Loss prevention in your RV


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

“The bigger the RV, the greater the loss.”

Before you behemoth Class A folks get out your shootin’ irons, hang on and let the explanations begin. The bigger the RV, the more “stuff” we can load up, and the greater the chance of losing the stuff, somewhere in the rig. So the question is this: How do you keep track of your stuff?

We’ve heard the high tech, the low tech, and the laughably sublime. We’ll share them.

Find it – high-tech style: Drag out your laptop and your choice of software programs. For those of us who are into words, a word processor is probably enough. If you’re a big time fan of spreadsheets or database programs, you know where to go.

Now, number your outside storage compartments in some sort of logical fashion. Take inventory of all the stuff you have squirreled away in those compartments. You can add numbers or identifications for inside closets, drawers, and cabinets.

Add the “stuff” to the list, identifying the specific storage location. If the list is really lengthy, you can use the “search” function to narrow down the item you’re looking for. For example, “brush,” could cover a lot of ground, but it’ll get you there. How about, “brush, gas grill,” or “brush, awning cleaning,” or “brush, refrigerator flue,” or even, “brush, hair” for those of us who still have a need for such a thing.

Find it – low-tech style: Take out your pencil and paper. Draw a map of your RV and add pointer lines. In small, tiny, hard-to-read-without-magnifier writing, write whatever it is that you have in each compartment, closet, drawer, or cabinet. May require a few pieces of paper, depending on how big the rig, and how much stuff you have.

Now the real problem: Put your list away in a place where you won’t (repeat, won’t) forget where the list is. Sooner or later you’ll have two or more copies of the list, for all the times that you lost it, and later found it again.

Find it – likes-alike style: One RVer says he doesn’t worry about computers or lists. He puts his stuff away like this: “Tools, in the tool bay. Cleaning supplies, in the wet bay. Other stuff bays.”

Then there are the folks who take the industry slogan, “Life’s an adventure, go RVing!” far too much to heart. “I do not organize and do not make a list. I like the hunt. And of course, when I cannot find it, I buy another. That is why I own at least two of everything. And buying another means I then find the first that I could not find before. By the way, has anyone seen my Craftsman 3/8th drive socket wrench?”

##RVT767 ##RVDT1244

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Ray Leissner

I use boxes to contain small items similar in nature. Items that are affected by temperature stay inside, such as glues and paints and tape. I label this one “consumables”. Another box hold all sorts of spare hardware from left over repair jobs labeled “hardware”. I have tool boxes for tools and tools for BBQing and tending fire which stay in their respective outside bays, along with the mats and lawnchairs.


Never thought of this. I’m a newbie about to start this crazy adventure in 2020. Thank you

Ed Owens

When we go looking for something in the RV I try to remember the first place I look, so when I do find the item, after I use it I move it to that first place. Next time, voila.


Easiest not to leave something behind is have a set of everything in the RV and a set at home. My neighbor tells me I have more tools in my RV than he has in his garage so I guess that’s why he comes to me when he needs something. Also, for my toiletries, I have a complete set that never leaves home, a complete set in the RV and a complete set for travelling without the RV. That way you never forget your toothbrush. Cost wise it all works out in the end and is so convenient. Now my wife and all her bags…..naw, won’t go there.


I don’t have a problem with finding something in the RV, but I do suffer from not knowing whether an item is in the RV or in the sticks and bricks. One tip that helps is to keep a note pad in the RV and to make a note every time I remove something. This happens frequently when I have to raid my second kitchen to replenish a pantry item or something else that I have “borrowed” from the RV. It serves as a good check list when we are getting ready to head out or to go shopping.


I made these lists about 10 years ago and laminated them, then taped them inside the closet door. My only problem is getting my husband to put things back in the correct bay!

Bluebird Bob

Just take a picture with your camera or smart phone and download it to your computer….easier.