How to Keep Cabinets Closed in an RV

No one wants to arrive at a campsite only to find the contents of your cabinets all over the floor. But, what can you do to prevent this type of thing from happening? Let's take a look.

Hitting the road in your RV is fun, but you need to make sure the contents in your rig are correctly organized. Many RVers face this issue where their cabinets and drawers keep opening while traveling.

The rattling of the dishes and messy RV floors are annoying and sometimes costly, but keeping your cabinets closed is easier than you might think.

To keep cabinets closed in an RV, use child-safety locks or magnetic catches to lock them in place. As a temporary solution, you can use bungee cords to tie the handles or velcros to keep the doors shut. Using anti-slip liners and organizing the items will also help you keep them safe.

You need to make sure you buy the right products to avoid any hassle. Read on for the permanent solutions–rather than quick fixes–you can do to make sure the cabinets stay shut while traveling and learn everything about making cabinets, drawers, and dishes RV safe.

Use Child Safety Locks

Child Safety Strap Locks

A child safety strap lock is the easiest way to keep cabinets and other storage units closed while traveling. It requires no drilling or screws, which means it’s very quick and easy to install.

These locks are designed to endure a tremendous amount of pulling force, so they work very well for RV cabinets and drawers. You can also use them on fridges, toilet seats, or appliances.

I like these Child Safety Strap Locks on Amazon. They’re cheap, tough, and easy to install. In the package, you get ten adjustable locks and extra 3M adhesive pads. You’ll also find a simple-to-follow video installation guide on the product page.

Install Magnetic Catches

JQK Magnetic Cabinet Door Catch

This is one of the most common solutions for keeping your RV cabinets closed. A magnetic catch is just two strong magnets. You have to install one magnet to either side of your cabinet. Of course, they can be used for things other than a cabinet as well.

I recommend the JQK Magnetic Cabinet Door Catch. It’s made of stainless steel, which means it’s rustproof and durable. The magnets are strong and can withstand up to 40 lbs pull force, so it is enough to keep your RV cabinet closed. It’s also cheap and easy to install. Just make sure to align the magnets correctly while screwing.

Tie the Handles With Bungee Cords

EFFICERE Best Choice 24-Piece Premium Bungee Cord Assortment

I would recommend using magnetic catches or child safety locks, but you can also use ropes or bungee cords if you’re in a bind. They’re a quick and easy fix for cabinets that won’t stay closed. This is also an acceptable solution if you don’t want to drill holes or don’t have the time to replace your old latches.

If you have a series of drawers on top of one another, tie them all using a rope or bungee cord with hooks. You’ll need separate cords for individual drawers, and you can also use them to secure cabinet doors. Make sure you wrap it tightly, though.

Here’s a Premium Bungee Cord Assortment. It has 24 cords of different sizes, namely 10″, 18″, 24″, 32″, and 40″. The cords are scratch-resistant and have an elastic inner core, making them perfect for the job.

How to Keep RV Drawers Closed While Traveling

The three tips discussed above can be used to keep drawers in place as well. However, there are a few things you can do specifically for RV drawers.

Put Heavy Items in the Back

Overloading is not an issue with your drawers back home. But when it comes to RV, everything is in constant motion. If you put too much stuff in an RV drawer, it’s more likely to slide open. See if you can put all the heavy things in plastic bins or empty cardboard boxes instead.

But if you want to put heavy items in a drawer, make sure they’re at the very back. It’ll help in preventing the drawer from sliding out. You should also put the items close together so that there’s not much room for movement.

Use Velcros for Light Drawers

Velcro Heavy Duty Fastener

If you followed the above advice and kept your drawer light, you can use an adhesive Velcro to keep its content in place. The convenient thing is that velcros don’t require any drilling, nails, hammer, or screws. All you have to do is stick it on the inside of RV drawers. Remember to use it only where there’s not a lot of pressure on the latch.

Velcro strips are simple, cheap, and durable. For example, I like these Heavy Duty Fasteners by VELCRO Brand on Amazon. You get four sets of strips in the package, and it can easily hold up to 10 pounds ((4.5 kilograms).

Roll Up a Carpet

This is a temporary solution for keeping the lower drawers in your RV closed. Take a rug, towel, or even a heavy blanket. Roll it tightly and wedge it against a drawer close to the ground. It’ll stop the lower drawers from opening while the RV is moving.

How Do I Secure My RV Dishes?

Not everyone wants to compromise on dishes by using plastic ones instead of glass. The good news is that you don’t have to do that. Here are a few tricks to help you keep your dishes and cutlery in place:

Use a Rubber Anti-Slip Liner

Duck Brand EasyLiner

Anti-slip liners prevent items from toppling over while the RV is moving. It may not be the perfect solution, but it certainly minimizes the movement of content in a cabinet or drawer.

To keep dishes from sliding or rattling, cut squares of the liner and put them between the plates. Now, they won’t slide or clatter over bumps. You can keep the cutoffs as a bottle or jar openers. Of course, you can also use this for items other than dishes.

I recommend the Duck Brand Select Grip EasyLiner. It’s made up of polyester and has a non-adhesive grip. The hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon also say that it’s easy to cut and install.

Buy a Dish Holder

Camco Stack-A-Plate

A dish holder will make sure that the dishes stay organized and secure. A vertical holder like the Camco Stack-A-Plate can go a long way in ensuring rattle-free rides in your RV. It is a set of two dish holders, one of which fits plates up to 7.25″ and the other up to 10.25″. The dishes won’t bounce out of the holder, and its non-slip backing ensures that everything stays in place.

Install a Divider for Cutlery

Bamboo Cutlery Organizer

Organizing cutlery is easy. Just like a dish holder, you can buy a divider for cutlery. It’ll keep everything separate, secure, and in place. You can install any cutlery organizer in your RV drawer, similar to what you would use at home.

I recommend the Bamboo Expandable Cutlery Organizer. It fits in all standard drawer sizes 17.5″ long x 2″ deep and is also expandable. The width is 13″ when using seven slots and 20″ when using all 9.


RVing is fun, and nobody wants to clean up every time they arrive at the destination. Keeping things organized in an RV is critical for both sanity and safety. We’ve discussed a few simple tricks and items you can use to keep the cabinets, drawers, and dishes safe while the RV is moving.

More permanent solutions like child safety locks and magnetic catches are the best if you own the RV and plan on using it frequently. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can use a bungee cord or roll up a rug to keep things in place for the moment.

Sources: WikiHowRV HometownCamper Guide, Rolling Down the HighwayRV Guiders, Gander Outdoors, Cypress Trail RV



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