Bespoke Your RV
For example, hanging rails: they were one of the first additions we made to our first motorhome and the same now with our Esperance. We have added a double towel rail adjacent to the dinette window, where we hang our bath towels to dry during the day, so they’re dry by evening shower time. Not so important if staying put at a site for several days (where we would use our small portable clothesline), but very handy when we’re travelling every day. Ditto a rail for the tea towel near the kitchen sink. How do other people cope without these basics?
I’m sure every motorhome owner would agree that effective use of storage spaces is one of the secrets to successful travelling. Again, some of the things we’ve done have been designed specifically for the things we need to store. But others would be universal. For example, the cutting board: Surely everyone needs one of these, yet they are one of the most inconvenient things to stow. If you just toss them in a drawer they move around and rattle, and get in the way of other stuff in the drawer. I’ve solved this by adapting suitable pieces of plastic extrusion, into which the cutting board can be slid when not in use. Ours is on the side of the pantry compartment.
The pantry of the Esperance takes the form of a narrow sliding drawer with metal storage racks, which works well, but only occupies part of the space. I’ve added a plywood box that slides between some floor guides beside the racks, to utilise otherwise wasted space and to supplement pantry storage.
Another feature common to our Esperance and our previous Sunliner is the generous height of the clothes storage lockers above the bed. The down side of the height is that there’s usually a lot of wasted space on top of the clothes. Either that, or the stack of clothes becomes so high that it’s difficult to access what you want, or the stack falls over. We’ve added internal shelving constructed from plywood to solve these problems and make much more convenient use of all the space available.
We’ve also found a lack of a space for small bits and pieces around the sleeping area – keys, loose change and laundry coins, sunburn cream, sunglasses, hand sanitiser, etc. So, I’ve added a row of small bins above the window pelmet for this purpose. It’s nice also to have somewhere near the external door to place keys (our own plus amenities keys, etc) during the day.
The previous owner of our Esperance must have felt likewise, because he had installed a haphazard row of mismatched cuphooks on the end of the overhead cupboards. I’ve improved that using a plywood backboard and decent matching hooks.
Still on the matter of storage, more trips to the plywood retailer were required so I could make some purpose-built boxes. One was a simple enough box, to store glassware. I’ve tried various proprietary setups sold by caravan/motorhome retailers, but a simple box seems to work best for us.
Next came a box to fit under the bed, for storing kitchen appliances like the electric kettle, toaster, fan heater, iron, etc. We previously stored these under the bed in their original cardboard boxes, but these get very scrappy with repeated use and were a pain to use. Making a purpose-built box divided into compartments (incorporating a suitable blockout for one of the diesel heater ducts), solved this problem. It’s so much easier to use and actually saved quite a lot of space, because the cardboard boxes are generally oversized for the appliance they contain.
My most recent invention is a thin plywood sunblock cover for the skylight. Everything I read from the manufacturers, suggests the skylight blind and/or screen shouldn’t be left closed for long periods of storage. But we still wanted to protect the interior furnishings from the sun. The plywood panel needed to be quite thin (about 1.5mm) so it can be flexed to get it into position. But it needed a swivelling blade which, when rotated to the transverse position after installation, stops it from sagging and falling out.
Now we just need to do two more things: Get out and use the motorhome more – and buy some shares in a plywood company!