When it comes to space in an RV, finding more of it is always an issue. If you’re a full-time RVer or even just a weekend warrior, you’ve likely realized that fitting all of your daily items into a tiny space can be a massive burden. This is especially the case when it comes to your RV bathroom.
While it’s easy to downsize most items from your life before you get into your RV (do you really need that gourmet espresso maker?), limiting your bathroom supplies is challenging to do so because you need to use most of them every day.
Installing or upgrading your RV bathroom with a space-saving medicine cabinet is the way to go. While most homes are already equipped with these, RVs are often not. Let’s check out some of the reasons for installing one in your RV, as well as what to look for when purchasing one. Towards the end of this article, we’ll also lay out some other great storage-saving tips that you can incorporate into your RV today.
- Does Your Bathroom Need an RV Medicine Cabinet?
- Reasons to Invest in an RV Medicine Cabinet
- What to Look for When Upgrading the Medicine Cabinet in Your RV
- Here Are 4 of the Best RV Medicine Cabinets Available Today
- Ways to Keep Your RV Medicine Cabinet Clutter-Free
- Best Ways to Organize Your RV Bathroom
- RV Shower Storage Options
- RV Bathroom Storage Ideas for Toilet Paper
- RV Towel Storage Ideas
- Utilizing Storage Space Under the Bathroom Sink
Does Your Bathroom Need an RV Medicine Cabinet?
Unless you own a higher-end model, the typical RV bathroom does not include a medicine cabinet. Most camper’s come with a wet bath, and manufacturers choose to avoid a bathroom cabinet due to the potential water damage that can occur. Additionally, medicine cabinets take up a lot of vertical space, are heavy, and are easier to simply leave out in the RV’s build.
Don’t let this discourage you from installing your own cabinet. There are a variety of options out on the market that are lightweight and easy to install. If you commonly find that your RV bathroom looks like a jumbled mess, purchasing a medicine cabinet is a fantastic way to consolidate space and get things off the countertop. With just a little bit of prior planning, measurements, and DIY installation, you can easily outfit your bathroom with a beautiful new fixture.
Reasons to Invest in an RV Medicine Cabinet
While purchasing a medicine cabinet and going through the work of installation may seem more hassle than what it’s worth, you can rest assured it will be an immense benefit to your current rig. Here are just a few reasons why it may be worth investing in one:
- Space Saving: This is the most obvious benefit. With a medicine cabinet, you can easily relocate all of your daily bathroom possessions from the countertop to a neat, stored-away cubby. All of your daily necessities will be hidden away, while still being right within arms reach for when you need them.
- Mess-Free Travel: The typical medicine cabinet door will have a latch, allowing you to easily travel without worrying about your items falling all over the floor.
- Adds Aesthetic Value: Nothing will make your sterile, white RV bathroom light up like a stylish medicine cabinet.
- Security: If you travel with your medications, investing in a locking cabinet will keep your medicine safe from the little ones.
What to Look for When Upgrading the Medicine Cabinet in Your RV
If you think a medicine cabinet would be a great addition to your RV bathroom, be sure to plan ahead to prevent any installation frustration. Most medicine cabinets are not manufactured strictly for RVs, so as a purchaser you need to make sure the option you’re selecting will work for your RV bathroom.
There are a variety of design options to consider when looking at cabinets; let’s check a few out!
Always Consider Weight
As any seasoned person living the RV life knows, adding weight to your rig is always a major concern. Adding appliances and fixtures (especially ones that aren’t intended for an RV) can quickly stack on unneeded weight.
When you’re in the market for an RV medicine cabinet, always elect the lighter option. You’ll thank yourself later. The material you choose will likely have a huge impact on this. When possible, opt for a sturdy plastic fixture that will only add a couple of pounds to your overall weight.
Measure for Length, Width, and Height – Twice!
As expert craftsmen always say – measure twice, cut once. When installing a new medicine cabinet in your RV bathroom, you need to be positive it will fit. You likely have much less wall space than in a traditional bathroom, so not every medicine cabinet will work.
Height and width is not the only measurement to consider. You want to make sure the depth of your new medicine cabinet won’t obnoxiously hang over your bathroom sink, getting in the way of your daily routine.
To Recess or Not To Recess
Some medicine cabinets are quite deep, which is excellent for maximizing storage. However, it also occasionally requires them to be recessed. Before choosing a recessed medicine cabinet, ensure that your RV walls have enough inner space to allow for such a big object. Nothing would be worse than sawing out a hole in the wall to then realize there isn’t enough support for your medicine cabinet! Additionally, be sure to double-check if electrical work or plumbing is running behind your walls before you start digging in.
