It seems like we can never have enough “room” to carry all the stuff we find a use for. With the invention of fifth wheels and tall motorhomes, “basement” storage came into vogue. For some, it was like the luggage storage bays on a Greyhound bus!
But basement storage, being what it is, isn’t always the most usable area for practical storage. Oftentimes, basement storage is just a large, open area, where small objects can mysteriously vanish into their own “black hole.”
Here are a few ideas on how to make your basement storage a bit more useful.
Friends of ours who have a big Class A motorhome are also into fishing. Tossing fishing rods into basement storage made for hard retrieval and, at times, damage to expensive fishing gear. Dave scratched his head, and soon attached snap clamps to the inside of the basement storage doors. These simple clips “catch and release” the fishing rods, making for a quick grab and go.
Installing pegboard on basement storage divider walls can give you a real place to hang up smaller gear, tools, etc. Mind you, you’ll need to have space between the pegboard and the dividing bulkhead, so attaching a few 1” x 2” chunks of appropriately prepared lumber to the bulkhead first, then attaching the pegboard to the 1” x 2” chunks, will give you the space you need for the pegboard hooks to hang.
You don’t need to spend huge bucks on having a custom (or even stock) sliding drawer system built into your storage bays. Head on down to the big box hardware store and fetch yourself drawer glides. The length of the glide stated on the package tells you how far out your new drawer will slide. Don’t go cheap. Purchasing metal, ball bearing glides will put up with heavier loads and are more reliable. Our experience (and that of a custom cabinet man) taught us that “self-closing” glides don’t last long.
In our case, we needed to mount framing on the compartment floor on which to mount the drawer glides. You’ll need to look over your own situation to see what’s best to mount such lumber. In our case we used 2” x 4” dimensional lumber and hardware store brackets to mount to our compartment wood floor. If you’re dealing with metal, you’ll have to give a bit of thought to how to securely mount your framing.
Containment is the catchphrase. Stuff left adrift in a compartment will be a pain in the neck (and other anatomical parts) to fetch back when needed. Clear plastic storage boxes of the appropriate size will make it easier to hold—and see—your possessions. One RVer didn’t worry about the transparency of his boxes. He simply put a numbered label on the outside of the box, then built an “inventory sheet” of what items were in which numbered box, and added specific information as to which bay held the boxes. Now he simply quickly looks up what he wants, and knows where to find it.
Smaller boxes in bigger boxes further “divide and conquer” your storage enemies.
We’d love to hear your storage solutions. Drop a comment!
I installed a 6 ft x 12inch diameter sono tube up in the ceiling of the storage compartment to hold brooms, mops, parasols, and other long items. I used plumbing straps and self-tapping screws to hold it up.
I can only wish for a basement to store stuff in. I have a 24.5’ Villagio renegade which is a “B+”. The passenger has one compartment at the front that is about 12” high and 18” deep by about 3’ long. Only long enough to store two “umbrella “ chairs and our blackstone 17” grill. The rear compartment holds the water hose with filter and electric cable and surge protector. I store the sewer hose in the battery storage area with the caps on both ends. Guess I have a case of basement envy.
Have a great day
PS: one of my pet peeves is all the exposed wiring and electrical/electronic components scattered all over in the basement hatches of the typical coach. You have to be carful loading and unloading stuff to prevent damage to that stuff sometimes. Seems like they could consolidate it to one or two hatches, dedicated, not for storage.
In a few years I guess everything will be CAN bus or other digital control (I hope NOT proprietary!), and they can run digital (CAN, CAT6, HDMI, etc), and a + V power bus down the middle or both sides of a coach, possibly locally breaker-ed (at the bus tap), to each device. Wouldn’t that be a hoot! The RV industry needs to settle on a digital control/data bus standard to future proof everything and allow easy mods and additions.
My coach has some wasted space. I would like to use the space over the LP tank to store stuff like LP hoses, or even put a piece of electronics in. It might end up holding a hundred pounds or so of stuff and I might mount an inverter in there so a plastic storage tub is probably not adequate. I would like it fixed in place with front-opening gasketed door sealing the inside from moisture. I would engineer easy install/removal if needed for maintenance access. I looked for commercial tool/truck/battery boxes that would fit in the hole with proper door orientation (which would face out in my application) access. I found nothing very close to the right fit in the 38″ wide, 24″ deep, 10″ high space. So now Im looking at construction of a sealed box with these dimensions and trying to decide what materials. Sheet metal (steel?, aluminum?). Is there a structural poly material that can be used? If metal, seal by welding, body putty, or both? Im cursed with obsessive RV mod disease!
I wish I could add a picture of what I’ve done. I added shelves and a slide for a Blackstone grill. I also use bins to keep track of things. And it’s not so much about adding storage, since by adding them, I’ve lost a few square inches. It’s mainly about organizing what is there. Now I don’t have pull everything out to get to the stuff on the bottom.
We use different size storage boxes for different types of stuff. Hefty makes pretty good boxes with snap lids.
I also added some 4″ and 6″ (or 8?) PVC piping under the RV for storing long straight items like flag pole etc… the 4″ holds the sewer hose nicely (sans the right angle ground pipe connector, you need slightly larger pipe for that). I’m adding another couple of pipes this year as they work out real nice.
I use a bunch of inexpensive plastic milk crates from Walmart, Target, etc. They are small enough to remain light weight when fully loaded. The holes in the sides allow the contents to easily be seen without having to dig thru the crate. They are designed to stack to allow vertical space use. They come in multiple colors so I can group the contents … Blue for fresh water hoses, connectors, etc., Black for black/grey water components, red for safety equipment, first aid kits, etc. So easy to load and unload for packing.
Face it! I’m a friggin genius! 😂
You ARE a genius, Tony! That’s an excellent idea! Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Would have been helpful if the article included where they acquired their snap clamps for the fishing rods! Did a search & way too many, didn’t even see any that would apply for holding fishing rods, though the article didn’t mention if the snap clamps were holding a one piece fishing rod or a 2 piece rod, assembled or in 2 pieces or more. Anyway, I’ve thinking about that & now I have a direction to go, thanks to this article.
Snoopy: We originally saw this fishing pole holder mod many years ago. When you asked about this, I tracked down Dave, the fishing RVer. Dave tells me these are just ordinary, off-the-shelf “pole holders” he picked up at a now-defunct sporting goods store. He attached them to the basement storage doors. To keep the pole from falling out, he used what he describes as, “heavy duty kabob skewers” that he cut a little short, to somehow act as retainers to keep the poles in place when the door opens up. Hope this helps–and thanks for asking, too. Gave me a chance to call and check up on Dave and his family. Guess I need to get jogged more often! RD
Throw that crap out!
No offense, but I’m just here to say I don’t read articles on how to get more storage from my available storage area. I’ve got too much stuff stored as it is and I’m always trying to cut back.
I know, if I don’t read these articles, what am I doing commenting? Just sharing my predicament.
No offense here, either, Tommy. 😆 But I think this article is more about organizing what’s in your basement, not necessarily how to add more stuff to it. But we appreciate your comments, and sharing your predicament, anyway. (I’m sure many others have the same predicament.) Have a great day! 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
On my free edition of this newsletter, there was an ad for shipping containers (the kind put on semi trucks) at the beginning of the tips. A little too big for my motorhome!
Thank you for the hints, Russ and Tina! We use bins to organize and contain stuff in our storage bays. We are converging on the solution for each bay, depending on the size of the bay and sizes of available storage containers. Thanks again for getting me thinking! 🙂