11 Helpful Tips for Organizing an RV Kitchen

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RV kitchen with fridge, stove top and sink

Whether you just purchased your first RV or you’ve been on the road for a while, organizing an RV kitchen can be a challenge.

You’ll need lots of RV kitchen storage ideas and organization hacks that fit your cooking style and lifestyle on the road.

  • Your cooking style and how it relates to creating an efficient cooking space for you
  • Your camping style and how it affects power and water usage (will you be boondocking or dry camping?)
  • Your travel style and how often you move (remember, your kitchen rolls down the road with you!)

With the above in mind, we’ll cover storage ideas and organization accessories that give you access to things you use often.

We’ll also talk about different RV kitchen tips for campgrounds versus dry camping and ideas for RVers who rack up more travel days versus campers who put down roots for a bit.

Lastly, since the first step to organizing is decluttering, you’ll also find tips on downsizing your kitchen throughout this article. The less you have, the less you have to organize! Now let’s get started.


1. RV Dish Storage

Dish storage is one of the first things you’ll tackle when outfitting your kitchen. You can store plates in bins in your RV cabinets. Still, we prefer to use specific plate holders to protect dishes when traveling while also keeping them accessible.

dishes in storage container in RV kitchen cabinet
Stack-A-Plate, Kitchen Plate Storage & Organization
$22.99
  • Organize and store plates in cabinets
  • Don't worry about plates shifting during travel
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PRO TIP: Cut pieces of shelf liner for delicate dishes and add them between stacked bowls and plates. In a motorhome, this will keep dishes from rattling during travel. It will also keep plates from sliding around.

2. Hanging Storage

An excellent way to create more space in your kitchen is to make more storage outside your cabinets and drawers. 

When we’re on the road, we tend to move often. So we prefer kitchen items to store in a way that we don’t have to pack them up for travel days. Here are a couple of must-have hanging storage ideas for your RV kitchen walls.

Magnetic Knife Strip

A magnetic knife rack is an excellent addition to store knives, metal measuring spoons, bottle openers, and other magnetic utensils.

magnetic knife rack mounted on wall in RV kitchen with teaspoons and knifes
Modern Innovations Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar
$19.49
  • For use as a knife rack and kitchen utensil and tool holder
  • Comes in sizes from 10-inches to 24-inches long
  • Heavy-duty design
11/25/2022 03:20 pm GMT

If you are worried about projectile knives on travel days, this magnetic knife strip has never lost a knife in our travel trailer (and we’ve been on some bumpy roads!)

Paper Towel Holder

Installing a paper towel holder under a cabinet or on the kitchen wall is a great way to create easy access to paper towels and avoid storing them on travel days. 

paper towel holder mounted in RV kitchen
Perfect Tear Wall Mount Paper Towel Holder
$27.16 $16.77 ($16.77 / Count)
  • Paper towels slide easily on and off the roller
  • Easy to install (RVers can either use the screws, mounting tape, or a Command strip)
  • 14-inch, silver
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The paper towel holder below has a ratcheting feature that keeps it from unraveling while you’re moving down the road.

Hooks

Single hooks are one of the most uncomplicated and customizable kitchen organization hacks. Whether a simple Command hook or something more permanent, add them in various places to make your kitchen more efficient.

kitchen utensils, cutting board, and pot holder hanging from custom hooks on the inside of cabinet doors

Here are a few ideas:

  • Inside cabinet doors for pot holders, small cutting board, handheld graters, kitchen utensils, etc. 
  • Near the sink for small dish towels and cleaning rags
  • Hang a wall basket or bag from a hook to hold fruit or veggies

Adding a perfectly placed hook is a simple way to keep kitchen items in easy reach while still ensuring everything has its place.

READ NEXT: If you like these suggestions, you may also like our 23 Useful RV Kitchen Accessories list.

3. Kitchen Counter Storage that “Sticks”

Following the requirements in tip #2, there are ways to store some kitchen items on the counter without needing to pack them away on travel days.

