Advice needed re efficient storage in small motorhome

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Gwendolyn, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn Read Only Funster

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    We are new to motorhoming - but have been lifelong campers / trailer tenters / caravanners. We will be going to mainland Europe for 3 months and would like tips about best ways of storing everything we need in our Autosleepers Symbol. By 'need' I mean books [lots of] / DVDs / computer / 'emergency' food / talking books for travelling days / comfy outside chairs and /or loungers..... oh yes, and I like nice clothes as well as the usual 'scruff stuff' for travelling /campsite days.
    What has worked for you? We did a month in France last Autumn, but not sure we got it right. With a large tow car for the caravan, we have been used to the luxury of being able to take loads of 'stuff' [including keyboards so I can happily play my fav pieces - with headphones on of course]. I find it hard to 'travel light'! Help is needed!!!
    BTW we have bought a Kindle - step in right direction.
     
  2. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Bit difficult to give specific advice but a simple rule would be "Don't take anything that does not perform more than one function."
    Another help might be to take as many things in disposable containers that can be disposed of on the way. This way space is created as time passes.

    If I can think of any more I will post later

    Norman
     
  3. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    We alway have used lightweight plastic crates that neatly fit the spaces available - Lakeland have some - B&Q others - helps to stop stuff sliding around and makes for easy searching for stuff as you can allocate a crate each for different things ie all batteries in - one socks in another - DVDs in another etc - I know a lot of others who do something similar
     
  4. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Don't take books, they weigh heavy and you can't take enough for a lengthy stay. Get a Kindle. DVDs - get one of those plastic cd folders and just take the discs, most of the space taken up and the weight is the boxes.
     
  5. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Well speaking personally I know full well I take far too many clothes with me and only land up wearing about 3 things wherever whenever we go anywhere. I become so attached to stuff I wash it out and wear it again rather than get a clean one out! We seldom go anywhere smart though so if push came to shove and we were invited somewhere by Royalty - I could easily go and buy a suitable frock and some high heels couldn't I? LOL
     
  6. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    The Kindle is the first good step.....:thumb:

    I have a collection of Western Digital 500gb 2.5 inch hard drives (c.£60 in PC World), and I rip all my dvd's and save as AVI's which play with VLC Player. I therefore carry about 500 dvd's on something the size of a fag packet. PM me if you need advice on how to do this, it's not necessarily straightforward - but certainly worthwhile.
     
  7. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    I'd go along with the last post, get a kindle. For clothing wear "technical" stuff, long lasting between washes and very quick drying.

    Rgds
    Bill
     
  8. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    Hi
    You could try a back box on a bike rack for the big bits:thumb:, I know what you mean about taking to much stuff my mr's cant leave anything at home :Doh::Doh:lol.

    Pete
     
  9. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    One way to save space is to have draw string bags, for each person then stuff all the socks needed in one, nicks (undies) in another I have one for belts and yet another for scarfs & sarongs etc as well, these can be tucked away anywhere taking little space. I also have two sausage type cushions I stuff one with spare towels and the other with a change of bedding and they make very usable cushions as well.
     
  10. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    We haven't tried it yet but our neighbours cut the tops of 2 litre pop bottles and use them for their undies and socks etc., lay them in the top lockers and everything's in one place. Best drink the contents first! :Laughing:
     
  11. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Having the smallest of pop tops space can be a problem. Firstly never take anything you will not use more than once. We use plastic stacking tubs that will fit into each other when empty. We have a toilet tent £30 that takes only 5 mins to erect. Put it up either inside or outside the awning and stack the tubs in the tent overnight
    Works for us.:thumb:
     
  12. CarolynandMike

    CarolynandMike Read Only Funster

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    Regarding clothing - make sure everything mixes and matches. Choose a couple of base colours (e.g. black and navy) for trousers/skirts and then top colours that go with these, e.g. pink, red, orange, yellow, etc. Also take only three/four of each type of outerwear and wash as you go along. I take long sleeved cotton tops, t-shirts and camisoles with a couple of cardigans and a light jacket (for summer). Roll items to store as they are less likely to crease if you can't hang them.
     
  13. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    You never told me that when I was packing :Doh:and look at the stuff I ended up taking and not wearing :Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Mike.xxx
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  14. Ven

    Ven Funster

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    The roll by hand vacuum bags were great for us when we had our panel van. Save so much space for spare clothes, towels, bedding etc. I have to agree with previous posts though that we took more clothes than we needed and wore the same favourites while others languished in the bags for months! :)
     
  15. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    I was always used to carying loads of stuff that I never used in the RV becouse I had the room in it,even down to an overcoat and 2 suits,one brown and one blue.Why I neaded them in Spain I dont know.Only ever wore shorts and T shirt.
    When I bought the VW a friend who had a small van conversion gave me some advice,and that was "If it doesnt do at least 3 jobs,it doesnt get a ride". Sound advice it was too.Everything in there has to do 3 jobs or it doesnt go.
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Lots of good advice so far..

    Remember weight or payload is just as important as volume , with that in mind some tips on food.

