(click on a picture to enlarge)
Many RV’s lack adequate or convenient shelving at your bedside. In our case, my wife has a bedside table and I had nothing. Turning out the light overhead meant almost standing up in bed to reach it. I suspended a half moon shaped Plexiglas shelf on each of our bedsides within easy reach while lying in bed. A couple of LED lights adhered with Velcro, solved the stretch for the overhead fixture.
The LED lights make good reading and nightlights. I can easily find my glasses by looking through the Plexiglas and it wasn’t until my first night in bed I realized that by placing my clock face down on the shelf I could see the time right from where I was laying.
Build Instructions for Plexiglass Bed Shelving
1. I cut the plexiglass into 2 identical square pieces on my table saw.
2. I marked out the rounded radius for the front edge using the plastic lid from my garbage can and then cut the radius using a hand held jig saw. Then I sanded the edges smooth with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a wood block.
3. I made the brackets that hold the shelves from hardware I salvaged from a potato chip store display. This is not available to you so I would suggest you use small “L” brackets you can get from any hardware store. You can screw the bracket to the wall with wood screws. If you have a pop rivet gun use it to attach the bracket to the shelf. This is a small fastener so it would look neat. If you don’t have a pop riveter then small bolts and nuts would work just fine.
4. The LED stick on lights can be bought for a few dollars at most dollar stores.
5. The plexiglass, you will have to check around to see who sells it. Or if you want to use salvage. Find a plexiglass floor protector that they use under office chairs to protect the carpet. If it is scratched, you can polish the scratches out using automotive cut polish or tooth paste and a rag under an electric sander and just go for it.
If you recall in RV-145 I showed you how to make an un-powered washing machine out of a plastic storage bin placed in the shower. The next best thing is the dryer. If your rig does not accommodate the real thing, the next best is a clothes line. Find an area that you can install a retractable clothesline. These are available at most RV dealers and hardware stores.
It gives me great satisfaction when I can reuse or re-purpose an item. If you have anything in your rig that is underused or in the wrong place, reuse it elsewhere. In our case it was a very nice fold down unused TV self. I relocated it from the bed-room and installed it on the back of our dinette. There it became a very usable desk and more counter space when preparing meals. The back of the dinette was hollow so I used expanding metal fasteners to literally bolt it to the paneling.
The image below left shows just a small selection of wall anchors that you can use to strengthen the the attachment of this shelf. All will work equally well depending on the thickness of the wall paneling you are screwing your shelf too. If you can find solid backing behind the wallboard, all the better.
The metal anchors expand using their own screw in the assembly.
The picture on the left is the result after moving the fold down TV shelf from the bedroom to the back of the dinette. This prompted my next project, building a new shelf out of cedar to cover up the damage. The right picture is the new shelf with hooks for hanging up your clothes for morning. The shelf is also a great place to charge electronics because there are 12v & 110v plug-ins on the ceiling above that used to be for a TV.
More Convenience Shelving
My (our) easy chair only lacked an end table. The magazine rack was always there so I fitted it with hinges, a stain proof Plexiglas top and a magnetic catch to hold it upright when not in use as a table. You can build or move an existing rack to any location in your rig. Add as many as you need they serve two functions and fold out of the way when not needed.
If you have some basic tools, don’t be afraid to tackle any of these projects. They will give you great satisfaction and improve the functionality of your rig. Contact me with your ideas you would like to share with your fellow campers.