A new way of life

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Stu, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Stu

    Stu Read Only Funster

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    First and foremost, great forum :thumb:
    I have been reading and absorbing everything I can in a bid to accelerate my understanding and reduce the chances of cock ups!

    My partner and I, both in our 30's and both with careers, have had enough. Serious time out required!! We are going to use a week off in October as a 'toe in the water' to see if we can adapt to a real change of lifestyle; ideally spending at least 12 months on the road touring the country, only stopping to earn a few quid when and if we choose to.

    I have driven all sorts but never a motorhome.

    We have camped several times before but I know a weekend is different to a way of life.

    Essentially, we want to get off of a very un-fulfilling treadmill that has become our lives. A far more humble, simplistic life with our two small dogs is just so appealing. We are financially secure and can comfortably afford to tick over for our chosen period of time without working.

    I am 6'5" so I guess I need to consider headroom and bed sizes but I've slept in a travelodge so I reckon a MH will be OK :Smile:

    Our first week on the road will see us going down to Newquay in a hired 6 berth MH. Any tips or advice about life on the road, suitable MH's for less than 15k or even the trip to Cornwall will be most appreciated.

    Thanks guys :thumb:
     
  2. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi Stu

    Admire what you want to do and would say go for it. If you look for the members on here called active campers they have a great blog of their trips im sure it would be of great help.

    Gerry
     
  3. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Great move at your age especially if you can get jobs fairly easily again.

    Look at the old Hymers with your budget as they go for ever and have a great resale value if you decide to sell or upgrade.

    Best of luck and please keep us informed with picture if you can:Wink:
     
  4. Stu

    Stu Read Only Funster

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    Thanks :)

    Yeah, another job for each of us will be easy enough and we have (or will have) around 30k stashed as an exit strategy, should the worst happen.

    Life is so very short and neither one of us feel especially content with our jobs, purpose or future; not unless we take the brave option and opt out of traditional 'living'. The only risk we will be taking is one that we can afford to take.

    Good to hear that old Hymer's are something to consider. I like the idea of character and build quality over a new registration plate, I feel the same about cars.

    Is there anything I should be aware of due to my height? Will all MH's present an issue in terms of headroom?
     
  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I am an inch shorter than you, but two of my sons are 3 inches taller than you. Bed lengths may be a problem, I always sleep with my feet sticking out from choice (always have hot feet for some reason)

    I have only found a couple of MH with height problems, one of which was a Hobby, twin axle with a step in the floor, the other was an A class but can't remember which.
    Hymers are good value, seem to go on for ever, there are several I have seen around here well over 20years old. The older Autotrails seem to be particularly high inside.
     
  6. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi Stew, and welcome to Fun.

    Rita and I really admire you and yours for your enthusiasm, and courage at taking the plunge, and we wouldn't want to pour cold water on your dream, however, you are not going to get much of a reliable living/touring MH for £15,000, even if it is a 20 year old Hymer classic. You'll struggle to pick up a decent caravan with enough living space, within that budget
    The spacious six berth that you are hiring will spoil you, and anything smaller will seem unacceptable for anything other than a weekend away. You really need to be the best of friends etc, as in a very small and cramped living area, things could become "somewhat tensioned", without each being able to have their own space.
    Our MH is a large 5 berth tag axle, and although we could tour for months at a time, having had the discussion, we both agree that we couldn't "full time" in it, even if only for a year.
    You and yours may be made of stronger stuff than us, and we both wish you well with your project, but please don't be too keen to throw caution to the wind.

    We personally know of a couple (not on Fun), who did the same, but after six months, they were ready to come home and sell the MH. They missed their daughters, especially after seeing them briefly now and then.

    Best regards,

    Jock & Rita.
     
  7. Stu

    Stu Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the input Jock :Smile:

    Being impulsive is part of the fun for us; yeah things could go belly up but I'm not scared of that, neither of us are. As someone else said on here said recently "I'd be far happier regretting something I had done, rather than something I hadn't"

    Forgive me if the posts read as anything foolish or full of bravado. If it weren't for the support and encouragement of the good lady, I would be far more cautious. We have started new chapters to our life twice over in our seventeen years together and this will be the third time that we have started again. Leaping into the unknown like this is what life, for us, is all about.

