Everything I own in the PTV!

The first cool morning in several weeks sent me packing. 

Nine storage boxes all in three rows

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.

Sixteen panels altogether

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?

Spike, we're not going today!

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.


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
This entry was posted in Getting Ready To Go, Spike The CoPilot, Tow Vehicle and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Everything I own in the PTV!

  1. Tawny says:

    Hey! I’m glad your “surgery” went so well. I’ll have to tell you about school later. Don’s shop got some new nitrogen thing for tires. He’s really excited about it and I thought it might be something you should look into before you go. He’s out of town for the weekend, so I am copying his facebook post about it in case you are interested. I’m stil hoping we can get together before you leave. I know time is running out.
    “nitrogen tire filling station at Hopewell Athens!! Getting 10 percent better fuel mileage ,better tire life,less likely a chance of a flat,tire monitor system sensor life longer and more.Really sold on this,very skeptical at first but this is a no brainer!!!$20 or $40 with a kick ass road side service!!!”
    Go to gogreenautoclub.com to find out more!!
    (he likes !!!!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I’m not sure I understand what he’s talking about . . . Nitrogen in your tires? $40 road service? I’ll check out the site. If you and Don are excited about it, it’s got to be good!

      I don’t know when we can get together . . . I sure would like to! I have another friend, too, whom I having trouble getting together with. Since when am I so popular. . . huh?

      Email me or text me . . . Remember, if we meet in public, I have to bring my nose.

      • Tawny says:

        I want to start with a disclaimer that I have done no research and have no real knowledge about the nitrogen tire filling station. They just got it in at Don’s shop Friday and he left town Saturday so we have not tried it in our own car yet. From the comments he’s made I think you replace the air in your tires with nitrogen and it’s supposed to increase your gas mileage, make your tires last longer, reduce flats, drive better, it may even drive itself. LOL. I don’t know but Don is really excited about it. I think he’ll be back early this week if you are interested and want to ask someone who actually knows something about it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi Tawny!

          I’m interested. Only thing is . . . as I’m in countdown to leaving, there are a zillion last minute things to do and I can’t get into something new right now. Just to name a few . . . closing on the house, oil change for car, research insurance for trailer, transfer Janie to new owner, prepare for trip, do final cleaning of house, make reservations, program my GPS which I’ve never done before, do my nose treatments (LOL), take care of change of address forms, notify power company, write blog posts, and a lot of other stuff, including trying to see you TODAY!

          Thanks for the info. Maybe at a later date.

          Check your email.

  2. Bill Kelleher says:

    Somebody may have already suggested this, have you thought about using a cargo net over the things in the back ?

    Also I would suggest bungee cords instead of cable tie’s which you have to cut every time you want something.

    Bill Kelleher

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill!

      No, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned a cargo net. I’m getting a little hesitant to buy more things (I know, finally!). Thanks for the idea. I’m not necessarily putting it aside, and I may regret not getting one, somewhere in Alabama!

      I’m hoping once I unload a few boxes into the trailer things won’t be so high up and likely to be tossed about. The white you see on the floor is shelf liner/rug anti-slip and that’s helped a lot

      Two things about bungee cords: They have a little “give” to them (maybe someone else could tighten then better than I.)and I don’t want rattle noises. Also the holes in the grate are not large enough for the cord. . . I guess if I had a super long one it could go all the way around.

      You’re right about the ties having to be cut. At this point, I’m focusing on getting to Texas. Once I have my trailer and equip my kitchen and fill up the closets and cabinets, I’ll probably rearrange the whole shebang in the PTV anyway. I’ve got some bungee cords on standby.

  3. John @ http://hwyfly.blogspot.com/ says:

    The pioneer thing. A great way to end the post. Well done.

  4. Bill Kelleher says:

    I have something for you to check out in your spare time. LOL

    When I read your blog online. The next day when I come back and you have made another post the list of post on the right hand side does not change color showing that I have read that post.

    I read so many different blogs that I need that to know what I have read.

    Thank You

    Bill Kelleher

  5. rvsueandcrew says:

    I don’t have any idea how to fix that. I don’t even know how to figure out how to fix that. It doesn’t look good for it being fixed, does it, Bill.

    I’ll try to find out from WordPress. This blog is obviously from a template, and usually if it ain’t automatically there, it ain’t available.

    Or ….. hmmm …. you could just read this blog so you don’t get confused!

    • Bill Kelleher says:

      Ok, don’t worry about it. I will just click on the headers and make them change color.

