Do hitch rollers really work to prevent damage? I am wanting to put a motorcycle carrier on the back of my Class B but the hitch as it is now already drags on steep driveways and intersectuons. If I add 3-4ft more, bad things may happen if it drags without a roller or two.
Coffee travel cups are also what I am going to use. Good for hot and cold, good for use when driving, easy to wash, not fragile.
I have a couple of wisk brooms with dust pants since I have carpet throughout. They store nicely under a seat or in a cabinet just about anywhere. They might be handy for large messes or larger debris but mostly I'll have to vacuum.
I figure 2 cups are enough per person. You can only drink out of one at a time. Really, one could be enough but in theory, if you needed a clean one and couldn't wash one for some odd reason, you'd have a spare clean one. Or if you somehow lose or it breaks, you'd have a spare without having to rush out and find another.
I will store my extra one in the passenger side cup holder instead of taking up valuable cabinet space.
If your bathroom has a physical door like mine does, consider an over the door hanging organizer. I put a hook on the inside of the (not very waterproof door) and hung a sorting thing on it I already had. It can be taken out and set elsewhere while showering. It might not hold everything but it'll hold a fair bit. I have a small backpack full of first aid and health stuff.. some if I need go go through again since I don't see how I need that much all the time. Every bit of it has been stored in that backpack for about 4 months now and I've never taken anything out of it.
I took some scrap wood and and made a free standing shelf for under the kitchen sink in the cabinet and it doubled the usable and easily accessible storage space. It's not very pretty and the plywood I used was a bit warped but it works as intended.
There's not that much bathroom stuff you need at once. One bottle of shampoo (and conditioner if you feel the need), a couple bars of soap, shaving needs (for both men and women), toothpaste and tooth brush, hair brush and comb... and not much else really. A hair dryer, just get a folding travel kind.
First aid and health items take up a lot more space, I find.
I have a small shop vac with a handle.. about a 1 gallon size or something. Sure, it takes 120v but I can fire up my generator long enough to run the vacuum if need be. For serious cleaning though, you can use the vacs at car washes.
Get the half gallon bottles of Red Diamond sweet tea. It isn't any bigger than the pitcher, then you don't have to buy the sugar.
With as pricey as that stuff is and with as much tea as I drink.. I'd go broke.
I decided against the plastic shelf in the bed area. For one thing, I'm a few inches too tall for laying straight across it. I hate that my feet touch the opposite wall at all. If I lay diagonally across, I can stand it better. It wakes me up, it seems, if I shift a bit and my feet touch the wall. Unless it was something else that was waking me up.. who knows.
I lived in my 67 Shasta trailer for 6mo in 2008 in an RV park across from 2 busy train tracks with a crossing just down the road. It only took me 2 nights to get used to the train horns at 3am as they rolled past less than 500ft away. But I'm a lot more sensitive about feeling than I am sound... so I could see how maybe I wouldn't be able to get used to feet touching the wall. Maybe wearing socks would help. I may have to try that tonight and see if it does.
You are right about food storage. I can store a few extra canned goods for emergencies just about anywhere else in the van since they won't spill, need no refrigeration, don't easily crush and bugs can't get into them.
One thing that is going to take up a lot of space in my fridge is a 2.5qt pitcher for iced tea. About as small as a pitcher as you can get. Tea is cheap and economical and requires less overall storage than sodas. I rarely drink soda anyway. The sugar will have to be stored in the fridge to avoid inviting ants. Sadly, you can't easily get bags of sugar smaller than 5lbs. I might just have to switch to water to avoid having to store 5lbs of sugar when I buy a fresh bag.
Dirty clothes is going to be an annoyance but a laundry bag or two up on the front seats will do nicely for that. They can be tossed in the back for driving.
I have some that I used to hang an emergency weather radio to the wall in the bed area. It's staying up pretty well so far. Sticky glue stuff might not hold up in the bathroom I have due to steam and moisture. It does has a pretty nice privacy window... even when open, you can't exactly see in unless you get on a ladder and put your face to the window to TRY to see in.
I have an expanding car style clothes bar I got years ago for a conversion van I had. it'll hang on the cabinets in several places but again, i can't put much weight on it, for fear of damaging the cabinets. It would be great for hanging up clothes I wear often.. I would have to shuffle it around some depending on where i want it. I can put it over the front two seats when I'm not driving and unload it when I'm not and lay the hangered clothes on the bed with the rod back there out of the way.
