Van Build and Motorhome Essentials
We're not big ones for extra gadgets to bling up the exterior of the van... everyone loves a nice looking wagon, but at the end of the day, our van is there to do a job. Its our only home, so top maintenance is key and let us tell you, it pays off!
So take it from us, spend your coins of keeping that rolling home running smooth and getting you to the places you want to go and keep your adventures coming.
This said, there are some things that make our life on the road easier, some things we class as essential... lets face it, a mattress in the back of a van isn't appealing, even though we were willing to use our wagon as a lockable tent if we had to!
So read on, to find out what makes it onto our Van Build and Motorhome Essential's list, its a tough one to get on! These are items for our full-time home, that we would add to any van build or rolling home.
Caframo 12v Fans
Hunting down robust 12v fans with any guts about them, has mean't we've tried a LOT of fans!
In summer, good air circulation is key to keeping as cool as possible. The difference between stagnant and moving air, is huge!
Thankfully, we came across the Caframo fans, just 3 months after moving into our first motorhome, hitting our first summer travelling with some powerhouses onboard... these fans were initially made for the marine market and if you appreciate a good piece of engineering like Martin does, you'll be impressed with the Sirocco range!
Our oldest model we have onboard is the Bora, these small fans are around 5.5yrs old, our larger Sirocco's and Sirocco Elites around 4yrs old... all had a rough ride along a lot of miles, been handled by kiddos and been on 24/7 most summers and you know what?... all are still going strong!
For folks in the UK, you'll find Caframo fans here:
Maxxair Maxxfan Deluxe 12V Roof Fan
Speaking of air movement, the Maxxfan Deluxe is 100% one of our top buys and must haves, for sure. A low power draw, 10-speed, reversible fan and industry-exclusive built-in rain shield, meaning the Maxxfan Deluxe can run even in the rain.
Not only does this incredible 12v fan keep the air moving in summer, it also saves the van in winter from condensation, which can cause big damage... so worth its weight in gold we'd say!
To achieve this, we switch it to the 'Air Out' setting, overnight, on cold rainy days or whilst cooking in winter and it works its magic!
In summer months, we keep the fan in the 'Air In' setting a lot, with the windows a jar, this helps pressurise the van enough to stop mosquitoes being able to fly in any vents or windows, plus any mozzies attemping to get in via the Maxxfan get chopped up.
A fact for you from our former farm life, mozzies do not fly or locate hosts well in winds over 10mph, this is easily archeived with a Maxxfan - team this up with some Caframo fans and you're laughing!
If the heat is bringing it, we've had up to 45 degrees celsius in the shade before now, we do swap the Maxxfan to 'Air Out' (DURING DAYLIGHT!), to bring air into the van from lower down - air in from roof height, especially with all our solar up top, tends to be on the warm side in these conditions.
If you're in the UK, you can get your Maxxfan Deluxe delivered to you from:
USB Rechargeable Portable Shower and 35lt Utility Bag
Our indoor shower is bliss in the winter, for regular showers, however we’ve wanted an outdoor shower for a while now, we used to have one in our sprinter and loved it!
Life was a lot simpler, it was a BIG help in keeping the inside of our van clean and it’d get a lot of use with our motley crew, all year round.
This USB rechargeable and fully portable shower, plus it’s team mate, the 35ltr utility bag have been real winners for our family. The utility bag is robust yet lightweight and folds away for storing. The portable shower packs away, in its own neat little carry bag and being portable, you can set it up somewhere with privacy!
For us the bag is multi-use, for our laundry and shower water supply. The shower itself has been a game changer, helping us control and make our onboard water supplies last longer (if you’ve got kids you’ll know what we mean!!), plus its now a big contributor to keeping the van cleaner longer - less cleaning is 100% a winner for us!!
If you're in the UK, you can get your Colapz gear from here: