Meet Janna Burnworth. She and her husband Pat have been RVing for most of their lives together. Before finding Tiffin, they owned a couple of different Class A motorhome brands. When the Burnworths retired, they decided to downsize to a Class C, the 2019 Tiffin QW 25 foot Wayfarer. Now, the couple spends half the year in Florida, and the rest of the year they travel the country and plan trips to visit their grandkids–all from the comfort of their second home on wheels. “We’re RV people. When we travel in our Wayfarer, we feel like we’re traveling in our home. We’re much more relaxed and comfortable in our own home than a hotel,” Pat told us.
Transitioning from a house to a Class A motorhome, then from an A class to a Class C...that’s a lot of big changes, not just in living space, but in storage space. Those Class As can get up to 50 feet! Compare that to a 25 footer? That’s like the difference in a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. We had to know, where did all their belongings go? When we asked Janna Burnworth’s husband, Pat, how they handle storage in their Wayfarer, he smiled and pointed to Janna. Apparently, she’s an organizational Yoda of sorts. Janna was even asked to share some of her tips in a presentation at the first annual Wayfarer Rally in May. So, we couldn’t help but ask her to share some of her advice on living small with us.
Tip 1: Not Everything Will Fit
First things first, Janna doesn’t believe in extra. It’s all about being practical. “Storage has never been a big problem for us because if we bring something new in, we take something old out. And even with limited space, I still manage to always have an empty cabinet,” Janna said. And of course, they keep room for their pups.
Bottom line, not everything will fit into a Class C, but that’s ok. You don’t need it all. The one thing you will definitely need is a measuring tape. That way, if there’s anything additional you want to bring along, you can measure the space to find out if it will fit. If not? You can probably live without it. Or, you can find a smaller alternative that will. According to Janna, the key items you want to be sure to measure before attempting to bring them on board are a microwave, convection oven, and grill.
Tip 2: Need vs. Want
The foundation for how Janna handles storage in a Class C Wayfarer rests on this: there is a difference in what you need and what you want. Once you adopt that mentality, everything will quite literally fall into place. But even then, it can still be a challenge to decipher what you actually need on the road. So we asked Janna, what are those must-have items? Lucky for us, she spilled the beans. Of course, everyone’s list of “needs” will vary. But this is a great place to start.
- Silicone cookware. It stores easily, doesn’t rattle and serves as a buffer for other noisy items.
- Racks. Lots and lots of racks from the Container Store, IKEA, and even Walmart will break up cabinets and create more space.
- Collapsibles. Think wash buckets, laundry baskets, trash cans, and Tupperware.
- Stackable cookware. Because it’s stackable!
- Rubber kitchen products. Think spatulas, serving spoons, etc. You only need one of each.
- ONE good skillet, 10 inches is adequate.
- Small silverware basket. The right one will hold up to four sets. Try wrapping them with napkins for an extra buffer.
- Simple paper towel holder that mounts under a cabinet.
- Two to three general knives and between two and four steak knives.
- Bamboo spring-loaded drawer dividers.
- Additional outlets (specific to your needs) are easy to find on Amazon. Janna recommends four additional USB ports and four additional outlets, plugged in behind the TV.
More Sneaky Tips from Janna
This is where we get into the real secret sauce. Janna’s husband, Pat, is probably the only person who will ever really know all of her tricks to storage and organization, but at least we were able to skim the surface. Here’s how Janna gets the most out of her Wayfarer.
- Behind the theater seat, there’s a perfect spot for storing something around the size of a printer or sewing machine–easily hidden away with a privacy curtain. This space is perfect for items you may not use a lot but still can't leave home without.
- Use strips of non-slip or non-skid to manage the pullout pantry drawers. You can stack canned goods without worrying if they’ll move. You can use this stuff on all kinds of surfaces to prevent objects from sliding around.
- Use easy-to-pull out baskets for extra clothes in the cabinets above the bed.
- Use a pillowcase for dirty clothes rather than collapsible clothes basket. You’ve already got those, after all.
- Keep two rolls of toilet paper in the cabinet and one on the holder. It’s all you need.
- Use clips to keep items like hoses compact and tucked away. Plastic bags also work well.
- Keep a microfiber cloth in the shower to dry off the inside of the shower door in order to prevent and eliminate mold and mildew.
- If your Wayfarer has an over-the-cab entertainment cabinet, install a shelf there to double your space.
- Use socks or paper towels to cover glass and breakable items.
- Look for a shower accessory set that fits your needs. It’ll come in handy to keep things up and out of the way.
- Rather than simply using the rod that’s already installed, purchase an oval spring tension rod. It will hold a surprising amount of weight.
- A milk jug is a great way to store and transport water softener in the shower while on the road.
- Try to purchase multi-purpose cleaning products and keep them to a minimum.
And while you’re at it, join an owner-run Tiffin Facebook group that relates to your model. There are a lot of helpful communities out there!