    The advice about 'size matters' is valid and appreciated. Also the budgetary guide is useful. The disparity in prices is huge so it makes judging finances very tough.

    I feel I am the bottom of a very steep learning curve. Should be fun :BigGrin:
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    For people so young is running away the answer ? You've a long way to go, you can't run away for ever. Much better to enjoy a MH on the back of success than defeat.

    In my humble old opinion.
     
  9. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    Hi Stu

    I really hope you have a fantastic time and now, while you are young, is a great time to do this. We had a Hymer and all I can say is that the overcab bed was absolutely massive in width so I'm sure your legs would fit in somewhere. I would only say that you should make sure you have a comfortable relaxing area and not just a diner to sit at.

    I hope I see you on the road some day.

    Ivy
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    and then? ..

    even a simplistic lifestyle needs cash, a lot more than many realise ..

    We tried this for three years and full time can eat up money.

    Fuel , site fees, insurance, food , clothing, repairs and maintenance etc etc .. it all adds up to a tidy sum

    Budget on £10 - £13 k per year .. and that's living very modestly .. nothing put away for a rainy day..

    Can you earn this part time or seasonally ?

    Lets do the sums.. both working full time for 6 months..

    40 hrs per week x 2 = 80hrs x basic min wage , = £440

    6 months = £10,560 gross.

    from this you have to live all year and do 'your dream' .... year on year you need to find work, and there are plenty of immigrants who will work for much less ..

    Of course, I could be wrong, I don't know what careers you have, can they earn you money on the road ?

    I am not trying to put you off, just giving you food for thought, many do it but it's not an easy life.... it's an alternative.. lots have tried and many have given up and found it's lot easier going than coming back ..

    Good luck whatever you decide
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    at 6ft 5in you may have problems with the driving position on the fiat/peugeot type 'C' class (bed over cab) vans.

    the seat is rather high but can be overcome with an aftermarket replacement seat base which is around 3" lower.

    i'm 6ft and only seem to look through the top four or five inches of the screen looking straight ahead.

    good luck with your dream :thumb:
     
  12. Mandaxxx

    Mandaxxx Read Only Funster

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    Hi Stu, good for you.
    We have 10 days left in our house then it's the Hymer 584 for us, first we are off to Norfolk then maybe up east coast a way, then across, then down west coast arriving in St Davids to exchange summer clothes for winter clothes from my mum.
    We intend to take at least 12 months out then think again, I suspect it will continue.
    Like you we were well & truly p....d off so.....here we go!!!!
    All the best and I hope it all works out for you.:thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  13. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    Well done Manda & Stu, we wish you all the good luck in the world, good advice and worth listening to from Brian and Jim but sometimes you can be a little too cautious, throwing a little of it to the wind and going for it does indeed sound invigorating.

    There is a big world out there and over the years this country has become a mad house with the lunatics well and truly running the asylum, we are certain you will have discussed this to the enth degree and let`s face it all you are doing is packing up your current jobs where you live doesn`t matter and if you can supplement your income enough with casual work then excellent.

    As said the older Hymers are for sure good trucks, just shop around and choose one that`s been mothered, we have a 9yr old Auto-trail on a Merc sprinter chassis, there is plenty of height and the Merc engine will run forever.

    Good luck to both of you.
     
  14. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    The only way is to try them out, some smaller vans have quite a bit of room! We have had 6'8' in ours, and he reported it was surprisingly comfortable to drive and he had no problems sleeping!

    Lots of layouts, lots of budgets - depends what you have to spend and what you want from a motorhome.

    We are in cornwall, so if you want a chat and get some advice, you are welcome to pop by. We don't sell motorhomes - but we do buy them, so know the pitfalls and the models. It really is a case of look,look,look and then research! There are non-finance options on purchasing a motorhome on a limited budget, so don't think you are going to have to make deal with old ones!
     
  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    sorry, that is not quiet correct, free camping using a motorhome is not included in the Land Reform Act .
    The Act 2003 establishes statutory public access rights to land (including inland waters and foreshore) for recreational and other purposes, this right to be exercised responsibly. This will apply to most of the countryside in Scotland.

