This is just a short blog post on some of the techniques we’ve found useful for vacuum cleaning some of the harder-to-reach spots in our Mercedes Marco Polo campervan – although the same tricks will work on any motorhome or caravan too.
Because the small campers are typically quite tight on space, it is not uncommon for there to be lots of different reconfigurable gadgets built into them in order to transform the functionality of the space on offer. For the Marco Polo, a case in point are the rails built into the floor of the camper.
Portable Vacuum Cleaners
We use a Dyson V7 cordless handheld vacuum for general cleaning of the camper van. It is great because a charge lasts at least 30 minutes and you don’t need to contend with a trailing wire when using it. It also has excellent suction and will pick up all the bits and particles you need it to.
There are certainly cheaper options available though, and we have heard good things about the Muzili Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. Sadly we haven’t had one in to review yet, but we are working on remedying this.
One problem however with these vacuum cleaners is the size of the nozzle supplied for reaching into tight nooks and crannies. They are simply too large for the chair rails on our camper van, and so an alternative solution needed to be found.
Hack #1 – Moulding A Nozzle
My wife Alison had the bright idea of placing it in a bowl of very hot water and then gently squeezing the end closer together in a vice-like clamp until it cooled.
This worked really well, and meant that we could easily access the chair rail space successfully.
Hack #2 - Drinking Straws for Vacuum Cleaning in Tight Spaces
An even cheaper solution is to use this super-cool hack with drinking straws – you can watch the video above to see how it works. The great thing is that you can adapt the technique to modify any vacuum cleaner nozzle and it therefore means you don’t need to fork out more money on extra nozzles.
First grab a handful of straws and find out the optimum number to pack into your nozzle (ooh err matron!). For our Dyson V7 nozzle it was exactly 9 straws.
Then, simply bunch up the straws and carefully squeeze them into the end of the vacuum cleaner nozzle. Keep adding straws until it is a really tight fit. You can then fan out the end of the straws into a highly adaptable suction array which will slide into tight crevices with no problem. This is because you can essentially create a suction area which is only one straw wide – see the photos below!
Shark Detailing Kit - the Elegant Hack #3
I’m really not sure why the big vacuum cleaner companies don’t design something similar for their models, but Shark have clearly thought about their clientele. This excellent attachment enables a very thin pen-like nozzle to be attached to their cleaners and used in your campervan to eradicate all those annoying bits!
At the end of the day, it’s exceedingly difficult to keep your pride and joy spotless when you are actually living in it for days at a time. The problems get doubly worse if you like to go walking or cycling – the dust and grime just builds inexorably upwards. Hopefully our motorhome vacuum cleaner hacks will help get yours back towards showroom condition!
Thanks for reading and Happy Camping!