Well this page is a little on the skinny side so far, but I’m sure that will change
in the not too distant future. The first of the pictures below shows Moglets passenger
side. From the back working forwards, you can just about make out the kitchen window,
slightly hiding behind the half open main door into the camper body.
You can clearly see the barn style split that allows the top half of the door to
be pinned open whilst the bottom stays locked shut. The little ladder that’s hanging
out from under the door is permanently fixed to the chassis, although it does slide
back under the body before we drive anywhere. There’s also an outside light above
the door, but we don’t tend to use that much as all it does is show the moths and
mossies which direction to head in!
Next along the side is a smaller door - this is for access into the gas bottle cupboard,
which is also for wet weather gear. As it was specifically designed for the gas
bottle, the door has a vent top and bottom, as well as a sloped floor with another
vent in the floor in the lowest point. Jason has also added an inch thick layer
of insulation to the inside of the door.
To the bottom left of the gas bottle cupboard is a little flap which lifts up to
reveal the socket where we can plug Moglet in to 240v power sources. Just below
the socket you can see a larger ladder leaning up against the body. This is our
day to day ladder, which has a couple of large hooks at the top that locate into
two hoops fixed into the chassis just below the main door sill. Unfortunately, the
ladder was made for the previous owners when Moglet was in her earlier incarnation
when the wheels and tyres were much smaller. This means that unless we’re parked
on a fair slope, the bottom of the ladder needs to sit on a 5” thick block of wood.
But that’s no problem really, we have the blocks with us anyway as bases for the
bottle jack, and having what’s basically a wooden platform for the ladder to sit
on means the feet don’t sink into the ground when the goings a little soft.
The white strip running horizontal along the body is our roll out blind. Although
its been on the body for as long as we’ve had Moglet, and therefore part of the original
set-up, it doesn’t matter too much that Moglet sits a little higher off the ground
now, as the legs that support the two outermost corners extend sufficiently to still
reach the ground. We also have three separate panels of mesh that can be attached
to the rolled out blind, which provide a bit more shade depending on which direction
the sun is coming from - its hardly ever directly overhead when you stop, so having
extra bits can come in handy!
Above the blind is one of the bedroom windows, and above that is a black strip that
runs along the front top edge of the camper and then around each side as you can
see. This was added by the previous owners as a bit of extra protection from trees
etc that you just cant avoid clonking as you drive along. Jason has patched it up
once or twice with fibreglass as it can take a bit of a beating - I think its basically
a piece of guttering downpipe that’s been sliced through and then opened up enough
to wrap itself in a kind of pacman shape around the top edge. It’s then been riveted
into place and does a pretty good job of protecting not only the front edge but also
the roof hatches and solar panels from that initial thwack that all camper drivers
learn to dread as they drive down leafy lanes!
From the front you can see the shiny new silver storage box Jason had added during
our last trip to Atkinson Vos. What pleases Jason the most is that, whilst clambering
about over the front of Moglet during the box fitting session, he came to the happy
discovery that he can sit comfortably inside it, and the drain hole in the bottom
designed to allow rainfall to escape easily can also magically double up as a plughole,
so the addition of a heavy tarp means he now has a bath strapped to the front of
Bath-functions aside, anything we put into the box also obviously adds weight to
the very front of the chassis, which has the inevitable effect of ‘lifting’ weight
from the back axles. As Moglet is always going to be more back heavy than front,
this is a very good thing. I was a little concerned that it would affect visibility
hugely, but in reality you hardly notice it’s there. Sounds hard to believe, I know,
but there you have it.
The next view is a profile on the drivers side. From the front going backwards,
at the top you have the other bedroom window. Just behind the drivers door you can
see another little white flap - this is covering the input socket for 110v power
supplies, so we can plug in pretty much both sides of the Atlantic. A little further
back is the largest window on the camper, part of the seating area. Directly below
that is a black filler point, which is where the fresh water goes.
Moving a little further towards the back from there is another door - this one is
for access into Jasons garage. It’s a 1m square box , again with insulation added
to the inside of the door. This door, and all the others, have double security in
that there’s key access as well as the ability to deadbolt.
And finally at the back you have a window for the bathroom. You may be able to make
out the stick on gel flower, chosen by Jason as it makes lovely patterns when the
sun shines through it :-)
Which brings us to Moglets lovely (if sizeable!) rear end! From the top, in the
centre you can see a little camera, which is for the reversing camera. It’s amazing
how useful this is, gives a surprisingly clear picture, and even has sound too!
The silver contraption around that is the remains of the bike rack we used to lug
around with us. After 18months of not using the bikes even once, we decided to leave
them in the UK, along with half the rack. The other half stayed with us though as
its proved itself to be perfect for holding on our ladder.
Below that are the spares. To save weight, we have one spare tyre, and one spare
wheel and tyre combo. We use a chain hoist to get them up and down, which isn’t
the speediest thing in the world but means it’s do-able for me to lift the
150kg wheel and tyre combo, and means that if one of us is injured or for some reason
unable to get involved, the other can still do a wheel change and replacement as
a one-man job. It’s hot and sweaty work, but it’s do-able! I’m sure by now you’ll
also be admiring our lovely tyre covers, made specially for us by the clever people
at Pennine Outdoors. It seems daft to me when I see overlanders with spare wheels
either slung on their roof rack above the cab, or strapped to the back like ours,
but with no covers on. If we were to buy a brand new tyre from Michelin (which we
wouldn’t!), we wouldn’t get much change from a grand, so why on earth wouldn’t you
want to protect such a valuable piece of kit from the sun? So we have UV resistant
ripstop fabric that wraps around and ties on, with a hole punched in the bottom to
let out any rain that sneaks in. Smashing :-)
So there’s your whistle-stop tour of the exterior. Lots more to say under the Chassis
section, but that’ll happen another day...