Improve RV Organization with drawers in your cabinets

With our recent war on clutter it was only a matter of time before we tackled this cabinet.  It’s a fairly large (the largest we have in the trailer), but we’ve always used it as a catch-all.  It’s really been a large junk drawer since we finished out renovations.  Well, the days of clutter are coming to an end and this cabinet is the latest victim.

We had a few options when it came to reclaiming this space.  We knew it needed to be divided to make use of the height, but since the cabinet is 24″ deep I didn’t want to squat and reach to the back of shelves.  I also knew that if I was going to make drawers I could weasel a new tool out of the deal and I’ve been eying up a Kreg Pocket Hole jig for a while now.

After measuring the space and carefully researching drawer slides, I quickly proceeded to order the wrong drawer slide.  My plans were to make these push to open drawers, but I didn’t want to wait for new ones which means we now have plain old drawer slides.  Unfortunately, like most of my other projects, this wasn’t going to be my only mistake.

Building the drawers was the easy part.  Make a 14 1/2″x22″ box with a bottom.  Oh yeah, and make it out of plywood with nice smooth edges.  The Kreg jig was awesome and it made assembling the drawers a breeze.  I was going to skip the right angle clamp and used clamps, but it made assembly go so much quicker than if I was trying to use bar clamps.

So, here’s where mistake # 2 comes in.  This one’s really not my doing, but I should have known better.  Never buy hardwood plywood from a home improvement store.  The veneer is thin, barely glued to the core, and the core just has a ton of voids in it.  Lesson learned, buy lumber from a lumber yard and avoid all the extra work trying to fix a bad product.

I’m not going to go into all the build details, but here’s our video that will show you how we did it.

 

Now that I have my new Kreg jig, I must say that everything is starting to look like it needs some pocket holes.  I have a few more projects lined up to use this tool on.

If you have any storage ideas that are working for you leave them down below.  We’d love to hear them.

Elk Neck State Park Camping

Another weekend trip, another rainy weekend.  Camping and rain seem to be synonymous these days, but it’ll take more than rain to slow us down.  We’ve wanted to visit Elk Neck State Park for a while and this weekend was it.

Our first impression of the park was great!  The rangers were all friendly and the park itself was beautiful.  We were camping with the dog, so we stayed in the pet friendly Elk loop which is also right on the Chesapeake Bay.  We booked late, so we only had a few sites to choose from, but after cruising the Elk loop site 136 has the best view with access down to the water (albeit steep access).

On top of the campground, we also visited the lighthouse at Turkey Point and North East beach and would recommend both of them.

Checkout the below video to see the highlights of our trip.

 

How we made a fabric headboard with pockets

So, we’ve always struggled a bit with storage in the trailer which is expected with 6 people and a dog in a trailer.  We’ve been working on getting everything more organized and one of our nagging problems is where to put things when we get in bed.  Our bed is just that, there’s no end tables or storage to be had, it’s just a mattress.  The small things like glasses, phones, etc. typically get stuffed on the side of the mattress and hope it’s there (in one piece) when we wake up.

Well, Sandie recently saw photos of a faux headboard that someone made out of fabric which included storage pockets.  After seeing that she decided it was just what we needed and I think she was right.  We had left over fabric and curtain rods, so this project didn’t costing us anything extra.  Check out the video below to see how we did it.

In the end, we ended up sprucing up our sleeping area while giving us somewhere to keep a few things while we sleep.  It’s a win in my book and the price was just right.

If you have any comments or would like to share some of your storage ideas or projects leave them in the comments below.

Washington DC camping on a budget

This is one of the reasons we love camping!  We wanted to stop in Washington DC during our spring break trip, but didn’t make it and wanted to squeeze it in this year.  We didn’t have this trip budgeted for, but were able to make it work with some careful spending.

Instead of a full immensity campground we decided on National Park that didn’t have any hookups for just $16/night, but was only 11 miles from downtown Washington DC.  We also used a parking app to find some inexpensive, yet convenient parking, near the Air and Space museum.

The only thing that set us back was our lunch.  We couldn’t pack lunch into the museum and decided to eat there while waiting for the rain to end.  We could have packed lunch and left it in the car, but with limited time we decided to splurge a little.

In the end we spent $202 on our three-day trip to Washington DC and I’m not so sure it would have cost us less to stay home for a weekend.  Here’s a breakdown of our costs:

Fuel: $ 70
Parking: $ 13
Campground for 3 days: $ 48 at Greenbelt Park
Lunch at the museum: $ 48
Pizza for 6: $ 23 at Slices Pizza

On our trip we got to see the Air and Space Museum, Museum of Natural History, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and got a glimpse of the White House and Capital Building.  We went from one end of the National Mall to the other and had a lot of tired kids at the end of the day!  Checkout the below video to see our trip highlights.

Sandie was a bit concerned with the bare bones  campground, but it worked out great and our next trip will be to a state park with no hookups at a great price.  It turns out the kids love camping anywhere there’s access to a playground and this allows us to squeeze in more trips (and memories).

How to build a GIANT Jenga game with adjustable base for camping

Out of nowhere, I decided we NEEDED a gigantic Jenga set.  Jenga is our go-to game and what could be more fun than a huge one?  On top of the large pieces, I also wanted to make an adjustable base so we could set it up at the campsite.

Well, what I thought was going to be an afternoon project ended up on the workbench for a few weeks.  To get started you’ll need six 2×4’s to make the pieces.  You’ll need to cut 54 (yes, fifty-four) 10.5″ pieces.  Next these pieces need to be cleaned up and I decided to route all the edges and sand them all down.  When dealing with 54 pieces this takes a while.

Checkout the below video that shows how we did it:

Next I built an adjustable table that lets me level it.  Nobody wants to play Jenga on an non-level picnic table and I wanted to keep everything fair so that the kids can’t blame the table when I beat them.  To build the table I used mostly scraps that I had lying around the garage.  I made the feet from hockey pucks and 3/4″ bolts and the rest was scrap lumber.

Now that we have this HUGE Jenga set I can say it’s a blast, but it’s not coming with us on each trip.  It’s a novelty and certainly will never replace our beloved standard Jenga set.