Do you need RV replacement cabinets and don’t know where to look?
Whether you’re replacing old cabinets with damage, installing more to increase storage, or building a recreational vehicle from scratch, finding the best RV cabinets is crucial to achieving a functional and seamless look.
That’s why I put together this quick read about why RV cabinets are different, where to buy them, and the best way to remove RV cabinets from your camper, so let’s dig in!
What Makes RV Cabinets Different
The significant difference between an RV cabinet and a residential version is the size and the hardware.
Cabinets inside campers tend to have less depth and often need a custom fit to attach to areas where the camper’s walls have curves.
RV cabinets use special hinges and latches to hold the doors open for easy access and securely keep the doors shut so items don’t fall out during travel.
Can You Install Residential Cabinets in an RV?
Sure, you can opt for residential-style cabinets in your RV, but don’t expect them to perform the same way without some beefing up with extra glue or solid-wood slats.
Many inexpensive cabinets for home installation have pressboard framing. Under the stress of road travel, the screws or staples that hold it together easily rattle apart.
By the time you replace the hinges and latches and reinforce the framing, you’re probably going to spend more time and money than going with RV-ready cabinets in the first place.
Where to Purchase RV Cabinets
There are many sources to purchase RV cabinets, including:
- RV dealerships
- Wholesale RV supply centers
- Private custom RV cabinet and furniture builders
- eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace
- Vehicle scrap yards
If you’re on a budget, the best source of inexpensive replacement cabinets for RVs is checking out local ads on Craigslist, Nextdoor, or Facebook Marketplace for RV furniture or parts.
RV owners are constantly changing interior camper layouts, which means there is a good amount of cabinets and other RV furniture in the resale pipeline at any given time.
Heading over to a vehicle junkyard is another option. Most have motorhomes or travel trailers with cabinets you can salvage if you don’t mind doing the work of removing them.
Where to Find New RV Replacement Cabinets
If you want new RV cabinets, here are my top sources to find what you need:
Coach Supply Direct provides solid wood RV cabinets and furniture that is Amish-built which means the best of the best when it comes to craftsmanship. The company will also custom-build cabinets to your specifications.
Dave & LJs RV Interior Design is another superior builder of all types of RV cabinetry for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, or entertainment centers. Their team can customize and color-match cabinets and accessories for your RV renovation.
The custom cabinets from Wood Design RV Interiors is another top choice when you want to upgrade your RV cabinets or create customized cabinets or shelving to increase storage inside your camper.
For excellent used RV cabinets and trim, check out Visone RV Interiors. The company has a rotating selection of cabinetry, doors, and hardware at affordable prices, along with just about every other type of camper furniture or accessory.
You can DIY custom cabinets for your camper if you have the tools and skills to do so. You can also hire a local cabinet maker to measure and build units that fit perfectly.
The bonus with building recreational vehicle cabinets yourself or hiring out the work personally allows you to control the materials and ensure long-lasting performance.
Lastly, your new RV cabinets will function better when you trick them out with organizational baskets, drawers, and accessories you can get from Camping World for a reasonable price.
How to Safely Remove Old Cabinets in an RV
Before you can install new RV cabinets, you’ll most likely need to remove the old ones. Taking out camper cabinets isn’t difficult when you follow the steps below.
Step 1. Inspect Cabinet Connection Points and Construction
RV cabinets have obvious attachments and some that are less visible.
Most upper RV cabinetry has a false bottom, with a gap between the interior lower shelf and the exterior cabinet underside.
You must be very careful if your RV cabinet has false panels, as this area is where the manufacturer hides wiring that runs to undercabinet lighting, as well as for other appliances and lights elsewhere in your camper.
If you unscrew and yank your cabinets from the wall, you can cause major damage to your RV’s electrical system.
Often, the cabinet’s back panel is also false and is there to finish off the interior cleanly. Expect to remove this panel and find the main screws that hold the framing to the wall behind it.
Look closely at the screw heads so you can gather the correct bits to put in your drill to remove them quickly.
Most screws in RV builds are the square head, while others will need a Phillips bit. If your RV is older, expect some slot heads as well. My advice is to pick up a bit assortment kit, as the sizing of the bit heads can differ.
Step 2. Unscrew Cabinets from Camper Wall
Before you unscrew the cabinets, grab a helper for the upper cabinets as they can be heavier than you expect, and most are one large unit.
You can lessen the weight of all the cabinets by removing the doors before taking down the frame.
Work your way around the inner cabinet and unscrew any removable panels. Disengage any wiring if necessary.
Locate and unscrew the primary attachments from the framing that sits directly against the wall. Most RVs will have screws about every two feet around the perimeter.
Step 3. Carefully Remove Cabinets from RV
Once the screws are out, the cabinet should release from the wall.
Slowly bring the cabinet forward or down, peek for hidden wires or plumbing lines, and feed wiring carefully out any holes in the cabinet housing.
When the cabinet is clear of any wiring or plumbing, you can lift it and carry it out of the RV.
RV remodels or upgrades almost always require new cabinets, and now you know the best places to find replacement RV cabinets that work with your budget.
Don’t be afraid to create an RV interior that fulfills all your storage, functional, and decorative needs by using this informational guide on RV cabinets to achieve a successful RV renovation!