Good for Families?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by kmartgibbo, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. kmartgibbo

    kmartgibbo Read Only Funster

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    Hi all,

    My husband and I have always been very interested in buying a motorhome and love the thought of the freedom that it can give you but i'm a little nervous about spending such a big amout of money if it isn't going to be suitable for families.
    We have 2 teenagers and a 5 year old and all have differant interests and needs. Is our intention to spend the summer holidays (next year) travelling around europe, but i'm also worried as we are absolute newbies.
    As a family we are all quite brave and would love to explore, but the more i read, the more it seams like a mine field. Am i just having a wobble, or have the negative people just not planned and practiced enough??
    I don't want to put a dampener on or dreams, but I want to make sure we are investing our money in something that we will all enjoy.
    Any hints, tips, recomended camp sites to practice, routes arpund europe or experiances would be very beneficial.
    Many thanks x:BigGrin:
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Tens of thousands of families own motorhomes.. it's not an old fartes game, although you may get that impression on by some of the posts on here .. :Laughing:

    From my experience with six kids .. just do it .. they will love it :thumb:

    Welcome to the Fun .. :BigGrin:
     
  3. kmartgibbo

    kmartgibbo Read Only Funster

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    Thanks very much jim, I think once i have read more threads on this web site i will feel more confident. It's definately more upbeat on here. Any further advice, routes, sites would be welcomed.:Smile:
     
  4. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    Hiya,
    Welcome to the fun site.
    Have you owned a caravan before ?
    Are you used to spending lots of time in each others company?
    Do the kids travel well ?
    If the answer is yes , you will have no problems, well you will but you will be used to them.:thumb:
    It might be a good idea to hire one for a holiday if not , first , before you buy.
    We have 3 kids 2x14 , 1x16 and we all love our motorhome.
    Although we dont use ours abroad, we do use it nearly every weekend , through out the year.
    We also have the odd week here and there in the school holidays.

    As we can only take 2 weeks off at a time , due to the business , and didn't relish spending most of that driving to where we want to get to , and back , we have decided to leave continental touring till we dont have the kids with us any more. Not wishing them away , honest.

    Lots of people do , do it though , and love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

    I just know our 3 prefer to get on a plane and just get there , for our main holiday . Less of the ..are we there yet , is it much further , hes looking at me, shes on my side..... Love em really
    We usually hire a car , if we want to see more of the place once there.

    Ralph and I on the other hand , cant wait to tour abroad its something we are really looking forward to , once we have more time on our hands.
    One good bit of advice , when buying with kids, is to make sure you have plenty of lounging living space. Take them with you when your looking , that way you get an idea what its like with them in there , all milling around. ( think rainy winter days too )
    We also have fixed bunks, which are great. The kids often get on them and watch a DVD if its not nice weather outside.
    Also make sure the fridge is big enough. Lots look OK but are not very deep. So you can hardly get anything in , once the beers in :Wink:
    Bev
     
  5. kmartgibbo

    kmartgibbo Read Only Funster

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    Thanks very much for replying,

    We all enjoy each others company (except when hormones kick in!!:Angry:), we all travell well, and we are all quite adventurous.
    My husband has just left the army and i think we are all getting itchy feet and want to see differant things in this country and europe.
    We have never owned a caravan, we were going to buy one before we discovered a motor home suits our needs better.
    I think my main worry is that the eldest moaners wont embrace it as much as we will. Are there pleanty of familys out there who's hormone imbalanced moaners come with them? I'm worried that we will choose the wrong sites, perhaps not buy the correct equipment or even spend loads of money on loads of rubbish. Is it best to just jump in with both feet and work it out as you go along?
     
  6. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    I think you will find more older people have motorhomes , than younger ones. We have when we are out and about . Though we aren't spring chickens any more either .
    Some take the grand kids .
    But then again as I said we use ours in GB not abroad. So i cant say for there , it could be totally different. We are in the camping and caravaning club and also a private rally group. That means that when we go to C.L.s ( certified location sites ) there are usually caravans there , with other kids. Should yours wish to play with them.
    We love our MH its a proper family hobby.
    Using the C.C.C. and rally club , means we can afford to do it when ever we want. Usually most weekends.

