Win the space battle!
Learn how to use the small storage areas in your motorhome more efficiently.
Do you know how to organise well and optimise the small spaces on board?
When arranging foodstuffs and oddments in a motorhome, especially in the kitchen, weights and dimensions must be a primary consideration. Here are our tips for maximising the roominess of your rig.
Knowing how to make the most of the available space in your vehicle is an art in itself. You need to ask yourself a fundamental question: what do I really need in my motorhome?
So let's take it from there and follow some basic rules of thumb.
The first rule is that, on board your motorhome, everything you don't need is extra weight, extra clutter and therefore extra bother. In addition, numerous small items, while insignificant in themselves, generate substantial weight when accumulated. So, avoid unnecessary stockpiling of food, water and beverages, it’s better to shop for supplies as and when you need them.
Motorhome and caravans offer a variety of storage compartments. Low compartments are preferable for keeping all heavier items, such as metal pots and containers, as well as foods and oddments contained in tins, jars and hard plastic receptacles. However, this does not apply to foods in paper bags, cardboard boxes and packets, such as pasta, biscuits or sugar: low compartments are more likely to be in close proximity to wires and drain/supply pipes which, if cracked, provide a way in for insects and parasites from outside. Storing food higher up avoids the risk of it attracting pests.
Shelves and wall units
Here you can stow provisions contained in cardboard boxes and plastic bags, as well as lightweight and frequently used packages. It is advisable to stash them close together without leaving gaps or spaces, to avoid them knocking against each other, tipping over or damaging the compartment itself when on the move.
Store foodstuffs in practical plastic containers that are stackable and resealable in order to minimise their dimensions. This system will help you to organise your motorhome just like your home. Bottles and glass jars should be placed low down and secured for safe transportation with the top pointing towards the front of the vehicle, so that they won’t roll if you have to brake suddenly. To avoid noise or damage, we also recommend not leaving any unoccupied areas in storage compartments.
Stackable pots with detachable handles are preferable, because they save valuable space. Non-stick aluminium pots are more practical and lighter than steel cookware. However, they are also more delicate, so place a cloth or paper towel in between each one when stacking them.
Although the number of pieces of cutlery and pots you need depends on the number of occupants, no motorhome should be without the following basic equipment:
• one medium-sized pot and one smaller pot, both lidded
• a pressure cooker, perfect for saving time, gas and effort
• two frying pans
Don't forget to bring a plastic colander and a soup tureen, a couple of wooden or plastic spoons/spatulas and a ladle. And last but not least, a long, serrated bread knife and a smooth-bladed knife for cured meats.
Cutlery and accessories
An extra-lightweight set for 4 people weighs about 350 g, compared with at least 700 g for one in stainless steel. Use a pair of oven gloves to pick up hot pots and pans, and a wooden chopping board to double as a mat. Then you need a can opener, a bottle opener and a corkscrew, or better still, a multitool combining all three functions. A gas lighter would come in handy, but a box of kitchen matches is definitely a must on board. Also remember to keep doors, hatches and drawers closed at all times while driving, to prevent the contents from moving, tipping over or falling out.
On the subject of flames and cooking, remember that a working fire extinguisher is not only useful but essential. However, it must be properly maintained. Among the most effective types are aerosol fire extinguishers, which are very lightweight, compact and practically maintenance-free. Of course, it is essential to place the fire extinguisher in an easily accessible space, certainly not in an external locker, because you may need to use it in a hurry.
And now that we have shared these simple rules for motorhome living with you, we wish you happy travels!