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Old 06-01-2011, 09:27 PM   #1
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Cool Loading Storage Bays

Looking forward to picking up our MH on Saturday. Starting to think about the best way to stow items in the storage bays. Looking for ideas from you guys that have already loaded and reloaded a few times. We will not be full timing, the Beaver only has one full pass through bay and it has a slide tray. What works best towards the front, back, street side, curb side? How about shelves and dividers? What items do all of us newbies think we have to have but will never use and should just leave at home.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:22 PM   #2
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We are 50/50 meaning we travel a little less than half a year and ore in out stick house the remainder of the time.

What I consider when loading is; What do I need/want every day and what occassionally. I load accordingly thinking of easy access. Then bulk, certain things are going to be of a size they will only fit one place---like my ladder which I like to carry in the bay pass through. It fits there and there only.

I have a gas rig so I must consider weight to balance the load so I can if possible have equal weights on both ends of the axel front/rear---that is not easy for me. You have a DP so probably a hefty GVWR, still weight needs to be considered and you need to weigh after you load full, including food clothing water etc; If you are out of balance then move stuff to get as balanced as possible. Check your tire pressure make sure it is correct.

Curb side is the side you will have greatest access in most RV spots, Street side usually has all your hook up so it will also have curbs, trees, bushes, sometimes making access more difficult. Also you gather on curb side with your awning there, your door, etc so things you use most often can go on that side. If you like to BBQ everynight---then the BBQ is best on that side. Chairs, small tables etc. Your BBQ propane tank should then be accessible----you know it is pretty common sense.

You need to get at things like tools easily, a squeegy for cleaning windshields, your tire pressure guage---that stuff should be handy. Things you would need in case of a sudden shift in weather, to get your awning in etc

As far as what to take---it just depends on how you want to live when camping. I carried a lounge chair for three years because my be wife said she wanted it---she never used it---so I left it at home. She noticed so now it is back in ---but she does use it now, part of the deal for carrying it.

One thing we always have more than we need is clothing---heavens to betsy.

What we need/want has been in a constant state of flux for nine years---we are in a downsizing mood right now. So out goes the exterior heater (we did not use it but once or twice per year), a couple extra folding chairs (everyone has their own anyway) an extra smaller stove for cooking outside while going from one stop to the other (just too much stuff). We have folding chairs that have their own side tray so we do not need smaller tables. We take a outside floor mat for the patios or parking areas since we stay for weeks at a time in the same place.

I travel during the winter so I keep tire chains, not because I want to put them on but because in some states you must have them during certain times of year (oregon). If I need them I do have them.

Well that is a first blush---congratulations on you rnew MH-----
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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Jam those babies full.

Then in two years after you've sorted through all the junk 10 times, chuck out most of it and keep what you use.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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turn1fan......The slide out tray is great, but can be a pain to. On the curb side, I stack my chairs, then my small (TV tray style) table on top of that and then my door mat on top of that. The first things I unload are the mat and then the table and chairs. On the street side I have a toolbox and then a couple of tubs that sit on top of each other for various items. In the middle I have an unmounted spare with stuff in it and under it. Most don't carry a spare, so stuff that you don't use often in tubs works well.

To me, the secret to storage is using all of the nooks and crannies and mounting storage items up high where things aren't stacked on top of each other. I like the collapsing 6' ladder from Camping World and mounted a sewer tube up high on the wall of the pass thru bay. The ladder slides right into it and is easy to access. On the curb side, I used wire shelving to put a shelf up high in the storage bay.

One bay gets BBQ stuff, another gets wash and waxing gear and towels. My coach is short and space is limited so I use every inch. My propane tank bay gets long items on top of the tank.

Try to keep items close to the area where they'll be used.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:32 AM   #5
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turn1fan:

Boy, the advice you've gotten so far is right on target. We've been on the road full time since 05 in our MH towing and ya can tell the suggestions are from folks who've been there.

One thing ya might consider is getting a good four corner weigh in of your coach with full water, fuel, and stuff you'll be carrying inside the main cabin area, but, without anything in the basement bays. THEN, if your light or heavy on one or more corners, consider that when loading basement bays. Small thing, but very useful.

One other thing that we have found VERY useful is to measure the various storage bay areas in your rig including verticle clearances, ya know, from floor to say frame rails, etc. Then drop by a home store like Bed, Bath & Beyond, or WalMart, or wherever they have those translucent (so ya can kinda see inside em) plastic storage bins with the white plastic lids. Try to select bins on which the lids do NOT extend too far over the edge of the translucent lower part. Based on your measurements, get enough bins to pretty much fill each basement compartment. Ya can get varying depths, lengths, widths, etc. but with a little planning and maybe a few trips to the place selling those bins, you'll come up with great way to partition your basement bay spaces and even use available verticle space as well by stacking, for example, flatter type bins on top of deeper, larger ones, etc.

Don't know if ya get the idea, but it's a great way to arrange stuff ya don't use as much and stuff ya want easy access to.

Have fun.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:53 AM   #6
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All individual choice... and it will change as you go.. even coach to coach. The road is the greatest organizer or greatest mess er upper .. but things fall in place after a while as you find what works best for yourself.

I keep mats,chairs, cooking stuff in the front bays near door. water and electrical on DS . I use those under bed storage things to hold the mats so they can be picked up wet or dirty and stored without messing everything up. I am going to try one of those under bed things with the wheels for the pass through areas.. haven't tried that yet but it's worth a shot. I have one here with wheels on one side which might stay in place on the road but who knows lol
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:02 AM   #7
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All the above.

I use the plastic stack-able bins from Wally World. Each one is separate but they still stack in their own slot. Then, organize, organize, organize, and then organize some more. Now, what bin did I put that fitting in? A spreadsheet inventory that can be left on the computer for searching, or printed out.

As stated, after 2 years you will be wondering what you can get rid of. It is then time to weed out those things you never use. Have no fear, if you take something out that DW wants, you will soon put it back in.

Happy is as happy can be.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:21 PM   #8
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We also use clear plastic tubs which helps keep things organized and clean and makes them easier to access. The tubs each have a purpose. For example, one tub has my water hoses, inline water filter, bleach, etc. so all necessary items for water hookup are in one place.

One other thing that I haven't seen mentioned yet is I keep all items I might need in a roadside emergency (excluding the spare which has a dedicated compartment) on the curb side. I do this so I don't have to go out in lanes of traffic to get out my warning triangles, etc. if I'm broken down on the side of the road. This tactic just might keep me from getting run over some day. This does take away storage for items I need more frequently in camp which then have to go to the street side but that inconvenience is outweighed by the safety concern.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cliff841 View Post
One other thing that I haven't seen mentioned yet is I keep all items I might need in a roadside emergency (excluding the spare which has a dedicated compartment) on the curb side. I do this so I don't have to go out in lanes of traffic to get out my warning triangles, etc. if I'm broken down on the side of the road. This tactic just might keep me from getting run over some day. This does take away storage for items I need more frequently in camp which then have to go to the street side but that inconvenience is outweighed by the safety concern.
x2. This is an excellent point. I've always kept my emergency stuff accessible from curbside.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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Jam those babies full.

Then in two years after you've sorted through all the junk 10 times, chuck out most of it and keep what you use.
This is the honest truth here!....Just use the plastic containers.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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X 3 or 4 I use plastic see through containers----see through is the operable word you are going to forget what you put in them---I tried labeling but then things change and crossing out and adding---well nuts. I just got see throughs.

On my rig the slide out on the street side means I have to bend over or sit down to get in and out of the bay----so I don't like going there very much---place for the seldom used.
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