Learning Curve

treehouse

Free Member
Jun 4, 2014
4
3
North Yorkshire
Funster No
31,805
MH
Just looking
Exp
Since I was born, but never owned one.
Hello everyone, I thought it was time I joined a forum. My partner and I have been looking for a motorcaravan for a month or so and nearly got stung twice, learning as we go. The first one was unchecked by the dealer because he had not bought it, but agreed to put it on his forecourt for the owner and sell it on his behalf, instead of the usual PX. This very reputable trader saved us from a terrible bill by eventually feeling too uncomfortable with this arrangement and putting it into the workshop, where he found that most of the habitation stuff didn't actually work and would take thousands to fix. We had arranged an RAC inspection of the van, so we had to cancel that and lose the deposit (£15.50 - a cheap lesson). I would trust the dealer to the ends of the earth, but unfortunately he doesn't normally have anything in our price bracket. That was Dick Lane (not a person, the address), Bradford, Yorkshire. Top notch.

The second one, which I dare not identify for fear of a libel suit, but is in Preston, Lancs, was just about to sell us a camper for three grand which he somehow managed to persuade us he would have to get us to sign for as "unfit for purpose", "otherwise, the customer has a guarantee, even if I write 'sold as seen' or anything else". He had just got it in PX and hadn't had time to look it over, he said. We were this || close to getting it, but fortunately he suggested we think about it overnight and call back in the morning. After doing some research, I realised this was ridiculous, very bad practice and probably illegal. Traders have a duty to know enough about the vehicles they sell to make them fit for purpose and describe them accurately, including major faults, or presumably to sell them as "spares or repair" or "scrap".

I phoned up and dug a bit more, already pretty sure I wouldn't buy a walking-stick off him - should I arrange a tow truck? - Oh no, you won't need that, it's fine, it was driven here. How can I be legally insured to drive it off the forecourt when I've signed to say it's unfit for purpose? - Oh, you don't have to tell the insurance company that, just answer the questions they ask you. Basically it came down to signing for a piece of junk without my consumer rights, but with an unofficial statement that it was indeed fit for purpose and worth £3,000. He said most people understand that arrangement, and I said it was quite convenient as a second-hand car salesman that most people don't know the law. It's very cheap for a camper, obviously, but still a lot of money to pay for a piece of rubbish. I decided in the end not even to bother doing an HPI check and just :imoutahere:.


Pity - it could be a nice van, but I can't be party to that, and I'm going to report them to Trading Standards. Still, that was better than the first one we went to see at another dealership. Three grand again, but a heap of rust and filler held together with duct tape and fitted with a new exhaust and tyres.

Back to the drawing board. Trusted dealers or even careful private sales is what we're thinking now. Also tempted to do a self-conversion, but maybe next time, when I know a bit more. I've never owned one, but I'm finally following in the family tradition. I have very fond memories of the early days in the '60s when my dad and grandad both had Bedfords and drove around in tandem. Whoever was in front had a signal - the driver held the kettle out the window, meaning they would turn into the next suitable layby for a cuppa.
 
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movan

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 2, 2009
20,602
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since07
Welcome. Terry has a brilliant self conversion for sale. If you pm him I am sure he will tell you about it...

Hope you find something soon. :Smile:
 
Feb 24, 2013
11,667
87,102
Bolsover, Derbyshire
Funster No
24,833
MH
Hymer S800
Exp
not long enough
As I guess you already know, your budget will be a major restriction, you will inevitably either spend more on the purchase or soon after putting right what you buy

Welcome to the best place to ask, hopefully before you buy (unlike me)

:thumb:

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Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
10,634
29,827
Scottish Borders
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29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
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On and off for many years.
:fatbuddha:

It is a very steep learning curve.

If you give us an idea of what you are looking for and your budget someone may be able to help.
 

Carol

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 2, 2007
12,969
62,476
North Wales.
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519
MH
A class
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18 years s Motorhome (33years caravans)
Hello and welcome to fun, the first good decision you have made is it join this forum the best £10 you will spend.

Now the next thing ask questions is your budget 3,000 or more, it will make a big difference to the route you take, are you looking at a panel van conversion or a motorhome, give us as much info as possible, bargains are out there but also money pits. Good Luck because when you find the right one for you they can give so much pleasure .
 

