Having your own personal, portable kitchen is one of the many benefits of traveling in an RV. But being able to control your own ingredients and cook your own meals is only an advantage if you have space to store all your meal-making supplies. These storage spaces are known as pantries and many RVs come with them already built into the layout. Depending on your culinary needs however, you might find that the pantry space you have isn’t big enough to fit all the foods you want to bring. Or maybe your RV doesn’t come with a pantry at all. Luckily, we’ve got some solutions that let you turn a small space into a large pantry so you’ll have no problems stowing away seasoning packets, snacks, canned goods, and more!
Convert the Bunkhouse
You might’ve bought a bunkhouse RV to accommodate your kids or overnight guests, but perhaps your kids are grown now or you don’t get as many overnight guests as you expected. If this is the case, an unused bunkhouse makes an excellent space for a pantry conversion. For example, the bunks in the rear of this Laredo Super Lite 285SBH could be removed to make space for an extensive collection of shelving. Because this space is so large, you could utilize any leftover room as a utility compartment for a broom, stand-up vacuum, cleaning supplies, and more! Models like the MPG 2800QB are ideal for those who don’t want to spare all their bunks. The rear bunkhouse in this travel trailer features a dinette and bunk along one wall and double bunks along the other. In converting over only one side into a pantry, you’ll still be left with overnight accommodations, but you’ll have a spacious pantry too!
Convert the Guest Bath
If you’re lucky enough to have an RV with a guest bath, you have a great option for converting this small space into a well-sized pantry. Some models, such as the Sandpiper 378FB, come with the option of opting for a pantry space in lieu of a half bath. Because of the inclusion of master baths, these guest bathrooms aren’t totally necessary in most cases and swapping them out for a pantry might make the room more valuable to you, depending on how you use your RV. Models like the Laredo 350FB are ideal for converting the guest bath into a pantry because of the room’s proximity to the kitchen and because of its modest size. Removing the vanity surface and toilet won’t require extensive handyman experience and installing a shelving system would be a minor modification.
Modify Your Furnishings
Is there furniture in your RV that never seems to get used? Do you have a chair that hasn’t been sat in since your first RVing excursion? Maybe that extra sofa in the living room does nothing but take up extra space? Modifying your furnishings to make room for a pantry can be a smart way to eliminate unnecessary excess while creating a functional storage space. Consider a model like the SolAire Ultra Lite 304RKDS, which features a sofa along one wall and two chairs along the opposing wall. In sacrificing just a single chair, preferably the one closest to the kitchen, you now have space for a large pantry that can extend off your countertop. Another model that works well for this modification is the MPG 2650RL which boasts two sofa chairs along the rear wall. The one closest to the door provides a less-than-perfect view of the TV and might be better used as a pantry space for that reason.
Modify a Corner of Your Garage
Maybe you’ve found that when your motorized toys are loaded up in your RV’s rear cargo bay, you don’t utilize all the space that is offered. Take a look at this Puma Unleashed 373QSI for example. With 12’ 6” of cargo space, you might find that only 12’ are needed to fit your ATVs or your golf cart in comfortably and easily. With that extra 6” of space you could create a retractable shelving system or a closed-off pantry closet that makes better use of your leftover space. If you’ve found that you don’t haul along as many toys as you thought you would, consider turning more than just a corner of your RV’s garage into a pantry. Converting the entire rear garage would make a great pantry space for any doomsday preppers out there!
Other Pantry Conversions
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of options for turning a small space into a large pantry, and since not all RVs are designed the same, some options will be more viable than others. Here are some other ideas for spaces to modify in order to make room for a pantry:
- Laundry Closet - Some RVs come with a closest that houses laundry prep. If you don’t want to install a washer and dryer in your rig, use this room as a pantry closet!
- Beside the Fridge - If you have a small strip of space beside your refrigerator, consider installing a convenient roll-out pantry. Handyman skills are most likely required for this modification.
- Below the Island - Central kitchen islands are a lovely addition to any RV, and the space below them can serve as a great pantry space with the addition of some labeled bins and shelving.
Pantry Organizational Supplies
In order to turn a small space into a large pantry you’ll need some supplies to help make the room more functional and organized. Below are some ideas for items that can help you create a great pantry space for all of your dry goods:
- Matching labeled containers - for your grains, pastas, or cereals
- Sturdy shelves - to display your ingredients most efficiently
- Magazine holders or racks - to house your canned goods
- Easy-view bins - so bags of chips and boxes of macaroni-n-cheese stay visible
- Over-the-door shoe holder - to create usable storage space on the backside of your pantry door
Your RV should conform to your needs. You shouldn’t have to adjust your needs to fit your RV's current layout. So if you’re pulling out your hair trying to find enough space to store your stock of paper towels, canned goods, or spice jars, seek out the area in your RV that you use least and convert it into a pantry! Have you ever modified your RV to make room for a pantry? Let us know what space you converted and how you did it by leaving a comment!