Figuring out the optimal use for all that lovely space inside your van will help you save time and money—and, therefore, will add to your bottom line. Here are some ideas for interior van storage geared to your business.
There’s more to it than finances: the right interior vehicle storage can make journeys more efficient and protect you against mix-ups and accidental damage to goods. Good news for your customers and your confidence! At Renault, we know that your van doesn’t necessarily provide a one-size-fits-all vehicle interior storage solution. Every business is unique, and the same applies to your storage needs.
#1 Van interior storage basics
First, two basics. One is knowing your vehicle’s gross payload capacity: exceeding it is both dangerous and illegal! Any interior vehicle storage you fit becomes part of the gross payload, and therefore reduces the weight of additional goods you can transport. Remember that gross payload also includes fuel and, most importantly, the driver (as well as your passenger(s), if any).
The other issue is stability, which is essential for load safety and road safety as a whole. Be aware that weight distribution matters just as much as efficient restraints! Also, if you’re new to the world of vans, you need to be sure of your legal status as a driver.
#2 Modular racking van storage solution
Many have tried the carpentry DIY approach to racking, but the results can be heavy and inflexible—not to mention falling short of necessary safety standards. If the items you carry can range from bulky and heavy to small and prone to rolling around, you can plan a modular system. Perhaps a unit of large shelving for the more voluminous goods, lockable cabinets for small items and power tools, or a workbench and sink if that’s what your business needs.
Useful note: modular racking unit manufacturers usually indicate payload capacity on the unit itself, as a safety reminder.
#3 Custom-made racking storage solutions
A custom-made vehicle interior storage system for your van may sound ambitious, but you could be surprised at how easy and relatively inexpensive it is. A great example is the Ready4Work by Sortimo racking solution, which gives you a choice of your own bespoke combination or a pre-assembled pack. Since these racking systems are made for Renault vans, they use existing fixing points, so there’s no need for drilling—a real bonus!
You can mix and match basic shelving with accessories like integrated tie-down systems and in-shelf organising kits. If you need to be up and running quickly, and it’s important not to compromise your van resale value, this could be your answer.
#4 Van interior storage for tools
If your business requires transporting your tools of trade—whether those are spanners and screwdrivers or scissors, pedicure and trim sets—being able to see at a glance whether your kit is complete and put your hand on each of them quickly will save a lot of time and headaches. This does lend itself to DIY, since only you know your tools. Basic shelving made from ¾ in. ply will provide a firm base into which you can cut shapes tailor-made for chisels, hammers or hairdryers. Don’t be tempted to use ½ in. ply for this storage solution: what you gain in payload capacity, you will lose in stability after cutting out shapes.
#5 Vehicle interior storage for travelling wardrobes
Plenty of market traders and fashion designers make their own hanging rails to transport clothing efficiently: it is simply a matter of fitting a couple of battens strong enough to support rails with a payload of anything up to 1,000 kg, at the fore and aft; the hanging rails are then suspended between them. Hanging clothing front-to-back gives optimal space, and while sliding will not affect vehicle stability so much, you will also need barriers every 60 cm or so to prevent too much slippage. This, of course, also helps with organisation and retrieval.
#6 Ladder racks in van interiors
There are plenty of interior van storage options for ladders: ceiling-mounted, or vertical or horizontal against front or side wall. Any configuration is good as long as the ladder is securely housed and reasonably easy to mount and dismount—the ceiling-mounted option, especially slider racks, tends to be the most popular to avoid occupying precious side-wall space.
#7 Don’t forget the paperwork!
If kitting out your van is part of your business, you’ve already got to grips with how to start a business and you’re now moving into the nitty-gritty details. Spoiler alert: that involves paperwork! If there’s lots of it, include a handy rack, shelving and filing cabinet when planning your van storage solutions; otherwise, a simple storage space fitting behind the seats will do. Either will save you the dreaded pile of paper on the passenger seat that will inevitably fly to the floor when you brake, or worse, out the door when someone climbs in.
Stacked up, packed up and ready to go? Take your business on the road!