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Subject Topic: My first camper - need ideas please! Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by balfie on 23/9/2017 at 10:26am
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I have just bought my first campervan, a micro camper, so excited! Got fed up with my tent lol

So was wondering if you could all share tips and ideas for storage - kitchen stuff etc. Its small so I need to make the most of the space I have. What essentials do you recommend?
Any ideas welcome!

Also beds - what has everyone done to make their beds really comfy and cozy? :D

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Message posted by Capt Lightning on 23/9/2017 at 11:53am
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Well done. I hope you have many happy nights in it.

After about 36 years as a motorcaravanner, I still find that I take too much stuff.

Firstly, I'm glad to get away from the clutter of everyday life, so I'm happy to do without a TV,microwave, deep fat fryer etc...   I do however have a small DAB/FM radio and Mrs.L sometimes brings her 'tablet' (mainly for reading).

We do take two sets of plates, cutlery etc.. as it saves having to wash up after every meal.

The main thing though is clothes storage, so where possible it's lightweight waterproofs etc, and just enough to last for the trip.

I'm fortunate that the beds in our van are pretty comfy, and we use fairly light, but warm sleeping bags. I expect that you'll have some pretty good kit from your tenting days. Some people use 'memory foam' mattress toppers, but I don't care for them myself.


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Two drifters off to see the world.

2017 - June - Braemar & area.
July - Peak district with family.
Sept - European tour. Just go where the mood takes us.
Rest of year - no idea yet.

Message posted by chrisandsandra on 23/9/2017 at 12:08pm
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Without knowing how much or what sort of storage you actually have it's hard to be specific but I'm guessing it's pretty limited so general advice is to look at the collapsible range of cooking/eating equipment made by Gelert, Outwell and others (also sometimes available at Aldi/Lidl. Halfords or Home Bargains). These fold down very small and can be fitted into a bag/box. We are great fans as they take up so much less space in a small van.


Message posted by Fiona W on 23/9/2017 at 5:08pm
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Take what you used to take tenting unless you used to be in a marquee. Cooking is cooking. The bed should be fine as it is - if it's not, there are plenty of threads on here (or the equipment forum) with people's own preferences. You may just want to put down a covering of some sort to keep the cushion fabric clean, we use a mattress cover now but previously used a blanket.
Finally, go away for one night close to home & take notes of what you missed & what you didn't need. That learning process is all part of the fun.

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2016 - 19 sites, 33 nights
2015 - 15 sites, 27 nights.

Message posted by iggycamper on 23/9/2017 at 6:48pm
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Top tips from Iggy:

1.) However big or small the van you will almost certainly (initially) carry enough stuff to fill the space available!
2.) In both VW size vans as well as our current van (which has a 'garage') we have found large see-through plastic boxes with secure lids most useful. These can then be stored under van or better still in an awning when on site.
3.) When you return home empty van and note which items you didn't use. (so presumably don't need!)

As Fiona says the learning process can be 'part of the fun'; just remember that we are all different and you will surely evolve ideas that are best for you! (We are still learning since tent camping in the early 1950's)

Enjoy the freedom!

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The older I get the better I used to be.

Message posted by fin676 on 23/9/2017 at 7:10pm
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When we used a caravan we used normal household bedding and perhaps a few fleece throws for the colder nights and was a pest making up the bed every night our campervan ahs a permenant bed and the same bedding still works
For your first trial trip pack the minimum you think you may need then have some 1 or 2 night trips to find out what you really need
Every time we are away with the camper something crops up that could posibbly be useful

Brian

Message posted by lizzie on 24/9/2017 at 5:18pm
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We bought a set of Teafal Ingeni saucepans and frying pans. They come with a clip on handle so ideal for storeage in our drawer. The old saucepans we used with the tent were more cumbersome. W bought them in French supermarket as they were cheaper and such good pans we bought another set for home.

