Keep your RV organized by following a few simple guidelines.
One of the great things about RV travel is that you can load up your camper with everything you need to enjoy your trip. One of the challenges is that we can go overboard and try to cram too much inside. If you take too much gear, it can be difficult to keep your RV organized. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing you packed an item, but being unable to find it. Here are a few tips to help you pack what you need and keep it organized.
Start With a List
The most important thing you can do to stay organized is to create a packing list in advance. This will ensure that you are only taking the things you need and aren’t duplicating your efforts. If you take it a step further and plan your meals, your pantry can be that much more efficient as well. Why pack a bunch of food if you aren’t going to use it?
Use Your Own Space-saving Food Containers
Speaking of stocking up the pantry and refrigerator, food is the worst culprit for hogging up more space than it really needs. So many food items come in large packaging. After you’ve completed your shopping, take the items out of their original packaging for a better fit. Think about graham crackers, for instance. This camping staple typically comes in a box with several smaller packages. Once you use one, there is wasted space in the box. The same holds true for many pastas and cereals. By using space-saving, stackable containers, you can make the most out of a small space. Measure your cupboards and invest in quality airtight containers and your food will last longer as well.
Make Sure Everything Has Its Place
At this point, go back to your packing list and consider where everything will go. Create a space for all your typical gear, bedding and clothing so you will never have to wonder what happened to it again. Don’t be afraid to get creative about how and where you organize your things. RVs are notoriously short on dresser drawers, but hanging organizers are perfect for storing clothing in your RV’s wardrobe.
What about the smaller items like sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, keys? Where will you keep them so they are out of the way when you are in the RV, but handy when it is time to head out the door? Look around your space. Is there room for a small storage bin or basket by the door? If not, can you install a shelf or caddy on the wall near your RV entrance? If you think about it, that really is the perfect place to keep these items. Another option is to keep a day bag packed and ready to go by the entrance. As soon as you return to the RV, pack the aforementioned items into it so it is ready to go the next day. This sounds like a small thing, but keeping everything in its place is key to finding the items you need quickly.
Don’t Forget To Look Up
Don’t forget about the hanging space in your RV. Over-the-door (and cabinet) hangers are great if you don’t want to mount anything on the walls. They are perfect for jackets, hats, hoodies and more.
Another great product for mounting things on the walls without putting holes in them is a Command Caddy. This is a great option for lightweight items such as remote controls, leashes and keys.
There are numerous ways to make use of vertical space in the kitchen. Try drawers and shelves that can be installed under the cabinets. For cutting boards, muffin tins or baking pans, consider racks that are designed to fit over the back of your kitchen cabinets. You can even use the exterior of your kitchen drawers to hang potholders and other accessories.
Pay close attention to the height of the cabinets. Many RVs, especially fifth-wheels, are notorious for tall cabinets where only half the space is utilized. Wire storage shelves allow you to stack items and store even more. Spice clips let you store spice bottles on the inside of a cabinet door. Finally, collapsible mixing bowls and measuring cups stack well and allow you to use more of the vertical cabinet space.
Depending on the size of your RV, you may have a tiny bathroom with limited storage. So where will you put your toiletries and towels? Luckily you are not the first camper faced with this dilemma, and there are multiple products available to help. Suction hooks and corner caddies are simple and inexpensive tools that can help keep your shower toiletries available when you need them. Wall-mounted soap dispensers can clear up limited counter space. Over-the-door hanging racks allow towels to dry between uses, and cabinet door hanging racks can hold hair brushes and other styling tools. A common concern in a small space is where to put the dirty clothes. Try a collapsible laundry basket that you can store in the shower when not in use.
Don’t forget that some items will reside outside your RV once you get to the campground. Grills, coolers and camp chairs are all great examples. If you are storing them in the RV during transit, pack them last so they are the easiest to remove when you arrive at your destination.
Suction hooks are a great way to make use of exterior space to hang wet towels and bathing suits. Placing shoes in a storage bin (with a lid) right outside your door will keep the critters out of your footwear and the dirt out of your camper.
Use Your Tow Vehicle
Take advantage of your tow (or towed) vehicle as well. Think roof racks and trunk space. This can actually add more space than you might expect. Take stock of how much room you may have by cleaning out the car or truck and then consider how many passengers you will have on your next camping trip. Look at the remaining space and find the best containers to help organize it.
Storage bins with lids are perfect for packing extra coats and hats. If you have a smaller space, use soft-sided duffels or vacuum-sealed bags. They will conform better to fill the available space including around the wheel wells in the bed of a pickup truck. Store your RV toolkit in the trunk or truck bed using stacking totes designed to hold tools.
While all of these tips may not work for you, just employing a few strategies can go a long way toward keeping your RV organized on your next trip.