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Old 10-13-2007, 01:14 PM   #1
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donreitz
Storage Organization

Our trips are starting to get longer which means we're carrying more things. This has gotten me to thinking about what systems other folks use for storing items in the outside compartments. For instance, I observed one individual who had a series of tackle/tool boxes lined up along the front of one of his compartments and he would reach into various boxes and pull out tools or other items he used when setting up his unit. This seemed pretty clever and highly organized. We have a few plastic milk crates we use, but mostly we just throw stuff in them with little thought of organization--not efficient at all.

So how do others keep their goods organized and within easy reach? Also, if you tow with a truck, what use do you make of the bed for storage?
Thanks,
Don
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:27 PM   #2
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Hey Don, I'm not sure if you're refering to me when you say the plastic storage bins in the front locker. If you were at the Meet & Greet in Buttonwood, then it was probably me.

We have the 2499TT which has the long pass through bin in the front. We went and bought 3 of those clear plastic bins with wheels on the bottom that are normally used for storing under the bed. One holds all our paddling stuff. Life Jackets, spray skirts, gloves, waterproof bags...etc

Another one holds all our Mountain Bike stuff. Shoes, Helmets, Camelbacks, Gloves...etc

Then the other holds miscellaneous stuff. Tennis Rackets, Baseball mits, backpacks, and anything else that we might need for outdoor fun or a day at the beach. We find that this keeps our stuff organized and when we want to go do one of these activities, we can just pull out that bin, and know everything is there.

The other reason we only have 3, you could normally have 4 and still have plenty of other space for leveling wood and chocks, but that pass through bin is where we chose to mount our 2000watt inverter. So it has to have room to move some air around.

I'll try and snap some pictures to show you. Remember, we live full time in our Sunline, so every square inch is needed and constantly being rethought out for the best possible use of space. You might do or bring things completley different then we do, but we have to have everything with us. We have reorganized these dozens of times, and are regularly throwing things out that we find just never come out of the bins.

If we find that we dont use something numerous times, then there is no need to have it taking up space and weight

As for the back of the truck, we bought 3 of those big Rubbermaid bins with latching lids. Two are pretty long with wheels on the bottom and one is a bit smaller and they sit together like a puzzle piece. Depending on what truck bed you have, you could rearrange them anyway you see fit.

We store real camping gear in one of the big ones...i.e. Tent, Sleeping bags, Cook stove and other items that we will need when we really want to rough it.

One holds all our winter gear that we keep with us like winter boots, snow pants, thicker jackets, gloves, hats...etc.

And then the other one holds things that we might use on occasion. Tow Straps, jumper cables, flares, tire pump...etc.

Here's where the organization to the extreme comes into play. While I was loading all of these bins, I wrote down what is in each one and numbered the bins. I keep that pad of paper in the center counsel of the truck. You will only have to bring all 3 bins out one night in the cold or in a rain storm to try and find one thing before you realize how important this is. My wife teases me, but when we're getting ready to go for a hike and it's cold, she says "Where are my gloves" and I say "Bin 3" and she doesnt complain.

Sorry this took so long to explain, but if we can live out of this small camper full time, then some of these things could really trickle down to the weekend warrior. I actually find it harder to pack for just a short get-away then to stay fully packed and know where everything is. So I feel your pain when it comes to deciding what to pack for the weekend.

Hope that helps
Pat
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:01 AM   #3
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Don,
In our T-2499, the side storage garage holds all of our cords, chocks, hoses, and just about everything related to setting up the camper. The front crossover holds four folding chairs, the cookstove and hibachi, four folding end tables and a broom. We still have room left over for fishing tackle boxes and rods.
Inside the trailer, I have a 18 gallon storage bin that holds all of our lights and decorations. That rides in the living room while we are towing and stores outside when at the campsite.
In the bed of the truck, I always have two plastic trash cans of fire wood with the lids bungeed on, another 18 gallon storage bin that has nothing but 16" x 16" pieces of 3/4 inch plywood and assorted sizes of 2 x 6 wood for leveling and jack stand support. When on a long or a hot trip, I also take along a Coleman Extreme cooler for the drinks. As for tools, I have a crossbed toolbox mounted on the truck.

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Old 10-14-2007, 09:09 AM   #4
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Man, you guys on the East coast must run into some very unlevel conditions at your camp grounds.

In the 10 months we have been on the road straight, I think we might have had two or three campgrounds where I needed to pull out some leveling wood. I really only carry about four or five pieces of 2x6

But everytime I talk with someone from the East Coast, they have their storage boxes filled with level pieces. Is it really that bad over there? Asking just so when we do head that way, I'll know to bring extra pieces if needed.

