Campervan storage is one of the most important things to think about when converting a van. And you never have enough storage... that is a fact. In this guide I will show you ten of the most popular campervan storage ideas. In each section I will link off to a seperate blog on how to build that specific storage. By the end you will be well-equipped to build a stunning campervan with lots of storage space!
I'm Shane, I've been teaching people to convert campervans for many years, I'm the author of The Van Conversion Newsletter, the van conversion instructor at Udemy, and the proud owner of a beautiful self-build campervan called Beans. So let's jump in and learn about the 13 best campervan storage ideas!
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Designing Accessible Storage
Some of the campervan storage ideas laid out in this guide are very simple, some are more complex. But no matter what the campervan storage, we must consider ergonomics in our build. Poorly built campervan storage will quickly give you a sore back or neck!
So, here are the key dimensions to keep in mind when converting your van!
Campervan Storage Dimensions
Maximum shelf height
This is considered a high shelf
Standard eye height
Lowest shelf above campervan kitchen unit
45cm above kitchen unit
Any lower than this and you start to obscure the view of the back of the worktop
Campervan Kitchen Unit Dimensions
Standard Kitchen unit height
Standard Kitchen unit Depth
Shelf above a kitchen unit
1m above the kitchen unit
You can just reach a shelf of this height when leaning across a standard kitchen unit. This is usually the bulkhead storage which happily coincides with these dimensions.
Campervan overhead lockers depth
30cm above the kitchen unit
You can just reach a shelf of this height when leaning across a standard kitchen
Depth of a sliding drawer
Standard depth of a sliding drawer
Depth of a wardrobe
Standard depth of a sliding drawer
Crouching space in front of a low cupboard
Allow this space in front of a low cupboard
Crouching space in front of a low cupboard with open sliding drawer
Allow this space in front of a low cupboard with a sliding drawer
Now that we've examined some of the ergonomics behind the key storage units, let's jump in and check out the 10 best campervan storage ideas!
Campervan Overhead Lockers
The first campervan storage idea in this countdown is the campervan overhead locker. Campervan overhead lockers can be found in most self-build van conversions. They fill up a rather awkward space, are very spacious, and look great!
I have two campervan overhead lockers in my build. Each overhead locker has three compartments.
I use the campervan overhead lockers to store books, toiletries, tech gear, and other miscellaneous items. In my opinion they are a must have!
BUILD GUIDE: Learn how to build campervan overhead lockers.
Van Bulkhead Storage
For weeks I tried to figure out what the heck to do with the bulkhead area in my van. A van bulkhead is the awkwardly-shaped cavity above where the driver sits. And then it came to me in a moment of clarity... Van bulkhead storage! It's a large area that is perfect for storing food and kitchenware.
I made a large van bulkhead storage, covered by two swinging doors. I'm really happy with how it turned out! It's another essential campervan feature!
BUILD GUIDE: Learn how to build van bulkhead storage.
A campervan cupboard / wardrobe is a nice storage unit to have in a van conversion. It can house your clothes, food, or whatever else you dream up. A campervan cupboard is pretty important to me as I have a lot of outdoor gear to store!
BUILD GUIDE: Learn how to build a campervan cupboard
Campervan Storage Boxes
I have two campervan storage boxes in my van - they form the benches on either side of the table. The table is on a pedestal and can be lowered to turn into a bed.
The boxes/benches are very spacious and house most miscellaneous items in my van.
The campervan storage boxes are two cuboid containers with a hinged lid. I used 2X2 carcassing timber to make the frame and clad-lined the frame. You can see how they are built in this guide to campervan beds.
Campervan Kitchen Unit
One of the most important areas of your van is the campervan kitchen unit. Truly, it is an essential part of any build.
My campervan kitchen unit houses the following:
Fresh & waste water tanks
Secret storage compartment
Sink & stove
And a bunch of stuff that rests on top
BUILD GUIDE: Learn how to build a campervan kitchen unit
Campervan Storage Nets
Hanging macrame campervan storage nets are a super place to keep fruit and veg. They have a large storage capacity and look great! It's the fastest way to make your van take on a bohemian vibe.
Secret Storage Compartment
Living in a van, there is always a risk that someone might break in. A secret storage compartment is the perfect way to combat this. I leave things such as my laptop, passport, and other miscellaneous important items in there. There are many places you could put this in your van - some people opt to make a secret storage under the floorboards. I chose to make a small compartment above the gas bottle storage which is hidden behind some garbage bins.
Mason jars are a great way to storage dry food. They are spacious, space efficient, and look a lot better than a bunch of zip lock bags.
Some people opt to stick the lids to a surface and have the jars hang down. I personally have them free standing in my pantry cupboard.
Magnetic Knife holder
Does what it says on the tin. A magnetic knife holder is a very space-efficient way to store your large knives.
Having easy access to spices and herbs is a must in a kitchen! Spice racks make that possible. I have two spice racks in my van kitchen.
Shoes are one of the trickiest items to find room for in a van. Many people just end up throwing them in a bucket in the front of the van. But alas! There is a better solution. I installed some shoe storage right by the side door of my van. It fits four pairs of shoes and has been a total game changer! You can use a purpose built shoe hangar, or some coat hooks as I did.
If you don't have solar panels on the roof of your van, a roof rack can be a fantastic use of otherwise unused space! It takes a bit of work to install but unlocks a world of possibilities.
Another option could be to simply install an extra large roof box. I had one of these on a previous van I owned and it was great! It gave me a lot of
extra room inside the van, which is preciously needed.
The last of the campervan storage ideas is the cutlery drawer. A cutlery drawer is another essential in a campervan. There are two options for a cutlery drawer, you could buy a simple cutlery holder and rest it on a shelf (I did this), or you could build a DIY cutlery drawer.
Pull out kitchens (as shown in the image below) are also popular on smaller campervans. For this you would need heavy duty drawer runners.
And there you have it folks, the 13 best campervan storage ideas!
I hope you found this guide helpful. If you did, consider subscribing to The Van Conversion Newsletter for everything you need to get started with your own van conversion (I'll send you a free wiring diagram when you sign up).
If you're converting a van but unsure of how to do it, you could also check out the Van Conversion Course on Udemy. In the course, you'll learn directly from me how to convert a van into your dream home - no prior experience needed!
Until next time,