How do you organize all your stuff? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-12-2007, 11:04 AM   #1
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Hi!

I don't know if this topic has been addressed before, but I'm interested in finding out how you fellow egg people keep stuff organized efficiently inside and outside your egg. We were on our first trip last summer and found ourselves always needing to use the same things over and over and driving each other crazy because we did not not really have a "system".

For instance, we rarely eat inside unless it's cold or raining, and never cook food inside, so we need to pull the same items out for each meal, such as dishes, pans, cups, some dry foods, towels, dish soap, etc. etc. and perhaps even a propane stove and small tank, lighter, etc. Do you put all these items back "where they belong" each time? Do you make 25 trips back and forth to the camper for each meal? Or do you store all common items in a separate storage bin (and where do you put it to keep it out of the way?) Or do you keep it all outside?? Storing common items inside the seat storage each time seems very inefficient, especially if you need to move the other stuff sitting on top of the seats every time.

And what about personal items? Do you store all your clothes in pack sacks? or did you find a way to organize that mini-closet so you'd be able to put all your clothes directly in there and actually be able to find stuff? and what about dirty clothes? and stinky shoes? and do you store your sleeping bags, pillows and what-not inside the seat storage? If so, did you need to put some type of lining or box inside to prevent possible moisture problems?

And how do you deal with extra items that you need to move around all the time, such as a fresh water container, or perhaps that extra cooler?

And what about trailer set-up? Chocks, jacks, hoses, extension cord, bucket, tools, etc. ... where do you store them since they are the first thing you need when you arrive and the last thing you need to use before leaving?

So there it is. I realize we will learn a lot on our own as we gain more experience, but I'm curious to find out how "creative" some of you might have become in order to make the eggsperience more enjoyable?
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:22 AM   #2
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I'm new too, so am learning all of this along with you. I have a Casita SDX and found that that a cloth hanging organizer from WalMart that velcros over the rod and hangs in the closet works okay for storing linens, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. The best thing is the collapsable prism shaped net laundry basket that fits in perfectly next to it. Dirty clothes are out of sight, and when I get home I just grab the handles and lug it into the garage. I'm looking forward to what others have to say.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:25 PM   #3
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Rubbermaids tubs!

Next best invention to duct tape.

All my "Outdoor" stuff is in tubs labeled for what TYPE of thing it is.. water supply stuff, electrical or Dog things. They slide under the trailer when not in use. And they come in and out quickly.

Inside, I use smaller totes same labeling sytem..
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:57 PM   #4
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We generally eat and cook inside so it's just like any other kitchen, except the amount of pots, pans, and dishes is very limited. Along with all the other kitchen goodies. The pots are recycled from our second best backpacking pots. The idea here is keep things and cooking style to minimum. When we do cook outside the outside stove is in the TV and yes stuff gets put back in the trailer after use.

Clothes and other stuff. Anne and I each have a small duffel bag that our clothes go in. Those sit in the closet. Hanging in the closet are sweat shirts and jackets. Anne has a small bag that holds some of her stuff. That bag rides on the floor and usually sits on the couch behind the screen door frame.

The key again is to keep everything simple. How many changes of clothes do you need? How many skillets, how many pots. Do you really need to cook that 12 course meal or will a "one pot" meal be just as good?

We actually find it fun to work on ways to minimize the amount of stuff needed.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:45 PM   #5
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I don't cook alot but what I do cook (other than campfire food) is cooked inside the trailer. That's one of the reasons for buying a trailer. That's where everything is stored and used, no point in dragging it outside. And it's one of the reasons I no longer tent camp.... the hassle. I have a three-point rule. If I don't use it at all in three camping trips it's removed from the trailer. You'd be surprised at the amount of cookware, etc. that's in a box waiting for Goodwill. I camp to get away from it all.... not just change the location of stress.

Gina is right... totes. And the dirty clothes go into a mesh bag. It's been known to be stored in the back of the truck, depends on how many pair of my daughter's stinky socks are in the bag
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:49 PM   #6
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Dryer sheets! If you use them. I toss a couple into the dirty clothes bag ahead of the trip. It can take the "edge" off.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:56 PM   #7
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I'm a stickler for putting everything back into it's spot - otherwise things degenerate quickly!! (I'm still working that out for camping in rainy weather when it's possible to have damp and wet stuff all over the place trying to get dry).
I cook mostly inside so I don't have to truck stuff outside - although I grill outside, and eat outside. Eating is easy since most meals are 1 bowl meals - easy to carry.
My dogs are a very strong incentive to pack up my bed stuff (pillows and sleeping bag) and store it away where they can't tear it up, drool on it, track muddy footprints all over it, shed on it, and generally leave it somewhat doggy
Tote bags, rubbermaid totes, etc - all very good for helping to organize and limit trips!
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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Ours is set up so that all cooking, eating and other activities CAN be done inside (wife allergic to yellowjackets, mosquitoes, etc.). She loves the kitchen and having everything in the same spots all the time. No hassle, ready to go at any time.

To our surprise, one of the most effective purchases has been a large, bright red, nylon stuff bag (REI) with a drawstring/plastic lock for dirty clothes. Empty it takes up almost no room, and it can be shaped to fit almost anywhere. The bright color leaves no doubt about where to find it.
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:45 PM   #9
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Rubbermaids tubs!

Next best invention to duct tape.

