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RV Packing Tips!  
Packing Seminar Handout FMCA 2011

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RV Packing Tips, RV Life Lessons and Easy Living Hints   

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Packing Seminar Handout   FMCA 2011


Summers coming; its time to reorganize and off-load 'stuff' to make your RV ready for travel. If you haven't used an item in the past year you obviously don't need it. Driving an overloaded RV reduces handling ability and dangerously stresses tires, brakes, axles and everything else on your unit.

            The list of tips I have discussed in previous articles could go on and on, but the following are a few updated finds. 

       Using the Internet on the move is becoming extremely important to many RVers.  In the past we connected to either a 3-watt Analog bag phone or a landline phone, both plug into our laptop computer. (NOTE: Then it was a dual access PC Card by Ositech manufactured in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.  That PCMCIA card connected to BOTH Analog and Digital data service. I picked up email anywhere there is cell service.

       I then connect to the printer, my scanner and of course to AC power.  I felt like I was living in a maze of wires until I discovered 'ponytail' (hairdo) holders, the type where a ball is attached to one end of an elastic loop and a second bead is on the other end of an elastic loop.  When you wind the elastic around the cord and intertwine the beads, all cords instantly become organized. We use these elastic holders to keep many things together such as our extra hangers, my hair dryer, curling iron, mixer cord and much more.  

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       When packing your cupboards be sure there is no free space between items.  Instead of lining the complete cupboard with ‘Scootgard’ to stop things from slipping, we cut and place a 6" square under each pile of dishes or other items.  This way if the bottom item sticks to the Scootgard when you pick it up, the entire shelf doesn’t become rearranged.

       Controlling files and necessary papers also create a problem.  Yes this is more of a hassle if you're fulltiming but even on an extended vacation organizing things can be a challenge.  Not every RV has room for a file cabinet.  One solution that works for us is to put files into top loading plastic page protectors to store in hard-sided binders.  The binders fit in most long 'over the couch' cupboards but they can also be stacked on the floor beside the bed.

       We recently added 'under a shelf metal baskets' to our overhead cabinets to store papers/directories. When placed on a shelf on their side with the open portion to the front, they provide a perfect spot to keep writing paper, campground directories, reference books, the binders plus lots more. Everything can stay in an upright position next to each other within the baskets. I separated these baskets by three small plastic coated metal shelves that nest in the upside down position.  This arrangement provides many 'slots' to organize everyday information so it stays exactly where we put it. 

       Necessity is the mother of invention.  Our medicine cabinet on this coach is a corner unit so the small plastic cutlery trays I find so valuable to hold prescription bottles etc, don't fit very well.  I recently cut Plexiglas strips by 2½”-3" high and long enough to reach side to side on the front of each shelf.  Tape it to the shelf at the bottom if necessary.  Voila now when I open the medicine cabinet after a trip everything doesn’t land in the toilet.

       Finally someone has devised an effective solution to organize shoe storage. RV Dealers now sell shoe racks that connect to the bed frame much like a bed skirt.

       Couch covers, at least on the seat portion have always been a pain to keep straight, but they are so necessary to control dust and dirt on RV's overworked furniture. We recently discovered that knit style bedspreads and new style chenille or wool throws stay exactly where you put them.    

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       RV mattresses are slightly smaller than those in a home; sometimes regular-size sheets don't fit real well.  Anchoring the corners of fitted sheets with elastic 'garters' (available from bedding departments) keep most bedding in place. Adding a non-skid quality eggshell mattress ‘pad’ under a padded mattress ‘cover’ also deters the sheets from slipping.

     When your RV looks like ‘home’ you won't miss your other home. To hang pictures and treasures on the walls we use a decorative style brass hooks with two nails on the back available from home hardware/home décor type stores. These hooks are not only strong, they leave very small marks if removed, however they look so good we left ours in place when we trade-up.  

       To stop wall hangings from swinging side to side when your RV is in motion, add a small 'blob' of putty style window caulking to each lower corner. This putty also stops decorative items placed on tabletops or counters from moving during motion.

       Rubber backed rugs will stain vinyl and wood floors.  Using washable polyester felt 'under-pad' designed to stop rugs from slipping works more effectively.

       If the needle portion of heavy duty Velcro tape is glued to several areas on the underside of rugs it will prevent them from ‘walking’ when these rugs are placed on top of carpeting.

       Cleaning the slats of blinds has become easier with the use of the new commercial static dusting cloths.  Vacuuming the blinds also works well.  Simply close the blinds and vacuum one side, then reverse the slats to do the other.

       Displaying club decals are an important part of RVing but they leave a mark on painted surfaces if you try to remove them. An alternate solution we used on our last coach was to display them on a piece of Plexiglas attached to the back ladder with plastic ties. Plexiglas can also be secured anywhere with double back tape or several heavy-duty screw-on suction cups.

      Extra water hoses are a necessity, the collapsible type that winds around a holder is not only handy it saves mega space.

        John has sewer hoses in several lengths from 5 feet to 20 feet---connecting ends have been added to each hose.  No matter how far we are away from the sewer John simply clicks the pieces together as needed.

        You will need several dog-bone style electrical adapters in a variety of amperage from 50-30; 30-15; 15-30 and 30-50.  A 10 gauge 30 amp electric cord extension is required

          In closing - Discovering the ins and outs of packing is mainly trial and error. When you learn to eliminate what you don't need, your RV will love you for it. 


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