A little over a year ago we jumped on the RV camping bandwagon — thanks, in part, to a bonus my husband took to extend his military service contract. Our modest, 32-foot Outback Ultralight Toy Hauler Bunkhouse has been worth every.single.penny!! We love taking it out in the fantastic state of Washington while making family memories. It’s practically a camper’s dream here! Mountains, ocean, forest, and lakes galore. There is something for everybody. But that’s a post for another day!
I personally have no shame in my glamping game. I love the great outdoors and exploring where we live, but at the end of the day, I really appreciate running water, a warm bed, and having a refrigerator.
While we didn’t have a budget for a glamorous 5th wheel or an Airstream with all the bells and whistles, what we did purchase fits all of our needs. That being said, I’ve learned a trick or two over the last year that has made our time in the camper more organized, maximized, and enjoyable!
Hooks, Hooks, Hooks
Bless the person who invented the Command Hook! They make indoor, outdoor, and all weights in between. I seriously bought a huge variety and even keep a stash in our camper when I have a new need for one. So far uses of Command Hooks include:
*In the shower to hang loofahs or washcloths.
*In the bathroom to hang hand towels.
* Literally anywhere on any wall to hang hats, jackets, towels, bags, you name it!! My point is that the more places you have to put things on the wall, the less things are in the limited cabinet space, or worse, the floor.
2. All the Shelves
Most campers have both limited counter space as well as cabinet space so the key is maximization. Simple metal shelves are an easy and affordable way to lift the paper towels and Kleenex off your kitchen counter to allow your phones and keys to sit underneath or to allow all your pots and pans to fit in that small under the stove space. We also have one on each closet cabinet shelf for a place to put our toiletry bags or an extra pair of shoes.
3. Collapsible Basin
We have 4 people in a camper with a 60 gallon grey water capacity, and you’d be amazed how fast you can fill that bad boy between showers, hand washing, and dish washing. I don’t know how it took me a year to order a collapsible basin to use to wash dishes! The collapsible feature makes it super easy to store, and then I just wash and rinse my dishes right there and dump the water outside. You can leave it in the bathroom sink the rest of the time to save water while hand washing.
4. Hanging Hamper
Again, family of four here that typically camps 2-3 nights on average and enjoys water activities. We create a lot of laundry while camping whether we want to or not. We saved valuable floor space by having our dirty clothes up and off the floor and not piled in a corner of the camper. It also makes unpacking a breeze! I take it off the wall and straight to the laundry room when we get home.
5. Over the Door Towel Rack
While this could go into the hook category, and may go without mention, but a good over the door towel rack works wonders for those bath towels, beach towels, and in our case, even dog towels. One lesson that we’ve learned camping in the Pacific Northwest is that you can never bring along enough towels! The more hooks the better!
6. Over the Door Shoe Organizer
Truth be told, we only have one door inside our camper, but we have on one side of the door the towel rack and on the other side we have an over the door shoe organizer that we use for way more than shoes! These are a great way to store miscellaneous items such as lighters, sun screen, bug spray, portable speakers, and yes, even shoes. All those things you want quick/easy access to can have a place and home in your shoe organizer.
7. Power Strips/Cords
When I first stepped foot in our camper, I was super impressed with the number of electrical outlets. They were above the sink, under the dining table, outside the bathroom at floor level, and at the foot of the master bed. Also known as: far from reach. All these locations left cords too far from the nearest counter space, and thus, out of reach. Maybe a #firstworldproblem, but then again, isn’t #glamping in the first place? Do yourself a favor and buy a cheap extension cord or power strip on Amazon and give yourself some extra plugs and length to set your phone or Apple Watch within reach on a flat surface. You’ll thank yourself at 3 a.m.
8. Bins, Bins, Bins
Another idea that hit me a year into glamping was bins. All the bins. Just like hooks, they serve multi purposes. I use them for pantry items and in the fridge to keep items secure during travel from rolling and banging around. I also use them in cabinets to hold typical bedside table items like Chapstick or water. I keep a wire bin outside our camper to hold shoes. You can go super basic to super cute depending on your budget or style. The fridge bins alone were game changers, and the extras from the set I bought I just utilized in our home fridge.
9. IKEA Bag(s)
I can’t really take credit for this hack. I follow a number of full-time RVers on social media and learned that you can buy an XL IKEA bag for about $5 and they are durable, waterproof, easy to clean, and hold a massive amount of stuff. Ours works great for all of our water gear: life jackets, wet suits, water shoes, etc., and it stores nicely under one of our bunk beds. Plus, if it gets destroyed, you’re only out $5. We have an XL but they range in sizes and prices to suit your camper packing needs.
10. All the Rugs
I remember our first time glamping and we truly had no clue what we were doing. I had packed sheets, towels, blankets, food, and our toiletries and thought we were set. As we rolled into our first campground, I began to notice all the other, more experienced campers set-ups, all of which included rugs. At first I thought they were “over the top” yet cute. After we set up and promptly kicked up that first ten pounds of dirt straight into the RV I realized the purpose of the outdoor rug: to keep minimize the dirt brought into the camper. Over the past year, I’ve added a mat to scrape off mud outside, one directly inside (just in case) and a bath mat that we only put down when showering. Most of which can be easily washed, vacuumed, or hosed down.
Does your family glamp? Do you have any other hacks to share?