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Self-build motorhome | 5 things we'll do differently next time

In the meantime, we have been away from the real thing for almost two months #vanlife enjoying life with our DIY bus camper† Time for reflection! What would we do differently if we did it again

Well, we know!

Also read: 100 days on the road | The life of a non-working #vanlifer

1. Removable Paint

White, we like that because it ensures that our bus looks light and spacious. That's why we painted all the woodwork white, just with simple matte white paint. But do you know how hard it is to keep white, white in a RV?! 

In a room where you cook, wash, sleep and just live, white has to endure a lot. That is why, of course, everything in our previous bus was provided with prints and colors as standard from the factory (something we thought was ugly). We therefore have to brush regularly and after two months we can say that white is no longer so white everywhere. We recommend that anyone who also plans to go for white use removable paint. As soon as we are back in the Netherlands, we will also provide the entire camper with that, because what is white must of course remain white?

A white camper inside​
A white camper inside

2. A bigger sink

“I think this sink is ideal because then we have a lot of worktop left over” I said to Adriaan. That's why we decided to buy a small size of 26 by 32 cm. It fits perfectly into the worktop, the only drawback is that our pans and plates don't fit in it and you have to wash it very gently so as not to get everything (read: the upholstered sofa) wet. So next time we will definitely buy a larger sink. But until then, we'll make do with this and make "splash edges" as soon as we get home to contain the splash.

A small sink is not always useful in a camper​
A small sink is not always useful in a motorhome

3. Raise the built-in refrigerator

Have you ever thought about why your built-in refrigerator at home is always at eye level? We didn't before we started working on our self-build bus. 

Our 60 cm deep refrigerator is placed where it fits best, at the bottom left of the kitchen unit. Never thought that that is not useful at all, especially if you do groceries for 4 to 5 days like we do. What you need is somehow always in the back and to get to it you have to get on your knees and deep with your arm is the fridge. So not ideal!

The only advantage; if you put the unhealthy things in there you'll think twice before you bring them out!

Place the refrigerator higher in the motorhome
Next time we will place the fridge higher in the camper

4. The water supply

“Take this one, we don't have that other one in stock right now” said the seller about the cap for the water supply. Well, we knew that. An important part of our design is the “water block”. A kitchen cupboard, partly in front of the entrance to the sliding door, in which we placed our clean and dirty water tank so that we did not have to make extra holes in the body of the bus (= less chance of rust forming). 

The cabinet has a cap for the water supply and a drain for the waste water tank. It works very conveniently, the only drawback is that the cap of the water supply is horizontal and also placed that way. This means that when we want to fill water, part of the water will run out again. This would not have happened if we had bought a feed that was slanted or if we had placed it on top of the block.

Fortunately, we have found a solution for this and we use a bendable funnel to properly guide the water into the tank.

Filling cap clean water tank
We do not recommend a separate filler cap and vent pipe for the water tank

5. Better hinges and locks

Sandra's father said it like this: “those magnets are not strong enough”. But yes, the eye also wants something. So stubborn as we are, we have fitted all kitchen cabinets with 1 or 2 magnets with a pulling force of 10 kilos.

Unfortunately, it soon turned out that the drawers were not strong enough and it often happened that the drawer flew open in the bend. After many experiments with child locks, extra magnets and blockades for the cabinets, we have come to the conclusion that the “old-fashioned” hook simply works best for the drawers. Despite the fact that it is slightly less beautiful than the magnets, we are happy that we can turn the corner again with confidence!

Hinges and locks in the camper
The old-fashioned hook works best to keep the drawers closed in the curves

Closing comments

We are actually quite happy with our bus…

Also read: #vanlife DIY | Which campervan do you choose if you are 2 meters tall?



VANDEMICS - Adriaan & Sandra
From Life in Pandemic Times
We travel Europe with our little camper from named Fordtress!
One year sabbatical
Currently in Spain

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