Apologies in advance for the newbie and probably obvious questions...but..

Caramammal

Free Member
Jul 29, 2014
13
3
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32,602
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Don't own one - yet.
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newbie
Why did you buy a motorhome, and is the reality of owning one what you imagined?

The reason i'm asking is that in my imagination i can see hubby and me, our 2 small dogs, (and every now and again, friends and family) hitting the road at least once a month (hubby and i work full time). I can see us touring the length and breadth of the UK and during longer holiday periods, exploring europe.

I'm trying to find out as much as possible before we buy (see my newbie intro), and i'd be grateful for any initial advise you have. Are my expectations doable? Did the novelty wear off for you, or are you making good use of your MH throughout the entire year? (if that was your intention). I'm not suggesting this is just a novelty for me but it's easy to get excited in the beginning.

Also, how do you find cooking, washing up etc, do you generally spead out into an awning or is the MH sufficient space. I guess a lot depends on hobbies, uses etc but im just thinking in general terms at the moment.

Thanks
 

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,291
86,305
Sutton on Sea
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1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
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Since 1990
I would suggest that you hire one for a few days, this will give a you a really good idea about what you like (or don't). Then I'd get along to a few motorhome shows where you can see hundreds of models on display and in every price range, sit in all of them, stand in the shower, lay on the bed etc You'll soon get an idea of what you want. I can guarantee that once you have the bug for travel, you'll be away from home more often than not :)
 
Apr 18, 2012
18,638
65,639
South East Kent
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20,628
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
March 2012
Everyone's reasons for buying a MH will be different. We had caravanned for 20 years with kids from very small through teenage years and into uni and beyond but they eventually stopped coming with us :D so 3 years ago we decided to buy our first MH - we haven't looked back and we're on our second one. We still both work full time but to get away most weekends we make use of rallies with the Caravan Club centres & Camping & Caravan Club DA's so that we can get away locally. In the winter when there are very few rallies we also use club sites so we have electric hook-up. Our holidays are mostly spent in France where MH's are welcomed with open arms.

We use our MH completely - cooking, washing up, showering, toilet etc. - you have to on a rally field with no facilities :LOL:

I hope you enjoy looking and planning but then enjoy using one much more when you get it. (y)
 
Nov 30, 2009
7,293
27,787
West Yorkshire
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9,521
MH
PVC the PUG
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Since 2009
We had several caravans over the years , and did regular weekend trips with the kids , plus the odd holiday meet in the school holidays. We still Holidayed abroad.
I had to persuade Ralph to get a Motorhome , when he'd had a particular good run of work a few years ago. Best thing we ever did.
We traded our 2 year old caravan in for the same Motorhome that we have now. That was 5 years ago. We got it right first time. One of the few, we are led to believe.
It's a perfect layout for a family . Fully winterised so we use it all year round. Though Ideal for a couple wanting plenty space and an open comfy lounge area too.
The only thing that let it down was the dated upholstery. So we had it all professionally refoamed and upholstered to our taste.

Now our style of motor homing has changed and we are wanting to go smaller now there's only the two of us. So Ralph's going to do a panel van conversion , on a brand new boxer van. Bespoke to our exact requirements.
He's chomping at the bit.
He doesn't want to sell ours yet though, as we don't want to be without one whilst the PVC is converted. We would really miss our regular weekends away, plus were booked in for the new year up in Moffat Scotland. I doubt it will get as cold as -17 like up in Aviemore, but we are looking forward to a cold winter Scottish new year . We can't miss that!
 

JJ

Funster
May 1, 2008
17,436
33,699
Quinta Majay, Pinheiro Bordalo, Portugal
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2,459
MH
A Class
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over 40 years
Welcome to the Fun, Ms Caramammal.

There appears to be a slight problem with your avatar.

It makes you look far, far, far too young to be joining a group of old age travelling Folk who roam around in glorified caravans drinking, playing mini guitar/banjo thingies and scoffing bacon rolls on Sunday mornings.

Photoshop might solve the problem though...


JJ :cool:
 

TerryL

LIFE MEMBER
Mar 5, 2010
3,881
3,438
North East
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10,511
MH
Low Profile
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2009
We chose to buy a motorhome as we became dis-illusioned with hotels, villas etc. We much prefer to do our own thing and it's that that makes a M/H our obvious choice. And being retired we can, and do, do just that!:D

But everybody's lifestyle is different and Jim's advice is probably about the best you can get, Just a note of caution, will your ideas match your current (intended?) lifestyle - are you prepared to make the effort of actually using it? There are still too many vans bought with the best of intentions but are now left languishing on storage sites or tucked away in the back garden quietly wasting away.:cry:

Sorry to appear to be a wet rag but you could easily make a very expensive mistake. On the other hand it more than likely will be the second best thing you ever did. T'was for us! Take your time making your choice.(y)
 

PP Bear

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 5, 2013
3,788
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UK
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25,395
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Coach Build
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2012
Welcome to the Fun, Ms Caramammal.

