So now that we’ve been on the road for many months, maybe it’s time for a tour of the inside of our caravan! We have a Bailey Pegasus Ancona, it’s a European six-berth on-road van. It’s lightweight, we could tow it with the car we already owned. It was made in the UK to be sold in Australia which means it is made to Aussie standards. So yes, we even have Aussie plugs inside! Those who buy their European vans and import them do not, this is a question we get sometimes. We’re happy with our van, we bought it new here in Australia through a place in Melbourne after seeing it at a caravan show. When you come in the van you are greeted by our map of Australia. It looks so fresh and clean here! We had to trim it to make it fit this space and all the edges are curling up now. We also (finally) traced our route on it, I’ll have to post an updated picture. I think I’ll eventually purchase a new copy of this poster and trace our route on it so that we can hang it up when we are in a house again.
Looking straight ahead as you come in the door are the triple bunk beds. Each bed has a window and a light at the head of the bed. The kids all have toy bins and book baskets at the foot of the bed and pockets at the head of the bed to store all their goodies in. They’ve hung pictures and glow-in-the-dark stars and made these their bedrooms. On the left you can see the curtain thingy that we close at night. Those are their towels hanging on the right which will make more sense in the next picture.
This is looking toward the back of the van with the door to the van on the right, just out of the picture. Their robes and jackets hang on hooks next to the bunk beds, their towels hang on the ensuite door. LadyBug’s necklaces are there too because a certain toddler kept getting into them and we had to move them out of his reach.
Next to the triple bunks is a large cupboard for hanging clothes. We found some drawers that fit perfectly and use those for all the kids’ clothes. The bottom cupboard holds shoes. We keep thongs and crocs outside in a basket, but runners and any others go inside.
There’s a tiny bit of hanging space at either side, we hang up our church clothes and that’s it. The adult jackets have a home in here too. Once upon a time I printed some cute labels for these drawers but that must have been after I took this picture. That middle small drawer holds hats, bike gloves, and mismatched socks. Because somehow even living in a caravan we end up with orphan socks. The top small drawer has extra towels and wipes and miscellaneous things. That leaves us four big drawers, one for each kid. They needed clothing for all seasons and this was the best way for us to do it. We were so pleased to find those drawers that fit these cupboards so perfectly!
I seem to be moving counter-clockwise, so next is our spacious kitchen! The oven is large enough to cook a roast in and has a broiler, many caravans only have a half oven. We wanted the full oven, but later we bought a Weber BabyQ so that isn’t as important as we thought it would be. Anything you’d cook in an oven you can do on a BabyQ, even birthday cake! My biggest gripe about this van is the size of the fridge- this is a six-berth van and a bar fridge is inadequate. We’ve survived, we don’t have an extra fridge that’s kept in the car as so many travellers do. We just have to do our shopping every few days or we end up with too much to fit in the fridge. In the cupboards above the sink we store dishes, tea towels, small pantry items, and cooking utensils. Pans go in a storage compartment under the stove.
After the kitchen we move into the lounge. This was one of the features that sold us on this van. We have room to gather here as a family, there’s room for all of us to sit. We can set up the folding table for meals or schoolwork, we can put it away to make a comfortable area for watching a movie or playing. We have windows all around and a skylight above making this van very light-filled, it’s wonderful to have so much natural light in a caravan. The shades and curtains fully block out the light and the van, being made in Europe, is very well insulated since it’s made for those European winters. The insulation makes a huge difference, keeping the van cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold weather. We even have central heating, which has come in very handy in some of the places we’ve been! (cough, Canberra, cough)
Behind that back cushion is a ledge where we store toys and books for TurboBug so that he can easily reach them. The other end of the ledge has a plug which we use as our main charging station. Books and other things find their way here, too.
Next to the lounge, again moving counter-clockwise around the van is another large cupboard. It’s a really deep cupboard, it holds school work and games. The TV is right at the end of the lounge which works well, we just have to put it down on a cushion when we travel. Believe it or not, this is the first microwave we’ve had since moving to Australia more than five years ago. We do use it some, mostly for quick oatmeal or frozen vegies. 🙂 That little cupboard above the microwave holds our small printer. It’s certainly not as convenient to have to pull the thing down and set it up every time you want to print, but our printing needs have reduced drastically since we’ve been on the road! (You can see the printer in the next picture.) See the Lego? JitterBug saw me taking pictures and hurried to give his Lego a prominent spot in the pic!
To the left of the TV is the dinette. This means that when our lounge table is stowed away we still have a table to sit at. All of us don’t fit around it, but the kids can all fit at once. It’s a perfect place to do some work if we can just keep it clean. It easily becomes a dumping ground because it’s just inside the door. Under these seats we’ve stored books, art supplies, and some other odds and ends. The cabinets above the dinette serve as our pantry. (Pretend that mirror isn’t covered in fingerprints, okay?)
This dinette even converts into a bed. We’ve only used it that way when the kids have been sick, it’s an easier way to reach them, they can feel pampered, plus we can turn the TV around and they can occupy themselves watching movies while their tummy hurts. If we needed a bed for TurboBug this would work but either we’d lose our dinette or we’d have to make up the bed for him. For now he just sleeps with us, our bed is a king-size and there’s plenty of room. Did I mention that lovely lounge up above is also our bed? We have to make it up each night but it works for us.
Now we’ve come all the way around to the back of the van again, so I may as well show you the ensuite! It’s a full ensuite with a toilet and shower. There’s a tall corner cabinet and another cupboard under the sink. Those white poles with the black knobs are the anti-flap kit for the awning, we store them in here (they are velcro’d to the wall) when we are not using them.
Believe it or not this shower is big enough to fit inside and even turn around in! Unfortunately we don’t use it a lot since it’s also where we store our washing machine. If we are in a caravan park it’s often easier to just use the amenities.
There’s seriously no bench space in this bathroom. They fixed that in the next year’s model but that doesn’t help us! See that cutting board above the window? I place that across the sink when I need to deal with my contact lenses or so I have a spot to put my makeup. The mirror is also in a crazy spot so we put a small, unbreakable mirror above the window.
Of course the van is always completely spotless as it is in the above pictures. Right. Bombs, otherwise known as children, seem to set themselves off in here on a regular basis. I couldn’t believe it when I walked in and saw this, I had to take a picture of the crazy mess. At least it’s easy to clean up, since the kitchen and the lounge and the kids’ bedrooms are just steps apart. 🙂
I took these pictures ages and ages ago, I’d nearly forgot I had them. Maybe one of these days I’ll post some pictures of the insides of the cupboards so you can see how we keep ourselves somewhat organised. It’s hard to believe we’ve been living in our van for a year now. We’ve fully adjusted to it although there are days when the van feels very, very small with six of us in it!