Camping Off the Beaten Trail: Backwoods Survival Tips

Four Everyday Items You Can Use to Increase the Storage in Your Caravan—No Building Skills Required

by Edward Bailey

Looking for ways to increase the storage in your caravan but don't have the time, money or skills to retrofit it into a storage wonderland? Don't worry. Boosting the storage capacity of your caravan trailer doesn't have to require a lot of building skills or much of a cash investment.

With a little ingenuity, you can create extra caravan storage using simple, everyday items. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Nursery Organiser

Designed to hang over cots, nursery organisers are typically for holding baby powder and nappies, but in a caravan, they can turn any extra vertical space into a storage area. Hang one on the back of a bathroom door to hold your toiletries or over the back of the caravan's main door to hold flashlights, flip-flops, bug spray and other outdoor essentials.

These organisers or the similar shoe organisers can also create storage near the fixed bed in your caravan if you have one. If you are tired of falling over shoes in your caravan, cut a shoe organiser into strips; each strip should contain a row of shoe holders.

Grab your glue gun or a few thumbtacks and attach the pockets to the particle board around the main bed in your caravan. Now, you have a convenient place to store shoes. You can even use the pockets closest to the head of the bed to hold flashlights, books, medicine or anything else you like to have nearby as you sleep.

2. Hinges

Hinges on their own won't increase the storage in your caravan, but they can make the space under your fixed bed accessible. Simply use a saw to cut a rectangular access hole into the wood around your fixed bed. Now apply hinges to the cut wood and to the wood framing it.

Now, you have a small door you can swing open and shut. Through this door, you can slip lawn chairs, caravan awnings or anything else you need to store.

If you want to take under-the-bed storage to a new level, you can add a hydraulic lift to the bed so you can access the whole area, but this project takes more materials and more building skills than just adding a few simple hinges.

3. Velcro Strips

Velcro is ideal for use in a caravan because it increases storage, but it also holds you possessions in place as you drive, helping to maintain order and reduce damage. Strips of velcro are easy to apply; simply peel off the adhesive backing and stick the velcro where you like.

If you want to use velcro strips to organise your TV remotes, adhere one side of the velcro to the back of the remote and the other to the side of a wall or back of a chair. If you want to subdivide drawers with small plastic bins, you can use velcro to hold the bins in place. Unlike glue, velcro lets you remove these small containers as needed but holds them firmly in place as you drive.

4. PVC Pipe

PVC pipe can be used creatively all over your caravan to create a storage solution that also stops your possessions from shifting, moving and getting damaged as you drive. Cut narrow pieces of PVC pipe to a length of a few centimeters, attach an end cap to the bottom of the pipe and glue the pieces to the inside door of your medicine cabinet. Now, you have built-in toothbrush holders.

You can also use various sizes of PVC pipe glued to doors and walls all over your caravan, and these versatile pipes can do anything from organising cords and brooms to holding items ranging from cleaning supplies to dried noodles.

If you need an extra sleeping spot, you can also make a hammock out of PVC pipe. Take four pieces of PVC pipe and four triple-sided connectors. Connect the pieces until you have created a rectangle that will fit over the seats in the caravan's cab.

Buy heavy canvas fabric and sew it over your frame—imagine a camping cot to get the general idea. Finally, run rachet straps or strong rope through the PVC pipes that run down the sides of the hammock (not the foot and head).

Place the hammock over the front driving seats. Run the rest of the rope or rachet straps through the top of the doors and join their ends on the top of the caravan. Now, you've converted the head space in your cab to an extra bedroom that you can use while stopped. You can also use this hammock as a storage shelf for anything you like.