This page last updated 25 February, 2011
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Once you’re in, the first thing you see is the kitchen area. The pictures below show you the layout of the space as well as the floor area. With the kitchen doubling up as an entrance hall, lino had to be the obvious flooring choice!
So, entrance into the camper body of Moglet is through a split or barn style door at the back, as per the photos on the right. This comes in damn handy on a regular basis, and we often have the bottom half locked shut and the top latched open. With the mossie net in place you still get a good breeze blowing through and loads of extra light comes in, but very little in the way of bugs. We couldn’t leave Moglet like this and go off for a walk as its obviously not secure, but it still keeps things private whilst allowing fresh air in (and cooking steam etc out).
You can see from the photos above that there’s a pretty much full size cooker in place, with a three burner hob. If you’re doing a self build and tempted to put in an ‘ordinary’ hob rather than a camper one, bear in mind they are slightly different - as per the pictures on the right, the slats on the top that you put your pans onto are held in place by rubber mountings, and the oven shelf has to be
The cupboard interiors are all very well designed (thanks again to the previous owners!) with three sturdy little racks on the inside of some of the wall unit doors, and my personal favourite being the perfectly sized holes cut out into the plywood for cups to slot into. You can see from the photos below that the original design for this cupboard was not only storage but also a drying rack, so you could do your washing up just before pootling off, put things away wet and they dry on the shelves on the way!
lifted over a couple of little bobbles on the runner before it can be slid into place, both features designed to make the cooker more able to cope with being bounced around all over the place.
We’ve also got a couple of plastic arms to hold down stacks of plates and bowls, which work well. Our plates are too deeply dished to fit into standard racks (Jason likes his gravy!), so this is a good solution for us. You can also see from the picture
You’ll also be able to see from the photo above that the splashback area of the kitchen (a reclaimed piece of an old caravan skin, would you believe!) has a couple of pump dispensers attached. Whilst these are certainly useful on a day to day basis, we now have a total of six of them in the kitchen and bathroom, and one failed after about 18 months (dripped constantly), and another one has just started to do the same. I’d imagine they’re more deigned to be used in your typical weekend and occasional holiday camper rather than on a daily basis for months on end. That said, I wrote to Fiamma, the manufacturers not too long ago and explained how disappointed I was (they cost around £10 each), and a few weeks later a box with 5 brand new dispensers arrived, so although the goods may not be up to a daily hammering for a year onwards, the customer service was certainly pretty good!
So, on to the base unit. You can see from below that it’s pretty jumbly, but similar theories to the wall units apply. The top shelf on the left has a lip to stop things falling out, the middle shelf has a layer of non-slip rubber matting that works quite well, and the base section has a box full of the bits and bobs that every kitchen needs. Jason fitted a grill above the right hand base door (pic on the right) as you may be able to make out the puffy red jacket of our little hot water tank in the bottom right of the picture below. The jacket does a pretty good job but the cupboard still gets a bit warm, so the vent allows most of the heat to escape, preventing the cupboard with the bin in it from getting too hot!
We have a water filtering system installed under the sink, which supplies the extra tap next to the sink. This water has been cleaned to within an inch of its life, so theoretically we could pump in the crappiest water we could find and it’d still
be safe enough to drink by the time its gone through the three filters. Of course, the filter would clog up in no time if we did this in reality, so we have a different filter that lives in the garage which we can use to kind of pre-filter water if its coming from am obviously dirty source, so we can do as much as possible to avoid too much crap getting into the fresh water tank in the first place.
Last up on the kitchen tour is the fridge, again designed for camper vans so has lipped shelves that have to be lifted and slid into place, door sections that all have bands in place to hold things still, a pin at the top so you can lock the door shut before you drive anywhere, and a handy little ice box in the top. It’s not really good enough to turn ice into water but will happily keep frozen things in the state you put them in there, for a day or so. And of course there’s a memo board for the never-ending Lists, and a fire blanket and an
extinguisher that we hope never to have to use (for anything other than a hat stand, of course!
