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How do you pack to reduce clutter? (packing accessories)
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VanWilder
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use 2 plastic storage tubs for all pots and pans, stove and gas etc.
We put the tubs on the Yakima Roof Basket. Chairs and any big extras go up on the roof.

Cooler goes in side, clothes go in the dresser.

We put as much as we can up on the roof to eliminate the interior clutter.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"When you're preparing to travel, lay out all of your clothes and all of your money. Then take half of the clothes and twice the money." Very Happy

I've got a full Westy, so all the food (except daily snack stuff) goes into the cabinets. I've got table-ware and cook-ware that stacks all on the top shelf under the sink; the bottom shelf can be used for food. Cold stuff gets split between the fridge and a cooler.

Sleeping bags and pillows are stuffed into the "clothes" closet.

Mountain bike stuff (packs, helmets, etc.) goes into a collapsible crate; crate gets stashed under the van when parked.

Hiking shoes and packs go into another collapsible crate and it too goes under the van when parked. Hiking/walking sticks go into the luggage rack.

Shoes are not allowed to be worn inside the van when parked; they all remain outside on the mat.

Ladder to upper bunk goes into the luggage rack.

Chairs go into the luggage rack.

Window & door screens and the like go into the rear-most cabinet.

Everyone has their own personal bag for clothes, toiletries, etc.; they get tossed up to the front when parked. Dirty clothes go into said clothes bag; it's up to individuals how to deal with it (i.e. just toss 'em in, put them into a separate bag inside the main bag, etc.)... a completely separate dirty laundry bag is not allowed. The less stuff to move, the better.

I don't have kids, so traveling is a bit easier clutter-wise. But if I did have kids, no matter the Vanagon type, I'd probably get a roof box to stash all of the extra-curricular activity stuff (biking, hiking, kayaking...).

When traveling, be it camping or not, less is more. Wink
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use a cargo bag on top of the Westy top for most of the camping gear, chairs, grill, tent, etc. (The inflatable canoe is in the forward luggage rack). And then when we get to camp we set up the 3 to 4 man tent and use it as a storage tent. It sets up in 10 minutes and we can then unpack almost everything into it for the duration of our stay. Using the storage tent makes it real easy to use the Westy to drive around and sight see without having to repack all the time. YMMV. Smile
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Sheesh
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 adults, a teen ager, a 5 and 2 year old, and an 80# dog.

We have extra storage under the jumpseat I installed (box type).

I have three Yakima cross bars, a space cadet and basket. The third bar is so we can haul our canoe, paddles in a U shaped carrier that Yakima makes for that and other purposes. On the basket go two Rubbermaid Action Packers, one holds shoes; the other food. Space Cadet daypacks, and misc stuff (like dirty laundry).

Clothes are in two large duffles and sit above the engine. I move them when needed. They are stored under the front seats and kids hammock we made.

Interior cabinets are filled with day to day needs like some food, cleaning supplies (human and kitchen), dishes/pots/pans. The garment cabinet is used for sleeping bags - we stuff them in there when done. The top shelf above the back passengers is also sleeping bag storage. Under the jumpseat goes dog food, diapers, field guides and art supplies.

I like many of the suggestions offered in this topic and will incorporate some, soon.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk to a guy in a 27' RV and he'll say he'd have plenty of space if he just had another 3'. Talk to a guy in a 35' RV and he says the same thing. Talk to a guy in a 40' RV...

You can get by with an amazingly small amount of stuff once you accept the simplicity of wash & wear and being seen often in the same clothes.

We take lots of books from the used book store and swap or discard as we go.

Drink water. Eat the big bulky stuff first. Take the jokers out of the decks.

I suppose each finds his own way -- we once lived in the Westy for a year and pretty much got ourselves sorted out.
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really comes down to one simple thing, only bring/pack what you use. That sounds simple but it's really not, I go through the van all the time and ask myself when I last used something...this goes for camping stuff.

When it comes to parts/tools then I make sure I have everything I need and have what it will take to keep me going. After 3 mos in AK The van is as tidy as ever, it's amazing how little you REALLY need. Good Luck. Todd.
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Ritter
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I'm a Bay guy but this thread has a certain relevance. Very Happy

I'm really liking the sliding doors on the closet with shelves for clothing storage concept. I hate the suitcase/duffel bag shuffle.
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canasync
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a couple of those Eagle Creek pack cubes but they are over $15 CAD. I found these things at Ikea called FLÖRT for $6.99 CAD they are sold as an office item for CD or magazine storage but they are very tough and hold up well, mine are over 2 years old and they are still like new, the material is very similar to the pack cubes.

