How We Pack Our Casita

Sheets, blankets and afghans

I hear so many complaints about inadequate storage space in small RVs.  The Casita and other molded fiberglass trailers, especially, have less storage area than many other campers the same size due to their rounded profiles.

I think adequate storage is a matter of perspective, though.  We pack the same whether we are planning to be gone one week or six weeks, so if we decide not to go home, we can extend our trips as long as we like.

Bath towels and wash cloths

Instead of taking a lot of clothing, we plan instead to do laundry once a week.  Rather than take a lot of weather-specific clothing, we count on layering to make our clothes multi-purpose.  For instance, except in summer, we take thermal vests, thermal underwear, a mix of long and short sleeved shirts, jeans and a couple of shorts each.  Shorts and short sleeved shirts become comfortable cool

Kitchen towels, shaving kit, small hair dryer, cell phone charger

weather hiking clothes with the addition of thermal underwear.  And jeans and long sleeved shirts become cold weather clothing with thermal undershirts and vests.  And instead of hauling around a lot of outerwear, we take jackets with zip in fleece liners.  They can be worn as wind breakers, rain jackets, fleece sweaters, or all together if the weather gets really cold.

Underwear

By planning our clothing this way, our two jackets fit easily into the small closet, and all of our shirts and pants fit into two nice-sized storage baskets.

I pack food for a week’s worth of meals, with a few additional cans of chili, soup and hearty snacks.  When we are traveling, we use instant potatoes instead of trying to find space for fresh potatoes.  I also use dehydrated garlic instead of garlic bulbs (which will really stink up a trailer).  I try to

Underwear

balance good taste and nutrition with how much storage space I have available.   If there’s a conflict, I’ll often choose what fits the space best.

The main concession we make to the small storage compartments is using hand towels instead of bath towels.  That way I can pack 10 towels and 10 washcloths.  Since we both have short hair, that works well for us.  And after making the mental adjustment, we don’t miss the big bath towels.

Pictures explain our system better than a lot of text would.  The key to making our system work is thinking like backpackers.  We take everything that is essential, and not much that is not.  And wherever possible, we try to make items perform more than one function.

Not having the microwave gives us a lot more pantry storage

More pantry storage under the small dinette bed. Cans of vegetables are in one drawer, soups, chili, and such are in another, packaged foods in another, with beans, tomato sauce, etc. in another. Dog food is on the right.

Essential dishes fit in one small cupboard

Silverware drawer with cooking essentials

Cleaning supplies in small cabinet underneath furnace

One large pot/pan and 3 small nesting pots. One pot is used as a mixing bowl.

Aluminum foil, plastic wrap and bags, tatting supplies, plastic box of toiletries, flashlight and tire gauge and 20 amp adapter in top cabinet over refrigerator.

Miscellaneous storage under dinette seat. Books also go here.

Tools and small hiking pack under the other dinette seat.

Clothes baskets under rear bed. Someday I'll redo the flooring and cover up the hole for the post of the original dinette table.

Our multi-purpose jackets along with purse, flip flops, toilet paper and odds and ends in the closet.

The previous owner installed a small basket in the bathroom, held by two stick-on hooks. We use it to hold shampoo while showering.

 

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26 Comments

  1. Barbara Goodman

     /  January 28, 2012

    Did you buy the Casita with that beautiful fabric ? Your SO organized, I can’t wait to see if I can do as well as you.

    • Barbara, no, the Casita didn’t come with this fabric.

      When I decided to “remodel” it into twin beds, I had to buy fabric for the new beds. So I just decided to make the dinette cushions match, too.

      You will do GREAT with yours! The key is just to find a place for everything.

  2. S Foss

     /  January 28, 2012

    Love it, and the timing is perfect, you are giving great ideas. Thank you!

    • So have you picked yours up yet? The suspense is killing me! :)

      • S Foss

         /  January 29, 2012

        Yes, it is home and we have torn into it. Got some cleaning to do, gonna go set up a heater in it.

  3. I love the plastic storage drawers. I have them in my Class C. I have 3 high shoe size one in my little closet for under garments, socks and gloves, a scarf, warm hat and a slicker. I have lots of overhead storage but its hard to get to with when they are over the bed. Over the cab I screwed the plastic bins in place and thats where I keep my clothes. I used eye hook screws as latches the keep the drawers closed. Since its only me I only need one bath towel and a head wrap and 1 hand towel. It always a challenge to set up small spaces but fun.
    You have made some clever storage space in you cute little home on wheels.

    • JoJo, screwing the plastic bins over the cab sounds like a brilliant solution for clothes storage! I’m trying to picture the eye hook screws as latches on the drawers. Wish I had a picture! Do you have pictures on your blog?

  4. cozygirl

     /  September 12, 2012

    OH I’m am so all over this organization! I love you tinycamper! You just made this so much easier. It may take me a while but I have all winter to get her set to go next year. I’ll be sure to post my pics. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  5. cozygirl

     /  September 12, 2012

    P.S. Hand towels…brilliant!

    • That was my Mom’s suggestion. I thought they would be too small, but I tried them and they work great!

  6. Jerry showed me his plan last night! He is starting the closet redo today. If I might ask did you use the front dinette area cushions and just recover for the new back seating at the glass table or recover another material?

    • Yay for the closet remodel. That’s one we still need to do.

      No, I didn’t use the original cushions because the foam wasn’t in good shape. But they are the right size and I could have just recovered them if they had been new like yours. I bought foam, covered it with mattress cover material like I did the beds, then sewed the covers.

  7. I love your organization! We are full-timing in a bigger rig but I’m still going to use some of these ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    • Teri, I am so glad you found some ideas that you could use. :)

      I have looked at your blog, and I love it! I love to read about people’s ordinary days, too… and your blog has that and so much more!

  8. grammieg

     /  February 7, 2013

    I just found your blog, too bad for me. We have been struggling with getting twin beds in the Spirit and finally came up with your same design. We settled on a TV tray for a table for now, but are stillworking on that. I love the storage boxes under the beds, but our dogs have claimed those spaces.

    • My small dog sleeps with me. The big one sprawls out in front of the door at night. :)

      I saw the same Spirit design as ours at a rally. But the woman had made the bed covers of washable denim and fastened it on with velcro, so everything could be taken off easily and washed.

      I wish I had seen her design before I did mine! :)

  9. gra

     /  April 5, 2013

    We sleep on both of the bed/sofas. We make the beds, then I put a coordina
    ted color sheet over that and sit on that. Off at night and wash when we get home.

  10. Patricia

     /  July 7, 2013

    Love that design. What are the dimentions of the twin beds?

    • Patricia, the rear bed is 29″ wide and is as long as the width of the Casita. Not sure exactly what that is.

      The dinette bed is 27″ x 72″. It could be an inch wider and still allow the bathroom door to open fully.

  11. Bonnie Borgeson

     /  September 6, 2013

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  12. Jewel

     /  October 1, 2013

    I’m thinking of making window curtains to keep out the light as well as the chill since we are taking a fall vacation to the northeast. Any ideas for the type of material to use?

    • Jewel, I’m not a fabric expert. I really don’t know what to recommend. I would just go to a fabric store and ask for recommendations.

      If you go to the Casita Travel Trailer Forums and do a search, you can see what others have done for light blocking and insulaion.

      Here’s the link to the forums. I’ve learned so much there!

      http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/

  13. SeaPea

     /  January 22, 2014

    tinycamper ~ I would love to see pictures of how you did the dinette & the beds, could you post some pictures? or do you have some pictures posted somewhere else? Thanks

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