Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a seasonal sun-seeker, or a year-rounder, keeping your RV organized is a challenge – and the smaller the RV, the bigger the challenge.
Some tips from veteran RVers can help the novice camper and seasoned RVers alike keep their home away from home neat and organized.
Despite your best efforts, RVs are magnets for the “stuff” of adventure and travel: souvenir cups, the newest camping gadget, folding chairs, flashlights, destination T-shirts and toys for kids and kids at heart. While your new RV may have looked spacious and organized when you drove it off the lot, soon, a cramped version of the old radio show gag, “Fibber McGee’s Closet” is playing out of the speakers and pots and pans, shoes, and lampshades are falling out of over stuffed storage and onto your head.
For long-term RV campers, stay organized by making it a quarterly practice to clean-up and out. Plan to throw away, donate, or walk the campground to look for a new-to-camping family happy to have your set of unbreakable tumblers or holders for paper plates. For weekenders, be ruthless when you decide what goes back in the camper. If it’s April, ask yourself if you really need five winter blankets on your next trip in two months. The answer is probably “no.”
Be a “Square”
Once you’ve winnowed your gear, start to think square. While the packaging and stylish decorative containers look great in the fancy stores, there are very few round spaces in square RVs. Resist the urge to buy everything that looks good, and instead focus on more practical purchases.
The unique challenges of taking your closets and pantries on the oft-times bumpy road require thinking – not outside – but inside the box. Clothes will shift and tumble, and food will tip and spill. To prevent this from happening, shop for inexpensive clear plastic boxes and tubs with dimensions approximating the shelves and drawers in your camper. Plastic tubs keep everything contained without your supplies sliding to a hard-to-reach back corner or having a crumbly, bug-attracting mess in the crevices of your pantry. Modular plastic containers also help you make the most of the space in your pantry closets.
Square plastic tubs have the advantage of turning cabinets into makeshift drawers that you can pull out and see what you’re looking for, rather than blindly reaching back into the sometimes oddly configured RV and camper closets. And, when it’s time to load, unload, clean, or organize, pulling out plastic containers is far easier than handling armloads of loose clothes or kitchen goods.
No pantry? A small, clear plastic three-drawer container, such as those used for office supplies, can organize and hold seasonings, soup mixes and gravy mixes, measuring spoons and small dry goods.
If your RV doesn’t have a medicine cabinet, a small three-drawer container is a portable and easy-to-use (and easy to pack) medicine chest – or organizer for small, but important bathroom items, such as cosmetics, Band-Aids, medicines and shaving supplies. The small, efficient containers can fit under the sink or sit on the vanity, depending on space.
When it’s time to hit the road, a strip of masking tape along the front will keep all the drawers closed and is easy to remove when you reach your next destination.
Get the Hang of It
The easier it is to hang something up, the less likely it is to be tossed on a table, sofa or over a chair. Keep your RV organized by using Command-style hooks that are strong, but won’t mark thewalls or ceiling of your unit. Here are some ways you can use command hooks for everyday items:
- While a bowl of fruit may be picture perfect, it takes up valuable counter space. Consider hanging an inexpensive wire or net basket from an adhesive ceiling hook for fresh produce.
- Keep hand towels fresher longer – and off the vanity or the top of dry bath towels – with small wall-mounted adhesive hooks.
- The inside doors of utility closets, access panels and cabinet drawers are space that you can put to work with some well-placed hooks.
- The inside doors of the kitchen cabinets are the ideal place to hang relatively flat tools, like scrapers, small measuring spoons, knives, vegetable peelers and wooden spoons.
- Use the inside of utility cabinets to hang flashlights and small around-the-camper tools like scrapers, screwdrivers and utility knives.
Velcro zippered pencil pouches from the dollar store to the inside of cabinet and utility doors to hold hard-to organize odds and ends like charging cables, small office supplies and equipment manuals.
Like cabinet doors, the back of room doors can also do double duty. Fabric shoe hangers over the back of the door are great tools for organizing almost any room– or the only room in your RV. Everything from hairbrushes, to flip-flops and toys to remote controls can be organized in a pocket hanger.
Even the shower can be organized with a mesh, grommet-topped pocket organizer. Hang the organizer on the same hooks as the shower curtain and keep body wash, shampoo and razors off the shower or tub floor. Look for mesh pockets that will dry out with the shower curtain.
The Great Outdoors
Camping is all about being in nature, so keep your RV organized by keeping the outdoors where it belongs, outside the front door.
An inexpensive vinyl shoe rack outside the front door, keeps shoes – and the dirt on them – from dirtying up your camper. A small basket for slippers inside the door is a small price to pay for a clean camper.
Consider adding a small, magnetic mirror that can attach to the outside of your camper to your supply list. Set up a small station for shaving and hair combing outside, where the light is better and you won’t leave a mess inside your RV.
Pack all your extra supplies in one or two plastic totes that can double as coffee or end tables and footrests around your campsite. Keep tarps, party lights, plastic table cloths and other items you want close-at-hand, but not cluttering up the camper, inside the tubs for easy access.
If you like to cook outside, keep your outdoor cooking and serving supplies organized in a clear plastic drawer unit that can slide under your picnic or prep table. When it’s time to start grilling or set the table, you won’t be running in and out of your RV looking for paper plates and aluminum foil.
Camping and RVing are about enjoying friends and family in the great outdoors; it’s not about bringing the cluttered indoors on the road. Keep your packing list short and your RV organized to maximize the simple joy of the outdoors. For more tips and tricks, and everything you need for your next RV adventure, visit www.RVUSA.com.