Well that’s the kitchen are sorted - I get the feeling this page is going to end up being pretty large! I guess next up is the little bathroom area, which you get to through a door off of the kitchen. The door originally had a glass mirror fixed to it, but we replaced that some time ago with a sheet of reflective plastic. You can see the image looks a little distorted when viewed from an angle, and I’ll be the first to agree that its nowhere near as good as proper glass, but its about a tenth of the weight and wont ever break into a million tiny pieces, so I think it’s a better plan. And when you’re standing right in front of it there’s no distortion at all. Once you’ve opened up the door, the picture below shows the floor space you have.
The toilet is a pump action marine toilet made by Raritan. Jason has replaced most of the moving parts and we have a full spares kit should anything go wrong, but so far its been pretty reliable (if a little noisy - there’s no disguising the fact that you’re flushing the loo when you’re doing it!). It drawn water from the fresh tank for flushing, and then pumps the waste into the black storage tank directly below it. After the first couple of weeks in Moglet we discovered that not putting paper down it really was a much better plan, so we do things the continental way and paper gets put into a ziplock bag for (frequent!) separate disposal! This also means that there no paper on the black tank, so emptying it is much easier, no paper gets blocked in the pipes and worst case scenario there nothing ‘dodgy’ in the tank, no chemicals etc, so the tank could be emptied into a ditch etc. Not to be recommended and I’m certainly not advocating it, but there you go.
I have to admit, we were a little bit dubious about the whole ‘no chemicals in the tank’ side of things, but seeing as how so many caravans and campers seem to smell of toilet chemicals more than anything else, I was more than happy to give things a try which didn’t
Involve evil looking/smelling blue liquid being added regularly. Plus of course you also have re-stocking issues once you’re out of Europe. And I have to say, not once in the whole time we’ve been living in Moglet has she ever smelled like we have a tank of poo and wee strapped to her underbelly! The magical Microvent that’s plumbed into the vent pipe seems to take care of any stinkyness, and maybe once every couple of months we add a little green tablet to the loo which is essentially like an Activia yoghurt for the tank, giving it a dose of hungry little microbes that go to work on anything they find and turn it all into a slightly green-tinted slurry which is simple to rinse out. ‘Pas de problem’, as they say over here in froggy-land! But enough about toilets! As well as the loo, there’s also a combination sink/shower unit
which you can see on the left. The far left picture is the sink in its locked up position, which is how it has to be for travelling. The mirrors above house three little cupboards, which is handy. Twist the little catch at the top of the sink, and the bowl drops forward and rests on the supports fixed to the wall each side. You then have hot and cold taps, and the tap itself can be drawn out to reveal a shower host that’s about 4ft long. This can then be fixed on to the shower rail on the side wall, you wrap yourself up in the lovely duck curtain and shower away just like someone in a real house! When you’re done, hang up your wet bits and bobs onto the rail and everything can be left to drip dry :-)
The biggest problem that we have with this setup is when you’re having a shower, it’s too easy for loads of water to run off the curtain and onto the floor that the toilet sits on. It’s damn thick marine ply that’s got about an inch of exterior varnish on it, but after 8+ years of use, its starting to look a bit flaky around the edges. We have a bit of a bodge-it job planned to get us through this trip, but when we eventually have to return to the real world we plan on changing things in there quite a lot, trying to figure out a way of turning it into a wet room would be ideal. We did look at various pods etc, but at over £1,000 as a minimum we decided we’d rather spend the money on diesel and squeegee the floor after each shower!
Next on the tour is the cupboard above the garage. Imagine yourself standing in the kitchen with your back against the work top, facing towards the front of Moglet and its on the left in front of you. Hopefully you get the idea...
Well that’s half of Moglets interior taken care of - we’re getting there! Moving on to the living area, here it is on the right. The curved seating area you can see is three separate seats, all with storage underneath. The single seat has space underneath to the floor level, and the corner and double seat effectively have a split basement level too, as the middle of the floor (the bit you stand on) has been raised up to allow the fresh water tank and hot air system to be sited underneath.
Above the seating area is a storage cupboard, which we generally only use for lightweight things.
