Saturday, October 23, 2021


RV Mods: Stretching your basement storage

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

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 your own, personal “black hole.”

Here are a few ideas on how to make your basement storage a bit more useful:

Door it!

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. You could use specialty “mop and broom holder” devices like these – two, mounted horizontally, one at each end of the door.

Peg it!

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.

Slide it!

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.

Box it!

Containment is the catch-phrase. 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.

Got ideas?

We’d love to hear your storage solutions. Drop a comment!




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Wayne smith
1 year ago

Try using precut fuel line hose to mount behind pegboard as spacers in order to insert pegs. Mount them through the mount screws between the rv wall and pegboard. This allows you to have access to more pegboard holes. Strips of lumber would eliminate at least two rows of holes.

4 years ago

we are pulling a very small (14′) trailer, so the basement is miniscule. Fortunately, we have a cap on our truck bed, so we have alot of plastic bins there. Hubby took a long stick and hammered a long nail into one end. Just enough to have 3″ of the nail head poking out. He bent the nail so now we have a grabber to pull bins and bags toward us. Works great! This would work in deep basements too, I’m sure.

4 years ago

Just an idea for those who like to use totes for storage. Drill two holes on each end about 3″ apart, cut about 10″ of rope, make a knot in one end, thread it thru a hole from the inside of the box then it the 2nd hole, make a knot and voila! You have a handle that you can grab (using your awning extender) should/when the tote slides in too far. Repeat for other end.

Liz Wharton
4 years ago

I installed those easy to pull off Christmas light clips (by Command), I’ve clipped in fishing pole pieces, hats, etc. I put them open side up at the top of a thru-compartment to hold the items securely.

George Coffin
4 years ago

I made a table out of metal bed rails,put on a ply wood top then set it inside my pullout totes fit under the top plus i have a shelf for more storage

Pat Shaw
4 years ago

We have a bunk room in our trailer. We will not be using the upper bunk as a bed, so I plan to put storage totes up there, held in place with bungee cords. Our basement is tiny, so it is used only for the essential items such as sway bars etc.

4 years ago

When using pegboard, I found the easiest spacer to use between the back of the pegboard and the wall is just a regular large nut. Not a walnut or peanut but a threaded type nut. Put the screw through the peg board, through the nut and into the wall.

Donald Schneider
4 years ago

I used a set of shoe holders from Tuesday Morning to hold all the aerosol cans and mounted it on the side wall . Now they are easy to find and dont roll around when traveling. All for about $10 and an hour of labor.