My family has always loved camping. When my husband and I first started dating we went camping in a small tent with minimal supplies. Then, we got married and had kids. We upgraded to a much larger tent and started building up our camping supplies to make it a little more comfortable. A few years after my youngest was born we upgraded to a pop-up tent trailer. It had a toilet, sink, and shower which was so convenient for our longer trips. We almost always dry camp so we don’t often have hook ups for things like water and sewer.
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This spring we upgraded even further to a Pacific Coachworks SandSport toy hauler. We wanted to be able to take our Arctic Cat with us when we go out. Plus, the kids are getting bigger. In our tent trailer, although it had a lot of conveniences for camping, it was really cramped. I never thought I would be a trailer or RV person, and I even used to tell my husband it isn’t “real” camping. But alas, here we are. And, I love it!
I was already pretty good at organizing camping supplies from having everything in totes for tent camping to having much more stored in the actual tent trailer. Now, we have a ton of storage space, but keeping things organized and not rolling around can be a challenge.
Use Shelf Liner to Keep Items From Moving Around While Traveling
To help combat the problem of things shifting while moving, you can install Easy Liner in the cabinets. I didn’t add this to all the cabinets, but after taking the trailer out a few times we now know which things move the most in the trailer. I use the Duck Brand liner in the taupe color. It makes it easy to see things inside the cabinet but doesn’t show the dirt as much as white would.
It is easy to use, you simply cut it to fit and then lay it in the cabinet. There is no adhesive to worry about getting just right and you can take it out to shake out or wash, as needed. It provides just enough grip to keep things in place.
This is the cabinet under the sink. There are pipes and other things in the way, so I fit the liner as best I could. Under the sink, we store all of our plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
We also store our Ziploc bags and garbage bags under the sink. I keep everything in place in a plastic tote from Dollar Tree. Instead of bringing a huge box of trash bags, I take some from our larger supply we get at Sam’s Club and put them in a gallon size bag. I also keep a gallon size bag full of grocery bags. These are perfect for our small trash cans.
To keep cleaning supplies corralled and easy to grab, I purchased a small divided tote from Dollar Tree. This houses a bottle of Basic H, a dish scrub brush, dish soap, sponge, Magic Eraser, and antibacterial wipes. We also keep the hand soap in here until we get to our destination, then it moves up near the sink. I keep the counters completely cleared off while traveling.
I also purchased a large box of disposable silverware from Sam’s Club to keep in the trailer. I usually use real silverware and wash it, but sometimes we need disposables when we camp in a big group.
We keep a small trash can that hangs on the cabinet right under the kitchen sink. It fits a grocery size bag perfectly. We have a large trash can we keep outside at camp, but this saves me from having to go in and out of the trailer all the time. My friend gave me a crocheted towel hanger that works perfectly to hang our dish towel from the oven door.
Make the Most of Limited Drawer Space
Drawer space is limited on most trailers and RVs. We only have three in the kitchen and then two more in the main bedroom. In the top drawer, we have all our silverware, kitchen shears, small knives, measuring cups, and spoons. I used a small tray to keep all the silverware together. Since the drawer is so small, a traditional silverware sorter won’t fit.
The next drawer holds all our large kitchen utensils. I purchased large knives that had sheaths on them. This way no one gets cut fishing around in the drawer. Again, I would love to add dividers, but this drawer is so small traditional storage solutions don’t fit.
The bottom drawer holds miscellaneous odds and ends that are too small to store in plastic bins. We keep long lighters, matches, clips, a small sewing kit, and more in this drawer.
Use Bins to Corral Like Items Together
Pretty much everything else in the trailer is organized into plastic bins. I purchased all the bins from Dollar Tree. They are inexpensive and come in lots of colors, shapes, and sizes. I try to store like items together in the location that makes the most sense.
Above the sink, we have several cabinets. We store plates, bowls, cups and travel mugs on one side. All the cups are in a bin to keep them from rolling all around.
In the other cabinet, we have another bin with water bottles, cozies, and a pitcher. We also keep our large cutting board, dish drainer, and dish mat in there, along with a plastic bin of dish towels and pot holders. The cabinet is deep, so this makes the best use of the space. I can pull the entire bin out to make it easy to find what I am looking for.
