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Old 04-05-2009, 12:38 PM   #16
Earning My Ears
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
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We are family of 7, staying in sleep 8 pop up so I understand your need for control.
We are taking a closet organizer, it is completely collaspable for travel and then I am attaching it with a bungee cord to hang in the pop up. As for where our suitcases will go we are driving down a minivan and I taking a screen in room. We are "planning" on setting up the screen in room near the van ( if possible ) and then putting suitcases in the back of the van, that way we just have to open the back grab our clothes and change in tent. I also brought callaspable laundry baskets for dirty clothes ( bought those from $1 store).

March 2012 All Star Pop, February 2011 All Stars Movie, March 2010 Fort Wilderness Cabins, April 2009 Fort Wilderness Campgrounds, February 2006 Wilderness Cabins, February 2003 Port Orleans, November 2000 Off site, April 1999 Fort Wilderness Campgrounds
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:21 PM   #17
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We have a 'mammoth' sized 2 room tent. This past trip we took all our clothes in one suitcase, and used the handy dandy publix canvas bags to hold our dirty clothes. I'm thinking of having 2 smaller tents, (i love the a-frame roofed tents) one strictly for the bed, tv, fan and the other for everything else. It is just a thought...i'm still thinking it through...

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Old 04-05-2009, 09:46 PM   #18
Is it time to go camping yet?
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We just got back from a week long trip with 8 ppl (4 adults, 4 kids) and all that goes along with it in a pop up. What we did was set up a tent and used it as a dressing room. I set up the plastic drawers that we got at Walmart nd each of the boys had one. When I packed up at home- I just put everyone's clothes in their drawers and loaded the entire thing in the back of the van! We also kept all of the bathroom bags and a rack to dry towels on etc... all of the misc. gear that was lying around- lawn games, chairs etc were also stored in the tent to keep them out of the rain

Even though that will probably be one of the few times that we will have so many ppl with us- being 6 on a day to day basis- I will most likely put up the tent every trip just to keepthe pop up clutter free.

Also- a swiffer vac helps keep the dirt down a to a minimum
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #19
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I don't think it matters whether you have a tent, a popup or a 45 foot motorhome (we have the latter) - clothes storage is always an issue. We use rubbermaid drawers. Each kid gets one large rubbermaid drawer for clothes, plus one small rubbermaid box for electronics/toys/whatever else they can fit. Fortunately we have a wardrobe with shelves where DH and I stack our stuff and we can hang coats, raincoats, etc. Our kids pack in plastic bags, one complete outfit per day, and the plastic bags go into the drawers. We use popup hampers for dirty clothes. The problems we always have are shoes (our current solution is a large rubbermaid container with shoes for 7 or 8 thrown in it, but I don't like it), and towels. Our camper is always overrun with numerous wet towels and it drives me nuts. Does anyone have any good shoe/towel advice? Right now I'm thinking that reducing the size of the family might be the only good solution.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:14 PM   #20
Earning My Ears
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I agree with the shoes/clothes/ towels!! We have a 32 ft TT and 4 kids , the back bunk room is often littered with whatever clothes they decide to change out of for theday !. We have plastic bin under the bunks for clothes and when they do put the clothes back it will stay picked up. We also have a pop up bin for the shoes for everyone and I tend to leave it outside by the door. Helps with the smelly sneakers!!
We did buy a clothes lind that attaches to the back of the TT, that really help keep all the wet towels and bathing suits in control .
I like all the great ideas for orgainizing the camper -I am always looking for way to keep the TT tidy.Love the shoe organizer idea - !
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:37 PM   #21
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Great sharing. This is my biggest issue as well. We have a 30 foot 5th wheel, 4 kids and two adults. It took me 6 months of planning before I felt like I had the organization thing kicked. The camping websites sell all kinds of junk, but only some of it is a must have. The following list is my must haves/dos.

