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Old 09-09-2019, 12:18 PM   #57
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WACHUKO - Big key for me is identical sized containers for each major area. It makes my organizing easier and interchangeable to move around as need arises.

1. For bottom area, deep clear containers that can carry very heavy items, like parts. Each of 5 bins carries designated items, 1 for hookups, 1 for parts, 1 for beach stuff, 1 for chemicals, 1 for flex-use as the need arises. The 2 most often used has to be behind the C/S door.

2. For midshelf, shallower clear containers (2 to 6 as needs arise) that can be pulled out easily from rear or couch/bed side.

3. For top flip out bins, it is important that they flip out from rear and couch/bed side as well. Dedicated to softer, padded, light items i.e. pillow, blankets, clothes.

4. For overhead storage compartments, we all carry identical duffel bags but each one has a designated colored bag. It guarantees all bags can fit interchageably in any but the smallest compartments. They come in 7 colors, we bought 6. Can you guess which is mine, wife, daughter, and kiddos

5. A day-glo orange tool kit that can be accessed from rear or slide out through small door under the couch. Like you, this is critical to be accessible from both sides. It has most of my small mechanical & electrical tools.

6. Everything has to ALWAYS go back in their designated container, bin, bag and compartment location.. Otherwise, the whole system falls apart. But there are also (one) spare container, bin & bag for flex-use. This is in case an emergency bug-out forces putting a muddy extension, water hose, dirty water shoes or beach blanket full of sand in a hurry.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:29 PM   #58
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For me- on the T1N AI, I found that spares/tools need to be scattered around a bit in order to fit where I have spare space. So far this has been no issue at all - I have not used any spares yet in 50k+ miles. But I do a good service before longer trips.

For the 11,000 mile ‘around the country’ trip (and some other long trips) I have brought along a C3 and laptop with factory software (scanner). I also have an MBII scanner, for quick checks. I have not needed the factory stuff on a trip yet, but if something came up, that it the best way by far. With some things no other choice.

I have used the MBII once on a trip, checked a code, cleared it and it never came back. But having it handy it great. (I have had to use it a bunch in town- when I had a bad EGR, but it didn’t reliably show that code for quite some time).

The spare EGR I keep under the rear fold down seats- in front of the water heater (a small little cubby is there). Fits right in with my little ceramic heater and nitrile gloves.
Some other parts are under the sink, some in one of the cabinets. Most are in ziplock bags, so if I get a water leak or something they will not be damaged.

But that is just how I do it. I have pretty varied use, most often are day trips for off-road motorcycle riding (so I need all my riding gear, hitch carrier etc). Then sometimes I get bigger stuff I need (Sheetrock, doors etc). Then the 2-3 days trips. Then longer trips. All are different.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:01 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Lotus54 View Post
For me- on the T1N AI, I found that spares/tools need to be scattered around a bit in order to fit where I have spare space. ....
The scattering is my essential problem. Tucking spare parts into void spaces is a disorganized pain while also carrying a bunch of off-grid / boondocking stuff including a chain saw, woodsman gear, kayak PFDs, etc. It's not working for me. This is going to require highly targeted micro-infrastructure to improve.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:40 AM   #60
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The scattering is my essential problem. Tucking spare parts into void spaces is a disorganized pain while also carrying a bunch of off-grid / boondocking stuff including a chain saw, woodsman gear, kayak PFDs, etc. It's not working for me. This is going to require highly targeted micro-infrastructure to improve.
INTERBLOG - 100% agree. Tucking spare parts into void spaces does utilize space very efficiently but the disorganization and pain you mention it inflicts happens later when the need arises and is when you need that pain the least, so it negates all that space utilization efficiency. The AI already has tons of space that we can never fill because we would easily get over the GVWR. Case in point is my rig which is already 90 lbs. overweight based on my last CAT Scale weigh-in and that's without me trying to stuff every void space with parts & tools. If I did, and with my organization skills, I can easily go 1,500 lbs. over GVWR.

So rather than find every void to fill, the containers provide controlled areas that you can improve the "smaller targeted micro-infrastructure". They seem to waste a little more space by virtue of the limitations they impose on where they could be stored but they give in return the convenience and structure needed to access items easily. That container structure allows you to target your improvements differently for each container. Rather than using the entire AI as 1 big huge giant container, which is the pitfall of the disorganized. But you can't go crazy with 4 dozen different size containers either. Then the problem just becomes 'how to organize 4 dozen odd size containers'. The uniformity of container sizes plays a big role. Think of cargo shipping containers being loaded into a ship. All same size outside. But inside reveals another smaller container organizational structure.

