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Old 07-14-2017, 12:01 PM   #1
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Rescue lost storage space

Anyone who has followed my posts over the last 25 years knows that I can not stand wasted space. Starting with a Scamp, then a TrailManor, then a 22' Airstream International, then a 25' Airstream Classic, then a 28' Airstream Classic, and now 24' Interstate. I have modified storage in every trailer I have ever owned. I have even built a medicine chest in the wasted space between adjacent cabinet walls.

I have been eyeing the 4" wide blocked areas at the ends of two of my AI overhead cabinets. I knew there were wires in there, but I didn't know what, if any, space could be rescued.

This morning, I pulled the plywood off the front of the two spaces. Hooray! The cables will not get in the way of lining these spaces for additional storage. The wires will fit under a 1" raised floor and behind a liner. One space is in the cabinet where we keep canned goods and bottles. The narrow space (4" wide will help keep bottles erect. The other space is in my personal gear cabinet and the added space is perfect for my shaving gear, deodorant, etc. There is also plenty of space along the wall to poke some additional insulation behind the cabinets on each side. In central Texas, any extra insulation is gravy!

A couple of whacks with a rubber hammer removed the 3/4" nailing piece stapled to the cabinet wall. After a lot of measuring and thinking, I'm home with a handful of drawings and ready to start cutting wood.

I'll post photos of my progress.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:51 PM   #2
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I had already converted one of those spaces, the one forward, into an extra 120VAC outlet. There is wiring in that space on my Interstate for the old Coffee Maker that Airstream once installed there. See photo attached.

But I havenít looked behind the one in next cabinet going to rear. Iíll have to check that space too as we keep a lot of cooking supplies there above the galley and any extra little space would be great.

Another place to recover space, if you havenít done so yet, is around the rear wheels under the side seats. Lots of wasted space there and in later Interstates Airstream did recover some with storage bins right under seat. I added my own and widened the space behind those two doors under the side seats. More photos attached.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:05 PM   #3
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Wine rack

I had a bright idea last night that I could fit a couple of bottles of wine in the recovered space. I had built a 5-bottle wine rack in the top of the microwave cabinet in my Classic 28 that we miss. My wine-loving wife had no good place for wine in the AI. Two bottles is just about right for our typical rally.

I took a couple of bottles to storage and, sure enough, if I carefully route the wires, I can just fit two regular-size bottles of wine in the space.

Since the bottles are round, there is space along the sides of the space to run the cables with a loss of only about a vertical inch where the wires go down into the metal trough. I'll slant the bottles down at the wall slightly.

Also in the space are two ends of the string lights that run at the top of the cabinet. They were taped with black electrical tape. I removed the tape; what a mess. Hot electrical tape is gooey stuff and I had black all over my hands and everything nearby. The goo wipes off with some alcohol. I'll coil one light string in the opening at left behind some translucent plastic to light up the wine bottles and put the longer string through holes at the top of the partition to light the balance of the cabinet. Pretty sexy!

I don't have the 120v feed for the coffee maker in that space. If I can feed a length of Romex behind the cabinets to reach the 120v feed in the cabinet just behind, I may install an outlet with USB ports above the wine bottles. We'll see.

The photos show the area with and without the wine bottle. It is hell to work in that narrow space, especially with my arthritic left hand trying to turn a screwdriver.

There was the pointy end of one screw poking about 1/2" into the space from the adjacent cabinet. I replaced it with a more appropriate-length screw. I have long said that at Airstream, they just grab whatever length screw that happens to be at hand and use it, regardless of what length should be used. I have seen screws that were over an inch too long in my previous trailers and they can be hard on the hands.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:51 AM   #4
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Nice idea on the wine rack. The only negative is that in summer heat those overhead spaces get pretty hot - not good for wine storage. We try to keep all temp sensitive foods near the floor where it is always cooler.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:48 PM   #5
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The thread title is near and dear to my heart, and I think I'll contribute to its content, if you don't mind. Because to date, I've been putting most of my space-related content in the Small Space Living thread, but there's a fundamental difference between adapting to a small space, and rescuing additional storage in a small space.