    Motorhome fun are having a rally at Lincoln this weekend, it would be a good idea to go , have a look around . Introduce your selfs to the club.
    You will get loads of advice .
    We were going but had had to cancel , as one of the twins is on an Outward Bound course this week. So she wouldn't have been back till late Friday. We are going to the sheep fair at Masham instead.

    We only pay on average £6 or £7 a night when we go away.
    If we were to go on a normal camp site , with 3 kids , 2 dogs you would be more likely to pay up to £30 a night , more if you wanted to. This makes it much less affordable.

    Like i said , if i was you I would hire one for a holiday first.
    With you not being caravaner's or experienced in having a MH. That way , you know if the "hormonal ones" like it before shelling out thousands.
    You will also see what basic things you need for the MH too.
    Bev
     
  7. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi

    Welcome to fun

    We only have 1 daughter who is 13 and she loves the mh life. I would say the most important thing is to get the correct mh for your family. Go to plenty of dealers and spend loads of time looking sit in them imagine where you would all sit if it was a wet day .

    We bought our mh just over 3 years ago and have been to the following places with it.
    France x2 Luxemburg, belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austira, Holland and Italy and also loads of places in the uk including 2 weeks in the outer hebrides last easter. If we hadn't bought the mh we would never have seen these countries.

    When going away you just have to plan your holiday a bit we use campsites as close to where we would like to go and use the local busses or our bikes to get about so im sure if you do this then wont be a problem getting around.

    Asfor buying to many gadgets and stuff just take a pen and paper with you and write down and ideas you come up with while in the mh and you can gradually buy them as to many people buy stuff then never use it.

    Geryr
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Think as a means to an end rather than an end in itself ..

    what do I mean ?

    .. well, they won't be enthusiastic about long journeys if there isn't a purpose..

    What do the kids enjoy? If they love the beach.. go to beach sites, do they enjoy cycling ? take bikes.. Fishing , canoeing, surfing, hill walking etc all doable .. or do they prefer water parks and man made entertainment and amusements ?

    There are sites and locations for all tastes .. but there is no point dragging them to see ancient monuments if they are not interested.. only you will know, once you tell us we can recommend sites and places .. :Smile:
     
  9. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    Make sure when your buying with a family in mind, that motorhome will take 5 bikes 5 people and everything else that goes with it too.
    Lots of people have found that even though its a 6 birth motorhome, they couldnt carry 6 people , let alone bikes :Eek!:because of the weight levels.
    Worth knowing when your new, as its not something that we thought about. Fortunately ours is OK. But through luck , not research.

    Our 3 love what we love ( fortunately:Smile: ) biking , walking , and generally being outdoors.
    Even though they are teenagers now.
    We are in the process of buying wet suits now , as Ralph and the boys have decided they want to canoe , and body board in the winter.
    I think Isabel and I may just watch from the warmth and comfort of the MH:Rofl1:

    Thats not to say they dont like the beach / pool holiday abroad though either.
    Weve just come back from Gran Canaria, and love the Greek Islands somewhere we would love to go in the motorhome , when retired.

    One thing we've never done though the Disney thing , France or USA , we have managed to get away with day trips to theme parks over here.
    Which is a good thing in my eyes. As I'd rather stick wasps up my bum:Rofl1:
    The only thing that stops us using the MH every weekend is the kids social life at home. Parties , sleepovers , meeting up with their pals for BMX n Skatboard park etc.
    So rather than them starting to resent going off with us , we have decided to go 1 weekend miss another. That way hopefully they will want to carry on coming with us, longer. ( are we mad:Doh:)
    Bev
     
  10. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    We are a family of 4 and our first van was a bit small to relax in, although it had beds for 6. Even so we loved the freedom it gave us. We have found some amazing places in the British isles that we would have never thought of visiting eapecially the Scottish islands. We changed to a bigger van for this year so we have a propper lounge not a dinette layout which is much better for families, Also dont forget you will need a good payload as 5 people need a lot of stuff+ bikes etc.

    We barely lost money on our last van as we made sure we bought right, so even if you do decide to change vans it may not be a disaster as many vans seem to stop depreciating very much between 3 and 5 years of age.

    We worried that our kids would not like motorhoming but have fount that they enjoy it.
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That's a lot of bodies in a very small space. No privacy. So make sure you ALL get sat in the appropriate MH and see how you'll cope - dressing/undressing/washing/cooking.

    As Bev has said, check available weight and seats. Not many have 5 seatbelts, are you going to chance one or two of your offspring ?

    Big investment, have you the time available to make it worthwhile ? It is not a cheap holiday when you add up all the costs. It's a *flexible* holiday.
     
  12. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    The Lincoln show is coming up, there will be lots of MHs to see.
     
  13. kmartgibbo

    kmartgibbo Read Only Funster

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    Thankyou very much to all your replys.
    I think we are going to have to have a really good look around and get the tribe to be loud and proud whilst on the search for a MH. If i can manage that without wanting to kill them all with a blunt spoon, then im sure i can manage a rainy day or 10 in the MH.:RollEyes:
    I think on with a garage would be a massive benefit for us, as we all love biking and as bev said the fridge size is important as beer is not gonna chill itself.:Wink:
    I think you have all persuaded me that maybe the uk and scotland would be best for us to find our feet. We can then work out what we need and whats is a waste of money.
    Once i have chosen my MH, i'll post on here for honest reviews. Once again, thank you x:thumb:
     
  14. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    You are right about fridge size being important, there are lots of large MHs with small fridges so it rules a lot out.
     
  15. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    Welcome to the Fun. Lots of advice already given so I'll just wish you luck in finding the right motor. We only have one child and we bought a six berth!! The thing that sold it to us was the full fridge and freezer, a very expensive chiller cabinet it is but worth every penny. We spent the other weekend in a hotel, havent stayed in one for over a year, and we really felt it when we had to unpack the car and carry everything into the hotel. Much easier when you can just park up and relax.In the summer holidays we went to France and found everything so relaxing, apart from when Graham drove out of a farmyard and into the road - on the wrong side, aaah -. Lots of places had spaces to park our motor and the sites were lovely, catering for all age groups plenty for the kids to do whether you were wanted to relax or be adventurous. Take the advice and go to lots of dealers and shows and as Bev said hire one for the weekend and see how you go on :thumb:
     
  16. SmellyFeet

    SmellyFeet Read Only Funster

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    Hi, we have two kids.

    Had ours just less than a year. Most advice already given, but I think it's important to look at lots of layouts before you make your decision. we changed our minds several times before we decided on a basic (hence light), van, this means 1000kg of payload.

    We really don't want to be spending our time doing a lot of cooking, so an oven wasn't important for us. Beer and wine we carry enough for a couple of days, so again a huge fridge isn't an issue.

    Two kids, two front facing seats with proper 3 point seatbelts. One dog so a spare seat and harness linkage point.

    I'm a touch on the broad side, so a shower that I can turn round in was important.

    We have an over cab and one where part of the bed slides forward also felt less claustrophobic when driving.

    We don't switch the telly on much at all when on hols. but we have a small one with a built in dvd player comes in handy for lazy afternoons or killing a bit of time before the pubs are open.

    We plan to go abroad at some point so cab air con was a must.

    We didn't want to spend a lot of time making beds so all the beds can stay put during the day. The kids have bunks, the lower one has a storage bay underneath, this is fine for bbqs, folding bikes etc.

    Like I said, all of these are important points for us, but we only came up with this kind of checklist after spending lots of time looking at lots of vans. Really boring after a while - but we don't regret buying the van one bit, so worth it.

    Best accessory available, disposable bbqs.

    Dave
     
  17. Ven

    Ven Funster

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    Hi, although we do not have children (we're 41 & 48) we see families with kids all the time at weekends and in the holidays here in France on Aires (we rarely do campsites). They seem to love the freedom and it obviously works for them

    Also a old school friend of mine went travelling around Europe for 6 months with their three kids (oldest prob about 7 though) and absolutely loved it. The only thing they didn't seem to like was having to come home!
     
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