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Old 07-10-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
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packing questions... need advice please.

I'm sure this info is here somewhere but I did a few searches and couldn't find what I'm looking for. I don't need a packing list (that I have) but I'm looking more for advice on where to put some of the bigger stuff.

We are total AS newbies but we're getting ready to full time. We have a few short trips plans to get us ready and know that we'll adjust stuff as we go. We have a 2009 Airstream International 25FB.

First, I'm wondering, is it ok to pack stuff just inside the AS but not in a cabinet? I am thinking of keeping our generator in a heavy duty, air-tight bin and then placing this under the AS table while we travel.

I am also thinking of keeping an electric cooler under the table as well.

And we have a portable solar panel we need to put somewhere. It might go in the truck but if we needed to put it loose in the AS, is that ok?

Where does everyone pack their chairs? These I'm thinking about putting right behind the propane bungeeing them to the propane cover. Bad idea? Good idea? Is there a good way to do this?

As far as kitchen stuff goes, does everyone secure everything in the cabinets or is it ok to just put stuff in there? I'm lining the cabinets and drawers but how much does everything shift?

Thanks so much for any tips/ideas in advance!
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
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I would not put the generator inside the trailer or anything else with gas in it .
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:45 PM   #3
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I agree with Woodfox... Generator should go in the truckbed. I wouldn't hesitate to put the electric cooler under the dinette in the airstream, but I'd make sure it's not likely to slide around. You may stuff pillows or bedding on either end of it if you're not blocking any ventilation on it if it's running.

I do often lay things on the bed and it doesn't ever seem to move while on the road. However, a hard stab at the brakes and you'll regret having anything on it that can be damaged (or will damage the trailer).

I try to keep the cabinets packed fairly tightly so stuff doesn't move around, and I use lots of tupperware containers to consolidate things.


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Old 07-10-2014, 07:53 PM   #4
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Thanks! The biggest issue with the generator in the truck bed is, we will have a cap on it and our two dogs in it. We'll also have the window between us and the back open with the boot on so the dogs will have AC/heat as-needed.

I did see someone on here keep their generator in the trailer in a bin without an issue. I don't love the idea of keeping it in the trailer either but with the dogs in the truck I don't see an option... unless someone has another idea?
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:51 PM   #5
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We have the same configuration with the truck cap and we have no problem with the generator in the back with the dogs. We just make sure we keep the gas in a sealed container. We also don't like to carry anything in the trailer that could possibly slide around and destroy anything in their path.


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Old 07-10-2014, 08:59 PM   #6
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We have a crew cab and fold up the back seat for the dog while traveling. If we had a generator, I'd put it in the truck bed, for which we also have a cap. We put our two light-weight camp chairs on the bed (we have a 27FB) and buffer the front with pillows so a sharp stab at the brakes won't slide them out thru the front window like a couple of torpedoes.

We used to put some things under the dinette, which is in the back of our trailer with a clear shot all the way up to the bedroom. We quickly realized that was a Very Bad Idea, because stuff there tended to move around a lot more than we liked, and it tried to push the dinette leg out of the way in the process of sliding north. So, we keep our floor clear and shove as much as possible into the hall closet and other cabinets, as well as under the bed, aside from the two camp chairs.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:15 PM   #7
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Greetings...Great questions! Couple of tid-bits...some flat items can be stored under the mattress (solar panels), we place our sink cutting boards under the couch cushion, we use pillows (have several on the couch) that we "stuff" in our cabinets (works super well and keeps things in their place), the lawn chairs are slid under the dinette and we use a bungee chord to secure. We always take the shower sprayer off the hook and lay it down on the bottom of the shower floor, wrapped in a big towel to keep it from bouncing around. Agree that the generator should not be stored inside. Hope this is helpful! Enjoy
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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I like the idea of putting the chairs on the bed... we'll give that a try. thanks!

I am going to have to figure out the best for the electric cooler. Maybe secured well under the dinette? Or even in the truck with us might work.

For the generator issue... I just found the Rotopax gas cans in another thread. They are super strong, rigid cans that people with ATV's, Jeeps, etc use. It seems like they are made to be mounted outside. So maybe the Rotopax mounted to the AS or back of truck on the outside and the generator (empty of gas) in the truck bed with the dogs in the airtight container?

And just so I understand, why is it better to have the generator in the back of the truck and not in the AS? Is it a safety issue in the trailer? And if so, why is it safer in the truck? And if it's not a safety issue, is it just an issue of smell?
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:49 PM   #9
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Have you got a crew cab with a back seat for the dogs, and/or have you traveled sufficiently with them in the truck bed so that you know they won't get too hot back there in the summer? I don't think those little windows provide much ventilation.

With our little unit, we have to put nearly everything in the truck bed (covered with a topper) and the dog goes on our back seat. We bring the space-saving type of folding camp chairs and they go in the truck bed.

If something can slide around in the trailer while you're traveling, it probably will; especially if you drive on wash-boarded or dirt roads. When we get ready to leave a campsite and Len does the outside preparations, I am usually "battening down the hatches" inside. I put big sheets of bubble-wrap or foam on top of the (non-breakable) dishes in the cabinet, although a beach towel would probably work just as well. I fasten the sliding cabinet doors with big twist-ties in the finger-holes to make sure they stay closed. I do leave small flat items on the bed (like a brief case) sometimes and they haven't jumped off, yet. Our duffle/gym bags of clothes go under the bed against the lower rear cupboards to prevent them from opening.