#1. Use the rule that someone else used. Will i really use this? If it will not be used on this particular trip, then store it until you get back. Go thru the entire camper with this thought before each trip.

#2. Pack all the clothes in their area before you leave. We pack light and do a little laundry each day. We use small plastic tubs for each person. We store those under the couch.

#3. Making the beds - this one had me whipped until i stole and idea from someone else. Sleeping bags. Just have a sleeping bag on each bed/bunk. Its easy to fold up and everyone has plenty of their own blankets. I did spring for a fancy one for our bed, but the kids get simple comfy ones.

#3. Knife organizer in my upper cabinets. Had to buy this one, but it was worth every penny. Its up high, so the little kids can't reach it, and the knives are stored safely.

#4. Shoe organizer on the living room wall. This stores all the misc. crap that gets stuck in a plastic tote. Uno cards, batteries, spray bottle fans, its tall, so anything not kid friendly can be stored up high.

#5. Shoe organizer cut down to the size of the wall next to the sink in bathroom for all the toiletries. THIS ONE IS MY FAV. I can't remember how we stored all this stuff before. This works great during travel too. Hairspray, tweezers, q-tips, makeup stuff, deodorant, nail polish remover. You can see thru the little pockets, so you can store several things in each pocket. Its my best tip.

#6. A plastic shelf that completely breaks down. This is outside next to the door and under the awning. We also try to keep the sneakers out on this. If its raining we bring the shoes inside.

#7. Have a talk with everyone before you leave about keeping the camper tidy. I know this seems silly, but for me its a vacation killer to see a disaster everytime I open the camper door. I also make sure we all tidy up in mornings and evenings. It makes it easy to keep up with.

Pack all the clothes in their area before you leave. We pack light and do a little laundry each day. Pack your toiletries in the camper before you leave. Basically try to have everything in its place unless its place is outside the camper before you leave. If its cluttered before you leave, then it will be worse when you get there.

My toughest thing is the food. I love to cook, but hate to deal with the small kitchen, fridge and freezer. How about some food storage or cooking ideas?
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:10 PM   #22
1340.63 miles too far from the Fort
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Originally Posted by mdoc View Post
Does anyone have any good shoe/towel advice? Right now I'm thinking that reducing the size of the family might be the only good solution.
"Honey, it's you or the towels!"
Wet towels everywhere are a pet peeve of mine. I put over-the-door hooks on the bathroom door of our hybrid, and also hung an over-the-door towel rack off the little ledge up behind the toilet. I also mounted a spring-loaded bar in the shower. It's high enough so that it doesn't interfere with showering, but gives you an extra bar to hang towels (or whatever) on to dry.

As for shoes..... AARGH! Drives me crazy to keep kicking them out of the way all the time. Love the idea of cutting down a shoe rack though - may mount one under the tent end by the door.

Originally Posted by Disney crazy mama View Post
My toughest thing is the food. I love to cook, but hate to deal with the small kitchen, fridge and freezer. How about some food storage or cooking ideas?
I found re-packing anything for the freezer in ziplocs helps by eliminating the extra packaging things come in (every little bit helps!) We usually bring chicken breast and steaks that are easy to throw on the grill. I pre-season/marinade them in ziplocs and chuck them right in the freezer. Tastes great and saves both space AND prep time.

Ziplocs in general are great for lots of things - especially if you are sure to squeeze as much air out as possible (amazing what a difference that makes when space is tight)

I also pack only as much as we're going to reasonable use. i.e., instead of a 3lb bag of rice, pack a ziploc with enough for whatever meals you're planning.

I save time/space by pre-making meals we can quickly heat up. Casseroles, mac & cheese, lasagna, etc. Whip them up ahead, pack as much as you need for a meal, and throw in the freezer/fridge.

Buy small bottles of condiments vs the bargain sized ones. A wee bit more expensive, but they fit much easier on the fridge doors and take up a ton less space than the bigger versions.

