options on very small pvc's - can I pick your brains please

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by CWH, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    I'm in the process of buying a very small pvc (downsizing from a 4-berth coachbuilt) and would like to pick the brains of those who have one with regard to the 'little extras' :)
    I hope to spend a LOT of time in the van, off-grid as much as possible. I'd like to go to mainland Europe but never have so that depends on how my nerve holds out. Mostly I'll be solo, but occasionally 2 :cautious:
    Your views on my thinking would be appreciated (I know it's all 'subjective' but experience counts!) plus any advice and tips you care to offer ;)

    COOKING: I've decided against the oven - never used the one in the bigger van - I'll have 2 gas burners and I have a double skillet. I have a mini-induction hob (with 1 suitable saucepan & 1 suitable fryingpan - these can also be used on gas) for any time I'm on EHU.
    Q - should I replace the oven with a microwave or with drawers???
    What about an external gas point - I'm thinking on the lines of keeping cooking smells out of the tiny van - I suppose that would mean taking an extra bit of kit for cooking on too.
    Q - are they much used? - what's the smallest 'accessory' I could get, to use outside? (I guess I only need a single ring.)
    FRIDGE: 50 litre fridge/freezer
    WATER: I'm seriously considering having a NaturePure system fitted - this will save on carrying an extra jerrycan in places where the water might be a bit iffy. I know a lot of people will drink whatever comes and I have in the past, but I fear water quality is deteriorating in many areas.
    Q - thoughts on cost/benefit?
    ENERGY: 100 Ahr leisure battery. I've ordered the converter's 'standard' solar panel which is 80W.
    Q - do you think this will be enough? There's the option of a 2nd leisure battery but this would take quite a bit of valuable storage space. There's also be mention of a possible EFOY - I don't know what this is - any help here please?
    AWNING: I'm thinking this would be little used especially when I'm on my own. So rather than have the canopy, get some sort of a driveaway/ pop-up tent/ gazebo once I've been out a few times & know what sort of use I'd make of it.
    Q - what sort of space/ weight would I need to allow for this?
    CAMERA: comes with a factory-fitted reversing camera.
    Q - thoughts on replacing it with a dual reversing + rear-view camera please?
    CAB BLINDS: I'll need something internal - if I'm off-grid I won't want outside blinds.
    Q - remis and/or internal thermal?
    TOW BAR: thinking possibility of then taking more 'stuff' & maybe a larger tent when there's more than just me travelling. Won't be often & won't be for v long tours (absolute max 2 weeks)
    Q - pros & cons?

    Phew! that's quite a lot of questions I'm hoping you lovely people will be able to help me with :whistle:
    Looking forward to your replies... (y)
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
  2. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    2,626
    Likes Received:
    2,585
    Location:
    Near Uttoxeter and Crete
    This is the only one of your questions I can answer. Take a look at the Quest Screen house 4. Easily erected by one person in minutes. Weight is 14 kgs.
    http://www.jacksonscamping.com/quest-elite-instant-spring-up-screen-house-4/p7048
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Jenben

    Jenben Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    5,746
    Location:
    Uk
    While we have gone the opposite way from PVC to A class we did have a panel van for 7years.

    we found our oven useless,and so never used it and didn't miss it. I wouldn't replace it with a microwave especially if you want to spend more time off grid.

    we had a little single ring burner with screw in gas bottles this fitted in a tiny plastic case. This meant you could cook anywhere around the van rather than limiting yourself to one spot where it might be too windy to cook.

    mrjenben fitted remis internal which were perfect for our needs.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    That would be interesting. When it's packed it's quite long but I think it would fit nicely across behind the cab seats & I think it wouldn't interfere with the bed make-up. Packed Size:167 x 16 x 16cm. I'll keep that in mind, thank you Ann. (y)
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    27,888
    Likes Received:
    26,969
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Sounds like a recipe for disaster. You are sure to go insane in a week. Though if I am brutally honest it does look like it's started already.

    It's not too bad sleeping in the foetal position but trying to fry an egg in that position runs the risk of a very badly fried egg.

    Have you ever tried drinking a cup of tea on your side ? It's not a fulfilling experience.
     
    • Funny Funny x 6
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    What a very good point! I hadn't thought of that. I have one of those burners already. Decision made on that one!!! Thank you!
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
  7. Jenben

    Jenben Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    5,746
    Location:
    Uk
    Refillable gas tanks would be useful, I don't know if your van is spec'd up with them ?

    Also after being in the van for a while and using it ( and the cupboards) we measured all the cupboard spaces and managed to get a selection of 'really useful' boxes to make a better use of the space. This worked for us but may not be appropriate for your needs.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  8. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    It's not as 'very small' as a Berlingo... I have 4 x travelling seats, 2 x 2-seater bench seats, and a double bed (not all at the same time though :LOL:); 2 removable tables, and a full wetroom. And - eat your heart out - a spare wheel!!!
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Like it Like it x 3
  9. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    10,850
    Likes Received:
    12,172
    Location:
    E Yorks
    As you haven't told us what you're getting its a little bit difficult to reply more specifically but ...

    Oven - replace with drawers/cupboard, no point in having another piece of kit put in that you're never gonna use, in addition this would give you more storage to allow you to have the extra leisure battery put in.

    Efoy - forget it ... in layman's terms it is just an expensive way to 'top' your batteries up if you are a high demand user (think very, very expensive generator!).

    External gas point - I wouldn't bother with it and instead go for a suitcase stove which you can use to cook outside with a griddle pan if needs be, they run off canisters which are cheap to buy so cheap to run too.

    Cab blinds - I'd go for internal Remis type blinds if you can as they are so easy to use and take up little space when open (nothing to store elsewhere).

