Add-a-room for the rear hatch opening

Adding more space to a Vanagon is a constant goal for van-dwellers. Making that space useful and convenient is a struggle. This little unit is perfect for our needs. It adds some space and functionality, without taking up much space.

We purchased our Add-A-Room from Bus Depot. It arrived in a box, neatly folded into a nice stuff bag. It will NEVER look that nice again. The bag is a reasonable size, but as with most nylon tents, they just never fit back in the way they once did. But it still stores away neatly. It is about the size of a cereal box now that we have used it.

This tent product is designed to slip over the rear hatch door when it is in the open position. This means you must have decent struts, a long wooden prop or two pieces of pipe slipped over the struts. Any of these measures will help make sure the hatch stays up in the air with the room on it. Not that the room weighs much, but that rear door sure does!

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In this photo you can see the magnets just above and below the minion propane tank.

Once it is slipped in to place, the bottom edge can be staked to the ground with the small tent stakes provided. This was simple enough. But I will tell you that three of the elastic loops have broken on ours. They are at the staking locations, presumably to give it some flex in the wind. It still works and stakes securely, but no more elastic loops.  The rear of this tent has a zippered door, with a zippered screen.  It can be tied back when either one or both are open.  We used this control air flow through the van when the wind changed direction.  It worked effectively.

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Swingaway is out outside the room in this photo

Along the sides of the unit there are ties to attach to things on the side of the van. Some people tie them to the black air vents. We just held the sides in place with really strong magnets. We keep a dozen of these in the van for attaching things like hats, towels, campground maps and more. They worked great in this application.

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Found these on Amazon

One thing to consider if you are purchasing the Add-a-room would be the type of bumper you have. We have a unique, older, swing-away model. That meant that the hinge brackets were in the way of taking the tent all the way to the ground along the van edge. We made it work just fine. We also had to decide if we wanted our swing away items (a tire and a storage box) inside the room or outside the room. In these photos you can see that we changed our mind a few times. Even the bike hitch is in, then out, then in!

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Notice the spare tire is inside of the room in this photo.

The Add-a-room adds a space large enough to stand in, store a few items or take a shower (our intended use). But it also allowed us to feel more privacy while sleeping with the rear hatch open and the rear hatch screen in place. We actually left it this way for two weeks, and it felt quite secure.

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Swingaway box and tire are inside the room in this photo.

We are not sponsored by this company or any affiliates. We did not receive anything in exchange for this review. I simply thought other van owners, dwellers and travelers would be interested as additional space and privacy is a common necessity.

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Notice the spare tire is outside of the room in this photo.

4 responses to “Add-a-room for the rear hatch opening

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