Starting out as a motorhome owner

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by 5+inabus, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. 5+inabus

    5+inabus Read Only Funster

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    Hi everyone, you sound like a fab bunch of guys to know. Made a decision a while ago to go down the motorhome route. We are now about to buy a ford chausson flash 03 as I think it is the best suited to us as a family of 2 adults 3 kids (7,8 & 12) and 2 labradors. I know it sounds like a squeeze but I think it could work. It would to good to know if anyone else has a similar senario and how they get on. Also should I buy new, :Eeek: it is a scary thought.
     
  2. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Hi and Welcome

    I would look long and hard before making a choice but for someone that is new to motorhoming i would never advise them to buy new, (you take such a big hit in depreaciation) Motorhomes are in most cases not overly used so a 4 year old van can have very little milage and still look like new inside and cost about half of a new one, and most people seem to buy about 3 before they get their perfect or nearly perfect layout for them.
    Things to consider are if its raining is there enough room for everyone in the van - will you be using an awning of some sort for wet weather (needed if you have wet dogs to accomodate) is the kitchen adequate eg- some dont have an oven, some do (what meals are you likely to cook for the family) can all sit comfortably when in daytime mode and is it easy enough to set beds up for nighttime mode, can the largest person in the family do all they need to do in the bathroom eg shower etc without bumping shoulders on the sides of the bathroom.is there enough storage for your clothes, and personal items etc.
    Also dont forget that weight can be an issue depending on when the driver passed his driving test. So check the weights of the vehicles you look at and that there are seatbelts for all that will be travelling in the motorhome

    maggie
     
  3. 5+inabus

    5+inabus Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Maggie

    Good to talk to fellow users. Such a lot to think about.
     
  4. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Agree with everything Maggie says but would add if you DO go along the route you are thinking of, an awning might be a MUST with so many of you... somewhere to store things out of the van ... such as the kids on a wet day:Wink::thumb:
     
  5. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    Full timing in the van
    Hi and welcome:BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
  6. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of motorhoming (Motorhome Fun)

    Don't forget you need some good collars and decent length leads... so the kids have a bit of room to move when tied to the towbar as you are in the Funsters' Marquee late at night...

    JJ :RollEyes: :RollEyes:
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    We buy these things for pleasure, FUN. That does not sound at all like FUN.

    Chatter has done a grand job of summing up your possible nightmare.
     
  8. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Hi and Welcome to MH Fun

    Chatter has covered it all very well.

    Best of luck in your search.


    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  9. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

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    Have to agree. We thought this with our first MH and ended up changing it for a different layout. We have a 2 boys and a retriever and we were forever having to move him when we were inside during poor weather. We now have a rear lounge with a separate dining area that gives us so much more space.

    If you can, take the whole family and dogs to try it out your chosen layout before parting with your cash.

    Good luck.
     
  10. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Thanks guys for the compliments on my posting.

    Everything i posted i have gleaned from this great site called Motorhome Fun. Having not yet got round to owning a motorhome (that time will come when i find the 5ver too much hassle). Although my choice might be along the lines of a small rv based on a 450 chassis so i dont loose the space a slideout gives you.
     
  11. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    All the above PLUS
    ... Maggie mentioned Gross weight with regard to Driving License, which may limit you to a sub 3500kg vehicle, BUT
    if that is the case you will need to have a very good idea the payload that is available to you. Just in case you are now confused this is what I mean...
    Let us assume a Gross weight of 3500 kgs. This is the absolute maximum weight that the van can register on a weigh bridge. If you are stopped by VOSA and it reads higher you will not be permitted to drive on until you have reduce you payload sufficiently to bring the weight below 3500 kgs. To make it a bit more complex each axle has a maximum permitted weight (which may actually total more than the gross weight but it's not an either or situation). You could be within the 3500kg limit but if your (say) front axle is overloaded you will be expected to correct it before being permitted to proceed.
    OK. Now, from this gross weight you need to subtract the weight of the whole vehicle as it left the factory (Mass in Running Order). Then you need to subtract the weight of any fittings that have been added (say by the dealer and/or the previous owner) such as bike rack, windout awning, solar panel, towbar, extra leisure battery, any other fixtures and fittings. You then need to take account of everything that goes in the van when it's being used, such as:-
    Loo flushing water
    Fresh water
    Pots and pans
    Bedding
    Clothing
    Food
    Entertainment (books, computer, games, DVDs, etc.
    Your wife and kids
    The dogs and all the stuff they need
    You the driver
    Fuel. Though these last two are usually included in the Mass in Running Order

    If all of these together weigh more than the weight you had left, you will be overloaded and therefore illegal.

    For example of how difficult this can be; our vehicle was bought as a 3500kgs AClass and we had a residual payload of 460 kg. There is only the two of us and no dogs, but we found that with care we had between 50 and 75 kgs in hand, which was fine. On an occasion when our son may have wished to travel with us we would have been over weight to the tune of anything up to 75 kilos. There is a member on here with an Autotrail that had around 250kg of payload. There is no way you can get down to that without going naked and eating nothing.
    So you do need to be very aware of your weight. Don't let the dealer fob you off with - Oh! It'll be fine -. Quite possibly not true. Each person weight 75 kgs (sometimes a lot more :Smile:) and each dog is what? 30 kg? There's 360kg before you even start.

    Sorry to have gone on about this, but if you don't know about it you could make an expensive mistake.


    John
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    This is absolutely essential and they must do a pretend meal and a pretend get ready for bed.

