Campervan storage and packing tips
What's the best way to pack my campervan?
A campervan is a home in miniature, so avoid packing everything bar the kitchen sink.
Introduction to campervan storage and packing tips
© Photo: Hillside campervan
The trick to successful packing is to take only what you need and to keep essential items in your campervan at all times. This means there’s less to pack (and less things to forget!) when you want to head off on a spur-of-the-moment weekend break...
Packing the kitchen
Starting with the kitchen, allocate a cupboard/drawer for the kettle, pots, plates, etc. Then, allocate another space for long-life food, such as tins and packets. For smaller items such as tea bags and things that can easily become lost, like the bottle opener, use plastic containers with lids, such as Tupperware. Avoid metal and tin, as everything will rattle and jangle when you’re on the move. Note that rock ‘n’ beds in campervans often block access to cupboards so, before setting the bed up, remember to take anything out that you might need during the night or first thing in the morning, like your coffee pot!
Accessible eye-level storage
Campervans usually have some easy-access storage space, such as small cupboards and/or shelves at eye level. Use this space for things you need frequent access to, like torches, loo roll and phone chargers. Store such items in plastic see-through containers, and you’ll probably be able to pack more in, too.
© Photo: Volkswagen California Ocean
Make the most of wardrobe space
Campervans often have a cupboard fitted with a hanging rail or shelves, which is intended for use as a wardrobe. If you don’t have much camping clobber, this may work for you. However, it can often be more practical to store your clothes in a holdall instead and use the wardrobe for other essential camping accessories, such as towels, a washbag, a medical kit, books and maps, games, etc. To maximise use of this space, buy a selection of plastic see-through stackable boxes. This means you can organise your things logically, and can easily grab whichever you box you need.
Fabric hanging storage pockets
When parked up, another handy storage accessory is a fabric hanger with pockets that can be tied to a headrest so that it hangs behind a cab seat. These are brilliant for keeping your campervan tidy, and are handy for storing items you might want while relaxing in your campervan, such as books, maps, games and children's toys. Note that cab seat hanging storage pockets aren’t of much use if both of your cab seats swivel, though!
Packing the boot correctly
The bulk of the storage space in smaller campervans is in the boot area. If you have a travel bench, use the space behind this for bedding and holdalls. The space below needs to accommodate camping furniture such as a table and chairs, as well as levelling blocks, a barbecue, and any other essential items. Before buying accessories like this, it’s a good idea to measure the space available to ensure they will fit in.
If you’re also using the boot space to keep things like an electric hook-up lead and pairs of shoes, open crates that are easy to lift in and out are very practical. Similarly, if you use your campervan as a daily driver and therefore need to empty it of its contents at the end of camping trips, see-through lidded boxes and sturdy crates are ideal for storing camping equipment in a garage.
Campervan boot space
© Photo: Auto Campers Day Van Eco-line Series
Campsite safety tips
Before departing a campsite, take a walk around your campervan to make sure you haven’t forgotten to pack away anything, such as levelling blocks and the electric hook-up lead, and check you haven't left items like shoes or a washing-up bowl under the campervan.
Finally, always ensure that everything is safely stowed away and cupboards are properly closed before driving off. Flying objects can cause serious injury.
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