Tips for motorhomers

I've been meaning to write about some things that we have found useful (or not) while motorhoming, some of these are trivial and some more important.  I hope that you find them useful and would love to receive your comments and any additional items that you think might be useful, so please add your comments as you will.

And in the order that I think of them, here they are:-

1.  Cardboard supermarket wine bottle carriers 
Use these to store not only your bottles but also your cleaning fluid bottles and toiletries, it keeps them tidy in your cupboards, stops them rattling around and you don't have to worry about them all falling over or falling out when you open the cupboards.  When they are tatty and falling apart, just throw them away and get some more.

2.  Plastic drinks botttles
Cut off the tops and put some pebbles in for stability - add a tealight and bob's your uncle - a homemade tealight holder that will shield the wind and that you can throw away when you leave - no cost and no storing.

3.  Watering Can
Get a 10 litre watering can and keep it just for fresh water.  If you can't get near enough to a water tap then a few trips with one of these will fill enough water for a couple of days.  20 litres and they get too heavy and are much bigger to store, 10 and you just need to make a few more trips but they are not too bad.  We ONLY use ours for fresh water as you don't want to contaminate your fresh water system. 

4.  Filling the kettle
Mark a plastic jug with the point of just enough water to make your tea and fill your kettle from this.  This saves on electricity (important when you are on a paid meter) and time (caravan kettles are normally low wattage so take ages).

5.  Bio washing gel
We use this to keep our grey water system smelling fresh. Just pour a bit down each plug hole and you will not get any of the nasty niffs that you get from the grey water. This is not as harsh on the system as disinfectant.  Note this must be BIO not non-bio or you will defeat the object. 

6.  Antibacterial Spray
Not only is this good for cleaning your kitchen area but we find that the washing up cloth can get rather smelly if left in the sink.  Now we always give our washing up cloths a spray of antibacterial cleaner after we have used them and they stay smelling fresh. 

7.  Sew loops to all your towels and tea-towels
Really handy for hanging up in the motorhome and also when in the shower.

8.  Take two small towels rather than one big towel to the shower
This is my personal opinion.  I have found that most shower cubicles are quite small and most of the floor gets wet.  I now take two small towels to the shower so that I can dry myself quickly with one and when it is wet then I swap over to the other.  The reason I find this useful is that:
  • you are not always looking for a dry bit of towel in one large one
  • if you drop the towel and it gets wet then you have another one
  • you are less likely to drape the towel on the floor whilst you are using it. 
Anyone have any comments about this?

9. Store your bean tins upside down
Now this is a favourite of mine and not just for motorhomers.  When you open a tin of beans, be it baked, chilli or any other sort, you always get a load stuck in the bottom that you need to spoon out.  Well if you store them upside down then the sticky bit is always at the top when you open them and the whole contents come out really easily - no need to scrape the tin out. 

10.  Square (or mop) bucket
I find that it's easier to use a square or mop bucket to carry my washing up to the communal sinks than a washing up bowel.  You can get a lot more in (including plates and chopping boards) than in a round one and if the sink doesn't have a plug then you can use the bucket as a washing up bowel. With a bucket you can carry it at arms length by the handle whereas a washing up bowel has to be carried in two hand and this can be really uncomfortable by the time you get there. Of course for greater quantities of washing up the builders (gardeners) tubs with flexible sides are great.  They can easily be carried by two people if they are really full or by one if not, but it's not so easy to use these as a washing up bowel. 

11.  Small plates
Some time ago we gave up using large dinner plates and just use the slightly smaller melamine ones that are somewhere between a standard tea plate and a dinner plate. They fit into the smaller sinks of motorhomes better than large ones and again take up less storage - and you can always have seconds if you can't get enough food on your plate.

12. Security

If you have a "C" class van with two cab doors, you can add extra security by strapping both doors together using a ratchet strap (or other will do) and looping it through the door handles to keep the doors together.  Then you just use the habitation door to enter and leave the vehicle.  This stops someone "gemmying" the doors to get in.

13.  Hot Water
When on campsites, instead of heating our hot water tank (some 17 litres of it) just to do a bit of washing up or washing, we usually take a 5 litre water bottle to the "facilities" and fill it with the campsite hot water.  Saves the cost of heating the whole tank load when only a little is required.

14.  Shower Cubicle

If like us you only use your shower when you are without campsite facilities, don't forget to periodically put some water down the sink hole.  If you don't and it dries up then you are likely to get all the smells from your grey waste coming up into your home - mmmm not very nice.

15.  WIFI Booster

I carry a range booster for when the campsite signal is not very strong.  I bought it from ebay for about £17, similar to the one below, which I find is great for getting a better signal on my laptop, or for picking up more wifi’s especially when I’m looking for a free one.  I’m not saying it’s the best thing on the market but it works for me. This doesn’t work on my tablet though and I might investigate making a mifi for next year so that I can extend the range on my tablet.  Remember though, this does NOT improve the actual broadband speed which is dependent on how far the router is from the exchange (wavelength) and how many people are using the broadband at the time (think of a hose pipe with holes in it, if everyone using the broadband is represented by a hole in the hose pipe then the more holes the less the pressure, therefore the less bandwidth).  If I'm wrong on this please let me know what you think.

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