Leaping before Looking

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by thidwick, May 8, 2016.

  1. thidwick

    thidwick Funster

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    OK, so I'm soon to retire (about 120 attendances to put in yet), and my wife & I had decided that UK and European travel is on the agenda.... and somehow we had decided that a motor home is the way to go.
    We've never had one, and neither of us had ever been in one. (We once stayed in a static caravan for a week.... and we can do tents)
    So, whilst visiting away from home, we looked at a Motorhome dealer place (Lowdhams nr Nottingham). Loads of them. Very confusing. Lots of names we'd never heard of, with lots of differing layouts, and lots of things we didn't understand. The prices, even well second-hand, were also a bit of a shock. We gave up.

    Easy decision: put it all off until I've actually retired.

    Fine, except that, by chance, I found that some folks we vaguely know in the next village were selling their motorhome. Too old to look at we said.... oh what the hell, we'll go and look anyway as its a nice evening...... and somehow we have agreed to buy a motorhome.

    It is a Mercedes-based Rapido 779 LeRandonneur dating from 2000 with many (many) knobs & whistles and extras included. I's apparently in good nick, with everything working, and hasn't done excessive mileage.

    It's all a bit scary. Research now required in "how to motorhome".
    Myriads of things we've never thought about.
    My wife's happy. After some thinking and research she has decided the van is to be called Bertha

    • Where do we stay?
    • Where can we stay?
    • Will we have to book well ahead to stay anywhere?
    • Is a Britstops book something to invest in?
    • What about becoming Caravan Club members? It's 48 quid every year! Is it worth it?
    • What about breakdown cover? Best buys?
    • How long will gas last?
    • Will we be warm enough at night?
    • Sleeping bags or duvet?
    • Will the bikes be OK on the back?
    • What's that thing with the wires?
    • Can we safely drink the water from the internal tanks, or will they need sterilising occasionally?
    • What are all the switches for....?
    • 3-way fridge? How does the fridge know what its doing?
    • Will a 3 bottle wine rack be enough?
    • Will I forget that it hasn't got a clutch?

    Oh gosh....
    Any advice and suggestions gratefully received.
     
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  2. MH 55 FUN

    MH 55 FUN Funster

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    :HelloThere: & :pink: :):)
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Why don't you come to one of the Fun Rallies - loads of folks will be happy to take you through it's paces.
    And,
    welcome animated smiley.gif
     
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  4. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    Hi and welcome to FUN, in this country we always book in Europe it is a different matter, we use a duvet, gas, depends on the time of year, 3 bottles of wine is never enough, try to get insurance that includes breakdown cover, but most of all enjoy. :)
     
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  5. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Hello and welcome Oh so many questions, we have all been there. Read the forums and ask away. You will get some decent answers as well as some banter. Very well worth spending the £15 yearly membership on as no doubt you will have more than 5 1s or comments to make..money well spent...Penny wise it is here :)
     
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  6. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    :pink:
     
  7. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Welcome on board. There is a whole load of useful information and very helpful people on here - and banter if you like it. Well worth joining up fully and getting to a rally or meet. Whatever problem you have, someone will have seen it before and know how to deal with it/fix it/kick it/whatever. Rapido on a Merc chassis is definitely a very good choice





    .......and no - you need a bigger wine rack
     
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  8. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi and a big :welcomesign:

    Too many questions to answer all at once!! You have done the best bit first, use this forum, search the threads, you will get umpteen answers to every question.
    Best bit of advice I can give is try it out in a small way first, don't be too ambitious and travel the world until you have some knowledge behind you.... Start with weekends, you don't need to travel far then if you find you have forgotten something you can remember for next time or nip back and get it. Try a few smaller rallies, most people are always keen to help newbies.
    Don't try to do too much too soon, it will all make sence in the end.
    As for jointing the clubs, it can be worth if provided you make used of the sites, particularly the CL's and CS's, just remember most are quite basic so do your research first. Whatever you do, enjoy the adventure........:clap:
     
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  9. Granjan

    Granjan Funster

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  10. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Welcome and I'm sure you won't regret your purchase. The only thing you really need to do is get it checked for damp, though given you have already bought it let's hope there isn't a problem as it can cost thousands to fix. :)

    But I don't want to be a purveyor of gloom and once you have bought the essentials such as a corkscrew you can give the MH a run out after perhaps a night on the drive first working out how the electrics, heating and water systems work. :D
     
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  11. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    First, don't panic.
    You will do one thing at a time and it'll all be fine.