Privacy is a little hard in mine in the bed area. It has a large rear window and two windows on the sides. It has curtains that it seems somenoe made out of motel towels (no joke!). A clothes pin works well for holding the two sides together somewhat. I wouldn't want much of a privacy curtain if it hangs down low. The furnace is not far away.
Also, if it drops to the floor, it would get a little in the way of the fresh water tank level viewer.. which is basically a slit in the enclosure with the tank visible. That's how it was designed. primitive but highly effective.
It donned on me today to just make a little wooden freestanding shelf for under the sink. 10x13x10 will allow storage under, to the side of and on top of the little shelf. Being freestanding, I can pull it out if I dislike it later with no permanent changes. I have a lot of scrap wood laying around in the garage I can use so it's not going to cost me anything to make.. compared to a $10 wire shelf that I might need two of or that might not fit as well.
I'm gonna go ahead and use the plastic cups and stuff so it's not considered stuff I "need" when packing the van.
My old 78 might get 10 if i'm lucky while towing. it lacks the emission 'air pump' that some had in 1978. Also, someone removed the catalytic converter when they replaced the muffler which looks close to new. Thankfully, my state lacks any inspections.. and the state I will be settling in eventually (Washington), the van is old enough to be emissions exempt. That will help with the mpg a little. I wish cruise control was working but it's not. i replaced a long vacuum hose hoping that would solve it, but it didn't. I installed a vacuum/MPG gauge to help me go easier on the gas pedal.
Having the trailer will save me a more money than it will cost in gas. I do a lot of repairs myself which saves hundreds of dollars, easily. (I've probably saved $2000+ in labor doing a lot myself on that van). Oil changes alone on a van get about $10 tacked on instanty. I also don't hardly trust mechanics anymore after one local shop botched a simple brake job causing damage to my new parts, stole one of my new brake drums and got away with it as far as the BBB is concerned who sided with the shop. The shop bold faced lied to the BBB and even the supervisor at the BBB agreed that it sounded like a lie that I'd be passing around $20 bills as tips after paying a $700 bill.
Also, the scooter is my REAL daily driver. It gets over 80mpg, if not over 90mpg. Frankly, Idon't even monitor it, it's so high up there. It greatly offsets the van's low MPG when I reach my destinations. I can easily unhitch the trailer and drive the van around destinations of the weather calls for it. The good Master brand coupler lock I have will help keep anyone from hauling off with the trailer. The raised mesh sides and drop tailgate will help prevent anyone from stealing the scooter from the trailer since I can chain the tail gate shut. Sometimes a good lock will deter a lazy thief.
I didn't want to have a trailer but after I sold the other two scooters I had (a 50cc with no title, and a 250cc) I was going through scooter withdrawls within days. I got a 125cc which is the sweet spot for my wants and needs. Then I was considering a hitch mounted carrier... but that puts a lot of stress on the rear of the van which is already loaded down with the 36 gallon fuel tank, ~22 gallon fresh water tank and 2.7KW Onan AJ generator.
A trailer will make the van PULL more wrigh but not HOLD more weight up off the ground. And too.. it has a rear spare tire carrier which would prevent me from putting a motorcycle carrier on. There's no where else to put the tire. If I take off the carrier, I'd have to have a trailer to carry the spare tire in!
So that's why I got a trailer. There was no other way around it if I wanted to have a high mpg daily driver.
Oh... and I can stand up in mine in a small portion of it despite the low roof. It has a dropped floor section around the kitchen and the entry way. The roof is part of the conversion but near as I can figure, it's a thin fiberglass coating with a thin bit of insulation over the metal roof. I though it lacked metal in the roof.. but I can see it where the new roof vent was put in. They didn't try to seal around it.. so i need to get some foam weatherstripping. There is a miniscule amount of hard type foam insulation too (the kind that crumbles, sorta like florists use).
I'm going to be pulling a raised mesh side trailer for my tools in an aluminum truck tool box (I have a lot.. haha) and my Yamaha Vino 125 scooter, bicycle, etc.
The problem with most plastic storage boxes is they aren't very watertight. I guess wrapping a good Rubbermaid roughneck or actionpacker in a tarp and securing it with straps would work well for keeping water out.
