It's easy to get caught up in all the gadgets available for camping & travelling. And while we do travel with quite a lot of creature comforts (it's our full time life after all), there are also a bunch of other things that many people consider as 'must haves' that we've been pretty happy to live without.
No, we don't have a TV, and no we definitely don't miss it! We find when we are in accommodation with a tv for whatever reason all we do is sit in front of the bloody thing like zombies, even when there's nothing on. So it's been really refreshing not having one on the road, and believe me sometimes it's nice to miss the news and not know whats happening in the world. We do however have a laptop & a hard drive with a bunch of movies, so we have the occasional movie night if it's cold or wet outside.
Yes it's true, we don't secretly wish we had a caravan. And you don't need a caravan to travel full time with kids. We love our camper and we love accessing all those extra awesome places that we just couldn't get to in a caravan.
A HOT WATER SYSTEM
OK, I'd be lying if I said I didn't really want hot water on demand. I want it. Bad. You seriously don't realise what a fantastic luxury hot water on demand is until you don't have it. But in saying that we have lived without it just fine for the last 2 and a half years, so it's certainly not a necessity.
AN ENCLOSED ANNEXE
Walls for our awning were an optional extra when we bought our camper and we never got them as we were pretty sure we'd cart them around and never use them. And I can safely say that is exactly what would have happened and we're pretty glad we didn't get them. We do have a single wall we can use down the kitchen end of our camper if it's windy, but even that hardly gets used. And a DIY shade cloth wall we can easily put up & down and move around depending on wind/sun if needed.
I know this is a touchy subject for all the Thermomix converts out there, and there are plenty of people travelling with them. But we're quite happy cooking the old fashioned way.
A WASHING MACHINE
I understand why people have these in their vans. And i'm sure in the right circumstances they are fantastic, but there are a number of reasons we don't have one. Firstly we simply don't have the space. And secondly they still need power and water to run, so most people only use them when they're camping in caravan parks on powered sites with water hooked up - which is something we pretty much never do. If you've got a great battery & inverter set up, a big water supply, and the space/weight available then a washing machine is probably a good idea. But for us we've never felt the need for one. We're quite happy using our Scrubba Wash Bag instead, and occasionally paying to do a full wash in a laundromat.
A CAMP OVEN
I can totally see why people travel with a camp oven, and they really are fantastic. But as we rarely have campfires, and have limited space, for us it wasn't really a necessity. We generally use our Weber Q instead as it's a little more versatile and doesn't rely on a campfire.
We however have a couple of things that many other people live without - like a portaloo, a 12v shower, full kitchen, fridge & freezer, and a diesel heater to name a few. So we're not completely without our camping gadgets, I guess it just goes to show that everyone is different so you've just gotta do what works for you!