    The motorhome you're buying is very popular in France and has a good reputation. I met several motorhomers while I lived in France who wouldn't own anything else and I could see why.

    When you get your van, sleep in it on your drive for a couple of nights. You won't remember what every knob and switch is for but you will work it out.

    You won't freeze even in the middle of winter. I set off from France ( where I lived) for a six week holiday in the UK. Long story short,no ended up full timing for 9 months, in Wiltshire, with 2 cats and 2 dogs. Not only did we all survive, I enjoyed it so much I went home for 3 months, then did another year full timing ( in the UK again).

    Well worth £15 membership for Fun--/ you'll get help, answers and all the support you need. Enjoy retirement and your motorhome, don't put these things off--- enjoy them now.
     
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  12. Riverbankannie

    Riverbankannie Funster

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    Hello and welcome to motorhoming. I agree with The Dude, join a rally.

    Failing that, just go away for the weekend, not too far from home, and post questions when you return. If you select a Camping and Caravanning or Caravan club that accepts non members you can then decide whether worth it to join and also on these sites you will find many helpful fellow Motorhomers. I am member of Caravan club as I like the small Camping Location sites only available to u to 5 units at a time and to members. C and CC have similar system. I also find the insurance and discounted ferry prices can make up for the cost of membership.

    For your first couple of trips, just take things you already have at home, bedding for your bed, cutlery crockery etc. Then you can plan what to buy.

    If you have any concerns about driving I would recommend a course run by one of the two aforementioned clubs.


    Hope t read about your adventures soon.
     
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  13. Allan & Loren

    Allan & Loren Funster

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    Another thumbs up for @The Dude comments about joining a rally as you'll be surrounded by people who will be able to help if you get stuck.

    When we bought ours we went odd for a weekend with another newbie and spent the whole time trying to,work out what all the buttons did. What we knew, they didn't and vice versa. Lots of fun.

    We shopped around for insurance and a really important thing for us was european breakdown cover and unlimited windscreen cover.

    We're in the camping and caravan club and have the britstops book.

    3 bottles of wine is a good start!

    We keep our bikes on the back with a good bike lock and cover. We keep them covered over so would be thieves don't know what's there and it would take a bit more effort if they were determined. We also keep the more expensive bike at the back.
     
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  14. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    Park on your own drive for the week end. See what you'll need, see how the fridge works, read the manuals in the evening, twist the knobs in the morning and see what happens. Forgot the plates or knife and fork? they are indoors!
    Run out of gas? jump in the car.
    But most of all, enjoy!
     
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  15. Cat53

    Cat53 Funster

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    Hello and welcome. All the advice given thus far is great and something Steve and I followed. First night spent in our MH was on the drive. Then we spent two nights away just a few miles from home. Then we went a bit further for another two nights. Our next trip is to Poland! The best advice I can give you is ENJOY......and buy a bigger wine rack. Mind you we haven't got a wine rack. But the fridge is full! (y)
     
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  16. wigster

    wigster Funster

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    :welcome4:
     
  17. parknride

    parknride Funster

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    :welcomesign:

    From pat & Les, fellow Cumbrian's!
    Lots of sites here without going too far for practice runs.(y)
     
  18. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    Welcome, enjoy what will be exciting times ahead believe me
    Not sure if you have access to all the forums not being a member, however every question you have asked without doubt there is an answer (and different opinions) on the site and for £15 well worth it as am sure you will want to ask more questions (your only allowed 5 as a non member) when given an answer
    There are some very knowledgable people on here who are more than happy to help and there advice will be invaluable long term and save you far more than the membership fee
     
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  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Brilliant. We've had folk who have taken 10 years to make their minds.

    Stop whinging about details. Throw in some food wine fuel and go learn the hard way. You could join the Camping and Caravan Club if you want the easy option for a pitch.
     
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  20. Brian and Jo

    Brian and Jo Funster Life Member

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    Hi there and a big welcome to you both:welcomesign:
    MHF is a great place to start.it is a great resource for all things Motorhome and bit of jovial banter along the way.
    Enjoy your Motorhome.
    Brian & Jo
     
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