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We recently purchased a troop trailer and need some helpful hints and ideas for how to organize the inside of it. Are there any definite "dos" or "don'ts"? If you have already done this, is there anything you really like about how you've done it, or anything you would do differently? Diagrams and/or pictures would really be helpful, but just basic ideas are welcome!


Thanks so much for your input!

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We don't own a trailer, but we spent at least five or six years trying to figure out how to organize our troop equipment room. I imagine the two have a fair bit in common. It's only recently that we've found a system that seems to be working well for us - designed by one of our ASMs who happens to be an industrial operations engineer.


Let me attempt to describe our current working system. It involves pegboard placed around the walls of a room we've been allowed to use at our chartered org. The room itself is maybe 12 x 10 feet or so, and probably 12 feet high. The pegboard is divided into patrol areas, and colored appropriately. The pegboard itself contains hooks for all the troop gear we have: stoves, fuel bottles, utinsels, first aid kits, tents, and so forth. Each and every item has it's own hook and is labeled appropriately. Behind each item on the board is a bright red "shadow" in the rough shape of the actual item. The idea here is that it's easy to tell what's missing just by glancing at the board. We use small chalkboard tags which scouts can use to write their name on when they check out a piece of gear. The tag hangs on the hook until they return it.


About 9 feet up, we built a sturdy shelf around the room for long term and seasonal storage of larger items like skis, boxes, and loaner gear. We also put hooks on the side of the shelf to allow drying of tents.


If any part of that didn't make sense, just ask me to clarify. :) I can try and post some pictures too, if you're interested.


Off the top of my head, here's my general advice for gear storage.


-Don't use boxes to store things. Boxes have a tendancy to keep things hidden where you'll never find them. You have to open them to verify exactly what's inside. If you must use boxes, keep them small and use transperent ones.


-Don't use the floor as storage space. We've destroyed many a stove by someone stomping in, fumbling for the light switch.


-Find someone who can really own the process of checking gear and and out. This person should be someone who can be painfully deliberative at making sure gear is checked out and returned properly. Preferably they should spend a few years at it - it'll take them the first year just to get the hang of it.

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Welcome to the forum.


Each of our five patrols have a set of 3 plastic totes - one for tents, grounclothes, tarps, etc. -one for cooking equipment - one for dry food, plus a cooler, water jug and folding camp table. We basically stack them along the sides and back, leaving room in the middle for loading personal gear.


We considered building shelves and tent holders but have decided that we like the flexibility of being able to take everything out when we need to and having an empty box (e.g., for summercamp we unload it all to haul everyone's personal gear). Having shelves built-in would take away some flexibility.

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We've taken a slightly different approach to packing our trailer. We pack our Scouts in the trailer and put the gear in our passenger vans. This makes the drive to the outing much more enjoyable/quiet for the leaders and makes the Scouts feel like they're on an amusement park ride. Usually, the trailer quiets down after the first hour or so, with only the occasional, "Hey, who farted?"

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We have a trailer and we welded these metal strips to one side of the wall. If you can find a grocery store or walmart or something of that sort that would donate you the strips and metal shelves they work the best. That is what we did. These strips hold metal shelves. Then for extra support on the shelves we used 3 inch wide straps ran them up and down just for extra support. But this allows you to move the shelves if you need to.


We also use the tote system. Each patrol has a tote with there cooking equipment ect. This way they are responsible for keeping up with everything in there patrol.


We also looped straps on the other side of the trailer they hold our metal poles that holds our rain fly. Our longest pole is 6 ft long. There are around 20 poles. Then we role the tarp and goes in a tote. These straps also hold our lantern holders. We have around six of them.


When we do our Shake Down before a camp out the boys buddy up as tent partners. Then we get an empty tote and they put all there stuff in a tote together. One gets one side one gets the other.

If the boys pack there clothes in ziplock bags they have plenty of room in the tote. These totes do ok outside there tents. This has been a big help with getting the boys to keep there tents clean and neat. Each tent also gets one empty tote to sit out side the tent that holds the boys dirty clothes bags. It took us some work to get the boys to do this system but know they have the hang of it and the tents are a lot cleaner and they have alot more room inside the tent. We had to start out with having patrol leaders do tent/tote checks for neatness twice a day. Then after dinner the patrol leader would get the SPL to check the tent/totes. We give out awards at our Court of Honors for the most points that are earned by an indiviual. like camping chair ect....... We just camp back from summer camp and took 22 boys and it worked.


We stack all the totes in the middle walk way of the trailer. Hope this helps.



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Ok, so we don't actually put our Scouts in the trailer :)


We've installed a set of shelves on each side of the trailer that run about 3/4 of the length of the trailer. The shelves are wide enough to hold things like dutch ovens, stoves, and the like. They're also the same width as our patrol box, so it just slides underneath the shelves. We use 2 kinds of totes. We use the regular Rubbermaid kind of normal outing supplies. We have 2 better totes that are water tight that we use to store long term food items that will get stored in the closet of our CO in the off season. That way, no worries about water damage or "critters". The front of the trailer gets odd-sized items and totes fit right down the aisle. P-gear is stacked on top of all that.

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  • 1 month later...

When I joined our troop I was impressed with several aspects of the trailer. On one side they have those inexpensive plastic garage storage shelves fastened in. Along the back is an elevated built-in shelf with a lip to prevent items from rolling off. On the third side are two chains bolted horizontally. The links are used to attach bungie cords to secure items of various sizes. the trailer also has hooks and clips in various places to hold items like latern trees and such. Just like a good workbench, everything has its place. Now when a leader or scout needs to find something, they know exactly where to look.


I have seen other trailers that do not have any types of shelving. They appear to be a dishovelled mess and supplies are very hard to find.

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From experience of a troop going through three trailers over the last 10 yrs. Trailer organization is a growing thing. Some things work for you and some things do not. Observe troops with trailers and take the best of what they have done and use in yours. The one thing that I strongly recommend is trailer vents on the roof. Equipment does not need the stress of heat and will last longer. Also have a cabinet of some sort that you can lock up for the things that the scouts do not need access to depending on the focus of the overnight. If you are concerned with where the trailer will be parked have a system to lock the hitch and the tires. Hope this helps



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did you get enough Ideas?

If not give me some info as to the size of your trailer (even the make)...does it have exposed metal or plywood walls inside?

How much gear? what kind of gear? are you using wooden kitchen/chuck boxes? What kind of lighting do you use??? propane? number of lanterns in the troop kit? tents? tarps? Do you have a bunch of Dutch ovens?


We carry gear for six patrols and an adult kitchen and spare gear to furnish a seventh kitchen if needed...thats 30 tents 3 and 3 man mix), 8 rain flys,poles, 9 D.O.'s, 7 completely equipted wooden chuck boxes, a fire box (axes saws,etc.), 7 lanterns and 7 distribution trees plus some odds and ends, and usually a 10X20 tarp and pole garage-one of those Costco monsters (though we are currently using the garage to house a sail boat we are refurbishing).

Next week ...(I hope)...we are adding a raised floor area to one side...maybe both well see...


shout back if you need more help!


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