Packing for the road

By: Tony Allsop, Photography by: Denyse Allsop

Taking too many clothes on a long trip is a common mistake of inexperienced (and some experienced!) RVers.

Packing for the road
The clear plastic zippered bags in which blankets, doonas and mattress toppers are sold are ideal for storing clothes

If your trip will include some very hot and very cold weather, layering seems to be the only way to go. As with all our travelling gear, we try to make as many items of clothing as possible do "double duty"; tank tops and t-shirts which are ideal to wear with shorts in summer conditions are fine to wear under long sleeve shirts in cold weather. The leggings that many women like to wear out in the evening give extra warmth under jeans or slacks when needed.

Most RVers live in very casual clothes and the industrial washing machines in caravan parks are not very kind to your threads, so best to leave your "good" garb at home.

Don't forget to reverse the hooks on hangers in the hanging locker to stop clothes falling down when travelling.

We fold and stow unneeded clothing under the bed, rather than have bulging cupboards. The clear plastic zippered bags in which blankets, doonas and mattress toppers are sold are ideal for this purpose because of the wide opening, and the transparent walls allow you to see the contents clearly. Clothes can most often be removed or put in without the need to pull out the whole bag.

While not the height of style, flannelette shirts and trakkie-daks are ideal for lounging in the van on cool evenings, and we keep our feet warm with knitted sockettes. Because they take so little looking after and don't take up much room, all these certainly deserve a place.

Shoes take up a significant amount of room for a couple. Sandals with non-slip soles are great for general exploring and shopping and some light bush walking, but decent hiking boots are necessary for longer walks or difficult terrain.

The ubiquitous plastic Croc sandals have proven their value for visits to the amenities and walking in wet or muddy conditions, and casual shoes are handy for wearing in the cooler weather when sandals don't appeal. A light pair of sandals and matching bag are good for women to wear at night. Now you have only to find a locker large enough to store them all, but it may be difficult to manage with fewer shoes that this.

Other essentials are a good waterproof jacket, hat and fly net, cap or visor, and bathers. Gloves and scarves can be added if the weather will demand it.

There is a trend with some RVers to carry only clothes for the current season, and then donate them to a charity shop and buy appropriate clothing for the coming season at the same shop. This seems to work well for some, but the rest of us are quite attached to our own clothes, and at least we will not be caught out by sudden changes in the weather.

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