As it is, I have two plastic totes of personal belongings I can't really stand to part with.. which I had planned to store on the trailer, wrapped tight in tarps. I need to go through the boxes a few more times to be sure I can't stand to part with some of the stuff. Maybe I can get it down to one tote.
Some day I may get an enclosed trailer but I couldn't afford one right now so I got what I could that suits my main needs.
I have considered storing out-of-season clothes in PVC float bags, then in a plastic tote and then wrapping it in a tarp for storage on the trailer. That way I don't have to store my heavy coats and clothes in the van when it's 80 degrees out. Or store more than a few tshirts in the van when it's heavy coat weather.
I already had some very small flip top Sterlite plastic storage boxes that fit into the overhead cabinets nice up over the dinette. I bought some cheap "food" type storage boxes of similar sizes today from Dollar General ($2 for 4). They are pretty flimsy but they work well for things I might not get at everyday. They provide great sorting storage in the cabinet that otherwise could get crammed stuff of junk that I'd have a hard time sorting through. it also keeps the items inside dust free and makes dusting easier. I can pull the lids off and rinse off the dust in the sink.
I plan to keep the top shelf in the wardrobe mostly for canned food, but also for toilet paper, pots & pans, etc.
I just have to face facts though, there's not enough good clothing storage in this van. It has 2 clothes bars but one lacks much hanging space below it. the other has more due to no bottom surface in part of it, where the water tank filler and vent hoses come through the outer wall. It houses 2 small drawers and the furnace under the rest of the wardrobe.
I'm already finding I had things over packed a little here and there. For example, I had a pair of cheap plastic cups... in addition to two travel coffee cups with lids. The coffee cups work fine for regular drinking cups with the kids removed. So I tossed the plastic cups into a "get rid of" box.
Right now, there's some wasted space under the sink due to brand new disposable plates, cups and plastic cutlery that was in the van when I got it. I used up one whole package of cups already around the house. I figure I'll save the others for later. I might want to use them while I have them to save on dishes a little. I won't be buying them regularly though. They are wasteful and take up too much space. But then again, maybe I should use them up now or I'll get into the habit of having them in the van and will be tempted to buy them all the time.
I plan to put a wire cabinet shelf or two to help make better use of the space under the sink later on as well.
That is very true about banking info on RVers computers more so than many of my regular customers.
One lady who found my number somehow, either Craigslist or a flyer I posed.. at the time her 1-2 year old laptop had a broken screen. I was driving an old beat up car at the time and that day a friend (who can't drive due to medical issues) was riding along. I found it funny that she asked if i was legit. If i wasn't, would I say I wasn't? Who would bother to steal broken laptops. Sure, I do make people pay up front for parts since i don't make money on them, but even so. Seems like there's better, easier ways out there to rip off people. Plus I hand out professionally printed color business cards (with a design I made that looks awesome IMO) with the same phone # the people contacted me with in the first place.
Anyhow, I replaced the screen and she was happy with it. I have only ever had one customer that was somewhat unhappy. They expected me to pick uip their computer, fix it, bring it back AND replace a failing disc drive all for $50. I did everything except replace the disc drive. Heck, I would have made NOTHING if I had done that. They just misunderstood when I said they should replace it and it'll cost about $20-25. but that out of $50... plus I had to buy gas to pick it up and bring it back to them.. jeeze.
I might be doomed from the start since I don't have a new, fancy RV. An old RV might equal "poor, desperate, dishonest, thieving" in the eyes of some who are better off financially than me.
Maybe I can just fix things for people here and there as I run across those who are having problems.. a sort of part time computer handyman and not be an actual vender. I'm not sure I want to dedicate all my time to being a full time vender anyway. I just think making a few extra bucks would be nice when I'm sure there's a lot of people there who need help with computers and electronics.
The hanging sweater bags provide a lot of shelving, too. You could put in a corner of your bed and staple to wall all the way to ceiling. I did this in our bathroom and it provided great storage for towels and makes good use of vertical space. ....I tried to post picture but couldn't get it to work. This is my company computer so it has restrictions!
I'm not sure I want to try to staple things to fiberglass. :) The 3/4 of the walls in the bed area are all fiberglass, as well as the ceiling. The other wall (with the bathroom & wardrobe on the other side) is vinyl covered sheet metal.
My (tiny!) bathroom is 100% plastic interior. I bought some cheap suction hooks that work nicely on the smooth plastic wall surface. You can't fully stand up in the bathroom. You have to sit to shower. So yeah, it's one of those kinds of setups.