There appears to be a slight problem with your avatar.

It makes you look far, far, far too young to be joining a group of old age travelling Folk who roam around in glorified caravans drinking, playing mini guitar/banjo thingies and scoffing bacon rolls on Sunday mornings.

Photoshop might solve the problem though...


JJ :cool:
You old smoothy, you took the words right out of my mouth :)

Great minds I'd say (y)
 
Dec 14, 2013
991
651
Turnford
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29,372
MH
C Class
Exp
over a Year Yay................
Kayaking.
Park by the river go paddle get out put boats on roof & jump inside for shower, food, drink & bed.
No van emptying, no tent to errect, no muddy bog to walk through to go to the loo.

In effect Glamyacking simmillar to Glamping & Glamottorhoming :rofl:
 
Feb 18, 2014
502
424
Oxfordshire - edge of the cotswolds
Funster No
30,162
MH
A class
Exp
2014, 2 motorhomes
Got our first one in March, work full time ( and 20 years until retirement)and have managed 8 trips so far and 3.5 k miles already. Only ever camped before when children were little but yearned for the freedom - and my goodness we've got it. Cannot believed how relaxed hubby and I are when away, and getting fit as cycling all over the place, especially Europe which is fab for getting around by bike and embraces the whole m/h ethos. Have visited parts of uk that hadn't been to before ( and some pretty close to home). Off to swizerland, Germany and French alps in August , Christmas markets December, skiing in February - that's just the planned trips, many spontaneous to come.
No regrets, just enjoy and welcome abroad
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
9,329
19,547
Scottish Borders
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SunLiving Lido M45SP
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On and off for many years.
Kayaking.
Park by the river go paddle get out put boats on roof & jump inside for shower, food, drink & bed.
No van emptying, no tent to errect, no muddy bog to walk through to go to the loo.

In effect Glamyacking simmillar to Glamping & Glamottorhoming :rofl:
Our first camping van was bought just because of that - but it didn't have a loo or shower so we upgraded. Now the kids have gone (no, we didn't drown them) we have down sized, bought cycles (electric assist) and will probably swap our touring kayaks for smaller day boats in the spring.
 
Jul 11, 2008
7,607
19,371
Dumfries
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3,262
MH
PVC Possl Roadcruiser
Exp
2007
We started of with a tent then folding camper before moving to a caravan which we loved but hated being stuck in the one place for to long so we changed to a MH and have loved every minute of it. We are now about 6 years into our motorhoming and now on our second MH, like you we both work full time me working shifts and have a daughter who's has just turned 17. She doesn't tend to come for the weekends with us as much but still comes quite a bit, she has loved her time in the MH visiting loads of different places and has got the travelling bug as she is currently planning her 6 week tour of Europe next summer.
We use our for loads of different things sometimes just a day out by the sea and sometimes over night just 20 miles from home and as I do a wee bit of running its ideal for that too.

We are currently in Noway just now on our annual holiday and would never have seen some of the things we have on a package holiday.
 

magicsurfbus

Free Member
Oct 11, 2010
4,685
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NW England
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14,057
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Bessacarr Coachbuilt
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Since 1997
It's pretty much as we expected, but that's because we dipped our toes in the water with an old cheap VW for seven years before deciding to upgrade to something bigger. Making use of the available space has never been a problem because we've always been camping in some way or other and we've got used to the compact lifestyle.

We don't use ours as often as we should - our full-time jobs leaked into the weekends as a matter of course, and now we're both self-employed it's not a lot different. However, we don't keep ours on the drive, and even with a storage site only 10 minutes away it makes it harder to be spontaneous or keep it permanently kitted out for a quick flit to the coast. If it was just a case of unhooking the electric cable, filling the fridge and starting the ignition we'd probably be using it more.

The novelty hasn't worn off at all - it's like having a second home in any location we want. Obviously the UK will be your main destination for short trips, but you'll soon find that Europe is a much more motorhome friendly place.
 
OP
Caramammal

Caramammal

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Jul 29, 2014
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Don't own one - yet.
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thanks so much for your replies, (and your compliments, i'll get my avatar photoshopped asap) :)

A MH is definitely for us. For sure we will hire one, or two to check out the layout. I'm hankering for something with a rear lounge and overcab bed, plus a dinette but not sure if all that will be too big for us, so hiring will give us some perspective. I fell in love with the Scout, and i'm sure there are many with a rear lounge configuration that i need to see too. Luckily there is a dealer in Holmes Chapel, not far from me, so we've been there a couple of times already.

I'm very much looking forward to researching, not only the type of MH but life touring and all that those weekends away can bring.Whoever said i might not be able to wait 2-3 years is probably right ;)
 

Mattyjwr

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2013
2,583
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2-3 years searching is too long IMHO. Visit some shows, join motorhomefun and hunt out some end of season bargains.
 
