If you are planning on living or travelling in your caravan long-term, you will probably need to be able to store a lot more than you would, if you were just going away for a couple of weeks at a time. As a couple, who are living, working and travelling in our van full time I have had to figure out what caravan storage and organisation ideas would work best for us long term.
I really hate being dis-organised or having to search through cupboards or storage tubs to find the things I need.
I have also had to give consideration to the weight of everything I was bringing in, so I have kept baskets and tubs to a minimum. We are very lucky that our NextGen van has decent cupboard space which has made finding a home for everything much easier.
Because we are on the road full-time we have quite a lot of clothing with us. This includes summer clothes, winter clothes and work clothes. It took me a little while to figure out where it was all going to go.
- TIP NO. 1
If you want to make the most of your hanging space, change all your coat-hangers over to the velvet covered ones. They take up less space in your wardrobe and your clothes will never fall off them even on the bumpiest roads. You will be surprised how much you can fit in the hanging space too.
- TIP NO. 2
Store your least used items in the hardest to get to spots. When we are not working, I put all our work clothes under one of the seats.
- TIP NO. 3
As we didn’t put a washing machine in our van, we had that space turned into additional cupboards. They were huge and not very user friendly so we had an extra shelf put in each cupboard. Brenden uses the top cupboard for his everyday clothes as it easy for him to get to. I use the bottom cupboard for my winter clothes and jeans.
How many pairs of shoes you will need to take on the road will depend on what sort of travel you are doing and what activities you enjoy doing. Obviously we have work boots/shoes but we either wear joggers or thongs the rest of the time.
- TIP NO. 4
We had three pigeon holes added into the bathroom and they are perfect for storing shoes in.
TOWELS AND LINEN
I debated for awhile as to whether I would take an extra set of towels. In the end I didn’t. So we have one bath towel each. We both like the big bath sheets. I have a smaller, lighter towel that I use as a hair towel. I also have two bath mats and a couple of hand towels. When dry and folded up, they fit neatly in the cupboard under the hand basin.
- TIP NO. 5
Initially I had my spare sheet, doona cover and pillow cases in the cupboard in the bathroom, but as I don’t need them all the time I have put them in the middle cupboard above the bed as I found it really awkward to try and get things out of this cupboard without climbing on the bed.
I must admit I have re-arranged the kitchen cupboards a few times now. We have a bank of four cupboards above the sink, with two of those cupboards being smaller as they are above the range hood. One has tea towels, hot mats and a couple of trays in it whilst the other has bowls, a measuring jug, a grater etc.
The middle cupboard was another cupboard that we added an extra shelf into so now our plates sit on the bottom and things like foil, glad wrap and our stubby coolers are on the top shelf. The end cupboard we use for storing packet pastas etc and extra containers when they aren’t being used.
- TIP NO. 6
Drawers are great for storage. Our top drawer has all our cutlery and utensils in it. The second drawer has most of our spare containers in it. The third drawer is the inevitable ‘junk drawer’. It has a basket with our vitamins and medication in it, spare Weber pan handles, laundry money, batteries etc.
As we elected to not have an oven the space where the oven would have been is a large drawer where I keep our saucepans and baking dishes. And the potatoes too!
- TIP NO.7
Don’t waste those awkward spaces. We have a narrow space on the floor under the sink where the wheel arch is. I found a basket that was the same width and that holds my dish washing and cleaning gear.
- TIP NO. 8
Now I know not every van will have this kind of storage in it. It was an option when we were building our NextGen and as I knew we were going to be living in it I knew it would come in very handy. It is way more practical than sliding storage in my opinion.
- TIP NO. 9
I find square or rectangle containers are the best fit in our cupboards. I really like the Sistema range, especially the canisters. They have awesome suction lids on them and the lids also have a lip on them so you can stack them without them tipping over.
UNDER THE BED
Our under bed storage area is slightly reduced because the ducting for the gas heater is under there but we still have loads of room. Currently we have our spare doona and quilt and also the cushions for the foot rests as we hardly ever use them. We also have room for our Coleman fan and a tub with all our Go – Pro mounts in it.
- TIP NO. 10
Under your bed will be your biggest storage area but it can be a pain to access so I only store things under there that I don’t need all the time. This is also a good spot to ‘hide’ items that might be a target for theft.
IN THE BATHROOM
Our main bathroom cupboard stores quite a few different things – towels, toilet supplies, washing powder, soap bug spray etc.
- TIP NO. 11
Different size baskets will be your best friend in the bathroom cupboard as they will stop tubes and bottle from falling over and sliding through the cupboard.
- TIP NO. 12
Command hooks or good quality suction hooks are great for hanging towels and washers on. The ones we have hold the heaviest towel and they have never come off even when we have been on the move.
It has taken me a little while to find the best spots for all our things, but I’m now super happy with my caravan storage and organisation ideas.