Campsite Setup/Organization - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-05-2016, 11:25 AM   #1
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Name: Jacqueline
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Campsite Setup/Organization

Hi there
After about 3 years of camping with a TT, I still have yet to find a way of organization that works well to access and store away gear for the night (to avoid attracting critters or bears). We do all of our cooking and dish washing outside, except for heavy rain.

The challenge is having to make sure everything with food doors (camp stove, garbage, washed dishes air drying, all cookware, pots and pans, etc) gets put away inside the trailer or back into the truck bed every time we leave the site or turn in for the night. We were at Golden Ears park this past weekend and they passed out an info sheet that told us if we aren't on site (or at night) to have absolutely nothing out (except camp chairs and such).

It seems that to avoid constantly going in and out of the trailer I would need a lot of chuck boxes (and room in the truck bed) to hold all this stuff. What kind of things do people find helpful to keep in the truck bed Vs keep in the trailer?

Also, I read that anything with a food scent can attract bears. I do already wipe down the stove and close it everytime we are finished with it but is it really necessary to disconnect the propane and store the stove away or do people just leave it out?

Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacqueline in BC View Post
Hi there
After about 3 years of camping with a TT, I still have yet to find a way of organization that works well to access and store away gear for the night (to avoid attracting critters or bears). We do all of our cooking and dish washing outside, except for heavy rain.

The challenge is having to make sure everything with food doors (camp stove, garbage, washed dishes air drying, all cookware, pots and pans, etc) gets put away inside the trailer or back into the truck bed every time we leave the site or turn in for the night. We were at Golden Ears park this past weekend and they passed out an info sheet that told us if we aren't on site (or at night) to have absolutely nothing out (except camp chairs and such).

It seems that to avoid constantly going in and out of the trailer I would need a lot of chuck boxes (and room in the truck bed) to hold all this stuff. What kind of things do people find helpful to keep in the truck bed Vs keep in the trailer?

Also, I read that anything with a food scent can attract bears. I do already wipe down the stove and close it everytime we are finished with it but is it really necessary to disconnect the propane and store the stove away or do people just leave it out?

Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated!
Caveat: I am in the US and so I can't speak to your concerns directly. You're left with the local rules.

That said, I have left a Coleman stove out for years in bear country with no bear problem. I clean the stove well. When done I give it a quick wipe down with Coleman fuel. I think a bear can tell with a quick whiff that there is really nothing to eat in there.

We camp in the GSMNP every year. Down in the lower camp grounds, the rules are applied more loosely. If the stove, cookware and dishes are clean, they allow them to be left out. Still, it is best to check with the camp hosts/rangers each time. Some are more strict than others.

If you are camping at elevation, say at Balsam Mountain, everything better be in the bear proof container provided. No exceptions.

On the subject of bear proof containers, maybe you could find the requirements for such, have it fabricated in aluminum and chain it to a tree. That would give you a secure place to put everything without having to open the trailer or truck at every turn, subject to your nation's park rules of course.

All things considered, when you get right down to it, we have all heard of trailers and vehicles being opened by bears. Not often, but it does happen, usually when someone leaves a granola bar or something on the seat, particularly if all the windows aren't closed tightly.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:02 PM   #3
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Don't know if this would help but we keep a lot of our food prep equipment and food in plastic bins, about the footprint of a medium cooler and not as tall.


Find that with cooler in back of vehicle, and one or two bins with dry food in there, a couple with dishes and cooking equipment in the trailer it takes no time to get it all stowed away, or out for the day.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:33 PM   #4
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You folks all carry too much stuff.
Sounds like you expect to have 2 complete kitchens, one outside and one inside.
I carry on coleman fold-n-go stove in my truck. All the cooking utensils are kept in the trailer and go back in the trailer if used outside. All cooked meals are one skillet meals, the skillet gets cleaned (washed) and stored inside the trailer. Instead of doubling up on stuff I try to double up what stuff is used for.

