My attempt at closet shelves - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2014, 09:01 AM   #1
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Name: John Michael
Trailer: Scamp 13
Madison, Wisconsin
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My attempt at closet shelves

On a recent 6 week trip we found hanging clothes on hangers occupied too much space in the closet and so we opted for shelving instead. But, its such an odd shaped space, and how do I predict what size shelf spacing would be best. So it took a while to figure a workable system. Criteria included light weight (my Scamp is already tongue heavy), adustability, construction ease, low cost; just your normal group of mutually exclusive factors. Here is how I solved it. I made 4 upright posts with shelf support holes bored every 4 inches. Already I think these should have been 2 or 3 inches, though I can easily add more as needed. These supports are mostly supported at top and bottom and rest on the closet floor. The left hand supports are lightly attached to the bathroom wall and the right hand side is free standing and doesn't touch the outside curved rat fur, except at the top and bottom. Hickory pins are used in the holes to support the inch baltic birch plywood shelves. I may add a stiffener or two if the cargo proves too heavy and the plywood begins to sag, but it will be mostly clothing and linens and shouldn't be too heavy.

I added a strip of hit light LED lighting from top to bottom thru both compartments on the right hand side controlled by the push button switch you can see as the faint blue dot in the top of one photo. The blue indicator tells me when I left the light on.

The adjustable shelves allow fitting various cargos and the bottom shelf tips up nicely to allow access to the large bottom space. May be an AC in there eventually, not likely, but maybe.

I will let you know how it all works out after a few hundred miles.

Happy trails, john
Attached Thumbnails
closet photos 1.jpg   closet photos 2.jpg  

closet photos 3.jpg   closet photos 4.jpg  

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Old 05-06-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
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Name: Greg
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I like the idea of using pegs in the vertical supports to allow adjustment of shelf spacing as needs dictate. Forward thinking!
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:48 AM   #3
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Nice work John. Wish you lived closer might want to commission a job or two!!

I did adjustable shelves in mine as well - although not as nice! Glad I made them adjustable as after a few trips I decided that moving items around in various parts of the trailer to reflect the frequency of their use was needed.

You may want to consider adding a lip to the front of each shelf. I have found that the most common cause of having doors pop open when traveling is due to items on the shelves sliding forward and hitting the door.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:52 AM   #4
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Nice work indeed, thanks for the pics. I have been considering Scamp storage, and am going to get serious about finding & buying snap-top plastic containers of appropriate sizes to fit various areas. The closet is certainly one of those areas. I envision a two-wide stack of (largish shoe boxish) boxes in the closet. Yes, I will have to take them out to get to the ones on the bottom but will do that until I see how it works and what spacing I works for shelves. I want to do better but am honestly getting pretty tired of working on the old Scamp and am ready to go camping!
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:11 PM   #5
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Good solution! Great work, very well thought out.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:56 PM   #6
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Nice job.

I just finished shelves for my Parkliner. I decided I didn't want to drill, cut, etc anything in the trailer, so mine is made from unglued PVC pipe. The entrance door hinges and shower water and electrical supply goes through the closet, so I needed to make sure I could easily get the shelves out if there is a problem.

This picture is from when I finally got it to fit. Because of the weird size, it was trial and error(s). Ignore the colors - that is my camera acting up. The walls are actually light greenish brown.



Then I covered the shelves with some material left over from covering my dining room chairs. I also painted the PVC with a light brown paint for plastic. For some reason, the flash on my camera seems to have a mind of its own, so I don't have any good pictures of final product.

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Old 05-06-2014, 12:59 PM   #7
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Very nice job. Did you make a pattern for the shelves to fit? How? My 13' front closet could use shelves, but there is a rounded corner to deal with.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:32 PM   #8
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I can toss an idea out for making a template for curved surfaces. Cut cardboard to roughly the shape. It's ok if you only cut straight lines. Then lay a hose on the cardboard and against the curved wall. Trace along the hose.

If your traced line is not entirely on the cardboard because you are not able to get cardboard snug against the wall just cut the line you have then put cardboard back in place and repeat tracing the hose. Each time you trace the hose and cut the cardboard you get rid of some corners and make the cardboard fit snugger to the wall.