    These rights apply in relation to rights of way by foot, horseback, pedal cycle or any combination of those as they apply in relation to access rights, motorised vehicles are not allowed.

    However, it is easier to find quite places to overnight compared to much of the UK .. but there is no legal right to do so.
     
  16. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

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    Good luck with your venture, I hope it works out for you.

    One point I have not seen mentioned is that if you are full timing, you need to be aware of winterising for most of Europe, and that can mean some severe weather. We still had our snail last winter, but I would have struggled to survive unless we could have got into a barn for the worst of it, and it would have cost a fortune in gas/electricity just to stay de-frosted. Make sure you are prepared and seek advice from others here who are full time in this regard. Or, you could be shouting for
    :help:
     
  17. motorhomelover

    motorhomelover

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    quite true
    you can have 3 months traveling around scotland and not have any problems parking over night try to do that in Engald or wales and youl find lots of trouble from police tarfic wardens and the public

    even France has places for travelers we are so backward in the UK
    we pay road tax and insurance we should be able to park up for one night as its dangerouse to drive when tiered LOL
     
  18. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I have lived in a van/motorhome for twenty years "off site" mostly in England and have never had trouble from police or the public and only from traffic wardens when I park on the wrong type of lines.

    IMO Living a simple lifestyle goes hand in hand with "full timing off site" in a van. Hundreds and hundreds of people do it.

    Motorhomers fall into many, many sub groups and fair play to all of them.

    There is a world of difference between living the "house" type lifestyle in a top range motorhome with all the "comforts of home" (satellite tv, electric kettles and curlers and hair dryers, microwave ovens and food mixers) and the simple "van" type lifestyle in a less complicated motorhome.

    The former lifestyle often requires a hook up and nearby water and is enjoyed by many people at the weekends or holidays on campsites while the latter offers more flexibility especially when it comes to parking overnight.

    I was amazed to find out how many things I could do without and still be as happy if not happier than before...

    I recommend checking out "How to live off-grid" by Nick Rosen.

    I could go on and on for page after page but I won't bore you anymore...

    Suffice to say you can live successfully "on the road" in a motorhome in the UK for years and years... I have done (and am still doing) it....

    Best wishes to you in your new venture...

    JJ
     
  19. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Funny, sounds just like us, a change of life:thumb:

    Couple of things crossed my mind, you haven't got a MH yet, whilst we still have some 'sorting out' before the off (18 months ish AND COUNTING) we already have a MH, and have been at it for 5ish years so it crosses my ming buying sooner than later would be advised. Simple things, trying to establish a layout, shakeing down the 'van, your obviously going to be running an older unit so making sure it's reliable before the off makes sence. It also alows you to sample being in the van, we all take on board that a few weeks on holiday is a different kettle of fish to living 'fulltime' but I would think you need practical time to see how in principle it's going to work?

    Our plans have accalerated since buing our current 'van, a 28ft non slide 16 year old Winnebago Brave. For two of us we can see this would be ideal spending time in and plenty of space, time off couse will tell, but the principles good, and a 28ft we shouldn't have any over size issues, bearing in mind we will be sites predomanantly as that's us, each to thier own. That said, OK water we're not quite as frugal as we should/could be but electric is something we raiarly need except in winter and even then we could adapt, we wont, we'll use EHU and be comfortable, hourses for courses.

    Your van budget is low (ish) but with care a good MH can be found, even in RVs, but care is the watch word, there are some loverly units out there, well looked after with many many years left in them and some not, euro and yank, but getting started now would be my personal strongest advise. Buying older one thing to watch is spares availability, all things can be overcome but now and again you can run into odities that can take a while to sourse/work around so again something to take on board.

    My second thought is simple, join the FUN:thumb:
     
  20. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Stu, do what you need to do and heed the advice given.

    I think Brian (hildwellers) question is a good one so make sure you answer that first.

    Also Jim, (scotjimland) has been, seen and done it so make sure you pay his post particular respect.

    What ever you decide, good luck with it, if it works then great, My advice for what its worth would be, " if it don't work then I look forward to your post in a few months with the title A new new way of life, anyone have a flat for rent?"
     
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