Because we have already done so much, we divide the blogs about the 4×4 camper into three parts. One about the bathroom and the interior, one about the gadgets and upgrades (this article) and one about the technology and upgrades of the car. In this article I will show you which gadgets and upgrades we have added to the 4×4 camper to increase living comfort and how we have created extra storage space.
Table of contents
The interior and the bathroom
Missed the first article? Then read it back! In the first article about our 4×4 motorhome around the world you can read everything about the bathroom and the interior. In it you can see what we have changed in the optical sense on the inside of the motorhome. We also tell why we chose this 4×4 world tour camper and what it looked like when we bought it. Knowing more? Read the first blog back via the link below!
Gadgets & upgrades 4×4 camper
Continue with the gadgets and upgrades. In the past year we have installed a large roof hatch with an automatic fan. We have also installed solar panels on the roof in combination with a large lithium battery pack that is even powerful enough to power our new electric boiler, kettle and hair dryer. Finally, we have installed a drinking water filter that ensures that we always have clean drinking water at our disposal and with the help of Malou's father (Ton, you are a winner!) we have made a container on the back so that we can store large items more easily. can store. In this article we tell you everything about:
- The Maxxfan roof ventilator
- Installing the solar panels
- EcoFlow Delta MAX battery pack
- The Truma 14L electric boiler
- The water filter system
- The portable DeWalt 12v & 220v compressor
MaxxFan Deluxe roof fan
In the beginning we thought about air conditioning but wow, those things are expensive, clumsy and heavy. They also consume bizarre amounts of power. And because we do not or hardly want to be connected to the mains on campsites, we ultimately opted for the Maxxfan Deluxe (for sale here† This is a roof hatch with standard 40×40 dimensions, but which contains a huge fan that can both blow and extract. You get a remote control and you can set the temperature so that it turns on or off automatically when a certain temperature is reached. super handy!
What is also useful about the Maxxfan Deluxe is that it is rainproof. It has a kind of hood over it that prevents it from raining. Even in super bad weather you can use the Max Fan Deluxe so just keep venting.
Below are two photos, one when it's closed and one when it's open. You can clearly see why it cannot rain in, because the inlet/outlet is at the bottom of the hood.
By the way, don't underestimate the blowing power of this device. The large fan moves a lot of air and it does its job very well as an extraction during cooking. We also find it ideal when sleeping, because it is super quiet on the lower settings.
As a final bonus point I would like to say that you can also just leave the Maxxfan Deluxe open while driving! According to the manufacturer, the sturdy, aerodynamic hood can also handle highway speeds, if you forgot to close it. We also regularly left it open while driving, this was no problem at all.
It almost seems like an advertising pitch, but we just paid for this device! We are just super satisfied with the Maxxfan Deluxe. We can heartily recommend him to anyone. If something is just good, is it okay to say that?
The Maxxfan Deluxe is a roof hatch with standard 40x40 dimensions that contains a large fan that can both blow and extract.
You get a remote control with which you can set it to turn on or off automatically when a certain temperature is reached. Also, the cleverly designed hood makes it rainproof and can even be used while driving.
- Moves a lot of air
- very quiet
- Automatic modes
- Rain resistant
- Installation not easy
EcoFlow Delta MAX Power Station
Continue with the power supply. During our travels in Europe in the summer of 2021 we actually found out that the 2 (large) AGM batteries that we had installed earlier that year could not meet our power needs. We were constantly working on the amount of energy we had available and we were regularly short because our large cool box and roof fan had to work 24/7 to keep things cool.
In view of the one-year journey through America and Canada, we wanted to upgrade the system in such a way that we would always have enough energy with us. After doing a lot of research, we arrived at the EcoFlow Delta MAX power station, a mega-lithium battery with a capacity of more than 2 kilowatt hours. The AC outputs have a power of 2400 watts continuously and the peak power is even 4600 watts. Enough to supply even the heaviest household appliances with power.
I wrote a huge article about all the specs of this device and how I connected it to the alternator of the 4×4 camper and at the same time with the solar panels. I also put it to the test during heavy tests including kettles, hairdryers, electric blankets and TVs. Nothing was too crazy for this device.
Summing up the extensive review, I can at least say that boiling water on electricity is no longer a problem and that Malou can endlessly blow-dry her hair after showering. And yes, that big cool box and roof fan are still running 24/7!
The EcoFlow Delta MAX power station costs 2199 euros and is for sale here or via the Amazon.nl order button below.
