Storage is key in small spaces, such as in caravans and motorhomes. Freeontour gives tips on storage and organisation solutions you can buy or make yourself
“Where's the sunscreen again?", "Has anyone seen the charger?", "Could you please put your shoes away?" – sound familiar?
When several people go away on holiday together in a motorhome or caravan, it can often lead to a chaotic mess. To make sure that nothing gets in the way of "camping bliss", the first rule is: everything has its own place. Modern caravans and motorhomes have incorporated this concept by offering a wealth of storage space behind small and large doors. But everyone know what works best for them, where and how they prefer to store small everyday objects. Freeontour presents a few simple and inexpensive storage hacks as well as creative do-it-yourself ideas to help you on your way.
Organisers for small items in motorhomes
Glasses, smartphones, charging cables, pens, tissues, torches and more: cloth organisers are ideal for storing small items that you want to have within easy reach, indoors and outdoors, on your camping holiday. There are so many different types to choose from, e.g. ones that hang on the back of the front seats or on free wall spaces in caravans or mobile homes. Hymer's original accessories also include door organisers, which can be easily integrated into a standard main entry door in place of the elastic straps. Being located in the door makes it perfect for storing dog leads, pocket umbrellas or washhouse access cards in one central place. Camping accessory shops also stock organisers that can be attached to the Keder rail on awnings.
You can also sew a simple organiser yourself and adapt it to your needs and motorhome dimensions. How about organisers for the seat back sides? Our tip: felt is insensitive and can withstand water, dirt and light bumps. Or make a classic hanging organiser with old fabric scraps and add your own touch. Insert a clothes hanger so you can quickly stow away the organiser in the wardrobe during the trip. And if you have fabric curtains in your caravan, campervan or motorhome, sew a few fabric pockets onto them, then you can always have small miscellaneous items such as tissues, glasses and smartphones close at hand in your sleeping area.
Do-it-yourself: clever shelving for caravans and mobile homes
Are you still looking for a practical and sturdy solution for storing string, spices or other small items in your motorhome? Why not make your own small shelf? Simply screw the lids of jam or olive jars onto the underside of a cabinet or shelf. The jars are perfect for small items and can be screwed on and off in no time at all. Moreover, they do not have to be stowed elsewhere during the trip.
There is a disadvantage to this solution: glass jars may look pretty, but they are on the heavy side and can break – for instance a child could drop one by accident, leaving a pile of broken glass in the camper, which can be dangerous. Our tip: use plastic or Perspex storage containers instead. They are much lighter than glass and won't break should they be dropped. However, the plastic lids cannot be screwed onto the cabinets. But as the containers are quite light, the screw caps can be attached with tough, removable adhesive strips. If you want to jazz the jars up, get creative and paint them or add stickers to your heart's content.
Shatterproof storage solutions for kitchen cabinets
Here are some more practical tips for your camper kitchen:
1. Maybe you do this already: line the shelves with anti-slip mats to avoid dishes and supplies falling about should you have to brake sharply.
2. Secure plates, glasses, etc. by dividing shelves and drawers into compartments. Good camping accessory shops will stock a wide range of solutions. One inexpensive method is to turn a magazine file into a plate rack or use it to store tins, vegetables or small items. Obviously the dimensions have to be right so that it fits neatly.
3. Our tip: line the bottom of your crockery drawers with a perforated plate. Then use small wooden or plastic rods to divide the drawers to fit and adapt to your dishes.
Maximise space in your wardrobe
How about a few handy hacks for keeping your clothes organised? Use one clothes hanger for several items of clothing. You can slide several shower curtain rings onto the crossbar of a trouser hanger and hang all your tops and scarves. Or make one out of two: place a ring pull from a drinks can over the hook of one clothes hanger and hang a second hanger into the other hole – and voilà, your double coat hanger is ready for use. However, make sure that the sharp edges of the ring pull cannot ruin your other clothes by covering them with sticky tape, sports tape or plasters. Put laundry and socks into small bins or storage boxes in your wardrobe to avoid untidiness in your caravan, especially on longer trips.
DIY storage idea
Camping accessory shops and furniture stores stock a wide range of storage boxes in a variety of materials. But there's nothing to stop you from making your own – then every child, for example, will know straight away, which box their socks are in. Repurpose shoe boxes or small cardboard boxes that you can paint or stick shells on to from your last camping holiday. You can also use other souvenirs such as admission tickets, travel tickets, photos or stickers to customise them.
Waste separation in motorhomes
Every motorhome is equipped with a rubbish bin for organic or residual waste, but you will have to come up with your own system for separating the other waste properly. If you want to recycle glass, paper, plastics and metal cans and cannot or do not want to go to the recycling bins every day, then you will need larger bins or containers. The rear garage and lidded boxes, such as standard transport or aluminium boxes, are ideal. If you want them to look a little prettier and keep them in line with your indoor style, you can also use bags that you have sewn or designed yourself. Fitted into an alcove or hung on a hook, they do not take up much space and are easy to carry the next time you go to the recycling bins or bottle banks. Or simply use old scraps of fabric to sew a bag or pouch.
Say no to shoe chaos in your caravan
If you don't want to put up awning, you will probably take your shoes into your campervan overnight or in bad weather. But it's rare to have a shoe rack inside. So where can you put these small tripping hazards?
Idea #1: Hang a plastic or (if sewn yourself) oilcloth organiser on or next to the door. You can hide single shoes or pairs in the pockets.
Idea #2: Even old shoe boxes, painted or decorated with bright stickers, are a great way to keep everything nice and tidy.
Idea #3: Stretch thick elastic straps next to the door, into which you can tuck your shoes, and when the weather is bad, simply put an old towel behind and underneath.
Idea #4: A collapsible box next to the door is not really a shoe rack, but it can also hold several pairs of shoes. Treat yourself to dividers, then you can easily store separate pairs of shoes. Line the box with newspaper or a plastic bag to protect it. The collapsible box can then be used for other purposes or folded up to save space during the trip.
What to do with dirty laundry?
Boxes or baskets with lids that fit into an empty corner in the rear garage or inside the motor home make a great solution for dirty laundry. If you are looking for a charming, mobile DIY solution, you can sew a laundry bag yourself, e.g. by using an old sweatshirt: remove the sleeves and waistband and sew up the holes. Sew two loops onto the shoulders and hang on a door – and simply throw your laundry in through the neck.
Shelving system in the rear garage
A mobile home garage has plenty of storage space, but what's the best way to use it? Everyone will have a different answer to this question. Tables and chairs, bicycles and cable drums, boxes and baskets – implement a storage system in your rear garage to avoid everything tumbling around while driving. Many mobile home manufacturers offer storage solutions, rear garage systems and bicycle rails for their vehicles. You can also go to a camping accessory shop or create your own DIY storage solution. Regardless of what you decide, it's not just the space that matters, but also the maximum weight that can be placed on the rear axle.