Whether part-time or full-time on the road, space is optimal in a campervan build. However, we also know it’s not the most straightforward task and can get stressful and overwhelming. While we chose to hit the road so that we can be outside more, there is no question that having room to move around your tiny home with ease exponentially increases your quality of life and comfort. It’s also a necessity so that you can have everything that you want. Check out these campervan storage ideas that will save you both space and hassle in your campervan build.
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Campervan Storage Ideas
After three van builds and countless van tours, we feel confident we can help you stay organized and make all the space count inside your campervan or rig. To help you out, we have collected our most tried and true campervan storage hacks and tips and some campervan trade secrets to make a list of storage tips that will help you out.
1. Tables That Increase Functionality
One of our top campervan storage ideas is to build a table that gives you space and functionality. A fold, slide-out, or Lagun table is super handy because they can be packed away and aren’t rigid or stuck in one place. They can have multiple purposes as a desk, a dining table, and extra countertop space. We had one in the first van, and we used it as a table and then converted it into a bed. In our second van, we used it as a small table for a desktop.
- Slide out table
The benefit of a side-out table is that it completely disappears, then locks in place so it won’t slide out when driving or not in use. Many people will put their slideout table under their stationary bed or have it come out of the kitchen counter space. Another option is to have a slide-out table on the back side of the van so you can host guests outside or enjoy breakfast with a view.
- Lagun tables
Lagun tables are great campervan storage ideas for those with a convertible bed build or who want a table that can move around the space. First, you set up a Lagun table by placing the “leg” into a designated hole in the floor, or you can mount it to a cabinet or wall. Then the “ arm” is attached to your tabletop and connected to the leg’s top, which means that the table top can be dismounted and rotated around the space.
You also have the option to alter the height, which provides the table with multiple functionalities. For example, some people put the table in the dining room area and a seat on both sides. However, you can also place it in the front of the van across from the driver or passenger seat and add swivel seats, so you don’t have to have an additional seating area.
- Fold down tables
Fold-down or up tables are a great second option for campervan storage ideas outside the van. If you have a cabinet or kitchenette on the door side of your van, you can add this table to the backside of the cabinet and make it the perfect place to set sharable snacks or a drink while chatting outside or enjoying a view. One of our great campervan space-saving tips is to add a fold-down table to a small kitchen cabinet to increase countertop space.
Although fold-down tables are used less often as the main table in campervans, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great option. For example, you can use these against a van wall and set a seating area across them. What’s great about these tables is that they fold up or down and latch so that when they aren’t in use, they aren’t in the way.
2. Cushion Storage
If you’re like us, you have plenty (if not a few too many) cushions in your space. However, you can give these cushions an extra purpose by storing clothes, jackets, or other soft materials that need a home inside them. It’s a great way to keep your stylish collection of cushions while also having a place for a jacket that’s accessible.
3. Magnetic Spice Rack
We enjoy cooking; however, our cabinets quickly became cluttered with spices. A magnetic spice rack is a great way to solve that problem by putting your spice jars somewhere that is underutilized. You can hang a spice rack underneath a kitchen cabinet or on the side of your fridge for easy access.
4. Cabinet Mesh
Installing cabinet mesh inside your clothes cabinet is one of those excellent campervan storage ideas that can get ignored or forgotten in the long list of to-do’s you have. Mesh is a great way to prevent an over (or under) stuffed cabinet from spilling once opened. Add them to any drawer as an additional insurance policy, so your valuables don’t crash to the floor after an unusually bumpy dirt road.
5. Slide Out Pantry
Slide-out pantries are great because until you need them, they are out of the way. Then, you can build them to be as long as you desire and give you a bunch of extra room. It’s like Hermione’s camping bag! This way, you have plenty of room to store your spices, snacks, and dry storage!
6. Cargo Boxes
Something else to consider is adding additional storage onto the van via a cargo box. An aluminum cargo box is great because they add space that you’d otherwise not have by being added to the van itself. These can be great for workout items, stinky shoes, towels, skateboards, or other things you don’t need all the time but would still like to be handy if you need them.
You can add a cargo box to the back, side, or top of your van for items that you use less, such as winter or summer clothes, outdoor gear that you bring out on special occasions, traction boards, skateboards or boogie boards, the list goes on and on.
7. Shoe Rack Organizers
Shoe rack organizers are beneficial because shoes are one of those things that take up a surprising amount of floor space and can add unnecessary clutter. Organizers like these are one of those space-saving campervan tips that are super easy and useful. All you have to do is to add a shoe rack to the back of a passenger seat or the rear doors of your van. You can also make other items easily accessible by using cubbies to store them.
8. Hanging Storage
Hanging storage is a space-saving pro tip and a great campervan storage hack because there are many ways to make it work for you and your needs. By adding hooks and utilizing the back of your chairs or back doors, you are optimizing paces that most likely go unused and underutilized. This way, you are given a designated place for backpacks, shoe racks, and jackets that might otherwise clutter up your campervan.