If you do have ample space inside of your walls, a recessed medicine cabinet is one of your best options. The amplified storage space, combined with the aesthetic, will make a beautiful accent piece for your RV bathroom.
Consider Vanity Lighting Options
Selecting a medicine cabinet with vanity lighting is a sure way to bolster the visual appeal of your bathroom. It also adds secondary lighting, adding more texture and depth to the overall appearance of the room.
If choosing this option, you’ll have to run new electrical wires through the wall and into the medicine cabinet. While this is a fairly straightforward DIY project that only requires a few tools (12v wires, crimpers, twist-on connectors, etc.), it can quickly become a headache if you don’t already have wires installed near the sink.
Latches, Latches, Latches
Living and traveling in an RV means that you’re bound to encounter bumps on the road – literally. Nothing is worse than arriving at your new destination with all of your belongings strewn about in a mess all over the floor. Faulty and unlatched cabinets are the typical culprits.
Since the RV medicine cabinet you’ll be buying likely wasn’t designed for excessive travel in mind, always be sure to invest in a latching cabinet. Picking a strong latching option (locking is even better), will help to make sure that all of your neatly organized belongings won’t require rearranging after every trip.
Here Are 4 of the Best RV Medicine Cabinets Available Today
With the massive amount of medicine cabinet options available, you may be overwhelmed at all of your choices. It can be tough finding a piece that will add style to your bathroom, while still being intended for lightweight, RV use.
We’ve compiled a list of four different medicine cabinets that will work great in any RV bathroom. Each product was broken down by sizing, weight, and functionality to determine if it was truly a good fit. Let’s check them out.
Jensen Roller Catch Medicine Cabinet
The Jensen Roller Catch Medicine Cabinet is the perfect solution for an RV bathroom with limited space. It features a frameless design and mirror, which adds a very stylistic touch to your RV. The medicine cabinet features a roller catch latch so that your belongings will stay secure, and it also has a slight recess, but can easily be wall mounted. Above all else, you’ll receive peace of mind knowing that it was manufactured for the intended purpose of RVing.
American Pride Recess-Mount Raised Panel Door
This American Pride medicine cabinet is another fantastic option for an RV, although it does come in on the slightly larger side. With this, however, you receive maximum durability. The cabinet is made of reinforced steel that has been powder coated with a chip-resistant white finish. This RV medicine cabinet also features customizable shelving on the inside.
The American Pride cabinet is secured by a metal piano latch and does require a recess mount. The recommended minimum wall depth for the recess is 3.75’’, making it most suitable for a larger RV bathroom.
- Material: Plastic
- Length: 22”
- Width: 16”
- Weight: 12.92 lbs.
Zenith Products 105: Stainless Steel Framed Medicine Cabinet
The Zenith Products 105 Medicine Cabinet is the most affordable option on this list. It’s a perfect sleek option for those desiring an industrial look in their RV bathroom. It features a large stainless steel mirror frame with a plastic body, making it lightweight, but also durable. The plastic body is perfect for a recessed installation, but it can also be easily wall mounted. Additionally, two plastic shelves are included for customization.
- Material: Stainless Steel / Plastic
- Length: 26”
- Width: 16”
- Weight: 14.37 lbs.
Wincere S120 Moisture Resistance Steel Wall Medicine Cabinet
The Wincere S120 Medicine Cabinet is the smallest and lightest option found here, making it the perfect option for a smaller RV bathroom. Don’t let this fool you though – its stainless steel and glass construction also makes it one of the more durable options.
No wood construction makes this RV medicine cabinet extremely moisture resistant, which is always an issue in an RV bathroom. With no mildew or mold growth within the cabinet, you can safely store your hygienic products without risk of contamination. This cabinet has a much more “medical” feel to it, but it also comes with a powerful metal latch and locking door for bumpy transportation.
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Length: 26.13”
- Width: 16.13”
- Weight: 10.89 lbs.
Ways to Keep Your RV Medicine Cabinet Clutter-Free
Choosing to purchase an RV medicine cabinet is just the first step in the organizational process. There’s a variety of additional features you can add, to make your bathroom as neat as possible. While all of your personal products will look much more sightly within the cabinet rather than on the counter, you can expand on this further by adding additional storage inside the fixture.
Add Shelves to Maximize Space
Most medicine cabinets in an RV’s bathroom will come with shelves. However, if you chose to go the DIY route, or simply purchased a barebones cabinet, it is highly recommended that you install modular shelving. This allows you to change the organizational theme as you feel fit, and also permits to you change up the orientation of items inside the cabinet.
