New and unsure

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Mini the minx, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Mini the minx

    Mini the minx Read Only Funster

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    Hi everyone. We are toying with the idea of buying a motorhome. We have found one we think would be suitable & might go up & view this weekend. We have been caravanners for 15 yrs & know nowt about motorhoming. I have a few concerns I hope you can help us with? The motorhome we might view is a 6 berth 93 Talbot Landliner. We have 5 children but the oldest is 18 & rarely comes away with us. She has had one or two of the younger girls (12 & 14) staying home with her for one or two nights this year & it all worked out ok. I like the idea of visiting my parents in Ireland & would want to take all the children with us. My question is is it legal for 7 to travel in a 6 berth? I was thinking my 2 yr old could go up front with hubby. Myself & the 3 middle children could use the side dinette seats & maybe the eldest could sit in the middle of the "u" shape seating at the back? Is it possible to fit a seat belt here? Would it be legal?
    Ok so the next concern is parking! Is it a nightmare to find anywhere to park (total length of motorhome is 23ft) when visiting new towns/coastal areas? Would we have to choose sites within walking distance of places? We would be visiting the south/south west for our first few journeys.

    Sorry for waffling on, hope you can help before we take the plunge :Smile:
     
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  2. cranky

    cranky Funster

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    if you search "seatbelts" you will see numerous threads on the subject.
    Basically seatbelts must be worn, if they are fitted but on vehicles after 07 passengers must be in designated seats . its quite an emotive subject as you will probably find out shortly:BigGrin:
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Parking - if you mean "wild camping", off site parking - yes it can be a nightmare, some manage it some don't, including us. The space rarely materialise when we want them. A bit different on mainland Europe, loads of aires to park on.

    Sites. It's your choice, get one near attractions/shops or in the middle of nowhere, this is no different to a caravan.

    The bottom line for me is..... If you want to stay many days in one place, caravan, if you want to tour, a few days here a few days there, motorhome.
     
  4. Mini the minx

    Mini the minx Read Only Funster

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    Hi thanks for the replies. We wouldn't be wild camping, we would use campsites. What I meant by parking was if we were to go off site for the day would it be possible to take to the motorhome or would we find it difficult to find anywhere to park? I read something about you can use some car parks but would have to pay for two spaces? Also would we be in trouble for parking in a quiet corner of a supermarket car park for the day in say a coastal town?
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Landliners are made by Olearys(DIY self build parts) so you should have no problems getting internal bits :BigGrin:As to parking I try to stay under 20ft but there are plenty of Iveco's sprinters etc around and small buses so it'sa case of going around and parking in the odd backstreet perhaps, or going a little further out from the town centre/seafront :Wink:--At most seaside places they have coach parks etc and in towns you can always park in a far cnr of big stores :Wink:
    terry
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi there you can read about the motorhome seatbelt issue here. You'll probably be OK on that score but read it and decide yourself if you are legal.

    With families the big problem is you may well be overloaded when you fill up with all the family and their belongings. You may need to get a small trailer to stay within the law, which is what we did when we travelled with loads of kids and a dog.

    As for parking, 23ft is OK you should not be restricted too much. Motorhomes and families go together so well, you will love it, so will the kids:thumb:
     
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  7. Easyliving

    Easyliving Funster

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    Hi and welcome

    I can't help you with your seatbelts question but we don't generally have any problem finding somewhere to park. Our van is almost 25 feet long but we usually manage to park in supermarket car parks - just find a couple of spaces in a quieter part of the car park and you will be okay. Just to make sure I am not going to upset anyone I got to the stores's customer services and ask if its okay to take up two spaces while we do some shopping, never been refused yet. I always try to remember the staff members name in case of problems.

    With pay and display council car parks there is always a phone number for enquiries by the machine where you pay. I give the number a ring and ask if its okay to use (and pay) for two spaces. Mostly no problem.

    Paul
     
  8. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome to the site, the law regarding seatbelts is complex and varies with the age of the van. As to parking our van is 23ft parking in town centres is almost impossible even with a blue badge, the problem is more to do with the width than the length. However there are park and ride as well as supermarket carparks (but beware most are run by NCP) and will only allow you 3 hours. Ireland not so much of a problem, and France no problem at all. Carrying a large number of people brings up another problem, that of payload. Payload is the difference between the max permitted weight (total and individual axle weights) and the actual weight. It is often much less than you would imagine. So do check before you buy with a visit to the local weighbridge to ascertain the true figures.
     
  9. Mini the minx

    Mini the minx Read Only Funster

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    Thanks again folks! Wow I didn't expect to get so many replies so soon :BigGrin:

    I have asked the same questions on another forum & they weren't so helpful. Infact I got a very snotty reply back from one poster claiming it's not safe to travel in the back of motorhome & I shouldn't pretend otherwise! So he's basically saying 6 berth's are really only intended for 2 people! He made me feel awful like I didn't care about my family's safety. If I didn't care I would just buy it & chuck them all in. I'm trying to be responsible by finding out as much info as I can about motorhoming as a whole before I jump in at the deep end. We may visit Ireland in one & that would be the only time we have an extra passenger. Just a thought but could we take out the 2 front seats & install a long bench seat like they have in some commercial vehicles? I could then sit up front with hubby & our 2yrold.
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    So who is more iresponseble the M/H who sits kids in the back on side seats or the tugger who sits there kids in the back of a car laden to the roof with alsorts and probably overloaded as well :Eeek::BigGrin:
    terry
     
  11. Mousy

    Mousy Funster Life Member

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    Hi and welcome, just a thought for Ireland, what about hiring a motorhome over there for that trip? It's also a really good ideal to try before you buy cos there are so many different layouts etc. it would give you all a chance to try it out and when you consider ferry costs to get 'yours' over there it may not be that much more :thumb:
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You like minefields, this is another. We have a resident expert JGH, Graham, he'll probably be along soon, when he gets up. He has a web site dedicated to parking.

    Supermarkets, all different, some have cameras and enforce 2 hours, some just say 2 or 3 hours some will let you overnight and welcome your business, basically read the notices posted.

    Same with car parks, around here they have Gestapo who make sure you are within the lines and do not allow two bays even if you double pay. The lucky ones get fined, the unlucky ones are never seen again.

    23 feet is not that big. You should manage.

    A real pain using the van as transport is making everything safe to move.
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Unfortunately he's right. The living area of a MH is as strong as an egg box. It is not a place to survive a big accident. They crumple into matchsticks. There are few such accidents, you have to make the decision yourself, will we have that big accident. The killer is a blow-out on a motorway or an HGV shunting you from the rear. With your crowd in it someone is not going to survive in one piece.

    PS.....
    Just thought - weight - it's quite possible that all those bodies will exceed the allowed weight of the vehicle. It's a crazy world, 8 berth MH but can't take the weight of 8 adults and can't safely seat them, what use are they ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  14. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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  15. Mini the minx

    Mini the minx Read Only Funster

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    Hi john yes it is! I must admit having read some of these posts & links on safety I'm starting to get cold feet :Sad: maybe we should wait until the children are older & go on our own. Having a crash & them being injured or killed just doesn't bear thinking about. I can't understand why these motorhomes are intended for families if they're not safe?
     
  16. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

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    Hi Mimi and welcome.:thumb::thumb:
    We made the jump from 20 years tugging to MH a year ago and wished we had done it much earlier. We have used our MH at least 3 times more often than the caravan simply because it is so much easier to get in and go.
    Regarding seatbelts........as has been said before it is a minefield. I spelled to a police constable at length and even he was unsure and said it was down to the individual officer to interpret the law the way he/she feels fit. As he sees it it is legal (although not advised or safe) to carry unbelted passengers on short journeys but not long ones. This made no sense to me as you could say you are just going down the road??????????:Eeek:
    I think the best advice is as you have already had which is passengers should be belted.
    Parking is a much simpler question to answer. We have had no problem at all in supermarkets but do take note of the notices displayed. We have also found park and ride to be very useful.

    I do hope you take the plunge and enjoy it as much as we have.

    John
     
  17. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Already covered in depth
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/magazine/articles/motorhome-seatbelt-law-and-best-practise/
    The law is here

    https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules
    Vehicles without seat belts

    Children under 3 must be in a child car seat. If there’s no seat belt, they can’t travel.
    A child over 3 can travel in a back seat without a car seat and without a seat belt if the vehicle doesn’t have one.

    there are vehicles out there that are designed for travelling in the rear, or they would not get a certificate of conformity. Don't fall at the first hurdle, just keep doing your homework as you have been doing. Good luck
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  18. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Hi and welcome to the mad house! :Smile:

    Being registered in 1993 means it is an old motorhome, vehicles of this age can bring other 'problems' too such as breakdown/recovery (RAC/AA won't necessarily cover it). Insurance also needs to be checked out too.

    As for the vehicle itself what is the Maximum Total Permitted Laden Mass (MTPLM) [also known as Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)] this will be shown on the weight plate somewhere (often under the bonnet), the plate should give 4 figures:

    1. front axle maximum loading
    2. rear axle max loading
    3. MTPLM
    4. train weight*

    * this will be larger than the MTPLM as it allows for the weight of whatever you tow but the motorhome itself still CANNOT go over the MTPLM!

    If it is lower or up to and including 3,500kg then you're okay licence wise, but if it is over 3,500kg you need to either have passed your test before 1997 (I think that was the year!) to automatically have the right to drive a vehicle over this weight, it not then you would have to take a driving test to get it. Also a vehicle over 3,500kg will have restrictions for road speeds and even more restrictions for breakdown/recovery!

    My immediate thoughts, however, were in relation to safety which you've already been looking into, and also payload, with 7 on board: 3 adults, 3 teenagers (?), and a toddler and all their kit and caboodle that's a heck of a lot of weight to carry. Just the 'family' itself will account for at least 350kg in the clothes they're wearing with nothing else on board.

    As for going over to Ireland in the MH I'll warn you now IT IS EXPENSIVE!!!! Much much more than a car or a cheap Ryanair flight! We went this year in our small panel van conversion (6m) and it cost from memory £350 return going at "silly o'clock" times! :Eeek:

    My personal advice would be to take your time and have a good look round at other MHs, don't just go for this one because you think it will suit, they are always out there!
     
  19. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    For your buget (assumes 9k ish) you won't find anything with rear belts around the vintage.Best advise is to make sure nothing is left out to fly around if you have to break hard.If you get rear ended then you would probably have more chance of survival than in a car simply because your van is built on a HD van chassis that does not crumple, unlike a car that has front and rear crumple zones built in. Yet it's considered ok by manufacturers to fit extra rear seats in the back of some cars in the crumple zone :Doh:
    You will be driving your van a lot slower and probably more carefully than you drive your car:thumb: buy the van and enjoy :thumb:
    terry
     
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  20. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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