One of the great things about campervans is that they’re not merely a vehicle – they’re a home on wheels.
But if you’ve just acquired a van, it can at first feel a little on the austere side. So how do you spruce up your van and make it all your own?
Read on for our top suggestions. And remember – after investing money, time, effort and creativity into your van, you’ll want to make sure it’s protected with great campervan insurance.
Motorhome Protect arranges policies to suit all types of van, no matter how quirky your interior!
Think pops of colour
It has to be said, your average campervan is on the drab side – but that makes it a perfect blank canvas!
A few pops of colour will go a long way towards cheering up your van interior. How about some bright crockery? Or some vivid cushions? Or a patterned throw?
Choose whatever takes your fancy – anything goes. Mismatched patterns can look fabulous, creating an inviting and individual interior where you’ll love spending time.
For doting parents, there are few lovelier sights than that of your kids playing, drawing or reading together on a happy family holiday.
So pack plenty for them to do – games, toys, books and art materials – and store it neatly in an accessible place.
If your family’s happy, then you really have created a wonderful, warm home-from-home.
Your campervan should be a place to make happy memories. So why not bedeck it with mementoes of your trips?
Postcards and pictures stuck to the walls of your kitchen area, cushions bought in Mediterranean markets, crockery purchased from an artisan Alpine pottery – whatever catches your eye while you’re on your adventures, you can use it to brighten up your campervan living space.
After a few holidays abroad, your campervan interior will look utterly unique and individual to your own tastes.
Simply sitting in it will remind you of your travels – and perhaps inspire you to plan new ones! Campervan insurance arranged by Motorhome Protect can include unlimited mileage around the EU.
Your own art and craft work
Most of us are only hardy enough to venture out in our campervans in the warmer months. So how do you satisfy your wanderlust while you’re off-road in the winter?
If you’re of an arty disposition, you could use that downtime to make a few items for your campervan.
If you like painting, then get out your easel and your brushes and create a work of art for your van – perhaps a landscape of somewhere you’ve visited in your vehicle.
Better still, you could use your crafty talents to make something useful or comfortable.
What could be better than a home-sewn patchwork quilt to cuddle up in during the colder evenings, or a crocheted blanket to snuggle under after a long day’s exploring?
Dog basket and toys
Nothing spells ‘home’ like having your canine companion curled up beside you.
If you own a dog, buying a campervan is a great way to ensure it can accompany you on your travels rather than stay behind in kennels.
So pick a cosy corner which your dog can call its own. When you’re ready to set off, make sure you bring your dog’s lead, toys, food bowls, food and, above all, its basket.
If it has a favourite blanket, bring that too, to give your dog some comfort in the strange environment.
If you’re reading through these suggestions and thinking of all the space they would take up in your van, perhaps you need to invest in some really good storage solutions?
Shelving and cupboards mean you can clear away your muddy boots and kids’ toys, and take pride in getting your place looking lovely.
Instead of seeing a jumble of junk as you step into your van, you’ll find your eye is drawn to your mementoes, artwork and carefully chosen soft furnishings.
And you’ll be able to stretch out even in the confines of your van without kicking over a pile of beach toys. Luxury!
Do remember to consider the weight of any shelves, cupboards and contents.
If you exceed your van’s payload, you’ll find it harder to handle on the roads and it could invalidate your campervan insurance.
Keep it clean
No matter how beautifully it’s furnished, if your campervan is covered in a layer of dirt or grease, it will be an unpleasant place to be.
So spend some time over the winter giving everything a deep clean: washing curtains and soft furnishings, dusting and wiping down surfaces, and vacuuming floors.
If you’ve got toilets and tanks, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean these.
On your travels, make sure you air your van regularly, and try to keep on top of dirt and mess throughout your holidays.
It’s not always easy after a long day’s exploring, but it will be worth the effort. Just a quick dash round with a dustpan and brush can make all the difference.
A dryer or washing line
Damp beach towels, wet socks and dripping raincoats will cast a gloom over even the most thoughtfully decorated van.
They’ll create condensation, too, which can lead to damp and mould and destroy not only your soft furnishings, but the fabric of your van itself.
So wherever possible, shift wet gear outside. Bring a folding dryer on your hols, or a portable washing line and some pegs.
Then hang them up in the sunshine or in the awning, and enjoy the extra – and drier – space inside your van.
If you’ve ever been to a festival, you’ll have seen campervans festooned with strings of fairy lights.
Fairy lights, inside or outside, are a great choice for campervans. If hung outside, they make your campervan sparkle, which is particularly magical if you’re pitched in a woodland setting, but looks lovely wherever you are.