Momo

Free Member
Sep 19, 2008
2,500
3,042
Valencia City, Spain
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4,088
MH
just looking
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I'm a newbie.
Hi Treehouse and welcome to the Fun! :welcomefunster:
Sorry to hear about everything that's been going on but trust and hope you will finally get sorted very soon! :thumb:

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treehouse

Free Member
Jun 4, 2014
4
3
North Yorkshire
Funster No
31,805
MH
Just looking
Exp
Since I was born, but never owned one.
Thanks guys.

Movan, I'm not sure how to find Terry to pm him. Apparently I can't use the search feature. That'll be with not having paid subs, maybe. Best £10 I haven't spent yet, Carol. ::bigsmile:

Thanks DAVIDG58. Yes, we're prepared for a certain amount of cost to put things right and ongoing maintenance. Sounds like you did get stung.

Carol and Puddleduck, you both invited me to say more about what we're looking for. I hope it's ok in this bit of the forum - I don't see a specific section for it. The budget is something like £6000, maybe a little more, much less if I can get away with it. £5k would feel comfortable.

We want a hi-top (or medium hi-top perhaps), because we want a toilet closet (not necessarily cassette), which wouldn't work with a pop-top, but we're not bothered about a shower, a rear kitchen and sofa(s) in front along sides or single sofa on one side and other seat convertible into sofa (as is common in vans with side-opening door), but other arrangements could work.

We're just as happy sleeping on two sofas/single-beds as having a double bed, and might even prefer it to avoid having to make the bed up. We're 5' 6" and 5' 2". We'd want a side opening door, but preferably also useable rear door(s). We don't like the rear sofa pointing forward arrangement found in many VWs. We don't need any more than 2 travelling seats. Don't need group seating. Hardly need a table! I'm quite handy, so I'm not bothered if it needs a bit of re-arranging to get it the way we want.

We only need 2 berths, and wouldn't have a vast amount to carry, so lutons just seem a waste of fuel to shove through the air. Those ones we were interested in were a Peugeot Boxer (MWB, I think) hi-top with Autosleeper Symphony??? conversion and a Ford Transit LWB hi-top. I'm wanting something as narrow as possible to navigate the smaller roads. Obviously also as short as possible for maneuverability. Enormous inside - do Mercedes do a Tardis model?

The usual fittings - fridge, cooker (2 hobs and grill ideal, prefer no oven), sink, bit of a drainer if room. Nowt fancy required. We're hoping to use it in moderately cold weather if we can, so insulation is fairly important. If it hasn't got heating, I guess we can add something. I wondered about a bio-ethanol lantern heater I saw online that puts out half a kW...not sure if anyone has started using this kind of thing, as it burns cleaner than propane/butane and is suitable for indoor spaces. If I built my own, that's all I'd use for heating and cooking, but that's another story.

The van - as economical to run as possible, so I'm thinking LPG/petrol dual fuel or diesel preferably, although I'd also be happy with a smallish petrol engine (and might look into getting an LPG conversion done). Nothing fancy needed mechanically, although power steering would be a big plus.

Obviously we want immaculate bodywork that will last for centuries, but you know, something not actually falling apart would be great. Also cheap for spare parts, cheap to work on and hopefully be able to do some of the maintenance myself.

That's about all I can think of just now. Somewhere not too far from Harrogate, Yorkshire. Thanks for asking. :thumb:
 
Apr 10, 2014
93
43
glasgow
Funster No
30,939
MH
iveco conversion
Exp
newbie
just bought our van in march. spent lots of time looking and bought first one we saw as we knew what we wanted. Also hired one last year so we knew what we did not want! We were also on a tight budget so went for our Iveco daily diesel panel conversion, Built like a brick sxxt house, no rust, 80K. Fixed double bed, usual cooker, fridge, cubicle, two leisure batteries, inverter, two gas cylinders, flat screen free view, new radio, tow bar, new exhaust, cruise SAAB seats installed. Beautiful comfy ride. Had to buy new battery, as went flat twice (thank goodness we got breakdown cover!) suspect tyres will need replaced at MOT next month, but cant see any other issues so far

P reg, £6.5K and will last for ever... Looked at a few on Ebay and gumtree and quite a few like this, mind you I did see a few luxury ones from 80 to 120K!!
 
