Super-size Your Stow-N-Go


Many of you have mini-vans to cart your family hither and yon.  Many of those vans have "stow-n-go" compartments that house your back seats and (for some) front seats when you are using your van to haul cargo.  These compartments vary in size depending on the make, model and year of your van.  But in any case, they are great for storing everything you need to take care of your family during an evacuation or day adventure.  They are your 72 hour kit on wheels.  

All of the items shown here fit in the stow-n-go of our Dodge Grand Caravan.  I also store additional items under the front seats, in the door pockets and the glove compartment.  You will be amazed how much will fit in your car to help you "get out of dodge" and fast.

Food is very important if you want happy campers in your car.  I have two sweater boxes in one stow-n-go.  They hold individual fruit, Jell-o and pudding cups; shelf-safe dinners, casseroles and sandwich spreads; hot drinks, instant oatmeal, instant soup and cold drink mixes.  I also keep lock-n-lock containers of cheese or peanut butter and crackers and cookies.  And the most importantómy candy bucket.  Comfort food is very important in an emergency.  I don't know why, but the stow-n-go compartments in my van stay cooler in the summer than the rest of my car, so foods don't lose there shelf-life because of the heat.


There is also room along side the sweater boxes to keep other items:  winter clothing, laundry supplies, personal hygiene items, dish washing supplies, rain gear, a solar shower, camp stools, a hammock and a pop-up dressing room (underneath the buckets).  Each category is placed in itís own zipper pouch.

In my other stow-n-go I keep all my car appliances, our road side kit, auxiliary battery, inverter, lantern and tools. The road side kit has a blanket, air compressor, jumper cables, first aid kit, flashlight and tow strap.  I added rain ponchos, a compass, folding shovel, hatchet, folding saw and headlamp.

The hotpot and lunchbox oven are my favorite car appliances.  They plug into your auxiliary power outlet in your car and allow you to cook while you drive.  I make hot beverages, instant soup, hard boiled eggs and instant cereal in my hot pot. It boils water in 10 minutes.  I love my lunch box oven for making dinner on the road.  I cook roast, potatoes and carrots; ham and baked beans, chicken and rice and all sorts of other meals, breads, cakes and muffins.  I put the ingredients in the oven at noon and dinner is ready when we arrive at our destination.  The oven bakes at 300 degrees.

While stow-n-go compartments were not necessarily intended for this purpose, it is surprising how much you can store in your vehicle that will help you make your van or SUV the first line of defense when you are in an emergency, or just had a change in plans.  I hope this post will have you seeing your vehicle's storage potential differently.

Good Luck on Your Adventures!
Mary Ann Wilcox

Have Questions?  Post them below!

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Tags: evacuation  emergency  family fun  get out of dodge 

Amy said...
Could you tell me the dimensions of the stow n go compartments?

Melanie Nelson said...
It depends on the car. Most are between 8 and 10 inches deep and some are connected in the middle and some are not. I have a Honda Odessey and my floor compartment is 30"w X 30"l X 10"d. Dodge is no longer making stow'n'go in the new models, but anything made between 2006 and 2014 should have compartments like those shown. The Caravan, Durango, and Journey are the most common models that have it.

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