EXCLUSIVE: Family Business Launches RV Storage Solution

(L to R) Vickie and Tim Kirkendall

Michigan-based family business Shelfmate released a new aftermarket solution to a common RVer issue – opening the fridge or cupboard to a food avalanche after traveling.

Made for use in outdoor kitchens, cupboards, mini and full-size fridges, Shelfmate came to fruition in the spring after RVers Tim and Vicki Kirkendall returned home to Vicksburg from a road trip.

“I get home and open up the outdoor kitchen, and a beer came flying out and hit me in the foot,” Tim Kirkendall said. “It’s been a problem for 20 years. One time a container of eggs fell and hit the floor. I thought, let’s make something to go in [the fridge].”

The family wanted a product that was easy to install, remove and store. Shelfmate’s patented angle bracket design was created following a few test runs, Kirkendall said. The product is best when installed in a space with a door, such as a cupboard. When finished, the product can be stacked to maximize storage space.

“There’s nothing more frustrating then when you get to a campsite and stuff has rolled around,” Kirkendall said. “And you always forget. That’s why it is ‘Shelfmate,’ because it is my mate. You need someone to help [hold things together] because stuff rolls around.”

Shelfmate is offered in 6-, 8- and 10-inch lengths and can be purchased as a single or three-piece set.


A picture of the Shelfmate product

The company’s website, created by a Kirkendall daughter, notes U.S. manufacturing and involving other small businesses are important to Shelfmate production. A town neighbor helps make the products in Vicksburg and a local business creates the product stickers, Kirkendall said. The couple’s other daughter manages bookkeeping.

See Shelfmate offerings here.

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