I bet there've been a few people who've lately thought that I must be na-na-na-NUTS for worrying about an inch here or there with respect to things like blanket storage and paper towel storage.

Well, here's part of the reason why (it's not even all of it!). Here's what I hope to take with me next month IN ADDITION to the usual items that we took to Canada last year. And remember - we don't have an EXT.



I feel very much like this guy:



I've been rescuing space and reconfiguring space here and there for months now, but I'm nowhere near done yet. There's a lot of additional storage space that I need to rescue out of thin air before I can devise a carrying method for every bit of this stuff.

Not a single inch wasted. It's the only mantra going forward.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
The thread title is near and dear to my heart, and I think I'll contribute to its content, if you don't mind. Because to date, I've been putting most of my space-related content in the Small Space Living thread, but there's a fundamental difference between adapting to a small space, and rescuing additional storage in a small space.

I bet there've been a few people who've lately thought that I must be na-na-na-NUTS for worrying about an inch here or there with respect to things like blanket storage and paper towel storage.

Well, here's part of the reason why (it's not even all of it!). Here's what I hope to take with me next month IN ADDITION to the usual items that we took to Canada last year. And remember - we don't have an EXT.



I feel very much like this guy:



I've been rescuing space and reconfiguring space here and there for months now, but I'm nowhere near done yet. There's a lot of additional storage space that I need to rescue out of thin air before I can devise a carrying method for every bit of this stuff.

Not a single inch wasted. It's the only mantra going forward.
I'm always trying to stuff more things into my EXT, but it's the weight that concerns me. Have you weighed yours at capacity?
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:44 PM   #7
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My 30' FC has much more storage space that my wife and I will not need,
What a change from previous R Vs.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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Rescue lost storage space

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelGoddard View Post
My 30' FC has much more storage space that my wife and I will not need,
What a change from previous R Vs.


I must have missed a cabinet or compartment someplace...
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:53 AM   #9
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I'm always trying to stuff more things into my EXT, but it's the weight that concerns me. Have you weighed yours at capacity?
I haven't weighed it with all that extra stuff, but we weighed it at the CAT scales on a shorter trip, so we know how much margin we have. We won't exceed it, but we'll be very close to the published GVWR.

I'm more concerned about organizing and stowing everything so that it doesn't look like a bomb went off in the rig. My next project is a small roof carrier that is custom fit to the void space under the leading edge of the solar panels. Fortunately I have three support legs to work with for developing a secure attachment system (side roof rack rails plus the cross-span of 80/20 that frames the panels).
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:47 PM   #10
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One cabinet done

I was sidetracked for about a week, but I brought the AI home today and finished up the wine bottle holders in the cabinet over the sink. One piece of wasted space recovered!

I bought two stackable wine bottle holders at the Container store.They are 4" x 4" x 8" deep. Since the space was 4" wide, they fit perfectly by simply using my bandsaw to remove two small stacking hooks on each piece. The first photo shows them trial fitted.

I soon found that the backs of the holders were too thick and the bottle necks just touched the cabinet door. Some more bandsaw work and the backs were gone. The bottle bottoms are now against a piece of black laminate, against the outer wall. I lined the bottle holders with black boat trailer bunker padding. The bottles do not slide easily on the bunker padding, although there is really no space for the bottles to slide. There is room only for regular-height and regular diameter bottles; wife will have to leave any extra tall or extra fat bottles home or store them elsewhere in the coach.

I have marked the cabinet door where the bottle tops would touch. I will drill partially through the door at those centers with a Forsner bit and then glue round felt pads in line with each bottle.

I wrapped the cabinet door spring with bunker padding, secured with black zip-ties. The top bottle slides in and out just fine past the padded spring.

I might point out that the black spot near the bottom of the cabinet partition is a hole that accepts a pin, inserted from the adjacent cabinet. The pin guarantees that heavy items in the cabinet can not push the door open when under way. It's part of our checklist.