Dec 31, 2012
90
71
Funster No
24,102
MH
van conversion
Exp
Just starting
Howdy treehouse,I know being biased & liking the bigger Mercedes vans,I often look on "campervan life" website.There are always several to look at.Maybe I was lucky when I got mine off ebay.Owned it for 18 months,bought for well inside your budget and is an on going project.Has all mod cons,4 burner stove with grill and oven,xtactor fan,shower/toilet,sleeps 3 with ease and no payload issues.You don't need mega bucks,go for van conversion & stay wary.:thumb:

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Dec 31, 2012
90
71
Funster No
24,102
MH
van conversion
Exp
Just starting
By way of a postscript,in MMM mag there is a chap called Martin Watts whose feature is all about "vintage" motorhoming.He always highlights a couple of good ones each month.Worth a look.:winky:
 

Bailey58

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 23, 2010
7,611
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MH
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July 2010 (ex tugger)
:welcome:

You're running out of posts but for less than you paid the RAC you'll get a wealth of info on here, particularly for your particular needs at the moment. :thumb:
 
OP
T

treehouse

Free Member
Jun 4, 2014
4
3
North Yorkshire
Funster No
31,805
MH
Just looking
Exp
Since I was born, but never owned one.
Slightly Wiser

:welcome:

You're running out of posts but for less than you paid the RAC you'll get a wealth of info on here, particularly for your particular needs at the moment. :thumb:

OK, thanks for the heads up. I don't mean to be rude or anything, but I don't think this forum is going to be for me, and I'm a bit disappointed to find I have a restriction on the number of posts unless I spend money. Firstly, there are loads of forums around that are free - completely free. Secondly, it would be nice if at least I could take part for free but not have certain advanced features like members' areas or to remove advertising, but it's not is it - I'm here on probation until I cough up what appears to be a tenner a year. Thirdly, unless I was particularly unobservant yesterday, there was absolutely no indication that this was the situation before I spent time joining and posting. You've all been very nice and helpful, but I guess I'm just a little bit tired of feeling lured into situations I wasn't looking for, with promises that if I just pay a bit it'll be worth my while. All the links to things I actually need right now - like classifieds - take me off the site, or to some sister site. I expect for a tenner there might be personal ads and some might be campers that might suit us, but I also expect they're advertised on various other websites. It's almost a full-time job making my shortlists, phoning people and inspecting the ones I've already found.

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Mousy

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Sep 13, 2013
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It's such a shame you feel that way. We've found motorhome fun to be the best forum, we've received so much help and advice and met some lovely people on rallies and meets. £10 is the price you will pay for one night in a campsite. It's a total bargain.

Good luck in your search, I hope you don't regret not joining, there is a wealth of experience and help you could of received.
 

Terry

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 27, 2007
11,375
7,463
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1,075
MH
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Can't remember ;)
OK, thanks for the heads up. I don't mean to be rude or anything, but I don't think this forum is going to be for me, and I'm a bit disappointed to find I have a restriction on the number of posts unless I spend money. Firstly, there are loads of forums around that are free - completely free. Secondly, it would be nice if at least I could take part for free but not have certain advanced features like members' areas or to remove advertising, but it's not is it - I'm here on probation until I cough up what appears to be a tenner a year. Thirdly, unless I was particularly unobservant yesterday, there was absolutely no indication that this was the situation before I spent time joining and posting. You've all been very nice and helpful, but I guess I'm just a little bit tired of feeling lured into situations I wasn't looking for, with promises that if I just pay a bit it'll be worth my while. All the links to things I actually need right now - like classifieds - take me off the site, or to some sister site. I expect for a tenner there might be personal ads and some might be campers that might suit us, but I also expect they're advertised on various other websites. It's almost a full-time job making my shortlists, phoning people and inspecting the ones I've already found.