- Hanging jars
When it comes to the kitchen, we are of the mind that the right spices are essential! Hanging storage containers under the kitchen cabinets is a great way to have all the spices you may want and need while utilizing space you wouldn’t be optimizing otherwise. A campervan space-saving tip like this could look like hanging hooks under the cabinets and attaching jars with string or handles.
Another way to store oversized or large items is to attach mason jar lids to the bottom of your kitchen cabinets and then screw on the mason jars. I’ve seen people use glass or plastic jars, depending on if you are comfortable with glass in your van. This mason jar option makes it so you can store bulk items like oats, lentils, rice, beans, flour, sugar, and much more for easy access.
- Fruit hammock
Are you a van lifer if you don’t have an aesthetically pleasing fruit hammock? Jokes aside, besides being very common and abundant in campervans, fruit hammocks are a great way to prevent unnecessary countertop or cabinet clutter plus prevent your fruits from lacking the necessary airflow. Hammocks also keep your fruit accessible and ready to be eaten. All you have to do is hang the hammock under your kitchen cabinets, and they are good to go.
- Magnetic Hooks
Magnetic hooks are great if you have any metal showing in the van. For example, you can place hooks on the side or back doors. Also, magnetic hooks can be perfect for hanging backpacks, hats, jackets, etc., which keep them out of the way and easily accessible.
Top Campervan Storage Hacks
After living in two different van builds, we have picked up a lot of trade secrets, and campervan storage hacks along the way that we are excited to share with you. These hacks are things that we used to make sure we had plenty of space in our builds. The list below includes ways to uplevel your campervan storage.
The More Surface Area, the Better
Find ways to create enough surface area. For example, if you have a small kitchen, add a foldable, slide-out, or swivel table so you can cut your vegetables with room to spare. A way to increase surface area can be by adding a top to your sink or having an outside table.
Make a Van Life Packing List
Before putting any items inside your van, make a campervan storage idea list and check it twice. No, you aren’t Santa Clause, but this will ensure that you will not bring unnecessary things that will do nothing more than take up space and be unhelpful. A list also does the inverse by providing peace of mind, so you don’t forget any essentials. Finally, a packing list lets you weigh the pros and cons and limit any funny last-minute random items. This way, you can picture everything going at your pace and ensure you know where it will go.
Utilize Space on the Outside of the Van
An excellent hack is to use the outside of your van if you just need that extra space. Getting a roof rack or cargo boxes outside your van can give you just that. The van’s exterior can be a place to store propane tanks, spare tires, extra winter clothes, gear, or anything else that doesn’t have a home inside your van.
Have a Place for Dirty Items
One of the top campervan storage hacks you don’t want to forget is that you’ll need a place to put your dirty laundry, shoes, and any other dirty things you may accumulate. No one enjoys putting muddy or soaking wet boots in the middle of your laminate floors amid a rain storm or before you drive off. The same goes for dirty laundry. If it doesn’t have a designated place, it will pile up and have nowhere to go except your floor, bed, or stuffed in a random cabinet or the headliner.
Utilize the Doors
Use the doors as additional storage by hanging magnets on exposed metal or adding a shoe cubby or bags to the doors. Using the doors as extra storage may seem like a minor hack, but it does wonder by taking random hats, jackets, and other items out of the living area and into a designated space.
A rule of thumb in your campervan is to find another purpose for everything you can. Examples of this could be using a chest-style fridge as a bench seat or using your driver and passenger seats as your dining room seats by adding a swivel. Likewise, you could hide a toilet in a bench seat or add a table that can be used as a bed extension and a table. There are so many ways to utilize the space for multi-purposes. A great example is people with a convertible bed that goes from a bed to a dining area.
Tie Things Down
Find ways to put things in place or secure when driving, so nothing slides around. Trust me, it will happen and can be an absolute nightmare. Such as tying a surfboard or a snowboard to your garage ceiling or using locks or latches to ensure your drawers don’t open up while driving. These tools make for less clean-up and clutter once you arrive at your destination.
Give Everything a Home
By assuring that everything in your van has a specified “home,” you are ensuring you won’t have random stuff moving around your space while driving. It also means you won’t have that one backpack or item that travels around your van without anywhere to rest and stay put. Those things can make your space smaller because they never leave your sight for long.
Organize Into Smaller Boxes or Bins
You can use small boxes and drawer organizers to avoid things sliding around in your cabinets when driving from one place to another. By investing in fabric, metal, or plastic organizers, you up-level the space in your drawers and give everything a home. Small boxes can also make things easy to grab and go if you want to take your shower items into the gym or cook items outside to a fire.
Find Function in the Random Spaces
Do you have an unexpected space in the van where you can store a few shoes or a random nic-nack? Utilize those spaces under the driver, passenger side seat, or cabinets. Find the areas that wouldn’t be used otherwise and find a way to use them. For example, in our second van, we had a hidey-hole to store our laptops, blankets, and shoes!