I am using hanging organizers where ever I can and will be adding more hooks for hanging even more.
Oh trust me, I am downsizing as much as humanly possible.
The plastic shelf unit is for clothes and linens and that's about it. I'll have two bath towels (alternate between the two), a small lot of wash clothes, 2 sets of sheets (1 regular, one flannel), 2 or 3 hand towels, etc.
The wardrobe is going to be storing other items in about 2/3 of it. the mdidle 1/3 is hard to use due to the sliding doors. The other 1/3 will have my best shirts on hangers. I don't even have a great deal of clothes like a lot of people. What I do have now is going to be thinned out to get rid of the old "work" clothes I currently wear around the house, except for one or two pairs of jeans and few shirts.
It's better to take a little too much than not enough. It's cheaper to get rid of stuff than it is to get it back. Even so, I am trying to downsize as much as I can.
I had a bright red Sharp Half Pint microwave in the van that took up 1/3 of the wardrobe space. I decided to take it out and will be putting it on ebay and using the cooktop instead. It'll mean more work to cook and more dirty dishes at but means I have that much more space.
I am about 5 months away from starting full timing. I have been slowly getting ready for over a year now. I am starting to realize just how tight it's going to be in my little ol' Class B motorhome. As such, I am having to come up with low cost but very effective ways of making use of every inch of space.
Yesterday I build a simple but effective hanging laptop holder that simply hooks onto the overhead cabinet when open. Ir doesn't provide a perfect straight on view of the screen when laying in bed, but it's better than nothing.
Photos here of it: http://cubey7800.blogspot.com/2013/04/laptop-hanger-over-bed.html
Today I realized that I need more shelf space since stacking things only goes so far, especially duffel bags of clothes. I looked around the house (which doesn't have much left in it now) and spotted a cheap plastic shelf unit that works GREAT in the bed area. I tied some strings from it to existing hooks to keep it from falling over and it works fantastic! I can unlatch the ends of the strings from the hooks to move it to change the bed sheet. It'll be a lot of hassle but it makes use of the space very well. I can store extra bedding to the sides. I may get plastic totes to prevent the clean linens from collecting dust. I may also go with plastic totes in place of duffel bags for the same reason.
Photos here: http://cubey7800.blogspot.com/2013/04/need-more-storage.html
My old furnace works great... including the auto gas cutoff, if the flame goes out. It lacks forced air, but being such a small motorhome, it doesn't really need it. Honestly. I prefer it this way... it takes no electricity to run (great for boondocking!) and is almost completely silent, save for the flame noise when it's operating. It has a thermostat so it won't run constantly unless you keep it set to max.
I like the idea of having an electric heater when in an RV park though, especially one without metered electric. It would save on my propane bill some and I wouldn't have to go get the two 20lb tanks refilled as often. Even with metered electric, it helps prevent running out of propane at 3am.
Sure, a small electric heater won't put it to 65 degrees inside if it's 35 degrees out but it'll help keep the chill off somewhat.
I say bring back the draft... but allow those drafted to serve in something like the Civilian Conservation Corps (which we need badly for employment in this country) if they don't want to serve in the military.
It would put a lot of idle bodies to work who otherwise have nothing better to do than deface nature. And it wouuld also help the economy greatly.
I like oil filled but they take up a lot of space to be used safely and are very heavy. Too much to have in a small class B like I have.
I'll be taking a small ceramic forced air heater with me. Compact, light weight, doesn't require as much space to be used safely. A tower style would also work nicely since it could be put between the two front seats while in use which is nice and out of the way in my van.
I am planning on being at Quartzsite this next season. I have never been there before, so it's going to be an interesting experience!
I am considering doing a bit of vender activity. I'm not sure how many there do computer services, but it sounds like a goldmine. Virus removal, factory restoring laptops, minor tech support, etc. There might be more business than one person can even handle. I suspect there may be other venders who may be better equipped for it, but it might be worth a shot to make some extra bucks here and there.
I have dug up the forms online for registering for an AZ state tax ID, registering with the city of Quartzite for a vender license, etc.
What I am wondering is how do you deal with it tax wise? Especially as a "transient" vender who's home state isn't AZ.
I would just as soon do it out of my Class B motorhome if possible but I'm not sure about the legal issues involved with that.