      Bill Kelleher

  6. I love reading about how other RVers organize their things. And the photos! It’s where I get many of my ideas, they are already working for someone, so they should work for me. I don’t have rattles in The Palms – there are a couple of things that DID rattle at first, but I wedge them in or wrap them in towels (my little kitchen vases) and with the radio or a CD playing, I don’t hear anything. Those metal gates would be pretty noisy though, the ties are a good solution. You are very organized! 🙂

  7. Kim says:

    Sue, did you order your Casita with the vinyl floor or carpeting? Actually, you know what would be a helpful post? (you can work on it with all your spare time Bill up there alluded to). An entry about your Casita, model, options etc … I always enjoy learning why someone chooses the rig she chooses.

    I’ll say it again – I can’t wait till you hit the road!

    • susan coltrin says:

      Bill, when you log on hit the “refresh” button…on my computer it is the two green arrows going in a circle on the top left hand corner….. It brings up the new blog….Hope this helps…..we gotta keep up with Sue !

      • Bill Kelleher says:

        I am not sure if I can keep up with her. :))

        Bill Kelleher

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Bill . .

          I don’t mean to sound flippant. Let me know if you continue to have problems with keeping track of my posts. I’m not sure I understand what you meant.

          It might be helpful at times to click on the “feed” button on the lower right. That will give you a bunch of posts, showing only the first few lines, not just the title. Then you can quickly see if you’ve read a post or not. Or maybe not if your memory is as bad as mine. I’ve read books three-fourths the way through before I realize I’ve read it all before!

      • Bill Kelleher says:

        I just tried refresh and it didn’t help, Thank anyway. 🙂

        Bill Kelleher

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I ordered the vinyl floor because of the dogs.

      That’s a good idea to write about why I chose certain features (as long as it doesn’t come off as gloating!)

  8. Hi,
    As I read your prepariation for the “big adventure”, I can not help but flash back to our full-time RV departure in September of 2005. We blogged on the website http://www.mytripjournal.com/Garvin . We left Oklahoma for Missouri just as Kitrina hit the Gulf Coast. We decided to try full-timing for three months. If we enjoyed our adventure, we would travel on. Five years later, we were still on the road. We now blog on http://www.garvinwanderlust.blogspot.com and are going to go for it again as soon as we sell out again and hit the road.

    Herb and Cindy

  9. Reine says:

    I suggest that you check with the hardware store for some double sided VELCRO strips like are used for cable management. One side is the hooks and the other is the loops. Ifr you thread one strip through the grate, you could fasten and unfasten as often as you like and get it as tight as you wish. We bought a roll of about 25 strips for around $5. Each strip is about 6″ x 1/2″. If you want multicolor, they cost more but black or gray works for us. If you need a longer length, you just stick two together.

    Great organization. With the grate, I wouldn’t be as concerned about needing a cargo net but you might want to throw a blanket over the back to discourage movement.

    My guess is that you’ll be moving stuff around for the next several months until you find the system that works best for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I’ll probably switch to velcro once the trip to TX is over. Actually I was given a roll of velcro by some very thoughtful Georgia friends.

      I think I’ll try the blanket idea. Thanks.

  10. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Herb and Cindy,

    Thanks for the links and for wishing us the best . . .

  11. Latte says:

    Being a solo female casita owner with a dog I have been following your blog with interest. As you pack please be careful for security reasons of your personal items. Leave a spot behind your seat for your laptop and purse. Please never leave those items out for anyone to view. Have bottles of water with flip tops for your dogs handy in the front seat with their leashes. I actually was told by a vet to keep my dog on a leash even in the car. I do use a dog seat belt instead but the leash is right beside him for emergencies. I am very excited for you and your new challenges and pray for nothing but wonderful travels and hope to meet you on the road some time soon. Latte

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting name . . . Welcome, Latte!

      I always cover up my laptop when leaving the PTV. I have a container that has an attached lid. I can put water in it and it doesn’t leak. Then whenever I stop the PTV I just open the lid and they can stick their noses in for a drink. It works great.

      I learned the keep-a-leash on when we went to FL because I got tired of hooking and unhooking three leashes! So I got lazy and then …. hmmm … why not leave them on! The only thing is I have to watch that they don’t get caught on something inside the vehicle.

      Thank you for your good wishes. It would be wonderful to meet as I’m sure we have things in common . .. We were both attracted to Casitas, right?

  12. Kathryn says:

    I finally found the comment section. Janie is so light hearted and so sweet. I am glad she is so happy in her new home with her new best friend. I wish I could adapt that quickly and accept change that easily. I think I need a lesson from Janie. Still wish you weren’t going but I understand you must. I do want you to make your heart sing. If you go toward Colorado be sure to call me. That is where Jeff is from. Luv you, Me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathryn!

      Good to see you’re here! I know what you mean… There are days when I think canine living is the way to be. They sure do know how to relax.

      I’m going to make my heart sing. You do the same, dear friend.

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