Growing 'B' Experience with Food and Space

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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.
 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
See attached photos 1, 2, 3
 

Attachments

  • 1 Two Stacked.jpg
    1 Two Stacked.jpg
    76.8 KB · Views: 165
  • 2 Corn Bread.jpg
    2 Corn Bread.jpg
    52.7 KB · Views: 129
  • 3 Chicken Closeup.jpg
    3 Chicken Closeup.jpg
    62.3 KB · Views: 128

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
Here arethe last two photos....4, 5
 

Attachments

  • 4 Chicken and Corn Bread.jpg
    4 Chicken and Corn Bread.jpg
    51.6 KB · Views: 112
  • 5 A Full Dutch Oven Dinner.jpg
    5 A Full Dutch Oven Dinner.jpg
    59.1 KB · Views: 100

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,406
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
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!".  ;)
 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
yes, the common thread is "RV", we all approach it from our own individual needs and wants.
 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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.
 

Attachments

  • constructions.jpg
    constructions.jpg
    28.5 KB · Views: 92

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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,
 

Attachments

  • overview.jpg
    overview.jpg
    62.7 KB · Views: 125
  • contents.jpg
    contents.jpg
    53.7 KB · Views: 100

Alaskansnowbirds

Site Team
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
2,985
Location
Camp Verde, AZ
Len and Jo said:
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

 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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
 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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.
 

Attachments

  • VAN BOX SUPPORT.JPG
    VAN BOX SUPPORT.JPG
    40.8 KB · Views: 85

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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
 

Attachments

  • INSTALLED OVERVIEW.JPG
    INSTALLED OVERVIEW.JPG
    58.6 KB · Views: 105
  • INSTALLED CLOSE UP.JPG
    INSTALLED CLOSE UP.JPG
    64.1 KB · Views: 84

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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,
 

Attachments

  • 2007 06 13 23s Storage boxes.jpg
    2007 06 13 23s Storage boxes.jpg
    142.6 KB · Views: 87

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
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.
 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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.
 

Karsty

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Posts
239
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario
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 
 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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.
 

camperAL

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Posts
1,505
Location
Indiana
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.
 

Len and Jo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,356
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.

 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
120,184
Posts
1,206,438
Members
125,251
Latest member
emphatico
Top Bottom