With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, many people are preparing for life on the road. Whether you’re new to vanlife or just getting started, there’s one thing to always keep in mind: storage. In this blog, we’ll go over five of the most useful vanlife storage hacks for living in a van, bus, or camper.

Vanlife Storage Options

Regardless of the vehicle type, vans, buses, campers, and other transport options all have one thing in common: they’re going to be smaller than your home. You’ll need to figure out how to bring all of the essentials and none of the clutter. Luckily, folks have been living in tiny spaces for years. Here are some of the best ways to save space and declutter your van:

  1. Pop-Up Shelving
  2. Hybrid Furnishing
  3. Hidden Spaces
  4. Wall & Ceiling Mounts
  5. Pockets, Slings, & Nets

leafted pop up shelving


Pop-Up Shelving

When we say pop-up shelving, we don’t just mean shelves on a wall. One of the best ways to give yourself more counter space is to install your tables, shelves, and other surfaces using hinges or straps so that you can fold them down and secure them when they aren’t in use. Above, Leafted shows how you can add temporary shelf space without adding permanent additions to your van. This product helps save space and add class to your van!

interior of sprinter camper van


Hybrid Furnishing

The one thing that most vanlifers will tell you is that you have to be versatile while you’re on the road. This includes your furnishing, too! Beartooth Vanworks gives us a beautiful example of a hybrid bed and couch made to fit the van specifically. There are DIY instructions online for all types of hybrid furniture, like pull-out beds, futons, over-sink boards, headboards that function as storage, and more! The best thing about converting a van, bus, or camper is that you get to be as creative as your imagination allows.

pacifist northwest vw bus in snow


Hidden Spaces

Vehicles often have small gaps and odd spaces that can be turned into additional storage. Spaces under seats, gaps between furniture and van walls, cup holders, center consoles, and glove holders are just some of the hidden compartments your vehicle might have that can be utilized for storage space! You can build a small, rolling cart that fits in a small gap for cooking supplies, craft a few boxes that bolt to the ceiling, or even attach some of your items to the outside of your vehicle. For example, Bay-T the 1973 VW Bus, aka Pacifist Northwest on Instagram, has shared great photos of their MAXTRAX gear strapped underneath the van! Alternatively, you can also utilize the outside of the vehicle by attaching your items to a storage rack on top, to any bars on the exterior, or even to the spare wheel!

bags and helmets hanging


Wall & Ceiling Mounts

Most vans, skoolies, trailers, or other DIY campers are known for their limited storage space. When you have so much going into a van, you have to utilize vertical and overhead space as much as possible. This is where wall and ceiling mounts come into play. Installing hooks, shelves, and other wall and ceiling storage solutions can help alleviate some of the rest of the clutter in a small space. Above, Far Out Ride shows how they’ve used hooks under the bed frame of their van to keep items like bags and bike helmets out of the way without simply shoving them into corners. Hooks can be great for hanging multiple items as well, as long as you check the weight limits. To save space, we recommend hanging items like hampers, shoes, hats, kitchen cookware, and other bulky items that don’t easily compact.  

outer door of sprinter camper van


Pockets, Slings, & Nets

Similar to hanging your items and utilizing hidden spaces, making the most of any gap you can for storage can be a lifesaver on the road. Alpine Vanworks shows us a unique door pocket that fits into the concave of the read door of their Sprinter van. Those looking for new storage solutions can also consider car seat organizers, pockets for door and window wells, overhead slings, or even spare tire trash bags.

Living Your Best Vanlife

Vanlife camping is becoming more popular, especially after the world shut down and began to reopen. With more and more prospective travelers taking to the DIY life over traditional camper styles, finding unique storage solutions for a specific van can be difficult if you can’t create it yourself.

That’s where we can help. At Equip, Inc. we make all sorts of fabric products, including vanlife storage solutions! We specialize in custom orders, and we work together with our customers to ensure that each item is made to the correct specs needed. If you have a question about a potential product or want to reach out to us about bulk orders, please email us at info@equipinc.com or give us a call at (719) 599-0300. We look forward to hearing from you!