It's no secret that RVs lack something that most of us need and desire when heading out on the open road: space! And the small RV refrigerators that are common to most RVs are no different. Unless you have a large fifth wheel or motorhome designed to accommodate full-time living, your RV's fridge is likely a lot smaller than the residential one you are used to at home. Since it's not possible to fit the contents of an extra-large box into a small one, there's some space manipulation and finagling that you'll need to do when packing your RV's fridge. Follow these 5 tips for maximizing space in your RV fridge and you can enjoy all your favorite snacks, meals, and drinks while in the great outdoors!
Tip #1: Stack when you pack!
To save room inside your fridge, stack containers full of lunch meats, veggies, fruit, cheeses, snacks, leftovers, and more. Instead of randomly tossing in deli meat containers, bags of grapes, large round peaches, heads of lettuce, and other objects that use up a lot of space while also making the space around it unusable, repackage these items into handy stackable containers that make great use of every inch inside your fridge. These Mr. Lid Food Storage containers from The Container Store are sold in a set of 10 different-sized containers for only $10! Customers love their hinged lids which makes it impossible to misplace a lid! Or check out these Crystal Clear Rectangles, also from The Container Store, which stack securely when in use and nest comfortably when in storage. Rubbermaid also makes a large set of stackable plastic food containers. The Easy Find Lids 18-Piece Food Container Set features lids that snap together and to container bases to keep them handy at all times. All of these products are refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher safe so you can pack them at home, tuck them away in your RV's freezer for traveling, and put them in the fridge to thaw out when you need them.
Tip #2: Add shelves!
When you take a look inside your home refrigerator, you'll probably see a lot of empty, unused space above items that sit on the top shelf. To utilize this great space, add a shelf to your refrigerator that gives you another layer of storage space. Consider this DecoBros Expandable Stackable Kitchen Cabinet and Counter Shelf Organizer. While it states that it's for cabinets and counters, I think it's perfect for the inside of your RV's fridge. It's expandable from 13.75 inches to 26 inches, so you can use as much or as little of it as you need. For a DIY shelf, use a plastic magazine rack, like this Rubbermaid Techfile one, and turn it on its side. Place in either your fridge or freezer up against the back wall and you can stack frozen meats, leftovers, and so much more on them.
Tip #3: Add a Lazy Susan!
When items are located all the way in the back of a refrigerator, we either tend to forget that they're back there, or it's simply too much work to bend over, crawl halfway into the refrigerator, and wade through everything in its way to get to it. By adding a Lazy Susan to the shelf inside your RV fridge, you won't have to dive into the back of the fridge anymore to get what you need. This Clear Lazy Susan is perfect for your refrigerator and can even be taken out to the picnic table and loaded up with condiments for your BBQ. With a non-slip mat to keep bottles from tipping when you spin it, it's a bargain at just $7! For a fancier version, check out this White Marble Lazy Susan from Cost Plus World Market.
Tip #4: Replace big with little!
There are loads of condiments, dressings, and sauces that come in big, awkward bottles and jars. Right now my fridge door at home is filled with them. They take up a lot of space and leave big gaps between each other. Wasted space! Before loading up your RV's fridge with all of these, empty them into smaller jam or jelly jars like these Ball Jar Crystal Jelly Jars with Lids. At 4 oz. each, you can fit all your favorite burger and salad condiments in them without having to bring large ketchup bottles and fat mustard containers with you.
Tip #5: They're hooked!
This is by far the most out-of-the-box space-saving tip I've come across, and I love it! When you open your RV's freezer door and look inside, you probably see frozen foods stacked all around on top of each other. But what you don't see is the empty space just waiting to be utilized because it's in your hand. On the inside of the freezer door, there is room to hang bags of cut up fruit and veggies, cubed meats, breakfast meats, and more. To do this, simply attach Command Mini-Hooks to the inside of the door toward the top. Depending on the size of your freezer door, you can probably have a few tiers of hooks. Then use binder clips to hang small bags of frozen food from the hooks! Voila! Just like that you get them up off the pile of bagged frozen food and hanging neatly against the door. Freezer organization has never looked so good! Do you have any space-maximizing tips for an RV fridge or freezer that work for you? Share them with us and we can try them too!