The fridge door can swing open in transit if you hit a bump, with food items jumping out, so we don't travel with fresh eggs!

Enjoy your new adventures!

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Old 07-11-2014, 06:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jgpenn View Post
I did see someone on here keep their generator in the trailer in a bin without an issue. I don't love the idea of keeping it in the trailer either but with the dogs in the truck I don't see an option... unless someone has another idea?
If you MUST put the generator in the trailer, put it in the shower stall. There isn't much room for it to shift around in there, plus if you put a plug in the shower drain, the shower pan provides containment for any fuel that might leak— though I'm sure you won't carry it with a full tank of fuel in it. Don't know if your shower stall has a roof vent, but if it does, open it and turn on the fan while the generator is stored there.

Gasoline vapor is heavier than air (like propane) and an LPG detector MIGHT detect the fumes. It has been a while since I read the manual for mine to see if it will also detect gasoline vapor. So read your LPG detector manual to see, and if it does, you're okay. When you open your trailer door, don't go inside until you've listened for the LPG alarm and verified that you don't have an "alarming" (ahem!) level of gasoline vapors built up.

If your LPG detector won't detect gasoline vapors, then you'll have to go to West Marine to buy a gasoline vapor detector (used in inboard boat engine compartments) and install it near where you store the generator. Fair warning, they're not cheap, but they're cheaper than blowing up your trailer! Side note: If you carry your generator in the truck bed with the dogs, it wouldn't hurt to install a gasoline vapor detector in the truck bed, just to be safe. Even if the vapors don't explode due to lack of an ignition source, they're still hazardous to breathe, and dogs have smaller lungs so it affects them sooner.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:27 AM   #11
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I kept a generator under the table in our 20'. That floor plan has the table on the side of the trailer, not front or back,and it took up most of the space so it stayed in place very well. I now carry a Honda 1000 in the rear storage compartment.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
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If the generator is light such as a Honda 1000 or 2000 you can get a lockable mount to carry it on the battery compartment. Honda makes a slip cover to protect the generator from weather.

We travel long distances frequently so we try to travel with as little stuff as possible. As a rule of thumb we try to balance the trailer's load front-to-back and side-to-side, heavy things over the axles. No heavy stuff such as stacks of porcelain dishes in the upper cabinets; the upper cabinet mounting isn't that strong (screws into the aluminum walls). The shower stall is over the axles and a good travel storage compartment but be careful, the fiberglass is thin and can be punctured or cracked easily; a good place for laundry, clothes, drinking water bottles.

Some full-timers use the truck bed as an attic. We don't because when parked for extended periods it's our daily driver. A couple of large plastic bins right behind the cab is handy because they can be removed and stored next to the trailer when parked; but try to avoid the cluttered trailer site look. Our bicycles are on the back of the trailer on the Airstream bike rack.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:01 AM   #13
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If the generator is light such as a Honda 1000 or 2000 you can get a lockable mount to carry it on the battery compartment. Honda makes a slip cover to protect the generator from weather.
That's what I did with our 20', but I made the mount.

I was pleased to find it fit in the rear storage of our new 25'
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jgpenn View Post
I like the idea of putting the chairs on the bed... we'll give that a try. thanks!

I am going to have to figure out the best for the electric cooler. Maybe secured well under the dinette? Or even in the truck with us might work.

For the generator issue... I just found the Rotopax gas cans in another thread. They are super strong, rigid cans that people with ATV's, Jeeps, etc use. It seems like they are made to be mounted outside. So maybe the Rotopax mounted to the AS or back of truck on the outside and the generator (empty of gas) in the truck bed with the dogs in the airtight container?

And just so I understand, why is it better to have the generator in the back of the truck and not in the AS? Is it a safety issue in the trailer? And if so, why is it safer in the truck? And if it's not a safety issue, is it just an issue of smell?
You might take a peek at an Eddie Bauer model to get the locations of the installed d-ring tie downs. They most likely are bolted into the frame, but that would give you a more permanent solution to being able to secure cargo under your dinette table if you care to make a permanent modification.

We carried a small Honda generator as well as a small microwave under the table in our FC20 with no issues. Aside from the potential fire / explosion from spilled gasoline, IMO most folks just don't want the smell in their TT. It is easy to slightly open both F.Fan vents fore and aft to keep fresh air circulating through your AS so as to not build up any residual odor.

If you care to read the EB section, you will find that folks carry an assortment of cargo - some with gasoline- inside of the EBs. The shell and floor are all the same as the Int/FC 25 and 27 with the addition of the rear hatch, two metal vents, and a different floor covering. Properly secured (emphasis), I would have no reservations about carrying either a gen or spare refrig unit in the dead space in any TT. WE do, however, carry two Rota-Pax in the rear of our truck along with our gen ... and there IS the occasional odor of gasoline when the fuel expands and/or sloshes inside of the plastic cans. The R-P are NOT vented; so, be cautious when opening them in warmer climates after fueling in cooler temps. The next time you are able to inspect an SOB with the front storage hatches, take a look at the variety of cargo stored in there - many with access (just like the AS) to those items from within the TT.
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