    Towbar - it will eat into your payload and if you're only likely to use it infrequently it doesn't make sense, it can easily be fitted afterwards if needs be (probably cheaper than from the converter anyway!).

    Awning - again leave it for now and see what you want ... if you go abroad the chances are you'll use aires etc so won't be able to use one anyway, or at best may be able to use a Fiamma wind out one occasionally.
     
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Nice One! Nice One! x 1
  10. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    20 litre underslung refillable gas tank, 80 litre winterised water tanks, truma combi gas/electric heating
    Now that hits the spot - I'm one of those sad people that just LOVES plastic boxes!!! I had a lot of basket/ tray type things in the bigger van but I doubt they'll fit the cupboards in this one. Good plan! (y)
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    886
    Location:
    Surrey/Hants
    No experience of small cans so you can take my thoughts and bear that in mind.

    Cooking: a little single gas burner should suffice. You can stick in a t piece with valve then add 4 metres of pipe to get to either the front or back. Dependant upon how many cups of tea you would want to make you may consider getting the small cadac instead with whistle kettle. This should only be used outdoors then you can lose the whole of your kitchen. The oven is a waste of time for you in my opinion and a bigger waste would be the microwave.
    fridge 50 litres sounds good to me. Ice container ? especially if away in the summer, nothing like an ice cream available for you when its stifling
    We use seperate 5 llitre water containers for drinking water they are only a euro to buy sealed and new (and full of water) replenish them from drinking taps or buy them as you go.
    I wouldnt bother getting a second battery if i were in your position. Just have some discipline in your charging of phones and laptops and only limit yourself on tv if one battery isnt enough. EFOY no knowledge !
    Why not just get a brolly instead of an awning ?
    i d get the dual system
    Internal thermal so that you can go to the mountains
    Tow bar. Youll get differing opinions on this so my opinion is that i it puts me off seeing a tow bar on a vehicle that i might buy second hand, i just dont know what it has towed
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    10,850
    Likes Received:
    12,172
    Location:
    E Yorks
    Are you gonna let us in on the secret of what you're getting then???
     
  13. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    Ha ha! Mel says:
    then goes on to give a VERY specific reply! Thanks so much, lots of useful information there that will help me.
    I do keep eyeing up the big promotional brolly in the hallway... Good point ref the towbar. Thank you.
     
  14. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    27,888
    Likes Received:
    26,969
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    You have a strange notion of "very small" PVC from that description. I was thinking of Pug 205 van with you sleeping with your feet out of a window. What is the base vehicle ?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,565
    Likes Received:
    10,538
    Location:
    Lancaster uk
    Wendy,
    I have a tow bar on mine but mainly for my bike. This would give you the option of a small trailer for extra gubbins when you aren't travelling solo.
    The oven in mine is pretty useless and I only use it to store a single electric hotplate. However I do love my microwave, which I use all the time when on EHU.
    I have an external BBQ point, but not used enough.
    I have a compressor fridge and found I needed 2 x 100 amp batteries and 100 wt solar. I have since added another solar, thus ensuring I have plenty of power for the 4 or 5 days I am off grid at rallies.
    The Quest screenhouse is a fantastic bit of kit, but isn't compact. Mine travels on my fixed bed whilst on the road. When I am overnighting I have to transfer it to the cab and lay it across the floor.
    Remis blinds every day if the week. Expensive, yes, but so easy to use and no storage issues.
    A small folding aluminium table is a great accessory as it enables you to cook outside.

    Hope this helps a little, and is my view from 3 years of being solo in a PVC.

    Good luck!
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. Madcaravanner

    Madcaravanner Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    787
    Location:
    Grassmoor Near Chesterfield N Derbyshire
    Gas outlet good idea
    Why not look at Filtapac Econoflo Rechargeable Water Filter we've been using them for ages and they are quite good and cost effective get them from the maker they're cheaper than Ebay

    Why bother with oven, or microwave a good barbeque with a dome lid will work just as well and taste better too

    Blinds outside mean less condensation compared to internal

    Solar we have just up rated our caravan was 120W the motorhome will 150w and we could have to increase than but will need at least 2 x 110Amp batteries if not three
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  17. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    I will, but not yet - at this stage it feels a bit like jinxing it if I do!
    I said small, I didn't say basic... :whistle: I think of 'small' as 6-6.5 metres; maybe it's my inexperience showing???
    It's 5 metres long on a Fiat Ducato.
     
    • Like it Like it x 4
  18. Wombles

    Wombles Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,955
    Location:
    SW England
    Having tried many awnings & looked at lots of shelters (most too heavy/bulky) this is our current favourite just 6.4kg albeit only available in bright green :eek: but excellent pod & folds down the size of a pop up tent https://www.decathlon.co.uk/base-seconds-pop-up-camping-shelter-id_8208602.html . We have two as they can be used butted together so double the space - ideal for extra sleeping space if needed (y) Like that it can be located anywhere depending on pitch rather than attached to the motorhome. Really quick to put up but do have to get the knack to fold it over in the right place to put it away.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like it Like it x 4
  19. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    15,304
    Location:
    under a wand'rin' star
    That much??? :eek:
    OK, that's one to look at, thanks.
    With both of these, not sure I'd have enough storage space.
    I agree totally about external blinds; but I don't want to use externals if I'm off-grid, just to be on the safe side. Thank you for lots of ideas.
    That's another one to check out, thanks Wombles.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  20. Wombles

    Wombles Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,955
    Location:
    SW England
    Video that might help as gives idea of size & useability

     
    • Like it Like it x 1
Loading...

Share This Page