Lately on our Facebook page (http://Facebook.com/LongLongHoneymoon) we’ve been talking about RV storage space. We love our 25-foot Airstream Classic travel trailer. It’s comfortable, cozy, and has been a wonderful home on wheels to us in a variety of adventures. But one thing it’s not… is spacious. We don’t have a lot of storage space.
Forget about measuring storage space in terms of square feet. We need to talk about square inches. Maybe even millimeters (if you can stomach the metric system). Every little bit matters.
What’s the secret to making the most of the space on hand? This is a pressing topic for most RV travelers, especially those who go on extended long term trips.
First of all, it’s important to only pack items that you need and/or will really use. This is harder than it sounds. In fact, this is one topic that has (gasp!) created some husband/wife relationship friction in our RV travels. We’ve made some memorable mistakes in the packing department. I dare not go into too much detail here, else our website may be renamed Short Short Marriage.
Suffice to say that we’ve both been guilty of bringing items on our trips that ended up being unnecessary. Some large, some small. Even after years of taking our Airstream on long term journeys, we still make mistakes.
The problem is that it’s hard to determine exactly what is necessary until you get out there. Every trip takes on a life of its own. Sometimes we do a lot of biking; sometimes the bikes go unused. Sometimes I use certain camera gadgets and tripods; on other trips, they spend most of their time stuffed under the bed. If you’re camping at a local park, it’s not a big deal. If you’re camping 2000 miles from home, it can be a pain.
The “use it or lose it” analysis must apply to every item on board, from food, to clothing, to electronics, to toiletries. Don’t really need and/or intend to use it? You probably should leave it at home. At the very least, you don’t need to bring many duplicates of items. It’s all too easy to overpack.
The problem of overpacking is not simply one of added weight (more weight on board the RV is bad), but also added clutter. Once you exhaust the available storage space, items end up lying on the couch, stuffed behind the couch, scattered on the and floor, and wherever else they may find a home. It makes for a less pleasant living environment.
What about closet space? We have two closets, and they range in size from small to smaller. It stands to reason that we can’t pack too much inside those closets. We can either bring less stuff, or bring smaller stuff. If we find a way to gain any space advantage in the packing process, we celebrate.
Case-in-point: we now have our Airstream closets stocked with ultra thin “no slip” velvet clothes hangers. These fall into the “bring smaller stuff” category.
At first glance, it may seem a little silly to worry about the size of clothes hangers. But we are talking about an RV here, and every millimeter matters. The thin flat hangers are a nice upgrade over the usual thick round plastic hangers that are now in fashion.
These hangers serve two purposes. First of all, they are indeed ultra thin – like 1/5 of an inch thin. So you can stack 40 or 50 of them together into a small space. It’s a modest but significant improvement.
Second, these hangers are “no slip” because they’re covered in some sort of grippy pseudo velvet. This is a wonderful feature for an RV, because clothes typically get bounced and jostled when the RV is traveling down the highway. If hangers are not “no slip,” inevitably some of the clothes slip off the hanger and onto the floor. It’s a bummer when all of your clean clothes are lying amidst your shoes at the bottom of your closet.
There’s no magic solution to the RV storage space quandary. It’s an ongoing battle against weight and clutter that we all must fight. If you can find a product like “ultra thin no slip clothes hangers” that gives you a space advantage, it makes sense to utilize it.
Now, if only they made ultra thin bicycles and barbecue grills…