Replacing RV cabinets
If you’re renovating an RV, you may be looking for replacement RV cabinets before tackling a new sink for the kitchen or finding the right sofa for the living area.
The questions start arising of whether you should replace them, or should you just fix up and paint the current cabinets?
Well, as I’ve been searching for RV cabinets for my own caravan (travel trailer) I have VERY quickly come to the conclusion that either fixing the old ones, or getting someone to make new ones, is the only option available to me.
This is particularly true for older RVs.
Ours is 40 years old so unless I should happen to find somewhere to purchase RV cabinets that are from another caravan like ours, I will either need to fix our current ones, or ask someone to make some for us.So let’s have a look at those meagre options:
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1. Buy Used RV Cabinets
If you’re wanting to buy used cabinets for your RV, I would start by doing a Google search for your specific RV Make and type of RV and approximate year of manufacture.
I wouldn’t go too specific with the exact model that you have, as that may limit your results too much.
For example, you could try ‘Keystone Fifth Wheel 2008 used cabinets’. And then depending on whether you get any results from google, refine or broaden your search.
So if you get loads of results that are almost right, but not quite, then be more specific with length or model number.
If you don’t get any results at all, you might just try ‘Keystone used cabinets’
There is no doubt, you are going to get a ton of ‘used RV’ results, but keep trying to refine your search to see if anything comes up.
Don’t be too surprised if you don’t find much though.
I found lots of used RVs, and RV overhead cabinet hinges, doors and latches. But not much for the actual RV cabinets.
You might also try doing a search on Craigslist or eBay for your specific cabinet.
The other place I would search is the manufacturers website. They will often have a parts section where they will sell used components.
There are also online retailers that you could try, like:
I would like to think that buying (lightly) used cabinets would be the easiest option, but they’re so hard to find that I don’t really like your chances of that.
If you are able to find replacement RV cabinets, here’s an article with steps on how to install those RV cabinets.
If however, you can’t find anything second hand, you’ll need to move to the next options of: 2) Fix the current cabinets, or 3) Get someone to make new cabinets for you.
2. Fix the RV cabinets
I think I’m going to need to up-skill on my (non-existent) wood-working skills if I was to rebuild our cabinets! With all the curves in our caravan, this is a daunting prospect for me.
But if I were just replacing different parts of the cabinet (like the bits that are broken) then I’m sure I’d be okay.
Replacement RV cabinet doors
You may be able to find suitable replacement doors only at places like Discount Camper Parts.
If you’re a handy wood worker, you could replace them yourself like this guy:
(Actually, if you were like this guy, then you certainly wouldn’t need to be on my website looking for instructions! #amiright)
Replacing RV cabinet hinges
Okay, so this is one area where you’re going to have no problem what so ever in finding replacements. Whether it’s the RV kitchen cupboard hinges or the RV overhead cabinet hinges you’ll find loads AND LOADS everywhere.
First stop: Amazon (see below)… and every other RV parts supplier online.
I found this video from the superstars RV Geeks for repairing the RV cabinet door lift strut, which I would imagine would be a pretty common problem too.
RV cabinet latches
Since the latch is the thing that keeps the cabinet door closed as you’re bumping down the highway, you’ll ned to make sure that your latches are strong, but also easy to operate.
If you have young children, then you’ll also need to consider latches that they can’t open… but you can.
Again, you could start with Amazon.
Or The Home Depot. Soooo much to choose from!
Painting RV cabinets
I have a very ‘slap dash’ approach to painting (i.e. I just paint… it’s lucky if I even clean the surface first :-O) so I’m not the best person to ask about this! Luckily, my friend Ashley does know what she’s talking about and here are her 9 Tips for Painting RV Cabinets.
She’s got an awesome painting guide for painting the interior of your RV, including cabinets, which I recommend.
The Ultimate Guide to Painting Your RV Interior
3. Make new cabinets
Make them yourself
Clever and skilled people can make their own RV cabinets and furniture, so they can be exactly what you want. You can use whatever materials you want and make your own lightweight cabinets for RV.
Aftermarket RV cabinets
Here are a couple of manufacturers of aftermarket RV cabinets that may be able to make exactly the cabinet that you need.
Or you could commission someone else to make them for you. I would start with your local RV manufacturers or dealers to see if they have a local craftsman that they could recommend.
Of course, you could ask any cabinet maker to do the work for you, but you would need to make sure they’re comfortable with the sometimes curved walls and unusual obstructions (like wheel wells) of an RV, and the importance of lightweight cabinets for your RV.
How do you remove RV cabinets?
In the video below Kali shows us the process she goes through in removing her RV kitchen cabinets, ready for a contractor to come in and make some new ones.
There’s a new fad that’s been doing the rounds of RV renovations. It’s one of the trendy decor ideas that you either love… or hate.
Open shelving in the kitchen instead of RV overhead cabinets
Me? I LOVE it.
However… I also know that it would drive me a little bit nuts having to take the stuff down every time we move.
But the biggest reason it wouldn’t work for us?
I don’t have beautiful stuff to put out on display on those shelves. My cups are all mismatched, my cookware old and battered, and I know I’d end up putting the ‘often used’ things up there rather than the ‘prettiest’ things. Which would defeat the purpose of the open shelves for me. (I like pretty, I just don’t do it very well myself.)
Here are some examples of people that have done it very right though:
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If you can pull off the open shelving look, just think how much work that would save in replacing or repairing your RV cabinets!
If your cabinets are beyond repair… it may be your only option!
Have your replaced or repaired your RV cabinets? What did you do?
Wednesday 11th of November 2020
I should add that I don’t take your suggestion to contact manufacturers as helpful because I don’t like my RV kitchen, so why contact them? I got it for other reasons and have always intended to redo the kitchen. I just need counter and cabinets to configure into the newly created space. I am NOT handy, so can’t do it myself.
Wednesday 11th of November 2020
Everything covered except where to buy new cabinets if you want to renovate. Google doesn’t have much either. Is this really such an odd request? I want to buy ready made as it should be more economical than hiring a cabinetmaker. DIY stores have this sort of thing for homes, why nothing comparable for RV’s? I’m tearing out my entire kitchen cluster and want to replace it with a different style and color--help!