Keeping the Spices on the Spice Rack While Driving Down the Road

This project isn’t technically complete, but I’ve wanted to do something like this since we first moved into the rig, so I’m sharing my proof of concept. I’ll probably update this when it’s prettified.

This spice rack was designed and handmade for me by David, when we first moved in together. Back then, he had converted his garage to a full wood shop and made incredible furniture and projects.

This was also back when cooking was just a hobby. Since the celiac diagnosis and the discovery of food allergies and sensitivities, we have to cook EVERYTHING at home, and a well-stocked spice rack is the key to making that not suck.

A wooden spice rack mounted to a wall next to a counter and window. There is a three tiered basket with potatoes, avocados, and supplement bottles between the window and rack.
On travel days, all the glass jars come down and are stored in a bin or bag on the floor. We have never had a small metal tin or plastic bottle open in transit, and they’ve only jumped to the floor on travel days a couple times.

There was no way I was giving up my spice rack when we moved into the RV. Since it was very tall, David cut it into two pieces. It now fits perfectly in our RV kitchen: the larger portion is mounted to the wall above a counter and the smaller section is mounted on the side of the over-the-stove cabinet.

An RV stove with a small spice rack mounted in the cabinet above the stove. There are two frying pans on the stove and a few odds and ends on the counter.
The other 1/3 of the spice rack. Those small square tins with white tops were actually the template for my spice rack. We bought Kroger brand spices almost exclusively, so David used them as a guide. It turns out these tins also travel REALLY well. Anyone know where we can buy empty tins this size??

On travel days, we take all the glass jars off the rack and stick them in a bin or grocery bag, then tuck them away on the floor somewhere. When we were moving every few months, it wasn’t a big inconvenience, but now that we’re moving around every month or so, it’s starting to get tedious. And when we are traveling long distances (short hops every couple days), it gets a little tedious to rummage around a plastic bag for dinner spices.

We considered moving the brass railings up so the bottles would just be more secure, but I really like how the railings look right now, and I think the travel-friendliness would be negated by the cooking frustrations of having to work too hard to get a jar off the rack.

I really wanted something temporary, easy to put up and take down, and easy to store when not in use. Some kind of fabric would probably be best. Whatever we used would only attach to the RV: the finish on this oak spice rack is far too nice to mar with adhesive or holes.

We’ve got a laundry bag with the string and seams falling out, and it’s perfect because it’s stretchy, has permade holes for hooks, and is something we can recycle instead of throwing away.

I used clear and metal 3M Command Hooks for this because the hooks move freely, making them a little easier to work with (if the positioning isn’t perfect) and hopefully secure enough to last awhile. The wall board in these RVs is just too thin, weak, and unpredictable for drilling into and expecting any kind of stability or strength. I think adhesive will be the best way to go. Temporary adhesive is even better, but in our experience, Command Hooks either last 1 month or 1 infinity, and you never know which you’re gonna get. If these hooks can’t handle the task, then we’ll see about a more permanent and less noticeable option.

I’m not psyched about how the hooks look, but truthfully, I don’t care! I’m more excited that we won’t have to pack and unpack spices every travel day. Honestly though, the extra hooks will get used. Extra hooks will ALWAYS get used in an RV.

The spice rack with black fabric covering it.
It works! We won’t know for sure until we take it for a test drive, but I’m confident this will make travel days a little smoother.

The bottom hook on each side is upside-down. This way the fabric won’t easily pull off the hook if there’s an upward motion (spices bouncing against the fabric) in transit. It makes the bottom hooks fairly useless for anything other than this travel netting, but again, I’m more excited about not packing/unpacking spices every travel day.

The smaller rack will get its own matching travel day cover, too.

I may hem the fabric into a smaller pieces with nicer edges, but these pieces are already so small it’ll fit in the back of a drawer when we’re stationary. I may also add rivets with holes to make catching the hooks easier.

Overall, not a bad Saturday project!

PS: here’s how we set up the hanging fruit and vegetable basket.

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