Daily Archives: January 20, 2012

How To Pack for a Year Long Road Trip

We are counting down the days now until our 1 year anniversary of being on the road.  When we first left our home in Falls Church, Virginia we were cramming things in around the edges of our completely full Rav4.  For the first week we had to duck and dodge to avoid the avalanche of sh*t that would tumble out every time we opened a door.  A month in we re-evaluated the packing and were able to safely open all of the doors without fear of injury.  However, we were still stacking, restacking, and rearranging boxes on a daily basis.  I’m almost embarrased to admit that it took nine months before we had things arranged in an orderly fashion and had reduced the overall amount of junk so that we had a little visibility out the rear view mirror.  Finally, eleven months on the road and I actually like the way that things are organized.  So finally I am willing to share a few tips and this video tour of our Rav4.

Pulling out of the driveway of our old house

A few packing tips for the extra long road trip:

  • Arrange your belongings by how often you will use the item; organize items together that you will use together (i.e. kitchen box, “office”, and medicine cabinet).
  • Pack in a smaller number of larger containers (a reasonable weight and size to lift daily).  Originally we had our stuff in many many small boxes and bags, these containers just get lost in the jumble and are harder to keep organized.  Now we use crates that fill the whole space.
  • Pay attention to weight – both trying to reduce overall weight (we collapsed the rear springs on our vehicle right away) and distribute weight evenly and towards the front of the vehicle
  • Modify your vehicle to meet your storage and living needs.  When you are actually going to be living on the road you may need to modify the vehicle itself.  To see the modifications that Jay has made to our Rav4, check out this page.

And now a video tour of how we have our vehicle packed these days: