Useful Or Not – With Hindsight What We Will Take & Leave Behind Next Time

Is this the million dollar question – it’s certainly one we’d have like someone to give us the answer to before we set off on our travels the 1st time. What exactly do we need to take and what do we leave behind. Now of course our list may be different to yours, but there are certain things we have found very useful and other things that have not see the light of day so below I have labelled them Hit or Miss:

Extra’s pre-fitted to the Moho

  1. HIT External Gas BBQ Point. I think this speaks for itself, from my point of view though its a chance to have a night off cooking as I am not allowed anywhere near the BBQ (result!!!).
  2. HIT Gaslow refillable gas bottles – this have saved us so much hassle overseas, and can simply be refilled at numerous service stations. Highly recommended if travelling Europe. Although the installation is not cheap re-filling is our total spend to date on gas in 15 months on gas is £98!
  3. HIT Sun shade – well we were travelling through Europe so needed this lots
  4. HIT 150w solar panel and 2 x 110 leisure batteries – electricity was a concern of ours before we left, how would we keep everything charged, how often would we need to plug in to the EHU on a campsite etc. I can now say that if we hadn’t had electric bike batteries that needed charging the answer would have been “never” to the plugging in question. We have never ran out of power and have been able to re charge all of our appliances (except the bike batteries) via the 12v. OK I can’t use my hairdryer, but I’ve kind of got used to the casual look! We have now invested in a 1000w inverter though that should allow us to be completely self sufficient in future.
  5. HIT Sog system – for those that aren’t aware this is a sort of fan that is fitted on the loo to extract the smells and break down the unmentionables. The main benefit though is that you don’t have to use chemicals which means that you can empty the loo at every opportunity without wasting all those expensive chems. Believe me these sort of things are important when you’re wild camping!!
  6. HIT Reversing camera – we had the double camera fitted on Boris which acts as a rear view mirror when driving along. Although we don’t rely on it entirely when reversing there is always one of us on hand gesticulating and shouting at the rear of the vehicle.MISS If you’re fitting a bike rack to the back though don’t bother with the 2nd camera as the view is obscured.

