How to Store Dishes in an RV (And Keep Them From Breaking)

broken plate

You live out of your RV, and paper and plastic cups and dishware got old to you fast. You missed the personality of your dishware back home. Every time you use these precious pieces though, you worry about them shattering. How do you store dishes in your RV so they won’t break?

Here are some handy ideas for keeping dishes in your RV:

  • Stackable cup holder
  • Non-stick shelf liners
  • Dish racks
  • Upright plate holder
  • Stack-A-Plate organizer
  • Shelf dividers

As the list above shows, you have plenty of fantastic options for keeping your favorite dishes intact when living in your RV for months at a clip or even full-time. Keep reading for product links and much more advice on how to store dishware.

6 Great Ideas for Storing Dishes in Your RV

1. Stackable Cup Holders

Stacking is highly recommended when storing breakable dishes in your motorhome.

The increased stability through stacking makes it a lot harder for any one individual piece to dislodge and fall, shattering on the floor in moments.

A stackable cup holder such as this one on Amazon is usable for bowls as well.

For under $8, this is a cost-effective, multifunctional tool since you can switch between cups and bowls seamlessly (although don’t store cups and bowls together, as then you can’t stack them).

What I also like about stackable cup and bowl holders is that if you’re washing the dishes at your RV sink, you can turn your dishware upside down, put a piece in the holder, and it will drain water.

The stackable cup holder I recommended per the link above is floor or counter-mounted, but there are no rubber grippers underneath to keep the holder in place.

Its plastic base will go sliding this way and that when you make a hard turn in your RV.

You might wish to mount the cup holder more permanently to your counter or even in an RV cabinet.

2. Non-Stick Shelf Liners

Is your RV luxurious enough to offer kitchen cabinetry? You want to use the cabinets, but you’re so afraid that gravity will cause the contents of the cabinet to tilt or fall forward when your RV is in motion.

Non-stick shelf liners can help to that end.

You can buy rolls of the stuff at a time for a very cost-effective price (I’m talking $25 for a 12-inch by 15-foot roll that will last you forever) and then trim down the liner to the exact specifications of your RV cabinet.

Most non-shelf stick liners come in a variety of colors and patterns so you can choose something that’s not only beneficial for your dishware but appealing in your RV kitchen as well.

As an alternative, you can always use an under-sink drip mat as a cabinet liner. These mats are made of rubber and feature grooves that will keep dishes in place when stored in your cabinet.

That said, the mats are a lot less cost-effective. They’re also smaller, so you’ll need more to cover all your cabinets.

3. Dish Racks

bamboo dish rack

When it comes to preserving your precious dishware in the tumultuousness that is a motorhome, sometimes you have to take everyday kitchen items and get a little crafty.

For instance, those dish racks you have lying around could really come in handy.

If not, then you might upgrade to a set like this courtesy of Amazon.

The two-piece bamboo dish rack features a series of upright prongs that can hold plates of all sizes.

The dish rack measures 3.7 inches deep by 12.5 inches tall by 5.1 inches wide, so it’s not a space hog on your tiny RV kitchen counter.

With 18 bamboo pegs in all, you have the space to store eight plates at a time. Potlids are also keepable here.

You can buy a set of four dish racks for under $20, which is a really great bargain. You’ll have enough of these that you’ll be set for a long time to come.

Like the stackable cup holder idea, I should note that these dish racks do not include any type of rubber feet underneath. They’re pure bamboo on all sides.

You might want to glue a rubber backing or otherwise mount the dish rack to prevent it from flying across your counter when someone in your RV guns it.

4. Upright Plate Holders

plate organizer in a small travel trailer

If some of the options I’ve presented so far have made you a little nervous because you just think there’s too much potential for your dishes to fall and break, then you might be interested in trying an upright plate holder like this one or this one from Amazon.

Simply designed and inexpensive to boot (you can buy one upright plate holder for under $20), the holder is made of translucent polypropylene that should hold up to everyday use.

