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Author Topic: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space  (Read 8978 times)

Len and Jo

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Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« on: September 16, 2006, 09:51:18 PM »
As William S. said: “To ‘B’ or not to ‘B’ that is the question”.  Traveling in a ‘B’ is always a space challenge for storage.  Another thing about B’s is that because they are made on the easily available van chasses that many of us build our own using our “better” ideas.  That is what Jo and I did.
We have now discovered, as our trips get longer that what we like to have for dinner on a 2-4 week trip is not the same as like on 1-2 week trip.  Our kitchen in our ‘B’ by design is the great out of doors and a two-burner stove.  On the longer trips we have found that we miss the variety that also having an oven can afford you.  Our want for an oven has been met using Dutch ovens.  We now carry with us a Lodge 8 inch and a 12-inch Dutch oven.
This will be a two posting article.  This first posting will describe the kind of things we have started to bake using this very old technology. 
My second posting, as soon as I take some photos will show how we are going to gain some extra storage space for our ‘B’ to carry these ovens with us.  We have for the last year or two stored them inside of our van but that takes to much space away from other things we normally carry.

Five photos follow:

1.      Shows me cooking with two ovens stacked.  The top coals from the bottom 12” oven heat the bottom the top 8” oven.
        The basic number of charcoal bricks will give an oven temp. of about 325F for about 1 hour.  Need it hotter?  Another
         piece of   charcoal top and bottom raises the temp. 25F.   You can use a clock to time the food but I find that counting
         number of drinks also can work.
2.   This was our first try at cooking corn bread.  We made the clean up easy by lining the oven with aluminum foil.
3.   We have also baked chicken parts and whole chickens (small ones) in the ovens.
4.   This shows the resultant chicken and corn bread meal.
5.   This meal consisted of a meat loaf, left over corn bread, and a cherry upside down cake.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 03:12:16 PM by Len and Jo »
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Len and Jo

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Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space - 3 Photos
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2006, 09:53:31 PM »
See attached photos 1, 2, 3
« Last Edit: September 16, 2006, 09:55:06 PM by Len and Jo »
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space - 2 Photos
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2006, 09:56:30 PM »
Here arethe last two photos....4, 5
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2006, 09:55:18 AM »
You folks are very creative and make it all seem easy. Many of us have forgotten what it is like to travel/camp in a minimalist fashion. Some of us are nostalgic about it and others say "Thank goodness!".   ;)
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2006, 09:40:22 PM »
yes, the common thread is "RV", we all approach it from our own individual needs and wants.
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2006, 02:01:31 PM »
Well I just finished up two exterior storage boxes for the rear of my 'B'.  They will mount on either side of our bike rack (aka: 'B' talk for toaded vehicles)

I have three jpegs but must upload in two batches.

1.  Construction.  This shows the typical x-section of the boxes and my efforts to make them water tight and last a number of years.
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2006, 02:06:28 PM »
Here is the second part and two more pics.

1.  overview of the "oven storage box" and its contents
2.  contents.  closer view of what we will be carry in this box.  The charcoal caddy holds about 16 lbs of charcoal.  The box holds our 8" and 12" ovens.  Also carry needed tools, lighting fluid, and charcoal liighting can.

The down side is that this now makes our 'B' two feef longer.  22 feet instead of 20.

So...."B" seeing ya,
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2006, 07:08:03 PM »
Well I just finished up two exterior storage boxes for the rear of my 'B'.....

Len,

Just a heads up if you haven't considered it. What will that do to your axle weights? How much does those two boxes weigh when loaded? If it removes enough weight off the front axle you may have to have your front end realigned. Also be careful it doesn't put you over your rear axle GAWR. Some "B's" are close to their rear axle limit from the factory.

To figure out what that does to your axle weights.....

Measure the wheel base length (center of hub to center of hub).
Measure the distance from the rear axle to the center of the point where you will
be adding the weight.  Divide the wheel base INTO the last measurement.
Multiply that fraction plus 1 times the weight of the added equipment. This
will result in what the rear axle sees for a new weight.