All my "Outdoor" stuff is in tubs labeled for what TYPE of thing it is.. water supply stuff, electrical or Dog things. They slide under the trailer when not in use. And they come in and out quickly.

Inside, I use smaller totes same labeling sytem..

This is also my system...works great for "stuff" slide under camper stays clean and if it rains stays dry. Cloths are always limeted to Just what we need..... anything extra( books,games , movies etc) gets stored insde. We have always been tent campers so are use to keeping our kitchen stuff this way so it just continues on . Best thing to do is try different things and places till you find what works for you. and remember the best rule is KISS( keep it simple st....) because that always works best for having the most fun out camping.
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:23 PM   #10
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Since we cook inside (and most of the time eat inside also), everything has its place... (and I have to remember to put it away also... ) I built cupboards (with my friend's help) similar to the ones in a Deluxe model. This is where all our clothes go. Also a front shelf which has turned into a catchall. When we were at last Spring's Gathering, we saw an underbed drawer in a Burro (forgot the friendly owners' name), so I got the brainstorm of one too. But---- a Scamp is challenged by the multilevel floor. So, instead, we use a leftover prayer rug from my sojourn to Kuwait to place up to 6 milk cartons on, (usually 4) and shove them back under the always made-up bed. Then when something is needed, (shoes, flipflops, extra towels, etc) the rug is pulled out and the appropriate milk carton is selected. (the rug also protects the new vinyl floor). A laundry bag is used and thrown in the useless corner of the front couch. I built a table slight large than a TV tray with short legs to sit between the couch cushion & back and long legs to sit on the floor. (stole that idea from someone on the forum) Then removed the icebox door, put 3/4 mahogany doors on ice box. (was too lazy to remove it, besides, like the shelves in it.) The left door will open with the table scooted all the way towards it. Then cut the portapotty door (I guess that is what it is) in half and hinged both sides. That way one of the doors will always open between the table legs. End result, no suitcases to get in the way, books are stored under the couch in a box that will hold 8-10 paperbacks. BLISS Hope this isn't too lengthy..... Larry
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:43 PM   #11
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Under one dinette seat....my clothes
under other dinette seat...Wife's clothes
Hanging closet....Outer wearand rain gear under single shelf... shoes and laundry bag and first aid
Over head cupboard over dinette.. bedding and linnens
overhead cupboard over gaucho...towels, washclothes,games, cards, doggie bags, kleenex
Cupboard over sink... Dishes and plenty of coffee mugs
Cupboard under sink... potsand pans, detergent and cleaning supplies, small waste basket[usually holds the cleaners]
Under gaucho next to sink.. cords, lamps, batteries, small tool kit, cube heater, hoses
other two areas under gaucho devoted to food stuffs,garbage bags, plastic food savers etc.
All other STUFF gets put in special location....WHERE EVER IT FITS!

PS. Am making a permanent bed and front dinette so am re thinking areas of use.
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:12 AM   #12
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Our Trillium has shelves above the dinette, so pillows and down sleeping bags go up there. We made shelves for our closet, so it would hold more stuff. As much as possible, we put less frequently used items in the under seat compartments. Put jacks, leveling wood, entry mat in an old cooler that goes in the TV. Still refining our system, but perhaps the best addition has been to put hanging pockets and small mesh hammocks anyplace they will fit - closet door, bathroom door, etc. The big door has the hanging shoe pockets thingey, and other doors have homemade ones cut and sewn to fit. We use two buckets with lids for most of our foodstuffs - for travel they sit right under the closet (so we can still move around easily), and often serve as an extra seat or mini table or footrest.
We try to keep heavy things low and balanced, and not too far aft.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:15 AM   #13
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Recently I visited some friends. They had just purchased a new monster class C motor home. The lady showed us all the storage places and how much stuff she could store. She seemed really happy to be able to haul all that stuff with them the once or twice a year that the MH gets used. All I could say is "that's nice".

I think the best motto to use with these small trailers is "less is more". No matter why you have a trailer, no matter what you plan on doing when get to where you're going, the less stuff you have to deal with the more time there is to do other things. The easiest way to organize your stuff is to take less with you. Read a couple backpacking books, the how to kind. You'll find lots of hints that you can apply to trailer life. To really cut loose from the stuff read a couple of the ultra light backpacking books.

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Old 11-13-2007, 11:41 AM   #14
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I think the best motto to use with these small trailers is "less is more". No matter why you have a trailer, no matter what you plan on doing when get to where you're going, the less stuff you have to deal with the more time there is to do other things. The easiest way to organize your stuff is to take less with you. Read a couple backpacking books, the how to kind. You'll find lots of hints that you can apply to trailer life. To really cut loose from the stuff read a couple of the ultra light backpacking books.
I can't agree more with Byron. All my Grand Canyon and Desert backpacking trips I would carry no more than 20lbs and go for 5-10 days. Eight pounds of that was water, so 12 lbs was bedding, food, etc. They were some of the most memorable trips because all you could do was interact with nature as I had nothing else with me. "Less is more."

We just got back from a 3 day Veterans day camp out at one of our favorite haunts, and we kept noticing that we were outside from breakfast till bedtime, but all the bigger rigs we hardly ever saw anyone outside. I'm beginning to see a correlation over the last year to the size of the trailer and amount of "stuff" it holds to time spent outdoors vs indoors.
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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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