How to build cabinets for RVs?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to build cabinets for RVs?” We will discuss the steps to build cabinets for RVs and talk about the materials that are used for this project. We will also discuss the various types of RV cabinets. At the end of this post, you will get to know how to build cabinets for RVs in less than two days.

How to build cabinets for RVs?

To build cabinets for RVs, the following steps need to be followed.

  • Measure the area
  • Decide on the type of cabinets
  • Draw a layout for the cabinets
  • Build the frame
  • Add plywood to the sides
  • Fix the doors
  • Attach the handles
  • Paint the cabinets
  • Install the cabinets to the RV

Measure the area

  • Building cabinets for RVs is can be an exciting task and it can be done in just a couple of days if you have all the right materials in place. More than the material, you need to have a small plan in place to start this project.
  • First, you must measure the area where you plan on building the RV cabinets. If you plan on building the cabinets in the kitchen, there are a few different techniques that can be considered.
  • Some people want cabinets in the bedroom while some need cabinets in the living room of the RV. Depending on where you what to build your cabinets, you will need to take measurements of the area.

Decide on the type of cabinets

  • Various types of cabinets are used for RVs. It is important to decide on the type of cabinet that you need. Some people prefer overhead cabinets while some prefer the cabinets to be at eye level.
  • The most important part is to identify the type of RV cabinet that you need. There are metal, wood, plastic, and glass cabinets. Wood is the best choice since it provides a rich look and is also easy to work with.
  • It is also good to decide on the type of cabinet door that you plan on having. Some people have sliding doors while some have the usual doors installed.

Draw a layout for the cabinets

  • Once you have the measurements in place, you can go ahead and draw a layout for the cabinets. Based on the measurements, you can decide on the number of cabinets that you need.
  • It is always good to have cabinets in sets. Most people have four shelves together while some have three cabinets. This is entirely left up to you and you can choose to build these cabinets according to your needs.
  • Be sure to have equal height, width, and enough length when drawing the layout for the cabinets. Note down the measurements while drawing the layout for the cabinets. This will help you to build the cabinets with ease.

Build the frame

  • Next, you must build the frame of the cabinets. To build the frame you can use the usual 2 by 4s or smaller wooden beams if necessary. Building a frame will help you to get the outline of the cabinets and ease the process.
  • The frame must be constructed like a box with beams on either side. Build the frames according to the width, length, and height. Make sure that the frames are not too heavy and try to use wood that is light but strong at the same time.
  • Add vertical or horizontal beams to the frame to provide more support or sturdiness.

Add plywood to the sides

  • Once you have the wooden frame in place, the next step is to add plywood to the sides. Use plywood that is one or two inches thick and make sure that they are cut according to the proportion of the frame.
  • You can use adhesive glue to stick the plywood or use small screws that get them in place. Fix the plywood properly at the rear, top, bottom, and sides. Leave only the front of the cabinet open for the doors.
  • You can also use small nails and drive them through the plywood and the frame. Now, you will have a rectangular box that is covered on five sides.
  • If you plan on fixing the cabinets to the RV roof, you can screw them through by drilling a small hole in the frame. You can also add a bolt and nut to secure the cabinets wherever you plan on building them.

Fix the doors

  • Now that you have the frame and everything else in place, you need to go ahead and install the doors. Fixing the doors is a pretty simple task as you will require only a few materials.
  • Use plywood to carve the door for the cabinet. Measure the vacant space properly and ensure that there are no major gaps. Cut the plywood according to the space and add hinges on one side. On the other side, you can add a latch or fix door catchers without any hassle.
  • Door catchers are a better option and they are not too expensive. A single-door catcher should be enough for a single cabinet.  
  • Fix the door to the hinge and fix the other end of the hinge to the cabinet. Make sure to install the door catcher at the bottom or top. Door catchers are made up of magnets and they play a great role in keeping the doors in place.

Attach the handles

  • You will need handles to open and close to doors of the cabinets. Make sure to have a handle that can be fixed at the end of the cabinet door. There are plenty of cabinet handles that can be found and they are easy to install. Attach one handle to each of the cabinet doors.

Paint the cabinets

  • The next step is the most interesting part of this project. Painting is always a fun task and you can choose to paint the cabinets according to your preference. Just be sure to stick to a color that is good enough to match the interior of your RV.

Install the cabinets to the RV

Finally, you will need to install the cabinets in the RV. You can either fix them onto the roof of the RV with adhesive or screw them onto the roof directly. Make sure that the cabinets are installed properly since they need to be strong and secure while the RV is on the move.

Types of RV cabinets

  • There are several types of RV cabinets apart from the material alone. It is good to know the types of RV cabinets that can be installed in an RV. Here are some of the various types of RV cabinets used in RVs.

Integral cabinets

  • Integral cabinets are pretty popular and they are more commonly found in RVs. These cabinets are made up of a single piece of material which is mostly plywood or MDF. Most of the small RVs have integral cabinets since space is limited. These cabinets are also easy to install and they can be done on your own.

Framed cabinets

  • Framed cabinets are not the common ones that are used and they are more of storage shelves. These cabinets have a good finish and they are built with a sturdy wooden frame. These cabinets are equally easy to install.

Those were some of the common types of RV cabinets that are found today. Building a cabinet for RVs is an easy task. Some cabinets are built up of melamine shelves and some are constructed with particle board. Solid hardwood, plywood, MDF, and HDF are some of the best and easy options for building cabinets for RVs.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to build cabinets for RVs?” We have discussed the steps to build cabinets for RVs and talked about the materials that are used for this project. We have also discussed the various types of RV cabinets. What kind of cabinets would you prefer for your RV? Leave us a comment below and let us know.


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