Possible newbie with several questions

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by rosemaryd, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. rosemaryd

    rosemaryd Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
    Hi. After camping and then owning a caravan for a couple of years we are thinking of buying a motorhome. Neither hubby or I enjoy the hitching up, steadies, etc of the caravan and find it quite hard work. We have fairly young kids who we want to enjoy the freedom of camping and we have our own business and find it hard to get away so we are looking to make things as easy as possible. We are planning to hire a MH for a weekend before we buy but what I'd like to know is the following:

    Are they really easier than a caravan - do you just drive, park up and that's it or is there more to it? And what about leaving site?

    Is it a pain to pack everything up every time you move off to another location? Presumably, you just get stuff out as you use it so it's not like unpacking a caravan and getting settled. Our caravan is stored elsewhere, as will be MH, but I currently have to take a boot load of stuff down before we go, then spend time getting it all stacked, then unpack it at the site, then pack it all up to go home. I was thinking with the MH we could park on the drive the day before, load it up and then drive off.

    Obviously, it depends on the size of the MH but how limiting are they - hubby is convinced we won't be able to get about. We are thinking of 7m ish overcab (Chausson Flash 3 plus is what I'm planning to hire) or similar. Are height barriers widespread?

    Till confident we would probably use some bigger campsites but really we like quiet sites. Thought we could go to Scotland for a fortnight next year and partly wild camp. But, what about waste from the loo? It seems to me that most MH have cassette loos like the caravan - is this correct? If so, with two kids, we'd have to stop daily at sites as it needs emptying daily. Do only the big RVs have black tanks?

    If you have a cassette loo, does it leak when you drive. We empty the caravan's one before leaving site but presumably one plus of the MH is that you have all your facilities with you all the time.

    MH wise, I'm after fixed bunks for the kids and fixed bed for us - overcab is fine. Looking at Chausson and a few others, all have similar layouts. Any advice on these? Planning to hire from Landcruise in Chichester - any good anyone?

    Have read some great advice in the other newbie threads and would appreciate some help. Sorry if the questions are daft!
     
  2. phase3begins

    phase3begins Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    317
    Location:
    Nr Whitby
    Not a terribly original answer but I would recommend a visit to one of the rallies (Events - dark blue bar above)
    Loads of vans but more importantly loads of owners. Most of us are delighted to show people our vans and can bore for England on the finer points, plus usually a good time to be had.
    Warning- you will get multiple answers to every question.
    Good luck
     
  3. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    6,317
    Likes Received:
    10,629
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Hi Rosemary,
    As phase3begins said you will get many answers that will conflict due to personal preferences.
    Yes you do drive, park up and that's it. No awning to swear at, no fetching water, no setting out the waste collector, no winding down the steadies. Just put the kettle on.(y)

    For us, the move to MH from caravan was the best thing we ever did.
    We do pack things away before travelling but that just makes us more tidy. (the caravan was a mess;))

    We have a 6.5m but soon to change to a fixed bed 7m. We have come across a few height barriers but there is generally somewhere else to park like a supermarket.

    The loo will only leak if something is wrong or someone has forgotten to close the flap.:doh:
    We empty ours when we get home. If it needs emptying before there is always public loos as long as you clean up after you.

    phase3s advice re rallies is sound. You will be able to get the answers to all your questions and many more that you have yet to think of.

    I thing that the layout is the biggest question. You really have to get in and try it for size. Lay on the beds, imagine cooking and eating a meal (inside and out). There is so much to consider but I wish you well and hope you decide to join our happy band.
    Good luck.
    John
    PS No question is stupid they all have relevance.
     
  4. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    5,890
    Likes Received:
    8,607
    Location:
    Wrenthorpe, Wakefield.
    Rosemaryd, you'll find a Motorhome so much easier than a caravan. We had 3 before getting this Motorhome, plus we got it right first time because of the experience of owning caravans. Knowing what layout is best for our family.

    Our layout would be perfect for you. Fixed bunks and king size over cab bed. We've 3 children ,( 2x18 and 1x20 ) that don't come with us any more .
    Plenty lounge space , large separate shower cubicle ,big fridge ,cooker grill , plenty storage etcetcetc.
    Shame your wanting one now as we are downsizing , but not looking to sell ours till we have the new conversion done. Probably the beginning of next year some time .
    Just be careful of eBay scams. Don't part with any cash till you've seen it , no deposit etc.
    Also There are a lot of very smelly sheds out there , being sold at a premium , even at dealerships.

