Who needs a spacious working vehicle when you’ve got a small impractical hot hatch to haul your detailing gear around in?!
In an ideal world I’d have a working van and a quick car but it’s one or the other for me at the moment. Who knows I may get a nice van again at some point but for now I’d prefer to have a high performing (albeit slightly impractical) car I can make work for detailing, instead of a spacious practical detailing van I can’t make work out on the open road.
Admittedly being a 2+2 layout with a compact boot and recessed glass hatch I did wonder what on Earth I’d done when opening it up for the first time but I like to think of myself as being relatively resourceful, so after setting aside a day for some trial, error and equipment consolidation, I soon figured out a way to make everything I needed fit.
Before actually attempting that though, I knew the contoured parcel shelf would have to come out because despite how snazzy it looks sitting behind the back seats, it eats far too much of the already limited space so away it went, only being returned for special occasions.
I also went about sourcing myself a decent quality boot liner to protect the plush carpet underneath from the car cleaning cargo it would now be seeing on a semi-regular basis. This would also serve to help temporarily contain any small leakages or overspill that can then be easily mopped up with an old towel once unloaded.
For the first few months of Guru Mobile ownership, my microfibre trolley dolly was carefully inserted into its inner sanctum but I soon realised I’m not a huge fan of having things rattling around directly behind my head as it gives the impression of being in a van, so I recently sourced a second nylon Flex bag to fill with day’s worth of microfibres, mitts and pads instead.
Its compartmentalised core helps keep things relatively neat and tidy and while it certainly doesn’t provide the same ease of access the trolley dolly does, dropping a soft bag into the boot instead of pushing an awkward squeaky unit over the back seat is most definitely preferable.
With the trolley largely relegated and the seats returned to their upright position then, it was time for demonstrative take-off starting with a 6 litre pressure sprayer and three stacked buckets containing wheel brushes and an expandable hosepipe. Being the tallest items, these go in first and are shoved towards the back in order to take advantage of the ever so slightly increased roof space there. I also add the Kranzle’s detachable pressure washer lance at this stage, hiding it out of harms way behind the hardware.
Next, the pair of Flex bags are dropped in. The heavier of the two which contains mostly bottled goods goes first, with the lighter microfibre bag shown previously being squeezed on top to leave the boot looking a lot more purposeful!
There’s then a few loose items that need tucking away, including a basic knee pad I hardly ever use which slots to one side, and a smaller 1.5 litre pressure sprayer which sits nicely in one of the recessed corners.
Once they’ve been secured, my Guru Blue trigger spray tool tote then satisfactorily slots in front of the two Flex bags to act as a kind of keystone, helping keep the whole kit and kaboodle as tight as a first gear hairpin!
Next the slimmest extension cable I could find is wedged towards the centre somewhere, with the retractable plug itself being pulled out and dropped down behind to allow it to squeeze in.
The final corner then is reserved for the 18 kilogram Kranzle K7 pressure washer and although there might not appear to be enough space, once lowered down and wriggled into position it actually fits perfectly. It’s then simply a case of securing the freshly coiled hose somewhere appropriate so it doesn’t flap about too much and holstering the gun.
To put your minds at rest I’ve covered a significant portion of the rear bumper with some protection film to prevent the often gritty hose (and any other piece of equipment or item of clothing for that matter) from inflicting damage during the loading and unloading process and so far at least, it’s worked a treat – although my feline friend for the day didn’t seem particularly impressed!
With the boot brimming I then have to make use of the passenger seat and footwell if I need to haul the full compliment of equipment. Although he doesn’t travel with me all the time George generally ride’s shotgun so long as he agrees to rest his backside on a towel and wear his seatbelt, however if his guts haven’t been evacuated for a while then I can confine the stinky sod to the boot, substituting him with the two Flexbags instead.
I am going to invest in a Metro Vac’n’Blo at some point which, being a more compact unit will most likely sit up front in its carry case, freeing George to finally enjoy his retirement.
Lastly, it’s not ideal but I’ll plonk any remaining items I need down in the passenger footwell. I’d much prefer to keep the front end clutter free but to be fair even when I’ve had vans in the past I still always kept bits and bobs under the passenger seat and in the door cards of those too.
The final few things I carry with me are a plazzy bag full of energy bars and fruit to see me through the day as I generally don’t have time to stop for lunch, a big bottle of water to keep dehydration at bay and then some kind of alcohol-based hand sanitiser incase I don’t get a chance to wash up properly before heading home, as there’s nothing worse than post-detail sweaty steering wheel syndrome while your trying to navigate unfamiliar territory!
It only takes me a minute or so to fully empty the boot upon arrival which always helps especially if you’ve got a long day ahead, and depending on the proximity of my car to the one being cleaned as well as the weather, sometimes I’ll keep the tool tote and two Flex bags open in the boot so I can just go back and fourth and easily grab what I want.
And that’s basically how I currently manage things without a van, I guess you could say it’s a bit of a clown car what with the amount of stuff I manage to pull out of its compact interior but if you’ve seen my grisly tattoos then you’ll know I have a bit of a thing for clownin’, so I guess that makes perfect sense!
Once fully packed it might not appear as practical as the inside of a well laid out working van but then a well laid out van won’t look as striking as this does on the outside. Still, if I saw someone rock up to clean a car with a boot full like this, regardless of wether they were reliant on access to power and water or not, I’d know they meant business!
I do lose some rear-view vision carrying this lot but then a van with a solid bulkhead has no rear visibility either, so I’m not too phased by it and just ensure I’m extra vigilant with the wing mirrors.
Despite not being able to see much out of them, the fact the rear windows are tinted means they provide some level of privacy on the road and security if I’m late home and don’t have the time or energy to empty the car right away.
I initially thought the suspension might have to be adjusted to cater for the extra weight but I’ve had no issues whatsoever with rear scrubbage as the stiff Bilsteins ensure the ride height remains pretty much the same but even if it did affect it enough to potentially scrub, fully laden I’m never going to be hooning it around so doubt it would be much of an issue.
Apart from the lack of rear vision the only other major downside is that some of the surrounding interior plastics and trim are inevitably going to get scuffed over time but that’s unfortunately just the nature of using your car for work, however I’m sure it won’t be anything a magic eraser and some decent interior dressing can’t fix.
I hope you appreciate the sneak peak behind the curtain (or glass hatch) in this case, I’m guessing it’s probably not as glamorous as some folk may think but hey, that’s the reality of cleaning dirty cars for a living, still, it beats working for the man if you ask me!