How to build a lightweight RV storage compartment

Ever since we completed the rebuild of our trailer we’re always looking for creative storage solutions.  Being in a confined (<200 sq ft) space with six people and a dog can quickly become overwhelming if you throw clutter in the mix.

One of our bigger problems has been all of the shoes.  If left out they drive you insane, so we’ve resorted to leaving them outside or stuffing them under the dinette booth.  Neither of those options has been good, but it was sure better than tripping over them.

When thinking about a new solution we quickly narrowed in on the access hatch we have in the bunkhouse.  This gives us access into the pass through compartment from inside the RV, but we’ve never used it and don’t anticipate the need.   Given that, we decided to re-purpose that unused hatch for shoe storage.

Checkout the build video below to see how we did it.

 

We initially planned to use 1/2″ plywood to build the storage box, but wanted to try a lightweight option and decided to use Coroplast.  This would give us a light weight box using a low-cost and easy to work with material.  We don’t plan on storing much weight, so as long as the kids don’t use it as a hiding place it should be strong enough.

Assembly was quick and easy.  We used a straight edge and razor for all the cutting and duct tape to reinforce the corners.  I also used spray glue and rivets for extra support, but needed to remove them after realizing I didn’t account for the extra thickness.  Once the box was built I attached it with some wood trim to clamp the edges in place.

We’re hoping that our new Coroplst storage area can survive the rigors of life with kids, but with only $16 invested it was worth the experiment.  If you’ve done anything similar or have any creative storage ideas leave them in the comments below.

How we back a trailer into our trouble driveway

How we back a trailer into our trouble driveway.  If you know us and our driveway you’ll know what a pain in the butt this task has been.  Ever since we bought our house we’ve struggled with getting trailers (and some cars) in and out of the driveway.  The driveway is steep, narrow, is on a tight street, has a storm drain at the bottom and is carved into a hill giving us little room for corrections.

To see how we manage this situation check out the below video

 

To make backing into the driveway possible at all we needed to make some changes to the trailer as well as the driveway.  Here are the things we did:

  • We widened the entrance of the driveway.  There just wasn’t room to make the turn off of our street without hitting the hill in front of our house.  I spent 2 days digging it out by hand until I hit a boulder about 2′ from the edge of the driveway.  This now gives us about 10′ of room in the entrance of the driveway and narrows to about 8.5′.
  • We also needed to lift our trailer.  We gained 6.5″ using the Dexter K7138400 Conversion Kit.  This includes the spring pads that are welded on the top of the axle along with all the necessary hardware.  One kit is required for each axle.
  • Installed a tongue jack quick release bracket.  I was tired of removing and installing this jack several times each time we used the trailer, so I installed this bracket that allows it to be removed with a 1/16th turn.  Check out our review here.
  • On the same note, we also installed stabilizer jack quick release brackets.  Without removing the stabilizer jacks we can’t clear the driveway even with the trailer lifted.  Check out our review of the Save-A-Jack brackets here.
  • Last, but not least, we place a few 2×10’s at the base of the driveway so the wheels don’t drop into the storm drain.  This gives us enough room to clear the bumper by an inch or two.

With all that said we love our trailer and it’s worth all the time and headaches it’s been figuring this all out.  If we were to change anything about this situation is would be the damn driveway.  On the positive side we can now back a trailer into just about any spot in the campground with confidence.

Our 2015 Year in Review

So, 2015 was a pretty good year for us all around. We spent time with family & friends, visited some great places, and created MANY memories. In addition to all the great times we also lost a loved one far too soon. Now that we’re a few days into 2016 it’s time to look back at the good times and plan for the future.

Check out our 2015 Year in Review video to see some of our highlights.

Now that 2016 is here we have some big things planned. Our goal is for this year to be our best ever (only to be topped by 2017). Here’s a quick preview of things to come.

New project RV
We haven’t decided on the type yet, but we’re starting our search now. What we’re looking for is a small RV for mom & dad date trips and are leaning towards a smaller class C or a <15’ travel trailer. Follow along as we choose and rehab our new RV.

Spring Break road trip
Our 2015 trip was cancelled because of a job change, but not this year. We’ll be embarking on a road trip that includes stops in Washington, Charleston, Charlotte, and somewhere along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.

15 Year Anniversary road trip
Tennessee. After 15 years we’re going all out for a trip to…Tennessee. We haven’t decided on all the specifics, but Chattanooga is our main destination. Our goal is to have our new “date RV” completed and ready to go for this trip.

Knoebels
We went to Knoebels for the first time last year and had a blast. We decided this is now a recurring annual trip and can’t wait to return.

In addition to these plans, we intend to complete several smaller projects and trips throughout the year. We’re also working hard to improve the quality of our blog and video content, so stay tuned for what we have in store in 2016.