A Treasure Hunt Inside a 19 Foot Van

20 May

I have spent a lot of my spare time this last two weeks transferring major supplies from the old Roadtrek to the new one. It turned out to be more involved that I had thought it would be. Both have similar storage options – over head and under bed and seat cupboards and drawers but they are all different sizes or have different access points. Both have a cabinet over the driver and passenger seats where I kept a good pair of binoculars. The new one has a cabinet in the same place that looks the same but is too narrow for the binoculars. Luckily the glove box in the new one is twice as large as the old and the binoculars have a happy home.

The pots and pans fit like a breeze and I was able to add the toaster that only fit in a box under the back seat along with the electric fry pan (a nice alternative to the stove at times.) The fry pan is still under the seat but I don’t have to remove the seat because there is an access door on the side. The towels are now in one of the long back overhead cabinets rather than one a shelf over the toilet.  That long cabinet was the same in the old van but was used as our pantry. There was side access from the back cabinet in the old where we now have the A/C unit. Probably a good trade off. The pantry is an actual cupboard for much easier access and the toaster oven is on the pull out designed for the old style 13 inch TV. We no longer need to pack clothes in suitcases because we each have an under the bed drawer that works quite nicely.

The old van has a floor box at the back that was really nice for the jack, BBQ, fire logs, ax and extension cords but was extremely difficult to access. That space now is divided to two different lockers. One  runs along the side and is accessed from a locked lower outside hatch just like the big boys. The other runs the full width of the back under the back beds and is accessed with the back door open at floor level. I did find a Rubber Maid tub that fit nicely to help organize smaller things. I thought I had it all organized before realizing that I needed to make a place for two bicycle helmets.

After the big things were settled into new homes, I was left with 3 laundry baskets full of stuff that had lived in that old van for a decade. There were probably 30 large zip lock bags along with dozens of small ones and neatly folded and rolled grocery bags including two paper ones with handles and a box of garbage bags. How many of the reusable grocery bags did we really need? I’ll keep 4 and place the other 5 in my car. There are 2 padlocks without keys although the keys may be in my odd key box in the house. We probably don’t need 2 regular ice scrapers although the one long handled one is under the back seat.  Most of the long unmatched shoe strings have been moved to the narrow overhead drawer but the bubble soap joined the stale cookies in the trash. Although Harry won’t feel it is enough, I did fill a large waste paper basket twice.  I still have 1/2 of one laundry basket to sort but the old van is empty waiting only for a good cleaning and a For Sale sign in the window. I found useful, junk, specialized camping oddities and mementos in all of the nooks and crannies. Time to start adding the mementos to the new one. We will be off to Turner Falls in southern Oklahoma for the end of this week. It will be a good trip to figure out what I overlooked in that treasure hunt.

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