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Hello,
So I'm trying to figure out a layout and I can't decide how I want to trade off living space with storage space.  Besides food, kitchen stuff and clothes what else do you use your storage for?  Do you wish you had more storage or more living space?  Thanks!
I’ve made several long trips to northern Canada so had to have a lot of storage space as the season change pretty quickly. While I don’t have a lot of living space, I’m not about to over ‘pack-rat’ what living space I have with stuff that I don’t think I’ll ever use.

I have a class-B built on a Promaster and have very limited space. I have one main storage area under my bed - everything else is what I call ‘active storage’ and consists mainly of my clothes, canned food, bread, dishes, silverware, pots & pans, and hot water kettle.

Under my bed I have my leveling blocks, foldable shovel, camp chairs, tool box, extra toilet paper and paper towels, and my non-seasonal clothing.

I also carry my iPad, phone, Jackery 500, and other electronic stuff. Most of that stays in my backpack.

I have a compressor fridge/freezer so that’s where most of my food goes.

I try to minimize what I carry with the idea that “I might need it.” I go with the idea that if I find that I need something, then I can probably find it on the road.
Ikigai. That is the big question. I never seem to have enough storage space. But I am a confessed hoarder who in the past filled houses and outbuildings with stuff. It comes down to what do I really need. Seasonal stuff excepted if you haven’t touched it in several months you should not have it. Another thing that you need to consider is what can I get just as cheap where I’m going as I can at home. Therefore having no need to carry it along. Almost every single thing you have has to have several functions to justify it taking the space in the vehicle. Open space is very valuable for your mental well-being. Here in PA I’m going through a three day rain so it’s three days pretty much inside a 10 x 6 space I’m glad that a lot of it is open and doesn’t make me feel like I’m in a coffin. That old saying a place for everything and everything in its place is also true. It seems that if we store stuff in order it makes the space much more livable. It takes discipline to put something back in its place every time you use it but that’s the only way to make the space likable. Being in a conversion van with a high top I am fortunate enough to have a front and back loft. Things I don’t use as often get put way in the back of those lofts and the things that I need to use are closer to the front for assess ability. I also feel it helps to write down A list of everything in the loft and its location. Referring to this list helps Me to do less digging to find something. And disciplines me to put it back in the same place. I’m probably boring you with simple stuff but it does take a great deal of thinking about it and practice and discipline to live with everything you own in such a little space.
God bless the No meds and help them find a place for everything.
Being able to find what you need is as important as having it in the van. If you cannot find it when you need it, that is wasted space.

 I did not skimp on outdoor type clothing. In rain, mud, or storms you will go through more clothing than you do when you are in your house at home. Also a large dry bag for the dirty clothes keeps the van much fresher. I have coat hooks behind the passenger seat, so I can dry gear there while going down the road. This keeps the wet mess out of the living area.

If you are going to use bins under the rear bed, you should measure the bins first so you can build the space to fit them. Choose a common type of bin, so they will be easy to replace. I have two or three stacked bins per bay (three bays fit under the bed) with a narrow space at the top for odds and ends.  I also have a fluid storage space by the door for food bins. I use the small size of Husky bins stacked and bungee them to the wall. They are secured at the base by a cleat so they cannot slide out when you are driving. Having the food bins by the door helps me stay hydrated and nourished, and I always know how much food is left.

I do not carry a winch, but I do have sand ladders which takes up more space, and a big tow strap. You will have to go with what you like to use when you are stuck. I always carry a good spare, jack, tools, and plenty of water (at least 15 gallons).
~crofter
Several water jugs, extra butane cylinders, drill/driver & charger,1000w inverter,porta potty, 2 gall.sprayer for showers,shower curtain,backpack,extra pair of shoes,extra sleeping bag, 12 volt fans, laptop w/15.6" screen, electric shaver, misc. toiletries, jug of bleach,jug of laundry detergent, duffel bag for dirty clothes, jug of vinegar,can of Lysol spray,16oz.jug of Campa-Chem,a scissors jack +hydraulic bottle jack,(2) jack stands, 11lb. propane tank, 900w generator, tow rope,hatchet,folding bow saw,box of extra batteries + charger, several flashlights,toolbox saw,hacksaw,oil drain pan, extra jug of anti-freeze mix, jumper cables, tire inflator, ratcheting tie-down straps,1/2 a jug of windshield washer fluid, extra quart jugs of motor oil & transmission fluid,spare serpentine belt,spare fuel pump,extra oil,fuel and air filters,funnels,camp chair,cushion for campchair,etc,etc.

Yes, I could use more space!
You'll probably figure it out as you go along, Ikigai. I think it's better to start out with too much stuff than not enough. You can always get rid of things if you need more room for yourself. You'll probably discover what you actually use and what you don't. It has taken me seven years to get it about perfect for me.
The answer is "yes."  At one time or another, you'll want more living space.  The same goes for storage.  Stay flexible, if you can.

You'd be amazed at what's in my van!  And yes, I can find everything nearly instantly.  As others have said, organization and discipline are key to avoiding frustration, whatever you carry.

Enjoy!
yes stay consistent on where you put stuff. always put it in the same place. this way it becomes habit it's almost automatic you really don't even need to think about. highdesertranger
I found those hanging shoe organizers to be outstanding for storage. I bought one and cut it to size and attached to the paneling on my walls and doors.

I now have a ton of places for junk drawer items, office and electrical items and some common tools. I could probably  put a weeks worth of food in the remaining slots.

I did also buy some plastic bins and ended taking them all back to the store. They simply took up too much room. Most of them angle inward at the bottoms and then you have about 1/2 inch on each top side for the lid lip. Unfortunately I got rid of many clothes and other items to fit the bins. I now have areas divided with plywood sections and have basically double the space for storage under my bed..which lifts up.

I also had one large tote divided for tools and such..my "garage".. it was a large bin and was such a joke. I returned it and replaced it with 2 smaller totes.. which i further sorted and put many items into the shoe organizer. I found that the going with smaller bins/totes is much better than large as you have more options at placement. The one big bin had ONLY one place that it could be placed... smaller bins allow you to put in many nooks and crannies.

There are also seat covers that have storage pockets on the backsides so that opens a ton of room as well.

After buying 15 smaller bins and one large bin I have only one remaining having returned the rest.

Smaller soft sided storage is the best for me.

For several days I re-evaluated the things I would really need and eliminated the items that I "might" use.. LOL I had even saved the spools that my led lights came wrapped on..LOL

I think I have found a good balance now and have far more storage options and plenty of living space.
There is a balance between going homesteading and camping.   And when going on the road (with that intention)  traveling like you will be camping should be your choice.  Then each item you take should/could be something with multiple uses.  The more functions it can cover the more valuable it will be.  But with that said you have to be cautious as some multi-use items may not be able to be used together at the same time.  I've seen some really over designed survival devices in my time.  Like this 13 in 1 Swiss Army Hatchet.

Your storage space and tools/devices need to be able to serve you so they can be packed with that which is of the most frequent use being most easily accessed.  I keep a small plastic tool box with hand axe, pocket knife,
twine, flashlight, small roll or wire, dutch oven pliers, together as I tend to use them most frequently.  Other stuff is organized in a shallow bin that stows under the bed...with a bin of towels and wash cloths over top of it.

I have a fox hole shovel that has a pic and it can be used both at the same time by rotating it when digging.
(as an example)  I have a pocket knife that comes apart in three pieces where one piece has the knife, one the fork, and one the spoon.   The three pieces snap together with the utensil ends folded up and I keep it for table ware and cooking.  I can break it down and use the knife for numerous smaller task thus getting multiple use of it.


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