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RV Pantry Storage Ideas That Are Easy & Affordable

pantry closeup shot - feature image for RV pantry storage ideas

The Best RV Pantry STorage Ideas

Oh, storage space… the number one enemy of RVers everywhere. When you travel and/or live in a single vehicle, you quickly realize how hard it is to find space for everything.

There are some things you can minimize or live without, but food is a necessity. That’s why we’ve collected some RV pantry storage ideas to help you make better use of your limited space. 

Although there are many different pantry solutions available, a lot of these are expensive and difficult to implement. You might even need to install custom cabinetry or spend hundreds of dollars on special organizers. This isn’t practical for a lot of RVers, so we want to focus on solutions that are easy and affordable. 

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Below, we have a few RV pantry storage ideas that will make your storage more efficient and easy to access. Even if it doesn’t physically expand the size of your storage compartments, these solutions can go a long way. Try a few of them out the next time you’re restocking your pantry.

Arrange small items with a hanging shoe organizer

One of my favorite go-to solutions for RV storage is a cheap plastic shoe organizer. You can find these at most general stores or buy them online, but they’ll never cost you more than $10 or so. These work well for storing small items in your pantry. 

Just hang it over the backside of the door, and you now have an easy place to store cutlery, utensils, plastic bags, spices, snacks, or anything else that fits in the pockets. It also lays pretty flat against the door, so it won’t bang into anything when you open and close it. Best of all, these organizers are easy to cut into smaller rows and columns if you need to customize them for your pantry door. 

Use bags rather than boxes

When it comes to storage space, you might think that boxes are easy to work with. Because of their geometric shape, it is easier to stack and arrange them compared to cans or bags. But if storage space is the priority, you might want to switch to bags whenever you can. 

The answer is pretty simple! Even if a box is half-empty, it still takes up the same amount of space as a full box. On the other hand, bags accurately reflect their contents, so you can maximize your real estate by using flexible bags instead of rigid boxes.

With just a few gallon-sized Ziploc bags, you can store all kinds of ingredients and snacks. The bags can then be stacked or even hung from supporting rods. 

Make or buy a Lazy Susan

One of my favorite RV pantry storage ideas is the good old Lazy Susan. Lazy Susans are helpful if you have deep and/or narrow shelves that are hard to access. These spinning platforms will also help you keep things organized.

It’s easy to just chuck a loose spice jar or box of noodles into a cabinet and forget all about it. But with a Lazy Susan, everything will be kept within easy reach so nothing slips through the cracks. 

Lazy Susans are fairly cheap to buy, but you can also make one pretty easily. You just need to measure the cabinet that it will occupy, cut a corresponding circle or wood (or use a plate), and then mount a set of bearings so it can spin. There are many DIY methods ranging from simple to technical, so the one you choose all depends on your skill level. 

Install wire baskets/shelves inside and outside the pantry

Wire baskets are great for pantry organization. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and depths, so there’s bound to be a set that will fit your needs. If you place wire shelves inside your pantry, you can easily pull them out and locate the item that you need. 

On the other hand, sometimes your need for storage space goes beyond the cabinets that are included in the layout. Try screwing a few wire baskets into your walls for an easy storage solution.

There are lots of options, and many of them are bound to align with your decorating style. Hide your storage in plain sight with a classy basket and some cute storage containers. 

Transfer store-bought items into compact containers

We have access to a huge range of food products, but this can cause problems when you need to organize everything. Because every company packages its food in a different way, you need to deal with a hodgepodge of boxes, bags, and jars. As we mentioned above, rigid containers aren’t always the best solution because they take up space regardless or how full or empty they are. 

Therefore, it can be helpful to buy your own set of compact containers that you can transfer new items into. There are lots of great stackable plastic containers for sale, so you can keep all of your snacks and dry ingredients in here. A good option for RVers is these containers from Vtopmart. They’re tall, compact, airtight, and easy to stack. But you can use anything that works for your cabinets!

Replace cabinet shelves with sliding drawers

Sometimes it’s the pantry design itself that’s the problem. If the storage space is too small or has tons of narrow shelves that can’t be rearranged, you may need to take matters into your own hands. RV renovation isn’t always easy, but it’s usually not too difficult to gut the pantry shelves and turn the space into an empty closet. 

Once it’s clear and open, you can install your own shelves/organization system. One good option is freestanding drawers that slide out. These plastic shelves are easy to find at any major store, and you can easily stack them up. They also come in a range of shapes and sizes, so feel free to mix and match as necessary. 

Hang magnetic racks (and metal mason jar lids)

Magnetic racks are another storage solution that I’m particularly fond of. There are several items that I use every day, and it’s convenient to keep them within reach. Of course, you can always use magnetic racks to store knives and other metal utensils, but they can also be handy for pantry storage. 

Magnetic spice racks are becoming more and more popular within the RV community, so you might want to install a few strips on the underside of your cabinets. You can even use these magnets to hang up snacks and pre-made meals! If you love to prep food in mason jars, you can attach the lids to the magnets and just pull them off whenever you’re ready to eat. 

Just make sure your magnets are strong enough to withstand the ups and downs of RV travel before you choose this method!

Install a fruit hammock for fresh produce

Speaking of kitchen storage, fruit hammocks are a great way to keep your fresh produce in sight. If you see it, you’re more likely to eat it before it goes bad. Nets are super easy to install, and you can hang them from Command hooks, string them over the sink, or let them dangle from the handles of cabinets. 

This solution makes the food easy to access, plus it keeps everything in plain view. Sometimes fresh fruit can add a pop of color to your kitchen, so this can even be a design choice!

Vacuum seal food to save space

Finally, our last RV pantry storage idea is to use vacuum-sealed bags for non-perishable food. Let’s face it, we don’t always eat all the food that we bring onto the road. Sometimes it just sits in the pantry, taking up valuable space that could be used for other things.

Vacuum-sealing food makes it easy to tuck it away for later. Plus, you’ll always have some backup food/ingredients if you eat through the rest of your supplies. 

Get tips from other RVers

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.

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