Pat
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:59 AM   #5
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I don't know where they're camping. All we carry for leveling is 1 set of Lynx Levelers and 1 2x6"x2'. The only place we used everything and had the tongue all the way up was Douthat State Park in Virginia, and I think we just picked the wrong site.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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Good ideas all around. Emam, the guy I was referring to I met in Durango, Colorado when he was unhitching his 5th-wheel and disconnecting his toad. I don't know exactly how he was organized, but he'd go to particular tool boxes and pick out certain tools as he needed them. The boxes were arranged along the front edge of the storage compartment so he didn't have to reach or grope for things, everything was accessible right in front. He certainly knew what he was doing and got set up pretty quickly.

It's obvious we need to make better use of our truck bed. Up until recently we stored our bikes back there using an old Yakima rack designed for a rooftop to hold the bikes upright and locked. This worked okay, but it took up too much room for just the bikes and, besides, we recently got a tonneau cover so keeping the bikes upright in the bed was no longer possible. On our last trip we just laid the bikes on their sides under the tonneau, but it turns out this is not good for the dérailleurs. I think there will be a trailer bumper bike rack under the Christmas tree this year. That way we can store heavy and bulky items in the bed and keep them out of the trailer.

Thanks again.
Don
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:43 PM   #7
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As for the leveling, the most that I have used is two pieces of the plywood under one of the wheels. I have found at that if I place a board under the leveler jack, I get better support. At times when camping near water, I find the soil is sandy and somewhat loose. Putting the board under the jack prevents the base from sinking into the soil.

When we camped at Cedar Point SP near Clayton, NY, we were on a hill sloping towards the river, with the rear window overlooking the water. After we leveled out, the front jacks were two inches from the ground and the rear was up in the air a good foot and a half. Since I am computer idiot, I will try to get DW to add a photo of this to the post tomorrow. I try to be prepared for any situation whether it is wood, hose, electric cord, rope etc. I once had to run 125 feet of electric cord from a screw in light tap that I carry, from a bathroom to the overflow area. Ya never know.

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Old 10-15-2007, 11:06 AM   #8
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Jellystone at Lurray, VA.......20 Lynx levelers, 4 lynx leveler caps, an 8" concrete block, two pieces of 6" x 6", and I would have liked to had at least 10 more Lynx levelers.....and this was after threatening to leave the campground after the first night because the first site we had was not only unlevel but also so uneven that the trailer almost walked off the lynx levelers from flexing when we went to the bathroom during the night.

This was a worst case scenario, but I've been to some really unlevel sites!!
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:22 PM   #9
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Our T-280SR has a large rear storage area that goes under the bed. My goal was to be able to arrange things such that I wouldn’t have to dig to get something. After 2 seasons of using the trailer and many times of rearranging things and trying different ideas I think I finally came up with a good plan for me.

I use a combination of various size crates, drawer storage units, and metal closet shelves to help organize all our stuff.


The left side (looking in / ODS) of the storage area is where the HW tank is. I use a small bucket to keep awesome, and other liquid bottles in. This picture also shows how I’ve created a storage shelf for our table, so that the table can be easily removed.


The right side (looking in / DS) has a small shelf that I put peg board in to hang tools and other miscellaneous stuff.


I store the surge protector and a roll of paper tolls on the inside of the storage door.


We also have a front door side storage area. This area was completely open to under the kitchen sink. To seal it off and create a buffer to cold drafts, I installed peg board with the blue insulation board behind it.


I use an open crate here to keep odds & ends and use the peg board for various extension cords, rope lights, etc.


I also installed one of those round push lights hanging on the inside wall so I have a light in there at night if needed.

Every trailer is difference with its storage space and configuration. Thought I would share some ideas from a different layout (i.e., from a non-2499 owner ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by emam
Man, you guys on the East coast must run into some very unlevel conditions at your camp grounds.
Oh ya, Pat, I now carry 2 – 2”x10”x5’ boards with me for side-to-side leveling. I increased from 2x6 because I wanted the boards wide enough to fit the full wheel on, plus I will also use these boards to keep the wheels off the ground during winter storage (one on each side of course).


And yes here in the east I have had situations where I’ve had to use both board to get the trailer level.

But then I had to figure out where to store them. One I put on the front A-Frame between the LP tanks and battery.


But the other I had to come up with a different idea . So I devised a way to store them on the back bumper using some standard ladder wall hangers and U-Bolts.


I installed the ladder hangers on the back bumper using the U-Bolts. Had to cut one to fit under the edging of the rear storage door. This picture also shows where we store the carpet, stuffed behind the spare tire and held in with a bungee cords rapped around it.


The level board fits perfect in the ladder hangers and is held in place with a coupled of bungee cords.



Hutch
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