Wednesday, May 24, 2017

5/23 Storage in an RV

One of the positive things about a motorhome over a trailer is that you tend to have more storage space.  The manufacturers stuff storage cabinets into every bit of space they can.  Not only do I have a lot of inside cabinets in places such as over the couch, over my recliner, under my bed, over the end of my bed, and in the hallway, but I also have outside storage.  Outside storage consists of spaces behind lockable doors and in pass-throughs which I use for long things like ladders for the bunks and brooms, brushes, and a small step ladder, plus my outdoor folding chairs.

I posted a few days ago about how stuff moved around as you drove and went over hills and bumps.  Inside my motor home, things move around.  In the outside storage areas, things tend to get wet and mildew after truck washes or driving rain, in spite of the storage areas supposedly being sealed with rubber strips.  

So here is a small sampling of photos showing how I store things so they don't fall out or fall over and spill.  First, here are some photos of inside storage. (Please, no comments on my food!)  

My refrigerator looks bigger than it is, but it is only about 7 cubic feet.  The freezer is another 1.5 cubic feet.  Note that everything is in a container with a lid or screw top or in a plastic zipper bag.  The shelves are turned so that the ridge around them sticks up a tiny bit and helps to keep things from sliding off shelves.  In addition, I have adjustable curtain rods to help corral food.  Regardless, when you open the door, you never know what will fall out. 

The fins in the back are typical of propane adsorption refrigerators. I have to defrost them with a hair dryer every couple of months. The water drains down a shelf and outside.  What is neat about RV refrigerators is that most work on both propane and electricity, and they change over automatically if you set them on automatic.  So, wherever I am, parked or driving, my refrigerator and its separate freezer is keeping everything cold! 

In my hallway, I have two 6" deep cabinets that are called "pantries."  Each has one shelf halfway up. When I first got my motorhome, I was constantly picking up stuff from the floor because the doors would open as I drove.  I got some shelf railing from the hardware, stained it to match and glued and had my son screw it to the shelves to keep stuff in.  The two taller containers on the left of the lower shelf are my sugar and flour canisters.  I do a lot of baking and cooking, so I keep the standard baking stuff you have in your own home.  I did not take photos of the matching lower cabinet because it was messier! 

This is one of two long cabinets over my couch.  The one on the left (not shown) keeps my dish towels and dishcloths, plus my electronic cords and chargers in two plastic boxes.  This one on the right has all of my maps and some travel and bird books I use periodically. It is hard to see, but everything is in three clear plastic, open-front bins.  Makes it easy to see stuff and reach it.  I keep extra pens and my stapler here, also.

This is one of my kitchen cabinets over my sink.  I have added a wire rack to make another shelf.  Note the clever use on a spatula to keep my paper plates and paper bowls from sliding out!  Also, I keep my sugar dispenser in a plastic container ever since it fell on the floor and made a mess.  Hidden on the lower shelf in the back is the set of Corelle dishes I got for my motorhome and almost never use!  

This side of the cabinet over my sink also has a wire rack to make a second shelf.  I use another clear plastic bin to hold my water bottles and lids.  I like these better than glasses because they do not spill.  I wish there was a better solution for storing them, however, because they are hard to reach and the lids get all mixed up.  It would also be easier, I suppose, if I were about 4" taller.

This is a cabinet on the other side of my main living area next to the entrance door. I have more of the clear plastic open-front bins here and keep everything needed for going outdoors--wipes, bug spray, folding water bottles, mosquito net hats, sun screen, nylon carry bags, etc.  

Even cleaning stuff under my kitchen sink has to be contained in plastic bins. Otherwise, it would fall over and possibly spill.  The floor of this cabinet has non-skid shelf plastic.  The empty spot is where my small wastebasket goes. 

Fits just perfectly!  

Now for the outside!  This storage area has a pass-through to the opposite side. On the right, you can see my water filter with the water pump behind it.  The water filter drips water, so I keep an old bread tin under it and have to empty it about once a week.  The rest of the stuff in boxes is receipts and warranties, original software packages and some electronics, and my sand collection in small bottles from beaches I have been on.  The white thing on the left wrapped in several layers of plastic is the extra foam for the big bunk to make the bed more comfortable when I have guests. 

This storage area is not connected to anything else, so I keep extra clothing and winter things, plus my old, broken laptop I want to get fixed someday.  Unfortunately, this is the one bin that leaks during rain and truck washes, so everything is carefully wrapped up, including my carry-on suitcase, which is on the right and wrapped in thick garbage bags. 

I tried to add rubber weather stripping to this area, but it did no good.  Last week i pulled things out and found 3/4 of an inch of water!  Got it all out with some rags, but I am goiing to at least drill some holes in the bottom so when water gets in, it can drain out.   

The next two photos show the area where I store chemicals and cleaning stuff, plus my clean water hoses. I keep Chlorox wipes for washing my hands after dumping my tanks.  The white box is touch-up paint.  The sewer hoses on the right are brand new, so OK to store it here in this "clean" area. (The compartment next door is where my sewer hookups are located, so it is "dirty" because I store the sewer hose here when not in use.)  I have a couple of extra quarts of oil in this compartment also. 

This is the other side of that same storage area.  The big plastic box has a blue and grey collapsible bucket.  The white and blue hoses are used only for hooking up to city drinking water connections or filling my water tanks.  The green hose is for flushing my black water tank, but it is clean so kept here.  Under all the hoses is an extra 25' long 30 amp electrical cord and some connections for attaching my 30 amps to 20 amps and to 50 amps, if I need to.  The blue canister in the front is an external water filter for places where the water is really bad and the whole-house inside filter might need help filtering water.  There are two new rolls of shop towels on the far right. 

Opposite the storage area where I keep water hoses and electrical cords are two plastic bins.  One contains camping things like table cloths, charcoal, grill covers, and fire starter.  The other contains repair stuff like rolls of rubber sealant tape, extra velcro, and a tiny, cheap battery-operated drill and a few bits.  I keep a collection of old screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer in my canvas tool bag.  

The boards in the back are for driving on to raise one or two wheels slightly since I don't have automatic levelers. I have two others which are under my right rear wheels right now.  They will go on top of the left plastic container when I am done using them.  The whisk broom is for brushing the dirt off of them.
I have another storage area where I keep a small vacuum cleaner and my bike bag and helmet.  I also carry a small air compressor for my bike tires in another storage area, along with a small carpet cleaner.  In a third area, I toss extra paper towel and things like chlorox bottles and bags of recycling I don't want to store inside.  

I haven't shown you where I keep my clothes, towels, bedding, and all the other junk you have to take with you when you full-time, but you can see that especially is a motorhome as large as mine (32'), you have a lot of storage.  About every six months, I try to go through each area and sort stuff out, tossing what I no longer need or use. 


  1. Thanks for the peek inside. Some good ideas here. I use bins to corral stuff in cupboards too, as well as some dollar store baskets in my frig. I keep jars and bottles (including milk & creamer) in my refrigerator door, which works well for me.

    1. I lose so many things that I really like the clear plastic bins. And the partial open-front ones that I got at Amazon make it easy to reach in to get stuff. Outside, I use the stronger ones.