I’ve long held the view that all motorhomes have compromises built in. Consider a micro-camper and an American RV, for example.
The micro-camper will be able to go pretty much anywhere that a car can go, while the RV will, of course, be more restricted in terms of the locations that it can access.
On the other hand, a micro-camper is basically a bedsit on wheels, while the RV will afford its occupants levels of luxury that are on a par with many of the best hotels. In all types of vehicle to be seen on the market, you’ll find numerous variations on such compromises.
One of the brilliant things about owning a ’van is being able to mitigate the compromises to some extent, by making adjustments to your motorhome and adding equipment – think motorhome solar panels, satellite TV, or even habitation air-con.
Customising our motorhome
I’ve been making adjustments since we bought our current motorhome, KC. So far, I’ve added air assist on the rear Al-Ko axle, to improve the ride quality, and repositioned the motorhome bike rack, so we can carry a bicycle or a mobility scooter.
I’ve installed an additional solar panel and an inverter, which allows for an enhanced off-grid lifestyle, and a 55-litre underslung gas tank, which gives us a similar capacity of LPG to two cylinders, but is more convenient and frees up the gas locker for outdoor equipment storage.
Smaller, but no less useful, additions have been 3D-printed mug holders, 3D-printed clips for the awning winder handle, a roof-mounted 4/5G antenna to provide mobile internet access, and a thermostatically controlled fan for the Alde heating in the lounge area.
My latest ‘compromise adjustment’ was fitting an extractor over the kitchen – Swift didn’t fit one as standard. In an ideal world, this would vent to the outside, to remove moisture and cut down on condensation from cooking, as well as removing odours, but that isn’t possible as a retrofit, because the microwave has been placed immediately above the cooker.
The next best thing is a unit using activated charcoal filtering to remove smells and control airborne grease particles, but I’ve struggled to find anything that will fit the space and not cost a small fortune – so it was back to the 3D printer.
The unit fits under the microwave and has three 50mm radial fans to draw air through an activated charcoal filter pad and blow cleaned air out to the lounge. The fans won’t generate hurricane-force winds, but so long as they can draw the cooking smells through the filter, it will be a good, cheap solution.
- If you’re looking for some extras to add to your ‘van, take a look at our guide to the best campervan gadgets, where we share our pick of the items that can enhance your touring experience.
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