Other Bits of Kit

  1. HIT 12 v laptop charger. This cost about £8 from Amazon and has been essential for charging our laptop whilst on our travels. It has numerous adaptors to fit most laptops.
  2. HIT GPS for bikes – I have to say that originally I thought this was an unnecessary purchase however I was proved wrong on numerous occasions when we left Boris behind and did long cycle rides to the next town. Obviously being designed for bikes it always took us along the cycle routes that we may not have otherwise found and avoided main trunk roads which a normal GPS system would have directed us down. We opted for the Garmin version.
  3. HIT Guide books, maps and camping books – an essential back up to all those on line apps (which sometimes fail). Good investments are All the Aires, Camperstop and ACSI.
  4. HIT Computer hardrive – not only a back up for all those wonderful pics we took along the way, but we also used this to burn copies of our numerous DVD’s so that we had something to watch on a rainy day.
  5. Sat Nav – now this has been both a hit and miss. Of course its been essential in finding our way around however our sat nav was just a standard off the shelf version that didn’t realise the size of our vehicle. Needless to say we had more than our share of bum clenching moments when it took us down roads that were too narrow or underpasses that were not tall enough. In the interest of future tours not adding to our grey hair count we have now invested in a new aguri for our next trip which allows us to add the vehicle dims and weight. Probably not an end to bicker free driving but it should help!
  6. HIT Electric bikes: Our cyclotricity power assisted bikes have been one of our best purchases. Afterall once Boris is settled in his spot we don’t really want to be moving him daily to discover the area, they have allowed us to go for miles and see things we otherwise wouldn’t have got to in a large vehicle. Oh and of course when we are approaching a big hill we just pop the power on to ensure we make it to the other side.
  7. HIT Silverscreen screen cover – this is a fab bit of kit, it keeps the inside cool and acts as a sunshade so from outdoors people can’t see in however from the inside you can still see out – clever. 
  8. HIT Games – as we opted not to have a TV in Boris, we took along a selection of familiar games such as scrabble, uno & backgammon, but along the way we have been introduced to some others which have kept us entertained for hours Rummy Cup/Tile, Skip Bo & Triominoes. We also bought a boules set and a frisby for our outdoor entertainment.
  9. MISS Before we left we purchased some Millenco Quattro levellers, however these are rather heavy and cumbersome and take up a lot of space, so only having actually used them a handful of times we have decided to sell them and have purchased a smaller set.
  10.  HIT Milenco wing mirror protectors, having been clipped by a bus ourselves and meeting 3 french vans on one aire that had all had wing mirrors smashed we think we made a good purchase here. At around £60 they are not cheap but a fraction of the cost than a new wing mirror!
  11. Hit 12v car fan – this is designed to be attached to the dash of a car, but Paul attached this to an MDF base and so we can now use it anywhere in the van. We did learn though that the cable was a little short so have now added a 12v extension to our collection meaning next time we will be able to sue it in the lounge as well as the bedroom.Fan COMPASS Fan 12V Maxi swiveling
  12. HIT Water carrier to use specifically for washing the toilet cassette when there is no tap to do so.
  13. HIT extra 12v usb plugs, always useful as they don’t last forever
  14. HIT Heat protective mat for table of kitchen counter. We just have a silicone one which rolls up when not in use. *UK Seller* Silicone Heat Resistant Table Mat Pad Straightener Non Slip
  15. HIT Portable fold up gas BBQ. <strong>Yellowstone</strong> Portable Gas BBQ
  16. HIT empty bottles with a grolsh type stopper – these have meant we can buy cheap boxes of plonk and decant it into said bottles and put it in the fridge. N.B. These have been a genius very important purchase!!!
  17. HIT Small crates and storage boxes for internal cupboards. These have helped make the most of our cupboard space as we’ve been able to stack them making the most of the space.
  18. HIT Suction hooks – perfect for any wet stuff or hangy stuff in the bathroom 
  19. HIT Hamman towels, these originate from Turkey and are used in the Hamman baths there. They are super lightweight cotton so fold very flat we have 6 of these on one shelf in an overhead cupboard. They are very absorbent (better then normal towels) plus they dry very quickly. One of our top recommends. I bought ours on e bay but they did come from Turkey.
  20. HIT elastic bands, we found these really useful when storing all our chargers in cupboards
  21. HIT Silicone lids, these make a complete seal so you can use them instead of clingfilm or on glasses to stop flies, on saucepans or casserole dishes on the hob or in the oven, on salad bowls, they are both lightweight and versatile. Ours were from Charles Vicini. Image result for charles vicini lids
  22. HIT Zapper bat for flies. We got ours from poundland, it’s an essential companion.
  23. HIT Kneeling mat – we have used ours when cleaning the roof or sorting out issues underneath.
  24. HIT Wet suits and snorkels these have meant we can swim out of season when there is noone else around.
  25. HIT Rechargeable razor (this ones just for the men), Paul uses his rather than wet shaving when wild camping.
  26. MISS Roller skates – although I have used mine Paul is not a convert so his will be staying at home next time
  27. HIT Rather than take up cupboard space with extra blankets, we stuffed some empty cushion covers with ours and use them on our sofas as cushions when not on the bed
  28. HIT Cab seat covers – with these being the most used seats we bought some cheap covers from Lidl which have saved our light upholstery, we also cover our sofas with a couple of large throws to protect them. image of Halfords Padded Seat Cushion Back Support
  29. MISS Microwave, we removed this before leaving the UK as knew we would be mainly wild camping and could use the cupboard space
  30. HIT MIFI unit for a mobile wifi sim when travelling. This is a portable mobile wifi devise which is unlocked so a local sim can be purchased. We bought ours from http://www.motorhomewifi.com and are also considering one of their wifi boosters for next time.
  31. HIT Fold up stool, ours was bought so that I could reach the kitchen cupboards, but is used when getting bikes on and off the rack, as a side table for drinks and when cleaning the outside of the van.
  32. MISS Travel iron – this has been used twice in 8 months, need I say more?

