I would like to tell you briefly why we build up the Dokker in this way and not otherwise. We watched countless videos on youtube, got ideas, and stole one or the other idea. But there was nothing there that would satisfy our needs one hundred percent. This is probably because we have different requirements. It starts with the fact that we have no intention of living fulltime in the Dokker. We just want to travel with it and have a flexible and affordable way to stay. Cooking (except coffee) and baking in the Dokker is out of the question for us. The entire rear area, which is not already lush anyway, is intended to be used for sleeping and, if necessary, to provide seating for two people. A small washing opportunity should also be given.
The entire installation should be minimally invasive and removable in a few simple steps. For this purpose, each module is anchored to the body with two screws, the two rear ones to the existing fastening for the lashing eyes, the front one with the help of an aluminum bracket at the place where the rear seat is otherwise screwed on. The floor of the Dokker (except for the express version) has a height difference of approx. 15 cm for the rear passengers due to the footwell. With a continuous floor slab, a cavity is created where valuable space is often wasted. You can stuff things into it more or less, but that’s not an ideal solution. Besides, the usual three-box build-up principle reduces the entrance to the sliding doors, and, as if that wasn’t enough, a sliding door with a tall refrigerator is added. By looking at these expansion videos, the search for other possible solutions arose. Unfortunately, I am not a structural engineer and I have to trust my hopefully common sense when it comes to the materials. Screw lengths and strengths are already specified by the aluminum profile used. This is the reason why I chose the type 6B and not 5I for the aluminum profiles to be able to screw on M6 instead of M5 at the normal points. Both profiles are 20 x 20 mm. At least 30 x 30 of the I-type would have been required to be able to use M6 without major post-processing.
And so the Boondokker concept gradually came to my mind. It differs in essential points from what can be seen on youtube so far. It starts with the choice of materials. You need to know that almost every panel pressed from wood chips or fibers contains formaldehyde. Only the quantity is different and certain guidelines apply to panels for furniture construction. It is easy to imagine that the lower the quality of the material and the greater the amount of it that is used in a small space like the Dacia Dokker, the more the outgassing increases. On youtube, there are variants with OSB boards to admire as well as extensions with phenolic resin coated plates, a material mainly for trailer construction. Even if the flight case look has its charms, I don’t want to rest my head on it at night and wake up with a migraine.
But it doesn’t work without wood. I just reduced the amount to the bare minimum, both in thickness and in the area. The Boondokker does not have a continuous base plate as a “foundation”, nor is there any frame wood. Instead, I constructed modules that can be installed as a whole and removed again. As already mentioned, the module frames consist of type 6B aluminum profiles. The two rear modules each have a base plate made of 12mm birch multiplex and can each hold three Euro boxes measuring 30 x 40 x 32 cm, one box is a designated water canister with a volume of 23 liters. The Euro boxes should help to be able to maintain a certain order structure and not to have to search for everything in a large junk box. The front module essentially serves as a substructure for the lying surface and still offers some storage space. That leaves the middle aisle between the two rear modules. There is space here for a compressor refrigerator and a 40 x 30 x 18.5 euro box with a lid. To complete the sleeping area there are loose panels, also made of 12 mm multiplex, both of which can still be used as tabletops.
Of course, you have to compromise. A Dacia Dokker is not a motor home or a van. With the seat height, you have to consider whether you would rather bow your head or squat more than sitting. But as I said, lingering in the back of the Dokker should primarily be kept from sleeping and everything else should remain the exception. We have foregone a kitchen unit with a sink in favor of the lying surface. However, a water pump with a flexible hose is installed to be able to conveniently remove water, whereby the water stored in the tank is only used for washing, brushing teeth, and washing dishes. For coffee etc. we use bottled water. The dirty water is disposed of on the spot, so there is no wastewater canister. Of course, we only use ecologically harmless detergents.
We come to the topic of electronics. As a communications electronics technician, I have a great affinity for switches and bright, flashing indicator lights and indicators. Most YouTube videos about mini camper expansion also show a lavish abundance of them. During the first rough planning, I also tented to do more than less. But it is becoming rudimentary. Sorry, amazon. But the wish list fell victim to a savings orgy. The Boondokker will get an on-board battery, that’s for sure. Just because of the fridge. He will also receive a charge booster because of the Euro 6 management to ensure the necessary reloading. A pump for the water tank, a fuse block, additional USB and 12V connections and that’s about it. The whole thing is designed as a pluggable electrical module. I chose an AGM battery. Three weeks of vacation a year plus a couple of excursions do not justify the purchase of a lithium iron phosphate battery that is five times as expensive for me. I don’t need an app to talk to the battery or a digital display with percentage calculation. I found an old autool X50 OBDII display in the basement and connected it. I read the charging voltage while driving. In the stand, a voltage indicator for a few euros is sufficient for the on-board battery. I tortured my head for what I could use 220 volts in the car. Except that my wife can blow dry her hair, I couldn’t think of anything. A full-blown hairdryer can empty the onboard battery in no time. Take, for example, a commercially available hairdryer with a power consumption of 2000 watts. Makes a current of approx. 9 amps at 220 volts. At 12 volts, that’s already 167 amps that would flow from the battery to the converter. This requires thumb-thick cables so that the car does not burn off.
Ultimately, I will create a connection option for a mobile solar module and carry a small battery charger. For the time being, I dispense with a voltage converter as well as with a permanently installed solar charge controller. An Android radio is unfortunately also to be complained about among the victims of the strike list. I have found that the standard Plug & Play radio is sufficient. Until now.