Flatpack Camper console

The completed unit from Flatpack Camper in the UK.

Best Jerry Seinfeld impression: What is the deal with the UK? They have all the best VW interior products. Do they own the corner market on the bus? It’s like they have bus greed. ‘Yes, I’ll take a bus; make it a double decker.’

For real. When I started looking to install cabinets into my Riviera, the only shops where I found stuff I actually wanted were located in the UK. At one point I found an entire cabinet set I wanted. But, no, they don’t ship to the US. Same for the very cool headbanger cabinet I found. And even my insistence at charging me a mark-up didn’t work. 

So you can imagine my sense of resignation when I found the perfect between-the-front-seats console and saw it was shipping from the land of ‘I’m sorry, we don’t ship to the colonies.’ I filled out the form online after seeing there were no shipping restrictions. I hit enter. The payment form cycled. And cycled. And cycled. This, I figured, is just a more passive way of telling me sorry charlie (or rather ‘Apologies, dear Charles.’)

But, then, upon a refresh and another form fill—success! 

Then I had to wait. Each cabinet is made to order and I wanted mine to be simple black and white. It would take 4-6 weeks. 

Waiting is hard for me. I am not a patient man. I began to imagine that it may never come. That perhaps the cabinet was bobbing somewhere in the Atlantic. Maybe it had gotten impounded on the freighter that got stuck in the Suez Canal (and what was it doing in the Suez anyway? Don’t these folks know the shortest route to Ohio is directly across the Atlantic and then jump on I-70? So, yeah, it probably fell off the boat and after bobbing for a little while, it took on water and drifted ever downward into the Marianas Trench.) 

Alas, it arrived unscathed and well within the 4-6 week window (despite the best attempts of our last president to screw up the USPS). As the name says, the product is flat packed into a box that seems all too small. When I opened the box I could smell the wood stain (talk about fresh product). The pieces all fit perfectly and I had the entire thing assembled and sitting on my living room floor in under ten minutes. 

The unit itself is handy dandy: A nice bucket inside for storing all types of stuff. A larger pocket in the back that could hold books or maps or something of the like. Under the cupholders in the front is a smaller pocket that would be great for cellphones or a pocketknife, sunglasses and charging cables. The cupholders themselves are funny because they are perfectly sized for bottles of water or a can of soda. They simply are not girthful enough for a Big Gulp or some other drink size that is a symptom of American overindulgence. The entire unit is built at a slight angle because the space between the bus seats is, of course, set at a slight incline. So the unit sits flat. Brilliant! 

Bottom line: I’d recommend this unit for anyone who plans to spend some amount of time traveling in their bus and does not have three arms. It makes life easier. The construction is sturdy as all get out (Ikea could learn a thing or two from these folks). Plus, it looks nice. Well worth the wait in my opinion. 

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