Example:  Wheelbase = 120".  Distance from rear axle to added weight = 60". Added weight = 75 lbs.

60 divided by 120 = .5   1.5 times added weight = 112.5 lbs.
The rear axle will be 112.5 lbs heavier.

For the front axle, take the added weight times the distance from rear axle to load and divide that by the wheel base. This will result in what the front axle sees for a new weight.

75 times 60 = 4500   4500 divided by 120 = 37.5
The front axle will be 37.5 lbs lighter.


Safe travels

Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2006, 08:25:40 PM »
Thanks for the heads up.

We have towed utility trailers with the van that I think had tongue weights simular to the weight of the boxes and there contents we are adding.  Have not noticed any change in handling or the front  lifting at all with these trailers.  We will be going on a 2-3 hundred mile trip in a week and will see if we notice anything out of the ordinary.

Thanks again
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 09:34:11 PM by Len and Jo »
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2006, 06:52:42 PM »
Well, I had a lot of 'free' time today so I spent a few hours reviewing all that I have done to the original 2000 Chev. Express 2500 Cargo Van that I modified.  I have calculated that the van fully loaded (walls, counters, water, close, food, bedding, etc.) I have added approximately 850 pounds and that the C.G.of this mass is about one and one quarter feet in front of the rear axle and about along the vehicle center line.  Of course who knows were the C.G. is with partial loads.

Anyway I have finished making and installing the two boxes.  The first attached photo is of the base structure that is below the boxes.  It consists of 1.5"x1.5"  1/8 inch angle iron, mounted to the bike rack with four 3/8" bolts and 1/4 inch by 1.25 inch straps.  Anti-vibration nuts hold it together.  This is the same rack we used on our 12,000 mile Alaska trip without any problems.  The only difference is that now I have mounted it to the bike rack up-side down.  The rack did get some of its paint sand blasted off during that trip.  So I have also added large mud flaps to the rear wheels.

Len S.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2006, 06:54:20 PM by Len and Jo »
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2006, 07:04:11 PM »
The next two photos show an overview and close-up of the installed boxes.  At first I did not like the looks.  My van reminded me of a green, pregnant, Spunge Bob Square Pants......if you can visualize that!!!  But now I am starting to get used to it.  And of course once we put our bikes on the rack it will look different again.  I will over time replace the yellow lid straps with something that matches or blends with the boxes.  I left them as I bought them so photo's would show up better and I wanted to get it done.  I am not sure if I am happy with the appearance, I will give myself some time to see if the tihing grows on me.

Joanne says she thinks they are O.K.  What she probably really means is she is glad that I play with wood and stay out of bars. :P :P :P

Len S
« Last Edit: October 03, 2006, 07:06:45 PM by Len and Jo »
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2007, 10:49:32 PM »
This is a followup.....

Well we F I N A L L Y took our Great Northern 'vacation' (can it really be a vacation when you are retired???).  So, 8 months after I made what I hoped were "water tight" boxes I got to test them.  Early in our month long trip we had two days of continues rain and we spent several hours on the road each of those days.  I am very glad to say that the exterior storage boxes are indeed water tight and my design is good.  In an RV as small as a 'B',  where storage is always limited, we now have 'extra' storage and this really takes the pressure off of our inside storage and things much more pleasent.

