Packing the car for camping

(13 Posts)
HexBramble Fri 03-Jul-15 10:50:45

DH's style is to place it all in like a jigsaw, and the priority is space saving. Any spaces he creates with his über efficient placing of items, is stuffed with random and pointless things like free weights and dumb bells (I tell no lie), umpteen pairs of running shoes for when he pisses off for his usual mammoth runs in the sweltering heat and school books for marking - Yes, a Year 11, your coursework goes all the way around France in the summer.

My priority is vastly different and this year I am getting my own way. DH is away until the very last day before we travel to France, so I am packing the van. Yesssssss!

We are going several overnight stops offs in Municipal campsites before arriving to Provence, so we need to pack and unpack efficiently. I have a T5 so a big boot, but I want to be able to open the boot and reach for the tent straight away instead of unloading half a ton of crap first.

Please oh, wise camping MN'ers, advise me on how to best load up my van. I need a plan before DH starts pontificating on what random useless shite he can take to France with him.

jollyjester Fri 03-Jul-15 11:28:41

I have nothing useful to tell you I just wanted to let you know I had a good giggle at school books and dumb bells!

HexBramble Fri 03-Jul-15 13:54:47

Oh jolly jester, I kid you not. This is a mere tip of the iceberg.

He has even been known to take the dyson so that he can Hoover the tent carpet.

Defo a case of LTB.

Bahahaha school books and dumb bells confused Amazing!

I have always packed our car up for camping, we do large items first, then squeeze small bits around them. For you I'd say line the bottom with all your bedding clothing, then tent front and centre and pack the books and bells behind the tent.

The Dyson?? Oh my goodness I'm on the floor (the well hoovered tent floor wink) gringrin

beachyhead Fri 03-Jul-15 14:03:14

I pack everything in Bags for Life. When packed out, they act like cubes, so you can stack in the boot like building blocks. Each person gets one Bag for Life for clothes, there's a shared one for towels, one for coats etc. If you are stopping, I'd have an overnight Bag for Life with pj's etc.

AwkwardAnnie Fri 03-Jul-15 18:14:23

I tend to pack like your husband, but without the odd items. DH dumps everything in the boot, then puts the rest on the pavement, then I empty it all out and fit it all in the boot. We've an Auris, so a big boot but not huge and I have having anything but very soft things inside the car.

I've found that as the bag seats are sloped that if you put the tent in first you waste loads of space behind it. Instead the tent still goes in first (as it's biggest) but I put it as close to the door as I can then everything goes behind it, filling in all gaps as I go.

I got my Mum to make us a stuff bag each for clothes which can be shoved into tiny gaps. We also take stacking boxes which fold flat so we can store things tidily when we get to the campsite.

Now I just need to figure out a way of managing to get the essentials we need into the tent as well as luxuries... like some camping chairs and a table! After a long day at the beach I don't really want to spend the evening sat on the floor.

profpoopsnagle Fri 03-Jul-15 22:25:10

You see, when we pack the car to leave, everything is beautifully packed in boxes and the right places. I have been known to fit jars of marmite and small cereal boxes in the centre of our folding table. As the trip goes on and we strike/pack/repack/pitch/etc it becomes more of a squeeze anything-in-anyspace-anywhere.

I think (especially so if you are overnighting and multi-pitching) the trick is to pack in boxes or soft bags- otherwise you are forever too-ing and fro-ing. We have an overnight on the ferry so always do an overnight bag for that.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 03-Jul-15 23:34:53

hmmm no help here really except that I too pack a dyson, albeit a small hand held one........

Springcleanish Sat 04-Jul-15 08:15:59

Our plan was,
Clothes organised in outfits in separate carrier bags or stuff sacks, so each night just pull out a bag for next day.
Tent at front of boot so easy to get out.
Decide if you will use full camping kit for overnight stops. We packed two pop up tents for overnights as easier than unpacking and saved time.
If you have a roof box use that for camping chairs.
Definitely no dyson!

poocatcherchampion Mon 06-Jul-15 21:00:40

You have to packing reverse order of need if you are stopping en route. Ideally tent at front, then bedding, then kitchen/food stuffs, then overnight and morning clothes. When we travelled around as a couple with no children we kept that lot in the boot and then rest of clothes on seat separately and just sorted more stuff out as required. It is very disheartening loading And unloading crap loads of stuff for no reason.

Boobyandthebeads67 Wed 08-Jul-15 17:58:06

We have the added bonus of having a roof box so the large but lighter items ie pillows, clothing, toilet etc. goes in there. The tent, food and other equipment then goes in the boot of our C3 picasso. We are generally full to bursting though.

ShyGirlie Fri 10-Jul-15 11:12:58

i also bring a dyson!! blush (small, hand held type!)

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