By Jim Twamley
No matter what type of RV you own, storage will always be an issue. I’ve used everything from elaborate storage compartment organization units, to stackable plastic storage bins, and cardboard boxes — because they work.
For RV newbies, I suggest starting off with plastic bins and cardboard boxes until you determine what works best for your RV camping style. To help organize your gear, put masking tape on each container and, using a Sharpie, label the contents. Otherwise you will end up pulling everything out trying to locate one item.
After you have determined what you use most often and its most convenient location, then you can build more user-friendly storage organization units. Our motorhome had a large (and heavy) 50-amp extension cord. I fought with this anaconda for a couple years with no dedicated place to store it. I would usually just throw it into any compartment that had available space. One rainy day I shoved it into a compartment and it transferred mud and debris onto the other items in the storage compartment. I knew I needed to find a permanent home for this beast so I decided to design and build a wooden storage compartment.
I needed a place that was easy to get to and simple to use. I decided to make a tray deep enough to hold the power cord and a drawer to hold hoses, TV cables, electrical adaptors and stuff I needed for hooking up the RV. I built this unit to fit on the already existing pull-out cargo tray. I simply pulled out the unit and threw the cord into the tray – sweet!
I made the drawer 36 inches deep and installed ball bearing drawer slides. Since this drawer slides out so far I could easily access the various size water hoses and adapters needed for different campground hook-up configurations. I also made a compartment for wood blocks and a place for holding a box of latex gloves I used when handling the sewer line.
If you don’t have the woodworking skill or tools to make this type of storage unit, consider asking someone you know who enjoys woodworking to make it for you. Woodworking hobbyists love any excuse to make stuff. It is important to know the exact dimensions and provide them with a rough sketch of what you want.