Friday, 20 March 2015


Ages back when I showed off my internal motorhome makeover Frances asked for a picture of the outside, just to make sure that it wasn't a Tardis. Well, it's late in coming.  I had to clean before I did that, a tortuous job I'd put off for a long time.  It involved a major argument with Louis who was supposed to be helping.  Instead he sloped off halfway through and hid in the toilet to play on his Kindle leaving  me sitting on the roof cold, grubby and wet  whilst  waiting for fresh hot water.  Words were said some of which might have been swearier than you'd expect a mother to use in the presence of an eleven year old.  However we made up and the job got done. So, today I've come up with a goods, a tour of the outside of the very gorgeous Klaus the Knaus.  The exterior features may not be quite as pretty as his gorgeous interior but there's lots to see. Here's the cab - very useful when I want to up sticks!  If this hasn't happened in some time and the main battery is as dead as that skeletal dodo that we saw in Brighton, I trickle charge by running a wire from the leisure battery which usually powers bits and pieces inside.  That does the trick and within twelve hours we can be off.
Lots of my fulltiming counterparts erect awnings and then pack them full of stuff.  As this was an exercise in living with less AND I want to be able to move when I want to with ease I've decided not to do that.  Here's the sum of my outside storage.  My bike is under its special cover made for the job.  Underneath the green tarp is a spare European gas bottle, a bike rack and my Lafuma lounger, that will earn its place with me through through warmer months.

Here's the storage compartment that runs under the back seat that can be accessed from inside too.  It holds all sorts of gubbins; hoses, camping table and chairs, a barbecue, the windy thing for my awning, buckets and bowls for cleaning.  As you can see it can get messy quite quickly.

There's a folding bike rack on the back and a ladder so that I can climb onto the roof to argue with my son.

And here's what's up there.  A solar panel that allows me to wildcamp without a hookup and not have to worry about having no lighting.  The thing on the far left is a satellite dish that I've discovered needs some TLC.  Maybe it's why the TV doesn't work at the moment.  I need to get a man onto that.

There's a little cupboard where my toilet cassette fits snugly.  I'm going to have to empty it in a minute.  I push the big yellow button at the front and it then slides out.  The tube on the right shows how much flushing liquid I've got left.  That's filled by pulling out the arm thingy attached to that white box at the top and unscrewing the lid.  The disinfectant stuff I add to the liquid is the same blue stuff that I use in the main toilet.

A humble washing up bowl that collects waste grey water, not anything that goes down the toilet I hasten to add.  It's just the stuff that goes down the plug hole after washing up and from bathroom ablutions.  Nothing really yucky.

I connect to mains electricity when I'm on sites here.  There thing on the right is a vent from my gas boiler.  On a cold morning like today atmospheric steam emits from it.

And here's a second outside locker but this one cannot be accessed from inside the van.  It contains my propane supply used to cook, for the central heating and hot water system and to run the fridge when I'm not on a hook up.  As Klaus is German there's an adaptor for UK bottle connections. They can be a sod to change. The green thing at the top is where I top up my clean water daily with a watering can.

So there you have it, a further look around the tiny versatile space that I call home!


  1. He is rather lovely, your Klaus, almost like a snail really. I am impressed by all the amenities, especially the solar panel.

  2. Sounds very familiar - we too have splashed out and fitted solar panel but won't get to really try it out until the autumn when we finish work. Until then we will certainly make the most of the electric hook-up. We also have our awning up by the side of the 'van but like you made do without throughout the winter both in UK and Europe.