Kiri and


Motorhome must-haves

March 16th, 2014 (by Steve)

Looking ahead involves a certain amount of looking back; certainly when it comes to deciding what to pack for our second loop out in Bertha. There are some things that are mandatory for legal reasons (warning triangles, breathalysers etc) and some things that are necessary for entertainment reasons (books, games etc). But amongst these things, there are some items in Bertha that have been worth their weight in gold to us, that would have been very easy to overlook.

Antibacterial hand gel
Who would have thought that a little bottle of antibacterial gel could be so useful? It particularly comes into its own after we’ve emptied the toilet (don’t want those germs hanging around!), but it’s also been good as a substitute to washing hands when we’re running low on water (we only have a 40 litre fresh water tank), which brings us to…

Collapsible water container
This was actually a bit of an impulse buy, but it’s really come into its own. Some fresh water filling points don’t have a suitable hose attachment, or you can’t get close enough, so our 10 litre collapsible container is highly useful. We also use the container to catch cold water coming out of the hot tap before the water has heated up, then use that water for cooking later. No water goes to waste. When it’s not in use, it just scrunches up.

Bodging stuff
Cable ties, string, guy ropes and bungee cords all fit into this category. We’ve used bungee cords to hold back our hob cover, string as washing lines, guy ropes to hold down our vents in high winds and cable ties to fix a leaking fresh water tank tap. In addition it’s been useful to have a few spare cup hooks, screws and sealant, which have all been used on our travels.

Satnav POIs
Whilst we really appreciated having a paper map of Europe, where our satnav really came into its own was with the POIs (points of interest) that we loaded onto it:

  • Camper contact – used as our main tool for finding overnight stops
  • CCI – also used for finding overnight stops
  • LPG – useful for finding places that have LPG pumps to refill our gas tank (for cooking, heating etc)
  • Lidl – our favourite supermarket in mainland Europe
  • McDonald’s – useful for free wifi (although only used once!)

Add the fact that we got our family to record the satnav direction phrases and it’s been a good little companion to us.

12v chargers
We’ve been off-grid for most of our trip, so haven’t been able to charge things through mains electric. Our 12V universal charger has been great at keeping most things topped up, but we’ve still got a little tangle of 12V charging wires for those things that are outside the universe of the charger. Our 2 110Ah leisure batteries in conjunction with the alternator and our 120W solar panel supply enough juice to keep everything topped up. Saying that though, we don’t have smart-phones, so our requirements aren’t that intensive.

And the stuff that we didn’t take due to their extra weight? The only things we can think of that we wish we had taken are a garlic press and potato masher… I think we’ll squeeze them in for the second loop!

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