Building a motorhome yourself gives you the freedom to set it up completely to your taste. After six months of fieldwork with a "factory camper" and then the build your own campervan within one month we can say with full conviction that these 7 'camper features' are definitely worth considering for your DIY bus camper!
Also read: Self-build motorhome | 5 things we'll do differently next time
Table of contents
1. Solar panels
A DIY bus camper can no longer do without solar panels. Our camper has two panels on the roof with a total of 320 watts. We mounted these using mounting brackets and super strong kit. These ensure that our 220 Ah battery is continuously charged. On our battery monitor we can see how full the battery is and how much the solar panels are producing. If it is cloudy for a day, the battery is also recharged by means of a relay while driving and/or by means of an external power cable.
Also read: Flying solar panels – The danger that lies on the roof of your motorhome
We have been on the road for two months now and have not had to recharge once, while we still use continuous power for our refrigerator, roof fan, tap, telephones, kettle and hand blender. Truly a must-have motorhome feature!
2. The trundle bed
Adriaan and I are both relatively tall (175 cm versus 195 cm) so that's why our bus needed a long bed. Because nothing is more annoying than a shortage of bed. That is why we have made a trundle bed in our bus. During the day we have a couch at our disposal (yes, you read that right, a couch; that was a condition for Sandra because she likes to put her legs on the couch) and in the evening we easily slide the extended part of the bed over the couch to.
The fixed part of the bed is 140 cm and the extendable part is 60 cm. This way we also have enough space under the fixed part of the bed for the "garage", or the storage room at the back of the bus.
3. Outdoor bar
An outdoor bar, who wouldn't want that?! We didn't want to miss it in our bus and we easily made one ourselves using a rails, two shelf supports and a shelf. The bar is easy to remove when you don't need it and place it at different heights when it's time for a drink.
4. Short cut to the laundry basket
We think this is perhaps the most ingenious camper feature in our bus; a short cut to the laundry basket. Our laundry basket is neatly hidden under the sofa. Without this feature, you have to lift the entire seat of the sofa every time to get to the laundry basket. Not a disaster in itself of course, but we came across this idea on YouTube and wanted this too! Through a small hole in the woodwork you now only have to put your hand under the pillow and drop your dirty underwear in the laundry basket.
5. The sliding table
Since a camper has limited space to move around, you don't suddenly want a table to block the space. That is why we opted for a sliding table which is concealed in the kitchen unit. From the outside you don't see that this is a table, but if you want to eat inside or work on the laptop, you can easily slide it out. At the hardware store you can buy strong drawer guides (we opted for 45 kilos) to ensure that the table can take some weight.
We made the table from a leftover piece of the worktop, so it fits perfectly with the kitchen unit.
6. The Bookcase
We have copied this camper feature from camper friends of ours. We have a real bookcase in our camper. We actually had space left between our (standard Ikea) upper cabinets for which we were looking for a solution. A bookcase turned out to be the solution. In this way we have a cabinet where we can display beautiful travel books and a practical way to hide an open space. In addition, the box is ideal for quickly throwing something in when you are on the road.
We also used a leftover piece of the counter top to finish the cabinet.
7. Your own “bathroom” with drying rack
Last but not least, one of our best motorhome features; the bathroom with drying rack. Since our bus is 630 cm long, we had the opportunity to create a “bathroom”. We have not placed a shower here, but a toilet, a wall with toiletries, a mirror and a drying rack. Especially the latter is really a godsend. It happens all too often that we leave a place in the morning and our towels are still wet. In our previous bus, these were always somewhere in the way and/or it didn't dry properly. This drying rack ensures that our towels no longer smell like "wet dog" and that nothing is in the way. In addition, we can always easily reach our toiletries and we do not have to turn around the whole bus when we are looking for a nail clipper, for example.
Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!