caravan packing ideas

Best Packing and Storage Tips for Caravan and Camping

Nature lovers understand just how alluring any time spent outdoors can be and it doesn’t matter if you are camping or exploring with a caravan. When you do get to go away, the last thing anyone wants is disorganized chaos to keep track of constantly. When you’re camping, storage can either magnify or minimize the experience, and having proper storage plans will make exploring our country far more pleasant for everyone.

From packing to unpacking to repacking, you can become bogged down in stuff instead of enjoying your captivating surroundings. Here are some of the simplest and most practical storage methods for caravanning and camping so that you can delight in every moment spent with nature, rather than having to try and find where you’ve put something.

What to Consider for Camping Packing and Storage

While it is theoretically possible to haul everything in a backpack and set off, it doesn’t pose the best outcome for enjoyment, practicality, or the safety of your precious camping items. Individuals getting ready for a fantastic camping trip should always consider the following when packing their belongings:

  • Protecting and sheltering stored items
  • Ease of packing and unpacking
  • Space consumption throughout the trip
  • Practicality and accessing items throughout the trip
  • Only packing what is needed with few additional items
  • Assessing the climate of the destination

When you are looking at how and where to store your belongings, there are some quick things to follow. The location for storage should always be clean and dry, as humidity and excess moisture can easily tarnish valuables and possessions.

Best Packing and Storage Tips for Caravan and Camping

Anyone who has browsed for packing and storage items would know there is undoubtedly a wide range of high-quality merchandise, all of which offer different benefits. But the outlook can seem bleak when you’re planning a camping or caravanning trip on a budget.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of simple and cost-effective methods and tips that you can use. Many of these methods and tips can require a creative DIY approach but will make life easier for packing and storing gear, possessions, tools, and accessories.

1.     Keep things light

One of the big issues when you are caravanning or camping is weight. All cars, camper trailers and caravans have a maximum weight they are legally and safely allowed to be. This can cause a few issues if you suddenly pack everything you want without considering how much is all ways.

If you have a choice, always try to go for containers, boxes and storage that is made from lightweight materials. Every kilogram adds up, especially when you are nearing the maximum amount allowed for your car and camper.

2.     Pack essentials where it’s accessible

Essential items such as keys, multi-tools, toilet paper, and other items you will need frequently or need to access quickly should be kept somewhere easy to reach. Even if these items are stored separately, the location for storage should be handy.

Things you are going to be reaching for often should always be put in places that are quick and easily accessible. You don’t want to be unpacking everything just to get to something you knew you would need.

3.     Utilize overlooked space

Additional space which isn’t always used, such as corners or under beds, can be utilized for storage. Think about adding a small cupboard or storage space in these sorts of areas to give you a little bit more packing room.

For caravanning, things like sink covers are fantastic for creating more space when the sink is not in use, and it’s straightforward to create your own. These can serve many purposes and can be useful for giving extra benchtop space, and if made from certain materials can double as chopping boards. Stovetop covers are also great at giving you more bench space, especially if you often cook outside rather than inside the van.

4.     Pack cleaning items together

Pack all items for cleaning together, including soap and rags, divided between washing clothes and cleaning dishes and your van. Bags for waste and dirty clothing are also good things to pack, preferably sealable bags that can be compressed when not used to save space.

5. Use collapsible items

Some things take up a lot of space. But more and more things are coming in collapsible form. This means some serious space saving as they can fold down relatively flat and it is a lot easier to find a space for a flat bucket then a full size one. Washing baskets, buckets, dish drainers, pots and even kettles can now be found as collapsible.

6.     Organization is Key

Planning and organization will make a world of difference, even if it takes some extra time beforehand. Labelling, colour coding, and grouping items will make them straightforward to find amid exciting outdoor activities and much harder to lose amongst luggage. Using transparent tubs can greatly assist the organization and tracking of all items as well as you can see what is inside quickly. If you can’t do that, a label on the outside with what is on the inside can be very handy.