Use adhesives, such as Nano tape or Museum Putty, to secure storage bins or utensil holders to the counter and prevent them from getting tossed about while you’re on the road. These adhesives aren’t permanent and are safe on various materials and surfaces, making them an excellent option for RVers.

Use the adhesives below to get creative with kitchen storage AND keep it in place on travel days.


4. Removing the RV Oven for Cabinet Storage

Get ready for one of our favorite small RV kitchen ideas. Swapping your RV oven for cabinet space can be a great trade-off for many RV layouts. The extra storage and prep space in small RV kitchens can double when removing a traditional oven and stovetop.

Pull-out shelves are some of the best RV cabinet organizers. We installed the Rev-A-Shelf set of pull-out baskets below for easy access and to keep things organized in the newly created space.

custom RV oven storage space with pull out shelf
2-Tier Wire Basket Pull Out Shelf Storage for Kitchen Cabinet Organization
$94.99
  • Easy installation
  • Available in various sizes for different cabinet setups
  • Chrome
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This area can also be a game-changer for storing additional kitchen appliances in small RVs. Otherwise, there may be little to no cabinet space for something like an Instant Pot. 

PRO TIP: We all know how dark RV cabinets and pantry storage can be. Take this opportunity to install automatic lighting inside your new cabinet that turns on when you open the cabinet door.

Replacing Your Kitchen Stovetop

After removing the oven, install a 2-burner stovetop to take back more counter space than a traditional 3-burner stovetop occupies. If you typically RV with hookups or have a large battery bank, you could also switch to an induction stovetop.

custom RV kitchen two burner stovetop with bamboo top

Keep the Oven & Remove the Microwave

Alternatively, you could remove your microwave and add overhead cabinet storage. If you add a shelf, this space could be suitable for smaller kitchen appliances, dishes, or pantry storage.

Depending on your camping and cooking style, and the size of your RV kitchen, eliminating one of these appliances to create storage can be a big step toward a more efficient kitchen.


5. RV Pantry Storage Ideas

There are all sorts of cabinet and pantry designs. The key to RV pantry organization is making it work for your space. 

woman pulling vertical bin out of narrow pantry with oil and vinegbar bottles

Here are a few ideas to maximize your pantry area. 

  • Remove cardboard and extra packaging
  • Use vertical food storage containers
  • Use vertical bins for bottles of vinegar and oil (this will prevent them from breaking during travel)
  • Build or buy a pull-out pantry system for your space
  • If you use your dinette drawers for food storage, use bins to separate and organize dry and canned goods.

We recommend playing with a combination of these ideas and finding a setup that works for you!

Below are our favorite bins and containers fo RV kitchen cabinet storage.


6. RV Fridge Storage Ideas

After a trip to the grocery store, it can be a game of Tetris to get all your food packed and stored in your RV fridge. But don’t worry. We have organization hacks to make even the tiniest of RV fridges fit all the necessities.

storage basket in RV fridge

Here are a few RV food storage ideas for your fridge.

  • Removing extra packaging or repackaging items in a smaller, reusable container 
  • Use the smallest RV food storage containers possible, don’t waste space with half-empty containers
  • Use reusable bees wax wraps or food huggers to save space
  • Use baskets with handles to get to items easier and keep things organized
  • Use slim jugs that will fit in the tea, lemonade, and other drinks
  • Use the one-in-on-out rule for individual drinks

See our favorite fridge organization products below.

NOTE: Many RVers use tension rods in their RV fridge on travel days. We previously used these but have found we don’t need them since adding baskets to keep everything in place.

7. Stovetop and Sink Covers

Covering your stovetop and kitchen sink is an easy and impactful RV kitchen organization idea.

RV kitchen sink and stove/oven setup
Before we removed the oven, we added a cutting board over the existing oven cover for even more prep space. We stored the cutting board on the bed during travel.

Each cover can add a ton of extra counter space, giving you more prep area. With a small kitchen, you will most likely double your counter space with this RV kitchen hack.

Some newer RVs come with a built-in sink cover. But you can also DIY your own with the right size cutting board. Alternatively, you can purchase a universal cover above.

