Working on an RV? Three Desk Solutions You’ll Love

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three-workstations-735x2000When we considered the possibility of living and working on board our RV, along with homeschooling two kids, we realized that a high priority for our family was going to be work space. A place to put the laptop and various devices, a place to spread out for sewing and myriad crafts, a place to store files and office supplies. We needed a LOT of desk space, and we all had different needs. So we have three different solutions to share!

Simple, Compact Folding Laptop Desk

Our son is a computer programmer and enthusiast and his requests and requirements were quite simple. He wanted a place to put his laptop computer or sometimes the iPad, a surge protector with USB ports and well…that’s about it. He has overhead storage for books, games, other laptops (yes, multiple), and other stuff that 14 year old boys have in cupboards, so his desk could be compact and fold away when not in use.

We turned over the design to Larry at the Foretravel Factory who crafted a fold-away laptop desk that fits into the space where the arm of the sofa once lived. The surge protector in the rear is connected below the jackknife sofa (also the boy’s bed) to the 110v power source and it provides multiple grounded outlets as well as USB ports.

Here’s our folding laptop desk:

Multipurpose Desk with a Large Desktop Space

Our daughter’s needs are polar opposite to our son’s – what would have been her overhead storage space is taken up by her overhead bunk and she requires BIG SPACE for her projects which often span days and continents it seems… Anyway, we came up with plans for a desk that would re-use cabinet parts and pieces from other areas of the RV which were being renovated and also meet her varied needs.

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View on left: Passenger Side Front View; View on Right: Front to Back of Bus

Her wish list included a large desktop to spread out for sewing and crafting projects; space for sketchbooks, large drawing pads, canvasses and a small easel; a place to store sewing, embroidery, crochet and knitting supplies; storage and space for working with jewelry supplies; a spot for stationery and writing materials; a place for beading equipment and tools; plus plenty of storage for regular kid desk and office supplies, like markers, crayons, tapes including all manner of &&&& tapes, glues and glue sticks, glue guns, paper supplies. Endless crafty supplies. We threw in a pull-out keyboard tray and a cubby for ready-access workbooks and textbooks for homeschooling and added an electrical outlet with USB.

IMG_8995That’s not all! In addition, we needed to relocate the cats’ litterbox to this location, and so there is a dedicated cat box space sectioned off in the bottom of the unit in which the catbox and litterbox supplies are stored. The cats enter through a tunnel hidden along the passenger sidewall of the bus and the people have access through a flip-down door in front.

Efficient Two-Person Office with Massive Storage

Our final need for office space on board our RV was for the two parents to work in a two-person office with file storage, a place for office equipment (our portable printer and mobile scanner). Again, we planned to reuse as much as possible from the renovation on the rest of the rig in order to reduce waste and labor and, well – cost. Our original plans ended up slightly modified in the end to accommodate practicality, budget and necessity, but it is largely what we anticipated when we first conceived of an office inside a former closet space.

View of Office - Open Doors

View of Office – Open Doors

We second-lifed our headboard as a shelf and on top of the engine hump, we added two bench seats and a shared backrest / console with storage for files, office supplies, a power strip with surge protector, and 2-12v powered outlets for charging our laptops directly off the battery. We have two fold-down desktops attached to the sidewalls of the bus and extra monitors on swing arms on both sides. Eventually, we plan to build a raised floor on which to rest our toes under which there will be additional storage space, but for now, we’re happy.

The result is a beautiful (we think!) and functional office space for two people that not only meets our work needs, but also our household filing and storage needs.

Here’s How We Built a Two-Person Office Space On Our RV: Part One, The Planning

and How We Built a Two-Person Office Space On Our RV: Part Two, The Results. How have you accommodated your needs for office and desk space on board your RV? Show us your best hacks and mods for working and living…on the road.

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