fish out of water

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by 5keoghs, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. 5keoghs

    5keoghs Read Only Funster

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    Good morning/afternoon/evening,
    My name is Natalie Keogh and myself my husband the two children and the dog are looking to buy a motor-home.We would love some advice on buying one and running one please.We have seen one a fiat roadstar 2003 6 berth that we really like but not sure.
    Please help 5 Keogh's as we truly are fish out of water.
    kind regards
     
  2. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    I can understand how the kids can help out with their pocket money, but how will the dog contribute financially to the purchase?!:BigGrin:

    Welcome to motorhome Fun!:thumb:
     
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  3. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Don't let him have too much input on choice !
    You don't want to end up with one that's Ruffffffffffffffffff ! :Rofl1:


    Vlad
     
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  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    On a more serious note, please don't rush into your first purchase!
    Identify what your needs are and what you want to use your new MH for. The marketplace is a minefield.
    Make a list of your requirements, then read all the threads and blogs. I bet you find some things to add to your list you never thought of!
    The biggest concern will be layout, then layout followed by layout! Following this will be payload, driving license rquirements, winterisation if required, followed by technical stuff like water tank sizes, type of heating etc.
    What it looks like on the outside and the base chassis model are really unimportant compared to the above!
    You are making a good investment into your family's future though' a Motorhome can take you on many adventures, both home and abroad. You can head for the sun, or even go skiing with the right van!
    Happy travels!:thumb:
     
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  5. jools66

    jools66 Read Only Funster

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    Can't add to this, just find some local dealers get out and look at as many models as possible maybe get to a show.
    Good luck in your search :BigGrin:
     
  6. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    Welcome to FUN you will soon find out that this is a great site for any and all advise and well worth the £10.00 subscription. On the subject of which van would suit you only you can answer that, layout is very important, they say that it can take 3 changes of motorhome before you get the right van for you and your family. We are on our first and last van as we won't be able to afford to change it, so we are living with it, it's not perfect for our needs but I must say we love our "Gertie". Try to visit motorhome shows, read all you can on the subject, you might even hire a van for a holiday, it takes time to get the right van, so don't rush and have FUN. :thumb:
     
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  7. martin1485

    martin1485 Funster

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    http://www.motorhome-buyers-guide.com/buying-a-motorhome/

    Have a look at the book on the above link. It will help to save you time and money in getting it wrong.

    Become a full member of MotorhomeFun - the vast collective knowledge of the members here is invaluable and the small membership fee will repay itself many times over.

    Welcome to the Fun - it can be addictive and gain you many years of enjoyment, meet a whole host of new friends and get to places you would never do otherwise! :thumb:
     
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  8. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    All the above plus go and find some dealers and take everyone, including the dog and your list of requirements and spend some time sitting and wandering around in the vans you like. Make the bed cushions up and see if there is still room inside to move around a bit.
    Do you need a big fridge and full size cooker with all those Keogh's, where will the dog sleep and travel
    Some pre 2007 6 berth vans may not have seat belts for every one, you really need 3 point belts in the back for the kids and a table in front of their seats will enable them to keep themselves occupied with books, toys etc and leave you to concentrate on squeezing down those narrow lanes!
    Good luck on your choice and don't rush. It took us many months to find our van, but it's still not quite perfect.
    Allan
     
  9. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi the Keogh's

    Why The Lunar? They make great motorhomes but don't restrict yourself to a particular brand. You should choose your van on layout rather than make. In fact the "brand" should be one of the last things you consider. Choosing a motorhome on any criteria other than the layout and the chances are you will be changing it soon.

    By "layout" I mean the living arrangements and storage. If you get this wrong it won't matter what make it is you will regret it, so will your wallet. Get the layout right, then look for that layout in the best quality build you can afford.

    See if you can get to the NEC next week, there is a massive motorhome show there, over a 1000 motorhomes all in one place, go and sit in all of them and you'll really get a feel for the layout you need

    It can be a minefield, but not if you are well armed. i recommend you arm yoursellf with this book the bloke that wrote that knows his stuff, he's good looking too:Wink:

    Best of luck and welcome to the Fun:thumb:
     
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  10. acting_strange

    acting_strange

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    This is nothing that I can really add to what you have read but I will say that when we bought our first MH it took nearly a year to make the right decision. We looked at many, all different layouts, which for some reason always never felt quite right. It was the sleeping arrangements that sorted it for us as we discovered that we didn't like fixed beds. They were too small and when one of you needed to get up in the night a bugger to say the least. We finally settled on our Lunar because although we have to make the beds up each night we now use them as separate beds which we have found much more comfortable.