Good morning's work!
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:12 AM   #11
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LOVE the wine rack adaptation.

Here's my wasted space rescue for this week - I sewed a custom carrier out of silver tarp with integrated buckle straps so that I could carry our new inflatable kayak under the leading edge of the solar panel array. The four integrated straps attach to the roof rack's longitudinal bars and also the 80/20 slotted aluminum solar panel frame (two straps apiece). It represents another 3 cubic feet (+/-) of storage space reclaimed out of thin air. Blog post:

ROOF CARRIER FOR THE AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE

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Old 07-23-2017, 07:14 AM   #12
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Great idea, IB, and I hope you are patenting some of these items you create, lest someone else steal your idea and market your original products.

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Old 07-23-2017, 07:32 AM   #13
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Great idea, IB, and I hope you are patenting some of these items you create, lest someone else steal your idea and market your original products.

Maggie
Thanks - I will take that as a compliment.

Last week my husband pitched a fit and declared that I ought to monetize my blog, in the same vein of sentiment. Right now the blog is my gift to like-minded individuals in the spirit of Creative Commons. I use the ideas offered by other people and they use my ideas. Everybody wins. Nobody pays, either directly or indirectly.

Here's the thing: Everything I'm doing is so incredibly custom to the T1N Interstate that I don't think there would be much value in protecting that content even if I wanted to. Other people with other rigs may be able to take my ideas and run with them, adapting them for their own scenarios. But there'd be no way to mass produce anything that I'm developing.

The one practical upside is that, if LB_3 and I ever do decide to go into business for ourselves, our "open source" portfolio would speak for itself. Whatever a potential customer might want done in the way of a Class B modification, they could have confidence in the fact that we WOULD figure out a way to do it.

But as I've noted before, we both have STEM educations and well-paying jobs, so that business development is a distant future possibility at best. Right now, this is all a hobby with a very rewarding practical application.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:16 AM   #14
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It is a compliment, IB...you are very creative and clever with your stitchery.

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Old 07-23-2017, 11:32 AM   #15
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Making money on individual custom ideas is not likely as you have mentioned. You might make something by commercializing your blog. But with so many folks doing it today the money you make will probably require nearly full time effort. My Interstate is also my hobby.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:31 PM   #16
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Ohhhh yeahhhh. We finally got the aft-most chassis void converted for cargo storage, the void space that, in some cases, would be used for a battery box. This is a nice rescue of capacity that would otherwise continue to be lost - it's roughly equivalent to adding an overhead compartment, which in a non-EXT T1N Interstate is a big deal. Details and sourcing in the blog post, as usual:

UNDER CHASSIS CARGO STORAGE FOR THE AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE

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Old 07-30-2017, 08:17 PM   #17
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Nice work IB!
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:50 PM   #18
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So IB! As you recover and fill all this space (which is awesome), are you worried about payload at all, or are those rigs pretty good with that?
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:38 AM   #19
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No. The main things I'm adding on this trip are inflatable kayak, folding bicycle, and chain saw (those things plus their accessories). The kayak package is about 30 pounds; bicycle was intentionally designed to weigh around 20 pounds. Chain saw and gas can probably weigh another 25. Plus I have a bunch of smaller stuff that doesn't weigh very much (boots, Kelly Kettle, outdoor cooking gear, outdoor table top). It's more of a space problem than a weight problem. We will still be under GVWR based on our CAT scale weighing.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:40 AM   #20
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I had wanted to do something really simple and quick to secure our chain saw's gas can, but as soon as my husband suggested this approach as an alternative, I kinda went... oh no, no, no... yyyyeah, we have to do it, because it's JUST TOO CUTE!!! How often do we get to use the word CUTE in a Class B context?? Almost never!


The Yeti cooler had a baby, and it musta been one heck of an auspicious mixed marriage because the young 'un is a military spec jerry can.

More space rescued out of empty air via this hitch carrier expansion project (blog post describing the build process here). Mother and baby are doing fine.

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