10 Top Camper Van Storage Ideas for Van Life

One of the questions new vanlifers most frequently ask is, “But how will I store all my stuff?!” 

We get it: finding storage space in a campervan is challenging! Whether you plan to live in your van or want to enjoy some weekend getaways or longer road trips, locating places to pack your stuff can be tricky.

Luckily, some tried-and-true camper van storage ideas have proven to work time and time again – and we’ve got them all here! If you’re building out your first van or looking to make your next road trip easier, these campervan storage hacks are for you!

Table of Contents

swivel table in camper van for ideas

Downsizing and the Minimalist Approach to Life

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of how to implement these storage solutions, let’s take a second to talk about vanlife and how it can change your approach to “stuff.”

There’s no way around it: no matter how clever your campervan storage hacks and space-saving techniques are, you’ll never be able to fit as much into your van as you do into your house.

And that’s a good thing! One of the great things about van life is that it forces us to embrace a philosophy that prioritizes experiences over things. Going without half the clothes in your closet can feel scary, but once you do it, you’ll probably feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

So don’t fear the small space! Embrace it. And once you have, get ready to dive into the campervan storage ideas we’ve shared below.

luggage behind camper van with storage ideas

Top Campervan Storage Ideas for Van Life

Utilizing every square inch of space in your campervan is essential for living comfortably on the road. Even your paper towel holder should be strategically placed to maximize space in your campervan.

Here are some of our best tips and tricks for camper van storage ideas and how to magically create extra storage space with what might be considered dead space in a regular home.

1. Under the Bed (the "Garage")

Many campervan conversions build the bed raised on a fixed platform in the back of the van. This gives you a ton of valuable space to store adventure gear, toys, and other equipment underneath it. Often accessible from the rear doors and the inside of the van, this prime storage space is called the garage storage area.

Lifting the bed or having a bed that converts to additional seating is a great way to use otherwise wasted space inside your van. You can build pull-out drawers to organize clothes and other items or use storage cubes or some other type of storage container for organization.

Most campervan builds incorporate a water tank and your batteries under the bed, but there’s still going to be ample space for camper van storage ideas. Whether you build out a shelving system yourself or use a compilation of different pre-build storage bins, there’s a method that will keep all of your gear organized and accessible.

Campervan storage pockets can be added to the inside of the back doors for additional storage ideas for shoes, tools, or spare parts.

garage camper van storage ideas under bed

2. Storage Steps

One of the more useful van life storage ideas, if you have a raised bed, is to build a step with storage space inside to make climbing in and out easier. Inside the step is a great place to put clothes, additional dry goods storage, or even pet food.

A storage step can not only be used as extra space for storage inside your van, but can double as an outdoor step to get in and out of your van easier, or even as an extra seat around the campfire.

3. Hammocks and Hanging Storage Containers

Anything that hangs from the ceiling is a win when it comes to campervan storage ideas. Hanging items frees up floor space and often makes accessing frequently used things easier. A hammock for fresh produce not only saves space in cupboards, it means you have fresh snacks handy at all times, and protects the produce from bruising on bumpy trips when appropriately secured.

Hammocks and netting secured on all four corners will work much better while you’re driving. Otherwise, your fruit will be swinging all over the place, hitting the wall repeatedly as you drive around.

Overhead cabinets in the kitchen are a great way to get more storage space for your food and cooking utensils. Most of the best campervan storage ideas involve utilizing vertical storage solutions as much as possible. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy – we’ve even seen people use duffle bags attached to walls as cabinet storage!

Another great campervan storage hack for hanging storage is Mason jars. The lids can be easily screwed into the bottom of overhead cabinets (or underneath kitchen counters) to allow quick access to spices, sugar, flour, and other staples.

woman with storage compartments in camper van

4. Increasing Kitchen Counter Space

While we’re talking about the kitchen, let’s talk about counter space. If you like to cook, you’ll need plenty of it to prepare fresh food. Give yourself some additional counter space by getting a butcher block cutting board as a kitchen sink cover.

Mount a Lagun swivel table or other slide-out table near the kitchen so that it can function as a workspace during the day and double as a countertop when it comes time to prepare dinner in the evening.

You can also increase counter space by simply not storing things on the counter. A magnetic spice rack and knife holder are great ways to lift frequently used items up and out of the way. Keep things organized and clean up dirty dishes immediately. Install a small cubby on the wall for random papers that might end up lying out on countertops.

5. Under Driver and Passenger Seats

One of the simplest campervan storage ideas to implement is utilizing the storage space under the seats. Although it’s a small space, you can maximize storage by using campervan storage accessories like plastic containers or cubes. Shoe boxes work great in this space! 

Many people install their heaters or an extra speaker under the passenger seat as a space-saving hack. 

Campervan storage can also be made by using over-the-seat storage pockets to store books, sunscreen, snacks, and other small items. The back of a seat is also a great place to hang a shoe rack.

upper cabinet storage bins in conversion van

6. Bulkhead Storage (Overhead Storage)

The bulkhead, or overhead storage, is one of the best campervan storage locations. Depending on how your van is laid out, this could become kitchen cabinets, or storage for cleaning supplies, clothes, shoes, or outdoor gear.

Many people convert the area above their bulkhead to include storage shelves or pull-out drawers.

7. Space Saver Bags

These are a lifesaver when it comes to storing clothes seasonally. If you have rain gear or snow gear that you know you won’t need during summer months (or conversely, if you have swimsuits etc., that you won’t be wearing during the winter), vacuum-sealed bags are an excellent way to keep them mold-free, moth-free, and out of the way.

vacuum sealed clothing plastic bags

8. External Storage

Depending on how your roof is set up (you may need to save space up there for solar panels), you could add a roof rack or cargo roof box for additional storage. This is a great place to put outdoor toys like kayaks, snowboards, or backpacking gear.

Various storage boxes can be mounted to the back of your campervan on the rear doors or a hitch.

A hitch-mounted bike rack will allow you to bring mountain bikes or road bikes for the whole family without compromising storage space in your garage or on your roof.

9. Campervan Storage Ideas for Kids

If you travel with kids, figuring out how to store things becomes even more important. We encourage families to embrace minimalism and try to teach their kids the value of experiences over toys – but of course, it’s not possible to get rid of toys entirely!

A storage bench or cushion storage is a great solution for toys, as kids can easily reach to open the bench themselves to get immediate access to what they want. Utilizing low spaces – under the bed or passenger seat – is also a great easy-access idea for kids.

organization bins in camper drawers
camper van roof top storage ideas

10. Bathroom Storage

If you have one at all, the bathroom in your campervan is small. And it’s possible that the entire space could be taken up by the toilet and shower. There are some portable toilets on the market, like Compo Closet’s Cuddy, that can easily be moved around your campervan as needed.

Even with the tight space available in a campervan bathroom, you can still utilize space on the wall and even the ceiling of the space for storage. Netting on the ceiling can be a good hack for a place to store dirty laundry, and removable hooks can be used for storing hangable items while still being able to remove them when you need to use the shower.

cabinets in camper for storage purposes

Getting the Most Out of Campervan Storage Solutions

While it’s true that living space inside a camper van is limited, your creativity when it comes to finding extra storage doesn’t have to be! These campervan storage ideas are just a few of the best suggestions we’ve found for utilizing space – we bet you can come up with your own for your unique campervan setup!

However you decide to use the storage space in your van, remember that this lifestyle is all about the journey. Don’t panic if your storage ideas don’t work right away – embrace the change and enjoy the process!



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