    The choice always has to be yours so make sure that you take your time making it.

    Good luck and welcome to Fun:thumb::thumb:
     
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  11. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome to the fun. The motorhome buyers guide will save you the cost of the book and your membership it is a must have for first timers especially.

    Payload will be your biggest problem so do be aware of it and understand the figures, weigh the entire family and dog to see what you are talking about and take any perspective van to a weighbridge. Dealers on the whole tend to guess (in their favour) about such things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  12. Spenders

    Spenders

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    Hullooooo!!

    Hello Natalie and the Keoughs ! :BigGrin:

    As has been said above, you should prioritise the steps needed to achieve happy motorhoming:

    1. Pay the £10 subscription to this site to allow you to continue to participate/ask questions/read threads etc..... of all the money you may or may not spend on a motorhome, it will be the best value £10 ever.

    2. Pick your layout..... get it wrong and you're either stuck with it, will pay a fortune in cash/time to change to another or give up entirely thereby wasting all the time/effort/cash it took to get the wrong layout.

    3. Visit dealers / motorhome shows / Motorhome Fun meets if you pay up (did I mention paying the £10 subs??) and look at lots of vans.. get a feel for the layouts, styles, quality levels etc.

    4. When you've been doing the above for a while you'll be able to see what vans are available for your budget. There is a huge choice out there at all budget levels and before you hand over any cash you should be in a position to draw up a list of the things that you want, then not bother looking at vans that don't tick the boxers on your list.

    5. SCAMS!!!! Take great care with adverts on eBay, Gumtree etc.... lots or perfectly proper ads of course, but lots of fake ads too, designed to part you from some or all of your cash. Threads on here regularly point out scam adverts... after you've read a few you will get a feel for them. If you've looked at lots of say '05 Autotrail Scouts for between £25000 to £30000 private sale, ask yourself why the next one is only £15000?

    We are happy to answer any questions about anything, there's usually someone who knows the answer, or can point you towards someone who can. The only stupid question is the one that didn't get asked!

    Prepare for an adventure Keough family!!

    Simon
     
  13. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    I dont know how old your kids are but
    We have trouble with car seat our 3 year old granddaughter she has problems getting her legs under table when sat in car seat and trying to find a seat that is low enough has been impossible so far
    Listen to the advice on here about lay out its the most inportant thing
    If we had listened and took more time in selecting layout we would be 5 grand better off
    Seating cooking sleeping are all important and when kids are in bed what do you do then can you still sit and chat or watch tv without disturbing them too much

    Even second time round we did not get it all correct


    Think think and think again I wish we had
     
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  14. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Hello Natalie and welcome!
    We too are a family of 4 with a dog,the kids are 9 and 6 and they love our trips in the van.As far as advice goes you will get lots of it on here ,all of it will be meant well but remember your basically getting someone else's opinion.I had wanted a my for years so new what I wanted and liked,with a young family and dog the most important thing for us was space,that meant going for an end lounge model with dinette and over cab bed.This way the kids and us can have our own space if needed ,also when the weather is bad we can have plenty of space to stretch out.Unless your an old fart, making up an end bed only takes a couple of minutes and has the benefit of being big enough for all 4 of us and the dog to snuggle up and watch a DVD .With an end lounge you can also put the kids to bed at the front and retire to the rear.
    Kids being kids do fall out sometimes so having a 6 berth one can have the over cab whilst one takes the dinette.The extra space also comes in handy if they want to bring a friend ,sometimes Nana comes too! I don't believe it takes you 2 or 3 attempts to find the right van,we love this layout and will stick with it.Perhaps when I'm an old fart I'll opt for a fixed bed :Rofl1: but until then I'll enjoy the space they take up.
    As far as running costs go The insurance for me and mrs Vlad full comp is around £250 a year,servicing is cheap as it's basically a couriers van,diesel mpg is I don't know,but I get to Scotland on a tank and south of France and back is just over 4 tanks:BigGrin:
    We did the south of France this year and ferry crossings ,diesel ,site fees and spending money for just under 3weeks 4 of us and dog was around £1300 .So a cost effective way for a family to holiday!
    Whatever you choose enjoy your travels and have FUN !




