If you're the new owner of a new or experienced Class B you are probably figuring out how to outfit it for travel. The tendency is to bring too much. Regularly review what you took last time – if you haven't used it in a few trips – leave it at home. Also, part of outfitting your camper is finding a storage place for everything. Do not leave stuff out so you have to move it. Your Class B will be “too small” if you do this. Find (or design) “away” places for everything. We'll cover a few of the things we've learned that made life easier and more comfortable in our Roadtrek.
Reflectix: The first thing every RV owner needs to improve their comfort is to cut Reflectix pieces to fit all your windows. Buy a roll of Reflectix at your home improvement store in the insulation area. It's cheap! It looks like bubble wrap between two silver layers. It ‘s about 1/4 inch thick. We've discussed Reflectix in detail here before – for keeping cool and for keeping warm. This stuff is equally wonderful in hot and cold weather. It ‘ll keep the heat in and the cold out in the winter – or it will keep the cold in and the heat out in summer. Also it totally blocks the light if you boondock in lighted parking lots. Cut pieces slightly bigger than the window opening and you can just push it against the glass and it will stay. It'll vastly improve your air conditioner's ability to cool the interior in the summer and your furnace's ability to keep you warm in the winter. Magical stuff!
Towel Grommets: This might not seem like much, but it can be so handy. We put grommets in the towels and washcloths we use in our Roadtrek. Big brass gromments that will go on hooks – you can buy a grommet installation kit at the hardware store. In the washcloths put them in the corner and in towels put them halfway along the long edge. Now you can hang up your towels securely in a campground shower or in your camper. No clean towels ending up on filthy or wet floors.
Hooks: This goes with the previous item. Add a few hooks – we mostly use double hooks– around your Class B. You can buy them at a home improvement store in chrome, white, brass or brushed nickel finishes. You can hang up your towels, or jacket, or clothes when drying or when using the item again soon. You can also build sliding hooks for the rail above the doors if you have a Roadtrek.
Clothes Rod: It was a couple of years before we got one of these. Why didn't we buy one sooner? At stores like Walmart you can find adjustable clothes rods made to stretch across back seats of cars for hanging garments. They fit equally well between the wooden rails above the doors in a Roadtrek. A rod has multiple uses. We hang towels on it after a shower. We can even direct our front fan on the towels to dry them faster (for more on fans see here). We push the clothes rod to its farthest rearward position and hang a blanket over it for urban boondocking or for help keeping heat (or cool) in the rear of the camper. We also hang reminder tags from it directly over the passenger seat saying checklist items like “Fridge Mode?” or “Antenna down?”
Reminder Tags: As mentioned above, we made tags to remind us of critical items that need to be done before driving. We have only driven off once (from home at that!) while still plugged into shore power – dragging our electrical cord for about a half mile before we noticed! Now we have laminated tags that we originally hung from the steering wheel but now we hang from the clothes rod. You can use various methods (labeled clothespins, etc), but find a reminder flag that works for you. We have tags for the Cargo Box, the Wilson cellular antenna for the MiFi, Fridge Mode, and Shore Power. The passenger can't help noticing the tags hanging in front of their face!
Toiletry Pockets: Since you have the grommets already, buy some hanging shoe pockets and trim them to fit on your bathroom door or wall. You can install grommets and hang them from the removable 3M Command Hooks. It is the perfect spot to corral your tooth brush and toothpaste, shampoo and soap, deodorant and hand cream, razor and shaving cream. Plus things like nail clippers, hairbrush, comb, Wet Ones, and eyeglass cleaner. We also fill a pocket with zip lock bags for toilet paper disposal. Some people have used shoe pockets on the closet door or the walls facing the bed. They come in various colors and materials. We picked the clear plastic pockets so the contents are very visible. Shoe pockets are very useful and easily replaced or removed.
Daisy Chain & S-Biners: Not sure of the generic name for this item, but it solved a major wet weather problem. We'd return to the RV with wet raincoats and not want to hang them were they drip all over the wood or upholstery. We stumbled across this thing at an Eddie Bauer store, but it took some hunting to figure out what they were called – Nite Ize GearLine Organization System. Available in 2- and 4- foot lengths. We have the 4- foot length. You can find them on Amazon.
We installed a couple of small screw eyes near the ceiling on either side of the aisle. We can clip this “clothes line” across and hang dripping raincoats on hangers or on the S-biners so they drip in the lowered floor area, not soaking anything else. You can also hang a wet umbrella from the S-biners. The attachment points can be lowered to use when driving so your view out the rear window isn't blocked.
Window Sponge: When you sleep in a vehicle it is very easy to fog the windows. Using Reflectix cuts down on window moisture dramatically. We found a sponge covered in fake chamois made expressly for wiping the inside of windows. Does a great job of drying them without dribbling water all over the dash. You can find similar products at auto parts stores.
We could go on and on with nifty ideas and tricks we've learned in our five years of Roadtreking. Many of which we learned from others. We will share some more in future posts.
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