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My three way Berlingo solution.
#1
Here was the problem -
We started a family late and ended up with three kids. We used to have a ‘normal’ car and as kids do, they started to get bigger. We have relatives in Spain and most years we’d rent a car down there. One year I decided we needed a bigger car and ended up in one of the early Belingos. My wife loved it for the space, storage, the sitting position and the big windows.
So we got one for us. It solved a lot of space issues, especially with moving house a few times as well.
As the years went past the kids grew and left home but we carried on with Berlingos, now a K9 which we’ll keep for another few years but probably unless they return to a proper petrol/diesel version, will get something else smaller.

Now there is just the two of us (mostly unless the kids, again as they do, need something doing) and as I’ve retired but my wife works and her commute is on public transport, the car tends to just be used for long trips. Either for the day out, weekends or a week/two week’s tour.
So the car needs to fulfil three things -
1) Normal set up with the back seats in for general use and transporting stuff.
2) Days out for the two of us where we can have a picnic etc.
3) Longer multi day trips together or often, just for me.

For most overnights we or I stay in a hotel but there are times when by myself and I’m somewhat away from decent ones (as in the Balkans, or they are too expensive/don’t fancy them/no parking/rough area etc), or I’m on a long journey as I mentioned in a recent thread where I’d be driving from Bosnia to southern Spain - and I want to be able to kip in it for a night or three.
I don’t need to spend a long time sitting in it as I’d be driving anyway all day, just a few hours laying down in an evening until dropping off to sleep, making some food, some storage but mainly not having to take the back seats in and out and storing them because, unless I’m wrong, in my K9 you have to get the spanners out to do so. Not like my old B9.

I came up with what could be called a quick and dirty solution constructed out of ply and screwed/glued together. It has some exposed screw heads (most countersunk though and filled!), the hinges not recessed and a few things looking unfinished, the odd sharp corner and especially with the camper parts, cut to fit at the time rather than making much of a cutting list and plan. It developed as it went with what I could get locally, cheap enough and what I already had to hand.
The major expense was the Ikea folding mattress, the measurements of which dictated the rest of it.

This is the day trip box. Slides in the back and rests up against the back of the rear seats. I didn’t panel in the rear as there would be nothing small to fall out the back and also so I could access the rear of it if necessary.
Some cheap carpet tiles to finish it off -

[Image: 01.jpg]


Three sections with what in Germany we call “Euro boxes” which are standard sizes, apart from the middle which is left clear.
The boxes determined the size of the sections/compartments.
To the left is the picnic stuff like a small gas cooker, kettle, chopping boards, cutlery, spices, washing up bowl, cloths, paper towels, electric kettle (for a hotel), mugs, plates and so on and so on.
The middle is open for folding camping chairs and a big umbrella. I have a flat folding table that just sits on the carpeting.
To the right is full of tools and the like which because I have the space, I carry -

[Image: 02.jpg]


I did do a cut list because I had it done at the local DIY chain shop but the prices were just for my reference at a different shop -

[Image: 03.png]
Now a 2019 K9 1.2 petrol.
Before a 2010 B9 1.6 HDi diesel.
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#2
I usually take these two things with me that are easy to slip in and out the car. Nothing permanently wired or attached for flexibility.
A power station thing or whatever they call them. It has multiple outlets, rated to just 600W (I think it is) and is charged from the car cigarette lighter socket. I am aware it isn’t the most efficient method but it works well enough -

[Image: 04.jpg]


A compressor fridge/freezer (22L?). Cheap (then it was) and cheerful. I plug this in to the power station.
When the engine is running the power station is being charged and when off, the power station runs the fridge. It lasts all night and the next morning I switch the engine on to travel and to charge up the station’s battery. One thing with power stations I learnt is that not all will supply electric when they are being charged - like a ‘pass through’. This one does. The car socket provides enough power to charge this battery whilst it is running the fridge at the same time.

There is a mains socket on the station but I never use it, or at least not needed to. I do couple up phone chargers etc to it.
I only have one car socket (none in the back) so I tried something and it seems to work - I plug a double outlet socket into the car which also has a USB socket. One side runs the satnav, the USB port runs a dash cam and the other socket is connected to the station to charge it on the run. The station then powers the fridge, camping light, phones etc.
The fridge and power station I use in the same manner with the camping stuff -

[Image: 05.jpg]


This is the overnight solution. I slide the picnic box assembly out and put this in.
I think this is 12mm ply but I can’t swear to it now as it was a while ago and being as disorganised as I am with doing it as I go along I just bought some ply I thought would do.
There are several boxes forming units. One problem is with leaving the back seats in I had to have a flat area raised up to stay flat when resting on the back of the back seat.
This is when it’s all in and in the right place in sleeping mode -

[Image: 09.jpg]


You can see the slope on the floor to account for the seats. It’s not a problem for me for the amount of time I’m in there. Also, the part under the last two cushions to the right has no storage; it is just a sloped platform -

[Image: 10.jpg]

[Image: 11.jpg]

[Image: 12.jpg]


In sleeping mode the driver’s seat (yes, it’s that side) is leant forward. In sitting mode I leave it back and just rest the end cushion on it as a backrest -

[Image: 13.jpg]


There are two boxes either side. The bed side has a square one and a rectangular one with lifting lids. The other side has a big cube type one and a smaller tower shape one with all manner of doors and flaps.
You can see in this first photo I never accounted for the lid of the big back right one hitting the back door frame area so it’s just held there initially with a stick. I sorted that out as you can see later by cutting it in half and making it folding. The wonky shelf I’d just shoved in there without a bit of wood to rest in on, on the right hand side. In fact, I’d lost it at that time for some unknown reason and had to make another one. Just one of life’s mysteries -

