There are no nightstands or convenient places to put a book, tablet, or smartphone next to the king-sized bed in the ’16 Outback 324CG. So I decided to create my own. Not too long ago we blogged about using a shelf in our bathroom reconfiguration that we purchased while shopping at Target. Since we liked how close the color matched the wood inside the RV, we purchased a few extras for future projects in case this product gets closed out. This is one such project where these came in handy.
Something to note: if you’re going to buy some as well, there are big differences we saw in color tone and darkness from one to the next, even on the store shelf, so it might be better to buy them in person. We’ve actually visited a few different stores to buy all matching ones, and because I’m a bit OCD I also wanted the wood grain to be similar as well.
Here are the stock length (top) and another (bottom) I simply cut in half. I figured that cutting it in half would be a good enough length when looking at the space available on the wall.
I removed the metal hardware from the back of the shelves and colored the raw cut edges followed by a thin coat of glue to seal them from moisture. It turns out that these are perfect width to hold 16.9oz water bottles and I didn’t want the ends to swell from a sweating bottle of water overnight. The cut ends will go towards the cabinet so it won’t be seen anyway.
As far as placement goes, right above the valence seemed to be the best location. I set the height above the valence so that the bottom of the mirrored cabinet door would just clear the lower part of the shelve’s ledge. Any higher and the cabinet door will hit the shelf and it won’t open fully against to the wall, making getting anything in or out of the cabinet a chore. If you have this model, you know how wide the door is, and if it can’t open it all the way, it’ll end up stabbing your shoulder or you can’t reach inside the cabinet without getting on the bed… or both.
The finish on these is very thin. so in order to prevent damage while drilling pilot holes for the Robertson style fasteners I put blue painters tape on them. As always for something I consider permanent, I dab some Gorilla Glue on the threads to make sure it’ll be sturdy… forever. Of course, I predrilled the shelf and wall and tested fitment before putting the glue on.
I left a small gap between the cabinet and the new shelves. This was to allow charging cords to fit between them, as well as prevent chaffing and wear to the cabinet finish from the shelf flexing while traveling. You can also see how the cabinet doors open over the first lip of the shelves.
Here’s the completed picture. Don’t mind the non-matching comforter, it was a stand-in until we could replace the ripped coverlette which looks much better now.
Speak peek time! I am now adding dual 4.8 amp USB ports near the shelves with switchable and fused power switches (in case we ever boondock). Stay tuned!
Check out our other upgrades! Have any questions about this project? Please chat below and I’ll try to respond in a reasonable time. Remember, we have full-time careers and this blog is just a hobby. ☺️
Best regards – RVTherapy