Space is a valuable commodity.” Photo Diana Leblanc
Storage, space and too much “stuff”…
When I bought the Winnebago View I was so excited to have so much living area. So much more an I had in the Roadtrek. The big day came and I began the shuffle of stuff from one RV to the other. Surprisingly, there was very little that I decided to eliminate in the new RV. Going from a 42′ 5th wheel to the Roadtrek a few years ago meant major Downsizing at the time and I have grown accustomed to “less is more.”. I was originally the one who had everything we could ever want or need along with enough for all the neighbors. I packed like I was going to a third world country Where there would be no stores along the way.
The Roadtrek design is the most compact in the industry…every nook and cranny had a storage place. I was amazed at how prepared I could be in that RV. As I started loading the View I experienced a bit of panic. Where was I going to put everything and how would I arrange it? I spent the first evening of ownership in the RV until about 2 am arranging and rearranging. I’m sure any neighbors who were in town, thought I was a but crazy.
From those first few hours, I discovered some good storage ideas I want to share with all of you.
Cutlery storage. I bought one of the stacking cutlery organizers and it works great. Everyday needs stored on top and the back up items in the lower compartment.
Foldable storage containers. The overhead cabinets in the kitchen area were too big and too little. I could not figure a good way to store glassware, storage containers and stuff. I found the foldable storage bins made the perfect storage. Compact and organized and there was little rattle when driving.
Closet organization. In the Roadtrek I had no closet and now I had one. It was large, open and I had no idea how to organize this space. I bought one of the expandable sweater storage hangers, had to cut it off to fit and then ” voila” I created the equivalent storage to a chest of drawers. I hung a fabric shoe storage in the back wall of the closet and suddenly had a perfect place to organize everything from gloves to pajamas, all easily accessible in full view.
Command strips are the best thing ever. Of course, I had to hang all of my stuff up, but I refuse to ever use a nail in the paneling. I have seen too many RVs come in to PPL for sale and they had holes everywhere in the paneling? I love the command strips. They really work. Make sure the weight allowance is correct for what you are hanging up. I use them for everything from keys to hats and art. They are great. I also use the command strips on the countertop to secure the coffee pot and some small art items. No sliding”
Teachers putty. This is that sticky putty teachers use to stick things up in the classroom. It works great to secure items on a shelf or countertop.
Ziplock bags. I have every size you could think of and use all of them. From organizing a junk drawer to keeping medicines and first aid items straight, they are the best.
I know all of you have great storage tips and tricks. Please share them with me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Storage is always an issue for nearly every RVer. We always want to take things “just in case”. After all, it’s better to have too much than not enough, right? I know I’m guilty of that. I pack all of my storage spaces full of gadgets, clothes and other random things I may think I need. Of course, after we get to the RV campsite, and start setting things up, I always wonder “Why did we bring so much?” I’m a big fan of any product that makes more storage available and let’s me bring more on my trip without tripping over everything. Here are a few products that I use in my RV that keep me sane and my RV organized.
Needless to say, when we first got these in our warehouse, I was the first customer. Everyone knows that women pack too many clothes. Yes, we have to have that 1 sweater during the summer, just in case a polar cold front comes it. Yes, we have to have 20 different outfits. Now I don’t feel so bad, because our closet can handle everything I bring.
What a great idea! The space under your bed is mostly just wasted space, so why not put stuff in it? These handy hydraulic kits make it easy to lift your mattress platform up, without throwing out your back, so you can easily fill it with necessities. Better to have, than be forced to go buy one when you’re out on a campsite.
This is a great addition to any RV with underbody storage units. A sliding storage organizer. It allows you to fill your storage up completely and have access to it, without having to unload and reload everything in it. If you’re looking for something towards the back, just slide it all the way out and there it is! No more backbreaking lifting and moving.
Getting a new RV with slide-outs is great because Slide outs are an awesome addition to trailer life. You simply press a button and your living space is enlarged and it feels like the Elbow Room Fairy has paid your travel trailer a personal visit. It’s like upgrading from a regular hotel room to a suite with a jacuzzi tub. However as time passes wear, sag, twist, warp, and bind might make that slide-out seem a little harder to use and maintain. Many things can affect the operation of your slide outs: water leaking past the rubber seals, or perhaps the trailer has been parked for an extended period with the slide-outs fully extended, or the trailer wasn’t leveled properly, or maybe your slide-out contains the entire kitchen with water and gas installed in it and the weight is a lot for that slide out mechanism.
