January 4, 2021
by Vanessa Bouchet
When people think of living in an RV full time, or even for an extended time, they think of cramped quarters, stuff all over the place, and no room to move. RVs have come a long way since the early days, and most newer RVs maximize space so that every available area in the RV can fit plenty of storage and supplies. When it comes to maximizing your area, the first thing to consider and probably the most critical question is, "Do I need this?". It can be a loaded question, depending on what you consider to bring. One key consideration is how to maximize the space in your RV to fit your supplies without excess.
One of the most important parts of organizing, whether it is an RV or house, is planning and laying out your supplies for the available space. We have a Class C RV, with a cab-over bunk sleeping area and bunk beds, one of which is for our dog. While planning and organizing, those spaces can provide additional storage, if needed, while driving. For those readers who have followed my previous blog entries, you will see a comprehensive list of essential items to bring on any RV trip. This complete list can seem daunting at the beginning because there are many items listed, but if you plan, you will maximize your space.
If you plan to become full-time RVers, the first thing to think about is purging unnecessary items from your possession. Purging items can be difficult when you think of family heirlooms, hand-me-downs, and other unique items to your family. These items may not fit into your motorhome, so they can be left in your home base (the place where your RV is registered and where you consider home). When planning items to bring with you, it is essential to travel light and plan for alternatives.
In terms of organizing your RV to maximize space, always consider what "dead-space" you can use for extra storage. For example, in our Class C's bedroom, there is a small space between the bed and the wall that we use for extra storage, and using this space does not cause unnecessary clutter. The area is about the width of a pop case, so if you plan to go on an extended trip, this is the right place for extra storage. The other thing to consider for organizing is, where you will be when you need it? For example, one must have a flashlight, because you never know when you may need it. Where will you store that flashlight? In the outside compartment? In the bedroom? In an overhead storage area? Wherever you decide to keep your flashlight, make sure it is accessible at all times. The last thing you need is, if the power goes out, you fumbling over things to get to your flashlight.
When we plan for our trips, we will lay everything out at our home base to see what we have, what we need, and what we don't need. Usually, our organization is down to the day, planning the exact number of dog food cans to bring, the precise number of meals to prepare for, etc. That way, we are not bringing extra items onto the RV that will take up valuable space. Lastly, look at possibly using storage containers for more organization.
We are starting to prepare for a 6-month adventure, in which we will need to pack for much more than we usually bring with us on short week-long trips. In this case, we plan to use plastic storage containers for extra clothes, food, and essential items, which can be neatly stacked into the bunk areas while driving or in the overhead bed above the cab. The overhead bed space is only useful when going without little ones. If you are traveling with kids, they would need that space once you arrive at your location, but the bunks and overhead bed for us offer a lot of extra storage on those long trips.
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