Sorry you feel the way you do but you get a few days/free posts to get the feel of the site,and I appreciate there are free ones out there.I have nothing to gain by telling you to pay the tenner but you will save many times the tenner over simply by listening to all the advice acquired/given freely (by people who like you started with there first van) on the site.
You state you have nearly come a cropper a couple of times and no doubt you will nearly come one again :Smile: All of us started somewhere and we have already made the mistakes you are about to make -we don't get anything for posting answers to your questions so ask yourself why we pay the tenner ?We get unlimited good advice :thumb: whether you listen and follow the advice is up to you,after being a full time paid up member (it was free until web hosting cost grew) THE BEST advice is save yourself a lot of grief and join us.It will prove to be the best tenner you ever spend on your camper :Smile:
Follow/take the advice makes no difference to me -good luck on your search :thumb:
terry
 

simply

Free Member
Apr 24, 2014
202
196
Devon
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31,121
MH
Renault Trafic
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Newcomer
For somebody who considers £15.50 a "cheap lesson" and admits being tired of "feeling lured into situations they are not looking for" it is rather strange that you troubled yourself to join and post in what appears to be effort to seek advice of Funsters, but then object to a £10 contribution to the provision and maintenance of the website and forum - it may come as another unobserved surprise to you but hosting doesn't come for free!
It's your life, your choice, makes no odds to me whether you join or vanish (plenty of keen and willing Funsters ready to post) but I would genuinely like to wish you both the very best in your van search and hope you do learn quickly and don't actually get "stung" as you put it. Just one thing though, if you do decide that £10 of your annual income is worthy of access to what you yourself describe as "very nice and helpful" folk please do not be too proud to return to Motorhome Fun. Maybe you didn't catch on that being a paid member also entitles you to get along to rallies and meets and often even gives you a discount to some of the shows...and a chance to actually meet "nice and helpful" Funsters, such a shame you will be missing out on the "Fun" part.

...On the other hand, should you turn out be a wonderful self discovery learner and happily sail through your motorhoming ventures totally unstung and unscathed then maybe, just maybe, one day when you find yourself to be a lonely old man sitting out by your perfect but isolated 'van with your feet up feeling very smug with yourself and your wealth of motorhoming knowledge you might ponder over the thought that you might just get a weeny bit of pleasure from sharing teeny bits of your motorhoming experiences with other motorhomers or potential motorhomers. Let's hope that day is a very long way off for you as you will be so busy enjoying your motorhoming years that you never give us another thought, nor have any need to compose an advice seeking post on a motorhoming forum, but if you do then maybe, just maybe, we will then see you back on MotorhomeFUN.co.uk

All the best and good luck !
:fatbuddha:
 

Steveth

Free Member
Mar 29, 2014
56
113
Wherever We Are Parked
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30,749
MH
Swift Esprit462 (Freddie)
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Since 2014
Treehouse,
I can only say that my wife and I consider the £10, the best investment we have made in years. Thanks to the contributors on this site we have saved hundred's of pounds by avoiding mistakes made by others and we do not collect "Freddie" until Monday week.
Wherever you go, good luck.
 
May 25, 2014
631
696
East Sussex
Funster No
31,639
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
newbie
Hi Treehouse,

Like you, I'm a total newbie to MH owning, and like you I did 'lurk' in the darkness for a while before realising that £10 was a small price to pay for access to loads of relevant information,.........(ok I'd already paid for said MH, - time will tell if I dropped a large one........:RollEyes:)

As an aside, I more than saved that money by using discount (arranged by others.......thanks ) that being a Funster, gives.

Good luck in your search for a MH.

Andy

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Jun 16, 2013
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Totally agree in the very short time i have owned a motorhome I have had loads of help and all my questions answered. ::bigsmile:
 

Bailey58

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 23, 2010
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It's almost a full-time job making my shortlists, phoning people and inspecting the ones I've already found.

Just to pick up on that point, of course it is, we've all done it when looking for a motorhome. Even when we saw the one we liked at Peterborough - the layout virtually sold it to us - we spent hours online and went miles to view and get the best offer we could before parting with our money. Whether it's £5k or £50k it does take time but in the OP's case he would get all the help he needed on here. I seem to remember another new member posting links to all sorts of [STRIKE]dodgy looking[/STRIKE] vans on ebay and elsewhere before finally buying, the help he got from Terry, I believe amongst others, was unstinting, so £10? Peanuts.
 