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paddyh
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two 30lb mutts and the Mrs and I...usually a couple bikes(or four) as well...

we've learned to pack the Westy up using totes to haul everything out to it, and leave the totes at the door of our house(not on wheels) for when we get home to haul our crap back in.

our trips recently have centered around bike and or running races, and flat out trips off the back roads near here, we've gotten better about where our gear goes; westie tools/oil/parts in the back cabinet top shelf, my clothes/toileries in the upper cabinet, her's in the side, dogs foodgear/bike tools/footwear under the rear seat, food/beer in the fridge and two side top cabinets, cookware/oodsnends the the drawer and cabinet right of the fridge, extra gear(helmets/raingear/hydration packs)either hung or stuffed in our cargo net above the lower bed...

I think the biggest improvement we could get would be the the side door mod on the back cabinet, that would be money as we only use the rr table(front is removed) and that cabinet is cavernous but a bitch to access....

we're to the point where the only real reason we can think of to come home is to do laundry and shower, and I guess pay bills.... Confused

lots of great ideas from you guys, this site is rad!
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy syncro-nutz wrote:
Put Beer in fridge, Leave wife at home,


NICE! I aslo put beer in fridge as well as the cooler and leave wife at home.
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS ARE SPECIFIC TO WEEKENDER/MULTI-VAN MODELS! (Since OP was asking about Weekender)

FYI, this is the Weekender layout...no kitchen; fold-down table; "box" jumpseat behind driver; 2 doors on same side of rear cabinet;
NO OTHER built-in cabinets; full width seat/bottom bed cushion:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


As a fellow Weekenders & family of four, we'll chime in! (The W/E'ers out there know we have special needs!)

With less built-in storage than the full camper, W/E'ers end up juggling things around a bit; it's important to make it easy and flexible.
I try to keep inside stuff inside & outside stuff out. Here's our system:

SOFT GEAR(clothing)

ShootingFish wrote:
...Mountain Smith 4 Pack Cube ...

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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

X2...also available at Campmor, individually or as a 2/3/4-pack cube...

These really are perfect for any van. Travel with these behind back seat - they're tall so you don't have to unstack to find the right one,
& top-loading so don't have to pull out/lay on side/flip open/etc. like a suitcase or duffel bags.
NIGHT TIME: these fit perfectly on the floor under the edge of the bottom bed, and/or put a couple on top of the bed along the window wall next to the cabinet.
Everybody gets their own for clothes, plus separates for swim gear/rain gear/bulky jackets, etc...

HARD GEAR (cook kit/camp stove/utensils, etc.) & FOOD
For longer trips we use a plastic drawer unit for easy access to a LOT of gear & all our food. This fits PERFECTLY between the bench seat & jump seat along the window wall:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

http://www.target.com/Sterilite-Wide-3-Drawer-Cart...ombrowse=0

MUCH better than a stack of plastic tubs to drag around/stack & unstack/loose lids all over... Put your heavy stuff in the bottom drawer & lighter items as you go up (careful...it's not bullet-proof).
For travel, we use a nylon strap to secure this to the table and mini-bungees to keep drawers closed on the high-speed corners. (!!!)
NIGHT TIME: This rolls on casters over behind the passenger seat so the bottom bed can pull out, and everything is still easily accessible.

BUILT-IN CABINETS:
Small Door: typical generic camping stuff...first aid kit/paper products/camping towels/duct tape...this stuff stays here ALWAYS.
Big Door/bottom shelf: front curtain/rear screen/tarps/rope/spare bungees...top shelves reserved for toiletry kits/sunscreen/bug spray/medicines: easy access from inside or outside van.
MIRROR attached to rear sloping face of cabinet, hidden by driver side rear window curtain when hatch is closed.
Attach several stick-up hooks on the front face of cabinet for hats/washcloths/flashlights, etc.

JUMPSEAT
Inside: tools, fluids, spare parts & Bentley.
On top: passenger / optional additional storage (smaller drawer unit or plastic tub strapped securely to seat back). This is where I put the rubbermaid tub with our shore-power "hillbilly" A/C unit. Room on top for our "bread box" - smaller plastic tub just for super lightweight stuff: kleenex/bread/chips/etc.

BENCH SEAT: leveling ramps/extra shoes (only one extra pair each!)/camera bag (securely out of sight!)/tent poles for tarp-awning/trekking poles, etc...