    We started out with a budget and doubled it........don't be put off with dated upholstery or soft seats.
    Like us you can get it totally refoamed to your taste and reupholstered to your more modern taste.
    Think about the seat belts . Lots of older vans don't have them in the back. Also look at the payload. Lots don't cater for a family , weight wise. Even though they are 4/6 birth models. You'd be overweight by the time the family and water was on board. Without the rest of the paraphernalia a family takes away with them.
    Good luck , enjoy hiring one .
     
  5. musson

    musson Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    grantham
    Hi
    We change from caravan in Feb 2014, up to now would not go back to caravan, arrive on site
    fill with water,find pitch back on,plug electric in Job done (sometimes you have to level with wedge)
    I take MH back home the night before and load up.(storage 9 miles from home)

    Toilet no problems empty same as caravan, it uses water from main water tank.

    Our MH is 7mtr fixed bed.
    I would visit shows and look at layouts,you may be able to get a hire before you buy deal if you look around.

    Make sure it has four seat belts.
    My only issue sometimes is I miss the car when on site,having said that we use electric bikes and I have justed checked to hire a car from 8am to 8am next day £30ish through CC club Paul
     
  6. Momo

    Momo Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,458
    Likes Received:
    2,982
    Location:
    Valencia City, Spain
    Hi Rosemary and welcome to the Fun! (y):welc:
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,478
    Likes Received:
    16,966
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    do you just drive, park up and that's it or is there more to it? And what about leaving site?


    Not exactly that easy but very close.

    Arrive on pitch.
    Level using levelling ramps if you need to be level.
    Connect hookup lead if you want electrickery
    Turn on water pump to fill kettle....or just open a beer or wine.

    Leaving site is even easier....

    Unplug hookup
    Drive iff ramps and stow away
    Secure wine bottle
    Drive away.

    Of course, if you want awnings etc t takes a little more time but nothing like as long as a caravan awning.
     
  8. philw111

    philw111 Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    509
    Location:
    Moray Firth
    Hi Rosemary

    I would just like to point out that John has missed out one step on the above description. After parking up (getting everything level, of course) you realise that you forgot to stop at the tap to fill up your water tank :(. You should learn from experience but this keeps happening to me

    As others have pointed out, it's all down to individual taste. We have a 10 year old Chausson that is over 7m long and we rarely have any problems going out for the day. You'll get into a routine of what needs to be where, are all the cupboards closed, etc. We have a driveaway awning so a lot of the day-to-day stuff can be left in there, meaning less to put away.

    Good luck in your search and don't rush it. We only found our ideal layout on this our second van - I know others have taken longer.

    Phil
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,478
    Likes Received:
    16,966
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    But then you use the hose you carry for just that purpose.....you do carry a hose dont you ?

    Of course, if it isnt long enough there will be a friendly motorhomer who will lend you another one.

    The last RV meet at Oswestry the 'contributed' top-up hoses totalled over 150ft in length
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. phase3begins

    phase3begins Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    317
    Location:
    Nr Whitby
    Pappajohn has accurately described worst case scenario.
    Since we don't use EHU best case scenario is:
    Park on flat bit, put kettle on.
    Leaving, drive away

    Just a thought...
     
  11. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    6,317
    Likes Received:
    10,629
    Location:
    East Sussex
    We always travel with a full water tank for 2 reasons:
    1/ We don't usually book sites so wild camp abroad or BritStop in the UK
    2/ when we did use sites we kept forgetting to fill up on entry. :doh:
    I know it uses more fuel but I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. ;)
     
  12. Spidey

    Spidey Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    We changed from a fixed bed caravan to a chausson 510 in May 2014. We went away on holiday for a week staying in 4 different sites. It was so easy :), if it was raining we would drive onto the pitch and swivel the seats around :). The when the rain stopped just level and plug in. We are tidy in the MH and just put the kettle and toaster away before driving off. We watched a caravan take a good hour messing around before they could leave. It took us 10 mins max.

