What are the lightweight cabinets that can be used for RVs?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “What are the lightweight cabinets that can be used for RVs?” We will talk about marine-grade plywood and its benefits. We will also discuss durability, strength, and selecting the right material for RV cabinets. Furthermore, we will discuss extruded aluminium channels and a few tips on building RV cabinets.


What are the lightweight cabinets that can be used for RVs?

The different lightweight cabinets that can be used for RVs have been listed as follows:

  • Marine-grade plywood
  • Extruded aluminium channel
  • Oriented strand board

Marine-grade plywood 

Marine-grade plywood is a good choice for RV cabinets. The advantage of this plywood is that it does not rot and it can be found anywhere. The thickness of this plywood can vary and it also comes in a 3-ply panel. The weight of this plywood is between five and twelve pounds. A nine-ply panel will weigh between thirty-four and forty-four pounds.

Durability and strength

  • This kind of plywood has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than regular plywood. It is durable and built to last long. 
  • The face and core veneers are set perpendicular to each other, creating a stronger, more reliable material. 
  • Marine-grade plywood is also resistant to fungi, mould, and mildew. Hence, if you plan to make lightweight cabinets for your RV, marine-grade plywood is the best choice.
  • Another important feature of marine-grade plywood is its superior surface finish. It can be stained or painted, depending on your personal preferences. 
  • Compared to lower-grade wood, marine plywood is a hundred percent waterproof. This means your cabinets will not absorb water and the chances for mildew and mould spores are rather less.

Capacity to withstand

  • A marine-grade plywood cabinet will last for a long time on the road. Marine-grade plywood is a popular choice for outdoor structures. 
  • Boats and pontoons are made of this material. 
  • Because it can withstand extreme climatic conditions, it is also used for furniture. However, the price is more expensive than regular plywood.

Benefits of marine-grade plywood

There are several benefits of marine-grade plywood for an RV. These are:

  • The best thing about marine-grade plywood is that it’s waterproof. If you live in a watery area, there is no need to worry about decking out your RV because of leaks. 
  • Yet another important benefit of marine-grade plywood is its strength. While most other types of wood may become damaged over time, marine plywood is the opposite.
  • It has the potential to withstand extreme temperatures. Adding a waterproof coating will help retain this plywood for a long time. 
  • This type of plywood also resists rot and mould. A marine-grade plywood cabinet is also waterproof and will stay dry in most cases. Hence, it is one of the best options.

Selecting the right material for RV cabinets

Before you start building RV cabinets, it is essential to determine the right style and material. You might be inspired by a particular aesthetic. You can go modern and opt for sleek straight lines, or you can go for a rustic look with bare wood surfaces and curved surfaces. Be sure to pick cabinets that can last for several years in a row.

APA rated material

  • When selecting the cabinet material, be sure to get materials that are APA rated. 
  • These materials are designed for interior and exterior construction and it fulfils the same function even under high-moisture conditions. 
  • This kind of material is ideal for structural applications like bracing and gusset plates.
  • You can use a wide variety of plywood grades for interior furnishings. 
  • Marine-grade plywood for interior cabinets is one of the best options. 
  • If you need a light cabinet that has interior furnishings, you can choose a 1/4-inch thickness. However, if you plan on building a long unit, you might want to use a thicker piece of plywood.

Lightweight cabinets

  • While stick-built cabinets may be easier to construct, they don’t last as long as those made of full-size sheets of plywood. 
  • If you are considering installing marine-grade plywood in your RV, make sure that you look for one with a thicker wood surface. 
  • Note that a heavier cabinet is durable but it will also reduce the mileage a little.  
  • When making lightweight cabinets for your RV, it is equally important to find a type of plywood that can withstand outdoor conditions. 
  • This type of plywood is also resistant to water and is suitable for projects that require high levels of humidity. 
  • The plywood must be an ideal match for the RV and it should also have a good overall appearance.


Extruded aluminium channel

  • Aluminium channels are made from extruded aluminium. These lightweight cabinets are durable and can be welded according to your needs. 
  • Aluminium can be matched with the exact measurements and is available in a variety of colours and finishes. 
  • There are hundreds of different aluminium channel sizes, including standard U channels and U-channels in various thicknesses.
  • Extruded aluminium channel is often used in industrial and architectural applications due to its lightweight and resistance to corrosion. 
  • It is available in 6061 extrusions and features sharp right angles on the outside and inside corners. 
  • The lightweight makes it a good choice for industrial applications, including slat walls. It’s also durable and comes in different heights.
  • Aluminium channels are lightweight and rigid and can accommodate additional weight in various applications. 
  • Extrusion aluminium is easily fabricated and is easy to work with. 
  • It is also recyclable and resists corrosion and is available in construction kits. It can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications.

Building RV cabinets

There are also some great options for RV cabinets and building them on your own is going to be an exciting task. Most people use wood for cabinets and aluminium is the other option. When it comes to wood, there are several options and most of them can be used as long as the wood is not damaged by excessive water. Here are a few steps to building RV cabinets.

Measuring and planning before you start

The first and most important step is to measure and plan. Be sure to get your measurements right before you start. Plan the size of the cabinets according to their purpose. Try not to make a single cabinet that is huge since it will take up too much space and installing large cabinets can be a tough challenge.  

Building the frame of the cabinet 

  • The next step is to construct the frame of the cabinets. 
  • By constructing the frame of the cabinets, you will get an idea of what you need. 
  • Use plywood to construct the frame of these cabinets and connect the side panels after the frame construction. 
  • Be sure to use screws or nails rather than using only glue. 
  • Try to keep the cabinets as even as possible.

Installing the RV cabinets

  • Constructing cabinets is not too difficult if you have the right tools and the idea. The final step will be installing these cabinets. 
  • You might need some mounting brackets to attach the cabinets that you built. 
  • You can attach the frame first and then add the plywood or the sidewalls. 
  • Be sure to install hinges at the cabinet doors and handles to open them.
  • Properly construct the cabinets and try to keep them as simple as possible. 
  • RV cabinets can be of any size and the most important thing is that they are not too heavy.
  • These cabinets need to look attractive at the same time. Hence, you might need to polish the wood or use some varnish to give it a good appearance.



In this blog post, we will answer the question: “What are the lightweight cabinets that can be used for RVs?” We have discussed marine-grade plywood and its benefits. We have also discussed durability, strength, and selecting the right material for RV cabinets. Furthermore, we have discussed extruded aluminium channels and a few tips on building RV cabinets.





Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!