Installing the Right Hooks for Your RV

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAn article about hooks? Yep! Hooks may not seem like a big deal, but they can really improve the functionality and livability of your RV. Extremely versatile, the RV hook can save space, reduce clutter, help keep things organized, and can keep items within easy reach when needed. We’re neat freaks and having several strategically located hooks in our camper really helps maximize limited storage space and that’s important in a truck camper.

Hooks come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes. Most of the hooks you find at the big box stores, however, don’t work so well in RVs. For one, most of the hooks they sell are too large and stick out four to five inches from the wall. Have you ever run into one of these or bumped your head into one? Ouch! Large hooks like these simply don’t work well in the small and confined spaces you find in many RVs, especially truck campers. The other problem with the big box store variety of hooks is that they’re simply ugly. I like hooks that have style. “Stylish hooks, Mike?!” Yep, continue reading.

Cup Hooks next to the main door.

I’ve found two styles of hook that work great in RVs: cup hooks, pictured above, and razor strop hooks, pictured below. Both are small, strong, and compact. Cup hooks are great for not only holding cups, obviously, but also great for hanging other small items. We mounted a cherry wood strip with four cup hooks next to the main door, a great location to hang keys, flashlights, doggie leashes, and in the case of our truck camper, our broom (yeah, I know our broom isn’t very small, but it is very light). Hanging the broom there is especially important to us because there is simply no other place in the camper where we can store it. It works for us.

Razor strop hooks have an extended, very distinctive and strong upturned hook that has been useful in many different applications over the last century. They first became popular in the late 1800s with barbers who used them to hold their razor strop, a long narrow strap of leather or canvas used to sharpen straight razors. Razor strop hooks have also been popular for over 60 years in the Airstream travel trailer community where they are called Byam Hooks after the company’s founder, Wally Byam. I like these hooks not only because they look cool, but also because the extended, upturned hook keeps things secure, even when the RV is in motion. Because of this feature razor strop hooks are also popular in the boating community, where they’re easier to locate and purchase.

A razor strop hook in the dinette area.
Another razor strop hook in the cab over bedroom.

Mounting traditional hooks in a fiberglass wet bathroom enclosure poses one major problem–holes. Drilling holes into the fiberglass is something I prefer not to do, so placing traditional hooks in there is not a viable option for me. Fortunately, you can buy white-colored plastic hooks that can be affixed to the fiberglass with high bond tape. They don’t look as nice as razor strop hooks, but they’re cheap, strong and functional. These hooks work great for hanging all kinds of things like wet clothes, towels, wash rags, soap-on-a-rope, scrub pads,  etc.

A plastic hook mounted in the wet bath.
Double hook in truck camper storage compartment.

Where you mount your hooks is entirely up to you. You should place them where they can easily be reached, so most should go in your common living areas like around the dinette, kitchen, and bedroom. For instance, I like to use hooks before retiring for the night to hang up shirts, hats, and pants that otherwise would have to be put away or folded up–not one of the my favorite activities when I’m beat and ready for bed. Two useful, often overlooked areas to mount hooks are in your overhead cabinets inside your RV and in the storage compartments outside. Large hooks in the outside compartments are especially great for hanging water hoses and the satellite TV coax cable.

The thin walls found in most RVs does pose a problem when mounting hooks or other fixtures like magazine racks and spice racks. The mounting screws simply lack a substantial surface to bite into. This can be overcome by either gluing a small piece of plywood behind the area where you’ll be mounting the hook, or by gluing a decorative strip of wood to the wall with the hook or hooks attached to it, like in my pic above. Either option works well.

If you have any clever ideas on styles of hooks that work well for you or any other storage or space saving ideas, I’d love to hear from you.

About Mello Mike 909 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.


    • I don't have one immediately handy, but if you pull up "The Great Bathroom Remodel" from my projects list on my blog, you can kinda see where I used a similar method to install wash cloth racks in my wet bath.

  1. Actually Mike, I found that the simplest way to mount a more permanent and standard style hook is to pilot a hole for it in the fiberglass itself a tiny bit larger than the hook's threads to give it a little wiggle room for rig flex, then dab a small ball of bath/shower caulk over the hole, thread the hook in and then smooth the caulk over the base, creating a nice tight seal.

    The only catch is one needs to use a hook material that won't corrode badly in the moist environment, so Stainless steel is yer best bet :).

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