you might run into spills or fume leaks. Cleaning liquids or powders should be kept in their own closet or cabinet, usually in the RV’s kitchen.
Other Things To Store
Really, anything can be tucked away under your RV’s underbed storage. Here are a few ideas:
- Pet toys or supplies can be put into small storage boxes, or even photo boxes. Make sure to apply labels if the box has a lid or cover.
- Children’s toys can be stored here, but be careful letting smaller kids access this area if you have the type of bed that lifts up. Make sure to supervise kids when they’re reaching under the bed storage area.
- Pots and pans and other cooking tools will sometimes have their own distinct storage containers. If they’re on the flatter side, this is a tidy way to keep them until you need them. Countertop appliances you don’t need all the time will usually fit nicely in this spot as well. Hanging on to the boxes they came in will help keep it clean.
- Tools and tool boxes fit well in this space. Performing proper maintenance on your RV is crucial to maintaining its lifespan. That’s why it’s always wise to have tools handy. Even a smaller tool kit will have what you need to make minor repairs and keep an eye on upkeep.
- Board games will make any night of camping that much more enjoyable. As they’re usually in flat boxes, under the bed is an ideal home for them.
- On the subject of camping, tents and lawn chairs will also fit perfectly in taller underbed storage areas. Most will come with storage bags. If yours does not, a garment bag will work just as well to keep it safe.
- Batteries, light bulbs, trash bags, and other things you might need regularly, but not every day, will fit nicely. These can be kept in the containers they came in, or you can arrange them yourself using a compartmented shoe organizer.
Installing Drawers Under Your RV Bed
Storing things under your RV bed is convenient, yes, but it can have a few downsides as well. One of them includes the fact that you might have to lift the entire bedframe up to access the storage area. This makes things like clothes or shoes, that you might visit frequently, harder to get to.
There are ways around this, though. One thing you might like to try is installing drawers under your RV bed. This will make storing things there much easier.
Making A Drawer In The RV Underbed Area
- You will need to remove one side of the underbed area if it is walled in. Build a backboard if you want it that will span the entire length of the space under your RV bed. This can be measured more easily by lifting the bed up and moving the mattress aside.
- Install the backboard of your drawer using screws that you drill in from the outside of the storage area. If you prefer, you can also use a strong wood glue. If you choose to use wood glue, be sure to properly ventilate the area and give it ample time to dry.
- It’s up to you if you’d like multiple smaller drawers, or just one long one. Multiple smaller drawers will be easier to organize and to pull out of the bed. They are slightly more work, however.
- For your drawers, you’ll need to build a frame for each ‘opening’ that leads to the cavity where the drawer goes. This is where you’ll decide how many drawers you want, and build your frame accordingly. Make a divider between each drawer, and screw or glue it into place.
- Once you’ve successfully installed the framework, use that to measure what size you’ll need to build the drawers themselves. Take into account the space you’ll need for the bracket mechanisms that will allow the drawer to roll open and closed.
- Build the drawers according to your size measurements. You can find drawer mechanisms in most hardware stores and install them without much difficulty to the drawers, and into the cavities.
- Add on drawer pulls to make it easier to drag out. If you’re worried about the drawers swinging open, you can include latches as well.
With that, you’ve successfully installed new drawers in the storage space under your RV’s bed. Ideally, this will still give you open storage space under the bed itself, so you can still lift the bed to reveal anything else you have tucked away.
There are more detailed instructions on how to build a drawer system online, but this will give you a general overview of how the process might work.
If you’re not into the idea of installing drawers, you can also try to add in cabinets. This will be a little simpler, but still give more convenient access to the storage area.
Storage can be hard to come by in the cramped world of an RV. You only have so many closets and cubbies to tuck things away in. Even those can become cluttered or overstuffed if you’re not careful. Keeping your storage spaces clean and organized is the best way to keep your RV feeling like home.
Under the bed of your RV, you’ll usually find an open opportunity for storage. There are endless ways you can arrange and customize this space. Garment bags and boxes are the best go-tos for making the most of the given area.
If you’re creative, you can also build a system of drawers under your RV bed. This will take some handiwork, but the convenience is well worth it.