Firewood storage box on our Hybrid Caravan
On the back of our Reconn R2 Hybrid Caravan, we have a firewood box which is heavily used, and greatly appreciated. Sometimes these are sold as generator boxes, and people store their generators in them but in essence it’s a big box with a swinging door that we use for storing timber, a fold out shovel, kids toys, fire starters, rubbish and anything else dirty.
When we are at camp, we generally keep our rubbish bag in here as its easy to access, relatively dust and waterproof and easy to use. When we leave, I put the rubbish bag into our spare wheel rubbish bag, that is much harder to add things to, and allows flies to come and go easier unless you tie the bag up.
If you are going to fit one, here’s a few things to think about.
Is the camper or caravan structure suitable to mount it?
The rear of many caravans and campers are not too strong, and mounting a big box that can easily be very heavy when loaded can be a recipe for disaster if the structure isn’t up to the task. You should consult the van or camper manufacturer to find out if its actually suitable, and to what extent.
Our Reconn R2 has two mounts on the rear, for spare tyres, so we know that its suitable for at least the weight of a steel wheel and tyre, and likely even more.
How will the additional weight affect the handling?
One of the easiest ways to make a caravan or hybrid camper tow terribly, to the point that it will sway and want to flick you off the road is to add weight right at the back of it. I see caravans and campers with big, heavy boxes all the time right at the back, and these are one of the worst (and most dangerous) things you can do to your trailer.
Not only does the extra weight often upset the tow ball weight, but it’s a huge amount of weight way behind the axles, which acts as a pendulum when you get any sway up, and makes an already unsafe situation far worse. If you have sway issues, most of the time they can be remedied by moving any heavy items towards the axles, and down low.
Don’t add a box on unless you know its perfectly safe, and again, consult your trailer manufacturer. For us, we have about a metre from the axle to the back of the van, and are very conscious of having the right tow ball weight, but I’m still cautious not to add too much gear into the firewood box because its not good for your handling.
Will the box obstruct your number plate?
Before you add a box onto your caravan or camper, have a good think about the regulations involved in being able to see your number plate. You should be able to see the number plate from 45 degrees up, down, and side to side, and if your new box obstructs this, you could be in for a fine by the police.
We couldn’t live without it
I don’t know what I’d do without this box. It is really handy for keeping some timber dry and usable, and I try not to keep anything in the 4WD that can’t isn’t needed, so firewood is only stored when we collect it, and then I take it out.
In terms of the kids toys, its the best thing ever, as they get filthy and we can throw the milk crate in with their toys, and some firewood, and shut the door without really worrying about it.
If you’ve been considering a firewood storage box, its not a bad option at all!