Ideas on securing things in the van.

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 17:05
ThreadID: 100244 Views:2499 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Hi everyone,

This has probably been asked many of times but if you could help me out that would be great. We are first time travelers, leaving in June and just need some experienced travelers personal preference, ideas & tips on how to secure things in kitchen cupboards,fridge/freezer,shower & toilet etc.

We have melamine plates and cups, mostly plastic utensils etc.


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Reply By: baz&pud (tassie) - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 17:55

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 17:55
G'day Roffey Family,
I don't know if you have single axel or tandem suspension, don't have any experience with single as all our vans have been tandem axel.
In many years of travel we have just placed our items in the cupboards/draws on non slip rubber stuff and every thing has been fine.
In regard to the fridge, just put the goodies in, you will be surprised how little movement there is.
Go caravaning, life is so much shorter than death.

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Follow Up By: ROFFEY FAMILY - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 18:18

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 18:18
Thanks for the reply Baz, we have a tandem axel. :-)
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Reply By: Member-George (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 18:53

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 18:53
Just make sure you have very secure tops on bottles and jars, they have a tendency to come undone with the vibration. No fun having a honey jar fall over and spill throughout your cupboard. tape them up if necessary. Cheers
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 18:56

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 18:56
As above basically line your shelves with the bubbly rubber/plastic liner.

We use flat plastic trays with low sides for small items like spices etc.

Your fridge is probably the biggest issue. We try to cushion the contents with an old towel or similar. It stops things moving around inside so much.

We also found that the back of the van seems to be the roughest ride, so pack plates etc in cupboards above the wheels.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 20:09

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 20:09
Hi guys,

Like the two previous posters, going over roads with some corrugations, the fridge contents came to grief the most. The shelves on the doors came loose and it is amazing how much mess a couple of glass jars, one with jam and the other with pickles, can make (:o((
Other than that those rubber mats, as previously mentioned, are the go between any breakable crockery or whatever. We even went to the extent of lifting the microwave glass turntable and putting some under that while travelling. We put a short occy strap (spelling??) around the shower head, which in our van is a removable item to stop it swinging around.
If the roads you intend travelling are a bit rough it may be an idea to give some thought to isolating canned items so that they don't rattle together and wear holes in each other.
Especially the

AnswerID: 503578

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 20:11

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 20:11
One thing I forgot to mention, no glass jars anymore, everything that came in glass goes into plastic.

Happy and safe travels

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Reply By: Stretchlizard2 - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 20:35

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 20:35
Hi Natasha
Make sure your microwave plate is well wrapped.
Assume that all liquids in bottles (glass, cardboard or plastic) will break at some point. Try to house the liquid containers in cut down plastic soft drink or other containers. (Look closely at sauces, honey, jam, milk etc. Assume that the harder it would be to clean up - the more likely it will be to spill. Liquid soap, even though a "clean" product, is hard to clean up after a spill)
Pressure pack Olive Oil cannot spill unless the lid is dislodged and something presses on the spray button.
Given enough time, soft drink cans (and even beer cans) will wear through their base on long enough trips if you do not drink fast enough. Store them on their strong tops or in stubby coolers for each, or in the mesh protector that the fruit departments use for their big fruit varieties.
Try and make sure that fridge shelves and door shelves are packed fully and do not allow items to roll/bounce around. Things that will leak or burst are always on the top shelf to make sure the whole contents of the fridge gets covered.
We store all our dry goods in empty 1kg Goulburn Valley plastic fruit containers and use the same containers in the pantry at home so the stuff does not go off between uses.
Tins stored for long times or that get damp, will lose their labels.

Basically you need to keep remembering that Murphy's Law says that the worst and messiest stuff will spill at the most inconvenient time.

But remember, it is always fun while we are out there.

Cheers Stretchlizard
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Follow Up By: Member - John L (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 22:24

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 22:24
Eggs and cranberry sauce mixed together set like concrete!
I leave eggs in carton & put carton in sink now.
Our camper trailer always 'unscrewed' the cinnamon - amazing how far and into what crannies the spice can go! Still made the camper smell nice.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 22:45

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 22:45
As per the replies above.

Additionally, for the fridge we found small storage boxes that fit snugly side-by-side on the shelves and also snugly between the shelves. We discarded the lids. We fill these boxes with our stuff, sorted appropriately and can fit far more in the fridge than we could previously.

A full fridge is more efficient once everything has cooled down than a part empty one and the boxes allow more stuff. Additionally, when we open the door not all the cold flows out, it is retained to a certain extent by the "boxes of cold". AND if something breaks or leaks the mess is confined to one box.

Where possible empty glass jars of stuff into plastic containers to save weight.

Round containers are a waste of space. Try to find square or rectangular stackable containers. We save and use take-away food containers to good effect for storage and left-overs.

Depending on your cupboards and storage and what you've already bought, square melamine plates waste less space than round ones. We use that non-slip stuff under and between plates to stop them sliding around (we do a lot of off-road).

BUT we like glass glasses for wine and china mugs for coffee - no melamine there (both wrapped in non-slip stuff for transit).

We put sauces and other liquids in those kids pop top juice packs with the click-top screw-on sealable sipper lids.

Plastic cooking utensils, Tefal nesting saucepans with removable handle.

You'll find ways to innovate. Glad to see you're getting out there - you'll love it.


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Reply By: glids - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 09:35

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 09:35
A couple of more tips...

Some fridge doors do not lock securely when closed. Ours has a rotary clip on top that seems to work fine, but our daughter's fridge (later model) doesn't have the clip and the so-called locking clip on her fridge is not secure. Her door came open on one trip and made a real mess. I made a short length of broom handle with rubber walking-stick feet each end to jam between the fridge door and an opposite cupboard.

An easy method of filling up space if you don't want things moving around is to use the bladder out of 10L water casks. Blow them up to whatever size you need to fit in the space, or let air out as necessary. They can be stored flat if all air is expelled.

Safe travels,
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 09:57

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 09:57
Love the bladder idea, effective and so simple.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:44

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:44
You beat me too it - we use empty wine cask bladders and pack them in cupboards and the fridge - deflate when not on the move , the weigh bugger all.

Do not overload the shelves on the fridge door with heavy items - ie two litre milk bottle etc - you will break the plastic shelving if running on corrugations.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mary W NW VIC - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 19:56

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 19:56
Have successfully used the bladder idea on CSR.Keeps everything snug eggs included .Easy to adjust to daily needs.A real winner
"Some people walk in the rain,others just get wet."

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