Apr 19, 2008
7,583
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well over 5 years
When we were younger and I had better health, we used to stick a tent in the back of our car on a friday night and end up wherever. The time came when I just couldnt do the tenting and we ended up with one or two holidays and the odd weekend in a b&b or hotel.

The motorhome gave us freedom again and saved a fortune during school holidays too. I wouldnt be without it.
 

aandj

Free Member
Jul 26, 2014
35
77
Lancashire
Funster No
32,566
MH
Renault Trafic Campervan
Exp
2013
Hi
We have camped together for years and i had done may years holidays in a caravan so knew we liked the lifestyle.
We looked at different vans for a long time, different layouts etc.
Always wanted to build our own but didnt want to trust the DVLA if they would transfer the V5 to motorhome or not as they can be real fussy and change their mind every week?
We thankfully hired one for a week and soon discovered what we didnt want and how big we needed it.
also we sat down and listed what we wanted to do? where we wanted to go? what we wanted to carry?
Where we would want to park etc and broke it down from there..
Also if you want to do the Scottish islands and the ferries as the prices rockets over 5M and impractical on many islands on the singletrack roads to the best bits, like Mull etc.
Lots to think about!
Enjoy the journey!
A&J
 
OP
Caramammal

Caramammal

Free Member
Jul 29, 2014
13
3
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MH
Don't own one - yet.
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thanks A&J - great advise from everyone too. Lots to think about, will be asking lots of questions im sure ;)
 

Lisa

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Apr 29, 2014
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20th Sept 2014
Hi,

We've yet to purchase one (still looking) but we have hired ones with different layouts. We came close to purchasing one last October at the NEC show, and we are so glad that we didn't! We would have gone for the wrong layout. We keep changing our minds, thankfully it isn't costing anything :D

The over cab beds are great for saving space but I would definitely recommend hiring one. We tried one and hubby had to go and sleep on the bench seat as he kept bashing his elbow on the tapered ceiling. Obviously, some have more room than others.

Good luck with your plan and search.
 
Jun 6, 2012
369
905
Europe
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21,347
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Coachbuilt, CI Mizar
Exp
since 2007 caravan before that
Everything everyone else has said and

I would advise buying Jims book about buying a motorhome.

Its worth reading a lot on this forum and never be worried about asking anything, even if you think it sounds daft. This place gives you the best advice by a mile.

I would say one of the most important things to ensure you understand is weight and the law regarding overloading. When you do eventually buy a MH be sure you are getting one that will meet your requirements regarding the weight and how much you can load. Do not believe a word a dealer tells you regarding this. If the weight doesn't add up there you may well be able to uprate the gross weight, there will be plenty of advice regarding this should you need it.

Second is damp. Be sure about this and if in doubt insist a damp test is done and you get a written report, preferably not by the person you are buying it from, or buy a damp tester of some sort and check yourself. Again ask for advice on here regarding damp.

The layout is very important and its always a compromise. The over cab bed can feel claustrophobic to some people, especially for the one against the wall if there are two of you sharing the bed, so def worth trying this out in the hire van a few times to be sure you're ok with it.

Me and my wife both work but use the MH a fair bit, so far this year we have had a week in Weymouth, been to Brugge/France for a week in May, Just had two weeks in Normandy. Plan to go back to Northern France for a week in Sept. We have done various weekends within an hour or two of us, oh and we had to take the boy to North Wales for a weekend earlier this year. We use the C&CC DA rallies for cheaper campsites which works very well, but I love going to France the best. Spain next when we can get more time but we are working our way around France for the next few years. Il de Rey Next summer and I am already looking at sites and routes etc...lol

have fun

Steve
 
Jun 22, 2011
224
243
Isle of Man
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17,008
MH
Van conversion
Exp
Since Nov 2010 after 25 yrs under canvas.
As posted above, you are starting out on a road where there is no way back.

You start wondering what it would be like
Then you hire or borrow "just a a day or 2"
Before long you are on the hard stuff, your own machine, visiting the shows, buying all the magazines as they hit the shelves etc

I do not think there is any medical treatment for those of us who have chosen this lifestyle.

Good luck!
I am looking forward to meeting you somewhere ....
 
OP
Caramammal

Caramammal

Free Member
Jul 29, 2014
13
3
Funster No
32,602
MH
Don't own one - yet.
Exp
newbie
all - thanks so much for taking the time to reply to me, you've given me some great advice. :)
 

jimiol

Free Member
Dec 21, 2011
201
144
Doonbeg Ireland
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19,229
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Coachbulit
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beginner, I don't like the newbie term
There is no right or wrong just what is right for you or wrong for you. A new Concorde or an old Bedford cf both can be great, pick where you go well and the rest should look after it self. I recommend Germany, Scotland and strangely enough west coast of Ireland!
 
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