Off to the left of the seating area as you stand facing it, is the table. You can see that when its not in use, it lives upright, with part of the top section sliding into a little slot to hold it in place, and the bottom edge stands on the top of the garage section, held in place by a lip around the edge. When we want to use it, we simply slide it out, clip the little clippy bits onto the bar that’s screwed onto the side of the cupboard and its held up by a single leg, which you can see from above normally just slides in behind the Chaps!
The window by the seating area is the largest of those in the camper. They’re all the same construction though, with integral mossie nets and blackout blinds. I’ve also added no-seeum blinds as optional extras for when things like midges are an issue. All are permethrin treated.
All the windows also have bolts fitted through them, which allow us to attach window grills to the inside. I cant imagine we’d ever like to have them on for travelling, but we’ve been told it’s a useful thing to do if Moglet is ever shipped by ro-ro, or even in a container (not that I think she’d fit!).
To the right of the seating area is a crawl through hatch into the cab. As it opens onto the back of the passenger seat and a fair amount of clambering is involved, it’s not something we’d want to be using on a regular basis, but it does at least mean we have a means of getting into the cab without going outside - if we’re surrounded by hungry lions, for instance! Plus it gives us the opportunity to bash a potential thief over the head with something heavy, while they sit in the drivers seat for five minutes waiting for the engine to build up enough pressure to release the brakes so they can steal Moglet! It locks from the camper side too, so we can stop people being able to use it as a means to get to us from the cab!
There are four vents like the one below in the camper section of Moglet. They pipe hot air from the Eberspacher system, if we want it to.
There are two skylights like the one below, one in the living area and one in the kitchen. They’re both marine hatches that open outwards and lie flat on the roof, so Jason uses them to get topside from inside the camper. As with the windows, they both have mossie and blackout roller blinds incorporated.
Sitting in the seating area with your back to the window, you’re greeted by the sight of some of our furry friends and a small wall of slush (the cards!). It’s not too clear from the picture, but what you can see there is two cupboards, the darker wood to the left is the door to the electrics cupboard, and the larger and lighter one to the right is the box that protrudes into the camper due to a space accessible from the outside for the gas bottle.
The blue box on the right is the CD multichanger and right at the top left of the same picture you can see one of the two speakers in the camper. The other is inside the cupboard above the seats.
You can see from the left that all the shelves have a retaining spring which helps things to not fall out while we’re driving along. Handy!
To the left is the electrics cupboard, open and closed. On the closed door you can see the control panel for the Eberspacher, which allows us to select hot water or water and heating, and program it with a timer. It also has a diagnostic display so if there’s a fault, it tells you a code, which you can then look up and have a rough idea of what you need to do to try and fix things. The three square panels are to
display how much fresh water we have, and how full the grey and black tanks are. The bottom of each panel has a little red button which you push in and a corresponding LED lights up depending on which contact in the tank is having a circuit made due to contact with a liquid. We were getting flaky readings from the fresh water tank for some time but Jason cleaned off the contacts and removed a load of lime scale caking, after which they’re as good as new. The round dials used to display the status of the individual 12v leisure batteries, but we converted the whole of the camper over to 24v ages ago so these are no longer valid. And last but not least, the little black switch with the red light on it at the bottom of the door is the on/off switch for the fridge. The black bit to the right of the fridge switch is just a hole!
Next up, the bedroom! It’s a standard double mattress, resting on a pair of single slatted sprung bases, which in turn rests on a strange grey matting that’s in two layers with a kind of plastic brillo pad in between. This basically allows air to flow freely under the bed and, since we put it in, there’s been no moisture issue at all.
In the bedroom photo above, you can see an extractor fan in the ceiling. There are two of these in Moglet, one above the bed and one mid-way between the kitchen and living area. Both have two layers of mossie mesh with a fan in between them, and both can either work on a suck or blow basis - so when it gets really hot or steamy from cooking, you can put one on suck and one on blow and get a good
amount of circulation going. They have variable speed on the fan, or you can just wind open the flap and have it as a traditional skylight. We also have a 12v fan above the bed that plugs into the cigarette lighter on the side of the gas bottle cupboard. Not as effective as the extractor but a good compromise when we’re parked up and not plugged in as it takes a lot less power.
