Packing the Aliner – Part 2

In order to enjoy the Aliner and pack it successfully, you have to think like a backpacker.  There’s not room for “just in case items.”  You can only take what you really need, and you need to maximize usage of the items that you do take.

Think like a backpacker!

One large pan doubles as a frying pan and stew pot. A one quart stainless steel camping pot with folding handles nests inside its 2 quart mate.

I’ve found that one large skillet that can double as a stew pot, and two small nesting stainless steel camping pots are all the cookware I need.   We also have the little Weber gas grill for steaks and hamburgers, grilled veggies, etc.

aliner kitchen storage

Shows counter when we are camping, and then where we store the countertop items when the trailer is folded down for travel.

Kitchen countertop items are stowed in the sink and on the bed for travel.  Paper plates and plastic utensils are stored in the microwave.

Blankets and sheets are stored behind the pillows on the bed.

clothes storage under bed

Clothes are stored in baskets underneath the beds

Clothes are kept in baskets underneath the beds for easy access, and underwear and toiletries go in the little 3 drawer chest.  Shoes hide in a cubbyhole in front of the converter.  The electric heater by Ron’s clothes basket hides a tray of toilet chemicals.

3 drawer chest

The little drawer unit is for underwear and toiletries

A propane catalytic heater and laundry supplies, along with a plastic drawer unit for first aid supplies, water filter, duct tape, etc. all go in the rear of the camper by the little drawer unit.  Behind that are setup items like the stabilizer jacks crank, adapters, a tire repair kit, a small manual pump, etc.

Aliner linen closet

Storage for wash clothes, hand towels, and TP behind shower

Our linen closet is the long, narrow cubbyhole behind the shower.  We keep wash cloths, hand towels (used instead of bath towels), spare toilet paper in the back, and the roll in use up front.

Odds and ends like scissors, paper, pens, glue, small tools, clothes pins, needle and thread, etc. are also easily accessible in a tiny plastic drawer unit by my clothes drawer.

Finally, the TV tray is bungied to the chest for travel.  That keeps it from flying around, and also keeps the drawers from coming open.

We could use the shower for storage if needed.  But I don’t like having to drag things out of it if we stop for a bathroom break.  I like to be able to lift the wall, slide the latch, and have it instantly accessible.   So we just don’t bring items that would need to be kept in there.

Properly packed and kept neat, the little Aliner seems a lot bigger than it is.  With its high ceilings, skylights and windows, it can feel really spacious.  But if you let it get cluttered,  it will feel cramped and claustrophobic.

(See also previous post on packing the pantry.)

Aliner bathroom folded

The shower is available for storage while in transit if needed.

shoe storage

Shoe storage in front of converter

more storage in rear

More storage in rear

table bungied for travel

Table bungied to drawer unit for travel

Packing the Aliner Pantry

I have heard people complain that they are only able to pack 3 or 4 days worth of food in their Aliners.  So I thought I’d share some of my secrets of easily packing food for a week or more.

Packing the Aliner Pantry

Aliner pantry drawers packed in house then brought out to camper

I use plastic drawer units from Walmart, and have one drawer for each type of food.  I pack them inside the house, then carry them out to the camper, ready to slide into the drawer unit under the cupboard.

Aliner pantry drawers

One drawer for each category of food

There is one drawer for canned meats and hearty soups.  One drawer is for spices, one for starchy side dishes like grits, rice, instant potatoes and dehydrated potato dishes (scalloped potatoes), couscous, etc., and one for canned vegetables.

There is also a drawer for our supplements, and a plastic basket that sets on top with cooking oil, flour, corn meal, hush puppy mix, honey, salt, and whatever odds and ends I can stuff into it.

One week's worth of meat in Aliner freezer

I can easily get one week's meat for the two of us in the tiny freezer. If space gets tight, I take the meat out of its original wrapping and put it in zip lock freezer bags.

The freezer easily holds a week’s worth of meat for us.

Aliner refrigerator door with most of the essentials

I still need to add more bottled water to the door shelves

The refrigerator door holds mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressing, juices, small bottles of milk, pickles, etc.  It’s not completely packed in this picture.  Will add another picture later.

Also I have discovered a way to keep fresh vegetables fresh for a very long time in the refrigerator.  I originally stumbled upon it while trying to keep my vegetables from freezing.  First, I bought a refrigerator fan that keeps the cold air from settling and creating cold and warm pockets of air inside.  Next, I wrap the vegetables in a paper towel, then wrap them in bubble wrap and tape them shut.

The way it extends shelf life is amazing.  I have kept iceberg lettuce for 5 weeks like that, and when I unwrapped it, it looked as crisp and fresh as the day I packed it.

I took a photo, but it turned out fuzzy.  So when I get better pictures I will post them.

We keep most of our sodas and drinking water in a cooler in the back of the truck.  If we have room in the refrigerator, we also keep some handy in there, too.

Next time I’ll show you how I make the most of the rest of the space in the Aliner.

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