For example, use a slab of butcher block or a metal sink cover to cover your sink. This way, you can use your sink space as a cutting board or a place to set a pot or food while cooking.
Top Campervan Storage Accessories
Here are some items that come in handy in your tiny home on wheels, making organizing and storing that much easier. This list includes some of our favorites and things we wish we had thought of earlier or come in high demand. So check these campervan storage ideas and accessories out and see if they will enhance your space.
Using collapsable Tupperware is an excellent campervan storage hack because they are far more malleable than rigid plastic or glass Tupperware that takes up unnecessary space with no leeway. Reusable bags are also convenient.
Space Saver Bags
These are a must-have for those with a big clothes closet that they don’t want to sacrifice on the road or if you carry around closes for multiple seasons that you don’t need to use all the time. Then you can store them away in your garage or the bottom of a cabinet for later use.
Magnetic knife strips come in handy, especially if you don’t have a spare drawer or want your knives or cutlery convenient. In addition, magnets can be a great place to put other metal items you have, like a bottle opener, tongs, or spatula. These can also be used as additional spice jar storage.
Paper Towel Holder
Instead of storing a paper towel roll in a drawer, get one of these instead. A paper towel holder is a great way to free up cabinet space, and there are plenty of different sizes and kinds to fit your needs and setup.
A perfect way to store shoes and other items on the back of your driver or passenger seat or the back doors of your campervan is to use hanging shoe organizers. We love these because you can store so many miscellaneous items inside here, and it’s a great way to move shoes from the floor and into a home.
Magnetic Spice Rack
A magnetic spice rack uses space that would otherwise be underutilized or not used at all. Great options are to put them on the bottom of a cabinet or the front of your fridge.
Magnetic hooks are perfect for a campervan because you can give the exposed metal in your van a new purpose. Hooks take something otherwise covered up by shiplap and make it benefit you.
If you have a static bed floor plan, storage bins are a great way to prevent all items you put in the “garage” (the space under your bed) from rolling around while you drive. This way, you can organize them and even label them to find whatever you need in a flash.
Packing cubes have a similar use as storage bins. They make it so that you can put clothes and other items in storage and have them be easy to find and nicely organized.
Hammocks also keep your fruit accessible and ready to be eaten. All you have to do is hang the hammock under your kitchen cabinets, and they are good to go.
Mesh bags are a great way to prevent an over (or under) stuffed cabinet from spilling once opened. Add them to any drawer to prevent your valuables from falling out of your drawers.
Campervan Storage Ideas Questions & Answers
Many details go into making the campervan of your dreams, and “where am I going to store my stuff?” is high on the list of importance. Our goal is to answer some of the most asked questions that we have found that are related to campervan storage while also sharing fun ways to optimize your space and ensure that you can fit all of your “must haves” and still have room to live in your campervan comfortably.
How do you organize a campervan?
Our best advice about how to get started organizing your campervan is to give everything a home. Utilize storage tips like packing cubes, and label everything you put in boxes and long-term storage, so it’s much easier to find when you need it most.
How do you store clothes in a van?
Many people put cabinets above their bed for clothes, but you can also use packing cubes or put your clothes in cushions or another designated cabinet. Using items like a cargo roof box can be a great place to put clothes that you don’t currently need, such as winter clothes in summer and vice versa.
How do you store cutlery in a campervan?
Storing cutlery is one of those van life storage ideas that is small but mighty. There are many ways to keep utensils in a van. Often people use a cabinet that is in their kitchen area. Pro-tip, make sure you use drawer organizers, so your silverware doesn’t rustle and move around while driving! If you don’t have a drawer in your kitchen that is accessible, don’t worry, you can also place a magnetic strip in the kitchen for your silverware or hang them in a jar or container somewhere nearby.
Where do you store your pots and pans in a campervan?
Post and pans will most likely need a large designated cupboard or drawer, and they also could be put on hooks and hung in your kitchen area. A final option can be to assign a specific storage box to all pots and pans that can live in the back of the van, under the bed, or anywhere that makes sense.
What to do with fancy outfits in your van?
Any cute occasion-specific clothes, jackets, or shoes will need a designated place so that they don’t get mussed from you constantly having to move them out of the way. Since you won’t need your nice clothes very often, a great place to put them is in a storage container under your bed or in an exterior cargo box where you keep out-of-season clothes.
Camper Space Saving Takeaways
We hope we have been able to help you find nifty ways to optimize your storage with these van life storage ideas and give you hope that there are nearly unlimited ways to increase space and make your home feel comfortable and functional. We know exactly how important it is to feel like your home gives you room to work and play with ease and comfort. These campervan storage ideas will allow you to do just that! So let us know some of your favorite tips or anything that we may have missed!