As you can see from the above we didn’t go far wrong with the items we purchased, we have added a few other items though such as a reverse polarity plug (for checking EHU before plugging in), new sat nav with dims for vehicle and dash cam, 1000w inverter, 12v extension, elbow grease and mud off cleaner for outside of van (we would love to take a fold up ladder but don’t have space). We both feel we can manage with less clothes next time as there were some things we didn’t wear (mainly those than need ironing after washing) that will be staying behind.

So long for now Andi & Paul x

 

 

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Very interesting list. We will certainly make use of it whenever we decide to hit the road and realise my (our)dream.
    And we are already trying to find out what clothes do not need ironing!

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    1. Keep working towards that dream, believe me you will not regret it! Its amazing how we haven’t missed any of our possessions that have been in storage whilst we have been on our travels, we just don’t have the same need for all the material things you have around you at home. It also curbs my shopping as we just don’t have the space/need so we now shop on that basis only – kind of out with the old in with the new motto!

      Best Wishes Andi & Paul x

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  2. chausson8a says:

    That’s a great list. We’ve also found the following useful:

    Anker portable charger – ideal for charging up phones, tablets and kindles if wild camping (no inverter)
    Le Crueset wine cooler sleeve – kept in the freezer and slipped over the wine bottle once opened – a perfect accompaniment to your great idea for the grolsch-bottles!
    Single induction hob – saves gas when on electric hook up (just need to check pans are suitable but most are)

    Paul

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    1. Hi Paul Thanks for your tips. We do have a portable charger ( I forgot to mention that whoops). I’m sure I have managed to forget lots of other things too, but will add to it when we get Boris back from the dealers and load him back up again.
      Happy travels
      Andi & Paul x

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  3. Thanks for this great list. We always use micro quick drying towels from Decathlon but will have a look at the Hamman towels. Like Paul we have an electric ring to make use of EHU and save gas and have a wine cooler sleeve, which when it is very hot we have even used to cool down a bottle of red! All our clothes are from specialist walking shops and I can’t remember when we last ironed anything.
    Stuffing blankets in to pillows is a great idea. We stuff our pillows in to cushions during the daytime and use blankets as throws over the seats, which double up as something cosy on a cool evening and an extra layer for cold nights.
    The folding step is also a useful low stool for extra visitors you might meet on your travels.

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    1. Hi
      I think the Hamman towel are up there as one of our star purchases. We also have a couple of microfibre towels that we had bought a few years back and use them as our hand towels, but the Hamman ones are far better and just dry super quickly.
      As the previous owners of an ironing business (We only stuck it for about 9 mths) we never want to iron again if we can help it so I do find myself only buying clothes now that don’t need an iron!
      That’s a good suggestion for another use for the folding stool, I am thinking of getting another one so we can also use them as foot rests when sat in our outdoor chairs!!!
      Best Regards

      Andi & Paul x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. tosan1 says:

    Hi really enjoyed reading your blog and I’m interested in getting some of the towels but it looks like they all come with tassels 😔 Would like them without ………..do yours have them ? And are they a problem ?

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    1. Hi

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading our blog. The towels are one of our best buys. Ours do have tassles (I’m not sure they come without). They are not an issue though.

      Are you planning a trip yourselves?

      Happy travels

      Andi x

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      1. tosan1 says:

        Thanks for your reply
        Will look at getting some towels with tassels then 😀
        We travel in Europe every year normally 5 weeks at a time
        Waiting for hubby (Tony) to retire asap then we will travel all of the winter months.
        Sandra x

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  5. tosan1 says:

    We got a Hamman towel to try and hubby really likes it so sending for some more. Going to use some as towels and some as beach towels.
    So thanks for the heads up on this 👍

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    1. Hi Sorry for the late reply, we have had laptop issues which have now been fixed with a new battery! They are a fab product arn’t they. We have recommended them so many times on our travels! Maybe we should start selling them.

      Enjoy your travels.
      Love Andi and Paul x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tosan1 says:

        Ha ha perhaps you should ……..but there so cheap you might not make a profit.
        Ordered the others now so hopefully they will land before were away.
        Many thanks
        Sandra & Tony X

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