How To Keep RV Cabinets And Drawers Closed When Traveling

Riding around in an RV should be a fun experience. You're on the road, enjoying nature's beautiful scenery for hours on end. The last thing you'd want interrupting that tranquility is having all of your cabinets and drawers constantly sliding and swinging open. Having all of the content in these storage spaces scatter everywhere isn't just inconvenient, but it's also a safety risk. But just how are you supposed to keep the cabinets and drawers closed while you're traveling? We researched this to compile a list of options you can try to keep all of the cabinets and drawers closed. The good news is that none of these options are pricey at all.

There are several options to keep your RV cabinets and drawers closed:

  1. Use child safety locks
  2. Wrap them in bungee cords or rope
  3. Use Velcro strips
  4. Roll your rug (for cabinets/drawers close to the ground)
  5. Install magnetic latches 

We also have some advice to keep the contents in your closets and drawers secured. Keep reading to learn some tips for that.

View of the inside of a new mobile home, How To Keep RV Cabinets And Drawers Closed When Traveling

Using Child Safety Locks

Child safety locks are an excellent method of keeping your cabinets closed. If you already have small children in your household, you'll be used to installing them.

For those without younger children, these locks are lightweight, economical, and easy to install. No tools are necessary to install these. Plus, if you happen to have quite a few items in the cabinets or drawers, these locks will still hold strong. Many child safety locks can withstand around 20 pounds of force; it keeps your stuff secured and your little ones or pets safe. 

Some warnings to keep in mind if you choose this option:

  1. These locks aren't the most convenient option for top cabinet doors. You often need to attach the latch to the top of the cupboard. Due to the build of upper cabinet doors, you may have to use another option for those.
  2. First-time child lock users may need some getting used to before trying this. They don't always easily release, so one could attempt to pull with too much force. This can break the lock and possibly damage the drawer or cabinet.

A good option is Child Safety Strap Locks by Jool Baby Products. It comes in a pack of four and is adjustable to keep everything shut. 

Click here to view this child safety lock on Amazon.

Tie Them with Bungee Cords or Rope

If the idea of installing something seems like a hassle, here's an easy to remove and replace option. 

First, close the cabinets and drawers fully shut. Once you do, tie the rope or cords to the handles of the cabinets or drawers. Then, pull them to ensure they're tight. Lastly, tie or hook the two rope or cord ends together. You'll then be able to drive off and not worry about it opening. 

Because it's a rope or a bungee cord, it has enough strength to hold almost everything together. 

Note that not all RV cabinets and drawers are designed the same. Some have handles (which are the ones where rope/bungee cords come in handy), and some have knobs. You'll need to use some other method of securing cabinets and drawers if they have knobs.

But if your RV has handles, that's great. And you probably will need many of them. So look into the 24-piece assorted bungee cord set; it comes in various lengths for every cabinet and drawer length or size.

Click here to view these bungee cords on Amazon.

Attach Velcro Strips

Velcro is more commonly used to help fasten shoes, hang picture frames on the wall, keep loose cords organized, or fasten up a jacket. 

But it can also be used to secure cabinets and drawers. 

Unless those cabinets and drawers are small, you shouldn't rely on Velcro to keep them closed. They're not strong enough to withstand much force, meaning they can fail to work if the weight is too heavy. Even if a small amount of force is applied, continuous use of Velcro can reduce its effectiveness. Depending on how long you use it, you'd have to replace it with a new one now and then. 

Only use Velcro strips for your smallest cabinets and drawers. You likely can't store heavy objects in it anyway, so you won't have to worry about the Velcro holding too much force.

If the weight of the content inside the cabinets and drawers doesn't exceed five pounds, you can purchase the ten-pack Velcro adhesive strips. 

Click here to view these velcro strips on Amazon.

Roll up Your Rug

You don't even need to buy anything for this technique. You can use the rugs already in the RV. 

For this method, all you need to do is fully roll up the carpets. Then you wedge it on the ground against the cabinet or drawer. A heavy towel can do the trick as well. We suggest that you place all of your items in the bottom shelves and cabinets if you do this. This technique won't help with cabinets or drawers higher than ground level. 

A passenger might need to readjust the rug or towel every once in a while. As you drive, it's a decent chance of the rug or towel unraveling, thus making the cabinets or drawers susceptible to opening again. 

We suggest that you combine this technique with one of the other previously mentioned techniques. If you have to put heavier items on the bottom shelves, combining the rug/towel with one of the above items will increase the ability to resist the force of the weight.

Install Magnetic Latches

Magnetic cabinet latches are a simple to use option for keeping your cabinets shut. These latches are pretty much two powerful magnets working together. Installation is easy, too. We'll provide instructions for that later.  

These aren't weak magnets either; many latches can secure up to 20 pounds of force despite their small size. Latches with an all-metal build will provide the best results.

For security with several cabinets and drawers, look into the 20-pack magnetic door catch by JQK. 

Click here to view these magnetic latches on Amazon.

