Organizing The Van a Bit

Hi!  It’s been another gorgeous Iowa day.  Yesterday the temps were in the upper 60’s (30 degrees above normal) and I spent the day working outside at the golden arches (on a day off).  It just means more money for a future camping trip.  As we say in farm country, “You have to make hay while the sun shines.”

The plan was to camp Tuesday but that didn’t happen either.  With warm weather once again, I worked on cleaning the car and van.  A couple of years ago the van went through a change – the bed was turned sideways and a lot of storage was added underneath.  The result of increased storage was semi-organized clutter being dragged around:  all kinds of hardware that would not get used, lots of food that all expired, etc.  Worse yet, I had a bin for clean clothes with only about 1/3 of the space used.  The plastic storage bins are still a great idea but some fine tuning was needed.

Three of the totes could be consolidated down to these two – for “Hardware / Safety” and “Cooking / Dining”.   Most of the hardware stuff is just propane, lighters, 9mm ammo, a few screwdrivers, etc… and a first aid kit.  The cooking / dining box has a bunch of plates, a sealed bag of cutlery, cooking accessories, etc.  There are still spare clothes but they are crammed in a garbage bag in a little crevice near a wheel well, saving much space.

To the right is that empty tote for dirty dishes.  Oh, I’ve been longing for something like this.  It’s a pain sometimes to wash plates and silverware and or have to keep them away from clean items.  Not any more!  Off to the far right is a socket set and behind that is a very robust collection of cooking spices in that green sealed box.

It’s interesting how the needs for the van have changed over time and so also has what is carried.  It’s so frustrating to drag along too much stuff and not be able to find this or that while a dish is cooking away on the stove.  Not any more!  Now if I can just do this at the home base…

Looking over the top of the bed at the bulkhead wall. Top left photo is Jesse James (RIP) and on the right is Kitty Serena (RIP). I just added the angel on the fold down door / table top.

In the last post I’d mentioned a new recipe.  It was tried it last night at the home base and it turned out just like Mom used to make… but she didn’t travel in a van.  This simple dish is going to made on the next outing on this coming Monday.  There won’t be any fishing… Just a nice walk and some relaxation and good food.  Jenny is likely going along this time, too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of the week.

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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4 Responses to Organizing The Van a Bit

  1. my_vantasy says:

    I love your tote for dirty dishes! I used to always wash, dry, and carefully put everything away. Nowadays, I bring it all home to wash, which means I have dirty dishes and silverware scattered throughout the car. Not good. A dedicated tote is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Good morning and thanks for the kind words! I’ll confess, I often use the front bathtub for larger dish cleaning jobs (big baking pans, etc.) so I thought it would be a cool way to transport them and clean the tote in one effort. 😀

  2. Jo says:

    Well you have been busy. It all looks good. I read on a women’s site to use those pill my day boxes for spices. I carry mine in one of those drawer type plastic shoe size I wondered if the pill container would be big enough, I guess it depends on how much a person uses in there food. I’m going to stick with my shoe box and jars.
    Every time I see the inside of your van I want one even more. Love all that room

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. I like the idea of the pill day boxes. I do use a LOT of spice and carry dehydrated onions, veggie flakes, and garlic so I’d need a big box. I like your shoe box and jars idea. The space in the van is nice but there are times I wish it got better mileage. 😀 Take care! — VT

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