How do you organize all your stuff? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-14-2007, 05:51 PM   #15
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Dishpans. I use a couple of Rubbermaid brand dishpans to organize some of the stuff that I keep under the kitchen counter. I have another one that goes in the sink when we're in transit, and in it are most of the things that sit out on the counter when we're at camp (the tea-kettle, soap dispenser, sunscreen, hand lotion, etc.) Then there's a "spare" dishpan for the dog's water...which sometimes does double duty if we have a drip at the city water intake. Dishpans are great because if they're empty, they stack.

I also have a couple of R'maid tubs, with lids, that I use much as Gina described, for the "outside" stuff... and there's a plastic basket that holds our coiled water hose(s) and fittings that stays under the trailer when we're camped (and in the shower when we're in transit).

Also, I have a cute little wooden tote box (given to me by my sister-in-law when we got our first trailer) that is great for carrying eating utensils, basic condiments, a handful of napkins, etc. to and from the picnic table at meal time.

Hope this helps!



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Old 11-14-2007, 06:16 PM   #16
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I agree with the general principle that less stuff is better; however, there's a limit. I think it's better to carry something you need than waste time and effort during the trip to buy or borrow it, or to work around not having it. If I were to only open a can once every 10 trips, I'd rather carry the can opener all the time than have to go shopping for one on that one trip it was needed, or try some primitive can-bashing method.

I am also cautious about the cause-versus-effect issue... are those people stuck inside their big RVs because they have too much stuff, or do they carry that stuff because they want to be in the RV and the stuff makes them comfortable? While - as Byron explained - it is good to avoid dealing with unnecessary stuff, perhaps the key is understanding what is actually necessary. We're still sorting that out.

As for the original how-to-organize question:
I like the idea of areas for purposes; for instance, our bedding is all in one cabinet, another is only kitchen stuff, etc. It reduces the hunting time, and even having things tightly stuffed into compartments isn't so bad if you know which compartment to dig in. This is more a theory than a well-proven practice for us.
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:02 PM   #17
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While - as Byron explained - it is good to avoid dealing with unnecessary stuff, perhaps the key is understanding what is actually necessary. We're still sorting that out.
I believe that is in understanding what is necessary and what isn't. Also what's necessary for me and mine, is not the same as what is necessary for anybody else. My point all along is to look carefully at what take with you and evaluate how much or if it will actually get used. Also consider dual purpose stuff, layering clothes, etc.

Evaluating the stuff is not a one time thing, it's a process. The stuff you take and stuff you don't take is evolved over a few years of camping in any style. The more you camp the more you refine.

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As for the original how-to-organize question:
I like the idea of areas for purposes; for instance, our bedding is all in one cabinet, another is only kitchen stuff, etc. It reduces the hunting time, and even having things tightly stuffed into compartments isn't so bad if you know which compartment to dig in. This is more a theory than a well-proven practice for us.
A location for each and everything thing as much as possible will certainly improve the camping experience. And everything put back in it's place after use. You'll have to decide where it works best for you, and what you need and don't need. Generally speaking most, including us, carry more than they need.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:18 PM   #18
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... Also what's necessary for me and mine, is the same as what is necessary for anybody else. ..
I wonder if that line is a typo. I would think that CPAP machines and medicines, pet accessories and perhaps a cell phone is necessary if leaving kids behind might vary from camper to camper. I wonder if for some a dutch oven is necessary to an outdoor cook while those who cook inside don't care. And on and on.

Personally, I'm reluctant to say what is necessary for someone to enjoy their trip. Beyond air, water, food and warmth I'm not willing to say.

Come right down to it, a trailer isn't necessary. But we've all decided it's something we want. Perhaps it's allowing us to continue to camp. The amount of accessories is only a matter a degree. Rethinking that degree is useful but if someone decides a big comfy lawn chair is a need I'm not passing judgement.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:32 PM   #19
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OOPS! It is a typo.. I meant to say your needs are different than mine.
Thanks for pointing that out. I fixed.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:08 AM   #20
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Do you make 25 trips back and forth to the camper for each meal?
Honey, hand me ....

-- The long fork, I've got the bacon going over this hot fire.
-- A plate with paper towels, some of this bacon is ready, don't want it to burn.
-- The leftover baked spuds from last night, might as well fry them up in this bacon fat.
-- Oh, and a cutting board and knife to slice them.
-- Thanks, dear, and the spatula, please, to turn these crispy spuds.
-- Great, thanks, and another plate and paper towel, some of these potatoes are ready.
-- Are those eggs inside?
-- Thanks, and the butter, hon, if you don't mind.
-- This bacon pan is too full of burnt bits, can you hand me another cast oven frying pan-- dearest, why are you holding it over your head like that, as if you were about to....

(Hubby is no longer allowed to use the phrase "hand me" when it's ten feet from the cooking fire to the trailer. In fact, he has been strongly encouraged to gather all his materials before putting the bacon on....)
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:30 AM   #21
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Charlyn, 9 x 13 inch cake pans are good for toting that kind of "equipment," from the trailer (galley) to the picnic table and/or cooking-fire, too. Or if you carry a cookie sheet (I don't as they are too big, but my mom always had a couple in her trailer) you can stack plates, utensils, etc. in/on those.

But, yeah, you're right: planning ahead is a big part of the process of avoiding the "25 trips."
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:03 PM   #22
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I have 2 square plastic wash tubs that I find invaluable - for taking things outside when we're cooking and eating. All dish washing done outside (by hubby) and then tubs are there to take everything back inside. These are stored in the bottom of the shower when we're travelling.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:00 PM   #23
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Well, well... this is all very interesting and all your comments very much appreciated.

I guess nobody has written the ultimate survival guide on how to keep organized in an egg yet, but I think we're on to something here.