    For traveling and emergency use:

    * Buy dried food in packets; soup, pasta, potato, etc rather than heavy jars and tins.
    * Small sachets of; sauces, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, rather than bottles.. if you use a lot then buy small squeeze bottles.
    * Dried milk.
    * Disposable paper plates are useful if guests drop by, also saves washing up en route thereby saving water.
    * Plastic drinking cups.


    Rule of thumb when food shopping, look for small rather than big, plastic rather than glass, dried rather than wet.

    Buy proper fresh food daily at a local market rather than stocking up for a week at the supermarket..

    If you enjoy a BBQ, buy disposable as required..
     
  17. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    We have a rule any thing packed that does not get used on a couple of trips gets left at home next time, its surprising the amount that gets cut down over time and not missed.


    Dave .:thumb::thumb:
     
  18. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    :Rofl1: I could cut down 90 % of the things we take just by leaving one thing at home :thumb: THE WIFE :Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Do a self build plenty of storage - even a couple of empty cupboards
    terry
     
  19. Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn Read Only Funster

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    Thank you all so very much for the advice. I am summarizing here what I have learned, and done…. [and incorporated tips from other Forums as well] and perhaps others may pick up on tips which I have been given.

    GENERAL:

    2/ 3 uses for everything; take a good look at nooks and crannies in Motorhome; make inventories; chuck out anything you didn’t use on a trip; compromise!!! … all good stuff.

    We do use the double bed and leave out the extra bed bases. We did remove the heavy china crockery and replace with lighter plates etc.

    STORAGE:

    Bought more stacking boxes which fit snugly under the bed.; bought vacuum bags.

    A deep wine carrier [bought in France] I find sits well in the tall, narrow cupboard adjacent to cooker. It holds cans and tins as well as bottles and keeps them in place instead of stacking them and having them falling out every time I open the door!!

    The locker above the cooker is very deep; I am short - every time I opened the door, stuff fell out – dangerous really. So I have found 2 square jute bags which fit beautifully, stores stuff well and the bags can be lifted out by the handles when I want to retrieve stuff.

    In the wardrobe, we still have the hanging shoe holder we had last Autumn - I stuffed socks etc into it, but they kept falling out – so I have bought some of those mesh zipped wash bags, so I can see what’s in there and they stuff nicely into the compartments. [Wardrobe is rather narrow at one point and won’t take hangers, so the hanging ‘shelf unit’ is ideal there]
    Trouser hangers, coated in non-slip stuff work well – can hang a good few items on one hanger.

    Like the suggestion of the cutting off tops of plastic 2 litre bottles and using them for storing stuff – I have used that idea for bringing back collectables bought at Vide Greniers in France – never thought of it as a way of anchoring stuff safely in the ‘van.

    TABLES:

    We are going to remove the two [heavy] tables, which we found awkward, thus relieving space in wardrobe and behind 3rd seat, and in the ‘ledges’ where the legs are stored. We will use a very light fold up ‘TV table’ from Ikea – it sits snugly behind 3rd passenger seat fastened with a bungy.

    BACK BOXES:

    We did have a Fiamma Cargo Back for our month’s trip in France. But we have decided that we need to take bikes [have another post on this subject] so have to re-think storage for stuff that was in there…. We may try taking one of our largish plastic boxes with a lid which we can put outside once on site???

    We may take a toilet tent or a quick erect tent which we still have amongst out camping gear.

    “ENTERTAINMENT”:

    As I said in the OP, we have bought 1 Kindle. Need another… and yes, we did decant all DVDs into a plastic wallet. We will not be taking a TV but we do have a gadget to ‘convert’ lap top to TV – we use it in UK only. And we do take an external hard drive [loaded with films], and ipods.

    ONE USEFUL TIP??????:

    I am rather short and my feet just dangle when seated in the [non-adjustable] passenger seat. Very uncomfortable. Solution:
    Bought a plastic box with a lid, filled it with books and put a piece of carpet on the top. Comfortable seating position and added storage. If we take Kindles, the box will hold other stuff…..

    OTHER STUFF:

    Going to hunt down some Lifeventure towels as recommended.

    Thanks for the timely reminders about payloads…. As caravanners we are well aware of need for vigilance. But it doesn’t harm to be reminded.

    Things I will not compromise on:

    1) Plastic glasses …. UGH! Must have glass for my wine!!!
    2) Dried food…. Rather shop as we go.
    3) Clothes…. Although being a lifelong Camper etc [once – in the 60s - I was part of a group which won the all Wales Ranger Guide challenge – back packing throughout the Principality] I do draw the line to too much in the way of camping, “technical” clothes….. ‘posh hippy’ is more my style…….
    Although my husband was cheered by some responses.. so he feels he can cut down on clothes. I’ll use the space he leaves!!!

    I so enjoyed some of the humour- loved the suggestion of leaving OH behind to cut down on weight and space? An idea perhaps – except he does the bulk of the driving!!!!


    Thanks again all,
    Cheers
    Gwendolyn.
     
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