It doesn’t matter what size vehicle you’ve got - there’s always a need for more storage ideas, and space saving inventions, right? Many people consider their vehicle an extension of their home.
This is extra true if you use your vehicle as a house away from home or a rolling job site! We’ve put together a list of things you’ll find useful for organization and storage solutions for van life. I've added links for inspiration and organization ideas, and amazon links so you can get an idea of cost.
1. DECKED Slide Out Drawers
Is there a better way to keep your stuff organized, secure, and dry? We don’t think so. That’s the whole reason we invented the storage system. So our number one pick for van storage is DECKED.
Check out our full range of DECKED sliding drawer systems made to fit a range of vans. These sliding drawer systems ensure easy access to the hardest to reach spaces. They fit into your truck or van easily and, in most cases, with no drilling required. Slide-out drawers let you access the entire area without climbing in and out and moving piles of things to find other things. Covering the entire length of the van, and because they’re incredibly strong, they can cope with up to 2000lb on top, meaning everything underneath is safe and secure.
Because they come in a range of sizes, these heavy duty drawer systems can stow away large items or you can add dividers to make smaller compartments.
If you're DIY-ing a van conversion, they're super easy to install. And you can store and secure all your stuff and still have room for plenty of stuff on top of the false floor, including a bed if camping or hunting is your thing.
DECKED drawer systems fit the all the most popular cargo van models, including Ford Transit, RAM ProMaster, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Nissan NV and the Mercedes Sprinter van - and turns your van into a rolling storage unit.
2. Small containers
You want to keep your belongings as organized and easy to access as possible. The best way to do this is to have them grouped in small compartments or containers. A place for everything, as they say.
Small containers also let you keep what you need where you need it. Want some suggestions? We make it easier to organize, keep mess to a minimum, and protect your stuff from weather and sticky fingers. Our organizers can be used with or without our drawer system. Check out these organizers from DECKED:
- Crossbox - Our heavy-duty Crossbox is the perfect organizer for tools or tackle with or without the DECKED drawer system. It features a EPDM lid gasket for weatherproof storage, an easy carry handle, locking latches, and a small removable tool and parts organizer tray. Plus, you can lock your box.
- D-box - You can store a lot of stuff in 18.21 cubic inches of space. Our classic D-box features recessed locking levers, an EPDM gasket to keep your stuff dry, horizontal & vertical carry handles, dividers, and a ruler & common bolt/bit guide. Easily stackable for efficient storage and each box can hold up to 50 lbs.
- D-Bag - This rugged, well-designed backpack/bag holds an amazing array of gear. It fits perfectly into our drawer system, but can be used alone to carry tools, hunting or camping supplies, or anything else you might need to slug from one place to another.
To make your D-Box or Crossbox even better, add custom Kaizen Foam Inserts to cradle and protect your goodies.
3. Multifunctional furniture
If you’re going for a diy camper van conversion, most van/camper furniture is designed to double as something else. A seat or bench can also be a storage compartment, a trash can or a stepstool (just be sure to tie them down, or your passengers will slide all over the place). A cabinet door can be a flip-down table, a work space, or can hold multiple items on hooks or in baskets both inside and out.
If you’re thinking about doing a full diy van conversion, the double up potential to help you save maximum living space is huge! Even a picture frame can work double time.
If you’ve got a tall van and our DECKED system, you can add benches and other camper conversion furnishings right on top. Store everything and still have room to seat workers, hunting buddies, or family for epic road trips!
4. Maximize your workspace
Keeping as much surface area as possible is vital for van life. Extra temporary workspace needs to be easily accessible. For tasks such as food preparation, eating, desk/office space, cupboard doors can double up, or extra surfaces could be stowed under another structure. Alternatively, a table area can double up as storage space.
5. Pop Ups
For storage and for privacy, pop up solutions are a great storage solution for a camping van. Pop up options include:
- Pop up canopies for extra weather protection when parked
- Pop up storage bins for anything that isn’t necessarily permanent, like dirty laundry, wet clothes or shoes
- Pop up sleepers. Having a pop up sleeper built in is like having a little extra room that takes up no space except when you’re using it.
- Pop up privacy shades and awnings to extend your living area when setting up a campsite.
- Pop up counter surface next to open spaces
6. Mesh Pouches
They can go just about anywhere and hold just about anything. Mesh pouches are definitely right up there for top and bulkhead storage solutions. They’re a low cost, effective, and flexible answer to the question, “Where will I put it?” Chair backs, doors, hard surfaces, you name it, you can attach a mesh pouch to it!
There are loads of different types and sizes, as well as different attachment styles. So for some areas, you may want something that screws into place and can hold heavier items, but for others, a simple hook and loop or velcro networks for small items or a compartmented basket for larger items. You can even set up handy overhead storage for small items.
7. Rooftop Cargo Carriers
You can add a lot of extra cargo space on top of your van with a car roof cargo carrier, hard shell cargo carrier, storage racking systems, or a canoe rack. Roof racks and containers are a great way to free up your van’s inside, but getting your gear in and out can be a hassle, especially if you have a high roof.
8. Shelving System
Shelving systems and storage cabinets made to fit work vans are a good solution if you need to carry and access a whole lot of stuff. However, your van organization project will still need containers to keep everything from flying around. Shelving units work great for commercial vans used by electricians, locksmiths, plumbers, and other mobile professionals who need parts and tool storage.
9. Metal Van Racking
Need to carry glass sheets, ladders, or other awkward items to job sites with a commercial vehicle? How about surfboards? You can add a metal van racking system to carry lots of big stuff outside, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your side doors.
Planning out your DIY van conversion in advance is essential. Still, if you're not doing a full conversion yet want to make a few changes, these are ideas that can be incorporated easily to make better use of your van space and help you to keep your belongings neat and tidy and where they’re meant to be.