Use Plastic Storage Bins to Separate Items
Once all of your care products are neatly tucked away, consider purchasing small plastic storage bins to consolidate space even further. You can divide these storage bins by who uses them or the products that are in them. This creates a much more relaxing experience when you go to open your medicine cabinet’s drawer, as you won’t be overwhelmed by the onslaught of random bottles and packages.
Many RV owners also choose to install a suction cup toothbrush holder on the glass of their medicine cabinets. This takes a bulky object off your counter and allows it to sit right above the RV bathroom sink, where you’ll be using it the most.
Best Ways to Organize Your RV Bathroom
Once you’ve installed your medicine cabinet, it’s time to organize the rest of your your RV bathroom. There are a variety of other ways you can tidy up your bathroom and save space, all without breaking the bank.
With a little bit of creativity, thriftiness, and a DIY attitude, you can easily enjoy all of your comfort products from home – even in a tiny RV bathroom. Here are some quick tips!
Minimize Your Bathroom Belongings
When moving into an RV for full-time living, or even just a camping trip, minimizing your possessions is always the first recommendation. While it can be tempting to bring everything, you’ll quickly realize you don’t have room for it.
As far as moving items into your bathroom, only bring the necessities. Having one towel per person is normally a good starting point, as well as just having one of each product. It can be hard to leave behind some of your accessories, but you’ll thank yourself later. Consider keeping larger bathroom appliances at home if you don’t use them regularly, like a hair dryer or straightener. More men, consider investing in an electric shaver to save space on shaving cream and disposable razors.
Find Storage Options on Every Surface
Every surface in your bathroom can be a potential storage solution! If you have unused wall space that is never covered by swinging doors, consider installing a shelving unit or hooks. This greatly prevents wasted space and allows you to store a large number of items in an organized fashion.
Adhesive hooks are a great option for lightweight items like facecloths, brushes, and personal mirrors. Because they normally have a small footprint, installing them on the back wall of your RV bathroom door can be an excellent option.
Keep Things Off the Counter Whenever Possible
Nothing contributes to a cluttered camper more than covered countertops. It’s easy to use your counter space as a quick catch-all for all of your items, but this can quickly become an overlooked norm. When possible always find space in a storage compartment or shelf. It’ll greatly free up your mental space and allow you to relax that much more thoroughly.
RV Shower Storage Options
The shower is where you’ll find most of your hygiene products, and unlike at home, you can’t simply keep them on the bathtub’s liner. Normally, an RV shower is quite compact, and it’s not possible to leave much hanging around. Here are a few solutions to quickly save space in your RV shower:
- Suction Cup Shower Caddies: A great option for people looking to keep their soap bars, loofahs, and products organized.
- Shower Soap Dispenser: Instead of each person having their own body wash or soap, consider using the same products dispensed from the same container. These can often be mounted right to the wall of your shower.
- Double-Hooked Shower Curtain Hooks: These unique shower hooks allow you to hang both the inner and outer shower curtain from one pole, and gives you additional room to hang stuff from.
RV Bathroom Storage Ideas for Toilet Paper
Toilet paper can easily consume a lot of storage space. Firstly, consider only purchasing the amount of toilet paper you’ll need for the trip. If you’re a full-timer, try to only purchase one week’s worth at a time. Once you have your TP, investing in a toilet paper rack is an excellent way to go. They can often fit in the back corner behind the toilet seat, keeping it out of sight.
A fantastic recycled DIY option is to cut the bottoms off multiple tin coffee cans, and stack and glue them together to make your own toiletry storage space.
RV Towel Storage Ideas
If you have a larger family, bathroom towels notoriously take up a lot of room. As mentioned before, try limiting your family to one bath and face towel per person. When not in use, consider hanging these towels from hooks to prevent pileups.
Utilizing Storage Space Under the Bathroom Sink
Finally, no storage space is more useless than under the sink. This is a great place to store larger items like hair appliances and backup products. Of course, each rig is made different and some have more plumbing underneath than others, but you are sure to find lots of useable space here.
Homeowners and RVers alike all know that the bathroom can quickly become disorganized. Making attempts to save storage space is the best method at preventing this. If your RV doesn’t currently have one, investing in a quality medicine cabinet is one of the most beneficial purchases you can make. Doing so will clear up your countertops, and make your bathroom road-ready in an instant, with no risk of a clumsy mess when you open your camper back up.
In addition, there are countless other methods any RVer can take to organize their bathroom. This article just covered a few. Each family and each RV is unique, so embrace your own creativity and devise a system that works best for you. Good luck!