When your entire traced line is on the cardboard that is your final cut.

This is a picture of making the template for a new bunk mount to follow the curve at the front of the trailer.

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Old 05-06-2014, 02:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
I can toss an idea out for making a template for curved surfaces. Cut cardboard to roughly the shape. It's ok if you only cut straight lines. Then lay a hose on the cardboard and against the curved wall. Trace along the hose.
Good idea, but I'm not sure how well it would work in a small space like a closet.

I measured as best I could and made a paper template. Then I put the template in the closet in position I wanted it and made notes as to where it was too big or too small. Then I taped 3 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 printer paper to my template to approximate the adjusted size of template. Reiterated this several more times until it fit as close as I could get it.

Took a lot of patience, but was easy to do.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:33 PM   #10
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Name: John Michael
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To make the shelves I took an 18 by 18 inch piece of cardboard and drew lines originating in one corner every 10 degrees in a fan shape to the opposite two sides. Then I placed a cube shaped box on the floor of the Scamp's closet sized to approximate the first shelf height. Laying the cardboard square on top the box with the base of the drawn fan in the left front corner, the only 90 degree corner, I then measured the diagonal lines past the square to the rat fur. Most measurements fell between 24 and 30 inches. I then took a full size piece of cardboard and transferred my measurements. Then I cut along the far points to make the curve. It was a simple matter to lay the finished template in the closet and see how well it fit. I got pretty lucky on the first shelf. Turned out that all three shelves measured about the same so I made them all the same by tracing the cardboard pattern onto plywood. The bandsaw made short work of the final cutting, then sanding and poly. Very small objects might slip down the small gaps in the rear, but I don't plan on storing anything small in the closet and will use plastic bins if I do.

Hope that makes sense, john
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:02 PM   #11
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Not only are the mods everyone makes and posts on this site interesting, also the back story on how they were accomplished. Thanks!!!!
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:43 PM   #12
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Another nice job John. I've been wanting to add shelves also and you just pushed me over the edge. Of all the shelf mods I've seen here yours is, to me, the way to go. A few questions; how did you anchor the curb side uprights, dia of pins and where did you pick up power for the lights? If you end up with sag with the 1/4" maybe go to 3/8" BB.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:46 PM   #13
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Name: John Michael
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Another nice job John. I've been wanting to add shelves also and you just pushed me over the edge. Of all the shelf mods I've seen here yours is, to me, the way to go. A few questions; how did you anchor the curb side uprights, dia of pins and where did you pick up power for the lights? If you end up with sag with the 1/4" maybe go to 3/8" BB.


Dave,

Thanks for your kind words.

The curb-side uprights friction fit between the floor and the permanent Scamp shelf that forms the closet ceiling. I then drove some brads thru this ceiling downwards into the uprights (I love air tools on the unusual occasions when they are called for). The upright's bottom ends are not attached but make nice depressions in the closet's carpet, fitting tight to the floor and leaning against the rat fur/fiberglass outside wall. The adjustable shelves are notched to fit around the uprights so there really isn't anywhere for them to move.

I powered the lights from the bathroom light whose wires are exposed in the closet. Scamp fuses the lighting circuits at 10 amp and since I switched to all LED lights there will be plenty of power. I considered ⅜ inch plywood but was worried about additional weight so told myself I can always laminate a couple of ⅓ by 1 inch strips on the bottom of each shelf if sag is a problem. I may also add a curb on the front edge if cargo shifting proves troublesome.

Warning to all. The bathroom wall is very thin. Its difficult to use screws in such a way that fasten securely and don't poke thru the fiberglass into the bathroom. Even with care I raised a very slight pimple on the bath side on my first try. I think I would use an adhesive next time and forget the screws. 3m's super weatherstrip adhesive is my go to all purpose adhesive. It sticks very well to nearly anything, but can be messy. Don't spill any where you don't want it. Just cut some lath to make spring clamps spanning from the upright to the wall opposite to provide clamping pressure while the adhesive cures.

Happy camping, john
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:57 PM   #14
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Roger Dat, I love the hose idea for making the curves! Thanks
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