Can't decide whether to buy

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by PeteandCher, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. PeteandCher

    PeteandCher Read Only Funster

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    Hi to all.

    We are a couple, approaching 60 who have been lucky enough to retire early.

    We have been using a medium sized Hymer caravan for a number of years and have been all over Europe in trips of about a month at a time, then a couple of years ago due to work commitments we downsized to a tiny Eriba pop top as it was easier to tow/store/use in the UK etc.

    We have now finished work and are looking to travel Europe again in trips of up to 3 months so we have been looking at largish motorhomes as we fancy a change, but we like to move on fairly often (4-5 nights stays) and we also like to explore the area etc.

    So - could we manage without a car? Should we take a little car on a trailer? Should we just get another caravan?

    I have often heard it said that the caravanning/motorhoming is completely different but how?

    All comments gratefully received.

    Pete
     
  2. ceejayt

    ceejayt Funster Life Member

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    You will get plenty of responses to this query.

    My purely personal opinion having been both a tugger and now a motorhomes is a preference for motorhome. If you are reasonably fit take a couple of bikes and cycle into town. Many aires and parking places are within walking distance in Europe or a very short bike ride.

    Occasionally hire a car if you need to. Motorhome is so easy to 'get up and go' and when you arrive so quick to be settled.

    As to size - take your time and have a good look around - plenty to choose from - get one that suits YOU
     
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  3. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Welcome and enjoy the fun,we both reached that age 3 years ago we bought a second hand Autotrail Cheyene 696g liked it so much bought a new Tracker within a year now have just got our Hymer Exsis i698 4250kg GVW and trailer to take our Fiat panda with us as found when down in Spain and Portugal it would have been nice to have our car as we have two dogs and love birding so like to visit the National parks and reserves trailer tows along nicely on our couple of proving trips and with the bigger van plenty of payload and towing capacity.
    But at the end it's down to personal choices we found that the bike thing didn't work for us but may for you we like to think we have the best of both worlds now.
     
  4. Oriel

    Oriel

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    Hi and welcome!

    We're relatively new to motor homing having bought our first in May. I'm retired but my husband isn't so we're not completely free, although he does work from the motorhome which means we've got away a fair bit. We love the lifestyle and can't wait to start our travels properly.

    I'd say go for it. If you like caravanning then I feel sure you'll love motor homing.

    As far as transport goes - we have a couple of electric bikes and a Tailwagon for our dog which my husband tows. Our dog loves his Tailwagon and the three of us travel comfortably for miles.
     
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  5. Granjan

    Granjan Funster

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    We have had a large caravan in the past but now have a large motorhome and electric bikes, occasionally we hire a car. We mostly stay on camp sites 4/5 nights at a time, picking locations that we can cycle out from.

    Pros and cons really, its good to get out and about without being behind the wheel, the more I use my bike the fitter I get and the more I love it. You get to see the country side at a slower pace! Sometimes I think oh it would have been nice to just drive there but its just too far/ inaccessible, never mind I will come again, there is always more to see.

    Husband didn't like towing, so wouldn't tow a car behind the MH anyway. He loves driving motorhome.

    We can park up, plug in electric, wind out the awning have a couple of chairs, table, bottle of wine and glasses out in just a few minutes.

    We use aires sometimes especially on our travel days, some of them are lovely just like sites, some are free, others cost as much as a site, think many of them are open all year, you can't stay on those in a caravan. If our motorhome was smaller we would probably use more aires.

    We tend to stock up at the supermarket on our travel days.

    I do sometimes think we could see a bit more if we did have a car with us or a bit smaller motorhome but whatever you pick there is a compromise somewhere and we love the space and layout that we have.

    We often meet up with tugger friends, one couple are away in France /Spain from April to October, though they have a car they are now getting electric bikes.

    Our other friends who thought about buying a motorhome are going to buy a new caravan instead, the £20k they save by buying a new caravan rather than a new motorhome will pay for a lot of holidays. They have had their last caravan for about 15 years ... It doesn't owe them a penny and they have a nice tow car.

    We are all happy with our choices.
     
  6. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    Hello :welc:

    Used to be caravanners. Now loving the MH life. Don't tow anything and never found it an issue.
     
  7. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    If you like staying on camp sites then caravans are perfect.
    If like us you like to travel then a motor home is the answer, especially abroad.
    You don't need a large one, we have a fixed bed, low profile, 6.8 mt coach built M/H that is perfect for us two.
    We tend to travel everyday and find some where to park late afternoon, meanwhile we have been exploring as we go.
    It is much easier parking, for what is really only a large van. The ability to stay over night in (often free) Aires is also a big plus and you don't need to book a site. Some of the Aires we have stumbled across on our travels have been amazing.
    Some time during the day we also tend to stop at a shop to pick up provisions, also much easier in a M/H
    All in all I would say M/H's are much more flexible for touring.
    Give it a try with a cheaper one, you can always sell it if it doesn't suit.
     
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  8. Phillybarbour

    Phillybarbour Read Only Funster

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    The motorhome is better suited to touring, and that's what you say you want to do. Take a couple of by cycles or a small scooter and the your away.

    We always take a mode of transport from bicycles, scooter, or car. In recent times virtually never take the car is its a bit of hassle and the other options are great fun.
     
  9. injebreck99

    injebreck99 Funster

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    Same as everyone else, had PV conversion many years ago, gradually worked our way up to a new MH , but could not get the use out of it due to work.
    Sold the MH, bought a cheap caravan to see if we liked it, did not mind it so bought a better one, but realised what a hassle it was with a caravan, bought our present MH , and now retired, use it much more, but we still enjoy our flyaway holidays as well. Electric bikes for us as well.
     
