Comprehensive Guide on How To Build Rv Cabinets Like an Expert!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to build RV cabinets?

Forget store-bought. It’s time to build your own cabinets and have them customized to your unique needs.

With custom-build RV cabinets, you can maximize your space. Plus, you can be sure you have all the storage you want for your bits and bobs in your camper.

Even if you have no sophisticated skills in woodworking, you can definitely ace this project. We’ll walk you through each step of the way – from the tools to prepare, techniques, and everything else to help you get started. Let’s dive right in!

How to Build RV Cabinet – Knowing the Basics

RV cabinets can either be framed or integral.

It is good to understand these two types to determine the right cabinet that suits your needs best.

For instance, there’s the framed cabinet, which as the name implies, comes with a frame. The typical materials used for the frame include solid wood, steel, or aluminum. What’s great about a framed cabinet is that it is lightweight and portable.

Also, the design offers optimum strength because of the solid frame.

Now, there is also such a thing as integral cabinets. In this case, there is no frame included. You simply connect the sides to the bottom back, and top portion of the cabinet. As it used heavy materials, this keeps the cabinet strong and sturdy.

Moreover, it is easier and quicker to make as there is no need to work on a framework.

With all these things in mind, it is worth noting that there are different materials used to build an RV cabinet. You may use wood, which is also the most common material. Not only is it common but wood does not require too many tools.

If you prefer a lighter weight wooden cabinet, then you can go for softwood. The same holds for plywood, which is also just as light, yet sturdy.

Others opt for hardwood, which looks elegant and chic. However, it does weigh a lot and can be expensive. Warping is also a common issue with hardwood.

In addition to stability and strength, you need to make sure that the wood is resistant to moisture. This way, it will not be easily subject to damage when placed in a humid location.

RV cabinets may also come in aluminum material. It is definitely more expensive to use this material, yet it is durable and lightweight. If you are building overhead cabinets for your RV, aluminum is a good choice. Wood, plastic, and fiber panels are great for filling the gaps between rails.

How to Build RV Cabinets

build rv cabinets

Now that you have an idea on the types of cabinets and materials you can use for building, let’s get started.

Learning how to build RV cabinets can help boost your confidence. It also refines your creativity and accuracy. After all, proper and precise measurements are essential to make sure that the cabinet turns out great.

Here are the steps you need to take if you want to know how to build RV cabinets like an expert:

1. Plan and Measure

Before you go ahead and buy materials, you first need to come up with a plan.

What type of cabinet are you building? What materials are you looking to use?

You should have a solid idea of the design for the cabinet after considering the amount of space in your RV. Check the location where you want to set the cabinet up. It must be space-saving, especially if the interior of your camper already looks cramped.

When you have decided on the style, then you can begin making some sketches and taking measurements. You will need to bring this list with you when you head out to the store to buy your material.

First, be sure to measure the cabinet’s external dimensions. The size largely depends on how much space you have in the room where you intend to place the cabinet. Moreover, you should decide on the space based on the amount of storage you need.

If you go too small, you may end up coming short on space. But a much bigger, yet somehow unnecessarily large cabinet, can be tough to install and set up in your RV.

Thus, you should pay close attention to the dimensions and measure the size accurately.

2. Prepare Your Tools

There are basic tools to use for building an RV cabinet. These include boards, plywood, level for measuring, hinges, and a building square.

3. Make a Frame

With a ⅝-inch thick plywood, you can make a frame for your cabinet. Attach the dividers and the side panels to your bottom panel using nails or screws.

Furthermore, check if the cabinets have an even measurement using your building squares or level.

Aside from using screws or nails, wood glue helps to secure the pieces better.

Once you have the frame built, you can add a couple of 1 x 2 -inch thick wood that will help boost the strength of the frame – one for the top and the other for the bottom.

4. Install the Cabinet Frame

At this point, you are ready to install the frame onto the wall of your RV. Using mounting brackets, and a level, attach the frame to the wall.

Connect the sides, as well, and finishing nails are helpful for this purpose.

5. Work on the Cabinet Doors

Next up, place a hinge on the door. Again, accurate measurement is essential for this step.

Once you have marked the location for the hinge, you can use your drill to place holes for the screws.

Do not forget to check the proper height of the door before you put some holes. The door must open and close effectively prior to finalizing the position of the hinge.

6. Add Some Finishing Touches

When you have the door all set up, you can think about making enhancements.

Knobs are quite useful as they allow you to open and close the door conveniently. Handles are an alternative if this is something more preferable for you.

Read More: How To Convert Rv Water Heater To Tankless (And Save More Money From Now On!)

Additional Tips on How to Build RV Cabinets

Cabinets are a great necessity in your RV. These are excellent storage solutions and for organizing things in your camper.

Be sure that you have all your tools ready and choose the best materials for your cabinet. If it is not sturdy enough, not only will the cabinet break easily. It can also cause some damages to your RV, while at the same time potentially leading to injuries in case it falls accidentally.

Think about the amount of things you want to place inside the cabinet. If you are storing more things, then you should install extra brackets for stability and support.

Also, you may want to add some safety latches to the door. These are ideal as they keep the doors closed, especially when the road is bumpy.

Bottom Line

As you can see, learning how to build RV cabinets is not a very difficult task. If you lack advanced carpentry skills, yet you are willing to learn, then you can definitely start and succeed in this DIY project.

Make sure you practice precision and accuracy in the entire process of building your RV cabinet. Measure the dimensions well, choose your materials with great care, and practice safety throughout the process. This way, you can achieve the results you want and ensure total satisfaction with the outcome.

1 thought on “Comprehensive Guide on How To Build Rv Cabinets Like an Expert!”

  1. I’ve never heard of a “Solid” tree. I can’t understand how I’ve spent 5 hours looking up dozens of pages that use almost verbatim “guides” and not a single one mentions even a suggestion for the ACTUAL TYPE OF WOOD that’s recommended for weight & strength.


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