Keep Counters Clear of Clutter
Because I don’t like to have anything on the counters while traveling, I purchased a small clear Command container that attaches to the wall to keep a small notebook, pens, and pencils. There is also a clear Command hook in the corner to hang our trailer keys when we get to camp.
Most of our food I add to the refrigerator, freezer, and shelves right before we leave to go camping, but there are certain items I leave in the trailer year round.
We keep a bin for beverage items. We have a small container for coffee, coffee filters, powder creamer, straws, packets of hot cocoa and hot cider, and a water flavor enhancer.
We have a taller bin for spices. We typically have salt, pepper, Montreal steak seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, celery salt, Tabasco, oil, sugar, and toothpicks.
Sometimes my husband will take the trailer out to go hunting by himself. He definitely does not pack as much food as I do when we all go. I keep a bin of easy to make meals in the trailer for him. This is also great to have if there is ever an emergency and we need to stay a little longer than we expected.
I have a couple of empty bins in the cabinet that I fill when it is time to camp. I usually have one with breakfast items and another with snacks. Most of the main meal foods are kept in a cooler or the refrigerator.
Other Camping Supply Storage and Organization
The cabinet next to this one holds our Coleman stove top coffee pot. I love this thing. We used to use a percolator, but this was well worth the money if you love your morning coffee like we do! We also have a tool bag with various odds and ends in it – zip ties, cables, battery charger, etc. Below that we have our pots, pans, and bowls. We stack them up to conserve space.
The opposite side of the trailer also has cabinet space. It houses lights and all the pet supplies. We have a bin with all the flashlights and headlamps.
We have a lantern that folds down, so it fits neatly in the cabinet. Plus, we keep a couple of bottles of propane for the lantern in there as well. The bottom shelf holds the dog bowls, leash, her brush, and some treats. The bin on the bottom shelf has a tablecloth with clips, more wet wipes for hands, an umbrella, and rubber gloves for when we have to go to the dump station.
Our trailer came with a TV. I think this is a little over the top, but it has been nice to have when we are camping in bad weather to be able to snuggle up and watch DVDs. We keep the remotes secured by using Command picture hanging strips and attaching them to the inner cabinet.
You never know when you will run out batteries, so I keep all the sizes in a fishing tackle box. This big stays in a drawer in the bedroom.
Toy Storage and Organization
We have a designated shelf for the kid’s toys. They have a plastic bin filled with buckets, shovels, bubbles, bug catchers, and a frisbee. I purchase items from Dollar Tree so if they get lost or broken they can easily be replaced. The bucket goes right outside when we get to camp.
I also keep coloring supplies in the trailer. I love to color and it is a great rainy day activity for the whole family. We have a couple of games like Uno and Yahtzee that are always in the trailer. I keep them all together in a Ziploc bag. We also keep a large container of glow bracelets or necklaces in the trailer. We use these at night for the kids to play with but also to be able to keep track of where they are. These are great to clip onto your dog’s collar as well.
The bathroom is actually pretty big in our new trailer. Now that we have more room, I purchased duplicates of almost everything we use in our regular bathroom for the trailer. I purchased smaller sizes as needed to fit everything in the cabinet. I made sure to use the shelf liner on these shelves and this stuff moves around a lot. Use caution when opening any cabinet when you arrive at your campsite.
To hang towels, I used Command hooks along the wall between the shower and the sink.
I used another divided tote to keep all our shower supplies together. When we are not camping, it goes in a cabinet in the main bedroom. When we get to camp it either goes in the shower or on the floor of the bathroom.
Under the bathroom sink, we keep towels, a first aid kit, and our toilet chemicals.
In the shower, we used another Command hook to hang our shower poufs on. These are special hooks where the adhesive is made to withstand moisture.
Use All Available Storage
In the bedroom, we are very lucky to have a lot of storage space. We have two large closets, two drawers, and a cabinet above the bed.
We also have a large open storage space under the bed. This is the perfect spot for storing our laundry basket and extra blankets.
What is your best RV organization tip?
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