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RV Tips and Tricks
This website is really for my photography but we travel so much in our RV that I wanted to share some of my findings.
I really dislike wasted space and I'm always looking to maximize. I used to have a Winnebago and that had great storage under the dinette benches. You just lift up the seat and voila, tons of storage. Our new one is a Forest River and it has drawers that slide out from the sides. First off, you can't slide the drawer all the way out when the slide-out is in. Second, I look at the size of the drawer and compare that to the size of the bench, very disproportional. So I decided to investigate.
I removed the seat cushion and found a thin wood board with two screws. I took the board off and was astounded by how much space was in there and not being used. Here's the pic to prove it. The drawer was good for holding a couple blankets.
I knew the drawer had to go. So I removed the drawer, the rails, and that piece of wood at the end. I attached self-closing cabinet hinges on the drawer front for easy access. I sanded all the wood trimming down to make sure no one would get splinters. I found a carpet remnants for a great price (and it was better quality than the rest of the carpet in the RV). Put the carpet down in the bottom and now I'm all set.
Lots of storage, easy access to the items near the end and it's simple to take up the seat board and cushion to get to the rest. Now, the other bench has the seat belt contraption in the bench but there's still a drawer there and there's still more room if you remove it and make it a cabinet door and open space.
My point to all this was to say that if you have drawers for storage, it might be worth looking into how much space you really have.
You know how flight attendants tell you you that items in the overhead compartments may have shifted during the flight? Well, lots of things shift in the cabinets when you travel in an RV. Soda cans in the fridge come spilling out the first time you open the doors after driving. I've found those clear fridge/freezer trays from Walmart work great. One of my biggest problems was the cups. You have a stack of cups in the cupboard and the first time you make a turn, blam, they are all on their sides. Here's how I solve that one.
My new best travel storage friend is PVC end caps. 3" and 4" ones are great for cups. I put three of them in a lazy susan, stack the cups up inside them and they no longer tip over. They are also great for storing small things in drawers.
Lighting is such a problem if your cabinets don't have it built in. I want to be able to open the wardrobe cabinet and have a light come on. I just discovered these on Amazon and they are fantastic.
The adhesive seems a little week but it's holding on for now. The nice thing is that the adhesive strip is a magnet so you can take the light down and replace batteries or use as a flashlight. It's got a great range for picking up motion and goes out after 15 seconds of inactivity. I also put one under the sink cabinet. The three pack is the best value for your money. Depending on where you put it, the light will come on when you open the door. But it will definitely come on as soon as you reach in. I was giddy, opening the doors just to activate the light.
I've seen this mentioned a few other places but I can't say enough about the many uses of curtain tension rods. I've got one under the sink to hold back cutting boards and such. I use another one as a hand towel rack in the bathroom. Because of their adjustable size, they are so universal.
Our current RV came with a wardrobe bar so that each hanger had it's own hole. The problem I have (other than it's difficult to get the hanger in and out) is that I can't move the clothes to one side to see the bottom of the closet. I have a fantastic fix. I've installed a towel bar. This one from Ikea is great because it maximizes the length of the bar and doesn't have decorative pieces.
I hope these tips have helped or inspired you. I invite you to also visit my gallery (where you can purchase photos and items with photos on them), and Zazzle where I've created some products with my photos.
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