    It will feel like this:
     

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  13. Ash

    Ash Trader - Service & Repairs Life Member

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    flyingwelcome

    Ash :thumb:
     
  14. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1::RollEyes::Doh:

    Nice one Brian.


    John
     
  15. Leltel

    Leltel Funster

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    Hi, don't mean to sound totally thick, but are you saying that if you purchase a van with a 3400kg weight, you cannot put more than 100kg into it (including food water etc) if you are only licensed to drive upto 3500kg??
    Thanks, Lel
     
  16. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Dont worry - you dont its things like that the dealer wont tell you, but in answer if 3500 is your limit through your licence you can not exceed that weight so yes if a van was to weigh 3400 you would only have 100 to play with. If that is the case it would be worth taking the test to allow you over that limit
     
  17. staging lady

    staging lady Funster

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    Hi and welcome to the fun.:BigGrin:
    I echo all the above advice especially about not buying new till you know which layout works for your family,
    Also do you want to travel abroad. If so left hand drive makes driving on the continent much easier.
    Go to as many shows as you can and physically try out the beds /bunks ,shower room,position of appliances ( some microwaves are very high up),room headroom in the cab,ease of loo use when all beds are made up at night.
    Could you then hire one for a week to see if it works with all of you?
    Best of luck and keep us posted.
    Lucille
     
  18. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    Not quite.:Smile:
    Near the door of your motorhome (either inside or outside) there will be a label that will look something like this.
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/attac...starting-out-motorhome-owner-weight-plate.jpg
    The upper number is the vehicles permitted Gross weight. This is the maximum weight you are allowed to be on a weighbridge. In this example that is 4000 kg
    The next figure is the Gross Train Weight. This is the maximum permissible combined weight of the vehicle and the trailer that it is towing (if it's towing one - if it isn't it's not relevant). In this case 7000 kgs, so if the vehicle were loaded to its max weight of 4 tonnes it would be allowed to tow a trailer of 3 tonnes (7000kgs minus 4000kgs)
    The next figure is the maximum permitted weight on the front axle - 1800kg
    The last is the max permitted weight of the rear axle - 2600 kg.
    It is worth noting that the combined weight for the two axles is 4400 kgs, so if you were to load your vehicle thus you would be overweight. The axle weights are the maximum for THAT axle. Also if you had a tag axle vehicle there would be a fifth line that would start 3- and would give the max weight for that axle as well. The vehicle that this plate was taken from has only two axles.
    Now comes the confusing bit.
    When the motorhome leaves the factory by which I mean the converters factory (Swift, Hymer, Trigano, etc) the weight of the bare vehicle, the driver and 3/4 tank of fuel (and in some cases water) is called the Mass in Running Order (or if it isn't now, it used to be. You would hope that this would be several hundreds of kilos lighter than the figure in the top line. The figure should be in the vehicle handbook (not the base vehicle, don't forget; the converters handbook). This difference between Max Gross and Mass in Running Order (sometimes called the Factory Weight) is you payload.
    However....
    You want a wind out awning don't you? Say 40 kg
    Bike rack? Say 15 kg
    Sat dish, Status Ariel, Solar panel fixed to the roof, second leisure battery, etc., etc.
    They all weight something, so that eats into the payload. What is left is what you have to go on holiday and it includes everything you put in the van including every person other than the driver (who weighs 75 kg by the weigh - if the driver weighs 95 kilos then that's another chunk off your payload:Sad:), all your cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, bedding, cleaning products, loo paper, flushing water, clothes to wear, walking boots, DVDs, computers, books magazines, SayNavs - hey, you get the picture. It can be a nightmare, until you have it all worked out and discover that the van you bought didn't have enough payload to start with :Doh::Doh::Doh:

    If, as I think you are asking, the top line on your weight plate is 3400kgs, then you can't load the vehicle any higher even though you are licensed to drive 3500kgs.

    Hopefully I've made it a bit easier to follow this time. Sorry about the confusion before - it's OK for me; I've been through it all.
    Anything else, just shout. :Smile::thumb:


    John
     

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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  19. motor roamin

    motor roamin Funster

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    Absolutely spot on.

    I might suggest if you want an exact figure on the unladen weight of your vehicle with all its additions (awning sat dish etc.) fill you tanks with water and fuel take it to a local weigh bridge what ever it weighs on the bridge take that away from the gross vehicle weight and you will have an accurate pay load.

    Please note this is taken from the gross vehicle weight not the gross train weight.

    All the best in your search Rick
     
  20. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    We are a family of 5 . We've also got 2 dogs , albeit smaller border terriers.
    The bunks are great , the way to go with kids I.M.O.
    When your a family there is always the space issue.
    But , if like us , you've chosen to do motorhoming with your kids. Rather than wait till they've flown the nest, its something you have to live with.
    We have great fun most weekends, and some fantastic arguments:Rofl1:
    Seriously though it only really becomes an issue on very wet days and evenings . We have the advantage that our MH is open plan , and doesn't have a fixed table. So its not as crowded.

    The labradors , being a lot bigger than our dogs , would probably drive me mad:BigGrin:
    Especially if wet and doggy smelly:Eeek: But their also part of the family.
    Id definitely have a wind out awning fitted and the sides , and keep the dogs out there on a wire.
    Our borders get into their dog bed , when we are parked up . We keep the bed at the back of the swivel driver /passenger seat in the cab. So they are not under your feet. Some people have the garage area converted to a kennel area . Could be an idea? Before you buy , why not rent the same model for a weekend. A week even. You'd have an idea if you could cope with 3 little kids and 2 big dogs in a confined space then , for sure:Wink:
     
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