Some basic questions

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by manovision, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. manovision

    manovision Deleted User

    Am picking up my very first motorhome at the end of the month and want it fully prepared with toys and bits whilst the dealer has it so have a few bits of advice to ask :-

    1. Is it worth having a solar panel fitted ?

    2. Am having a sattelite dish fitted as cant miss the football so need sky tv, any tips or advice ?

    3. Is a reversing camera a must ?

    4. Will normal plates and cups do or should everything be plastic to avoid noisy rattle and breakage whilst moving ?

    5. Are they tough to drive ?

    6. Can you have a lie down on the bed whilst some one else does the driving ?

    7. Can passengers watch tv whilst driving or does the aerial not work whilst moving ?

    8. Are they very expensive to run ..... re fuel ?

    9 . How much should insurance cost me ?

    10. Are there any other bits and tips that I should know or buy for my van ? that could be practical bits or special toys like ipod adapters etc .

    Thanks to anyone who takes the trouble to reply to any of the questions, any help is gratefully received

    Paul
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2009
  2. wildcamper

    wildcamper Read Only Funster

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    Hello and welcome to motorhome fun

    :Eeek: what a list not sure about all of them but im sure someone will be along soon with a lot more answers to your questions .:thumb:
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    1) if you plan to do without hookup for more than a day or two then its a good idea

    2) thought sky had lost the footy franchise! take your skybox and card from home if you need pay channels.

    3)not a must but very usefull

    4)we have both....bubble wrap stops the rattles. (almost) not had any breakages yet

    5) just like driving a big car really...just remember the length, height and width is more than a car.

    6) only if you're stupid. what if you have an accident?

    7) no reason why not if they are in the rear seats but most UK vans have a power cutoff relay so no power in the rear when driving. cant have a tv in the front when driving.

    8) an average seems to be around 27/28 mpg

    9) depends on your age, how long you've had a licemce, no claim discount and how old the van is and what its worth. mines around £350 fully comp 2001 2.8 kontiki

    10) unfortunatly you never stop buying the little 'bits and bobs' that you think you need but probably really dont.

    an extra battery can be very usefull. you'll last longer without hookup.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  4. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Even a small solar panel will overcome natural wastage and keep battery from running down when unused. If using only in the UK a large panel will take some years to cover the cost. If using in Portugal/Spain far more sun available and therefore of much more use
    Don't have one myself but they are power hungry beasts and expencive so you will need large solar panels if wild camping.

    A reversing camera is useful but many people manage without.

    Rattles are caused by badly packed items, not by the materials they are made of, standard crockery lasts quite well, don't like plastic, but there are plenty who do, many alternatives available at shows, give you a good reason to go to a few. Think Storage solutions, not hanging cups on hooks etc.

    Is it a mini van conversion or 10 ton RV, I have driven both had no problem with either, if you have been driving for a while changing vehicle doe not pose a problem.

    In the UK if seatbelts are fitted in the habitation then they must be worn, Sleeping whilst someone else is driving is not something that has come up in the posts It will be interesting to see what others say on this one.

    As long as the TV is not visible to the driver I don't see a problem, signal will obviously vary with a standard TV antenna. Satellite dish must be down to travel and would not track the stellite in any case. so if you thought to lie in bed watching the footie whilst the wife drives, forget it, hee hee
    Every vehicle is different as is every driver, no doubt you actually did some research before laying out hard cash. Anywhere from 9mpg for an RV to 28mpg for a Fiat based modern van under 3.5 ton.

    Depends on your age and driving experience, value of the vehicle etc etc, ring around for quotes.

    10. Are there any other bits and tips that I should know or buy for my van ? that could be practical bits or special toys like ipod adapters etc .

    Paul[/quote]

    odds and sods you can buy as you go along. Have you ordered on of Jim's motorhome checklists yet. Are you intending to travel overseas, need aires guides, etc.
    How about Satnav, Laptop with wifi and dongle.
    Remember the more electrical gadgets you have the more you are restricting yourself to Sites. Enjoy the new lifestyle, enjoy learning as you go, any more specific info, just ask. Someone will come up with an answer. Don't forget we also have a chat room on here, look me up am there every evening.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  5. Benwick Rambler

    Benwick Rambler Read Only Funster

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    Paul,

    I have an Oyster sat system fitted which has its own 12v mini Sky box. I use my Sky viewing card from my home system but the only trouble is that because the card is coded to work in only one Sky box (my home system) I can't pick up the premium channels like Sky Sports/Movies. Other free to air channels are OK and reception is much better than a terrestial broadcast. I'd be interested to learn if anyone has found a way around the Sky Card coding problem - other than taking your home Sky box on the road with you?

