Many truck campers have an underutilized bunk over the dinette. Here are five different ideas for maximizing a dinette bunk.
1. Magazine Rack, Fishing Pole Mount, and Safe Storage
Submitted by: Jeff Dieter, 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500, 1999 StarCraft 952
We are empty nesters and don’t usually have guests staying with us in our camper. So, in our quest for storage that could be neat and organized, we converted the upper bunk of the camper.
We removed the mattress and created three magazine racks that can be used when the bunk is closed. When the bunk is open, we have a 16-inch by 14-inch by 6-foot storage cupboard.
We installed a gun rack that can can also be used for my fishing pole, awning crank, and other long items.
We also installed a small safe to store small valuables.
2. Bunk Storage Organization Containers
Submitted by: Shelley Pike, Indiana, 2009 Ford F350, 2006 Lance 9’6″ Sportsman
Items that I stored in the cabinets were constantly falling because they were piled so high. At times, I couldn’t even find what I was looking for. So, I bought plastic-covered wire shelves at Menards and cut them to length for each of the cabinets in our camper.
I hung the shelves with 3M hooks and tape. I also drilled a small hole in each hook and doubly secured it with a one inch drywall screw. The six-foot shelf in the cabinet shown could not be inserted in one piece so I cut a piece of one-by to stabilize the match-up area and fastened the one-by with L-brackets top and bottom.
I found clear plastic tubs that exactly fit the top shelf and each is labeled according to contents. The bottom shelf has some open storage and some tub storage. These shelves have organized the cabinets to the point that everything we need to carry has a spot with room left over. I don’t know why I waited six years!
3. Snow Skiing Storage
Submitted by: D Kaiser, 2016 Ford F350, 2015 Lance 1052
We needed a place for skiing equipment. The storage over the dinette covers too much of the table when it’s lowered, so I made a box that sits on the storage supports. It leaves us plenty of room to continue to use the table.
I took a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of birch plywood and cut two feet off, which made it 4-foot by 6-foot. Then, I cut a 4-inch piece six feet long and cut a piece 20-inches wide and six-feet long.
I used a biscuit jointer and joined the two together with wood glue and then clamped them together. I let it dry overnight. The next day I cut out the areas to go around the window in the camper. I sanded it and stained it with polyurethane.
This modification has worked out great for us! It is very handy for when carrying long skis, poles, and boots. We can also use it for storage. It does take up two spots in the dinette, so we use it when it is just us two.
It took me six hours to complete this modification and cost me $50. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is medium.
4. Overhead Bunk Storage Shelf
Submitted by: John Tseka, 2004 Silverado 2500HD, 2012 Lance 850
I was looking for a storage area for my surf rods, fly and spinning rods, and tackle. I also wanted to store other long items like a quick set clam screen shelter and Sunbrella beach umbrella.
I installed a 6-foot by 20-inch wire shelving section that is 8-inches down from the ceiling in an overhead bunk over the dinette.
I pushed the bunk/door panel up to the new shelving. Then, I marked the location for two additional catch pockets to the wall.
Caution: Be careful not to drill or screw through the wall into refrigerator or it could be a costly oops. Beer screwed to the side of refrigerator can be messy.
The original door catches may not latch correctly if fabric at the bottom of the door gets pinched. The door can swing open and hit your wife on the noggin. Yup, it happened! There was an easy fix to keep doors from swinging into someone’s face (see photo below).
I really like the additional storage for longer items.
It took me about five hours to complete this modification and cost about $20. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is fairly easy if you are handy with tools.
5. Bunk Storage Using Shoebox Sized Drawers
Submitted by: Ed Kuivinen, 2009 Ford F250, 2016 Lance 850
One of the many reasons we purchased a Lance 850 truck camper was for the bunk space over the dinette. From the beginning my wife and I planned to use this for storage but weren’t quite sure how to maximize the space.
After a lot of thought, we decided to make a storage unit out of individual plastic shoebox-size drawers purchased at Walmart. The depth of the boxes was perfect and allowed us to put the face of the bunk up in the locked position when traveling. That holds the drawers in place.
The finished unit is three drawers high by eight drawers long. I made eight separate units, each of which is three drawers high. I attached each plastic frame together at the front and back. Then I attached the eight separate units together. The bottom drawer frames were then screwed directly into the bunk.
So far it’s working great and my wife is happy! It took several hours to complete this modification and cost $120. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.