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Here’s 5 options for installing wardrobe shelves in a Jayco camper trailer.
I’m working my way through this list of the 35 most popular modifications for our Jayco Swan…
…and I’ve found some great ways to make the most of the hanging space in the tall wardrobe.
But I wasn’t sure which one to do?
So I looked into the pros and cons of each.
Here’s what I found:
1. Hang some collapsible shelves from the existing clothes hanging rail
These hanging shelves come in various widths and lengths.
The standard go-to option seems to be this type here:
- No installation. You don’t even have to remove the existing hanging rail.
- Cheap. At around $25, you can’t go wrong.
- Quick. If you want shelves within half an hour, here you go!
- No modification required. No drilling or cutting.
- Durability. Over time these can lose their shape.
- Lose space. Unless it’s a perfect match, you lose a bit of space down the sides.
Verdict: The cheapest and easiest way to get some functioning wardrobe shelves in your Jayco camper
Best place to buy: The ones pictured are from Bunnings (or you can get them here on eBay for about the same priced)
2. Install some Flexi Storage wire shelves
You have to admit:
These look pretty good.
So when I saw this I was off to Bunnings
(I thought it’d be a good match for the baskets on the side of our wardrobe)
[if you’re interested here’s our how-to for the DIY Bed Divider]
After some careful measuring, to make 4 shelves I bought:
- 1 x hanging track (666mm)
- 2 x double slot wall strip (1206.5 mm)
- 8 x wire shelf brackets (350 mm)
- 2 x wire shelfs (1225 mm)
This stuff just all clips together really easily.
- Adjustable. If you need to move the shelves up or down it’s pretty easy
- Stable. It all clips together so it won’t move when the wardrobe’s on its side
- Removable. In case you decide you don’t want shelves.
- No drilling. Once it’s together it all just locks in place and doesn’t move (even when the wardrobe’s on its side)
- Cost. That little shopping list cost me $117.34. But the biggest issue…
- Weight. The parts add up to 6.0 kg… doesn’t sound like much at first, but when you consider that’s 2% of a standard Jayco 300 kg payload?
Verdict: Looks great, and I WAS keen. I didn’t mind putting up with the cost, but when I got it all on the scales?
I actually decided not to install it.
3. Fit some removable shelves (pillars fixed with Velcro)
You can install wooden shelves in your Jayco’s wardrobe without doing any drilling.
(this is a clever idea from a lady called Tracy Bancroft who has a lot of great modifications for Jayco camper trailers)
You can do this by:
- Cut ply shelves to fit
- Cut 4 pieces of timber per shelf to create vertical supports
- Velcro the vertical supports in place
- Make an extra 4 supports to go above the top shelf
(this last step is to lock the top shelf in place while your wardrobe is on its side)
- No drilling. If you don’t have a drill, you could measure it up and have it cut to size while you’re at Bunnings
- Removable. If you change your mind and want to hang up a suit while you’re camping, it’s always an option
- House of cards. I have visions of our toddler pulling out some supports… too bad if they’re at the bottom
- A lot of work. I really liked this idea… until I worked out I’d need 20 pillars for 4 shelves. That’s a lot of cuts.
- More expensive than screwing. Once you add in heavy duty Velcro, you’re looking at about $60 for this
- Less flexibility than screwed in shelves. You’d need to re-cut all the vertical supports.
- No more secret compartment. The vertical pillars stop you from using the lockable false bottom mod
Verdict: It has a ‘cool’ factor, but I think for the time, effort, and expense I’d prefer doing something more permanent.
4. Fix shelves into the wardrobe using screws
There’s no rocket surgery going on here…
…and it’s what we’ve stuck with in our Swan
The dimensions of our wardrobe (2104 Jayco Swan OB) are 39 cm deep and 41.5 cm wide
[For an Eagle Outback it’s 39 cm deep and 27 cm wide… total height 117 cm]
So the shopping list:
- 2 x sheets of 6mm MDF (900 x 600mm)
- 2 x lengths of 18 x 18mm pine (1.2m)
A few cuts. Drill some pilot holes. Screws.
UPDATE: I’ve had quite a few messages asking for more details about how I installed these shelves in our Jayco Swan… so here we go:
- Cut the MDF to size (390 x 415 mm for us)
- Cut the pine so that there’s 2x lengths of 390 mm per shelf
- Drill 2x countersunk pilot holes in each length of timber
- Glue and screw each timber length using 30 mm wood screws
- Run a bead of wood glue on top of each timber support, the pop the shelves on
- Simple. Only a few cuts and screws and you’re finished
- Cheap. No need to buy extra wood or bits and bobs like Velcro or shelf pins (the total cost was $27.22)
- Sturdy. Once they’re in, they’re in. No falling off during transit. Or because of toddlers.
- Lightweight. 4 shelves plus the supports weighed in at 3.1 kg
- There’s drilling involved. You need to drill holes in the inside of the cupboard
- Shelf heights are fixed. If you change your mind regarding the types of containers you’re using, you have to unscrew to move
(then again… it’s still less stuffing around to change it than the Velcro option)
Verdict: Cheap, sturdy, light, and easy to install.
Want to know more about the baskets and zip-up fabric containers?
[we get asked about these A LOT]
While I was at it, I installed this DIY Lockable False Bottom too:
EDIT: Those boxes in the shelves are from Aldi… they’re the Easy Home Collapsible Storage Box
5. Fit some modular plastic drawers into the wardrobe
This sounds pretty simple…
…but it can actually be pretty tough to find plastic drawers that are a good fit
The cupboard dimensions in our 2014 Jayco Swan OB are 41.5cm x 39cm.
So these fit perfectly:
[they were about $60 but aren’t always available… check here on eBay, but make sure you confirm the size]
If you have one of the more narrow cupboards then these Clear Stackable Single Drawer Units from Bunnings are the go:
[34.5 cm wide and 25.5 cm deep]
If you’re even narrower… then there’s the Vesken from Ikea that are 23cm x 36cm
- Price. These work out cheaper when you factor in the price of shelves AND drawers
- Ease. No tools or installation required
- Removable. Take in and out pretty easily
- Finding ones that fit. This part of it took awhile… so hopefully this article helps you!
Verdict: Sticking some plastic drawers in a wardrobe feels a little makeshift… the only reason I didn’t go down this path in the first place!
Summary: Installing wardrobe shelves in a Jayco camper trailer
There’s different options for installing shelves in your wardrobe
[and we’ve chosen to stick with screwing in some lightweight MDF board]
Whichever option you choose, remember:
The exact dimensions of your wardrobe can vary between your Jayco camper trailer’s model and year.
(e.g. Swan vs. Hawk, 2014 vs. 2019, Tourer vs. OB)
Comment below if you have any questions. Otherwise…