Bathroom and kitchen bags
The capacity of storage space is quite limited in an overland vehicle. You need to use every free corner to stow your things. On the other hand it has to be fixed well to withstand all bumps from the back roads. On the Buschtaxi Meeting we saw a Landcruiser equipped with hanging bags in its back door windows. Those windows add very little to your vision, anyway. Especially with two spare wheels on the back bumper. So we decided, we might as well use this space for our bathroom and kitchen “cupboards”. In fact, this is the perfect spot for bathroom and kitchen utensils. Cooking and washing will happen outside of the car in most cases. Stored on the back doors, they are in really easy access. Here is our short tutorial on how to make overland vehicle window bags for any vehicle.
Self do, self have!
We ordered sturdy, waterproof and dirt-repellent oxford 300D polyester fabric in grey. We mounted it to the top of the window frame with construction glue.
At the beginning we discussed the perfect design for the pockets to have as much space as possible. After some research, Anna found some ideas and instruction and used them for 14 of the 15 pockets we sewed. We liked the easy way of construction on one side and the folding effect for more space on the other side. The 15th pocket was a flat one for our tooth brushes so we didn’t need the effect of folding. Anna started designing on paper, copied it to the fabric and cut out the pockets.
With the help of Heiner’s mother, Anna sewed the bags during Christmas break. The first time on the sewing machine, in fact, was a lot of fun! Struggling with ruptured yarn, crooked seam and broken needles and sewing machines was worth the result.
On the bathroom side we have four bigger pockets for shower gel etc. and one smaller, flat pocket for our tooth brushes and other small stuff. Next to this, there is some space to removably attach a small mirror. The back roads are going to leave their traces on our faces. After months without any shower, hairdresser or shaver, we might be terrified by our own looks. You never know, it may be better to be able to escape the confrontation with our own decay. Just kidding, this way we can just use the mirror in other places as well.
The kitchen bag goes to the larger window on the right side. We put three longer pockets for a cooking spoon and other utensils on it. Additionally, there are seven smaller pockets for spices and silverware.
Ten steps to your own vehicle window bags:
At the beginning it seemed quite complicated to us, but in fact it wasn’t. Here is how we built the bags.
Step 1: Cut out the fabric for the basis. Cut two sheets for each bag, so you end up with a double layer.
Step 2: Cut out the pockets. Take the measurements for the final size. Add 10 cm for the folding (5 cm left, 5 cm right; including 1 cm on each side for the seam allowance), one centimeter on the lower side and two centimeter on the upper side for the seam allowance there.
Step 3: Whip two centimeters on the upper selvage of each pocket.
Step 4: Fold or iron one centimeter on the other three sides. We prefered to just fold the selvages. We were unsure if the rubber coating of the oxford fabric survives the iron heat.
Step 5: Fold the left and the right side. On each selvage, fold two centimeters inside and two centimeters outside. See below pic for clarification.
Step 6: Sew the left side to the basic fabric close to the selvage.
Step 7: Fold the layers and sew the right side close to the selvage.
Step 8: Sew the lower side to the basis, including the folded area. This is the toughest step, because of the number of layers the needle has to deal with.
Now repeat steps 4 to 8 for all the pockets you have.
Step 9: At last, fold the basic fabric and sew together all the sides. We also used some strengthening fabric for the selvages. On the upper side, we sewed the tent keder to it.
Step 10: In the very last step, sew on two push buttons on the lower side. Glue the other part from the button onto the window frame to fix the bag on the lower side as well.
That’s it! Ten steps to your own individual vehicle window bags. It is pretty easy, even for sewing greenhorns as we are!
Final expedition vehicle window bags
If you need exact measurements of the bags we made for the back windows of our Landcruiser HZJ 78, just contact us!
What do you think about our expedition vehicle window bags? Leave a comment!
This is the sixth step of our Overland Vehicle Preparation Series. You can read all steps here.