Within each individual container, regardless of size you pick, you can completely scatter it's mostly related contents in a very disorganize fashion, but yet when the lid is closed, it presents itself as an organized unit.

Or you can take it 5 steps further (as I do, no surprise there) - within each deep container, you can create multiple levels dependent on frequency of use and/or need to easily access. This does not come easy. It takes knowing your needs (which you already do based on your more years of using your AI) but also takes some thinking out-of-the-box to put together a "5-layer jig-saw puzzle" that can only fit 1-way back into the same container. Every part & adapter & tool has only 1-way to get back into the fold, otherwise the darn thing would not close properly. See my pics below of the 5-layers of my Hookups bin. It is only 1-of-5 deep bins organized in this fashion. These deep bins are the hardest to make a jig-saw puzzle out of. The other shallower bins don't require as much 5-dimensional thinking.

1st Bottom most layer - the foundation, with 2 separate smaller containers
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2nd layer
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3rd layer
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4th layer
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5th Top most layer, with the single most important hookup item (for me - 20ft. power cord (not the 30ft) & 90 degree dogbone extension) but never filled to the brim, just in case.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:01 AM   #61
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INTERBLOG - 100% agree. Tucking spare parts into void spaces does utilize space very efficiently but the disorganization and pain you mention it inflicts happens later ...

So rather than find every void to fill, the containers provide controlled areas that you can improve the "smaller targeted micro-infrastructure". ....
I agree - that approach works superbly if you have an EXT.

For those of us who do not have an EXT, we have drastically less space - we can't really store even one of those containers that you show. We have no choice but to get forced into tucking.

The trick is to re-work it so that it makes sense. That's what I'm still working on.

This is exactly why I literally searched the entire country for the optimal tool bag in this context, for instance. And we got the tool bag nailed earlier this year. Now I need to deal with the other 90% of it.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:00 AM   #62
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The side pockets where the drop down bed cushions fillers are, is another wasted space. My plan there is to remove those and fixed them to the backrest of the sofa/bench with hinges and couple of magnets. Ideal would be to make one long cushion fixed in the same way but I have not even tried to find matching material to cover it...

But the idea is that you fold them in position when lowering the bed. This way, the side pockets can be turned into storage areas. I just need to validate if the bench backrest is able to support bolting or riveting the required hinge...

I did think of a removable cushion, but would prefer something that is always attached to the back rest and not floating around loose...
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:40 AM   #63
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I see no issue with having the parts in different locations- as long as you know what is where.
What we used to do for our flight cases for tools- had a list of exactly what was in what case/bag. This gave a dual purpose of a checklist when packing and an easy way to find things without unpacking 10 bags.

So a simple laminated list of all parts/tools and location would solve any perceived disorganization. Keep a sharpie nearby when anything is used- then it is easy to check before the next trip to restock anything (alcohol will wipe it right off the lamination).

Yes- it is very easy to overload these, especially the T1N that is darn close to max weight before doing anything. The 3500 T1N does have more capacity, but I don’t know if Airstream every used those.

Of course, everyone has different ‘things’ that drive them nuts and what one person is perfectly fine with- another can’t stand.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:37 AM   #64
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The side pockets where the drop down bed cushions fillers are, is another wasted space. My plan there is to remove those and fixed them to the backrest of the sofa/bench with hinges and couple of magnets.
WACHUKO - I thought about removing those too but that was before I decided to put my mid-shelf exactly at that height (for convenience and retain continuity on the bed if we decide to employ the original flip down extensions by just setting it on top of the mid-shelf). So if you just thinking of utilizing that wasted pocket:

I do not remember who to give credit to but I am almost sure it was MARK (TRONADORA) who posted the HUSKY 11" (not 12") Small Parts Organizer from Home Depot. Stack 2 of them in each side pocket, it fits like a glove almost like it was made for it. So total of 4 for all my small parts, screws, etc. Frees up our limited drawer storage. It has very good latches to prevent spilling contents when storing vertical and configurable dividers.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:44 AM   #65
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Having to dig/search a bit for the spare part beats the heck out of waiting for it to be delivered to you. But to save the trouble of searching I made a list of where I stored what and keep that list in Titus. Now if I can just remember where I put that list.
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