Here are some of the ways to alleviate slide-out sag and extend the life of your slide out mechanism. Make sure the slide-outs are closed when not in use, ensure everything is lubed properly and regularly, inspect the rubber seals for wear and cracking and condition them so that rainwater and dew stays where it’s supposed to….outside. And, finally, if you find yourself parked in a semi-permanent location give some thought to installing a set of support jacks under the slide-outs.
These inexpensive supports can really help make life a little easier, simply level the trailer, extend the slide-outs and install support jack under the slide-outs. Then, make sure that you verify that the slide out is still level. The last thing you want to do is over-extend the support and make the slide out higher than the trailer because that can cause rain to come in around the slide. Now, to better understand how this works, just imagine you’re holding a 10lb dumbell in your hand with your arm extended out full length. It doesn’t take very long for you to feel that weight getting heavier, well that’s what your trailer “feels” when you leave the slide-out extended for a good amount of time. The jacks are simple to install and pay for themselves by reducing the wear to your slide-out tracks and extension/retraction gear whether it’s electric or hydraulic.
Your RV is a place of adventure, experiencing new parts of the world, and creating memories with family and friends. We make plans, spend long weekends, haul it across the country and keep it maintained so it’s in good running order. There’s one thing you have to double check time and time again before you head out on vacation, and that’s your safety features. Your carbon monoxide detector, your smoke detector and your fire extinguisher are quite possibly the most important features in your entire RV, no matter how much you love your 50″ flat screen TV. Your TV won’t save your RV from irreparable damage in case of a fire.
Your smoke detectors are just as important, if not more important as the ones you have in your house. Yes, they may signal when dinner is done, but they serve a very distinct purpose. They alarm you when something is on fire or causing smoke. In your house, that means you can get out, if it’s on fire, or you can find out what it is that causing the smoke and take care of it. In your RV there is a much greater sense of urgency. Your RV is exponentially smaller than your living space, so if your smoke alarm goes off. You have a small amount of time to exit the RV. Hence the reason they are so important. If any part of your RV is causing smoke, you need to get out of it immediately.
There’s a gas out there that is colorless and odorless and can kill you. Scary, I know. The bad part about it is that most, if not all, of our RVs are equipped for propane, which emits carbon monoxide when burned incompletely. If your appliances aren’t in tip-top shape, you’re at the risk of having a carbon monoxide leak. Always keep a carbon monoxide alarm in your RV.
As I mentioned earlier, your RV is smaller than your house. That means fire can spread quicker and overtake your entire RV in a matter of minutes. When you’re cooking dinner, a grease fire is the last thing you want to happen. RVs come with fire extinguishers as a standard feature, but they do have a shelf-life on them, always check the dates and replace as necessary. Fire extinguishers can prevent your RV from going up in flames, but only if they work!
As a rule, I always check my detectors using the “Test” button and keep tab on my fire extinguisher’s dates to make sure my family and I are protected from tragedy.
All of us at PPL Motorhomes know that nothing makes an RV look smaller than a lot of clutter. You know, when you start accumulating “stuff”. Whether you need it or not, the more things you put in your RV the smaller it is going to feel. Interior space is already at a premium, so anything you can do to reduce the clutter will make your trip that much more enjoyable.
For example, one simple rule to live by is “One In, One Out”. If you bring an item into your RV that you expect will stick around for a while, then just scan around and pick out something that you no longer use. I’m sure you can think of a few things already.
Along the same lines, you should be cleaning out your RV regularly. If you’re a part time RVer, summer and winter are optimum times. If you are a full-timer, then you should be cleaning it out 4 times a year. Eradicate anything which may be a duplicate and donate items that you simply haven’t use during the past 3 months.
Here are a few tips from a professional organizer that will certainly help reduce clutter:
Reclaiming some space from your over-stuffed RV is one of the most rewarding feelings you can have. You’ll be shocked at how much room you’ll be able to get back. I hope this video gave you just a few ideas on how you can save a little space in your RV. If you have any tips, or hints that PPL Motorhomes & RV Nana can share with the rest of our readers, don’t hesitate to share it below in the comments section. Also, remember, if you are looking for a new RV, or looking to put your RV on consignment, give PPL Motorhomes a call.
Get the mold out of your RV. You know that distinctive odor. The thick, choking smell of mold and mildew is one that I absolutely can not stand. It doesn’t take very long for the that wretched smell to build up in an RV that is sitting idle waiting for your next adventure. Aside from some molds being dangerously toxic, the smell alone can be enough to ruin an otherwise wonderful trip. And, if you are trying to sell your RV, forget about it. Nothing kills a good deal quicker that a bad smell. Trust me on this.