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OP
T

treehouse

Free Member
Jun 4, 2014
4
3
North Yorkshire
Funster No
31,805
MH
Just looking
Exp
Since I was born, but never owned one.
It's such a shame you feel that way. We've found motorhome fun to be the best forum, we've received so much help and advice and met some lovely people on rallies and meets. £10 is the price you will pay for one night in a campsite. It's a total bargain.

Good luck in your search, I hope you don't regret not joining, there is a wealth of experience and help you could of received.
Thanks, Mousy, and to all of you who have wished us well. I'm pleased to report - all things being equal - we should be taking home our first camper on Sunday, an LDV Convoy 400. I've never driven a six-wheeler before. That was fun, and I only put a slight grass stain on it, I think, passing another car in a small lane on the test drive.

Sorry you feel the way you do but you get a few days/free posts to get the feel of the site,and I appreciate there are free ones out there.I have nothing to gain by telling you to pay the tenner
I wonder. Somebody does, that's for sure.

but you will save many times the tenner over simply by listening to all the advice acquired/given freely (by people who like you started with there first van) on the site.
Maybe, but there's quite an assumption many of you make that anyone new to the site should be grateful for all the advice, come here asking questions and need expert guidance from this community. Frankly, it's a bit patronising. Between us, my partner and I have lots of experience motorcaravanning, caravanning, tenting, buying and selling vehicles, and I actually came here not to ask questions (although I might have done if I'd felt at all comfortable beyond the first two days), but to share an experience of the dodgy dealer who tried to rip us off, to warn others - think of it, me, a complete newby, I bothered to register on my first campervan forum in order to give a review. In the registration process, however, I noted the warning about libel, and decided not to post that as an identifiable review, but still shared the practice of saying a van is fit for purpose verbally whilst getting you to sign a sales ledger to the contrary "to avoid having to give a warranty". I haven't actually asked for any advice, as far as I can remember. I introduced myself and started chatting, and the next thing I knew it was pay up your subs or that's it, bye-bye.

You state you have nearly come a cropper a couple of times and no doubt you will nearly come one again :Smile: All of us started somewhere and we have already made the mistakes you are about to make
Cheers. I'm hoping to avoid them, actually.

-we don't get anything for posting answers to your questions so ask yourself why we pay the tenner ?We get unlimited good advice :thumb:
And I was pointing out that the web is stuffed full of good advice, and there are hundreds of forums where it's shared freely.

whether you listen and follow the advice is up to you,after being a full time paid up member (it was free until web hosting cost grew)
Hmmm, and now? How many paid up members are there, I wonder? Do you know how much it costs to host a forum? I do. I hosted one for free, actually, for many years, and every time I suggested to the members that we could collect subs and remove the adverts, they said the adverts were quite interesting and useful, as they were on topic, so it remained completely free.

THE BEST advice is save yourself a lot of grief and join us.It will prove to be the best tenner you ever spend on your camper :Smile:
Follow/take the advice makes no difference to me -good luck on your search :thumb:
terry
Thanks for your advice and good wishes.

I am not a wealthy man nor am I trying to be clever or cocky but we are talking £10 for a years membership. Thats less than 20p per week.
Yes, it's cheap. I don't think I said it wasn't.

For somebody who considers £15.50 a "cheap lesson" and admits being tired of "feeling lured into situations they are not looking for" it is rather strange that you troubled yourself to join and post in what appears to be effort to seek advice of Funsters
Really, what gave you that impression?

, but then object to a £10 contribution to the provision and maintenance of the website and forum - it may come as another unobserved surprise to you but hosting doesn't come for free!
It may come as an unobserved surprise to you that, yes, it does. Although if there were, say, 500 of you paying a tenner a year, someone's getting £5000 a year...to host a forum.

It's your life, your choice, makes no odds to me whether you join or vanish (plenty of keen and willing Funsters ready to post) but I would genuinely like to wish you both the very best in your van search and hope you do learn quickly and don't actually get "stung" as you put it. Just one thing though, if you do decide that £10 of your annual income is worthy of access to what you yourself describe as "very nice and helpful" folk please do not be too proud to return to Motorhome Fun. Maybe you didn't catch on that being a paid member also entitles you to get along to rallies and meets and often even gives you a discount to some of the shows...and a chance to actually meet "nice and helpful" Funsters, such a shame you will be missing out on the "Fun" part.
I'll live. The thought of a motorhomers rally is pretty apalling, to be honest. We like camping in whatever form in order to spend quiet times close to nature, and generally as far away from large gatherings as possible.

