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Old 11-05-2014, 04:12 AM   #1
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Organizing our Basement

We will be taking delivery of our new 343RL Montana High Country. About the only exterior storage is the basement. As we're new to owning a 5th wheel, I'd be interested in seeing or knowing how best to organize the space I have. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:46 AM   #2
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It's been my experience that no matter how organized I think I am, I have to haul everything out and reorganize at least once a year anyway.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:50 AM   #3
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I hear you on that one. In our TT, I had several exterior compartments all of which were somewhat different, and would allow for different sizes of storage material. Now....with just one compartment, I can see, it may be more difficult. Any and all help would be appreciated. Maybe even photo's, etc. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:50 AM   #4
Capt Kidd
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get a pull out shelf unit. It pulls out to either side about 2/3 of the way.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:08 AM   #5
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Dave, I have several larger Rubbermade containers that are stackable. I have several smaller containers that will stack on top of the larger containers. (1 large with 2 small on top of it.)

I try and put similar stuff in a container. IE: all my cable/coax are in one small container, All my electrical cords/adapters in a large container except the 50A cord, it is loose. The 50A extension cord is in it's own large container. All sewer stuff is in a large container. The water hoses, regulator, filter, etc are in a "milk crate?" that sits on top of a large container with the sewer stuff in.

You always have some stuff that is just loose. The Ice Maker is just in there by the right door so you can use it where it sits. The case of bourbon fit's somewhere, the battery charger finds a home on top of one of the small containers. The 2 small soft bags that have all the ratchet straps, bungie cords, chain/locks etc are also stacked on top of a small container. (I almost always double tow with either the RZR or golf cart behind the Montie on a 6x10 trailer)

The 4 folding outside chairs are on right side so you can just reach in from the patio and get them. The Dish Tailgater is next to the ice maker. The spare Ice chest is next to the Tailgater and provides a good home for a couple cases of your favorite ammo.

The biggest thing is to try and use similar size containers that are stackable.

The front compartment varies with each trip, this winter I have a smoker, small gas grill and a small charcoal grill up front. My 6gal bucket with wash supplies, the container with nails and stakes for the carpet, the stake hammer, the fire ant spray bottle and bulk insect killer, a 20# LP tank for the grill and a 16# bag of charcoal. The folding grill table and boards for it. I also keep my small container for eternal bond tape and roller up front.

Maybe this is why I have the pin weight I have??????


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Old 11-05-2014, 08:18 AM   #6
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Was not a big fan of the pull out shelf myself ,we had it on our old Big Sky and it just took up to much room and it was HEAVY for very little gain and it made it hard to get to things on the side of the shelf, like was said before Rubbermaid containers and hooks on the side walls to hold brooms ,wash wands etc...
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:02 AM   #7
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I buolt shelving to accommodate the items that needed to be stored. Everything is accessible.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:51 AM   #8
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I used the black wire shelving that you can get at Lowes. I used only one half of the poles and the height was perfect. It gaves me enough room for two shelves, full width of the basement (4 feet) with enough room on the end for a fold down table and other flat stuff. I used plastic bins for like items that fit right onto the shelves and can fit a variety of tool boxes and my satellite dome. This arrangement is run down the middle of the basement. In the entry side I can put my folding chairs, outside carpet and other things in front of the shelves. On the service side I have room for plastic bins containing the power cords, sewer stuff and fresh water hoses.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:04 AM   #9
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If you still have a stick house here's what we did. We took everything we thought we would want to put in there and laid it all out on the floor in our garage. We measured the space in the basement and then went about finding things that would hold what we wanted and fit the space available. We used a couple of footlocker style plastic tubs with wheels on one end from Walmart, a couple of rubbermaid containers, four stanley tool boxes that have see thru lids and places for small items, a large and a small plastic tool box, a waste basket and then store stuff like the chairs and the compressor in the extra spaces. We used this approach because each year we change it a little and those type of storage containers are readily available in many sizes and don't cost a lot. Once a year, usually in the summer, we pull it all out and rearrange it a little differently as we home in on the perfect setup for us.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:05 PM   #10
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Jim, obviously, it is the case of your favorite ammo that causes the tongue weight! The one box of 200 rounds of S & W .40 I have must weigh 8 or 10 pounds, it seems! With that in the range bag along with the 5 1/4" M&P, the three 15 round magazines and other shooting supplies, it gets pretty hefty!! But, that rides in the cab with me at arms reach!
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:45 PM   #11
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After you get loaded and after using your Montana for a year, empty the basement. You'll be surprised at what you don't need. I do that once a year, and get rid of the stuff I don't need or use.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:37 PM   #12
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Well, we know MIMF isn't in California!

