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Old 05-05-2013, 10:16 AM   #1
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Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

I don't mind camping in rain, dust or other dirty, messy weather. But I HATE it when all that gets dragged inside. Leaky tents, penthouses, or whatever are usually not the problem so much as the stuff you bring in on your coat, boots, etc. Tent designers at least got around to making every more generous vestibules so you could leave your boots outside, and a microfiber towel does wonders to get some water off your clothes, but it's still messy.

Vans are great so that you can get out of the bad weather, but have the same issue of bringing stuff in. An awning seemed like a good idea so that you could use the area outside the door as an open-air mud room, but often in the worst situations it's blowing too hard to use. I've used a small tarp that just fits over the open side doors (attach to rain gutter and just let it hang; when you open both doors they hold the tarp up enough to create a small shelter). But your feet can still be a mess.

It finally dawned on me to use a boot tray (yeah, duh). Got a couple at Target; see below. Work great. I sometimes put one on the ground outside so I can leave the shoes outside (and create habitat for scorp's ).

The other thing that has come in handy for messy conditions is a plain old fashioned burlap sack. Since they're used for erosion control they work similarly outside the van to stabilize mud or whatever. And since they're cheap, you can just toss them...and they're biodegradable. And they make nifty sandbags (and work somewhat better than carpet when filled and put under wheels for traction). And can be trashbags.

I've also been using a knitted polypro ground cloth like so many of the RVers have; for instance see:
http://www.amazon.com/CGear-Sand-Free-R ... d_sim_sg_2
They're pricey for the big RV versions, which is overkill for us, so look at the "sand mat" types that are smaller. It's like the fabric in shade cloth (which also works) or stuff used in outdoor chairs. The nice thing is that dust and water just drops through the weave, so it acts like a super-small grate. And you can just hose or power wash it off at the end of the trip. Way better than in impervious tarp.

I'm wondering what other ideas people have come up with for the mud room problem. I'm not a particularly finicky person, but I'm doing longer trips and I need to be a bit more on top of the problem before I turn the inside into a dump truck.



Rob
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
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Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

Great idea on the Burlap Rob! We usually just make kids take their shoes off when they come in, which effectively keeps them outside mostly. Of course that won't work in heavy storms or really cold weather.
Where do you get nice new burlap sacks? I'm thinking probably Tractor Supply, Farmer's Co-op or the like?
We don't have scorpions locally but we do get out to the Southwest almost every year.
We have also had good luck with an old fashioned plastic (shag) doormat. Not sure if that is a good description, it's one of those scrubby type of mats that 'brushes' everything off of your feet. It catches LOTS of sand, and oddly enough, hair. If you hold it up and look close it looks like a hairbrush, overflowing with hair but hey, my girls have long hair and I like it.
It's one of these but we found it in a dark gray color. It also has a soft rubber backing so it never moves, and won't rot.
http://www.amazon.com/Grassworx-1037...astic+door+mat
We sit it outside on the ground anywhere we stop for long, and sit it right inside the side door when moving. That works out great because this is where our 'messy' child sits so it catches most of her crumbs.

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
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Re: Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

With 2 medium sized dogs, the whole downstairs is the mud room. We just pull the carpet out every couple of days, sweep it, beat it, and start over.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

I just purchase a cheap small carpet from Wal-Mart to cover most of the SMB carpet. Just shake it off once it's dry. As soon as it gets stained I just toss it and get another. It's thin enough to allow the cabinet doors to open and even helps in insulating the floor. I do carry one of those plastic entrance mats that stows in front of the side door step. It helps get the bulk of the stuff off especially snow.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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Re: Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

I think those shag doormats are the same material, jute I guess.

I got some off eBay, but some hardware stores sell them in the garden section. Or at least burlap fabric.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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Re: Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

Where do you get the burlap sacks?

Also, when I was in Boy Scouts on a tent camp out the Troop Leader gave me a carpet "to put your shoes on so the inside of the tent doesn't get dirty". I thought it was a great idea, until it rained- he neglected to mention that it (and the shoes!) go inside the tent.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

In inclement weather we take our shoes/boots off as we come in the van. The wet shoes sit in the step at the side doors.

Mike
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:24 PM   #8
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Re: Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
In inclement weather we take our shoes/boots off as we come in the van. The wet shoes sit in the step at the side doors.

Mike
But I drink beer Mike and do what is easy . I usually venture to the outside several times each night.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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Re: Boot trays, mud room and leaving the outside outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viejo
With 2 medium sized dogs, the whole downstairs is the mud room. We just pull the carpet out every couple of days, sweep it, beat it, and start over.
Dogs and a clean van for us are like oil and water. They definitely do not mix. It is worse now that they've decided the gaucho is their bed. I had to get a cover for that.

I still really like the foam, interlocking squares for keeping the floor as clean as possible. Easy to sweep, pull apart and wash off, etc. Also provides nice insulation when it is cold.
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