So what do you do when your RV has become a breeding ground for mold, mildew and bacteria? Since emulsifying your RV in fire isn’t an option (did I mention how much I can’t stand mold), your next best bet is to use something less damaging than fire, but equally a effective . The solution is the miracle of Kanberra Gel.
When opened, the Tea Tree oil scent becomes airborne to stop mold, mildew and bacteria naturally. Look, if it works on boats which are highly susceptible to mold growth, just think of what it can do for your RV, especially during storage. The great think about it is that a single can of Kanberra Gel lasts for up to three weeks, working 24/7 dispersing Tea Tree oil scent into the air.
So what is Tea Tree Oil and how does it work? Tea Tree Oil is known around the globe as a natural antiseptic, most commonly used topically. (An ingredient in toothpastes, mouthwashes, creams, etc.). Simple air movement across Kanberra Gel®, OR a shot of Kanberra Spray® delivers TTO at the microscopic level to attack mold, mildew, etc. It looks easy now, but it took more than a decade and multiple formulations to accomplish.
The gel, spray and wipes feature the antiseptic and antifungal properties of Tea Tree Oil (TTO) to provide protection against bacteria and viruses.
Kanberra only uses Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil certified by ATTIA, Ltd. (Australian Tea Tree Industry Association, Ltd.)
Kanberra Products were the first water-based, alcohol-free air purifiers and surface cleaners to use Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil and we continue to utilize that standard for all of our products.
Versatile Kanberra products are chemical-free and safe around kids and pets, and can be used virtually anywhere mold, mildew and odors are a problem
Use in homes, automobiles, boats, sports equipment bags and more. Source: www.kanberragel.com
If you are interested in learning more about what Kanberra Gel can do to combat the odor in your RV, give it a try and tell us what you think. I’m pretty positive that you will be pleasantly surprised by the mildew fighting action of this fantastic product for homes, boats and, of course, RVs.
Going green is sometimes hard to do when you’re in an RV. When trying to minimize costs associated with traveling out of town for the weekend or for an extended vacation, we often tend to buy the cheapest cleaners at the store and bring them along.
I’ve found a way to break that cycle and it’s cheaper than buying the expensive, so-called “green” cleaners. Vinegar is an essential supply that every RVer needs to have on-board. It’s extremely versatile and you can get a gallon of it for just a few dollars. I’m going to share with you some recipes I’ve collected over the years for cleaning solutions based with vinegar, so no more cleaning with expensive chemicals that are probably making you sick and making your wallet a little lighter.
General Cleaning Solution
50/50 mixture of alcohol & vinegar
1 teaspoon of liquid soap (Dawn, Ivory, etc..)
Distilled water to top off spray bottle
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Start with an empty toilet bowl
add 1-3 cups of vinegar to the bowl.
Sprinkle baking soda until it fizzes.Scrub the bowl with a brush, then flush.
Add 1/2 cup of alcohol with 1/2 cup of vinegar to a spray bottle
Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down glass and mirrors.
RV Exterior Cleaner
Add 2 tablespoons liquid soap & 1/2 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water
Squirt straight vinegar into the air as a mist
(Add a drop or 2 of your favorite scented oils to combat the faint vinegar smell)
Bring a mixture of 2 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar to a boil in the microwaveRemove and wipe down the dried food from the sides
Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegarLet sit overnight and flush with warm water
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are so many wonderful ways to use vinegar in our RV. What do you use vinegar for? Visit us on Facebook and tell us of some recipes you use to keep your RV clean.
This may be wishful thinking on my part, what with all the hot and humid weather we’ve been having here on the Gulf Coast, but i thought today we’d chat a bit about what to expect if you’re driving your RV in cold weather. I know you snowbirds are probably rolling your eyes at this, but we Texans politely listen to you talk about how hot it is, so please bear with us. Everybody knows that the weather here in Texas can get….unpredictable. Not only that but there are portions of our state which will be getting heavy snowfall at the same time other areas are experiencing beach weather, so here are four tips for dealing with ice and snow on the road.
Granted you’re in an RV, but don’t do anything in a hurry. Don’t accelerate quickly. Don’t stomp on the brakes quickly. Don’t feel like you need to get where ever you’re going in 5 minutes either. Slow and steady wins the race, especially on slick roads in reduced visibility.
