The first cool morning in several weeks sent me packing.
I want to show you how I’m filling up the Perfect Tow Vehicle, which may be of interest to future full-timers. Or not.
The photo shows the bottom layer of nine storage boxes. The row directly behind the seat, which the inflatable canoe rests upon, contains the heaviest items. As you go toward the rear, the contents of boxes are lighter.
I put a short storage box in front of the rear air conditioning vent. I’ll try to keep the vent clear by having the ladder extend over that area. These boxes make a flat platform for the next layer.
Some, but surely not all, of the items for the second layer are: ladder, two small folding tables, camp chair, patio rug, vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies, long-handled tools, canoe paddles, air bed, garden hose(?), extension cord, sewer hose, foot stool, gas container, laundry baskets with miscellaneous items, a small box of books (field guides mostly), bag of dog food, canned goods, and bottled water. In addition to my things, the PTV will carry some kitchenware, like heavy casserole dishes, and a box of keepsakes and family photos that I will drop off at my sister Pauline’s house in Mississippi on the way to Texas. (More about Pauline in an upcoming post!)
I’m trying to keep the weight in front of the rear wheels.
One of the heavy items is the dog exercise pen. When the sixteen accordion panels are folded together, all that metal adds up to considerable weight. Plus it’s a potential source of annoying clanking as we go down the road. What to do? Wrapping in a blanket is dumb.
There has to be a better way, and today I found it!
Cable ties! Ooooh, I love ‘em!
First I bound all the panels together with four ties, so tightly that it feels like one piece. Then I placed it behind the passenger seat and in front of the metal grate that’s bolted to the floor and the ceiling. (Remember this is a cargo van.)
Next I lashed the pen to the grate with more ties. It uses an odd space and is fastened so securely I defy it to make any jingle-jangle on the road! Hanging from a hook is a tote bag of leashes, harnesses, rawhide bones, dog dishes, poop bags, etc.
Isn’t this fascinating?
On the other side is another grate. (Oh boy, there’s more!) Between it and the back of the driver’s seat, I put my anti-gravity lounger, another heavy item. Again cable ties secure it so tightly it cannot move.
Hanging from a hook in the grate is the PTV’s tote bag. This holds cleaning and protectorant wipes, paper towels, car wash, wax, wheel cleaner, scrubber sponge, touch-up paint, wisk broom, fix-a-flat, engine oil, etc.
Tote bags will hang from the other sides of the grates with miscellaneous items.
Helloooo! Are you still here?
Between the front seats I’ll put a little cooler of snacks and drinks, my laptop, and purse. In front of the passenger seat I’ll place my overnight bag and a bag of linens or anything that can withstand being trampled by Bridget and Spike.
Lastly, the bench seat and the floor directly in front and underneath it are reserved for the crew!
Sure, my gas mileage will be terrible.
I can always do the pioneer thing . . .
Toss out stuff alongside the road as we journey westward to start our new life on the frontier!
My camera is lousy, hence the fuzzy photos. It couldn’t be the camera person!
Also any delay in responding to comments is due to me using up my air card. I’m writing this at McDonald’s for the free WiFI. Once I leave here, I’ll go home and have the bends.