SLEEPING BAGS/PILLOWS: two under poptop (spread out so not bunchy) & two behind bottom seat with clothing cubes until needed.

COOLERS: two small coolers on floor behind passenger seat when traveling & sized to fit under edge of bottom bed at night.

LUGGAGE RACK: portable grill/folding chairs/gas can/extra tent (sometimes the kids like to "camp out"!)...all secured w/plenty of heavy bungees...

SEAT BACKS: pocket catch-alls for everything you need to put down somewhere...get one for both seats - you'll use 'em!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

http://gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=3033&category_id=66&category_parent_id=

LAUNDRY: spare pillowcase w/drawstring...

What did I forget? Always bring plenty of fun...

Happy Trails!
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Last edited by dhaavers on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jeffklein
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"DISCLAIMER: THESE COMMENTS ARE SPECIFIC TO WEEKENDER/MULTI-VAN MODELS! (Since OP was asking about Weekender)"

Awesome! Then it should be even easier for the OP to pack since he doesn't have a full kitchen, 6 people, and a Rottweiler inside taking up valuable space like we do. LOL....sorry...I thought the title of the post was "How do you pack to reduce clutter?" NOT...."How do you pack a WEEKENDER to reduce clutter?"
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
Take the jokers out of the decks.

Cut 2" off the handles of your tooth brushes.
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shepherdsond
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot depends on what kind of trip I am going on, long/short, back country/campsite etc.. Most of my trips are short (a weekend, sometimes plus one or two days at either end) and in the backcountry.

For me the priority is usualy speed and ease of packing/unpacking - this makes it more likely that we will actually go. So in the cabinets are all the things that can stay in the van which include:

Cooking equipment, cutlery, plates etc.
herbs/spices/oil/vinegar/coffee
One or two pre-packed meals (like pasta sauce) just in case or for a really quick getaway
breakfast food (bacon and granola)
Sleeping bags and pillows
wine & beer
Dog food and doggie bags
Coffee French press
Emergency bottle of water (in case the tank runs dry)
BBQ (in Rocket box)
Camp chairs (in Rocket box)

I try to make it a rule that none of this stuff ever leaves the van, it gets washed in the van and stays there. The food is mostly contained in square plastic snap containers to keep the rodents out. When things run out I replace them asap.

Removable stuff like Cloths go in a small duffle (one for each of us). The rest (especially shoes!) goes in Rubbermaid tubs, I love Rubbermaid tubs! A cooler for longer trips. Tandem if needed goes on a hitch rack. I like to think that if I wanted to go camping instead of returning home after work I could!

I have a Syncro van with a Westy Interior waiting for a High Top ( http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=427227 ).
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jeffklein wrote:
...I thought the title of the post was "How do you pack to reduce clutter?" NOT...."How do you pack a WEEKENDER to reduce clutter?"


Funny thing is that a weekender really is very different, with less built-in storage, no drawers & more overlapping folding in/out (table vs. full-width seat) compared to full camper. The space is much more open & flexible but also limited to your method of dealing with it, so when I saw the OP mention specifically his Weekender, I went for it. After reading several comments about camper cabinets I added the "disclaimer" to draw attention to the fact that my method is specific to Weekender models. I guess it worked!

I've tried many ways to organize in our weekender, ranging from grocery bags to plastic tubs and finally this. I find that the drawers are much better to work with than tubs - everything easier to get to. I also love that I can have the drawers & coolers in for camping & when I remove them I have 30% more room for hauling stuff -or- up to 6 people...try that with a full camper!

We prefer cooking outside the van, and the flexibility makes this the perfect vehicle for us - I also prefer it as a daily driver over a full camper.

My opinion!

Happy Trails...
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is a very helpful thread, which also makes me want to go camping! we went on several trips which sort of worked out the best places for necessities to live. now: towels etc in the cabinet with shelves in the back. also in there, van curtains, pjs or sweats, socks and underwear.

in closet with rod, clothes. we actually use hangers for everything, it is very organized and easy to fold pants and shorts over hangers, the put several of any kind of shirts over that. bottom of this closet is good for heavier jackets etc. and "clean" shoes. I love the bin under the van idea for shoes while camping.

we have stacking light weight camp dishes, collapsing bowls with lids and a few perfect sized pots and pans. these, with a coffee pot, trivits, cutting boards and a few other things are under the sink. the drawer holds cutlery and cooking utensils that fit or fold up.

