There are multiple ways of getting some additional storage space in your RV.
Roof boxes and luggage racks or tow boxes are common. But have you heard of RV underbelly storage?
This is a type of under chassis storage unit that slides out, so you can access what’s inside. Then slides away again, underneath the vehicle when not in use.
Some are designed to fit specific models of RVs, while others are universal. The type of under slung storage solution that you choose depends on the size of your RV, the amount of space you need for extra storage, and the type of items you want to keep stored.
They are a great way to get some additional storage space in your RV without taking up roof space you might need for solar, and without taking up precious interior space.
What to Store in Your RV Underbelly Storage Compartments?
These compartments are going to be outside your living area and somewhat more expose to the elements. This makes them ideal for certain items, and not suitable for others.
For example, they make ideal compartments for sewer hoses, attachments, leveling blocks, jacks, and other messy or cleaning equipment you don’t want near your living area.
They can also be good places to store outside camping equipment like chairs, tables, BBQ equipment etc.
Just make sure you have locks to keep the items safe from would-be thieves. And ensure that they’re water tight. To be safe, don’t use them to store any items that won’t stand up to the elements.
You need to consider both the weight capacity of the storage units themselves, and the overall total weight capacity of your RV.
Your RV is rated to carry a certain amount of weight. So find out the GVR (Gross Vehicle Rating) of your particular RV. The GVR is the total weight of the vehicle with everything in it, this includes any water you’re carrying, and all passengers.
The only way to be sure your RV is within the safe and legal limit, is to drive to the nearest truck stop fully packed and loaded, and have it weighed.
Ground Clearance Considerations
Ground clearance may be something you need to consider, especially if you’ll be taking your RV off the beaten path.
This can be somewhat or even completely mitigated by installing the unit close to the axles, as opposed to in the center of the vehicle, where most people might instinctively want to install it.
If you’re trying to access your under slung storage bays in a poorly lit area, you could find yourself rummaging around, maybe putting your hands on things you don’t want to touch (like your sewer attachments).
The easiest solution is to have a place for a flashlight, just as soon as you open the storage container.
Alternatively, you could get an electrician to install some simple lighting, or you could install it yourself.
DIY Underchassis Storage
This is a great DIY solution I found on the Forest River forum. User Arnie M built this and has put it through its paces, racking up many miles driving highway speeds, in heavy rains, wind, and through muddy conditions. It’s held up beautifully.
To construct this system, he used:
- 1″ x 3/4″ Aluminum Channel
- Aluminum Rivets
- self-tapping screws
- Large Mixing Tubs
- Small Linch Pins
Find out more here.
Lippert Underchassis Double Bin Storage Unit for RVs
These RV cargo bins are available in multiple sizes and come complete with two detachable molded storage boxes with lids.
The detachable storage boxes bolt on to the RV chassis, and are perfect for cables, cleaning supplies and other miscellaneous camping items.
Each bin comes complete with a spring-loaded latch to allow the storage compartment to easily slide in and out. Available in Large, Standard, or Standard with Spare Tire Carrier.
Find out more here.