It’s best to buy furniture that not only has storage but also affords easy access.
Here are a few possibilities:
Under Bed—Biggest Space
Every RVer understands that beds offer ample space underneath, but how the space is accessed makes a difference. Under-bed space is reached in one of two ways:
- By lifting the bed platform or part of it.
- By pulling out large hard- or soft-sided drawers that slide under the platform.
If your bed platform must be held open or propped, consider adding pneumatic or hydraulic struts—like the struts that hold a tail gate open on a crossover or SUV. For $60 or less, as with the struts from Camping World, will do the holding while you do the rummaging.
Drawers can provide cleaner access as well as better organization. Some under-bed drawer systems are nothing more than bags with handles, such as storageLAB Bed Storage Containers, and some without. Dividers or multiple, smaller bags let you separate the types of things you store—linens and blankets in one place, seasonal clothing in another, shoes in a third.
If you don't want the expense of a manufactured drawer setup, you can make your own plywood boxes on casters or tracks for rolling in and out. On a homemade system, you can also custom-size compartments. You may have to reinforce the bed platform to place drawers underneath and properly support the bed.
RV recliners usually offer no storage for big items, but some do hold small things. Flip-up arms can store remotes for your TV/entertainment center or gas fireplace, so you won't lose the controllers in seat cushions or wherever. Nor will you sit down to watch TV and realize the remote is across the room. RV recliner arms often have cutouts for cups and glasses, and maybe a place for setting snacks while vegging out. At least you won’t kick over an occasional table set up to hold munchies and drinks.
Some recliners store more. The Qualitex De Leon RV Loveseat With Console, for instance, has two storage areas between two reclining seats. The chairs are built as a single loveseat but recline individually. You could coax board games, magazines and playing cards into the storage cubbies. Each side of the loveseat also has its own swing-out table for a laptop or snacks, charging ports and a reading lamp.
Ottomans—A Few Things More
While recliners may provide the most comfort, an ottoman used with a chair or sofa will provide much more storage, and you’ll still be able to relax with your legs stretched and feet supported. If you have the space, combine the ottoman with a jackknife sofa to get even more storage because the sofa can be mounted on a box that also has storage underneath. Some jackknife sofas also allow one camper to sleep.
An Ottoman serves as a seat in a pinch, maybe for one of the kids but sometimes for two if it’s as big as the Songmics ottoman. Measuring 30 x 15 x 15 inches, it can store nearly 3 cubic feet of stuff.
Tables With Storage
It’s hard to ignore the storage you lose when abandoning a traditional RV dinette, but some people prefer a freestanding table and chairs. They’re more homelike, and unless your dinette is high-end, they’re probably more comfortable for dining, playing cards or using your laptop. And let’s face it: Most RV meals are probably prepared and eaten outdoors.
If you go for a freestanding table, consider something like the Acheritou-Acacia gate leg table from Gracie Oaks, which has two drawers for storing tableware or other things you may need, such as charging cords or a deck of cards. Remember: You’ll have to secure freestanding tables with something like hook-and-loop strips to prevent damage during travel.