Let's get into the fun part of owning a motorhome or campervan: adding those extra items that take things to the next level. We like to call them creature comforts and they can make a substantial difference to how enjoyable your motorhome can be.
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.