We have owned Ripley (she is named after Sigourney Weaver’s kick-butt character in the movie Alien) for nigh on 3 years now. She has served us well and carried us safely through many trips around Australia.
I thought I would share a quick no-frills, no-filter walk through of her interior.
- Length: 7.13 metres
- Height: 3.3 metres.
- Width: 2.35 metres.
- Chassis: Fait Ducato.
- Freshwater tank: 100 litres
Here we are looking down into Ripley’s cockpit. She is relatively easy to drive for such a big girl. The main trick is to maintain spacial awareness of her entire volume when driving. Particularly how high above your head she rides. Because… branches, signposts, awnings, bridges, they will all spoil your day. Did I mention branches?
When parked up we usually deploy these insulated sun visors on windscreen and side windows. They make a significan difference to the inside temperature and were well worth the extra money.
Both chairs (known as Captians chairs) swivel around to expand the space in the cockpit area. On the back of the drivers chair you can see the strap of my headlight for easy access in case of emergency.
I place the little fluro orange band thingy on the steering wheel as a visual reminder that the propane gas tank is on, after forgetting to turn it off on multiple occasions ( I also have a reminder note that says: HANDBRAKE! for similar reasons — don’t ask).
Above the cockpit are four large storage cupboards where we keep towels, sun visors, binoculars and other stuff. In front of them is a neat ledge for placing various heavy items so that they inevitably fall on my head when I forget to store them away before departing.
Also, just above the rear vision mirror you can see the TV that folds down for use. I have hit my head 2,583 times on this thing. Im surprised it still works (my head, not the TV). I have no idea why we have a rear vision mirror as Ripey has no rear window.
Above the cockpit Ripley has a magnificent large skylight. It should actually be called a moonlight, as sitting on the lounge watching the stars or lightning shows at night is simply brill.
Er, the pot plant is plastic.
There are two lounge seats (one on each side) with storage underneath. The one pictured also contains our leisure battery that provides power for Ripley when off-grid (it is charged via a solar panel on the roof). It’s a 12-volt system that can run lights, TV music system and recharge our mobile devices.
With the captains chairs swiveled the lounges are just long enough for me to stretch out and fall asleep when watching TV.
If needed, the chairs both slide across meeting to form a additional double bed.
The windows all have sliding insect screens and blackout/privacy shutters. Above the windows are more storage lockers for food, cutlery, coffee grinder and other vital life support equipment.
The front door (to what is technically called the habitation module) has a sliding insect screen. The big advantage of having a narrow door like this rather than the large sliding van door type is that they are much quieter opening and closing and they do not let all the heat/cool air out every time you open them.
Over the door is a small control box that gives info on battery charges, tank levels etc. Next to that are the controls for the hot water and heater.
Behind the handrail, you can see a small cupboard that holds an extra fold-out table. Behind that is a full-size fridge/freezer that works on mains power or propane when off-grid. Above the fridge is the food locker.
Ripley cane with cream carpet throughout (what were they thinking?). We immediately removed it and replaced with a darker rubber backed modular matting that easily removes for cleaning.
Ripley has a 3 burner gas stove, oven and grill (plus a single electric element) and a microwave oven. As we currently do not have an inverter installed we do not have enough power to run the microwave or electirc element when off grid.
Our only complaints about the kitchen is that the sink is a little shallow and the preparation space a little small. Even so Kelly is able to construct some pretty delicous meals here, and I can manufactue some slightly under average dishes when it’s my turn to cook.
The bathroom has a cassette type chemical toilet (you can read all about his we empty it here) and a surprisingly spacious walk-in shower. Being able to take a self-contained (ie. the waste water draining from the shower is stored in a grey water tank) hot shower when off grid is a game-changer.
My favourite space. We have a very comfortable double bed. Although one corner is cut off to facilitate the opening toilet door. So we lose a little space there.
Above the bed are storage lockers for clothing etc. The one on the far right is mine. All the rest are Kelly’s (I’m kidding of course…perhaps). On the left side are some shelves for books and other knick-knacks. Above them, we placed a magnetic board where we stick pics, postcards, and other memorabilia we collect along the way.
So that’s it. A quick walkthrough. Let me know if you have any other questions about Ripley in the comments.