31 January 2014

My van - my home, my way of travelling and living

Beautiful spot in Barragem Idanha-A-Nova, Portugal

I present my van, my home, pictures from inside/outside, some technical information and what I think about "all you need in your camper/motorhome" no matter about the model or size. I do basicly ONLY free camping, it can be in the city or village, beach or mountains, lakes or by the rivers, you name it, "all" is possible. Campsites I use to do my laundry and sometimes just for a comfort of having long hot showers (yeah, I know, not so ecological of waisting so much water!). Fees of the sites are very different depending what you are looking for and some countries prices are way too high if thinking what you get back for your money. In Portugal you can find sites as low as 6-7 e / night including one person, camper and even electricity and in Croatia you may pay just for a car and tent 28 e / night (and I do not talk about five star campsites!)...

One reason I wanted a van model instead of a "real camper" was that since I was a woman travelling alone, I wanted to have a camper which at first sight didnt look like a camper. I didnt install an awning or bicycle rack - but I do agree that they can be handy to have! A total must to have are solar panel(s). If you do freecamp like me this is the first thing to do. It allows to stay many days in one place If I want and I am rarely connected to electricity hook up. Solar panels are loading my three batteriers, one for the engine and two for the home side (normally there is only one battery for the home side, but I wanted to have an extra one beside it, vice thing to do). I manage to charge all my things, such as laptop, camera, mobile, electric toothbrush etc AND I can use my kitchen machines such as mixer, toaster..and of course using the lights in the evening and having power to use waterpump, circleling the heating, even the heating is with gas, but you need some power too for that. Like I said the heating works with gas, but If I am having an electronic hook up, heating can be done by that and so im not wasting my gas.

Fridge is using gas, electricity or your batteries while driving. Normally you must always remember to switch your fridge in right position, but I was letting to change this, that the fridge is doing it automatically. I know I would always forget to switch out of gas while driving or vice versa.

If you have sensitive electronic (toothbrush!!!) you must install blu ray converter (more expensive!). My first converter was not and it was killing three chargers of my electronic toothbrush, before I realized where is the problem. So I do have 1000 watt blu ray converter now.

I do not have television (well I didnt have one even at home at the time), but I can look films from my laptop, this is enough for me. What I really miss is an oven. Many people wouldnt care, but I just love to cook foods in oven! I have seen similar vans like me with oven, makes me always soooo jealous!

I also installed an extra watertap, that in this way I dont have to think about buying bottled water. You need to change a filter for this 1-2 times a year and you should be always able to drink your water from your tank ( I still though by bottle water....).

I do NOT use any chemical product in my van what could harm nature, this allows me to do clean freecamp - respect the nature and nature loves you back <3. As I do freecamp, often I pay my stay back for the nature by cleaning the beaches/parkings etc. I do have extra big bags for this purpose only. So please keep the nature clean and be respectful!

So here is my cutie, we fell in love 2011, it was camper/caravan expo in Finland and this cutie became mine <3

 ADRIA TWIN SPX, Fiat Ducato Maxi 2.3 l
Lenght 6360 mm
Large 2050 mm

What´s cooking!

My little bathroom with toilet and shower

Bed is amazing big, comparing many much bigger campers! 159 cm large, like having a twin bed at home! Under the bed you have spacy storage and the closet on the left is for 2 big bottles of gaz. Bed you can also lift up, incase you need to transport bigger things..Top of the bed there are four large closets for my many many many clothes, also next to the fridge there are more closets for clothes..

This is my bed made (notice the seaview ;P)

This photo it is well seen my solar panels on the roof, two times 100w, click the photo bigger

My livingroom and kitchen

Living room :)

I love spices!

I love antiek!

A little drum instead of TV

Portuguese, Lady of the Fatima and the cock

Little camper deco gift from Harald and Renate
Fatima hand from Morocco, Greek shells
dashboard deco inside

dasboard deco outside :P

Little room for doggie too
For the safety I have alarm for each doors and for the gas.
 (Burglar alarm and Gas/smoke detectors)

Little extra, small digital screen which shows the charge of my batteries and the ampers used (thank you Peter for this installation, you are the best :) )

Safety locks in the back and sliding door..

As I do get often mail from people who have just bought a camper or are just about to buy a camper, they often ask tips or advices from me. Above I told already about what I have installed to my camper and here below I have collected some useful information for the beginners with photos like what is handy to really have with you or tips where to park etc.

Having a water hose with different connectors since tap sizes are not always the same! In the campsites there are often hoses ready, but in camper stops not, so you will need your own hose with connectors.

