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Storage can be a bit tricky when traveling in a small RV or camper van. Luckily, many creative folks have come before you and there are now plenty of options to help you carry all your gear. In this article, we’ll focus exclusively on bumper storage ideas to maximize space inside your RV.
Take it from me – you don’t want to store your bike on your RV’s bed and have to move it after you’ve driven all day and finally found a rest stop to pull into for the night. This is how your furry companion will look at you if you do.
So let’s avoid that and explore RV bumper storage ideas to keep your space organized and your travel companions (furry or human) happy!
Table of Contents
What is RV Bumper Storage?
RV bumper storage can take many forms, but here are the most common options:
- In-bumper storage
- Cargo carriers
- Bike racks
- Kayak racks
- Surfboard racks
- Ski and snowboard racks
15 RV Bumper Storage Ideas to Maximize Space
Here are some ideas to help you expand your RV’s storage capacity with a bumper accessory:
On most RVs, your bumper is either built to provide storage inside or it’s not. So this isn’t really an add-on option as much as it is a standard feature on many RVs. It’s the #1 inclusion on this list because not all RVers know about it, and it’s important to take advantage of this space if your RV offers it.
This storage area isn’t massive – most RVers use it to store their sewer hoses for that reason. But the added benefit of this is that it keeps your underneath storage free of smelly sewer hoses and eliminates the need for a sewer hose carry bag to keep the contents of your hoses from creating a mess under there too.
Open Cargo Basket
An open cargo basket is a great option for RV bumper storage because it can handle a wide variety of camping gear – a cooler, generator, storage box, and much more. It also happens to be one of the most affordable RV bumper storage ideas.
Most are fairly easy to install, but you will find options that mount to trailer hitches or a square bumper. The latter will be harder to install (and more time-consuming to remove), but it will help you retain access to your hitch if you need to tow anything behind your RV.
Enclosed Cargo Basket
One issue with open cargo baskets is that you’ll need to be adept at securing everything to the basket to avoid losing it as you’re heading down the road. This is especially important for transporting heavy items like a portable generator.
An enclosed cargo basket like this one helps to solve that issue by requiring fewer tie-down straps and minimizing the chances of lost RV cargo.
An enclosed basket gives you a contained bumper storage option that can easily handle the same variety of items that an open basket can. In fact, enclosed baskets are better for storing multiple smaller camping items because they are all secured inside a cage-like container.
Weather protection is an issue with both open and enclosed cargo baskets, but not with a cargo box. A cargo box like this Gear Deck Cargo Box offers a completely protected RV bumper storage idea that allows you to store camping gear, portable fuel tanks, and anything else you don’t have space for inside your camper.
One of the best parts of adding a cargo box to your RV bumper is the ability to throw just about anything in there. Plus, you don’t have to worry about strapping each individual item down like you would with an open cargo basket. Simply throw in what you want, close and secure the lid, and you’re on your way.
Cargo Bag for Weather-Resistant RV Bumper Storage
If you do opt for an open or enclosed cargo carrier mounted behind your RV or travel trailer for extra RV bumper storage, a cargo bag is a great add-on. The biggest benefit – it provides the weather protection that those rear bumper storage ideas are otherwise sorely lacking.
Cargo Carrier Plus Bike Rack
All RVers love multi-purpose solutions for storing extra gear and camping supplies. That’s why a cargo carrier that doubles as a bike rack is such an attractive idea for mounted RV bumper storage. Carry bikes when you have trails to explore and other gear when that need is greater.
Because this particular Tow Tuff cargo carrier is made of aluminum, it’s lighter than other models. That allows you to load it down without having an uneven travel trailer weight distribution that impacts fuel economy and towing safety.
Platform Bike Rack
A platform bike rack is arguably the best RV bumper storage idea to load and transport mountain bikes, road bikes, or e-bikes. Platform racks are a little easier to load and unload than other bike rack styles and many of them fold up so they don’t get in the way when you aren’t using them.
The only downside of platform bike racks is ground clearance. If you have a longer RV, a hitch-mounted bike rack may contact the ground when entering steeper driveways or less RV-friendly gas stations.