Most full timers and long time campers don't have a lot of stuff outside, only week-enders do that.

Do you keep a complete kitchen outside at home?
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:56 PM   #5
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We never cook inside. If weather is that bad most we will "cook" is coffee. Snacks and sandwiches keep us from starving. So when camping we do in effect have a full kitchen outside. Coleman stove or fire, use foil more than skillet, and grill more than foil. Pie irons and marshmallow forks get some use too. Wash pan for dishes, utensils wrapped in the towel that is used to dry them after they all dry. for the most part it sits on a picnic table or stacked next to the stove and stand.


The bins essentially are like a couple of food boxes or large drawers that are easy to move. As for weekend only, longest I have gone is 4 months, with small kids. I think I hit 5 when I was single and bumming around the country with a backpack. Work rarely lets me get more than a week or so at a time anymore but 10 days was common when work schedule made that possible.


:-p So there!
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:22 PM   #6
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"Milk crates" make great containers for food at room temperature and for cooking supplies. We keep 2 for food; #1 for breakfast, snacks and lunch and #2 for dinners stored in the trunk of our car. We keep chilled food in the trailer cooler and in an ice chest in the trunk. We have 2 small "cafeteria trays" to carry things from the trailer to the picnic table and back. All pots and pans, dishware and utensils are stored in trailer. This is actually, a very simple system.

We have camped many times in bear country, mostly in California. We always put food, and any smelly toiletries such as soaps and toothpaste in our trunk or in the trailer. We keep the stove outdoors on the picnic table. The only time we were warned by the park ranger to keep our stove in our trunk was in Yellowstone.

If you have items you wish to really protect from bears, put them in bear-proof containers. This is what backpackers carry. Even you may not be able to open them!

Sorry my photos are not to scale.




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Old 08-05-2016, 08:01 PM   #7
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Live and camp in bear country and all food, dishes and pots etc stay in the trailer - only come outside for use.

If I wash the dishes outside its easy to carry all the cleaned items back into the trailer using the wash tub & put them away. I do not leave the BQ in areas where bear sighting signs have been posted or the park rangers or campground operators specifically ask that campsites remain clean at night. If I use the portable stove I fold it up and pop it back into the cabinet it lives in in the trailer.

I NEVER store any food items in the vehicle - bears in my neighbourhood are known to bust into cars for the smallest cracker crumb - two nice vehicles where written off this spring due to that. Its hard to tow a trailer home with seriously damaged vehicle. Far more common to hear of bears breaking into vehicles than it is into trailers. Have actually only heard of one such case that took place while the party was in the trailer.

If your sleeping in the trailer your going to hear if the bear is trying to get in and in that case banging some pots and pans and yelling at it will usually send it running otherwise shooting of some Bear Spray is the next best thing to do.

One of nephews managed a large camp ground on the west coast of Vancouver Island and despite the campground doing everything they could to get people to put their stuff away a lot of people did not. It resulted in far to many bears having to be shoot as they became way to comfortable around people and their food sources. :-(
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:04 PM   #8
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Oh, I just remembered...often in bear country the campgrounds have large heavy metal lockers near each picnic table and campers are REQUIRED to put all their food, room temperature and in coolers, as well as scented toiletries in this box. You could keep cold food in your trailer refrigerator or ice box.






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Old 08-05-2016, 10:58 PM   #9
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Name: Jacqueline
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Thanks everyone. I guess my system really isn't that different than all of yours after all! I must admit though, that compared to your setups, I just haven't really gotten used to this system or down to a T. So today I went to Costco and bought a bunch of those collapsable crates and that should help me further organize my gear so I can find it better, instead of heading into the trailer for just "one more thing", LOL. Thanks for all your input and pictures! It was very helpful.

For sure, I agree, putting everything away in bear proof containers or in the trailer is a good habit. I'll be sure to pass the message on to fellow campers!
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