If you put them inside, they create a beautiful low glow that’s perfect for a cosy evening over a boardgame or bottle of wine. Choose yellow bulbs for a more mellow light.
Fairy lights are low energy, and you can choose battery-operated ones that won’t run down your leisure battery or require electric hook-up.
It’s a good idea to have a brighter lamp or lantern to hand for reading and games. And don’t forget a torch!
Insulation and soundproofing
Campervans have far thinner walls than you’re used to at home. They let in the cold during the evenings, as well as the sounds from your campsite neighbours.
Insulation and soundproofing are easy to install, and will improve the temperature and atmosphere in your campervan substantially.
You can buy a range of self-adhesive products to roll out, cut to shape, and stick on your van’s walls and floor to keep out noise or the cold.
That way, you’ll create a nice cosy atmosphere in your van, making it somewhere you enjoy spending your evenings on your travels.
If you’re putting a lot of time and energy into your home on wheels, it’s essential that you take out the right campervan insurance to protect your investment.
Take a look at the policies that Motorhome Protect can arrange.
Sometimes, you want to admire the view or watch the world outside go by. But at other times, particularly in the evening, you might prefer to cocoon yourself in your campervan and enjoy your privacy.
Curtains and blinds let you decide when you’ve had enough of the outside world for one day. What’s more, they also help to keep the temperature inside your van at a pleasant level by providing insulation against the cold at night, and protection from the blazing sun during the day.
And finally, by choosing vibrant colours or pretty patterns, you can add to the visual appeal of your living space.
Another good idea for insulating and decorating your campervan at the same time is with a simple rug.
It provides a welcome splash of colour, and is a great way to inject a little bit of your personal taste into your campervan.
You could even buy one on your travels – Spain, France, England and Ireland are among the many countries to have rug-weaving traditions, so you might well see something that you love in shops or markets around Europe.
Also, don’t forget a door mat! Wiping your shoes whenever you enter your campervan is essential to keeping it clean and welcoming.
Campervans are relatively small spaces, and you might start to really notice the lack of space if you’re on a longer holiday.
But usually, you can attach awnings to the side while you’re pitched to create a larger, airier place to relax.
It’s up to you whether you use this space to enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings, or to store all your wet gear to keep your campervan dry and comfy.
Either way, you’ll be glad of the extra room, which helps you feel less like you’re living in a box and more like you’re enjoying the freedom of the great outdoors.
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of how your home on wheels smells once you’re inside.
Wet clothes, engine odours and cooking smells can all add up to an unpleasant fug – particularly in the confined space of a van.
So throw open your windows or use extractor fans regularly to give your van a good blast of clean, fresh air.
If you’re parked up somewhere lovely, then the smell of cut grass, woodland, or sea breezes is one of the great joys of an outdoor holiday.
If you’re on a city break, or during the cooler months when you’re reluctant to let the outside air in too much, consider scented sprays to freshen up the atmosphere – natural scents like Citronella will keep bugs at bay.
Or why not buy some cut flowers or plants to give your camper a fresh scent of spring?
Many campervans, particularly second-hand ones, feature fairly shabby upholstery. While a few cushions will go a long way to improve comfort levels, an even better idea is to invest in an upgrade.
There are many firms who can undertake upholstery work for you, or if you’re handy at DIY and crafts, you could have a bash yourself.
It’s a pretty laborious task, but hopefully you’ll be motivated by the thought of relaxing on your future holidays while taking pride in your skilled handiwork.
Of course, many campervan owners love restoring old vehicles, bringing them back to life after years in disuse.
Motorhome Protect arranges campervan insurance that provides up to six months’ cover for a self-restoration project.
A decent bed
Finally, even if you decide against revamping all your seats, do invest in a good bed and some high-quality bedding.
There’s nothing like sinking into a luxurious mattress at the end of a long day travelling, as opposed to roughing it on camping mats under canvas.
Of course, campervans are relatively small, so you may have to make compromises on your comfort.
But there are some excellent choices on the market which maximise comfort while still reducing space and weight.
Or you could choose some good quality foam and make your own mattress which can be stored away during the day.
Decent bedding will provide a pop of colour and interest to your van, as well as help you drift off happily to sleep, ready for the next day’s adventures. Sweet dreams!
Get a quote from Motorhome Protect
A homely campervan is a wonderful base for a carefree holiday. To help you relax, make sure you’ve got excellent campervan insurance.
Motorhome Protect arranges cover from a panel of leading insurers for all types of campervan, up to a value of £150,000.
Enhanced cover is available for personal effects, ensuring your homely additions to your campervan are protected.
Cover is available for up to 365 days a year with unlimited EU travel, giving you plenty of opportunities for adventure.
Contact Motorhome Protect today to keep your campervan covered.