If you're big milk drinkers and have a small fridge - Parmalat. It's the specially pasteurized milk that comes in cartons and stores for months without refrigeration. You can pack a bunch in a cupboard and just put it in the fridge as you need it. The cartons tend to fit pretty well on the fridge door too.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:05 AM   #23
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Those are great food packing tips, BradyBz12. I will use those. I never thought of streamlining the packaging. I also totally love the marinade and throw in the freezer trick. That's a great one too. Also, the just pack what you need for the recipe trick is great. Cool. I will have to practice my meals and packing tips and see what I can do.

Thanks, Dee
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:48 PM   #24
1340.63 miles too far from the Fort
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You're welcome! Good luck and have a great trip
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:09 AM   #25
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bumping this up for more ideas for this newbie camper.

My main concern is keeping meat. We want to have hamburgers/steaks...but how to keep the meat fresh?

We had to throw a ton of meat out after a hurricane beacuse the cooler didn't keep it cold enough.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:22 AM   #26
Sounds like something a camping trip could cure
Enjoy the beer and wine you will love it
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Originally Posted by luvmyfam444 View Post
bumping this up for more ideas for this newbie camper.

My main concern is keeping meat. We want to have hamburgers/steaks...but how to keep the meat fresh?

We had to throw a ton of meat out after a hurricane beacuse the cooler didn't keep it cold enough.
We have a dorm frig, works great. You can get them with or without a freezer.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:36 AM   #27
Have to learn to budget somehow. Want the latest video game? Save up. Want a new Beyblade? save up. Want a new Dooney and Burke? Grab the credit card out of DH's wallet...
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I haven't camped at WDW, but we camp a lot with the scouts (and personal camping too) and this is how I do it.

1. Clothing is packed with outfits together, including socks and undergarments. folded and flattened into ziplocks. ziplocks loaded into packing cubes for each person. DS has a blue cube, he knows to get in there for his clothes. PJs, jackets go into a fourth cube (PJs ziplocked and are used 2 nights)

2. I have a large tub tote that I use to pack pillows/blankets/airmattresses/pump in. That tub goes outside the tent. I have a chair by the tub. Shoes go off before coming in the tent, and they go into the tub. If it's nice out, I can leave the lid off to air them out. If it's bad, the lid goes on to keep them dry.

3. Sleeping bags--I have the kind that have liners for summer use and those go in the bags for winter use. They also have zips on the sides, for air flow.

4. Tent set up: tarp on the ground, tent on top. I have these foam interlocking pads I put on the inside of the tent--helps insulate the air mattresses from the ground and keeps people from poking holes in the floor of the tent. Air mattresses go up, I put a mattress pad on each one to help insulate them, and the sleeping bags on top. I always bring each of us a blanket, just in case it's really cold.

5. I have bags that I use for dirty clothes. Those go in the tub that the tent, tarp and foam pads go into. It sits outside the tent.

6. Food: Everything gets packed in ziplocks or hard contatiners. Non perishables go into a tub and that is put in the 2nd tent. Kitchen equipment goes in the 2nd tent (in a tub). I pull out what I need as I need it. The only things that stay out are the camping stoves.

7. Meat is in salted ice in the cooler, and I don't drain it until I need to add more ice in--the water stays very cold. I fill the cooler from last used to first used, so I don't have to dig around in there for the food. I have a heavy duty Coleman cooler (red w/handle/wheels). I have a 2nd cooler that I keep drinks in. It doesn't work as well (cheaper Coleman) but it keeps everyone out of the meat cooler. I have a 3rd cooler for things we need that I don't want with the meat--veggies, fruits, etc.

8. I use single serve packets of mustard, mayo, etc. Oil I will bring bottles of, since they can get warm and not spoil. i don't bring milk, I have instant milk if it's needed for cooking.

