Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stuffing My Breasts

Enlarging the RV...

I think today marks 2 years since I set out traveling across state lines in my little old motorhome.   Everything I own fits in 27 feet. I thought it was 28 feet, when I bought it, but the manufacturer lists it at 27. It measures 28 bumper to bumper. More or less. I took the former owner's  word for it. 

While workamping, I try to save up current funds for future repairs, upgrades and traveling. This is easier said than done.

It's kin to  learning to juggle with  raw eggs (real messy at times!)

One thing I've learned about living efficiently is planning ahead for the whole year. That's very scary. But my monthly income is wildly erratic, so it makes sense to plan around the whole year.  

So when I thought I was ahead of the game enough to take a traveling break between workamping plus make a few repairs and upgrades, the motorhome threw a new monkey wrench at me. The overhead leaks which are now more or less completed. It doesn't leak anymore, but there is cosmetic work to finish.

I had just spent money on enlarging the RV because it was in great shape otherwise, so I felt like I was caught with my pants down. 


Yes, I said enlarge the RV!  Tee hee hee...

Yepper!  I added a cargo carrier and a toy box. No more torture from the basement, hunting down the little stuff that runs and hides in the deep dark far flung corners. 

Let me explain...

That basement door was designed by an anorexic engineer who never planned to carry a thing but 7 foot long boards in the basement. Since the basement goes across the width of the motorhome, things that are smaller than 7 feet, wiggle themselves until they are in the farthest corner so it's impossible to reach them. 

I've tried to stick my upper body into the tiny basement door so I can reach stuff stored inside the basement that have slid into no-man's land.  But I am a female. Females have breasts. Apparently my upper body will not fit into that tiny space unless I have a double mastectomy (which for obvious reasons I am fervently avoiding).  However if I manage to lose enough weight to only topple the scales at 70 pounds or so, I could probably fit my upper body through that tiny door. 

By then I'm bound to be too weak to even care anymore...

Just so you know, I've tried stuffing my breasts into a teeny tiny jogging bra that is supposed to flatten those things out so you look like a man-child. I still can't fit in the diminutive door because when I bend over in that oh-so-tight jogging bra, I pass right out from lack of oxygen. 

This is why I smell like dog breath. Harley licks my silly face trying to revive me. 

And you thought your life was complicated...

So I tried training the 6 pound dog to go in there and push things back out at me. He found his various toys in the far recesses, brought those out with great glee then refused to return inside until I played toss the ball 182 times with him. 

The next time I shoved him in there with a "fetch" command, he merely found a cozy dark corner to nap in. What a comedian. 

Mostly the big stuff I can retrieve from the basement, it's just the little stuff that teases me. The big stuff can only slide so far, but little things can dig a hole and hide in there for months. 

For months I have studied hitch mounted cargo carriers at Amazon.  They come in all different sizes, shapes, styles and prices. I finally settled on the Curt Aluminum Cargo Carrier with Folding Shank.  This means it will fold up vertically against the back of the wheel estate.  It can carry up to 500 pounds. 

This picture might be confusing. The cargo carrier is folded up, but what's that junk on the side hanging off the ladder?  Well, I bought a cheap rack that fits on the ladder that is advertised as a chair or bike rack.  I hung it real low on the ladder, then strapped my wet muddy outdoor mats on it. When I broke camp, it was rainy, so that is how they ended up strapped out there instead of inside. I wasn't real happy with this method. I was looking more like a gypsy with too much stuff. 

Being a sailor, I was intrigued with the aluminum carrier over the steel ones, because aluminum is lighter than steel and doesn't rust. So there is no painting to be done down the road. Since I am lazy this is a huge plus. 

After trying it out for a few days, when I was shuffling between camp spots, it was super handy to throw stuff on the cargo carrier then move. But what I really needed it for was all the tiny stuff, so the big stuff (outdoor table, assorted chairs, canopy, patio mat) could all continue to live in the basement through that tiny door.  Besides, if I use the cargo carrier for big stuff, I have to tie it down 19 ways to make sure it doesn't fly off the back while I am bouncing the road. 

So I bought a toy box then strapped that down to the cargo carrier. It's a heavy duty all weather box with a built-in hasp for a lock. 

So what's in that big toy box?  Well, it's got all the little stuff now such as dog toys,  bungee cords, ropes, clothes line, dog tether, table cloth, bar-b-q tools, one of my tool boxes, 40 feet of outdoor lights, tent stakes for the patio mat, plus my old awning which I plan to cut up into a picnic table cloth and so on.  There is still plenty of room left over. 

I look at the ends of the cargo carrier and think some firewood would be nice to have now and then. Sometimes in certain campgrounds, the weather is perfect for fires but many campgrounds require you to bring your own wood or buy theirs. Some will let you scavenge the woods others will not. But typically somebody is selling firewood near a campground. Now I have room to enjoy some too. 

So this is how you enlarge a motorhome...


  1. Great, I'm still laughing. I get the storage thing. I have lost lots of stuff, including two electric screwdrivers, that I know are somewhere in the motorhome :)

  2. I had a 5th wheel that had a huge storage space but it wasn't a pass through. Things that went in first were never accessible unless I took everything else out. I put a lot of the little items in big plastic storage tubs, but I like your carrier better than any other idea.

  3. Cargo carriers with trunks on them are nice. That's what I do. I see you have the same problem as I do. The spare tire! I'd have some kind of built in carrier that is hard sided, but noooo, can't because of the spare tire. So I use my carrier with my dogs' pens on it, and the plastic bin (or two) for other items.
    Now for basement storage, I have very little...but mine is so small that no need to wear sports bras to pass out. Because only your arms can fit in there.

    Leaks! Oh leaks! Oh blasted leaks!! I'll blog about mine tomorrow. But I discovered mine are coming from the clearance lights NOT the window like I was thinking!

  4. Now you need to find a mattress to fit in the basement storage area and turn it in to a "guest bed" for those guests who snore too loud. :)

    Or, you can invest in those grabber reaching aid things if you still want to use it for storage. But, then you'd have to find a place to store the grabber where it would stay within reach!

  5. I like your storage solution! We have a 37' Motorhome with the big basement doors and although there's a lot of storage, they aren't all available for storage - one has the propane tank, one has the fresh water, another the waste water outlets and some are under the slide outs so they are really hard to get to unless you remember to unload what you want before opening the slides. We tow our car with us and sometimes use the car to store some stuff. We'd love to go full timing but till we do, I enjoy the trip through your eyes. I love your blog! We'll be going in the MH for most of the summer and I'm really looking forward to it. I've learned so much from you - I'm sure I'll put that knowledge to good use! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  6. Ah, living and storing things in a small space is good discipline, for the soul as well as the pocketbook, forcing one to keep only what i really needed. Have you considered some sort of container that would fit inside the storage area and could be pulled out?

    Hope all is well.


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