    Brian
     
  6. manovision

    manovision Deleted User

    odds and sods you can buy as you go along. Have you ordered on of Jim's motorhome checklists yet. Are you intending to travel overseas, need aires guides, etc.
    How about Satnav, Laptop with wifi and dongle.
    Remember the more electrical gadgets you have the more you are restricting yourself to Sites. Enjoy the new lifestyle, enjoy learning as you go, any more specific info, just ask. Someone will come up with an answer. Don't forget we also have a chat room on here, look me up am there every evening.[/quote]
     
  7. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Sleeping while travelling, obviously a bad idea in case of accident, however I must admit to having done it.

    When my kids were small they routinely used to lie down and sleep, however no rear seat belts in those days so probably no different to sitting.

    I would rank a laptop way above satellite TV but then I am always asleep within 5 minutes of switching on the TV so I suppose a foreign station is just as good :Rofl1:
     
  8. vava1

    vava1 Read Only Funster

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    1. Only if you'll be away from a hook-up for more than 3 days

    2. There's more to life that sitting watching TV

    3. Not essential if you can use mirrors properly. Useful in some situations though

    4. Plastic keeps weight down, china needs careful packing, adds weight

    5. No

    6. Yes

    7. Not with a dish

    8. All vehicles are expensive to run. Depends on what it is!

    9. Get a quote

    10. Use it, you'll soon find out!
     
  9. Manouche

    Manouche Read Only Funster

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    Welcome

    Welcome to the forum.
    You've certainly done the right thing to join this forum, as you've seen by the answers to your questions already.
    Only joined this one myself a little while ago and found them to be a canny lot, good sense of humour too.
    If you have specific questions on any subject, try searching the forum. It's probably been asked and answered before.
    Happy travels.

    PS. Dont forget the quiz in the chat room Thursday nights at 8pm
    :thumb:
     
  10. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Solar Panels - we thought long & hard about this but decided against. Extra power most needed in winter when solar panels are of limited use (in UK). - See next point.

    Second Leisure Battery is a better option first. Costs much less than solar and doubles your ability to stay off hook-up. We have 2 x 110 Ah and can do 3 days in winter - probably 6 days in summer without hook-up. (That's running Truma heating all the time - fan uses quite a lot of 12v - and laptop plus powered speakers to watch DVDs each night - we do not have TV.)

    Sat TV will only work on the move if you have an in-motion tracking dome (Camos or KVH) instead of a dish. These cost about £2,000 plus installation (unless you are a good DIYer).

    After 2 years, we have just had a reversing camera fitted. Not essential but I think it is very useful if you have to back-up in a tight spot (e.g. busy street). Also, it is very easy to miss something like a post sticking up behind you on a site.

    We use melamine crockery and crystal plastic 'glasses' in the main - they are lighter.

    Quite easy to drive - just take your time until you are used to it. We have LHD - assuming yours will be RHD, you will face the problem of offside vision when abroad. I have to allow for an overtaking blind-spot in UK. Make sure you have suitable additional blind-spot mirrors.

    We get around 24 mpg but that is with a 2.7 litre automatic.

    Insurance probably between £350 - £400. But it will depend on the market value of the MH - so older ones can be cheaper.

    Consider getting the following:
    Ramps so you can park level (Fiamma)
    Food - grade hose to fill up with fresh water
    Small toolkit, spare bulbs, tyre inflator, breaker-bar to undo, and torque wrench to tighten wheel-nuts (+ socket to fit)
    12v Electric tyre inflator (make sure it's man-enough for the job - 'Truckaire' is very good but hard to find)
    Disposable gloves for use when filling with diesel (garages often run out - of gloves not diesel!)
    Long-arm thick rubber gloves for dealing with Thetford
    Inverter so you can use 230v equipment from battery when not on hook-up (but read more about this topic before deciding what you need and how to fit it)
    Mulitmeter for checking all things electrical
    13 Amp UK plug adapter for your hook-up cable

    There's loads more, but that will do for now.

    Philip
     
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