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lizzie

Message posted by Bridie on 25/9/2017 at 10:51am
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We have a VW Trooper 22 year old camper van ( pop up roof T4.) which we have had for the past 16 years. We go to France for a month every year and a few nights in UK .
We have found the following most useful: the rug sticking stuff ( from poundland) on shelves around top of van, (where roof meets the sides), ideal for little containers of tea, coffee etc . They very rarely get thrown off!
Larger strips of this unrolled and put on floor for washing up baskets, shoes etc while travelling and shopping from supermarkets.
I made a small arrangement of fabric pockets hung from a bamboo stick for personal items, pens, makeup, spare toothpaste, shower ge cream etc and this ha gas on sliding door side over back seat.
I also made a larger set of pockets which hangs over the back f the passenger seat and holds first aid kit, anything you might need once the bed is out, medication, underwear for the next day!!
I have two small folding plastic baskets, originally from Co-op which we use to store shorts and tee shorts in and store behind the back seat in the day and moved to sit on drivers and passengers seat once we are at a camp site.
I have screwed in cup hooks along the side to hold mugs and between the drivers cab and the living area to use for easy to access waterproofs, sweaters.
The wardrobe in our van is not easy to get clothes in and out of, bit awkward so longer length clothes, dress, trousers go in here, stuff we don't use all the time.
The Rock and roll bed can be left made up and rolled back so ne big deal getting it out for a bed at night.
We use the cupboard meant for a portaloo for cooking stuff and pop out to the loo in the night. neither of us fancy sleeping with a portaloo at the foot of the bed!
I made the curtains and with what was left a throw for the back seat ( with hole cut for seat belts to go through if necessary. I backed this with a fleece so it's an extra warm blanket if we need it..
Pillows are stored under the last I boxes of clothes at the back of the back seat.
We don't use the shelf provided at the back but have taken that out.
Folding seats, stools and table are stored behind the drivers and passengers seats.
We think we have this down to a fine art now and it suits us! There is also a long drawer under the back seat for shoes, ground sheets, boules etc etc.
Hope this helps! Enjoy!

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bridie

Message posted by franbee on 25/9/2017 at 12:43pm
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Those are some good ideas, Bridie.
We have a VW too with a double bed. As our roof pops up sideways, there is a huge space at the back above the bed, or seats, that was wasted.
OH cut some slats of wood which we joined with carpet tape to make a removable/adjustable shelf, this is great for storage when you are stopped, we can get our chairs up there. When the roof is down there is just enough room to store a chair cushion, or something similarly soft and thin.

Something else we struggled with was lighting for evening reading. We ended up buying a clip on flexible lamp.

As we moved from tent to campervan, we basically used the same stuff and packing procedures. Lots of stuff in boxes under the bed, we don't have a loo either.

Message posted by balfie on 27/9/2017 at 8:08pm
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Ah thanks for all your replies, I replies a couple of days ago but it looks like thats disappeared for some reason.

Yes some great ideas, thanks Bridie, I like the idea of the rug sticking stuff to keep things from sliding around! Will def get some of this. Also love the pockets idea for over the back of the seat.

Yes storage is very limited, its only a little micro camper so I'll have to be creative with the space.
And yes very good idea to try it out for a few nights and see how we do.

I havent really got much epuipment from my tent, I have only been for a few times, started last year so havent really built up my equipment yet.

Definitaly want to stay minimal so I dont end up cluttered! :D

Message posted by pepe63 on 28/9/2017 at 11:00am
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Hi I'd agree that it's best to use something a few times and see how it "evolves"..

Re: "Pockets". We've used a couple camping "organisers" over the years, but ours haven't been much good to be honest. On ours the pockets tapered down to nothing, resulting in stuff just spilling out. You could do with "boxed" shaped pockets(or maybe adapt one meant for shoe storage?)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Premier-Housewares-4-tier-Over-Door-Hanging-Organiser-Dar........


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