Happy Trails,
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Ron

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2007, 11:23:25 PM »
Glad everything sayed dry for you.  Thanks for posting the photo.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Shayne

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2007, 11:32:20 PM »
Wow  You bring back many memories of the early 60's of using a van and then a Pickup with camper shell  (Home Made) no less.  Wow those were fun days.  That's was before our kids tho.  After 1965 it was campers and then MHs  and never looked back.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

bar20

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2007, 01:55:24 PM »
I don't know if you have seen these before but Coleman makes a small collapsible oven. Its light weight and does not take up much room.

http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-5010D700T-Camp-Oven/dp/B0009PURJA/ref=sr_1_1/103-3086527-1617454?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1184784715&sr=1-1

Steve

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2007, 02:50:36 PM »
Yes, we have had one of those for several (20-25 yrs) years.  I  baked a cake in it once.  From our personal use we have found it very limited.  Better at warming something then for real baking.
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Karsty

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2012, 04:16:00 PM »
Once again I find myself posting to a thread where the  "topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days". I find this topic very relevant for me today. I too am finding that the Class B has limited indoor storage and have been looking for an outside storage solution without having to buy one of these ready made storage totes for upwards of $700-$800. I like what you have done on yours Len. Are you still using the storage boxes?? And if so I gather that they have served you well??

Ultimately I will be travelling with a bicycle or possibly an E-bike. A couple of boxes similar to yours would be handy. I am not so much into the BBQ cooking thing but I need space for other items that I can't carry right now ... especially when I take my big trips to Alaska and Newfoundland.

Has anyone else come up with some innovative storage solutions for the Class B van style RV's?? Would love to hear from you.

Karsty 
2012 Winnebago ERA.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2012, 07:08:11 PM »
Yes, we take them all the time on trips over 1-2 days.  To drawback is the ground clearance.  We have dragged a few times when leaving a few gas stations.  I just make sure we go slow.
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

camperAL

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2012, 02:31:19 AM »
Greetings,

Thanks for the original post and thank you Karsty for posting on this again as it has useful info in it for me. I am wanting to make or buy a water tight box that I can tote a somewhat large telescope in. I also thought it would be nice to use this to have the spare tire on. I think I would use  a platform that attaches to a hitch, then place the storage on the platform. Will use Don's formula above to figure if the weight would be too much but I doubt it will. I can see that it will make opening the doors a bit hard but once you are camping then it shouldn't be a problem. I do worry about someone trying to get at the contents of the boxes so perhaps some sort of security is in order.

I like the pictures of the ovens in use and gives ideas of what all you can do on the road. Many thanks.
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

Len and Jo

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2012, 06:49:48 AM »
The ones I made have about 1/4" clearance to the rear doors (that contributes to ground clearance issues) so that the doors can be easily opened.  I think the boxes are about 10.5" deep on the inside.  Enough for our needs. 

Security: We do not leave things out in plain site.  Beyond that we try not to have anything that we could not replace (cost or sentimental wise) in or on our van.  Goes back to our tenting days.  We had expensive goose down sleeping bags and bikes.  Keep the bags in the tent and the bikes locked w a tarp over them.  Would not let having these things keep us from going and doing what we wanted to (we did not "guard" them).  If they were gone they were gone and we set our minds to not letting possessions control us.  If we were going camping to less safe areas we just would take less "stuff" with us.  Keeping a low profile is one of the best security measures.

 
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Karsty

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Re: Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2012, 11:57:45 AM »
With the limited inside storage the ERA has I am definitely looking at some kind of platform that will attach to the trailer hitch, with some kind of storage box attacked to the platform. I may also want to take a bicycle or an e-bike along as well. Fortunately my hitch seems quite high and ground clearance shouldn't be an issue. It has a tongue weight of 500 pounds so I have to be cognisant of that.

I can see that opening the doors will be an issue ... but I only need to use them if I store anything under the sofa/bed. Right now the only thing I have there is the shore power cord and a small tool box. I figure I can put them in the storage box. Mind you ... the rear door is also an emergency exit ... not sure under what circumstances I would have to bail out the back, but one never knows. ???

As "camperAL" mentioned I am always aware of security. (being a police officer for 35 years ... old habits die hard). Most of the time I will be with the RV, but on the occasion when I leave to go off and explore it could be tempting to some to wonder what might be in the storage box.

In all likelihood I would only need the "storage box" on my 2-3 month trips. A week here and there so far hasn't been a problem.
2012 Winnebago ERA.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

 

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