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Question from Beginners: Knowing what you know now, what would be your top five "must-have" accessories for the Cali?

SimonB

SimonB

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Thank you! We've ordered one. And that's very kind, Simon. I thought I'd messed up my chance of being accepted in this forum...given how amateur I am! Lol. Have so much to learn!

Less than two or three weeks until we get our Cali. We have also ordered the following from the Club shop: PortaPotti, electric hookup, chocks, fire blanket and extinguisher, RidgeMonkey, and steering wheel lock. All that wasn't cheap. So it'll be a few months before we purchase anything else.

I've got my eyes on a Rainbow thermal pop-top cover and windscreen cover. Plus some waterproof seat covers and a carpet for the van. Depending on sleeping comfort, we might also get a topper.
We have a Meet arranged in Dorset for the end of September. That would be the best place to meet other Cali owners and see what things are worth having and what people have bought and never used.
We have a solar panel, for example, which I find very useful when I camp without a hook up (EHU). I can arrive on site with a full battery, spend a week or more on site, using the fridge, lights, etc and the Panel recharges the battery. We have all had to learn what things are, and have all made mistakes. The search function on the Forum is much improved now and you can put in key words to find a relevant thread.
But nothing beats meeting other owners and talking with them.
 
MattBW

MattBW

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Exciting stuff! Never worry, i like the think this is one of the friendliest forums I've ever been involved in. I also think not buying too much before you get it is wise as you will only know what you need once you start using it. So easy to buy things that will be for sale a week later lol ;)

Also bear in mind if you have VIP access you get a discount from the club shop, so always worth comparing prices on the screen covers, Nick does some nice ones too.
 
bigmac77

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So, lots of suggestions so far. Rounding up everything so far, it seems we have a curated top five. Yes, you've suggested various brands, but I thought I'd just generalise the items. In order of popularity:
  1. RidgeMonkey
  2. Gas stoves for outdoors (Cadac Safari Chef is a popular choice)
  3. Seat Covers (Brandrup mentioned three times)
  4. Mattress Topper
  5. Carpet (Couple mentioned Brandrup)
Does that seem about right? Runners-up includes the Outwell Collapsible Kettle, the Calicap Roof Topper, the Calicap improved cutlery drawer, rubber doormats and rugs. Plus some of you suggested thermal windscreen covers – Rainbow Thermal was mentioned. And Brandrup Isotop was also suggested twice.

After chatting amongst ourselves, we've decided we're going to get the following initially:
  1. Electric hookup
  2. Gas bottle
  3. Safe
  4. Water hose
  5. Levelling chocks
  6. Brandrup seat covers
  7. RidgeMonkey
  8. Dustpan and brush
  9. Cosy blanket
  10. Bunting
On the list for next year, Brandrup Isotop and Brandrup carpet. The Cadac Safari Chef and improved cutlery drawer. We'll see how we get on. Not sure we're going to get a PortaPotti initially. Another one to figure out if we need.

This has been immense thanks! :D
RidgeMonkey’s are over rated they are basically a frying pan and aren’t very big.

Also I have never fitted a spare safe and I still have a spare wheel after nearly four years.
 
SimonB

SimonB

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You’ve not been to Legoland then?
Three neighbours of mine had their spare wheels stolen outside their houses on busy roads. One was left, possibly because he had 16" wheels. Mine was also left, I have a spare safe.
 
CaliKate

CaliKate

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RidgeMonkey’s are overrated they are basically a frying pan and aren’t very big.

Also, I have never fitted a spare safe and I still have a spare wheel after nearly four years.
Oh, ok. Thanks for the tip. I was rather looking forward to cooking garlic bread in it! :D
 
Eber123

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Good afternoon,

We bought a few items I thought would be necessary. Decision to chose those items were made based on Youtube videos, reviews and reports.

The more we use the van the more I believe is needed. So far these are the items that I can't do without or are important:

  • Electric cable, best 25 m long
  • Drawer for the boot, it is very comfortable to get at things
  • Cutlery and dishes
  • App connect to use Google maps on the radio screen
  • Blankets and cushions

Of course there are other items, but they are not to important and if they are not there won't stop a trip. Because of the limited space in the van the less is in there the better.

Regards,
Eberhard
 
MattBW

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Ridgemonkeys can be very versatile with a bit of thought and creativity. The large one can be split into two pans, or one pan with a lid. Yes, true there isn't much you can do you cant do with a normal pan. I have the larger one and have used it for some interesting meals.

My good friend @Auberg-ine does some amazing things with his!

 
westfalia

westfalia

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Very underrated them ridge monkeys,

We have the big one and the small one, they pack up small, easy to clean
and we do naan breads and garlic bread, its like an oven with the top closed on
low gas.
 
BeagleMum

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Oh, ok. Thanks for the tip. I was rather looking forward to cooking garlic bread in it! :D
Each to their own, we had a Ridge Monkey long before we had the Cali, we think it’s excellent & would replace in if necessary
 
gvick

gvick

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Don’t forget to become a vip and download the handover checklist- lcd display panel was still in German when we did our handover so provedvery handy :thumb
 
bigmac77

bigmac77

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Each to their own, we had a Ridge Monkey long before we had the Cali, we think it’s excellent & would replace in if necessary
You can have mine if you want, it just sits in the bottom of a cupboard.
 
CaliKate

CaliKate

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Manchester, UK
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T6 Ocean 150
Good afternoon,

We bought a few items I thought would be necessary. Decision to chose those items were made based on Youtube videos, reviews and reports.

The more we use the van the more I believe is needed. So far these are the items that I can't do without or are important:

  • Electric cable, best 25 m long
  • Drawer for the boot, it is very comfortable to get at things
  • Cutlery and dishes
  • App connect to use Google maps on the radio screen
  • Blankets and cushions

Of course there are other items, but they are not to important and if they are not there won't stop a trip. Because of the limited space in the van the less is in there the better.

Regards,
Eberhard
Awesome thanks!
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

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Goring by Sea, West Sussex
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
Carpet
Front rubber mats (we walk a lot all year round)
Slide out rear tray (saves such a lot of crawling about)
Bivvy Loo (packs up very small)
Baskets for shelves, (so you can get everything out in one go)

IMG_20181104_142228.jpg

Bivvy Loo (2).jpg

Bivvy Loo (3).jpg
 
PJV

PJV

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West Midlands
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1. Hug rug for the the floor in front of the back seats, washable and looks great.
2. Waterproof seat covers.
3. Memory foam 5cm double mattress topper from Argos £45 - so comfortable and comes with a washable sheet cover, so we don’t take extra sheets just our duvet from home.
4. Cadac Safari Chef - so versatile and easy to use.
5. Silicone draining mats from Home Bargains that sit on and stick to the grass lid over the cooker and sink....cheap, look good and help stop the glass from being scratched.
 

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