I think I just figured out part of what our problem is. First, our Trillium does not have any shelves above the dinette or gaucho areas, no drawer in the kitchenette module, no organizer in the closet, and the small cupboards above the kitchenette are, well... very small. (I wonder why, though, since other Trillium trailer instances have them - our model must have been the cheapo model back in 1974), but luckily none of the missing things can't be added. Second, the fact that we mostly eat/cook/clean outside means that we have no choice to lug stuff in and out at some point. We've already embraced the Rubbermaid principle, however, storing the tubs in the seat storage (being the only somewhat practical location) each time has been quite annoying. Being former tent campers ourselves, I'm not under the impression that we overstock on "stuff" so much, however even a small amount of it can grow out of proportion if it is poorly organized and you keep tripping on your own tubs, cooler and pack sacks. We just didn't expect it to be such a painful learning experience. So far, I'm thinking part of the solution is probably to keep the most often used kitchen stuff outside in one large, neat, dedicated tub... consider adding more practical shelving, come up with a system, and stick to it.

I'll be happy to read on about any other ideas you may have come up with.

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Old 11-15-2007, 08:20 PM   #24
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Well, well... this is all very interesting and all your comments very much appreciated.

I guess nobody has written the ultimate survival guide on how to keep organized in an egg yet, but I think we're on to something here.

I think I just figured out part of what our problem is. First, our Trillium does not have any shelves above the dinette or gaucho areas, no drawer in the kitchenette module, no organizer in the closet, and the small cupboards above the kitchenette are, well... very small. (I wonder why, though, since other Trillium trailer instances have them - our model must have been the cheapo model back in 1974), but luckily none of the missing things can't be added. Second, the fact that we mostly eat/cook/clean outside means that we have no choice to lug stuff in and out at some point. We've already embraced the Rubbermaid principle, however, storing the tubs in the seat storage (being the only somewhat practical location) each time has been quite annoying. Being former tent campers ourselves, I'm not under the impression that we overstock on "stuff" so much, however even a small amount of it can grow out of proportion if it is poorly organized and you keep tripping on your own tubs, cooler and pack sacks. We just didn't expect it to be such a painful learning experience. So far, I'm thinking part of the solution is probably to keep the most often used kitchen stuff outside in one large, neat, dedicated tub... consider adding more practical shelving, come up with a system, and [b]stick to it.

I'll be happy to read on about any other ideas you may have come up with.
You indicated above that you former tent campers. The question is then how did you handle the eating/cooking/cleaning then? You might consider the same thing now or something close to that.

The reason you wont find a fits all model is we don't all do things the same way. Example, we do most of our cooking, eating, cleaning inside. If we wanted to do all that outside we would have at least considered teardrop type of trailer. I'm not advocating that you or anybody else change, but the choice of trailer type is best determined with choice of camping style. We also camp year around, including in the snow.

The outdoor stuff, chairs, outdoor stove, dutch ovens, etc. all reside the tow vehicle. We want the trailer free to use for lunch stop, a short stop for dinner, but move on after dinner. Therefore there's nothing on the floor in the way at anytime. But that's our style and it works well for us.

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Old 11-16-2007, 06:16 AM   #25
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Very carefully ! No, it was hard at first to get everything into a 13' Scamp. Most our stuff ends up in the back of the Jeep if we're not going to be using it. Big zip lock bags are great for storing clothes in the closet and other stuff. Since we are only going out for weekends right now we only take what we need.

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Old 11-16-2007, 06:18 AM   #26
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You indicated above that you former tent campers. The question is then how did you handle the eating/cooking/cleaning then? You might consider the same thing now or something close to that.
Easy... the only useable storage during our tent camping was in the trunk of the vehicle, so that's when started using tubs. Being people of habits, this is somewhat what we're doing now, but with the trailer instead. We could, as you're implying, still store the tubs in the vehicle, but it would defeat the purpose of having a trailer. I guess we're just not willing to give up yet on trying to work this out. But having nothing on the floor is indeed the goal we're hoping to reach one day, as we resolve the other storage challenges for the clothes, pillows and other mandatory "stuff"...

It does raise an interesting question, though. Why the heck do we not just cook inside? We did try cooking spaghetti in there once, and it took hours before all the steam and sauce smell would go away, and we were concerned about attracting unwanted furry critters (such as bears, or, God forbid... monkeys) if we started doing this in the long term, not to mention the possible long term kitchen smell in such a small egg.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:44 AM   #27
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We have the ultimate mess. The 77S13 renovatioion is not yet completed. And most of our camping trips include some Rev War reenacting. More clothes than you can imagine, and all the demo stuff needed. Nothing 18th century is light weight and chairs don't fold. After many years of camping I have a couple of thouhgts.

First personal rule: Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't become obsessive about getting it right. There just isn't any right that works for everyone. I think that is one of the things that gives us this community. We take personal pride in figuring out what works for us.

Load up the dishpan while inside with all the things going outside to save many trips. If it works out that something needs to find a new home inside, then rearrange until it works for you. I have just discovered that I want a fire extinguisher just inside the door. So, now I have to figure it out and make adjustments.

After you get back from about your third trip, it might be wise to take an invantory of what STUFF you actually used and what you didn't use. Then you can sort out what you don't need and what to keep in the camper. Now, keep in mind that some of us 'need' STUFF for various reasons. Some of us need it for security, and some need it just to have it.
Dirty clothes: They don't have to stay in the camper if the tow vehicle is vacant. Tubs and crates that fit into your spaces confine the STUFF and can help you load and unload.
Relax, this is supposed to be fun.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:54 AM   #28
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Most of all: There are no camper police out there that come around and tell you that you are doing it wrong. Check out other folks' mods for their solutions.
Have more fun, allow your self to relax.
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