over the sink in that amazing shelf, are simple spices, matches, flashlights, TP, toiletries and several other often used odds and ends. we use the fridge for a fridge, it almost always works perfectly. we do bring an ice chest in case it doesn't and for drinks.

to the left of the fridge in the bottom cubby, some tall things and in front of that, a small rv sized dish drain/rack and dish pan stacked together. the little basins that used to come from hospitals make a good extra pan for dishes. dish soap and dish rags in the stack of dish pans.

above the back bench seat we have a good sized storage cabinet. it holds all the dry and canned foods. coffee tea and cocoa.

chips and breads go in the lifting cabinets under the rear table.

folding chairs, awning, hot dog forks, extra little propane tanks, and folding potty and bags go under bench seat.

tools in plastic crate, wood, if needed, in a plastic bin. these go behind the back seat. bedding in back too. In the little shelf you access when you open the hatch are flashlights, batteries, bug spray, some spare parts. little gas grill goes either on top or in plastic bag in the back.

we too have rotties. two of them. IF they both go, and they don't always, one goes in an airline crate in on the floor the other sits on the back seat or a blanket on the floor. sometimes we take 2 folding crates, which go under the rear cushion. a light folding camp table goes under there too.

a plastic crate goes between the front seat for stuff we might want while traveling.

I think giving thought to where you put stuff, and keeping it where it belongs greatly simplifies camping and traveling in a vw camper. we very seldom pack a bag or suitcase. I consider the van to be sort of a large suitcase. I am constantly amazed at how many places there are in that little van!

before we got our westy, we also camped in a vw van. coleman kitchen, rubbermaid bins, stacking drawers worked well.

I am always looking for things that will fit or fill a special need in the van. keeping it packed with it's own set of stuff helps a lot. we can pack a few fresh food items, a few personal things and take off in an hour.
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Carl P.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Packing for trip Reply with quote

I like all the ideas. Im always looking for the next ingenious idea for camping. I keep the quick grab/needed stuff (paper towels, plates, flatware shower/cleanlyness things and so on) in the cabinets inside along with my bedding up top and the foam pad we use with bed folded up in back. (helps with sound insulation to). I might have missed it being said but I have one of the small utility trailers from Harbor Freight with a Sears Es car go luggage box mounted to frame. Outside stove, pots, pans, tools, chairs, odds and ends in it. Just hook it up and go. In process of mounting a hitch mount bike rack on back and extending the tongue for a cooler mount. Thanks again for all the cool ideas.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm posting this grudgingly because once this is out I will have to pay more for one, but here goes. I have a 7 passenger and am making it into an expedition camping rig that can have everything removed and converted back to daily use in under an hour. So I ran into a guy with essentially the same vehicle and saw how he and his wife figured out their version. Here goes:

He bought an antique trunk that is nearly 5 feet long and designed for long voyages or overland trips. Not just any trunk, mind you. Tip it up so it will open like a book and the fun begins. Open it up and on the right you have two levels of hanging clothes. Near the bottom are lidded boxes for shoes, along the sides soft pockets for whatever. On the left are drawers from top to bottom. That's right - drawers. The thing is made for a rough life and things like the drawers won't bind, or fall out. Well engineered. A mirror swings out, the hanging rods pull out so you can examine your sartorial choices easily (hmm, go to the ball tonight or wear these 7 layer pajamas around the cabin), it's amazing how well it was done.

The thing fits perfectly from floor to ceiling behind the driver's seat. With the rear Z seat converted to a bed, it can remain open for full access. This plus a cooler atop a stout plastic tub behind the passenger's seat and they're done.

It's pretty cool. I don't know what it's called, but they were pretty common in the days of steam and horses - a fold out hotel room, essentially.

When they're back in town, they close it, carry it out and put the 2nd row seat back in. I know this strays a bit from the thread but it was so cool a solution and nobody was helping out us poor GL types. So somebody had to (kicking toe around in the dirt).

Anyhow, now that you know this don't be out googling and bidding up these things on eBay. Promise?? Heh.

DougM
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once had two of those trunks. They were very old when I got them. Fascinating that all those BIG dresses fit in there.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea to use one of those old trunks. They're commonly called steamer trunks (I think due to the way they were made) or sometimes passenger trunks. We've had a couple in varying states of disrepair, but with some time, energy and attention to detail one could easily restore one of these to serviceable condition. Some even have hidden compartments for storing valuables. Fun pieces of history.
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