So, my caravan-to-be will be needing certain essential supplies before I can actually live in it. I have to think of my basic needs first and foremost, then lesser needs, then even lesser, and finally luxury.
Note: this assumes the caravan I purchase has a basic kitchen sink with faucet.
This is stuff like food, bed, toilet, shower. Obviously, I have a bed, so that’s covered. Worst comes to worst, I can eat uncooked ramen noodles, have sponge baths and poop in a bucket, but obviously, none of that is ideal.
- Food – Mum has a portable hot plate I can use, so I can at least cook the ramen. There are two fridges at my family’s onsite caravan, so I will probably be able to borrow the smaller of them for a bit. Obviously, that covers the biggest problems. I can deal with not having an oven for a while if I need to. Toasters are really cheap, and I have a Tefal Quick Cup which I got some years ago in my youthful wealth.
- Shower: At the cheap end, I can get a budget camp shower. But, since I’ll already be needing a hot water heater for the kitchen sink, I’m half way there.
- Toilet: You can get real cheap camping loos, and cassette toilets are the next step up, though they cost a few hundred. I could also go DIY and chuck a seat over a bucket.. but it all depends on the sewage system on the land I will occupy.
- The small things: drinking water hose to pump water in, and long electrical cord for power are going to be essentials. I’ll also need a decent tool set, for the many fixes I may need to make.
Lesser needs are things I will still want before I move out of here, due to convenience or what have you.
- Oven or convection oven – for obvious reasons.
- Computer with internet – because I can’t do without it. I have a laptop and desktop PC, both of which I use profusely. My TV is connected to the PC, which has 2 further monitors attached. I aim to build in the computer to the caravan, using brackets.
- Table and chairs – Whatever may be built into the caravan is something I would like to remove in favour of something that takes up less space. I have a gateleg folding table from Ikea, and I’ll have to pick up some inexpensive folding chairs to go along with it. I have a desk chair, also.
- Washing machine – you can buy reeeeaaallly basic washing machines, with hand cranks. The next step up is a travel washing machine, which looks pretty flimsy, but hopefully it will be adequate.
- Some kind of annexe – Something that will give me a little extra space so I can definitely fit in my basics, and some privacy because the annexe would be where I’d put my bathroom area.
- Iron & ironing board – for those times when I want to look less poor than I am
- A couple of lamps, so I can see what I’m doing in the annexe
Even Lesser Needs
These are things I can save up for and buy after I’ve moved in.
- Compact Dishwasher – because I hate washing up.
- Other cooking appliances, if I find myself wishing I had them.
- Own fridge – because I’ll be borrowing one
- TV antenna
- Air conditioner, if the caravan is subject to the elements too much. Otherwise, it can be put in with the luxury items.
- Dustbuster / small vacuum
This’ll be stuff I only get if my financial situation is looking good.
- Brand spanking new kitchen and other fittings, goodbye crummy old stuff
- Fancier greywater systems
- Solar power
- Air purifier, to help my allergies
- Water filter
- Fancier shower recess
- Kit out the van with full surround sound – I am a filmmaker, after all.
So basically, I will invest in the van slowly over time, while simultaneously paying off my debts bit by bit. Both are important – one for comfort, the other for general freedom from the chains of debt.
Hopefully if I can stick to this plan, I can have a fully kitted out caravan within 2 years. I can’t say how long I will need to live in the van, nor can I say whether or not I will pay off my debts by then, because I don’t know what my future job outlook is. With a bit of luck, things will work out and I may be looking at plots of land in five years.