As well as all the mossie netting on the windows, we also have a triple layer curtain that hangs in front of the bedroom area, effectively sealing it off. This has been permethrin treated too, and it’s velcroed in three continuous strips along the ceiling, so there’s very little chance of anything sneaking through and surviving for very long.
And there’s Jason, demonstrating how easy it is to get through the netting if you’re not a teeny little mossie :-)
The bedroom area has two windows, one at each end. Unlike a bedroom in a house, you can never be sure your bed will be particularly level, so depending on how you park up, the ‘head’ end of the bed gets changed all the time! The windows slide open, and we each have a little reading light. The bulbs were pretty hungry for power, so they’ve been swapped over to LED’s.
I know this page is working out to be just as huge as I feared, but we’re getting there, honestly!
BEDROOM UPDATE - The strange grey brillo pad is no more! Click here to jump to a separate page with an update on the latest evolution of the sleeping area.
Now you need to imagine yourself sitting back in the seating area, this time on the single seat facing backward towards the kitchen. From here you can best see the main storage area in the camper. As with everything in Moglet, there’s a constant balance between seeing how much stuff we can fit in versus how much stuff we actually need. There’s always been a real danger with so much cupboard space that we’d fill it just because it was there, so we try really hard not to do that. And sometimes odd things will be found in places you wouldn’t expect them to be because, unlike in a house where like goes with like when it comes to putting things away, with campers you need to make sure you’re putting things in the best place from a weight distribution perspective. So you won’t find books on the shelves because that’s too heavy a thing to have so high up - no matter that its a bit inconvenient, books go in a basement cupboard. Likewise with tins and packets of food - they’re not in the kitchen because the kitchen area is behind the back axle and pretty much the worst place to put lots of heavy things if you don’t have to. The heaviest things you’ll find in the kitchen wall units are toilet rolls, a couple of sleeping bags and lots of empty tupperware boxes!
So this is the main run of cupboards. There’s three at waist height (painted) and two lower down (unpainted). The two lower cupboards also have a basement section, for the same reason as the storage under the seats in that the floor has been raised to allow space for the water tank. With the picture below and to the left, and the two below, you can hopefully see the two different styles of fixing.
The left-hand picture above shows how the drawers slide in the nearest two painted door cupboards. They’re simply hard plastic boxes with runners that fit into heavy duty plastic sliders. I think the whole lot came from Ikea when Moglet was originally built??
The right-hand picture above shows how the drawers in the bottom, unpainted cupboards are fixed. As they’re lower down, they tend to be heavier weighted and as such not on runners - Jason spaced out shelving for them and made it tight enough so there’s room for the drawer and no more, so no rattling whilst driving.
The painted cupboard furthest away from the seating area is a little different as it’s quite a bit larger and therefore able to have more stuff shoved in it, and so potentially quite a bit heavier. It’s a similar principle though to the bottom unpainted cupboards in that Jason made shelves which are only big enough for the drawers and no more. The difference is that this cupboard has a vertical retaining bar which bolts into place to stop the drawers sliding forwards while we’re on the move. So once the drawers are in place, the retainer is bolted in top and bottom, then the exterior of the door also has a bolt in place. It may seem a bit excessive but we plan on doing something similar to all the drawers before we leave - even just driving to the local supermarket has all the drawers sliding about and bashing against the inside of the doors, so who knows that havoc the African roads will wreak!
And last but by no means least, we have the gubbins under the floor. You can see in the first picture that the arrangement is stepped - these are the two small steps that you go up to get from the kitchen are to the main living area. This is basically an aerial shot of the water pump and main heating distributor. I’ll go on a bit more about the heating within the Chassis section as that’s what the Eberspacher is attached to (it’s under the bonnet). This is also the place to come to if we need to drain down the water system or empty the fresh water tank.
So for now I think that pretty much sums things up inside the camper. It’s more than we’ve said before, but probably not as much as could be said. I know when we were thinking of having to do our own self-build we devoured anything like this would could get our hands on, so hopefully someone out there will find it useful. If there’s anything else anyone wants to see pictures of, or any more specific stuff on what’s already been shown, please let me know.