Measuring 6.5 inches thick by five inches wide by 12 inches long, this dishware storage solution does take up a bit more counter space than some of the other options I’ve talked about, just so you know.

For the extra bit of room, this upright plate holder can store six dinner plates that are 11 inches apiece.

If you buy several plate holders, then you could have enough for your entire dinnerware collection!

Polypropylene is quite moisture-resistant, so even if your plates aren’t 100 percent dry when you stack them, you shouldn’t have to worry about mold or mildew developing.

That said, don’t make a habit out of wet plate storage if you can help it!

Oh, and another thing about polypropylene. It’s slippery. Not by a huge margin, but it’s slippery enough that the entire plate holder can go skidding along during RV drives.

You can always stack several of these plate holders in a cabinet to keep them more secure.

5. Stack-A-Plate Organizers


Motorhome kitchens are never going to match the size of your kitchen at home unless you bought a huge Class A RV because money was no object.

Thus, I understand that even though most of the storage solutions I’ve discussed are designed for saving space that they may still be a little too big for your kitchen setup.

You can’t say that about the Camco Stack-A-Plate organizers, which you can browse here on Amazon.

Camco is already a name that RVers know, love, and trust, which means the Stack-A-Plate should naturally be on your radar.

These plastic plate holders have a round shape that conforms to the shape of plates that are between 7 ¼ inches and 10 ¼ inches.

You get two plate organizers in each set, one for a smaller plate and the other for a larger plate. For under $12 for a set of two, that’s not a bad deal at all.

I love the Stack-A-Plate organizers for a lot of the same reasons that most RVers adore ‘em. This storage solution is made for RVs and promises fewer broken dishes and less dish rattling.

You can put the organizers in the dishwasher when they get dirty. Of course, since they’re only made of plastic, you can hand-wash them if you wish.

My favorite part is the nonslip backing that will keep the Stack-A-Plate organizers secure in your RV kitchen.

6. Shelf Dividers

Full-time RVers keep more than just ceramic or glass dishware in their kitchens but serving plates, baking tins, and the whole nine yards.

If all these items are sharing cabinet space together, now you have a new concern. What if the muffin tin falls on top of your cups and smashes them to bits?

For that reason, I’m quite impartial to shelf dividers.

You can choose from metal wire or plastic dividers. Even wood dividers are an option.

You slot the divider into your RV cabinet vertically. You will have to measure your cabinet dimensions before you shop for a divider to ensure a perfect fit.

You can choose how much space exists between each divider by pushing them closer to one another or pulling them further apart.

This way, if you have a sizable baking pan in your cabinet, you can give that more space than you would a slim stack of dishes.

When All Else Fails, Switch to Plastic!

plastic dishes

Even the best dish storage methods can’t always stand up to all the twists and turns that are required when driving an RV.

If you lose even one of your precious dishes, then, in my opinion, that’s one too many.

It’s not like you’re bringing dishware that’s been passed down over generations on your RV (at least, I wouldn’t think so), but even so, many dish sets will have sentimental value to you.

Once one piece is broken, the set is not the same!

I would recommend trying to swap out your glass or ceramic dishware for plastic instead.

Plastic dishware is lightweight so it’s easy to pull out of the cabinets and put back when the time comes. It’s usually cheaper too, which is always a nice bonus.

Even better is that plastic cannot shatter unless you were to apply great force to it. A plastic dish or cup falling out of the cabinet is not enough to do it.


Cleaning fragmented glass dishware from your RV is not only gut-wrenching because of the emotional connection but dangerous as well. One turn in your RV and that glass can spread everywhere.

Fortunately, you have plenty of great options for keeping more of your cups, plates, and bowls without having to worry about them shattering. Good luck!

Nicole Malczan

Nicole Malczan is a full-time professional freelancer for 10 years and counting. Some of her favorite topics to write about are camping and RV life. She quite loves spending time outdoors and dreams of owning an RV of her very own someday!

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