1st Trip Out Ever this weekend -Advice Please

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by alfmar, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. alfmar

    alfmar Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    First trip out in our new second hand Suntor Avantgarde 200. I have been wanting a Motorhome for years and have now got our first. Spent the last month or so equipping it out (previous owners did not even empty the loo!) so now all ready. Any advice on the following would be so helpful -
    How would I plan a route to avoid narrow roads low bridges ect?
    Do I need to book in advance at this time of the year?
    How do you fill up with water at a camp site - do I need to take a length of hose with me?
    When I arrive at a site in general do you reverse into your space?
    At this time of year how likely is it that Motorhomes of my size (17.8 feet) get stuck if using grass only pitch?

    I did warn you I was very new to this and please forgive me if the above questions seem silly - I feel excited about our new venture but also a little anxious! I am sure there will be more questions to follow
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    >> At this time of year how likely is it that Motorhomes of my size (17.8 feet) get stuck
    If FWD you get stuck all the time. This is a case for reversing so that the driving wheels are nearest the road. Watch for slope - always drive up one if possible then it's easy to get off.

    >> When I arrive at a site in general do you reverse into your space?
    Play it by ear - view or ease of entry will tell you.

    >> Do I need to book in advance at this time of the year?
    You'll find the better CC & CC&C sites booked at WE or closed.

    >> How do you fill up with water at a camp site - do I need to take a length of hose with me?
    You certainly do and get a screw on fitting.

    >> I feel excited about our new venture but also a little anxious!
    Fear of the unknown, piece of cake in a week's time.

    Have FUN.
     
  3. sinbad1

    sinbad1 Deleted User

    For your first trip I would plan a trip that is somewhat local probably hard standing with an electric hookup, this time of the year a lot of sites are not open ;but some are, have a look at
    click here

    browse your area and check the information for each site. the site also shows campsites open all year round.

    Regards
     
  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I echo what others have said but would add something for fill-up.

    I assume you have a 12v power socket next to the water inlet as we do on our Autoquest 100 - same stable as Avantgarde range.

    Our van came with a submersible pump fitted with plug for use in that socket. We bought a 25 litre plastic jerrycan plus 2m hose as well as the long hose for filling direct from tap (we often camp in places where we can't fill up direct from the tap).

    We use the on board tank for washing/washing up only and have a 5 litre container for drinking water.

    Also bought a lightweight aluminium folding trolley for transporting full jerrycan (and full grey waste container/full toilet cassette when emptying).

    Graham
     
  5. Linda and Steph

    Linda and Steph Funster

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    Try to stay relatively close to home. The first time we went out we phoned the site (a small CL) and explained, the owner agreed that we could also take the car (we went there directly from the dealer) and he was on hand when we arrived to see that we were ok.

    Having the car meant that we could park up, make a list of everything that we had forgotten and then drive to the nearest superstore without worrying about moving the MH.

    As for route planning - use Googlemaps switched to satellite mode. This gives and idea of road widths, bridges and tight corners.

    Have fun and relax, it'll be great.
     
  6. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Even after 20 years of caravanning and motorhoming we always need something we haven't got. Just head off and enjoy yourself.

    We're off on our first trip this year on Thursday, Bury, London, York and home. Been waiting two months for this.

    Enjoy, chill out and relax...
    Bill
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi Alfmar,

    How do you fill up with water at a camp site - do I need to take a length of hose with me?

    i would take a decent length as you might not be able to get close to the tap with the van.....and dont forget your wellies:RollEyes: they can become a quagmire at times.

    further to hilldwellers advise....take as many different hoselock type tap adaptors as you can get. not cheap but saves a lot of frustration if you aint got the right one.:Doh:

    MOST sites will have a screw thread tap but some C/L's may have a regular house type tap so you'll need a push on type for those.

    if the tap has a hose already attached (some do) its worth a minute to remove it and fit your own and if poss spray the tap with a disinfectant spray......you'de be amazed at some folks, cleaning out toilet cassettes and such with the hose INSIDE the tank :Eeek:

    most of all enjoy your first experience.....you'll love it :thumb:
     
  8. Manouche

    Manouche Read Only Funster

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    Hi Alf,
    If at all possible I'd reccommend picking a campsite as close as possible to a large B&Q
    DIY store.
    It this is your first outing you're going to need so many little bits and pieces.
    I wouldn't go too far from home, you might need to pop back and pick up some tools. :BigGrin:
    Hope you have a good time, let us know how it goes.
     
  9. alfmar

    alfmar Read Only Funster

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    Thank You

    Thank you to all of you who replied to my request for help - I was very grateful for the advice. It is so nice to know that there is somewhere I can go for help and advice without feeling intimidated.
    I am now really looking forward to my first trip and will let you all know how I get on - thanks
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    we have that setup also Graham,

    except it dont work if the neck of the water carrier isnt big enough for the pump to drop through.......first hand experience. :Blush::BigGrin:
     
  11. peter H

    peter H Funster Life Member

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    Well done, we are all looking forward to reading the trip report.

    Cheers

    Peter

    PS don't forget to take a 'spare' cork screw.
     
  12. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I had a cunning solution to that one John - I cheated and bought a carrier with a big enough neck. They breed us clever in Derbyshire tha knows :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Graham
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    used to carry an 'aquaroll' but never needed it, never ran out of H2O........just taking up room !
    sods law..... if you aint got it, you need it :Doh:
     
  14. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    just to answer your question we went and booked onto a ccc cert site tuesday paid up went to proceed to the pitch watched a kia sedonna park up next to a caravan didnt seem a lot of trouble THENit was our turn gravel road to a slight grass slope YOUgussed dring whel slipping reverse back thinks i reverses back bit slippy as she goes an stop at he bak wheel is a wooden edging back wheel against it front wheels(drive)spinning next hour spent spitting fethers and trying to force bark and pee shingle under the wheels after rocking back n forth long storey short instead of staying two nights in steeple morden herts
    we went to thetford forest ccc site paid £13;00(age concession) on a cs site and £13 on a hardstanding at a proper site so to speak so think before you sign up and make sure its accesable after snow and rain and check out for sights open nearby just incase
     
  15. finby

    finby Read Only Funster

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    I agree with all the advice given so far and would only add the following bits:

    Use "kitchen" grade hose and not garden hose. Use a universal adaptor for the tap - you know the sort, rubber fitting with a hose clip that can be tightened by hand.

    Try and use hardstandings wherever possible - front wheel vehicles are a pain on wet grass. We had a van once where all the weight (oven, fridge etc) was at the back. It used to get stuck on grass at the slightest sign of dampness!!

    Join a club. We are members of the Caravan Club. The cost of your membership will be recouped after a couple of weeks camping, and you get a directory of sites and CL's and when they are open or closed.

    Narrow roads. If it is a worry to you, just plan your route using a good map, if there are any bits that look a bit "dodgy" confirm with google earth. Personally, I would just "go for it".

    Most importantly, just enjoy yourselves - thats what its all about!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  16. alfmar

    alfmar Read Only Funster

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    Taking much of the advice found within these pages my first ever stay in our Motorhome was brilliant.
    Found a very quiet site in Suffolk not too far from home but further enough to "feel" we were somewhere different. ( I did drive a little further than we needed to just for the hell of it!) Parked up nice and level with plenty room around us plugged in - cup of tea - made sure everthing still worked thinking now I was on a site and away from the drive at home that everything might have packed up! No problems we were now settled in. Went for a long walk where I have been before but this time somehow it felt different, more relaxed and i did not feel in a hurry to get back, felt more part of it somehow, strange. Another cup of tea back at the "van" listening to the new Van Morrison CD and working on a section of my Family Tree watching it get dark outside. First meal cooked eaten with a glass of wine than another and another - end of a great first day (and night!)
    Sitting here now looking forward to more of the same............
     
  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you've got the bug now, havent you.....go on...havent you.:BigGrin:

    welcome to the relaxed world of motorhoming.:thumb:
     
  18. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    first run

    Hi we have only been mh owners for 2 years and yes at first its whats this and what do we do But you will find mh on the site will help you sort out problems take what you can and enjoy. we went to france 2008 tor 8 weeks with mh smart car and trailer never done it before 3700 miles later and a very good time meeting mh ers from all over and yes i still needed help but was soon sorted so take it as it comes and enjoy
    :thumb::thumb::thumb: Peter
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
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