New to motorhomes -help!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by joner8888, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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    Fed up with forigen hols /airports

    Looking now to buy,
    Fiat autotrail scout
    .
    We are 2 adults 2 kids under 4 years old,
    What i am wondering is, when i buy a motorhome and set off is--

    Will we be ok with a motorhome, or will it be a little restricting compared with a caravan as we will be confined as to where we park?

    Or, if we pick the correct parks ,there will be plenty on site for little ones to do.?

    Is it better for travelling in a motor home compared than squashed up in a car towing a van?

    I am a little relutant to spend £££££`s in a recession but wife says ,
    " don`t be so tight , the kids need holidays"

    Choices to make --Help!

    joner
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You are less restricted in a MH. Takes up less space. Park anywhere.

    What you get when you get there depends on your pockets, go to expensive sites and you get The Works ( if you can get in ).

    MHs have less internal space than caravans, seems to me, if you are sticking to UK with 2 kids a caravan might be your best option.
     
  3. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Caravans are great, had one when our kids were your kids age, liked it and had great fun in it.
    But what do you wanna do?

    travel? moving from place to place, freedom to pull over and play a game with the kids, or sit squashed up in a car with everything you need stowed away in a trailer.

    They are both good, and when I brought our first MH my father in law said I was making a mistake. Once I realised how to use it and I no longer had a caravan it was ace and still is.
    Wonderful journeys, wonderful Friends and happy childhood memories over the past 7 years.

    one thing for sure is that you won't be stuck in an airport departure lounge.

    have a look though my blog,
     
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  4. JOHNSTEY

    JOHNSTEY Read Only Funster

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    The advantage of a motorhome is that you can move your 'base' around so it is ideal for touring.If you want to stay in one place for a time for kids facilities etc you might be better off with a caravan.....certainly the cheaper option as well.Not trying to put you off. I much prefer motorhomes but each to their own!
    :Cool:
     
  5. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Hi and welcome..

    The fact you are thinking about a van or a snail is a good start
    Caravans and MH's are pretty much the same when it comes to room inside ( unless you are going to go for big double axle snail in which case you will have to think about a big heavy tow car too )
    The biggest differences are, as you guessed, where you can plot up..
    In a caravan, you stop anywhere bar an absolute pucka camp site and you are going to end up in the doodoo..
    Police and indeed many other agencies are constantly on the look out for travellers trying to park up for a few months.. Often the travellers will send one rig to a site to check it out before all travelling to it, so the various agencies are always most diligent.. There is also issues with water. In a MH you would usually have a 20 to 40 gallon tank on board.. in a caravan that is rarely the case and you have to fill your water container up as soon as you stop ( Yes, you could carry the water carrier but then there is ALWAYS the storage issue ! )

    I had a brief flirtation with a caravan and that is what got me in to the 'scene', but soon realised that compared to a MH the caravan was incredibly limited and indeed limiting

    We have travelled all over Europe in our vans, sometimes taking some of the family with us, and can honestly say that even with 4 adults and 2 children there has never been a space related problem

    As a first van I would suggest getting something older, late 80's to early 90's, and for 2 adults and 2 children something like a 6 berth would probably be about right..

    Oh and one of the reasons we spent out on a MH was because I am a tight git ! We try to get away for a few weeks at a time at least twice a year, plus almost every weekend ( only up to the coast around the East Anglia area ) .. We made our money back ( effectively ) within two years... If we had payed for hotels, planes, trains etc, by the third year we would have been massively out of pocket and as things are today, unable to spend any quality time away from the house
     
  6. rob kinnear

    rob kinnear Read Only Funster

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    You can be more restricted in a motorhome but we find that the freedom out weighs the restriction.
    We use our motorhome far more than we did any of our previous caravans, as it gets used for days out and recently for staying at relatives over Christmas ( would have had to drive home )
    On a motorway if a stop is needed coffee is ready without a walk to pay high prices.
    If you do decide to buy a motorhome remember to look at travelling seats as well as sleeping arrangements look long and hard ( plenty of dealers in and around Somerset.

    Best of luck
    Rob
     
  7. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    We've had caravans for years. Now we have a MH. We love it.
    We are more suited to the motorhome as even when our kids were little we didnt like the all singing and dancing club sites. As long as there was some sort of play area where they could let off steam we were happy. When i say play area , i mean field / wood I'd stick them in their waterproofs and let them loose. We do lots of walking and out door activities.

