By Gail Marsh
Storage is always an issue for RVers. At least it is for me. That’s why I use tension rods. Yep, those little beauties come in handy in almost every room of our RV. They come in various lengths and strengths (light to heavy-duty) and can dramatically maximize space in an instant. These handy rods are inexpensive, adjustable, and versatile too!
Here are some ways that I use tension rods in our RV:
In the kitchen
- Make your own paper towel holder with the tension rod. (Remember that you can position the rod vertically in order to save space.) Slip the rod through the paper towel roll and then position the rod where you want it.
- Put the rod inside the sink base cabinet. Hang spray bottle handles over the rod.
- Use a tension rod as a towel rack for the dishrag and dish towels to dry.
- Place tension rods securely against jars inside the fridge to keep them from moving when you change RV locations. The same goes for boxes and cans inside your cabinets.
- Keep lids separate from pots and pans. Place a sturdy tension rod inside a drawer to form two spaces. Slip the lids into the smaller of the two spaces. Pots and pans go in the other.
- Put a rod inside the window cornice. Use “S” hooks to hang herb pots from the rod.
- Separate plastic storage containers from their lids with a tension rod. (Just like pots/pans above.)
- If you have adjustable shelves in your RV kitchen cabinets, lower the pegs at the front of the shelf. Then place a tension rod at the lowered edge to form a lip or ledge. Place cans (like tuna or cat food) on the shelf. The cans will roll forward and be easily viewed and accessed this way. (Return the shelf to its original position when moving the RV.)
- Put a rod under the top kitchen cabinets. Use “S” hooks to hang coffee mugs from the rod. This hack also works for corralling cooking utensils that feature handle holes.
- Inside your cabinet, stand cutting boards, cookie sheets, pizza pans, etc., between vertically positioned tension rods to keep the pans separated and easily accessed. This is much easier than stacking these flat items all one on top of the next. (Invariably, I need the pan that’s on the bottom!)
- Keep little Fido in his place. Put a few tension rods across a doorway opening. Position the rods a short distance apart to form a barrier that doesn’t allow little Fido to crawl in between and/or jump over the rods.
In the bathroom
- Place a tension rod at the back of the shower for extra drying space for towels, swim trunks, etc.
- Two or more rods placed horizontally at matching heights inside a cabinet can serve as an extra “shelf” for towels, TP, or other bath essentials.
- A tension rod paired with some curtain clips will hold small containers of lotion, personal loofahs, a bath brush, washcloths, and more inside your shower.
In the closet
- Put the tension rod in a horizontal position. Drape scarves over it. Or use “S” hooks with the rod and hang purses or belts from it.
- Hook the heels of boots and shoes over a tension rod positioned inside the closet to keep them neatly paired and off of the floor. Or use the rods inside drawers to form compartments for shoes to live.
- Use two tension rods as an extra shelf. Place them at equal heights a short distance apart. Storage boxes containing socks and underwear can sit on top of the two (or more) rods.
- Keep the broom and vacuum sticks in place. Put a rod in front of them and they will no longer fall out of the closet.
RV walls and cupboards are not built to the same standards as a bricks ‘n sticks home. You will need to be careful when positioning tension rods so that they don’t accidentally poke a hole in your RV wall! You can put a larger piece of stiff cardboard between the wall and the end of the rod to disperse the rod’s pressure.
If a tension rod keeps slipping on a smooth surface (like inside a shower) you can put a small circle of shelf liner on the rod ends to make them “stick” better.
Take care not to overload your tension rods. In some cases, you can simply use a second rod to help carry the weight; but again, use caution.
When ordering tension rods online be sure to check the reviews.