By their very nature, caravans are restricted spaces. This is a fact that most people can deal with; however, how well that space is utilised is what makes all the difference. Here are some steps you can take to make the most of your rarest resource:
Remember the golden rule: pack conservatively and then pare it back further.
- Clothing: when choosing basics, factor in your body type, the climate where you’re going, the season and what activities you plan on doing. Weigh up how long you can wear a garment against how tolerant your partner is.
- Food: unless you’re prepping for Armageddon, don’t pack three months-worth of food. Stock up on non-perishable essentials such as salt, pepper, herbs, spices, oils and any specialty foods that you can’t get while on the road. Take a modest amount of tinned food and enough fresh food to keep you going until your first planned pit stop.
The best way to keep your gear organised is to make sure everything has a place and to return it there after use. This is as effective in the kitchen and living areas as it is when organising everyone’s personal belongings:
- Stackable storage tubs: one or two per person means you can store less-frequently used clothing and other items. They’re cheap, see-through and you can usually find a set that’ll fit your storage areas. If you’re taking kids, tubs are perfect for their toys and sandy beach gear.
- IKEA wardrobe organiser: measuring only 350 millimetres wide, this polyester soft-shelving makes great use of a typical caravan wardrobe and with six shelves it will cater for a whole family.
- Drawer dividers and utensil trays: again, IKEA is great for this kind of thing. Its aluminium drawer dividers can easily be cut and modified to suit smaller drawers and they have a range of inexpensive, quality utensil trays in plastic and wood.
- Nested cookware: a few key brands are Fagor, Smartspace and Tefal. The basic idea is that it stacks well and has detachable handles. Smartspace’s range lives up to its name because of its square shape while Tefal’s saucepans come with sealable plastic lids for storing leftovers.
- Collapsible silicone colander: colanders are among the worst space hogs in the kitchen. Use a collapsible colander instead.
Serious space upgrades
You can’t create space on the inside, but you can add it on the outside. Here are two ways to do it:
Add a caravan annex: an annex is a common addition to caravans and effectively adds a second room. Adding caravan annex walls further breaks up the space, providing areas that have multiple uses.
Storage boxes: for serious storage space you can add a stainless steel or aluminium storage box. These boxes are usually installed over the drawbar so watch your tow ball mass and maximum payload figures.
Good storage starts with knowing what to take on the road and what to leave at home. Combined with a few smart storage ideas, your caravan living space will feel larger and more orderly.
Now that you’ve got space sorted, here are some other ways to customise your caravan.