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Old 03-03-2017, 03:52 AM   #1
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Default StowAway box for the trip or not.

I think I signed up a couple of years ago, but did not post, so hello to all of you.

We are planning a long trip around US with our 144 WB Sprinter. I am very familiar with camping in varies RVs (mainly State, National Forrest, NP campgrounds) west of Rockies but no much on the eastern site. Our Van is less than 20 total length and I would prefer and take with us the StowAway Max box which would increase the length to under 23. So, from the camping perspective will it make any difference. Are you aware of any threshold points between 20 and 23 vehicle lengths common on campgrounds?

Thank you,

George.

This is the album of our DIY RV based on the 2013 Sprinter. https://goo.gl/photos/AZnG63iwMr9u6zLw8
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:31 PM   #2
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I don't think that the Stowaway will matter either way in terms of approved vs. prohibited lengths.

The real question I have is, with your remarkable DIY skills, why would you even choose a Stowaway? My goodness, man, you've based a lot of your build on 80/20, which I've never even seen used before except by my husband and I for our vaulted solar panel frame. A Stowaway is an anti-climax in comparison to that quality of design and execution!


My husband and I considered Stowaway, but with its immediately-defeatable plastic design (5 seconds with a crowbar and it's open) and the fact that it leaks rainwater (per numerous online reviews), we just couldn't stomach the thought of it, especially at that price. So we DIY'd our own solution, which we designed to carry our Yeti cooler (it's secured via 3/8" bar steel hold-down straps running on each side; for our extended remote trips, we really needed to carry extra food on dry ice, hence the rationale for this particular design).
Here below is a picture of it and I have fabrication instructions in these blog posts. Following this pic, I trimmed the sides in DOT C2 reflective tape, and added non-skid step pads. It's low-profile and incredibly secure - and the high quality of it matches the rest of our Class B DIY work, which is very satisfying.

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Old 03-03-2017, 06:53 PM   #3
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Thank you for the compliment and the link. Indeed, your husband has great skills. In our local travel in PNW we rarely use the StowAway but for the long trip it will help to keep the clutter away from the van.

I know that extended length adds to cost to some ferries but these are not large sums. In long term I am planning to have a multi compartment hitch storage but it is low on our priority list.

George.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:49 PM   #4
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You should have no problem.
I also have a stowaway and keep things in it I do not want in the van. Yes it can be broken into, but so can the van or any other thing a thief has a mind to do so.
I don't lock it so maybe it will not get destroyed. I store the generator inside when I'm away, the chairs and other stuff can just stay in there and maybe satisfied a thief.

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That cooler on the back looks cool, but it's a cooler not a storage unit. Not sure what the dogs is doing, but maybe he's sitting in the storage area of your design, but what ever goes there it will interfere with the door ability to open.

My stowaway does not leak and swings out of the way so both back doors can be open without unloading it.

So the choice is up to each of us on what we choose. I don't think you should be so critical of the OP's choice. Yours also has flaws that some of us do not like.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Michael4104 View Post
...
Interblog
That cooler on the back looks cool, but it's a cooler not a storage unit. Not sure what the dogs is doing, but maybe he's sitting in the storage area of your design, but what ever goes there it will interfere with the door ability to open.
....
Dog was in the pic for interest. The Yeti is so rugged that it could be used as a storage unit if someone wished. I use mine to carry whatever I need for any given trip. Maybe food, maybe something else. There have been times on other forums where someone has said "I need a secure box to carry item X - what can I buy?" and I've replied, "Yeti currently makes 21 different shapes and sizes and if you want something more secure than the average plastic hitch box, one of them might work for your item, plus there are other manufacturers like Cabela's that are also making very rugged coolers now."
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:58 PM   #6
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I had a Stowaway Max for a few years, but ended up selling it. It would just allow me to carry a bunch of useless stuff I didn't use anyways.

My advice is to go thru your van and downsize the amount of crap you carry and free up space for what is important.

There are always new fold-up, collapsible and multi-use items. Chairs and grills, in particular, are huge space hogs. There a better alternatives for these items.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:43 PM   #7
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......................

There are always new fold-up, collapsible and multi-use items. Chairs and grills, in particular, are huge space hogs. There a better alternatives for these items.
Indeed, comfortable chairs and the barbeque are the key items for having the extra storage and we use them very often on camping trips. We already reduced sizes of many items like camping stove or lantern but chairs and the barbeque resist shrinking. A couple of years ago, we purchased the very potent Optimus Hiker stove which is sufficient for all outside cooking and it is small, just a little loud.

George.
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:04 AM   #8
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We use ours to store 2 inflatable kayaks, air pump, paddles and misc paddling fishing stuff. I glued a magnet to the side of the box so the door stays open.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:45 AM   #9
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... chairs and the barbeque resist shrinking. ....
Until quite recently, yes they did. But there are now camping chairs that fold down into the size of a foot-long Subway sandwich, and I just tested the UCO Flatpack grill, which proved its Class B worthiness. It doesn't come with a storage case, so I made one using a section of silver tarp. Especially when boondocking, it can be very difficult to get a grill really clean, so the heavy tarp envelope can contain any remaining residue of soot and grease.

Blog post:

THE UCO FLAT PACK GRILL: PRODUCT REVIEW AND CUSTOM CASE DESIGN

Pic of the finished case:

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Old 03-15-2017, 03:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Until quite recently, yes they did. But there are now camping chairs that fold down into the size of a foot-long Subway sandwich, and I just tested the UCO Flatpack grill, which proved its Class B worthiness. It doesn't come with a storage case, so I made one using a section of silver tarp. Especially when boondocking, it can be very difficult to get a grill really clean, so the heavy tarp envelope can contain any remaining residue of soot and grease.

Blog post:

THE UCO FLAT PACK GRILL: PRODUCT REVIEW AND CUSTOM CASE DESIGN...............................
Thank you for the link, we got very used to the small, 9" x 12" Magma Trailmate Gas Grill. The grill is very potent, has a very good heat distribution and it has the openable lid.

Trailmate

George.
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