    If your happy , surrounded by loads of other families with all their kids and noise and paraphernalia then you will love a caravan and big Haven type sites. Most kids love the pools and clubs and entertainment they have. Ours liked the pool , thats about it. :Rofl1:

    If you like a quieter pace then a CL (certified location) will suit. These are normally on a farm or field at the back of a pub / house for eg. Sometimes with hard standing . Both can be used by MH's / caravans . We have done both with our caravans in the past preferring by far , the CL's.
    Having the MH is so much easier as we like to move about , though we used to do it with the caravans. Staying a couple of days here and there , but its so much easier with the MH.
    Saying that we still do the abroad thing once a year too.
    We have not ventured further South than the IOW and North than Aviemore in our motorhome yet. We can only have 2 weeks at a time holidays as yet. So prefer to fly for 4 hours to get to where we like , than drive for 4 days with the kids whinging are we there yet :Rofl1: Though i must admit they are getting better now being 15 , 15 and 17 :RollEyes:
    We use the motorhome every other weekend. Through out the year. More in the summer if we can. Make sure you get a fully winterized MH if you can . You will be warmer and able to use it all year long .

    We would go back to a caravan if we had to. No problems.
    There are some excellent ones on offer with a lot better features than some motorhomes.
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi go for a M/H :Wink: you can park anywhere and the kids will love exploring.If you want sites with swimming pools etc, then go for the Haven hols type sites.The good thing with the M/H is everything you need is in it so if you want to pull up in a layby etc and make a cuppa or meal,even the loo it's all on tap.Much easier than a caravan.
    Buy one at the right money and ou will not loose much (if any) come sale time
    terry
     
  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    We think for a family, it's a caravan if you do the UK only.

    However, if you want to explore the Continent, be free as a bird, give the kids the opportunity to meet kids from other cultures and develop an open and tolerant mind, its got to be a Motorhome!
    Europe is totally motorhome friendly, no height barriers and town councils actively attract motorhomers with cheap stopovers.

    I'll ditto Hagger's advice about checking out their blogs. Very inspirational!

    Wether they will be as inspiring on the inaugrial Motorhome Fun 6km Toboggan Challenge is another matter!!:Wink:
     
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  10. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    If you can do it.. Go for it.. The kids will love it..
    My grand kids live at home with us and come away all the time. My grandson who is now 6 has been my co-pilot since he was 9 months old..He's already done 6 European countries.
    We travel down to Spain with them twice a year, go away to Motorhome club meets (rallies) at weekends and during school holidays.
    The kids socialise really well with other kids and soon learn to mix.
    I find it great to see them outdoors and enjoying themselves.

    I think I already replied to one of your questions on fun or another forum, the scout or similar layout would be ideal. "U" lounge and front dinette. Make sure you get a van with 4 belted seats !!
     
  11. Cyclewalkbob

    Cyclewalkbob Funster

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    As the other posts say you need to think what you want to do on your holidays!

    We have camped (Eurotent type of camping on the continent - for the weather!) when the kids were young. Then caravaned for 5 years when the kids had left home, and now we have just bought a Motorhome!!!


    If you want to stay put in one or two campsites in a fortnight, which have all the things you need to keep the kids entertained. Then I think a caravan would be best. You can load both the van and car with all the "kit" that you need with kids and still have a car to take you on trips around and about without moving everything.

    However if you want to move around every few days then a motorhome would be for you.
    But you do have to plan your campsites more as they might be further from the sea/amenities than is easy/possible walking/travelling with two 4 year olds.

    Also do be careful of van load limits, they sometimes can be limiting.

    We moved to a motorhome only because we have changed how we want to holiday i.e. not staying in one place more than a week or 10 days.

    On reflection I think with two 4 year olds you might be better with a caravan.

    Cost wise, if you do not have a car that can pull a caravan then the costs of car and van can add up to the cost of a secondhand motorhome.

    Hope this is of help

    Bob
     
  12. gordoncbrown

    gordoncbrown Funster

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    Hi. I moved from a caravan last year to a motorhome. We feel it is great but...... it's all down to personal preferences. Have a look at both , the different layouts etc. Don't listen to the ones that say in a motorhome you have to pack everything away to drive anywhere. We find you keep things tidy anyway due to less space. Theres always a drive away awning as well. With a MH its all about where you choose to stay. In town handy for stuff, out of town quieter. If the kids cycle so can you and its better for you. Had caravans for 10+ years and they were great. Never had a bad holiday/trip. As I said it's all down to personal choice. Go and look at lots of layouts, some have more room than others.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Funster

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    Don't have kids and never had a caravan so I can't really comment but camping in all its guises is great and really fun for kids (at least it was when we were younger and my sis and bro who have kids reckon so).
    It can be as cheap or expensive as you like. MH is probably the most expensive in terms of initial outlay, then caravan, trailer tent and tent.
    You could look at hiring a MH for a weeks trial, that could save an expensive mistake. Also have a go at hiring caravans, trailer tent and tents, my parents used to hire a trailer tent years ago so I guess you still can.

