poles. The single best improvement I made was to hang poles across
the camper. They reinforce the side walls and provide great storage.
My first attempts to support the poles - relying on tension and velcro
- didn't work. The side walls are also too thin to support screws
without drilling all the way through, something I didn't want to do.
The beauty of the solution described below is that the weight of the poles
and shelves is supported by downward pressure on a horizontal surface,
so it is quite strong.
Prep the poles by cutting
off the threaded plastic and putting a chair tip on each end. Make
pencil marks on the A sides where you want the brackets high enough
for the poles to clear heads and doorway and low enough to accommodate
a 4 shelf. With paper strips, make patterns for cutting the aluminum
stock into 4 pieces that reach from each bracket location up to the edge
of the A panel and across its width (inside to outside). Crease
the paper to mark the angled bend. Cut the aluminum and bend it in
a vice with a hammer.
tubs. Clothing storage can be a problem, but weve found tubs
that just fit under the rear bed. Two taller tubs (from Joanne Fabrics
- Akro-Mils part no. 74-027, product 13-014, 11 x 17-1/2 x 12-1/2H) fit
perfectly in the center, with room between them for a PVC pipe to support
the edge of the bed. On the sides we use 2 kitchen-type stackable
baskets, with the lower lip to the outside to give a bit more air circulation
around the converter and the AC outlet. In the front of the camper,
we use Rubbermaid stacking baskets for food and clothing stored on the
long dinette bench, or on the floor if the front bed is made up.
hamper. Since we dont have a sink-side access door to the rear
hatch, the corner space behind the water tank was wasted. After I
re-did the bed platform, I made a mesh bag to hang from cup hooks on the
framing under that corner piece. Now we can pull back the corner
of the bed, lift the plywood and drop in our dirty clothes. It holds
a good weeks worth of laundry out of sight and smell!
bags. Campground showers dont always have convenient shelves
for shampoo, soap, razor, etc. We keep those items in zippered lingerie
laundry bags (Dollar Tree) with a shoelaces to hang them from the shower
faucet. Back at the camper, we hang them out to dry. We also
use bath sponges instead of washcloths they dry a lot faster.
repair. On the way home from an early trip, we stopped to check
what seemed to be a wheel heating up - and realized that all our manuals
were in a cabinet inside the camper. We also realized that
we didn't have a list of dealers or RV repair places. The wheel turned
out to be fine, but the experience exposed our need to have roadside repair
stuff more accessible. Now we keep a plastic envelope, with all of
our manuals and instuctions, inside the porta-potty cabinet, where we can
reach it easily by opening the camper door. Less-used tools and equipment
like the tire iron, jack, large wrenches, hammer, extension cord and battery
charger are kept in the center of our front baggage compartment where we
can reach them through the exterior baggage door.
Setup equipment for campsite.
keep our basic setup equipment in the front baggage compartment.
Inside the passenger-side baggage door, we store the stabilizer crank,
the tire chock (velcroed to the frame), a lynx block for the tongue, and
our detachable power cord. Inside the driver-side baggage door (added
later, and a real asset), we have a bin to hold all our water supplies
(hoses, filter, sponges, teflon tape, washers, sewer-hose cap in a sealed
container). Between that bin and the door, our tongue-twister is
velcroed to the floor. We also keep a small Rubbermaid Roughneck
tub inside the camper to hold the polarity checker, electrical adapters,
small bungees, TV cable, extra tire gauge, 8' utility extension cord, wind
ropes, and extra rags. After setting up at the campsite, the Roughneck
tub fits under the camper. We keep our in-out thermometer sensor
on the lid where it's out of the weather. Each baggage door has a
rag velcroed to the back - helps keep them handy!
baskets. Three small Rubbermaid baskets stack perfectly in the tall
sink cabinet. They hold (1) entertainment DVDs, cards, games, TV
cable; (2) batteries, fan, hairdryer, (lamp) extension cord; (3) tools.
The top tool basket is filled only partway, so we have room to set a different
basket inside it to serve as our wastebasket (dry stuff only). Five
of the Rubbermaid baskets also fit nicely across the overhead kitchen shelf.
Drawer knobs screwed to the front of each basket make them much easier
to lift and move. A different kind of basket slides in the space
underneath the furnace to hold baggies, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and
other odds and ends.
storage. A many-years-old plastic cabinet, intended for use over
a toilet tank (can you even buy them anymore?), makes a perfect kitchen
cabinet for cooking utensils. It fits next to the kitchen sink, on
the picnic table, or hanging on the rack of our folding camp kitchen.
A lipped drawer organizer with small items can hang on the back, the edged
top is good for little items, and the side handles are handy for drying
dishcloths. Our "hanging pantry" is really a closet shoe bag from
Lowe's. The trim even coordinates with our upholstery. I often
use 2 of them, shortened to fit. Appliances. A single
electric hotplate comes in handy. It's well protected in a insulated
lunch bag which stands behind the clothing tubs on the left front dinette
bench. We also use a small crockpot
(especially for cooking while traveling) and store it in a basket in the
rear bagage area. A tiny Foreman grill, big enough for 2 hamburgers,
fits inside my "imagineered" stove
shelf, and we keep a 1-quart electric kettle on the overhead shelves.
and pans. Along with our appliances, all we use is set of nesting
stainless pans and a folding frypan. The large kettle also doubles
as a dishpan. Food. We manage to keep all of our dry
goods and condiments in a set of Rubbermaid stacking
baskets (from Lowes) in the dinette area. When we have the dinette
made up as a bed, everything that's stored on the long bench fits on the
floor underneath the table area.
Dishes. With storage space at a premium, we keep all our dishware in a rectangular plastic bucket in the dinette area. When we eat at a picnic table, it's easy to carry all the dishes outside, and we can even set the bucket on the ground if need be. Looking for lightweight square dishes, and bowls that are shallow enough to stack compactly, was a long-term project. I couldn't resist the flag platters and watermelon plates (our grandsons' favorites!), especially since they were on a season-end clearance sale, and that set our patriotic red-white-blue theme. The big white bowls (Dollar Tree) stack well and are great for cereal, soup and stews, but I had trouble locating smaller bowls. I finally found the perfect thing in the Dollar Tree baby section - sets of 3 feeding bowls with lids. We use them for fruit and dessert, as well as leftover containers. The bucket, with all of our dishes, weighs 8 lbs. Since everything was purchased at budget prices, I stocked a second bucket which we take when we camp with extended family.
towel holder. Our paper towel holder is a Dollar Tree model.
instead of mounting it permanently, I added white safety cup hooks to the
back, securing them with plastic anchors. The towel holder just snaps
onto the wire shelf. Easy to put up and take down.