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Homemade RV Can Storage Shelf Hack

Do cans or boxes of food shift around in your cabinet from your camper being in motion? Create an RV Can Storage Shelf to keep foods in place.

Thank you to Jim Opre for submitting this cleaver tutorial.

storage shelf in an RV filled with food

DIY RV Can Storage Shelf

I have a 2015 Summerland Mini that I have been changing to improve storage. In the overhead cabinets, there is some good storage, but there is ample open space.

I saw some multi-tiered storage racks on Amazon and figured it was a good DIY project. My cabinets are 10 ½ inches deep. My design is basically a small stair-step shelf to hold canned goods.

I used 1 x 8 white pine to build the ends. The end measurements appear in the drawing below; you will need two, one for each end.

Can Storage shelf diagram and measurements

To join the two ends together, I used some scrap ⅛ inch poplar plywood. You can make them whatever length you want, but you may need to reinforce the middle if the length is longer than a foot because this plywood is not really strong. I made my rack 10 inches long, and it was strong enough to hold about four cans on each tier.

side view of a homemade tiered shelf for an RV

Storage Shelf Cuts

from 1×8

  • two – L-shaped as indicated in the drawing

from thin plywood

  • one – 10″ x 10″
  • two – 10″ x 2.5″
  • two – 10″ x 3.5″

To help contain the cans and keep them from moving around, I used 1-inch white elastic bands that you can get anywhere carrying sewing products. To cover the 10-inch length, I made my elastic bands 12 inches long.

One of the bands is stapled across the first shelf to hold the food in front of the shelf in place. Paint and dry before adding elastic.

from 1″ elastic

  • three – 12″ strips

front view of a DIY shelf for can storage

This whole project can be done cheaply with leftover wood and paint.

As you can see, this DIY camper project can easily be adapted to suit the cabinets in your RV.

Thank you for this great hack, Jim. You have solved an issue that many RVers face. If you have a pop-up, check out our Hanging Pantry Shelf Hack.

homemade storage shelf with cans on it

Other Reader Submitted Hacks

Yield: 1 shelf

RV Can Storage Shelf

tiered storage shelf for an RV with food on it

Build an RV Can Storage Shelf to keep canned or boxed foods from shifting in your RV as it moves. Use scrap wood you have on hand for a frugal project.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty medium
Estimated Cost $8


  • 1"x8" lumber board or similar scrap
  • ⅛ inch poplar plywood or similar ply
  • 1" elastic
  • wood glue
  • small nails or brads
  • staples
  • paint


  • saw
  • hammer
  • staple gun
  • paint brush


  1. Scroll up to view project plans.
  2. From the 1x8, cut two of the L-shape indicated in the project plans.
  3. Cut the plywood into the following pieces: one - 10" x 10", two - 10" x 2.5", two - 10" x 3.5"
  4. As you assemble the shelf, wipe the edge with a damp cloth to open the fibers, then spread on wood glue before nailing each piece together.
  5. Start by adhering the back of the shelf to the ends.
  6. Assemble the rest by fitting each piece in place.
  7. Paint and let it dry before adding the elastic.
  8. Cut three 12" strips of elastic. Staple them to the back of the top shelf and the sides of the other two.
  9. Place in RV cabinet and fill with canned food.

    Did you make this project?

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