Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Shoe Storage Mod

One thing that was lacking in our 2011 Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel was a place to put our shoes. Generally they get placed by the entrance door in a heap. The other day I was exploring the space under the kitchen counters and noticed a large void filled with nothing right next to the door. Bing! A light bulb lit up in my head! What a perfect spot to install a couple cubby holes to stow our shoes in.

Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Area

Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod – Area


2011 Keystone Cougar 276RLS

With a hand full of screws, 7 feet of 1×2 wood $2.25 and a found for free piece of paneling I set out to make my cubby holes. First I needed to remove the existing paneling. It had been stapled in place so I carefully removed it using a very handy super thin pry bar/scraper tool.

Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Drawers Out  Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Panel Off

Red Devil 4050 Scrape'N Pry Bar
Price: $11.52
26 new from $7.040 used

Once I got the paneling and drawers removed I was able to survey the area and make measurements.  I hit the local lumber yard and picked up a 1×2 8 foot piece of fir lumber and scored a nice cast off chuck of paneling from the free wood pile. Along with some screws I was ready to build my frame to hold the shelves. Luckily I was able to not only install a wall between the drawers and my new cubby holes but also at the same time strengthen the drawer mounting itself.

Material Dimensions:

  • Large panel = 16 3/4″ x 13″
  • Shelves = 16 3/4″ x 11″
  • Six 1″x2″ boards 10″ long
  • One 1″x2″ board 15 1/2″ long

Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Materials Used  Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Screw in Drawer Rail

Using the 1×2 pieces I fashioned some bracing to hold the shelving pieces.

Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Framed  Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - 1x2 Boards Attached

The extra wall and bracing actually helped firm up everything including the drawers and back wall. I was very pleased and finished it off by installing the shelves.

Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Complete  Cubby Hole For Shoes Mod - Shoes In

My initial plan was to screw, glue or silicone the shelving in place but it fits so nice I decided to leave it loose. That way I can easily remove them for cleaning or take out the top one to use the space to store a larger item. We are using the space for shoes but it could be used for many things. I’m surprised Keystone let this obvious little space go to waste. By adding a door for instance you could have a nice little place to store more dishes, appliances, etc.

Video Clip Detailing Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Shoe Storage Mod

So there you have it my Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel Shoe Storage Mod. simple, cheap and quick. In no time, we now have a nice little bit of extra storage and less clutter by the door.

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  • DaveF

    Ray, We have a 2005 Cougar 276 and love it’s layout and features. I enjoy your website and your info being passed on to others (thx for that).
    Did your RV come with a higher grade suspension equalizer, mine is just cast iron with three pivot holes and bolts (no rubber dampening or grease zirks). I’m thinking of upgrading the equalizers and wondering which brand is best for my ’05, 276 ?

  • Wade

    Ray, I have the same trailer as you and have followed your lead when it comes to mods. When I did my shoe mod I went one further and added a drawer above for my BBQ utensils.

  • Lana

    We have a 2008 Cougar with simillar layout. Love your shoe storage idea. I will put my husband right on it.

    We noticed one winter how cold our headboard was and condensation on it. My husband pulled it off and lo and behold our great Cougar Polar Package had no insulation behind it. It made a huge difference when he installed it.
    He also put the insulation with the aluminum backing under the front under storage area which wiuld be under the floor of bed area. It looks really nice too.

    Have you discovered any other tips we could use?

    • Yes I too saw there was no insulation behind the headboard, I put a bit in there but I think I need some more, still can get pretty cold, here is a link to most of my mods I’ve made. I’m going to try putting in some of that insulation under the bed like you did too, that’s a good idea, thanks!

  • Ray that mod passed the sniff test by the dog, so it’s A-1.
    I have recovered so much waste space in many RV’s just by converting these blocked off cubby holes into usable storage. The RV manufacturers should up their designs and use every space available. That little shoe shelf by the door could sway a sale at a dealership, just by showing how innovative a manufacturer is. It’s unfortunate they ignore these spaces just to save $10.00, and I doubt it if even cost you that much for the convenience it provides for you.
    Tip: Look through your RV and find the blocked off spaces you could use.

    • Some times I wonder if people who design RVs have ever RVed. So many have no place for shoes and coats by the door.

    • Karen Mingle

      Great idea… However my husband stepped it up and built a whole unit at the end of my dinette. We have a 24′ cougar with the dinette area to the right as soon as you walk through the door (rear kitchen) and you will notice about 7″ of wasted space from the back of the dinette to the door jam. He built a shelf unit as high as the dinette and as long. The width will support shoes in a single line. This unit will hold ALL of our shoes. 4 pr for my husband and 6 pr for me. At the top he ran edging around where I store dog brushes, leashes and emergency flashlights. I agree with the design if theses things… It’s apparent that they do not live in these campers!

      • Cool, sounds like an excellent mod. 10 shoes! That should free up some storage space.

  • Gary

    Ray, Kudos on another fine mod to your Keystone. I have a 244rls with the exact same setup. Showed the DW and looks like I have another trailer project to complete before we take her out this fall.

    • Thanks, Gary. It’s one of my favorite little mods. Makes me smile everyday when now I have a place for my shoes. It’s the simple things in life..

  • Bob Perry

    Ray your so handy Anne should be so proud of you. 🙂
    Now, if you could only find a spot for her camera equipment …good job

    • haha, ya, only problem is I’ll need a spot that is expandable, these tripod nerds always need more lenses and gadgets. 😉

      • Bob Perry

        Ya I know I hope to be one of those nerds…Does Anne have one of those Pelican hard cases to put her “stuff” in? Maybe it would be a good blog topic for Anne /Ray on storing camera equipment as it seems everyone RV’s with some kind of camera equipment.

        • Sounds like a good topic Bob. She has a yellow pelican case and in the bed of the truck I built her a lockable wood box with padding inside and made it fairly water proof. It’s a place to put her equipment in when on route to the photo shoot locations. We have been in some really big storms and the box has never leaked.