Thursday, February 25, 2010

Build your own RV storage organizer

No matter what type of RV you own, storage will be an issue. Over the years I've used everything from elaborate storage compartment organization units to stackable plastic storage bins and cardboard boxes. I still use all of these because they work.

If you are new to RVing, I suggest you start off with plastic bins and cardboard boxes until you determine what works best for your RV camping style. One helpful thing you can do to organize your gear is to put masking tape on each container and, using a Sharpie, label the contents. Otherwise you will end up pulling everything out trying to locate one item.

After you have determined what you use most often and its most convienient location, then you can build more user friendly storage organization units. Our current motorhome has a large (and heavy) 50 amp extension cord for bringing power into the coach. I fought with this anaconda for a couple years with no dedicated place to store it. I would usually just throw it into any compartment that has some space. One rainy day as I shoved it into a compartment it transferred mud and debris onto the other items in the storage compartment. I knew I needed to find a permanent home for this beast so I decided to design and build a wooden storage compartment.

I needed a place that was easy to get to and simple to use. So, I decided to make a tray deep enough to hold the power cord and a drawer to hold hoses, TV cables, electrical adaptors and stuff I need for hooking up the RV. I built this unit to fit on the already existing pull-out cargo tray. I simply pull out the unit and throw the cord into the tray - sweet!I made the drawer 36 inches deep and installed ball bearing drawer slides. Since this drawer slides out so far I can easily access the various size water hoses and adapters I need for different campground hook-up configurations. I also made a compartment for wood blocks and a place for holding a box of latex gloves I use when handling the sewer line. If you don't have the woodworking skill or tools to make this type of storage unit, consider asking someone you know who enjoys woodworking to make it for you. Woodworking hobbyists love any excuse to make stuff. It is important to know the exact dimensions and provide them with a rough sketch of what you want.

Helping to keep you organized and on the move - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing


Anonymous said...

When we were new to the RV game we noticed an 'old timer' used a plastic crate from Wal-Mart or Staples and he coiled his 50 amp power cord in the crate ... it has handles, plus my husband has wound the cord so that both ends are accessible and can be uncoiled as much as you need depending on where the electric post is located. The crate keeps the cord from sliding in the mud & leaves and will scoot under the motorhome while in use keeping some of the debris from accumulating. There is a space on the joey where the square crate lives when on the road and it has worked great for 6 or more years for less than $10 -- or better yet use the crate you have in the garage already!

Anonymous said...

ALWAYS uncoil the cord when in use DO NOT use it coiled up aws it may overheat and self ignite.

Anonymous said...

Great idea. Only question I'll watch closely designing mine is keeping weight down.

On the comment about unwinding power cables fully - not to worry, ever. What the Anonymous poster ALWAYS needs to remember at night while sleeping is WHY his power cord is overheating! If the cord is hot, so are all the connections. Reduce your power consumption!

On the tray idea again - I'll look around for a plastic tray insert for the top power cord drawer, or line it for easy cleaning.

Thanks again!

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