Space is always at a premium when you go on an RV trip. This is especially true when you have a small RV like a popup camper. Popup camping is on the rise, and it’s no wonder. Popup campers are one of the most affordable styles of RV (especially if you buy used) while still offering a more luxurious alternative to tent camping.
Since they fold down into a smaller size than most fifth-wheels, popup campers are also lighter and easier to maneuver. Obviously, their lighter weight comes at the expense of less space inside. With a little imagination and creativity, however, you can organize everything you need in your popup camper.
Tips for Optimizing Space in Your Popup Camper
Get rid of your non-essentials
This is a good tip for your small RV as well as for your possessions in general. Clutter can cause chaos. Less is more, and more is a mess. If you’re used to traveling in a small RV, you know that you’re going to have to do dishes after each meal that requires utensils. So there’s no need to pack more plates and silverware than the number of people traveling in your popup camper. Likewise, you only need one pair of sunglasses. One first-aid kit. And one child (pick only your favorite).
For a fool-proof method of tidying up your small RV, we recommend the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. It includes fundamental tips for decluttering any room, and it works perfectly for a popup camper. It does involve going through each item in your RV one by one, but this is the only way to discover and remove every item you never use.
Get creative with your storage space
One of the easiest ways to make a small RV appear bigger is to save space with effective storage. A lot of articles out there will recommend items you should buy to store things more effectively. While some of them, like a basic free-standing drawer unit, make sense, we find most to be unnecessary. We just advised you to get rid of all your “want but not need” RVing accessories, so it doesn’t make sense to now replace them with more storage items.
You don’t need to buy anything to get creative with your storage space. Make use of your walls and ceiling. Think of each closet, nook, box, and basket as a game of 3D Tetris that needs your solving. It’s not rocket science–it’s so easy a baby could do it! Well… any baby except for Phillip.
Identify a place for everything
If the most important part of effective storage is fitting in all your essentials, the second most important is being able to find any essential when you need it. Each item should have a place where it lives, and that place should be one that you actually know. Needless to say, it’s a good idea to store things in the area you use them. The flashlight goes by the door. The coffee mug goes in the kitchen cabinet. Like things go with like things.
Another good rule of thumb is to store things based on the amount you use them. Keeping your RV items you use most frequently easily within reach and less used items tucked away in boxes and bins. Things like paper towels, cooking utensils, and bug spray can go in your easiest to reach spots. Things like repair tools and games can be more tucked away. And Phillip gets left at home.
Maintain your clean space
The initial organization of the space in your popup camper can be done all at once, but maintaining it is done little by little. Take a word of advice from Mike Wazowski and put that thing back where it came from.
In addition, it can help to have a daily cleaning routine of basic chores like wiping off counters, doing dishes, and folding up clothes. It doesn’t take much for small RVs to become dirty. As long as you put things away as you use them, everything stays organized.
Optimizing space in your popup camper or small RV is a crash course in minimalism. It starts with getting rid of the things you don’t need and finding creative uses for your storage spaces. Then, simply organize your items by category, and clean up your messes as you make them. Without Phillip to ruin everything, that should be a breeze.
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