The EcoFlow Delta MAX is a portable Lithium-ion power station with a capacity of no less than 2016wh. This device makes inverters and charge controllers for solar panels superfluous.
The capacity is expandable and with 4 x 2400W (4600W peak) AC outputs, numerous 12v and USB connections, it is suitable for many applications both indoors and outdoors.
Super fast charging via 230v. Combined charging via 230v, 12v or solar panels is possible. Very popular with motorhome and vanlife enthusiasts.
We have installed this device in our motorhome and it's really fantastic to have so much power at your disposal† We grill, cook, cool almost everything electrically now.
- Large capacity
- Super fast charging
- 100w (!) USB-C connections
- 2400W with 4600W peak power
- Charging via 230v, 12v or solar panels
- Weighs 23 kilos
Truma electric boiler (14 liters)
Now that we had realized a huge battery upgrade in the camper, we also wanted to replace the old gas boiler that was broken with a new one. And yes, with an electric version!
Until recently, heating your water electrically in a motorhome was a utopia, unless you are always at a charging station at a campsite, of course. But now that we had the power of the EcoFlow Delta MAX at our disposal, we decided to look for an electric boiler.
Truma, pretty much the best-known and best brand of motorhome and caravan equipment, has recently started making electrical-only boilers† My choice fell on the 14-litre variant, which heats the water with +-850 watts of power and takes about half an hour to do so. From completely cold to warm (70 degrees) that would cost me about 20% battery power for 14 liters of hot water, so doable!
Fortunately, it doesn't take 20% of your battery power to heat the water every time. The Truma Electric Boiler is very well insulated. After heating to 70 degrees, the boiler only loses one degree per hour, so maintaining the heat is a piece of cake for our battery and charging system. We now always have enough hot water at our disposal to wash the dishes or take a quick shower. Nice!
The Truma Electric boiler costs 469 euros and can be purchased via the order button below.
The Truma electric boiler is a good alternative to a gas boiler in your caravan, camper or boat.
The boiler has a reservoir with a capacity of 14 liters and is heated by a 230-volt heating element with a capacity of 850 watts.
The hot water only drops 1 °C per hour due to the insulation of the reservoir, which makes it extremely efficient.
- Sustainable electric water heating
- Very efficient
- Loses only 1 °C heat per hour
- 14 liter
- Excl. hoses and connections
Finally, we have also added a solid water filter to our system. After reading various reviews and tests, we chose the AquaLogic Inline-C-Ultra water filter† It is a professional drinking water filter with the ability to absorb taste, color and odors, including chlorine and other chemicals.
The ultra-membranes in this filter have a pore size of only 0.03 microns, trapping microorganisms such as bacteria and protozoa. According to the manufacturer, the bacteria reduction is more than 99.9999%. That is quite something!
After testing the filter itself with residual water that had been in our tank for months, I can confirm that the filter works really well. Normally I wouldn't take a sip of this water for anything, but I made an exception this time and it's true, I really didn't taste anything. The water was clean, odorless and drinkable.
Then I went to clean the water tank with water tank cleaner. Anyone who knows these remedies knows that after cleaning your water tank and pipes, you often leave behind nasty, sour tastes that you continue to taste long after cleaning. Those smells and tastes had now completely disappeared with this filter. Awesome! Now that we have a good water filter, I am no longer afraid to throw natural water from a stream on a mountain or the like into the water tank when necessary.
Just to be sure, I also bought 2 extra filter membranes so that I can replace them during the trip.
De AquaLogic Inline-C-Ultra water filter costs 89 euros and can be purchased via the order button below.
Do you ever doubt the water quality? The AquaLogic Inline-C-Ultra water filter is a water filter that is easy to place in your motorhome or caravan.
The AquaLogic Inline-C-Ultra is a drinking water filter with the ability to absorb taste, color and odors, including chlorine and other chemicals. This will greatly improve the taste and quality of your drinking water.
- Best tested
- Odor and tasteless water
- Easy installation
- Replace filter membrane after 12 months
Portable DeWalt 12v/18v/220v Compressor
Anyone who has a motorhome or vehicle with air suspension will regularly have to adjust the hardness of the suspension. Then there are (for the 4×4 and overlanding enthusiasts), also the moments when you may go off-road, so you have to lower your tire pressure for extra grip and therefore have to pump it up again for the paved road.
