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RV Storage: What is Necessary?

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Wow! Look at all the storage in that motorhome’s exterior cabinets.” 

That’s what you think when you see a brand new coach sitting there with the storage compartments empty. And then you start filling them up with all the “necessary” stuff you have to carry.

Here’s an inventory of what we have determined is necessary stuff in the outside compartments of our 36-foot motorhome. We didn’t start out with all this stuff. It just gradually grew to meet demand.

The space adjacent to the hookup compartment contains the 30-foot-long, 50-amp shorepower cord that came with our motorhome. For those occasions when 30 feet is not long enough, I have added a 25-foot-long, 30-amp power cord and an adapter to connect the two cords together. 

Actually, we have two 30-amp cords. So it’s possible for me to reach out 80 feet and tap into an electrical outlet. We also have an adapter that allows me to attach the 30-amp cord directly to our motorhome when only a 30-amp hookup is available. Another adapter allows me to connect a 30-amp cord to a 15-amp outlet. Yet another adapter makes it possible to plug a 30-amp cord into a 50-amp outlet. There is also a 50-foot-long extension cord. Now, I wouldn’t try to connect all those cords together and plug into a 15- or 20-amp outlet, but having an assortment of cords and adapters allows me to cover a variety of situations.

In the same compartment we also have four lengths of sewer hose – one 8-footer and three 10-footers. Each has a male connector at one end and a female connector at the other. Another 2-foot length of sewer hose has a female connector at one end and a 90-degree sewer adapter at the other. Most of my sewer hookups are usually within 12 feet of my sewer outlet but I can easily connect all the hoses and reach out as far as 35 feet. If it’s any farther away, I’ll just have to do without. 

A 50-foot length of green garden hose is also in this compartment. I have used this on more than one occasion to empty our gray-water holding tank into a non-conventional sewer inlet (a sewer cleanout access, for example). The hose is green so I don’t accidentally use it for fresh water.

Depending upon the distance to the water hookup, I have my choice of either a 10-, 15- or 25-foot length of water hose (or 50 feet if they are joined together). My water filter is next. And finally, 4 feet of water hose that connects the water filter to the motorhome’s water inlet. The water filter and hoses are equipped with quick-connect fittings. Connecting one to the other is literally a snap. By the way, the fresh-water equipment never comes in contact with the sewer hookup equipment.

Two 15-foot lengths of coaxial antenna cable have proven adequate so far. So has a 20-foot length of telephone extension cord for those rare occasions when a telephone hookup has been available and useful.

A small box contains a circuit analyzer, a box of disposable gloves, a pair of pliers for tightening and loosening hose fittings, a hose-repair kit, water-hose washers, a variety of TV cable connectors, and, of course, a roll of duct tape.

Vicki also converted one exterior compartment into an enormous pantry. 

The remaining storage compartments contain a short stepladder, two folding chairs, an assortment of leveling boards and a toolbox. There is also a doormat we place on the ground outside our entry door. It allows the dirt to fall through to the ground when I remember to wipe my feet. Plus, there’s a 3-by-5-foot outdoor mat; we lay this outside our door when the ground is particularly dusty or sandy. It also does duty as a mat to lie on when working on the underside of our motorhome. And, finally, a 50-foot length of air hose lets me tap into our diesel’s air-compressor and add air to the tires. The hose has not been used since I acquired a more convenient 125 psi 120-volt AC air compressor.

There’s an RVing rule somewhere that states, “the amount of stuff you carry is directly proportionate to the amount of storage space available.” I guess if we had more space we would carry more stuff.

Visit the Kievas’ website at www.rvknowhow.com

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