My basement is a disaster 50% of the time. I use plastic tubs for most stuff but there's always room to put "that" in there which starts the road to a big ol mess. One week i have it all clean and organized then something needs to put down there temporarily and before you know it i'm pulling everything out to organize.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
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After making sure the small refrigerator and wall mounted TV would fit, then we just organized with large plastic tubs. I probably empty it out and move stuff around about every 2 or 3 months.
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:06 PM   #14
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Good information. We do the same thing with the plastic tubs. Tubs are see through so we are able to see what is inside. We put the tubs in the middle and on the right side we put are lawn chairs and also my tool box on the right side for easy access. On the left side we have one tub for sewer hoses and one tub for the water hook up. One tub for electrical and cable stuff. One tub has light rope and decorations that we might put out. One tub has chemicals, like black tank additives and different cleaners. In the front compartment we have the propane barbecue and a gal bottle of propane, we also keep the automatic satellite, keep the mat and also some extra chairs. We also carry brooms and brush clippers in between the front wall and the tubs. Nice thing about the tubs is they are easy to remove. I could empty the basement in about 2 mins.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:39 PM   #15
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My garage is a work in progress. One thing I did was drill two 1/4" holes through the front wall of the garage, one about halfway across, and the other right next to the door. I put eye-hooks through the holes and secured with nuts. Now I can use a ratcheting strap to hold my tables and recliners on edge, saving space for other stuff. I'm considering going the tub route, too.

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Old 11-06-2014, 09:52 AM   #16
Artemus Gordon
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I too organized mine basement by using clear plastic containers, that fit our basement opening. I said fit, because first box I bought would not fit opening. I organized by category and labeled the boxs. Spares, elect, plumbing etc. I then made a list of all my stuff! It's was a pain to do. Each spare, plumbing items, types of battery's etc. On each box I put a copy of that box's contents, taped on box. I keep master list on my IPad with each boxes location. Sounds anal? Yes, but I keep buying things I already hand in the RV. Broken light covers, wiring connectors, hose's etc. It all ads up over time! This way I just look at list. I also replace what ever I use. Sue keeps post-it notes and pen at each compartment door. Also have lists in trailer drawers. We had four wine bottle openers ( perhaps that's indicative of amother problem)?

Was lots of work for one day. But it's easy to keep up, and I don't buy things I do not need, thus saving tons of money!
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:54 PM   #17
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I have built a plywood divider length wise down the center of the compartment on our 2014 3402rl. Then on curb side I put a shelf at the height that I can put rubbermaid containers under. All of the plywood is covered with felt carpet top and bottom. They are mounted with self tapping screws and aluminum angle to support the shelves. Top of shelf is used for carpet and lawn chairs. Front top corner of divider is cut out so fishing poles run across the front of the compartment and lenght is not a problem. Street side of the compartment is used to carry small fire pit, propane tank, and sewer hoses in rubbermaid container. I mounted adjustable boards for garage hooks of varying size along with a storage basket that attach on the boards. These can be purchased at both lowes and Home Depot.

Front compartment is divided in half with upright plywood again covered with felt carpet. curb side compartment is then divided in half with shelf again mounted with aluminum angle and self tapping screws. Bottom carries inflatable kayak, and accessories, top of shelf has assortment of storage items. This leaves the battery side of the compartment open. I plan to install 4 6 volt batteries in the future and an additional shelf may be required.

The shelving allows me to better organize the rubbermaid compartments and access them without unloading everything to get to the bottom items. So far this is working well for me.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:17 PM   #18
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We don't full / part time, but we carry quite a bit of "lake stuff". We used to stack tables, chairs, ladder, what have you in a pile separated by towels to keep stuff from scuffing ... always needed the thing on the bottom. I made this holder out of carpet covered 2X2's and 1" dowel rod. Easy to slide stuff in and out and each is held to a dowel by a Velcro strap. Like others mentioned, tubs and boxes are in use on the curb side. We never did like the big slide out trays ... heavy and mounting hardware leaves odd sized space that is hard to utilize. Curb side photo was taken prior to installing upright rack.

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Old 11-06-2014, 07:53 PM   #19
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Diesel guy! You are one clever dude! I am impressed!!!
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:01 AM   #20
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We started with eight of the large plastic steamer trunks with metal latches from Wally World. They fit conveniently in the basement. After gaining some experience we learned that we were hauling around a lot of stuff that we didn't need. We are now down to four. We have also started using stackable plastic containers of various sizes to organize stuff inside. They are the kind with hinged handles that snap over the lid. We've found that those with only a snap on lid have a tendency to pop off while traveling, particularly if over filled.
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