With such beautiful weather, today, we decided to make our first attempt at setting up the awning that fits onto the Bongo. The main slide door of the Bongo can open into an awning, effectively. There, it is possible to use the extra space as additional living quarters. The awning can be sealed up and left, so that you may drive away in your Bongo and enjoy a day out, to return to the awning and re-attach it to the Bongo once again.
We have joined a Facebook group for Bongo owners and it’s already been really helpful in showing us different ideas on how to best configure use of the Bongo’s internal space and awning. Some people set their awning up simply as a place for a chemical toilet and for their dirty washing etc. Others have set theirs up with a dining table and chairs, a small bar and fairy lights. The possibilities are endless and really just come down to what you need. Either way, with the extending roof space that creates a bedroom on top of the Bongo, plus the awning adding a whole additional room on the side of the vehicle, the Bongo becomes a wonderful little camping space.
There are a huge variety of awnings that one can choose from to attach to the Bongo. The awning that comes with our little Bongo is modest in size but would comfortably sleep two people or seat four at a table. It would, indeed, make a small utility room big enough for laundry, toileting and even a pop up clothes storage unit and place to dress. I believe that how the awning is to be used will, in part, be governed by where you are able to park the Bongo. For example, if you can use a camping pitch in a venue that offers toilet and shower facilities, and some even have laundromats on site, then there really would be little or no need to use the awning for those purposes. I’m all for glamping! I don’t want the awning to be a restroom facility, I’d rather it be another enjoyable social or sleeping space. Perhaps the two combined, if we share a weekend away with friends.
It is incredibly exciting, as we are spending this time to learn what the Bongo is equipped with and how it all works, to look forward to the new year and the potential for going on weekend breaks wherever we decide to point our Bongo. We are lucky that we have a number of very kind friends and family who would come and dog/house sit for us, while we get a quiet break away from the stress of daily life. With Parkinson’s, such breaks will be much desired. I wonder where will be our first destination?
I am going to make use of the Bongo as an art and writing space, alongside the fact that it also serves as my every-day car. I must be careful not to over-fill it with my pads, pens and paints! I intend to drive to lovely local locations to simply write and sketch; inspired by the beautiful Suffolk landscape. This will be good therapy for me and for Kevin and I together, too. I can easily fit even just half an hour per day into my schedule. A way to maintain my well-being in the midst of life with Parkinson’s. At weekends, we have already started to enjoy the time out from life, to just get out and about in the Bongo. This therapeutic time and space for us is such a welcome treat. Parkinson’s affects both of us, significantly, and so this investment in our time for recharging and recovering from each week is precious.
One positive aspect, from today’s experience, was discovering that the awning was incredibly quick and simple to put up and to dismantle. We have yet to try attaching it to the Bongo; this was just a first go at seeing how the awning, itself, works. Do you have a Bongo or other type of camper van? What are your favourite aspects of your camper? Do you have an awning attachment? How do you use the space?
Our next tasks; to learn how to use the water supply and gas supply and to think about a couple of alterations to the storage space on board.
(C) Deano Parsons. 2019.