How to Organize a Tent Trailer for Camping


While tent trailers -- also known as popup campers -- offer your family more room to spread out and sleep than a tent does, they lack the storage space of full-sized recreational vehicles. Accordingly, you must make the best use of the space available to fit all your wants and needs inside. By utilizing oft-neglected spaces, packing small items in larger storage boxes and proceeding in an organized manner, you will be surprised how much will fit inside your tent trailer.

Organization Is Key

  • Maximizing your storage space is an exercise in organization and creativity. Many recreationalists toss a few boxes on the floor, stack a few more on top, shove irregular items in the cracks, and declare the trailer “full.“ However, instead of proceeding in such haphazard fashion, take the time to make a list of your needs, and then gather, label and box them before the date of departure. Start by making a list of all the things you wish to bring, and group your list by storage location. For example, your list may indicate that the first-aid kit is in the small plastic box kept in the cabinet over the sink.

General Packing Principles

  • If you will be using your tent trailer repeatedly over a short period of time, keep frequently used items in easy-to-reach places, and slide rarely used items under beds, countertops or in storage lockers. By contrast, if you will be traveling to a campsite, unpacking and staying there for a while, you should pack in the reverse order that you want to unpack. For example, pack the first-aid kit, snacks and your children’s toys last, so they will be the first thing you can unload when you arrive at your destination. Pack those items you are unlikely to need immediately – such as bulk food items and recreational equipment – first, so they will be the last things you unpack.

Utilize Plastic Storage Bins

  • Plastic storage bins and totes are invaluable for maximizing your trailer’s interior space. Place irregularly shaped items in a plastic box, so that they are easier to store in an organized manner. Additionally, by keeping all of your items in storage boxes, it is easier to locate and carry the items they contain. For example, by keeping all of your toiletries – toothbrush and toothpaste, medications, soap and anything else you may need -- in a plastic box, you can simply take the box with you to the bathroom, rather than having to locate each item individually. Milk crates, totes and storage chests may also help you maximize the internal space available.

Neglected Areas

  • Take advantage of every nook and cranny in your trailer. You can attach fire extinguishers, flashlights, paper towels and similar items to the sides of cabinets; hanging items, such as cooking utensils or pans may hang nicely from hooks attached to cabinets and counters. Consider clipping night lights, reading glasses or bedtime reading material to the liners around your bunk. Additionally, if your trailer is equipped to carry items externally, make use of these areas. For example, many tent trailers have areas for coolers and similar items at the front or rear of the trailer.

Safety Considerations

  • Secure all items inside the trailer to keep them from flying around and causing damage. Use soft, pliable items to cushion or protect fragile items and things that are difficult to store. Be sure to place anything that may be dangerous, such as fishhooks, hand tools and kitchen utensils, in a latched box or container. Never place any explosives, fuels or other hazardous chemicals inside the trailer.

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