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Old 01-26-2014, 06:46 PM   #1
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Adding Shelving to a Shelveless Wardrobe

We have a Winnebago Access Premier and the closets on either side of the queen bed in the back have been an issue for us since we bought the unit. The closet on the left side of the bed is about 12" wide and about 30" high. We added a narrow shoe organizer to that closet. Not the best solution but it does work for such a small closet and adds some "shelves".

On the other side is a large 21.5"W x 24"D X 55"H closet with a bar at the top to hang clothes, but no shelves. I don't know about you but when we go RVing, we don't bring anything that needs hanging on a hanger. We have tried finding storage units that could be stacked but would allow us access the contents without pulling all the storage units out. We found one option but it wasn't large enough to fill the closet and resulted in dead space on the sides and back of the storage unit.

So this weekend I decided to build my own shelves with the goal of not drilling into the sides of the closet to allow for easy removal and to prevent screw holes/damage.

Items needed:

24" x 24" 1/4" Plywood (used 1/4" to not add unnecessary weight)
5/8" diameter wood dowels, 4' in length
8 Tension pins (found in the furniture hardware section of your local hardware store)

Prep Work:

I decided on a 13.5" shelf height and based on the height of the closet 3 shelves worked out well. I cut, sanded, and finished 3 pieces of plywood that fit loosely inside the closet. I wanted some movement to allow for movement in the walls during driving and the unevenness of the left closet wall. I stacked the 3 pieces of plywood evenly and drilled a hole in each corner of the plywood, drilling all the way through the 3 pieces of plywood. I then cut 16 13.5" length pieces of dowel (taking into consideration the height of the 1/4" plywood). Then I drilled holes in each end of the dowels to hold the tension pins (deep enough to push the tension pins about half way into the dowel).

Assembly:

I started out with 4 dowels positioned in the bottom corners of the closet. Each of those dowels had tension pins in the top. I placed the first piece of plywood on top of the dowels. The tension pins went up through the corner holes previously drilled in the plywood. I took 4 more dowels with tension pins in the top. I pushed those 4 dowels down on top of the tension pins poking up through the plywood. Positioned the next shelf, 4 more dowels with pins. That would be the last shelf. I then used 4 more dowels without tension pins and pushed them down on the tension pins poking up through the top shelf. I pushed the dowels down on the tension pins at a slight angle. As I pushed down on the dowels I started to straighten them up using the ceiling of the closet as downward tension on the vertical dowels. I verified that the top and bottom sets of dowels were positioned correctly (vertical) as they shifted somewhat during assembly.

As you can see the shelves turned out nicely. The finish doesn't match the cabinets in the motorhome, but that finish was what I had on hand and doesn't matter much considering it is behind a closet door and the shelves will be covered with clothes, etc. Note: With the shelves being 1/4" plywood, you really can't store really heavy items on the shelves. I can remove the shelves with no damage to the inside of the closet.

Anyway, hopefully someone else can use my idea and make better use of their tall "hanging" closet that lacks shelves!
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:23 PM   #2
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Nicely done! And the shelves won't work the cabinet loose when the motor twists back and forth as you roll down the road.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #3
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Those look great!!!
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:25 PM   #4
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Good job!
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:07 AM   #5
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Nice looking "remodel"
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
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Update:

The cold and humidity has caused the 1/4" plywood to sag in the middle. The grain of the wood was going sideways and the shelves were sagging front to back. I had to glue and screw 1" x 2" x 20" pieces of wood onto the sides (perpendicular to the grain) of the plywood. It appears to have solved the sag and the shelves no longer flex and can now support heavier items.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StringFellow View Post
Update: The cold and humidity has caused the 1/4" plywood to sag in the middle. The grain of the wood was going sideways and the shelves were sagging front to back. I had to glue and screw 1" x 2" x 20" pieces of wood onto the sides (perpendicular to the grain) of the plywood. It appears to have solved the sag and the shelves no longer flex and can now support heavier items.
Good add. We have an open above the combo w/d that is not well utilized. I need to do similar as you have done. Thanks.
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