Pro Tip: The downside of mounting a cargo carrier to your RV bumper is the installation time and method. It will require the proper mounting hardware and may even require drilling mounting holes, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Raised Bike Rack for RV Bumper Storage
A raised bike rack like this one by Malone is the perfect bumper storage idea if you’re concerned about ground clearance. And some raised bike racks are much more affordable than a platform-style cargo carrier.
You’ll find raised bike racks for transporting up to four bikes, and you’ll mostly find models designed to be mounted to your RV’s trailer hitch. That means you won’t be able to tow anything if you utilize this bumper storage solution.
The last hitch-mounted option for RV bumper storage is a V-shaped rack that can carry up to four bikes. It’s a lightweight design with adjustable wheel cradles and removable wings that make it much easier to store when you remove it from your RV.
Around the Spare Bike Rack
If a bumper or a hitch bike rack isn’t an option for your RV, you can opt for a bike rack that can be mounted on your RV’s spare tire. This is a great option for rear-entry RVs that won’t be great for mounting a bike rack on a square bumper or trailer hitch.
Scooter Carrier for RV Bumper Storage
If you need to carry a scooter, wheelchair, or any other heavy gear with wheels, a carrier like this is an excellent cargo carrier. It allows you to roll whatever you need to transport up onto it instead of doing heavy lifting.
Most of these cargo carriers are mounted to your trailer hitch, but you may find options designed to mount directly to a square bumper as well. They’ll still require tie-down straps and the right technique for securing those heavy items, but getting them onto the rack will be much easier.
Vertiyak RV Kayak Rack
Transporting kayaks inside or on top of an RV can be nearly impossible, which is why many RVers opt for folding kayaks or inflatable paddleboards. However, it’s not impossible if you first equip your RV with the right rear bumper storage idea – a vertical kayak rack.
Most vertical RV kayak racks mount to your hitch and can hold up to two kayaks. The important thing to consider before selecting this option is your kayak’s length. They can’t be much taller than your RV or you’ll increase your height clearance demands when navigating underpasses, bridges, or even campgrounds with low-hanging branches.
Hitch-Mount Bike and Kayak Rack
Storing both bikes and kayaks in your RV is only possible with the perfect bumper storage rack designed for said purpose. This particular rack can fit two bikes and two kayaks, all aligned vertically to maximize space behind your RV.
The best part is that you won’t have to remove both bikes or kayaks if you only need one. Each item can be removed separately, making this one of the most efficient storage solutions for RV bumpers.
Hitch-Mount Surfboard Rack for RV Bumper Storage
Let’s stay your RV travels or van life adventures are dedicated to chasing the swell on any US coastline – then you’ll need a safe and secure way to transport your surfboards. Sure, some camper vans don’t make it too difficult to store boards on the roof, but a rear bumper storage rack for your surfboards is much easier.
You’ll have quick access to your boards when the waves are pumping and the ability to remove the rack if you’re heading out for a trip in the interior. If you equip your RV with an outdoor shower, this rack also makes it easy to rinse your boards off after each epic session.
Hitch-Mount Ski and Snowboard Rack
Transitioning from summer stoke to winter stoke, the final rear bumper storage idea on our list is perfect for those chasing powder. A ski and snowboard rack that mounts to your trailer hitch keeps your snowsports equipment secure and handy on the road.
You won’t have to take up valuable storage space inside your RV or climb up onto the roof to retrieve skis or boards from a roof-mounted cargo carrier. Plus, this particular rack stores up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards, so there’ll be plenty of room for your shred buddies to join your next winter camping trip.
Other RV Storage Solutions
Of course, there are other opportunities to maximize space inside your camper with compartment storage, kitchen storage, bathroom organization, and much more. Here are a few more articles that will help you avoid clutter on your next RV adventure:
- 17 RV Organization Tips for a Small Space
- 19 Space-Saving RV Storage Ideas for your Camper Kitchen
- 12 RV Bathroom Storage Ideas to Stay Clutter-Free
Conclusion on RV Bumper Storage Ideas
Improving storage in your motorhome or travel trailer will make even the shortest of trips more comfortable. We hope you’ve enjoyed these RV rear bumper storage ideas, but we’d love to hear from you if you have any others we didn’t think of to help transport your RV accessories.
Share your favorite ideas for organizing your RV in the comments below!