Fitting Belongings Into an RV

Interesting thoughts come up when you are looking at longer term travel on an RV. You begin thinking about what you want/need to take that will fit into the lifestyle and space of less than 400 square feet. In Kansas most of our homes are much larger. Even “mobile homes” in trailer parks are typically more than 400 square feet. Within that footage, a good portion expands so everything has to have a place when the slides are not out.

Here are some of the thoughts that helped us narrow down items or logistical things we didn’t really plan for early on.

1. When the slides are in and you are traveling, what do you have access to? In our 5th wheel we can access the fridge, some pantry, all of the bath, and the bedroom except the “dresser”. We cannot use the living room at all; dining table, stove, oven, or microwave. This changed how we arranged our things in the kitchen, and utilization of our “dresser” (4 small drawers). We wanted the ability to atleast heat food while we couldn’t fully access the kitchen. We have a 1 burner electric induction cook plate for this. We also can prepare meals or leave easy to eat things closer to the reachable side of the kitchen. We are actually gaining room in our closet so we are using our “dresser” for things we won’t need as much access to. We decided to purchase a small propane fueled grill to put in the pass through in case we really wanted to cook on the road.

2. Cleaning Supplies, full home to small home? If you gathered every cleaning chemical and tool in your home and piled them in one large pile it’s eye opening. We are leaving a rented 2.5 bathroom home. For our convenience we have bathroom cleaning supplies in each (sprays, toilet cleaner, scrub brushes, extra towels). We have kitchen cleaners, car cleaners, carpet cleaners, floor cleaners, laundry cleaners, dust cleaners, yard cleaners, cleanees to clean off the cleaners, you get the point. After doing some research I found that RVs also need cleaners. The little advice I found agreed on using more natural and less chemical products. The surfaces in our rv are natural wood, not natural wood, plastics, hard as opposed to spongy surface countertops, strange window fabrics, glass, and a plastic wall coating… stuff? I found a company called Frosch who packages these more gentle, less caustic cleaners, nicely on Amazon. I’m not a chemist and I won’t even pretend to be one on TV.

3. Wall space is a premium, choose your pictures wisely.

4. Sharing a bathroom with your significant other means liters of shampoo are not ideal. Even bathrooms have very limited storage. Again 2.5 bathrooms down to one much smaller bathroom and all consolidated bathroom supplies means overflow.

5. Where are you able to “load” the RV? We have a wonderful storage lot who has enough space when the neighbors are gone, to put slides out so we can move things on to the RV. Also putting the slides out while not plugged in uses significant battery power. We have been using our generator intermittently to charge the house batteries. I’m sure many have considered using there street or driveway. We happen to live at the end of a small cul-de-sac and it would probably not be a good idea to attempt a 40 foot trailer. Our drive way is approximately 23 feet. The only way we can estimate the driveway is that the dually is 21.5 feet and with the tailgate down, there is no driveway left over.

6. If you load in the storage lot, keep your batteries charged 😀




We are still moving things over but we will keep updating as we come across new questions or thoughts 🙂


2 thoughts on “Fitting Belongings Into an RV

  1. Michigan Traveler says:

    Hi John & Laura,
    Here’s a couple of thoughts for you.
    1. Be careful that you don’t overload your trailer. I found that when I filled all of the spaces I was way overweight and had to get rid of some things or move them to the truck to get down to the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Here is a link to find the nearest CAT Scale.
    2. Consider your trailer as a box filled with boxes. For example I put my Weber gas grill in a plastic bin with all of the hoses, brushes, lighter, etc. That keeps everything from sliding around and protects the grill. Bins and “milk” grates keep things neat, organized, and accessible.
    Best of luck and we’ll see you down the road!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hebardstravels says:

      Hey! Thank you so much for the insight. You are so right! We have been very cautious so far. Basically leaving everything in storage and only bringing necessary items. Thank you for the wisdom, we appreciate all we learn from all the experienced travelers!


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