How Do You Secure the Contents of RV Cabinets and Drawers?

So you have some options for keeping cabinets and drawers closed. Now we'll provide some suggestions for keeping the content inside the cabinets and drawers secured.

Storage Containers are Your Friend

One reason why stuff could fall out of cabinets is that everything is just placed without much protection. Sometimes, it could be overfilled. In either case, use various storage containers to put your items in instead of in the cabinets or drawers. Examples include boxes, cartons, plate holders, and pan holders. 

There are plenty more you can look into. It just depends on which particular items you need to keep organized.

Shelf Liners Prevent Sliding

Some items (like ones made of glass) aren't that easy to store. In this case, you'll want to get a shelf liner to keep it steady. 

These come in a giant roll, and you can use scissors to cut it to the needed length. Place it on an empty shelf, then proceed to place your items on it. Don't put any items so close together that they're touching; that could damage the items while you're driving.

Using this with storage containers like plate or pan holders will sharply increase the stability of these items. 

How Do You Install an RV Drawer Latch?

As promised, here's the step by step of installing a magnetic latch to a cabinet door or drawer.

  1. Place the magnet base on the cabinet or drawer shelf and use a pencil to mark the mounting holes.
  2. Drill holes at the length outlined in the instructions manual. This length can vary but might be roughly 1.5 millimeters long.
  3. Using a screwdriver, screw in the bolts included in the packaging into the holes.
    1. Do NOT drill it in as it could mess up the cabinet or drawer structure.
  4. Align the magnet catcher with the base. Then repeat the same steps as above on the cabinet or drawer door.

This is a general installation guide. Follow the instructions included in the packaging for exact details and measurements.

How Do You Keep RV Fridge Contents From Moving Around?

We've suggested items to keep your dishes and cookware stable, but what about everything in your fridge? You probably have it stacked for the journey, and you're afraid everything will spill. To reduce those chances, consider getting trays and baskets to keep things organized. Like the shelves already installed in the fridge, these trays and baskets help keep things in place. 

Regardless of how you organize the fridge's contents, do not stack anything. Stacking things in an RV fridge when you're supposed to be traveling is why so many things spill. If everything is lying on a flat surface (preferably sorted in bins, so they don't wobble too much), it's less likely for spills or internal fridge damage. 

If you're not sure how to properly organize your fridge, we have a guide that will help you with that.

Wrap Up

We know that you're excited about your next RV journey. Now you'll be prepared to travel without having to worry about things flying all over the place. Use one or more of the items mentioned to prevent inconveniences, damages, and spills. 

Feel free to check out our reviews of items you can get to enhance the RV experience even further.

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  1. I am annoyed by the RV’s cabinets and drawers swinging open every time they hit a bump on the road. Knowing how to keep RV drawers closed is essential for a peaceful journey. You can tie child safety locks onto the handles of your cabinet or drawer or you should place magnetic latches on the sides, top, or bottom edges of the cabinet or drawer. Another way store your items in baskets, boxes, or bins, this method can even help you maximize your space. Avoid overloading the RV’s cabinets and drawers. This way, when the drawer does open, only a few items will get pushed out.

    • Moreover, I recommend placing your heavier and bulkier items at the back to prevent them from spilling out. Also, make sure to pack the items snugly to keep them from moving.

  2. Thank you for writing this article. I was very annoyed with the clatter of items in the cabinet when we moved and the refrigerator moved when we passed the bump. I’ll probably have to use magnets or non-slip mats like you say. Thank you for writing this.

  3. Everyone has one of those annoying cabinet doors that just won’t stay closed. These JQK catches solve that annoying problem. Great little set. Very happy with them and the quality.

  4. I ordered Hardware House for our pantry cabinets in our RV. They matched perfectly and were easy to install. Works great and stays in place when we are traveling.

  5. I bought a 2018 RV about a month ago, and 3 of the original drawer latches broke on our first trip. Rather than fool around getting poor replacements from the manufacturer, I replaced them with these Camp’N RV cabinet door latch, and they work great. It was made by Durable ABS plastic: high impact ABS plastic material ensures that the device remains functional for years to come, simple to install with necessary mourning hardware. It can offer this benefit because of its 5lbs of pull force, which ensures the device won’t have trouble even in bumpy traffic.

    • Most bulk buyers won’t be able to help themselves, either, considering this Camp’N RV cabinet latch option comes as a 4-pack. It represents a perfect bargain for these shoppers, especially with its lower cost and excellent performance results.

  6. I use a Camp’N RV cabinet latch, these Camp’N latches have nice grooves or bevels, especially at these corners, which makes them long-lasting and less likely to break. I may need to replace all of my door and drawer latches as time goes on, but I will replace them with these Camp’N latches. Highly recommended.

  7. On our last RV trip, one of my drawers catches broke. I had to tie the drawer in when we traveled. That was annoying. Got home and ordered these cabinet latches from Camp’N to replace. Took less than 5 minutes to a total perfect snap catch and we are back in business again. Exactly the right fit. Screws went in easy.

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