    Regards Vlad and family.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  15. dylan

    dylan Read Only Funster

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    :welcome: :thumb:
     
  16. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    we have a fiat ducato lunar roadstar 786. sleeps six very comfortably and we love it.

    And in the rain people dont feel that they are all on top of each other.

    It took us ages to find a motorhome that had a full fridge freezer and full cooker - essential for larger families as far as we are concerned. The back bathroom is fab for larger people (I am no size 10)
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  17. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

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    Hello Keough Family,

    Most things have been covered and the bits that we have found issues with when taking our grandchildren are:
    1. As said above, child car seat positioning can be awkward with the fixed table in place as no legroom. It can also be a problem as they grow a bit but still need booster cushions. Our only solution for the car seat was to remove the table. For the booster option, we had a pole mount table for the rear area, so I bought one of the floor mount inserts and installed that in the dinette area, it gives more leg room, and left the fixed table at home (weight, see later).

    2. As children grow the bed options become important. Overcab beds can usually take one 14/15 year old and a smaller child, but many are not big enough for two larger children to be comfortable. As a guide, if you and your partner can get up and think you can sleep comfortably, then they will. It's not all that suffer from this problem, there are some quite large overcabs.

    3. Dinette beds, many are well under 6 feet long, and are really only suitable up to about 10 years for two.

    4. Weights, especially payload (what you really need to carry with you) is going to be extremely tight. Plenty of threads on here about this. Don't forget any extras you find fitted, such as a second leisure battery, solar panel, in some cases TV, all come off the payload. Check what the payload is you have to play with. I can promise it will not be huge.

    5. We enjoy our motor homing tremendously, especially with the grandchildren. But it's not a cheap hobby, and it needs a lot of planning sometimes. On the other hand we can suddenly decide to do something, arrange to pick up the grandchildren, and hit the road in under an hour. On arrival on site, I can be set up in about 15 minutes. Now that's a huge advantage over our previous caravan.
     
  18. estcres

    estcres Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome to fun.

    You will get a lot of useful advice on here and the £10 subscription is really good value.

    One area that needs checking is the Driving Licences of those who will be driving.

    Recently issued licences, since 1997 I believe, require you to have additional catagories to drive a vehicle over 3500Kg.

    Many of the people on here have "Grandfathers" rights and are not affected but younger members could have a Driving Licence issued recently.

    We have a Lunar Roadstar 780 that weighs in at 3850Kg and my younger son cannot drive it for example, but my eldest can.

    Try as many layouts etc as you can, we purchased our first motorhome and discovered it was not for us, we discovered we liked the fixed facility so spent over 12 months looking for a suitable replacement.

    Good luck in your search
     
  19. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Hi Ya! Forget about the kids:cry: Wether they like it or not!! You are the PARENTS!!!, buy something with a tow bar! get a trailer! kids and animals in trailer! gaurantee they will come to like it!

    Seriously all joking aside, buy the M/H YOU like, the kids/Pets will fit in

    He who pays the Piper:thumb:Calls the Bloody Tune!!!:thumb:

    Do not be held Hostage by your kids!!!!!
     
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  20. 5keoghs

    5keoghs Read Only Funster

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    Even more confused now !!!!

    Thank - you for all the advice it has been a great help in some ways but not in others CONFUSED.COM .What and how will i find out about the payload ?????? How will i know if my driving license allows me to drive the MH. And why does the weight effect the buying.

    I have ordered the book that has been recommended and we are of on our first MH weekend on the 26th, with the made bed layout of the 6 berth fiat road star., which after looking at a lot of layouts online i think i really like.As both kids could sleep above the cab, which allows the table and eating area to remain up all the time, i also like the separation from the dinette and the kitchen with the high back seats.

    well lets see, it may all change after we stay in it , But thanks so much for the help

    Kind regards The very Confused 5Keoghs
     
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