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Whether you own a camper or a commercial van, achieving optimum utilization of space available inside the vehicle is a must. Not putting thought or effort into devising the best possible way to organize items you haul in your van, is a surefire recipe for disaster.

There are several things you need to consider when on the road, using your van as a mobile home or a mobile office. Before you get started with van storage and shelving, ask yourself these questions –

  • What are you going to use the van for?
  • How often will your van be on the move?
  • What are the various items that you intend to haul in your van?
  • Does this include heavy equipment like ladders?
  • What is the approximate cumulative weight you expect to haul?
  • Can you distribute your materials by type, size, and weight?
  • What kind of shelving best suits your unique needs?

This step is important because your usage and storage needs will be different from those of other van users. Living in a van versus working out of a van are two very different things. For instance, a mobile home will need vastly different things when compared to those needed in a commercial van that is used for, say, food delivery, carpentry, or electrical contracting.

Once you have satisfactory answers to all these questions, it is time to start planning the layout of the interior of your work van. You can refer to a ton of van life layout and commercial van interior design ideas online, on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. The idea here is to create a unified aesthetic in the rear area of your van, to give the interiors of your vehicle a professional look while ensuring it effectively serves your material and equipment storage requirements on a day-to-day basis. Aluminum shelving and contoured steel shelving for standard height vans are bestsellers in this category – we recommend you check these options out before you read any further.

Space Saver Contour Shelving With Open Back - American Van Equipment

Let us discuss the most innovative and cost-effective van shelving hacks put together by the experts at American Van.

  1. Hidden storage

Storage solutions like pop-up hinges, slide-out or swing-out shelving, and swivel tabletops are excellent as they are handy options that you can use as and when required. The best part about investing in hidden storage is that they don’t occupy a lot of space when they are unused, giving you lots of flexibility in the cargo area of your van.

  1. Small bins and boxes

Smaller items, like screws, nuts, bolts, pins, clips, spray cans, paints, brushes, tools, and other small attachments can create a lot of clutter and make noise by clanking together if they are not stored in the right-sized boxes. For that reason, having dividers, holders, trays, and small storage bins, preferably made from plastic or fabric, is always a good idea. Check out these handy van shelving units and accessories.

  1. Tie-downs and bungee cords

While you may have the best storage solutions, they are of no use if your material keeps sliding and shifting when the vehicle is in motion. To ensure this does not happen, it would be wise to invest in a few tie-downs, ratchets, and bungee cords that would help secure any loads and items you haul in your van.

  1. Utilize the vertical space and doors

Creating an efficient and space-effective storage layout in your van calls for a creative approach. A lot of van owners often overlook the vertical space available in the cargo area. Instead of taking a horizontal-first approach, it is better to design van shelving in a way that makes maximum use of the vertical space available in the interior of your van. Utilizing the vertical space along the walls of the van will help ensure that you have more floor room in the middle, which you can use for activities like cutting, welding, etc. The inner side of your rear door, is a potential surface. You can use it to store items by installing hooks, carabiners, and small trash bins on it. Explore American Van’s Floor Saver Shelving here.

  1. Use those awkward corners smartly

Once you are through planning the layout of primary shelving in your van, identify unused corners and small areas that you can use creatively to keep other material. Van owners often struggle to find the perfect place to stow away stuff like pipes, ropes, hats, shoes, uniforms, etc. Utilizing awkward and empty corners to keep things like these will help you maximize the space available in the rear area. You can look at American Van’s utility hooks and special application van shelving for more ideas.

So, how many of these ideas have you already thought of or implemented? We would love to hear about more hacks and ideas that would help other van users – feel free to tell us in the comments section below!

Shop Superior Van Shelving Units Online

We offer the widest and most versatile selection of American Van Equipment and van shelving units for contemporary commercial van users – from lightweight aluminum options to heavy-duty steel variants. You can either choose from our readymade rack and shelving options or opt for customized van shelving (if you cannot find a ready-to-install system that satisfies your needs).

Get started right here by exploring the huge variety of van shelving accessories and storage bin systems that we offer online at American Van Equipment.