There are plenty of great resources online like Pinterest, where you can find hundreds of ideas about how to decorate a motorhome, ranging from elaborate gypsy-inspired looks to sharp, clean and minimal. For this article, we’ve listed our top five motorhome fitouts that will definitely give you bang for your buck and make your motorhome journey all the better.
1. An Awning
Shade. It’s an essential, really. Some overhead protection from the changeable Australian weather not only gives you extra room but it connects you with the outdoors. Sheltering under an awning with a mug of tea or your favourite beverage while the rain plays on the canopy is one of those delightful moments where you want to pinch yourself. Or simply having a place for hiding away from the heat makes all the difference when you’ve gone bush.
There are a couple of ways to go when it comes to choosing an awning. There’s a canopy, which attaches permanently to the side of your motorhome or campervan at roof level. You can also turn your awning into a ‘safari room’, by adding a front and sides.
Canopy awnings wind out and very quickly, you’re under cover. The option here (if you want to be the envy of your local campsite) is to upgrade to an electric awning which operates by the push of a button. In terms of motorhome fit out supplies, this one has become very popular.
The other alternative is the drive away. This is a freestanding tent-like unit that sits next to your motorhome and allows you to leave it up while you head off for a quick trip into town for supplies or if you have guests join you.
Either way, having an awning is a big bonus. Whether you use it as a sleeping space, an outdoor dining room, for extra storage while you’re onsite or just to keep the sun’s rays at bay, it’s a flexible and functional addition.
As with all KEA products, our roll out awnings for motorhomes and campervans are built tough to the highest standards and designed to last.
2. Solar Panels
When you want to get off the grid and head for those deserted spots and out-of-the-way places that are in the camping legends guidebook, you’ll either need a very long extension cord or some rooftop solar panels that have been designed for specifically for campervans. Free camping, as it’s often called, means that you are dependent on batteries to run any ancillary devices such as televisions, lights, phone chargers, all the essentials for your home-away-from-home.
So how does it work? Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity and the current is fed into a controller, which determines how much energy goes through the battery. This produces DC (Direct Current) power, which then needs to changed into AC (Alternating Current) power via an inverter. There’s plenty of science involved in the process and you want reliability for these types of systems. Fortunately, KEA has been actively involved in solar panels for motorhomes for many years, so we know our stuff.
Solar is free once you’re set up, it works whenever there’s sunlight and even during winter. It’s clean, noiseless, there’s no waste or smell, it’s environmentally friendly and extremely low maintenance. You can add more panels easily and it allows you to extend the life of your motorhome’s battery. What’s not to love?
3. Add a Bike Rack to Your Campervan
A bike rack is a great addition and gives you quick and easy access to local transport. Once you’ve settled in your chosen spot, it’s inevitable you are missing that one thing you meant to bring. In fact, there’s a good chance it’s still sitting on the kitchen bench at home next to the note reminding you to bring it. But with a bike on the back, you can whizz down to the local shops and grab a replacement.
Then, there’s the opportunity to explore all the trails and beach tracks around you by bike. Or you can get some exercise in. Bikes are fun and having one handy means that you are more likely to see things from a different perspective.
The right rack on your motorhome is a simple and cost-effective set up and can be quickly added by your KEA dealer with a purpose-built factory option that will fit your existing bikes, whether they are road bikes, mountain bikes, kid’s bikes or just your favourite old cruiser. As far as campervan add-ons go, you can’t get much simpler than adding a bike rack.
4. Diesel Heater
Living in a motorhome in winter without good heating can be a challenge, to say the least. One option for warming up your campervan’s interior is to use a diesel heater. Then, you can enjoy the frosty days outdoors and retreat into your warm and cosy living space for the evenings. It’s not just winter, though. Spring and autumn nights can get pretty chilly when you’re out on the land as well.
If you purchase a motorhome that runs on diesel, then a diesel heater is an ideal add-on. The heater can get the fuel it needs for heating directly from your vehicle’s tank. With the added advantage of being able to fill up with diesel at most service stations.
Most diesel heaters use a heat exchanger to warm the air and then an auxiliary 12V fan to move it around. They are also very efficient and don’t use a lot of fuel. Some models are even able to heat water as well.
The important thing is to use a diesel heater that has been specifically designed for motorhomes. This is where your KEA dealer can give you some honest advice. Our network of certified KEA dealers brings over thirty years of expertise and experience to helping you find the right solution. And they’re all motorhome enthusiasts, so they know what they’re talking about.
Ok, so you’ve ticked off the all the key items on your dream motorhome list. Comfortable bed, fridge, great storage space, heating and cooling, you’ve worked through the intricacies of installing a toilet and shower, you’ve even thought about swivel seats for your motorhome. What’s left? Wifi, of course.
Staying connected to your social circle doesn’t stop just because you’ve left town. These days, having an internet connection is part and parcel of modern life and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it in your motorhome. You can still watch Netflix, post status updates and pics about your latest adventures, chat online and even do some of those work-related tasks if absolutely necessary.
Yes, you could use your mobile phone as a personal hotspot, but that can get expensive pretty quickly. Depending on where you’re headed, there are a lot of other options that can provide affordable and reliable coverage when you’re on the road. A quick chat to one of our KEA motorhome experts can help you determine what’s right for you.
That’s our top five and all of them are great additions to your motorhome. Best of all, you’ll be getting great quality KEA-approved motorhome accessories that are supported by our Australia-wide dealer network and the advice comes from people who are genuine enthusiasts.