Many campers uses watering cans, but I think it takes too much space, so I have this funnel in a handy form to fill water from cans. And those cans serves also as reserve water (I have two x 16 liter can).

Little electronic cooking plate, useful if you are connected to electricity or like doing "camping on board" between Italy and Greece. You stay in your camper while travelling the sea and since gas is not allowed to use in ferries, you can use your cooking plate instead.

Well well...GAS! This is little delicate and maybe confusing, even for those who has been abroad already. As my first year I bought adapters for European gas bottles. I bought bottles in many countries and of course there is always a deposit. I bought a bottle from Greece and it was finished in what happens? You loose your deposit. Bought a bottle from Italy and the gas was finished in Morocco = you loose your deposit. Each time the same..

I came to Portugal and thought once again just to buy a Portuguese bottle. I did. But heyyy, the connectors are really not the ones that the package presents. Nobody seem to understand when I went around to try to find Portuguese adapter for their bottle. So what I did in the end was that I went to a LPG-station and they filled my ordinary Finnish bottles. And I bought this adapter with me. Yes, it is illegal to use, but functional. Just be sure you fill the bottle ONLY when its empty (that you are sure about the amount you have in your bottle = empty). NEVER add more than 22 liters in 11 kg bottle, since there is no automatic valve to close it down!.

Years I have filled my bottles with the adapter but in August 2016 I also bought one official LPG / GPL / Autogas- bottle. This bottle has an automatic security valve and it can never be over filled. I bought it from Holland in Winterswijk N 51 57 35 E 06 41 10. It is the biggest accessoire shop for campers in Europe. I payed 295 e from it, its light aluminiun, but you could also buy the more heavy model in 250 e. No installations needed, you just add it in your regular bottle place, easy!

And of course when you have a LPG bottle you need adapters for different countries. Most used one is the one in the middle. This set costs about 25 e.

As LPG is not as clean gas as propane it is a smart idea to install a LPG filter. Filter must be changed every 10.000 hours so in every day use after 416 days! You can buy this on the net too, costs about 25 e. Photo below close up from the filter.

Remember that LPG is not available in ALL countries, for example not in Finland (there I always change my propane bottles to other propane bottles with Finnish deposit system). If you are planning to go for a Scandinavian tour, fill your gas in Sweden or Norway! From this internet site you can check ALL LPG-stations in Europe, click  HERE.

White vinegar, excellent product for cleaning inside, toilet, bathroom, kitchen! Takes out all possible calsium spots in your kitchen and kettles. For my camper washing outside I need only 2 liters water, no chemical products. Small sponge, old pantyhose and one kitchen roll. Pantyhose serves to take easier out dead insects, works well! Water your sponge and clean with kitchen roll. Not so fun work but cleans well :).

And where to stay abroad? Some people like to be only in the campsites, some in camper stops/Aires/Stellplatz, what ever the name is. Camper stop is a place which is reserved for campers. Mostly you can take water and empty your gray water and toilet. Some are free, some you need to pay. Some are just for parking for an overnight stay without facilities. There are so many kind of them! Or some people park "wild", means you camp in the nature/beach/mountain or what ever you find as a nice place. Reminding again, stay respectful for the nature!

There are so many books available, but I think the most handy thing is to dowload an application for your smartphone which works offline too. I have an application on my mobile from HERE.

This application is soooo good in Germany, France, Spain and Italy!!! You find camper stops, campsites or just parkings from this app. I think it costs about 6 euro for a year to have it as full version.
And this is how I camp...

Full Moon camping


  1. Erittäin hyvin kerrot mitä kaikkea on hyvä tietää,kun ajelee ympäri maailmaa asuntoautolla.Toivottavasti pidät infoa yllä jatkossakin.On hyvä tietää kaikki konstit missä säästää,koska joka maalla on omat tapansa toimia.Olisi myös hyvä lukea mitä reittejä kannattaa ajaa päästääkseen eri kohteisiin helpommin.

  2. Kiitos kommentista ;), reittivalinnat ovat varmaan useimmile makuasia, mutta voisin katsastaa josko voisin "piirtää" reittejä ylös mitä itse olen ajellut ja ehkä tietoa noista lauttaylityksistä? Lauttaylityksistä olen itse monesti joutunut hakemaan tietoa netistä tai keskustelupalstoilta. Kiitos vinkistä!

  3. What a nice home you have, you and Doggy Reiska! We don´t need so many things, the most important is the peace with your own soul and the other people. It´s not always very easy but one can practice, usually it will take the whole life :-)! Have a fine week!


Thank you for leaving a comment, they are always welcome in English, Finnish, Dutch or French, others I need google translate :)