We've learned from past mistakes and after six months on the road, we can share what we'd do differently.
Here’s a list of five improvements we’ll make to our campervan before our next van life adventure.
1. A 12 volt fan
Our carpet-lined campervan seemed to deal with the cold just fine, but when it came to a hot summer's night in an Italian carpark, the temperature was unbearable.
Yes, we have a roof vent which opened, but no fan. And without a mosquito net, leaving the door open overnight was impossible.
So before our next vanlife adventure I will definitely be investing in the highest CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) fan I can find.
2. Fan-Tastic roof vent
While we’re on the topic of cooling down my oven-on-wheels, I wish we’d upgraded our fan-less roof vent to a 12 volt vent / fan combo unit - just like the Fantastic Vent everyone seems to rave about.
Anything to get that hot air out of my personal space while I try to sleep! Also as it sucks the hot air up, it supposedly helps to keep the bugs out. Great. So before we continue our vanlife adventure we will be picking on up for sure.
I would recommend checking out the Fan-Tastic Vent 801200 Here
3. A proper mattress
After six months living the vanlife in our converted campervan, the cheap and thin plain foam mattress became old really quick.
I am a big guy, 6ft 2 and 100kgs so as much as that little foam pad tried to elevate me off our plywood bed base, most of the time it felt like i was lying straight on top a wooden board.
So next time, you can be sure I'll be upgrading to a nice mattress, whether it’s sprung or memory foam.
4. A good shower
We tried solar shower bags after using them throughout my childhood in New Zealand on camping. I hazard a guess that I’ve owned around 15 solar showers in my life and I have never had a that full-flow spray you see in the photos.
It’s more like a slow, warm dribble, which makes it difficult to wash shampoo (eco, thank you very much) out of your hair. So ideally I'd love to somehow fork the hose coming out of the sink water pump and add a removable shower-head.
Even if it was only cold, that would be a significant improvement.
Alternatively If you have some cash lying around check out Rinse Kit
5. USB charging ports
We had power with our two batteries, but with only two USB charging ports we couldn't use it.
Once you've plugged your mobiles in for the night, you still have the drone, the kindle, GoPro, iPad and any other of the excessive quantity of electronics we had on the road.
So even just another two ports down by the bed area would be excellent.
In summary ...
Apart from the mattress, the other four would be relatively low cost improvements to our campervan.
And I’m sure if you have owned a camper for any length of time you could relate to the improved quality of life these upgrades would provide.
If you have any other recommendations or interested improvements you have made to your camper let me know!