There are a number of different RVs on the market, with each suiting different types of camping styles. Whether you are a family looking for a campervan or motorhome with plenty of living space, or a couple enjoying the simplicity of back-to-basics travel, there are options to suit everyone.
Before you make this exciting purchase, it’s important to first establish what kind of travel you will be doing so you can be sure you pick the vehicle for you.
Let’s take a look at what the RV options are, and the types of lifestyle questions you should think about before buying a motorhome or campervan.
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Whether you want big, small, or something in between there are plenty of options to choose from with an array of different features available depending on how you like to live on the road.
A High-top van (or Pop-top) is a standard van that has been converted into something you can live in on the road. They usually feature a bed and cooking area, as well as large windows to enjoy the views.
The benefits of this type of travel van include:
Small camper vans are easy to drive and park. If you can drive a standard car, you should have no trouble navigating around in a hi-top camper van.
Hi-top camper vans are usually very simple in their facilities which means less maintenance, cleaning and repairs.
Couples that want simplicity and don’t require a lot of room for extra personal items will love this model of the campervan.
Because Hi-top vans are more functional in design, they tend to have a lower price tag. That may mean you have a bit of extra money for some personal touches such as new seat covers or nice bedding.
Large van conversions provide more space and self-contained features, such as larger convertible beds, a toilet and shower, plus a reverse cycling air-conditioner/heater. These models are great for couples or small families who want self-contained but compact.
The benefits of this type of travel van include:
With the inclusion of a toilet and shower, a large van conversion means you have even more flexibility on the road. You won’t need to use campground facilities if you don’t want to, and you can head to more remote locations while being self-contained.
Large van conversions give you just the right amount of extra space, whilst still being compact enough that the vehicle is easy to drive and park.
Being certified self-contained means you can officially park at spots that require it, such as free camping areas. That means you have the ultimate flexibility with where to stay.
Coachbuilts are the largest of the motorhome family, are fully self-contained with all the features you could want, plus the most living space of all models.
They offer 3 beds, enough space for 6 people, a separate toilet and shower, and enough space for a full-sized family fridge.
The benefits of this type of travel van include:
A coachbuilt provides plenty of room for entertaining or enjoying family time together.
Plenty of storage space means you can bring all of your personal belongings including outdoor gear and hobby items.
The extra space, plus a fridge with enough room for your family road trip means you can be away for longer and fully stocked on the road.
Now that we’ve covered what’s available, let’s take a look at some of the things you should think about when making your decision.
Different campervans will have different access abilities, so it’s a good idea to think about where you plan to travel to.
For example, outback or rugged areas might be better for an off-road camper van.
Main cities might be better suited to compact vehicles for parking purposes, and in wilderness areas, you may want to have your own facilities on board.
Think about how often you will be travelling, for example, if you are only going away once a year on holiday or for very short trips, it might not be worth investing in a high-end model.
Those who are on the road more frequently might like a few more creature comforts such as a large fridge or bed, especially if they are going for longer periods of time.
If you are planning on living in a motorhome full time you would want to decide how that would look for you day to day with on-board facilities and space.
Responsible free camping is a great way to save money, but it’s not suited to all kinds of RVs. Most areas do require you to be fully self-contained with water tanks, so if you are planning on free camping you should keep this in mind when choosing a travel van.
If you are freedom camping you should also think about whether you are happy using (often very basic) shared facilities such as toilets and showers or if you would rather have them on-board.
Those on luxury escapes will likely want to charge tech such as speakers, be able to store extras like wine in the fridge and have plenty of space to spread out.
Luxury escapes are about having all of your creature comforts with you, so do consider space requirements, and look at what different luxury camper van models offer.
Whether you are a laid back, go-with-the-flow kind of person or someone who likes to get up early and get things done, there are different types of campervans to suit.
If you like to prepare meals every day you might like to choose a campervan that has kitchen facilities and plenty of storage for food and cooking equipment.
Those that like to get outdoors regularly for sporting activities such as bike riding or kayaking should consider campervan storage options such as bike racks or external storage compartments.
If your lifestyle includes hitting the road early to get in plenty of exploring, you should think about looking for a campervan that offers convenience to save time with things like packing down a bed and storing items away. For example, if you prefer to keep it simple, you might like to choose a campervan with beds that are fixed, or that can be raised out of the way quickly so you can get up and go.
If you are spending lots of time inside the vehicle, you may prefer to have a bit more living space, whether it’s for reading books, watching a show or simply enjoying the view from a large window.
Working remotely has become much more common too, so if that’s something you will be doing, a table to work at could be ideal.
Those who spend more time outdoors exploring may not require as much space, especially if the camper is just for sleeping.
One of the biggest differences between RV models is storage space.
Where a 6 berth motorhome will have plenty of cupboard and external storage space, a hi-top campervan would be better suited to those who are travelling light.
It’s a good idea to think about what items you will want to bring along for van travel such as craft items, outdoor sports gear, or even a large amount of clothing and shoes.
As you can see, there can be a number of things to think about when it comes to choosing the right campervan. At KEA we’ve been matchmaking travellers with their dream motorhome for 25+ years, so we are more than happy to help you. Check out our range of new and refurbished RV’s and ask the experts for some advice on which model is best for you. Visit us online or at your nearest KEA certified dealer today.