BONUS: We previously used the Camco universal stovetop cover above in our motorhome. It was great for extra prep space, but even better, it silenced rattling from the stove on travel days.

8. RV Drawer Storage

How you organize your kitchen drawers will depend on the assessability of the drawers and their location in your cooking space. 

Store kitchen items you use the most often in the top drawers that are the easiest to access. You can take the same approach if your drawers are tall enough to stack organizers. 

drawer storage in RV kitchen with multiple utensils and kitchen tools

There are lots of different options for drawer organizers. Mix and match sizes to utilize the entire drawer space and keep everything in its place.

In the next tip, you’ll see another great space-saving idea that utilizes your RV kitchen drawers.

PRO TIP: To keep silverware from rattling in a motorhome, stack spoons, forks, and knives and secure them with a hair tie. You can also line your drawer organizers with shelf liner.

9. RV Spice Rack Ideas

Storing your spices where they will be easily accessible without wasting valuable cabinet space can be challenging in a small kitchen (especially if you like to cook). Here are a few spice rack storage ideas you might use in your RV.

spice jars organized in RV kitchen drawer
  • Magnetic Spice Rack: If you have spare room on your wall or have a residential fridge (these are magnetic, unlike RV fridges) in your RV, this may be a good option for you.
  • Pull-Out Shelf Spice Organizer: These are great for small cabinet spaces. For tips, check out this post from Cool, Mom, and Collected on installing a pull-out spice rack.
  • Wall Mounted Organizer: Mounted organizers are very customizable. The option below comes with four shelves you can mount together or separately. 
  • Drawer Spice Organizer: A regular drawer makes a great spice organizer too. We use the 3″ spice jars below and spice labels on the lids to make accessing them hassle-free. (see photo above)

Lastly, remember to dress up your spice jars with creative labeling! Try making your own labels with an embosser for a retro look, or try something custom from Etsy.


10. Cookware for Saving Space

RV pot and pan storage can be a challenging task in small kitchens. If you’re not careful, your cookware will occupy most of your kitchen storage space!

Pot lids and handles are typically the problems when storing your cookware. Nesting pots with removable handles can cut down on the space you need for pots while still allowing you the luxury of a complete set of cookware.

nesting pot set stacked and unstacked

Opting for small appliances like an immersion blender or small food chopper is another good space-saving technique.

Below are our favorite sets of nesting pots.

BONUS: The Magma cookware sets work with propane and induction cooktops, and in the oven up to 500 degrees, making them great all-around cookware for RV living. 

11. Under the Kitchen Sink Storage

The lower cabinet storage under the RV sink is typically a catch-all area for cleaning supplies and random kitchen items. This area is also known for its awkward shape due to plumbing, and it is usually relatively small.

These characteristics make flexible storage containers great for this space. We like the baskets below and have used these under two RV sinks and a sailboat sink. They always fit nicely no matter the space and clean up easily.

under the sink storage in an RV with basket full of bags, and other misc. kitchen items

Use plastic cups (or other spare items you already have) to organize things further inside the baskets. Cups are great for organizing cleaning brushes and rolls of trash bags or plastic storage bags.

Plastic Basket with Handles for Organizing Pantry
$17.99 $11.60 ($3.87 / Count)
  • Bendable soft tote storage
  • 6.5" width x 10.5" diameter x 5.5" height (7.5" top handle)
  • Pack of 3
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The area under the sink is also typically the trash storage space. You can install a pull-out shelf to hold a trash can if you have the room.


RV Kitchen Organization & Storage Ideas

Lastly, remember the strategies you use for organizing your RV kitchen are constantly evolving. Don’t be afraid to try new storage solutions and adjust as you go!

If you’re new to RVing, give yourself some time cooking in your new space before making any significant changes. It’ll take time to figure out your RV travel style, which will greatly impact your RV kitchen. Remember to be open-minded and get creative with the storage space in your tiny kitchen!


Want more tips on organizing your RV?

For more RV storage solutions, organization hacks, and space-saving ideas for your tiny home, view our guide.


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small RV kitchen with fridge, stovetop, and sink

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