Fill That Tank
Most vehicles have fuel tanks near the rear wheels, and if yours does as well, keep it topped off. The extra weight of the fuel in the tank presses down on the rear wheels aiding in keeping traction. You still don’t want drag race starts away from traffic lights, but you’ll have less slippage when you apply the gas than if the rear was lighter.
Driving in adverse conditions requires more attention and focus than regular driving and it can wear you out. Make sure you aren’t fatigued before you start!
Pack Cold Weather Gear
Nobody plans on getting stuck, but just like you pack water when traveling through a desert..pack some blankets and cold weather gear if you’re traveling through the snow. Also make sure you phone is charged and handy in case of a break down or if you get stuck.
Some of us in this RV lifestyle do not travel in Recreational Vehicles…we are truly mobile homes. As such the RV is our permanent address, our bed every night, and our table for most meals. With that idea in mind, those folks tend to have a slimmed down list of possessions with all the essentials plus a few luxuries, keepsakes, and heirlooms. Even those of us who are part-timers in the RV have had to park, at one point or another, in an area we would politely call “Sketchy”. Now imagine doing that with your home which is filled with all your treasures…whether they be your insurance and tax papers, wills, firearms, jewelry, laptops, etc etc etc. How secure would you feel about those items while you were parked in a less than ideal spot for the night?
John Fisher ARPS
To help ease that feeling of…well…unease, I’d like to suggest you install a small safe to store those valuable in. We offer an electronic safe by Dometic called the MD 390 RH. It’s small enough to be unobtrusive, yet large enough to store a 17″ laptop. They’re fairly light as well, weighing in at thirty one pounds. With as light a weight as that, they can be floor mounted or even wall mounted. The cool thing about them is that they are fully programmable and you can use from 4-6 numbers in your access code. Needless to say, you can change this code as often as you like. If I remember correctly the interior size is just over a cubic foot which is perfect for all your important documents, spare cash, jewelry, even a handgun if you don’t have a gun safe in your RV. It’s powder coated to prevent corrosion, and felt lined to prevent damage do your valuables. We have them up at the website and if you’re interested in learning more, click HERE.
There is an interesting paradox that happens in Texas in regards to the amount of rainfall we get. Here’s a quick summation. It has been raining voluminous amounts and people are pretty much over the inconsistencies Texas’ rainy season. If you are a Texan, you just accept this as part of living here. Of course, just because you know what the score is doesn’t mean you don’t complain about it. Then, it suddenly stops and before we know it we are begging for the rain to come back. Texans are never satisfied. In the meantime, humidity is just a part of life, especially here in Houston. Not only is the humidity high in our homes and office, it is REALLY high in our motorhomes and trailers. Even though you may not have had any leaks in your RV, it was probably closed up during the storms and just smells a little musty. If there is one thing I’ve never grown accustom to, it’s that dank, musty, stale air. I dislike it so much that I went on a mission to find a few products that really work to help get rid of that musty smell. I have become a big fan of the Eva-Dry Dehumidifiers. These handy dehumidifiers are filled with silica gel, a very “thirsty” substance and it even has a handy indicator on the front of the unit that tells you when it’s time to recharge the silica. At that point, you simply plug it into any power outlet and, in a few short hours, the silica is good to go again for another 30-60 days. There’s no messy crystals, or water to spill out. The crystals just absorb the water and then they recharge. Voila! I love it when things work this easily.
Here are some other great dehumidifiers for you to peruse. All get the job done very efficiently.
The bottom line is that high humidity is not only a odoriferous nightmare, but it can cause damage to your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel. Look into equipping your RV with a dehumidifier and literally clear the air.
As always, if you have any questions about which dehumidifier might be best for your RV, don’t hesitate to contact PPL Motorhomes.
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate enough to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I have been blessed with years of wonderful experiences and memories of RVing with family and friends. With 3 children, 8 grandchildren and a ton of friends who I refer to as my adopted family, I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I was blessed to have shared this lifestyle with my late husband, a Cajun from Lafayette, and his spirit will live on in all of us as we continue down the road of life.
My life with PPL has given me so many wonderful chapters, from sharing my RV experiences as RV Nana to working with the Texas Campground Owners Association and holding the position of President of the Texas RV Association from 2011-2013, so it’s easy to see that the RV lifestyle is my style. Watch for me on the road …I’m the one with the RV Nana license plates on my car and RV, and share your RV experiences with me. See you soon!