After having worn out two cheap 12v compressors (read: burned by overload…), I went looking for a decent device that is still small enough to take with you on a trip. After a lot of online research I came across this great DeWalt that works on your 12v lighter, an 18v DeWalt battery or via a (not included) 230v plug in the socket.
Tip:: The portable DeWalt compressor costs 129 euros and is here for sale.
This device is perfect for inflating car and bicycle tires, (foot)balls and of course also for inflating all kinds of objects for the beach and camping. Adapters and reducers to car and bicycle valves, balls, air mattresses and other large volume inflatables are included. They are all cleverly incorporated into the sides of the device.
You can also read the tire pressure by plugging in the machine and turning it on. What I especially like about this device is that the pressure is adjustable for the exact pressure on car tires. The machine switches off automatically when the pressure is reached, so you don't have to constantly pay attention to it.
In terms of speed? The device inflates a deflated 235/70R17 tire to 2 bar in approximately 400 seconds. With an official capacity of 0,35 l/[email protected] bar and 0.6l/min@2 bar you can roughly calculate how long it will take for your tires.
Supplied as standard with an adapter to connect to the 12V socket in the car. Optionally also a 230V adapter available (article number N557515).
Tip:: The portable DeWalt compressor costs 129 euros and is here for sale.
Upgrades to the exterior of the motorhome
We also made some adjustments to the outside of the camper. At the beginning of last year, for example, we mounted two large Victron solar panels on the roof in combination with a Victron Bluetooth charge controller and we had the World Travelers logo printed on a large car sticker. It now shows off on the front of the camper! We also made a custom-made box on the back of the camper to easily store large, clumsy items.
Victron solar panels + SmartSolar battery charger
At the beginning of last year we started installing two large Victron solar panels. I opted for solar panels from Victron because they came out very well in the test by, among others, the consumer association. Victron is a good brand for which you may pay a little more, but you do get quality for that.
Because we had to measure equally well in terms of space to avoid all roof hatches, we opted for one panel of 115 watts and one panel of 175 watts. The Victron Monocrystal line solar panels cost about 1 euro per watt, so 115 euros for the 115 watt panel and 175 euros for the 175 watt panel. The Victron solar panels are for sale via the order button below.
The BlueSolar panels from Victron Energy are of high quality: the toughened glass ensures improved impact resistance and stiffness of the panel. The sturdy, fully anodized housing allows for easy mounting on the roof.
Victron Energy solar panels come with a 25-year power and performance warranty.
Even in low light, energy can be generated with the BlueSolar panels, thanks to the high light sensitivity of the solar cells. When the BlueSolar panels are partially shaded, the energy loss is minimized by the bypass diodes.
- Best tested consumer association
- High yield
- Work even in low light
- 25 year power and performance warranty
- No supplied cables
In order to properly guide the electricity generated from the solar panels to our batteries, we chose to place a Victron SmartSolar battery charger because these are the most efficient and easy to manage via Bluetooth in combination with an app on your mobile phone. The Victron SmartSolar battery charger costs 138 euros and can be purchased via the order link below.
Are the battery or batteries in your caravan or motorhome charged via solar panels? Then this Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/20 charge controller is indispensable.
MPPT charge controller:
The charge controller will always try to extract the maximum power from the solar panel. As a result, the panels are optimally used under any weather condition. Compared to standard controllers, this can deliver up to 30% more energy.
Smart Bluetooth function:
With this function you can monitor the charge controller on the free Victron app. This allows you to see exactly what the solar panels yield.
If you want to know more about our solar panel installation, read the extensive blog via the link below:
World travelers logo
Of course we also need to let the world know who we are! We have therefore had large, weather-resistant car stickers printed with the World Traveler logo, which are now displayed on the front and back of the living unit.
Storage / bin on the back
During our previous trips we were always in the stomach with large, clumsy items that we had to move far too often because they didn't really have a permanent place in our camper. The comfortable garden chairs, the ramps and the jerry cans were always in the way. We therefore decided to make something custom at the back of the camper, so that these items had their own place.
Because weight is always something to keep in mind, we tailor-made the box so that in terms of depth the jerry cans and chairs would fit in it with some other stuff. The box is made of lightly glued poplar wood. Strong enough and weighs little! Below you can see the result, we are very happy with it.
So they were! These are all the gadgets and upgrades that we have installed in and on the living unit of our 4×4 world tour camper. In the third and final part about the camper we will talk about the technology of the car and what we have done to prepare it for the next world trip.