8. Trick I learned from scouting: If you need a bit of spice, but not the whole bottle, melt the end of a straw with a lighter to close, put your spice in the straw, cut off the extra and melt the second end. When you need it, cut it open.

9. I cook as simple as possible. Hot dogs, spaghetti, chili, tacos. Why make more work for myself when I'm on vacation? Breakfast is usually poptarts, fruit and cheese sticks, or eggs and sausage, depending on if I want to cook or not. I have a dutch oven and we'll use it once or twice a campout--I make sure to use liners for easier clean up.

10. for all the misc junk that floats around--there are small totes. a tote for games, a tote for books, a tote for toys. If someone leaves something out--just like at home---it becomes mine until they earn it back.

11. DH gets disposable washcloths from the center for his dialysis. He's suppsed to use them to wash his arm before sticking himself, but we just use paper towels. These washclothes are like a heavy duty papertowel. So, we use them on camping trips to clean up with and then I can toss them in the fire. Wet towels get hung on branches to dry and then are put either in the tent or in the dirty clothes, depending if we're using them again.

12. Oh, bathroom stuff. It's all in ziplocks. Each person has a small one for their toothbrush (and holder), deodorant, etc. Then there is a one for toothpaste, etc. I like to use antibacterial hand wipes and baby wipes for camping, if it's for 3 days or less. Cleans up easier than fighting soap and water, and can be done in the tent, before bed. Dry shampoo, also, for me.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:30 PM   #28
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We're a family of 7 in a travel trailer that includes triple bunks. The kids all have their clothes in their own duffel bags. Those bags go on the bunks during the day and under the table at night. DH and I each have one cabinet with a hanger rod, and we use those.

Popup hampers are great for dirty clothes. I can fit a few of them in the space between the end of the bed and wall in the "master bedroom," such as it is. Once one is full, it goes in the van.

The bathtub also makes a good place for dirty clothes if you're using the bath houses exclusively. We do that sometimes when we camp places without sewage hookups.

I like cooking, but I avoid it as much as possible in the RV because it makes me crazy. Instead, I precook and preassemble everything I possibly can and keep as much of it as possible in the freezer. I can get 4-5 days' worth of food in there for our big family. For trips longer than that, I plan meals that are super-easy to cook for the end of the trip when I have to go shopping to replenish our food.

When we go on trips about a week long or longer, I make my plans for packing and meals in a document on my computer. When I get home, I make notes on the document about how it all worked and what I'll change next time. We make some of the same trips every year, like 9 days at a homeschool family camp in the fall, so it's good to be able to check my notes the next year to know how to pack. And I can look at meals we've used before so I don't spend so much time deciding what to cook.

I have a shoe organizer hanging over the bathroom door. I use all the little pockets for toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen, and so many other things. I also used my label maker to label some of the pockets. That way we can keep toothbrushes in the RV, and we don't forget who has what color even though we don't use them that often. You just put your own toothbrush and other personal items in a pocket with your name on it.

The kids just use fitted sheets and blankets in the RV--no flat sheet. I just wash the blankets every time we get home. Sleeping bags are one option, but with young children who might wet the bed or have upset tummies in bed, cotton blankets are easier to wash in a laundromat if you have to.

In high school, I went to WDW with a family of 6 in a pop-up. They brought along a tent for our clothes. It worked great. It was a nice area for getting dressed, and it really reduced the clutter in the pop-up.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #29
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We've not camped at the Fort yet either (hoping for Aug '14).
Like pp said, we marinade the meat, then put it in the freezer, take it out the night before to defrost, really good this way.
We use a collapsible towel rack to dry our towels. It gets put in the bath tub as soon as everyone is done showering so it's out of the way. (we also use the quick dry towels for the camper)
Here's a link to some handy suggestions I did for Woodalls a few years back
2/13 ASMo (first time to stay on site)
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:12 PM   #30
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I bought some collapsible cubes....not sure what I'm gonna do with them yet...HA!

Still thinking thru the shoe thing...
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