    So far no regrets and ours is only 6m, so a lot less room than our caravan. We have a 14 and 20 year old. Only been away with the 14 daughter, but the eldest has said she would like to come next time.
     
  13. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,819
    Likes Received:
    2,158
    Location:
    Lincs
    Some people extend their off-side time by buying a spare cassette. You do need a suitable locker for storing the full one while the second one is in use. No - they don't leak - you will know from your caravan days that you can tip them on their side & wander across the site without spilling a drop. :)

    Yes, the luxury of never being more than 4 steps from a loo is something you do come to appreciate! (y):D
    Particularly if you take too much advantage if never being more than 2 steps away from a cup of tea, a beer or a glass of wine.
     
  14. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,478
    Likes Received:
    13,815
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    :welc:

    Can't add much more to what has already been said.

    The big things are layout, number of seat belts and berths - and payload.

    We have a "pre-flight check list" which basically says to make sure all loose stuff is away, collect leveling blocks, close and lock all hatches, lockers etc. Unplug ehu lead, visual check from outside - sorry the order is all jumbled up but it is correct on my list.

    What I really love is that you can pull into a lay-by at lunch time and make a decent meal, get a good break and then drive on. You don't do that if you have pre-prepared sandwiches.

    Our 26 year old is insisting she comes with us on our next trip!!!!! She was also asking how easy Buffy was to drive and I just gave her one of those looks.....:whistle2: She did help me wash her this afternoon though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. rosemaryd

    rosemaryd Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks everyone, lots of good advice. Will definitely hire now and continue my research into suitable models.
     
  16. iceni

    iceni Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Birmingham
    If you have kids and have the extra room you can buy a spare waste tank for the loo so you can go longer between emptying.
    Welcome to the forum by the way
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  17. rosemaryd

    rosemaryd Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
    Hi Ralph and Bev
    Thanks for your advice, what MH have you got? It sounds perfect!
    Cheers
    Rosemary
     
  18. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    2,290
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Lots of good advice that I would echo, but one thing that has not been mentioned is the question of how you are going to use the motorhome. It you intend to drive to one place and then leave it for a week or two, then the caravan will probably be better. Unless the site is superbly located you and the kids will get frustrated with not being able to just pop out somewhere in the car.

    The motorhome is ideal for real touring. Spending 2 or 3 nights in a place and then moving on when you have seen enough or get bored. You will probably need to think about getting some bikes for you all and a bike rack on the back of the motorhome.

    Scotland and wild camping go together well, although you may need your passport soon! But you will need to think about power. Cooking and fridge can be gas, as can be the heating. And fitting LED lights (if not already there) will cut down power use. But the blown air (or pumped water) system of heating does to take a fair bit of power and I suspect you may want the TV for the kids if not yourselves. Therefore think about getting a second leisure battery and one or two solar panels. With those you can make yourself self sufficient for most of the summer months.

    With regards to the loo I have seen a second cassette with a box holder that fixes to the underside of the floor of the motorhome, so no storage needed. Can't remember exact details but I am sure dealers like Johns Cross (very active here) will be able to give you info.

    Finally when touring in this country there are a lot of great small non-commercial sites that are licensed by the big clubs. The CC call them CLs and the C&CC call them CSs. I would recommend those rather than using larger sites.
     
  19. mpdcymru

    mpdcymru Funster

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    Ammanford
    We are now in our 5th month of MHing after more than 35 years of caravanning - should have done it a lot sooner. It's not quite as simple as turn on the ignition and drive away but it really is not far from it. If you are keeping your MH away from home you will still have to bring many of your fresh (or fozen) food supplies from home OR you may drive the MH straight into the nearest supermarket and put the stuff directl into the fridge on board - far easier!

    As regards waste water, we always drop it (at the proper place of course) if we have been on site for more than 2 days even if we are only going out briefly - it saves being caught full. The fantastic advantage here though is that you don't need to lug a waste carrier across the site to do it - you just drive there open the tap over the drain and chat to your partner/friend/etc.
     
  20. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    2,111
    Likes Received:
    2,276
    Location:
    Near Uttoxeter and Crete
    Do this every single bloomin' time!!! Why don't we ever learn??
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page