[Image: 06.jpg]
Now a 2019 K9 1.2 petrol.
Before a 2010 B9 1.6 HDi diesel.
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#3
This has my cooker/cooking flap/eating table for bad weather. The ram is rated as 15kg so it’s not as if I’m going to be sitting on it -

[Image: 07.jpg]


Smaller storage box on the right. The disadvantage, for what it is, is that I have to lift the bed cushions up to get in that one and the bigger back one. But it’s no big deal -

[Image: 08.jpg]


Disassembled and in the garage. You can see the solution to the top door flap problem -

[Image: 14.jpg]

[Image: 15.jpg]

[Image: 16.jpg]


All in all it takes me longer to put stuff in the boxes than to put the boxes in the car.
I’ve used the picnic box and the overnight boxes quite a few times and there’s always things you’d do a bit differently, but I’m happy with it all so that I don’t need to fit anything permanently, or wire stuff up, or take the seats out etc.
The bed/mattress is actually more comfortable than I expected. Maybe I’m just tired but I always sleep well enough.
Now a 2019 K9 1.2 petrol.
Before a 2010 B9 1.6 HDi diesel.
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#4
We have had Berlingos since 2000 when we bought a new 1.9 diesel, it carried us and our teenage boys with bikes on the roof and a caravan behind when it was holiday times. was replaced in 2012 with a B9, bo caravan and boys left home so we downsized to a Nemo - a mistake, we only had it for a few months before we bought a Bp partnet and now we have a Kp Combo life. Even though there are only 2 of us and the occasional grandchild this is what suits us best. We dont use it for sleeping as we have a Romahome but there is a coolbox in the back aand a picnic stove at all times

Peter
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#5
Very informative thread, make me think and start reflecting things too. Mark, did you put a 'relais' between the car socket and your powerstation? I am afraid that it emptied the car's battery? Also I wasn't aware that the fridge could be active during loading.
Further I like the photo's of your boxes designs. Thanks!
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#6
There is no need for anything between the car socket and power station/fridge because the car socket is only live when the ignition is on. I can't see how then anything connected to the car socket would drain the battery when the ignition is off. That's how I understand it and that's why I use the powerstation, to run the fridge overnight.
The system is just 'plug and play'.

With the powerstation itself I had to look quite closely at different ones and their specifications to see if it allowed for the thing where you could draw a load from it whilst it was being charged. I don't know how many I looked at but there did seem to be quite a few that you couldn't do that with. Things are changing all the time though as it was a couple of years ago at least when I was looking.
It can also be charged via a mains lead and also have something running off it whilst being charged.
Now a 2019 K9 1.2 petrol.
Before a 2010 B9 1.6 HDi diesel.
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#7
Hello Mark, yesterday I found out that the safety fuse = 30 Amp. meaning 12 V x 30 = 360 Watt before it jump off. As a coffee addict I am thinking how to produce it. Gas and cooking water, or 12 V coffee machine (cost you 20 minutes). What is your solution, even of you drink tea, you need the water to cook?
My super power bank van handle up to 10 Amp, most machines are 170 Watt. So I can only do it by car socket, but it has a rather impact on the main car batteries.
Hopefully I am not highjacking your thread, sorry then.
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#8
I like a simple life so I stay away from doing anything much with the car battery other than basic stuff.
If you wanted a powerstation you could run a coffee machine, either 12V, maybe 24V but also a mains electric one and as it's not being used a lot, just charge it up via the car socket for the next brew.
If you don't want one or can't afford one as they are not a cheap thing usually I use one of those common flat, square single burner camping stoves with the aerosol shaped cartridge. Lasts long enough and cheap enough to buy. Plus a normal kettle but with a folding handle for storage.

I have run the fridge/freezer direct from the car socket but the wattage on full is only about 70 Watts.
I drink coffee and not particularly tea but also I don't need to grind beans or use a filter type maker. I'm quite happy in the place of "good" coffee just drinking Nescafe on trips using gas cooker boiled water.
Campervans etc often use or fit an extra battery, DC to DC charger, invertor, fuses and so on to make a proper system. I could but I'm not going to.
Now a 2019 K9 1.2 petrol.
Before a 2010 B9 1.6 HDi diesel.
Reply
#9
(26-02-2024, 06:26 PM)Mark604 Wrote:  I like a simple life so I stay away from doing anything much with the car battery other than basic stuff.
If you wanted a powerstation you could run a coffee machine, either 12V, maybe 24V but also a mains electric one and as it's not being used a lot, just charge it up via the car socket for the next brew.
If you don't want one or can't afford one as they are not a cheap thing usually I use one of those common flat, square single burner camping stoves with the aerosol shaped cartridge. Lasts long enough and cheap enough to buy. Plus a normal kettle but with a folding handle for storage.

I have run the fridge/freezer direct from the car socket but the wattage on full is only about 70 Watts.
I drink coffee and not particularly tea but also I don't need to grind beans or use a filter type maker. I'm quite happy in the place of "good" coffee just drinking Nescafe on trips using gas cooker boiled water.
Campervans etc often use or fit an extra battery, DC to DC charger, invertor, fuses and so on to make a proper system. I could but I'm not going to.

That is all I have done for about 5 years now, best bit you can have a drink anywhere (with in reason)
Your Reach is further than your Grasp
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