    Whatever you decide enjoy :thumb:
     
  14. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    Have tried both but prefer a motorhome, as stated previously you need sort out your preferences. both have pros and cons but going continental with a motorhome does allow the use of Aires some of which are FREE which are not available to tent or caravans.
    Good luck in your choice it can be daunting!
     
  15. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    I found this on youtube ,this is our motorhome. We think its a perfect family van. We plan on keeping it till the kids no longer want to come with us.
    Well its not the "actual" one but the same type , and it had the same fabric until we had it re upholstered , only due to it wearing on the knee rolls .
    It has a large lounge area and bunks. Something we wanted with having kids and 2 small dogs. You have to think of being inside on rainy days , and dark evenings . Lots of motorhomes dont have family space unless you go really big. We knew what layout suited us as we had had the experience with the previous caravans so that meant we got it right first time .
    A rarity we have been told by other , far more experienced motorhomers than us.

    You can get them for around £25 /26 k now. But if you are interested in the CI Mizar GTL Living make sure you get the top class model , as thats the one with all the extras. Webasto heating and fully winterized etc .
    The units are solid not plastic and chip board , good if you have little ones , bashing things about. Its also got a big shower and fridge. the over cab bed is king size and plenty big enough for us to sleep in. We felt lots of motorhomes couldn't offer us the space we needed at a price we could afford until we saw this. We have had ours for 3 years now. Each weekend is a new adventure. The kids still love to come on a weekend , and they enjoy our holidays around Britain in the Motorhome . We take the bikes , strap the kayaks and canoe to the roof hit the lakes .
    I know we shouldn't wish them away , but we cant wait to do France , Spain , Greece when there's just the two of us and more time to do it. I envy the funsters in Spain for the winter. But our time will come ........ in another 20 years:Wink:
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvMXvbZPWf8[/ame]
     
  16. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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    You make this sound like i have been missing out on so much!
    had better start spending!
    Thank you for all the words of encouragment.
    joner:thumb:
     
  17. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi Like most people have said they both have pros and cons we started with a tent then folding camper then on to caravan before going for M/Home. Our daughter is now 14 and we have had mh for nearly 4 years and we all love it, we have been to places we would never have got to with a caravan like the outer hebrides for instance.

    If your planning on going abroad on holiday then mh will be great as mainland europe are more geared up towards mh's. When we go we tend to use a mixture of big and small sites and have never booked a site so if after a couple of days you get fed up or weather changes you just move on not so easy with a caravan.

    Like Bev has done go for a van with enough room for you to lounge about in when using in the UK as we can sometimes get wet days in the summer :Rofl1: Id go to a few dealers and a couple of shows if you can and look at all makes and models as you would be surprised at the range of layouts on offer.
     
  18. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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    Well, After 6 outings already (this time of year!) i can say using a motorhome is great :thumb:
    After 30 years of own hobbies bikes/microlights ect i can now go with the family.
    Partner and x2 little ones think it`s great.
    I can drive and they can be tended too while moving ,park up,open doors, release kids.
    They seem to want to run all day along country tracks and footpaths ,it`s almost as if they have been let out of jail !
    We have got to run to keep up to stop them falling into rivers ect so now i am loosing weight.
    Then when dark , they climb into the M/H , eat properly (not pick), and sleep ALL night ,how good is that !
    Planning next weekend now, i can see why you guys on here like it so much, good for you !:thumb:
     
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  19. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    How fantastic. Glad you love it:thumb:
     
  20. Cyclewalkbob

    Cyclewalkbob Funster

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    I think it depends on what you want to do on your holiday.

    If you like to stay for 1-3 weeks in one place then take a car and drive around the area for days out , then a caravan is the thing to go for.

    Add on an awning and you get more room than in the average motorhome.

    however they take up to 2 hours to set up properly and that is why they are best for more static types of holidays.

    in a motorhome it is easier to tour in, however you do have to choose your campsites more carefully if you want to be near a town or rely on public transport or bikes for getting around locally.

    you can tow a car with a motorhome, but then you might as well have a caravan.
     
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