Drop-down upper storage shelf mod

Just finished up my modified version of @Dalehelman and @BrianZ 's above cabinet Wire storage shelf mod. After seeing this mod I immediately wanted to do it, but being 6' 2" tall I knew I would be hitting my head on the shelf, so I came up with the idea to create a hinged "drop-down" setup so I can prop up the shelf if needed and keep it away from my tall head. More importantly, this allowed me to install the shelf low enough to maximize storage space available between the shelf and the ceiling. I also wanted to accomplish this without drilling into the walls or ceiling of the [email protected], and I think its worked pretty well this far. I'll get to the details below, but here is what the finished shelf looks like: 

Drop down (usable) position

And in the up position:

(hard to tell from the photo but the front of the shelf sits about 1" below the ceiling when in the up position). 


The trick to this setup was having good and secure back anchor points for the shelf to be able to rotate up, yet have the strength in the down position to support whatever we want to use it for (likely lightweight clothes and such, luckily no bowling balls stored here :-) 

I was able to utilize 2 of the old ceiling hanging cargo net support corners in a neat way, which are stuck on the ceiling in my [email protected] pretty darn good (the previous owner installed these and i'm not sure if he glued them or what, but they are very solid). After getting the shelf inside the [email protected] and fiddling around with its location, I realized these would make a good "hinge" point for the back of the shelf, and would support a lot of the weight as long as I was able to keep the shelf from sliding/pulling out from the "hinge pocket". They just kinda sit in the pocket and take a lot of load bearing, unless you pulled in an upward motion out of the pocket.

For the rest of the rear shelf support I used @Dalehelman's method of command-strip backing the 3 shelf hanger pieces, and secured them to the ceiling wood. This took a bit of delicate placement and carefully holding the shelf in the right positions to make sure the hanger pieces were placed in the right spots without uneven load bearing. It worked quite well and seems to really keep the shelf from sliding around. These do a really good job of preventing the shelf from pulling out of the "hinge pockets" in the corner supports. Regarding the command-strip mounting, I'm hoping the ceiling wood holds up well over time as I have read that command strips on wall-paper can come undone over time in heat. I still only plan to store lightweight clothing type items on this shelf to make sure I am not pushing the capacity from the rear holding points. The idea with this was the corners take the bulk of the load, and the white plastic hanger supports are mainly just prevent the shelf from sliding out of the hinge pocket. I am still thinking I may tie some sort of tape around the corners to really secure it to the corner pieces in the hinge pocket. It looks like it would be fairly easy, but so far its working very well.  

A big point of this design was the only drilling needed was into the back of the upper shelf end plate, which is barely ever seen and already has some marks on it, so I wasn't worried about mounting into this spot as long as I kept the screws hidden as much as possible. 

I drilled a single hole for a nylon support cord to run through, tied into the shelf, essentially a hanging support system. This worked quite well and felt very strong, and was also out view since it was hidden behind the shelf. This was my original plan but you will soon read I ended up modifying a bit. 

(hidden hook for the pull through system)

(hanging from nylon cord, felt very secure)

I was planning to create a pull-through hook system for the shelf to be supported in the up position, however I realized soon after that this was creating to much lateral pulling on the shelf, with the nylon cord trying to pull the shelf away from the wall mounts when locked upright, so I had to re-think my upright support system. 

I ended up deciding on using an eye bolt and wing nut combo to "prop" the shelf in the upright position, making it more secure and putting less strain on the hinge points (keeping in mind I am using command-strip shelf hangers for middle support). I had to install a couple small hooks on the end of the shelf backs for this to work, but it was really easy and again I kept everything mostly hidden from view. I measured in advance and the 5" eye bolts were pretty much the perfect size for my needs on this. I used the wing nut on the end as a holding system for the shelf edge. 

(scroll back up to second photo from top for a wider shot of the shelf in up position).

Note: This wing nut support end would very likely not stay put when driving, so I do not plan to transport the [email protected] with the shelf in the upright position.

Adding the same hook and eye bolt setup to the other side, I decided it would be smart to use these hooks as a second hanging support for the shelf in down position, so I tied another double loop segment of nylon cord. I now feel the shelf is very secure for storage, as long as my nylon cord knots hold :-) May end up at some point replacing these with metal wire or chains or some sort. I'll keep an eye on the knots over the next several months. 

This weekend we are heading out Big Basin state park camping with the redwoods, so this will be the first real test of how it holds up transporting and bearing weight for a few days. I dont think I will store anything on the shelf while traveling at first, would likely need some sort of cargo net, but I do feel confident it would hold.

We mostly keep the bed down when camping, and sometimes just roll up our bedding halfway to access a couple seats and the table (as shown in these photos) so I actually don't think we will be propping the shelf up much at all. However I did want the option to do this should we want to have a 5+ person dinner party in the [email protected] at any point (which we have successfully done a couple times already). BTW we've had 5 people comfortable spend time in the [email protected], though with 7 its a bit of a squeeze but still possible. 

Thanks again to both @Dalehelman ;and @BrianZ for the inspiration on this one!!


  • FreshaireFreshaire Posts: 97Member
    I am so impressed!  Great photos and instructions too.  You know they say the second one goes even faster. . . . .let me know if you want to test that statement out!  : )
    2015 [email protected] 320S Maxx Outback, aka "Alie Cat"
    TV:  2012 Honda Ridgeline

    Crozet, VA
  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 556Member
    Clever idea to have a hinged shelf, @danp212 .
    Have you considered using just a 90° angle bracket for support in both up & down position, rotating up or down on a single screw, like this..

    No loose hardware this way, if it works.  I figure the bracket would go between the wires in the shelf while in the up position, so should not fall until the shelf is lifted further.

    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna van
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >50 mods 
  • danp212danp212 Posts: 38Member
    That is a VERY clever idea to use the swingable 90 degree bracket. 
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