How to Install Drawer Slides into a Van?

In recent years, the RV culture has become more and more popular, but you know how to install drawer slides into a van? The following page will give you the tips.


  • Drawers
  • Side drawer slides with proper weight capability (preferably click to open)
  • Materials to hold slides on side and 90 degree angle brackets
    • Minimum three posts, height of drawers plus space to slide
    • Posts or beams that can be affixed parallel to slides
    • Plywood wall, height of drawers plus space to slide
  • Screws necessary for affixing materials to hold sliders
  • Battery Drill
  • 90 degree angle tool
  • Ruler (at least length of sliders)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Hook or latch lock (to prevent drawers from opening while driving, this can break the sliders)

1 Decide on location for drawer slides

Drawer slides can be installed in a variety of place—all on the side of the drawers. Most places don’t make a big difference. It’s better to not install them directly on the bottom or the top of the drawer. Allow at least five centimetres (two inches) instead. My drawer slides all-around are installed in the middle of the drawers, towards the top.

The portion of the drawer sliders that go onto the drawers are towards the front. This positioning depends on whether the drawer must open 100 percent or not. My drawer slides are 65 cm and my drawers length are 85 cm. Meaning the drawers don’t open up 100 percent, but it’s enough for what I need.

2 Install walls or other material to hold up slides

The next step is to install the material that hold up the slides outside the drawers. Use the 90 degree angle tool to make sure—from the top and bottom—the wall or posts are the right angle. The material to hold up the slides must be a perfect measurement for the drawer and slides to fit in-between.

If you’re not 100 percent sure, don’t screw in the brackets towards the end of the support walls or posts. Instead, focus on the front and screw in the back after. That way if you have to make adjustments, it’s only adjusting the front, which is usually easier to access. Then, screw the 90 degree brackets in, giving extra support.

3 Measure out drawer slides placement

It’s time to measure out where the slides will go, both on the drawers and in the van. A key to measuring my drawer slides was to start at the top and measure down, because the floor isn’t perfectly flat or straight. And with these slides half a centimetre can make a big difference.

First I decided on how high off the ground I want the slides. Then, I made notes on the drawer for this amount. Next, I did a similar measurement for the outside of the drawers. Except I added in the amount I want the drawers off the floor. After making three dots or small lines, I used the big ruler to draw a solid line through all three dots. This line is where the drawer slides will be placed.

4 Screw in the drawer slides

On both the outside of the drawers and inside of the van, screw in the drawer slides on the specific line that you just drew. It’s best to have someone help hold the slides in place while another person uses the screw driver.

5 Attempt to slide together the slides (repeat, as necessary)

It’s really important not to force the slides. If the measurements or positioning is off at all and they’re forced in, they can break. This is best to do with a few people. Begin to install the drawer slides slowly. If they’re not aligning properly look from the front and back to identify why they aren’t.

A few problems, which usually equate to the measurements being off, is that the drawer slides are too close, too far apart, on the wrong angle, or the drawer is sliding into something. Based on the problem(s), fix it and try sliding it in again.

6 Make final adjustments and install again (if necessary)

Once you’ve ironed any trouble with aligning the drawer slides, install them again. When they’re in and fit correctly—and without knocking into anything—screw in the back brackets, if you haven’t already. Finally, the slides should slide smoothly.

7 Install hooks or turning wood blocks

After the slides are in and the drawers are in place, install either a turnable wooden block or hooks. This must prevent the drawers from sliding in and out while driving. If the drawers are moving around too much while driving, or slamming, they can break. However, going with the push and click system helps when you’re using the vehicle and it’s on an angle. This is the final step for installing drawer slides into a van.

You can choose VADANIA Ultra Heavy Duty Drawer Slides with Lock VD2576 to omit this step, which made a new lock design. You need to press the blue button to open or close the drawer. It will lock when fully extended or closed. This keeps your drawer stable and safe.

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