Use additional organization items like pegboards, hooks, and plastic bags to keep things neat and out of the way. Hooks especially are great for items like keys and hats to utilize wall space rather than on tables and benches, which isn’t always

7.     Stackable Storage Items

One of the best tips for those camping and caravanning is to use stackable items for storage as much as possible. These are excellent for stowing when not in use, and some can even be stacked while they are in use as well for saving space and staying organized. Stackable storage items include plastic bowls, tubs, paper cups, and much more. Look for items that go together easily (and don’t forget the weight).

One of the items that take up the most space is your cooking equipment. These days you can get pots and pans with removable handles that stack into each other to take up a smaller amount of space.

8.     Soft Casings

Although plastic storage items are fantastic for packing and storing many possessions, some belongings require more of a gentle touch. Items such as more delicate tools or cooking equipment like pots and pans can be stored in sealable soft casings or even pillowcases to protect them while travelling and when not in use.

If you have glass bottles like sauces etc. a great way to reduce breakage is to keep them in stubby holders (can coolers for those in other parts of the world). This gives them a soft base as they get knocked about. It’s also a good way to save space as the stubby holders aren’t taking up valuable storage space somewhere else.

9.     Modify your cupboards.

Most caravan and camper trailer cupboards are just empty spaces, which is greatly assisted by stackable storage and organization methods. However, when things are stored on top of each other it can be a pain when you need something you’ve put on the bottom.

Don’t be afraid to modify your cupboards and drawers. If something doesn’t suit you, change it. If the cupboard is a big empty space, put some shelves in. Do you think the space would work better as a drawer? Put one in. Most DIY projects like this aren’t that hard, and a bit of watching others on YouTube will soon have you heading to Bunnings with a wealth of ideas.

10.     Hanging Space for Storing Light Items

Whether you are camping using a tent or a caravan, there will certainly be some excess space near the ceiling. Light items can be stored in hanging containers or even mesh nets and can be a great option for accessories. Hanging baskets, hanging nets, magnetic hooks, clips, or suction cup hooks can be used for hanging space as well, leaving you with plenty of room to move around throughout your trip.

The greatest thing we’ve added to our camper was a $15 change table organiser that hangs just inside the door. It has multiple pockets that we use for keys, sunglasses, thongs, bike locks, head lamps and all manner of small things that we want to find quickly.

storage tips for caravans
This nappy organiser was a game changer for things we wanted within easy reach.

11.      Repack Food Items for Storage

In many cases, food storage is often overlooked when camping, as people just pack it in how it comes. Most of us know that many food product’s packaging contains more air than food, and this air has no place in your packing plans when you have limited space. Swap out the oversized boxes and tubs for reasonably sized, airtight tubs wherever possible to reduce space consumption while storing food safely.

If you’re taking meat, a great space saving solution is a cryovac machine. Also known as vacuum sealing, they work by sucking the air out of the packaging so you’re really only left with the space the actual food takes up, meaning you can fit more in your fridge or freezer. A lot better than the full packaging and it also keeps your food fresher for longer as there is no air in it.

You can get some cryovac machines for less than $100 and can even get a 12V version like the one below for your camping adventures if you want to vacuum seal on the road.

12.      Roll Up Cloth Items

Although it may be second nature to fold clothing and pack it neatly, this isn’t the best approach for camping. It’s far more efficient to roll up clothing tightly. It saves plenty of space inside luggage bags and is easier to locate without messing up the organization of everything else inside the bag.

Compression bags and vacuum sealing are great for larger clothing items, as this is decreases space consumption while keeping the clothing safe from moisture and dust. You can get travel versions that don’t require a vacuum cleaner that you roll up to expel the air.

Packing for your next camping adventure

Even though packing and storing items for camping and caravanning may seem like a challenging and mundane task, planning ahead will make the camping experience far more enjoyable. Fortunately, many tips and methods are reasonably straightforward and are not overly time-consuming. Spend an extra few minutes prepping for your trip than waste precious moments with unnecessary hassles while camping or caravanning.

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