  10. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    We have done both, caravans are great for holidays a week here a week there using camp sites.

    Now we have the motorhome we have a lot more freedom of where we stay, we do use campsites as we like to get set up for a week or so especially if the weather is nice and you can get out your table and chairs or even canoe (blow up) and do all the things you are not supposed to do on Aires.

    Other times we can use the Aires and Stellplatz as we are travelling.

    We are currently in Germany/Holland and not many camp sites open so would be stuck with the caravan, for example last night we could not find where we wanted to be and ended up down a narrow lane in the dark but there was a car park that looked quiet so BINGO, to be honest it looks quiet enough for two nights.

    Bikes for us are a must as we don't like to move every day but want the freedom to go into town or just explore the area, that meant that we got a motorhome with a big garage. A car would be nice sometimes but for us it would be more trouble than it was worth.

    Martin
     
  11. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    A large MH towing a car is just a caravan going backwards. :)
    For us a 6m MH is perfect, it can go almost anywhere but it isn't right for everyone, so very much up to personal choice. What I would suggest is keep things simple, the less "stuff" you have the better the quality of life. :):)
     
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  12. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    Hello. We have a 6 metre motorhome now but have had 7 metre ones and tent trailer a swell as camping in the past we find the MH the best for our holidays we can up and leave if we want or stay longer.Most large campsites in France want a minimum stay of 7 days which was good when we had the children with us. We see lots of eribas on our European travels and they look quick and easy to set up. Saw a really old vintage one on Amboise campsite With a small round pop roof light! The family had lots of exta pup tents too!
     
  13. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    In my opinion, If there is only going to be the two of you get the smallest you can find that has all you need on board, not a vw type thing but next one up , you only need one bed one dining room and one toilet, and you will find you can get in to most places(y):)
     
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  14. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Agree with @chaser have a look through the classified section on here..some nice vans for sale including ours:)
     
  15. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Also depends whether you are a fair weather camper or an any time, any where one. Now I can't walk very far - which I never predicted - do we ever? I found staying on a site this last year when even a walk to the pool from the bulk of the site was bit of a struggle whereas with tents or a caravan previously whilst able-legged, wasn't - frustrating. Also parking at or (that) near 'places of interest' is very often motorhome UN friendly even in places with an aire. eg we have some favourite beaches in places with aires, but the beach might be a 20 minute walk, which would now take me an hour and be painful so is no longer OK.

    I mean - we are actually naturists/nudists so are quite happy to rally with Suntreckers but eg during the winter we'll rally - mostly choose somewhere with a room we can use at night etc - and perhaps on the Sunday they'll suggest a pub lunch - lovely! But - no good unless there are enough caravanners there with room in their cars to give the motorhomers present a lift. You'd do this anyway with cars on a rally like that - but it's a bit unfair (in my head) to rely on other people without being able to return the favour.

    As it is, we don't have a car trailer and I'm not even sure we can tow with the van we have even if we got one and a suitable car, it wasn't a consideration when we bought it, neither was one with a garage large enough etc to carry a scooter, which Pete could handle having a full bike licence and a Blackbird sitting in the garage etc - but not being funny here he ain't getting any younger either!

    So - there ARE one helluva lot of things to think about.

    However - if you fancy one - just bloomingwell DO it is my actual advice - because NOBODY knows what tomorrow may bring !! We've loved it up to now!
     
  16. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Oh yeah - forgot to say - it's more expensive staying on sites always since aires are usually very cheap or free so even a Municipal at nearer €10 than €20 a night is more, which for the sort of length holidays you take when you are at work is absolutely fine - if you now want to go for months instead of weeks ........
     
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  17. denisejoe

    denisejoe Funster Life Member

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    We 've done the lot from small tents through frame tents, trailer tents, small caravan, big caravans, medium MH and now a big MH.

    All have been right for us at the time. Having said that because there are just the 2 of us now and we like to move around and see lots of places we usually only stay one or maybe 2 nights at a time and use aires almost all the time. We have always said that if we feel the need to tow a car then we may as well just go back to getting a caravan and staying on sites. We do have a 125cc scooter to get around on while we're there but have only had that for a couple of years, before that it was shank's pony as I'm petrified of riding a bike (even an electric one). We still walk most of the time and only very occasionally use the scooter but it's there if we want to go somewhere where we can't get to with the MH.

    At the end of the day only you can decide what is best for you.

    Look around loads of motorhomes if you decide that is what you want and just don't rush into it - you will know when you've walked into the right motorhome for you - it's a bit like buying a house.

    Good luck in making your decision.

    Denise
     
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  18. PeteandCher

    PeteandCher Read Only Funster

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    Many thanks to all who have responded, I can see that we have rather more to consider than at first sight! We normally stay at home in the summer as it is too crowded/expensive/hot, but out of "season" is the time we enjoy best, using the ACSI card extensively abroad, and usually CC sites at home. ACSI is fine Mar-May and Sep-Oct, but as someone said it can be tricky at this time of year. A fully winterised vehicle is essential (last Jan we had -7 overnight in the little Eriba and were toasty), and I am now leaning towards a 6.5 - 7m motorhome with a good payload and a garage for our bikes, so something with a high level fixed bed at the rear probably. Bit too big to take into small town centres, but fairly versatile and as we can use Aires or wild camp sometimes we would not be dependent on campsites all the time. If we want to tow a trailer with the Panda on we can, but for other trips we could forgo this. Although I agree that towing a car is a "caravan in reverse" I still think that it would be an easier combo to drive/set up than a largish caravan, and not necessary to set up an awning as we have to do now.

    Pete
     
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