Class B vans are becoming increasingly popular, especially since the days of “your Grandpa’s camper van” are long gone. Today’s Class B RVs boast many of the same amenities exhibited in much larger RVs, except on a smaller scale. The same can be said for small Class C motorhomes and travel trailers, as well as tent trailers. However, as RV designers strive for more “liveability”, they invariably seem to omit much-needed storage.
In this article, I will discuss some ways to increase your storage, and ways to reduce the need for it. As I have pointed out in previous articles, I have owned all classes of motorhomes, and while my small Class C had reasonable storage space, my Class B van had virtually none. We have owned mostly large Class A diesel units, which, including the sizeable basement, have had plenty of storage. If you own a unit with limited storage space, this article will be of interest to you.
No matter how much we planned, storage always seemed to be an issue. The linens, towels, and dishcloths are folded and put away, and the dry and canned goods are stowed. Yet, on the day of departure – picking up the pets, and two teenagers, with all their clothes, homework, books, games, etc., additional piles of stuff grow. These piles also magically seem to appear in the most inopportune places, such as on the driver’s seat, slide-out area, or shower. Where did these piles magically appear from? Shoes pile up at the door, making it impossible to enter or exit the RV without stepping on or tripping over them.
To combat this, we have been employing various storage solutions – some have been more effective than others.
- While the number of drawers/cupboards may be limited, set some aside for clothing. Consider sharing drawer space, although when our kids were younger, we have had to assign space to prevent infighting.
- Ensure most RV tools are kept in outside storage. My wife has set aside one bottom kitchen drawer in all our RVs, which she affectionally calls the “Everything Drawer”. This is where we keep items such as rope, fuses, screws, tape, etc.
- Purchase plastic totes with lids, as well as Ziploc® bags, to fit in various cupboards, nooks, and crannies. Label the boxes and bags to contain items which you may need or want. Examples are water toys, scarves and hats, sunscreen/toiletries, etc. For example, we keep the sunscreen and bug spray in a container close to the first-aid kit in the bathroom. Scarves and hats are kept in a larger container on a shelf in the main bed area.
- Organize the outside storage, and keep the inside neat and tidy. It’s amazing how much extra space can be obtained when the area is organized!
- Downsize and only take what you need. Before leaving on your trip, consider your space and true requirements and pack only that which conforms to this. One of our tricks is to remove anything from the RV that we haven’t used in the last two trips.
The size and storage capacity of your unit will dictate what you can take with you, but hopefully, these tips can provide relief to your storage woes.
About the author: Steve Froese
Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.
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