As I said, we have lived in our truck camper for 7 of the last 11 months. Not all of this time was preplanned. We did take a trip down the East Coast and across the South for 3 months. The rest has been providing support to family and living in our mini-apartment (camper) wherever we need to be.
For that reason, we have had lots of time to make some improvements in the livability of the camper. I will show you some of the things we have done and tell you about others.
We replaced the cushion foam in the dinette. We found that after a few months of use over the past year, the old foam allowed one to “bottom out” while sitting. Since we sit in the same area to read, eat, watch TV, use the computer, pay bills, talk, etc., this was a necessity. I ordered custom cut foam from the Foam Online. The new foam is MUCH more comfortable!
We also replaced the pleated shade in the dinette with a day/night shade. Just did it today as a matter of fact. We ordered the new blind from The Blind Chalet online. It is a vast improvement. The Bearded One is somewhat paranoid about folks looking in our windows so the day shade gives us privacy but still allows us to look out and lets light in. The night shade will give total privacy when our lights are on at night.
We also found that the large tabletop that came with the camper was too big for us. It made it difficult to sit down (had to kind of slide around the dinette sofa) and was made for four people. We took that top off the base and added a square top using the top of a parsons table from Ikea. It makes it much more comfortable to sit and easy to get up and down. I added a storage cube with drawers from Target to provide a place to put books, magazines, tissue box, etc. and provide space for drinks when we are using the table top for reading or computing.
I found plastic shoe storage at Walgreens while I was waiting for someone to get a shot. You know, the kind that has a pocket for each shoe and is meant to hang on a closet door? I cut it up and have used it for several purposes…
And I still have some pockets left…just looking for inspiration! All for $4!
I added storage for our laptop computer using two towel racks from (you called it!) IKEA. I had to put spacers behind the mounting brackets to make the space wide enough for the height of the laptop but this works like a charm. I can easily pull it in and out. The computer travels without falling over or needing further stowage. It can remain plugged in at all times.
We added kitchen storage by adding racks for utensils over the stove.
Shelves were added to the closet next to the stove. We keep all our clothes in the bedroom area so the hanging bar in this area was a waste of space. We bought bins with handles at Office Depot. The bottom parts of the bins hold foodstuffs on the lower shelves. The tops of the bins act as sliding shelves for the pans on the upper shelves.
We put magnetic strips inside two cupboard doors to hang knives, scissors and tools. Also from IKEA.
I love to cook so we need lots of spices. There was an unused area under the refrigerator. I added a metal sheet (ordered online) in a color to match the cabinets and bought magnetic cans from IKEA. (Is this an ad for IKEA or what?)
We also added counter space when the pleated blind over the window between the truck cab and the camper failed. (Who would have thought it would when it is located in the area where two people and two cats clamber in and out of bed…the cats a hundred times a day?) We added a folding shelf that gives us privacy with the window when it is folded up and counter space when it is out. I use the counter at times when cooking and as computing area since it is beside my seat. It also holds the computer when we are watching a streamed show on the computer hooked to the TV.
In the bathroom, we started the first week taking off the bathroom door. This space is the size of a small closet and has no window or vent. The vent is just outside the bathroom door. The shower curtain covers the door. This makes activities there private but not suffocating!
We ordered a teak bath mat for the bottom of the shower area. It is wonderful! Lets the water flow through but looks good and feels great underfoot. The Bearded One oils it once in a while.
And then there are the cats. Their food and water fountain (one of ours demands running water) are on a shelf behind the flatscreen TV. I wish there was an obtrusive place to keep the litter box but I have not found it. I just keep it very clean. We added a screened porch for them though outside a bedroom window. It is a Kitty Kat Kabana and can be installed easily when we are at a campsite. The cats go in and out through the window. They love it.
I think that is all the improvements we have made so far (other than the flat screen TV on a mount that allows it to be rotated to be seen from the dinette and kitchen or the bedroom.) I am thinking of replacing the vinyl and carpet (why do they put carpet in campers?) with vinyl plank flooring. But we will see.
Life in a truck camper can be very good!
I better go cook dinner. Filets and baked potatoes for a feast tonight.