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 Essential equipment for a total beginner?

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URmysunshine

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PostSubject: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:33 pm

Hi all!
Having decided to go on the trip to France, I know realise we need to start buying 'stuff'!
As a total newbie to owning a campervan & camping at all, we have nothing!!
We will try & do a few weekend trips come the spring to get an idea of what we need and 'practice' but any advice on what should be the first essential items to get would be appreciated. What's worth spending money on & what's not? Any particular brands you recommend?
Just to let you know about us....we are a family of four (sorry five)..two children, aged 7 & 3 years and a 6 yr old kombi! Smile 
Thanks in advance
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harryhornet

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:40 pm

With a young family you would certainly benefit from an awning. There are lots of shapes and sizes but I can thoroughly recommend the Kyham Motordome.
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gordonmac

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:00 pm

Whistleing kettle is a camper van essential. Plastic cups and plates, nice mugs for tea, some sort of basin to carry stuff to wash-up areas. 1 pot and 1 frying pan. Meguires gold wax. Sleeping bags rather than duvets.

I also steal all the condiment sachets in every cafe (and never use them!) and as much citronella as you can find. Binoculars. Mini versions of everything! Oh and an LED Lenser torch!

Happy shopping.
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Tallulah

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:05 pm

Levelling ramps and chocks, a miniature dustpan and brush.

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:10 pm

We use duvets rather than sleeping bags and bought memory foam to top the R&R mattress with - makes for a very cosy night!! We also bought a windscreen cover that attaches to the outside, keeps the van cool in hot weather and is a blackout for night time.
We keep the basics such as tea, matches and biccies in the van so she's ready for a spontaneous afternoon drive and a cuppa!
We keep a blanket in the back as there's no heating so out daughter keeps warm when we are out and about.
Then all the fun bits like bunting etc!!!
Enjoy!!
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URmysunshine

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:22 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I will be writing lots of lists for shopping trips!
Researching awnings to try & decide which one but definitely think an easy pop up style would be better. Have you ever had issues at campsites not providing big enough pitch to accommodate awning? We wouldn't be looking to get a big one.
I love a bit of bunting Smile Need to decide on a colour scheme for inside (very important detail!) Our camper is green.
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lilyvdub

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:45 pm

Green !!!!!!! Another green !!! We will take over
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:20 pm

@lilyvdub wrote:
Green !!!!!!! Another green !!! We will take over
We'll let you think that ......

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dazdub

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:53 am

Folding chairs (with beer holder) Smile
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Tallulah

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:56 am

We rarely use our awning these days, admittedly it's not a Kayam so it's slightly trickier to put up but still not that difficult (and it's bigger than a Kayam when up and smaller when packed away) in fact we didn't use it all this season - it went out on hire twice.

Instead we used our sun (rain...) canopy on almost every trip, up/down in just a few minutes and takes up very little space in the van. Combine that with a decent wind break (colour coded of course!) and you still get some privacy and a bit more flexibility too.



We would probably still use the awning if we were staying somewhere for longer than a few days/nights or if we wanted to leave a 'base camp' on a site and use Tallulah to go somewhere during the day etc.

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Matt

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:18 am

You need to get a 25 metre hook up electric cable, the 10 metre one that danburys sell with the vans is not long enough on most sites. Dont think anyones mentioned a small bin.

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dizzylizard

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:15 am

Agree with all the above, the best things we have bought were the windscreen cover, door pockets, door window vents, table leg tripod as shown in Tallulahs photo, so you can eat outside without carrying a separate table.

Other things permanently kept in the van are water bottles which fit snugly in the fridge door pocket, for cups of tea (avoids keeping the main water container filled) and some roll up track mats which are useful if stuck on a beach (used several times for others, and myself once Embarassed) in the summer, in snow in the winter, and muddy fields all year round with our weather. Smile 



As above, summer kit kept permanently in van is folding seats, sun canopy, windbreak, tripod, in the winter they come out and small gas heater goes in. (CO alarm fitted)
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URmysunshine

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:44 pm

Great tips thank you.
So much to think about. I think we'd need an awning for extra storage or sleeping space on longer trips but if we were to only use it very occasionally for anything longer than a weekend do you think it's worth paying out extra for a kyham or are others just as good?
Folding chairs obviously a must. Like the table tripod, where do they come from?

I've seen the future.... It's definitely GREEN!!! Wink
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:08 pm

Yes, definitely worth paying extra for a Khyam.

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jj123vw

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:20 pm

I would go for a blow up awning as you only have one bag to carry instead of two and they are really easy to put up with no booklets / instructions to read or hassle trying to work out what pole goes where. We sell the Vango range at Danbury and have them in stock as we sell lots of them to existing owners (many of them changing from 'pole' awnings). If you plan on camping wild a good suggestion is a small generator so you have power wherever you are. Honda are the best make I think…Danbury is an official Honda power dealer and they come with a 5 year warranty Very Happy 
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osg

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:22 pm

For a good night's sleep - make sure you take your pillows from home, or some equally comfortable
osg
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Bileos

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:41 pm

I would also recommend the Kyam Motordome - easily erected and to take down by one person, and our Olive is the same colour green as yours and the grey/black with green piping and guy ropes on the motordome looks a good combo! Someone on this forum was selling theirs recently but can't remember who, I think they were selling a number of items. The fold up chairs from Just Kampers are good as they have side tables and are very light, this is also where you can get the tripod table leg.
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lilyvdub

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:27 pm

We have found the folding kettle a boom as goes in sink bowl with two cups which is easy to access when you stop fully loaded for a brew, this is when you need your freebie sachets.....looking forward to meeting a new green member....have fun kitting out your dub....you will be able to pinch lots of ideas on your travels once you start viewing other dubs.....cannot recommend the quick erect Kyman awning enough, I was (mrs lilyvdub) able to erect this on my own. Fantastic to quickly drop and not to heavy to load in and out of van and fit in perfectly in width of dub......Good luck with your purchasing.
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AbsintheKombi

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:47 pm

Penny. You didn't mention Tony's supply of "wipes for very occasion"!

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lilyvdub

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:18 pm

LOL.
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URmysunshine

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:23 pm

Which model of the kyham motor domes do those that have them use...Classic, tourer etc? If sleeping in them what type of bed do you go for? Inflatable or the metal frame type?
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lilyvdub

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:03 pm

Hi we use the classic , just slightly bigger than tourer which we find more suitable,don't use it to sleep in , more for eating and social, we rarely put the inner tent up as we prefer the space
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harryhornet

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:52 pm

It's the Motordome Sleeper for us. We purchased a double inflatable mattress from Tesco. Packs down nice and small and easy to inflate/deflate with a small electric pump. The plan was for our 10 year old and dog to sleep in the awning but they both came into the Kombi half way through the first night. (can you blame them) ! From then on the sleeping area of the awning became very useful storage for all those things you want to hide away.
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:07 am

Could I at this juncture point out that we have an entire category dedicated to Awings and Canopies? There's a lot of discussion there and we don't want to double up on the info here ta. Basketball 

Awnings/Sun Canopies

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absquatulation

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PostSubject: Re: Essential equipment for a total beginner?   Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:00 pm

I suggest an AA recovery card

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