Packing tips for camper trailers

There are many campertrailer and caravan options I class as good ‘showroom’ models. These are typically ones that are fantastic to view when set up but low on practical application out in the real world. Heavy caravans, multiple room campertrailers, etc. are examples of these ‘showroom’ models. You can’t tow heavy caravans many places off the beaten track and multiple room tents take hours to set up.

With plenty of holiday time left in the calendar and with the camping show season well and truly underway, here are some considerations to make your selection a little easier.

When it is time to pack the campertrailer and head out to ‘the real world’, you need to be thinking about the gear you take and the way you take it. I thought I’d put down some tips from my process over the years of packing and moving in the campertrailer. I thought some scribblings from my end may help someone who is;

  1. Thinking of new ways to make it all fit,
  2. Finding out it doesn’t all fit and/or can’t access the right item at the right time without shifting most things! Or,
  3. About to buy a campertrailer and looking at what storage access options need to be considered.

In reality, one of the features I valued most about the Johnno’s Camper Trailer I hired in the Blue Mountains (NSW, Australia) many years ago was the ease of access and flexibility of storage options. I ruled out a slide out kitchen on my own purchase criteria because, whilst they look good set up and on the show room floor, I felt they robbed me of storage size, shape and accessibility. I wanted an ‘open box’ to get stuff in and out of. I also wanted the side lift access on the trailer. I didn’t want long pull out draws that added weight and reduced accessibility. At the time, the Johnno’s was one of the few that offered the access features on my wish list.

Now, I interrupt this broadcast to mention that I spent the first 2 years of the campertrailer expedition process gathering more and more items to take with me. I’m a bloke, and blokes love toys! I have since spent the next 7 years culling it all down to be as lightweight, space efficient and usable as possible. This still allows for emergency/contingency items, kids toys, etc.

Key consideration number 1 is, wherever possible, pack vertically. While that might sound easy and obvious it does mean that your selection of camping equipment needs be an appropriate height and width. For instance, my camp table is a bamboo slat folding table. It folds in half at exactly the height of the internal dimensions of my campertrailer. Handy! If I’m going to stay a little longer at a campsite, I take an extra kitchen unit (which consists of table, dish rack, storage shelf for pots, pans, etc.) and this packs up to ……. you guessed it, the height of the internal storage area of the campertrailer. So as I open the campertrailer base for unloading the first 140mm or so is tables, standing upright, easy to access, easy to load other items over into the body of the trailer. Flat loading these items would mean either lifting them out to find something underneath or worse, lifting everything out to get the tables.

Large side opening access is extremely important to flexibility. Packing vertically wherever possible makes the whole process quick and easy. Note the tables upright on the right hand side

Large side opening access is extremely important to flexibility. Packing vertically wherever possible makes the whole process quick and easy. Note the tables upright on the right hand side

I have one large box that takes pretty much all the utilities. It is still important that this box is manoeuvrable by one person fully laden, so it’s not extreme. Then at the far end (as I’m standing at the loading side) is the stuff that I load from the open tailgate. I use Sabco Stacka drawers for my food storage. I get 2 drawers high and 2 sets deep. This is so I can slide them forward as soon as I open the tailgate kitchen. I can slide the drawers side by side to access all food instantly (apart from fridge items). A very handy little kitchen set up whether it be a roadside stop or multi night camp. One of the most accessible little storage kits I have is my Drinks kit. This contains coffee and my Aeropress coffee maker! Must be accessible at all times.

The Stacka drawers brought forward. The drinks kit and the kettle hold pride of place! So easy ....so accessible!

The Stacka drawers brought forward. The drinks kit and the kettle hold pride of place! Love my cuppa’s. So easy ….so accessible!

My campertrailer, ‘Dusty’, also has a ‘nosecone’ tool box. This houses all the stuff that has the potential to be ‘dirty’. Anything from groundsheets, boots, kids sand toys, recovery gear, etc. This has been great to keep, the dirty in one place and the clean and food in another!

If you’d like more tips and techniques you can join our mailing list or browse the website the www.theoutdoorsguy/com.au

I hope this will help you Camp in Comfort more often! Talk soon, Scottie B

The Outdoors Guy


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