...On the other hand, should you turn out be a wonderful self discovery learner and happily sail through your motorhoming ventures totally unstung and unscathed then maybe, just maybe, one day when you find yourself to be a lonely old man
I beg your pardon? Not paying £10 a year to be a "Funster" means I'll end up a lonely old man?

sitting out by your perfect but isolated 'van with your feet up feeling very smug with yourself
You really are quite rude.

and your wealth of motorhoming knowledge you might ponder over the thought that you might just get a weeny bit of pleasure from sharing teeny bits of your motorhoming experiences with other motorhomers or potential motorhomers. Let's hope that day is a very long way off for you as you will be so busy enjoying your motorhoming years that you never give us another thought, nor have any need to compose an advice seeking post
advice sharing post
on a motorhoming forum, but if you do then maybe, just maybe, we will then see you back on MotorhomeFUN.co.uk
Smug, moi?

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Jun 18, 2008
1,561
2,046
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2,925
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Since June 2008
Judging by treehouse's latest post I'm not sure if he'd be a useful addition to the forum anyway :hardhat:
 
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May 29, 2013
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Judging by treehouse's latest post I'm not sure if he'd be a useful addition to the forum anyway :hardhat:


Not sure..........................He seems to be able to cut and paste better than a lot on here !!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

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durhamahoy

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Jun 11, 2012
241
116
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Since 2011
All I can say is on my short time on MotorhomeFun I have had
Help and instructions on my Cobra alarm system
Great fun interaction = priceless
Tyre advice with diagrams = possible lifesaver
Campsite advice
Accessory advice
Awning Advice
Maintenance Advice
Advice on Advice
and smiles:ROFLMAO:

Yes Google is an all consuming purveyor of knowledge, but it's not Motorhome fun. Still, I hope you have years of enjoyment from your new purchase, but as wild camping and aires are strangers to the UK, my feeling is you will meet and interact at some point with fellow motorhomers. Good luck and hope you enjoyed your 5 free posts, they brought a smile to me.
 

UK Pete

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Jan 16, 2014
285
334
kent
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on/off since 1991in campervanss
WOW i didn't see that coming, treehouse is right though , there is all the advise you need freely available on the internet, and yes someone is making good money from the site fees, but so what its still a good place to be, probably the most active motorhome site about at the moment
pete
 

Soozywoozy

Free Member
Feb 18, 2014
535
451
Oxfordshire - edge of the cotswolds
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30,162
MH
Hymer B 704SL
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2014, 2 motorhomes
Sad to hear, but each to his own.
If forum wasn't for him that's fine. I was a member of the other forum to start off and didn't even know about fun. Personally found it all too serious and a tad sanctimonious for my liking. Thank goodness discovered this one, great advice when required, friendly welcoming and not condescending. We all have the same interest at the end of the day and should be a bit of give and take and allowance to make mistakes.
However, I did not, out of good manners and grace damn the forum members, but withdrew quietly and put it down to life's rich experience.
A tenner is very little - I have just drunk that in wine this evening and it won't make me feel welcome or offer advice

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Momo

Free Member
Sep 19, 2008
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I'm a newbie.
Treehouse is the proverbial A**hole! We don't need him - or anybody like him - on Motorhome Fun!

Would love to be able to send him over to F*cts! His views are as abnoxious as they are!

So sorry I even welcomed him to the site!

A**HOLE!
 
Feb 24, 2013
11,667
87,102
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24,833
MH
Hymer S800
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not long enough
Treehouse is the proverbial A**hole! We don't need him - or anybody like him - on Motorhome Fun!

Would love to be able to send him over to F*cts! His views are as abnoxious as they are!

So sorry I even welcomed him to the site!

A**HOLE!

You do have an option to unlike or dislike, as suggested in another thread today, nothing you can do with your post, but I don't think the thread will be seen much after today

We could all like and unlike one of his posts a few times, give him a flashing yellow send off :thumb:
 
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omega22

Free Member
Oct 31, 2012
12
10
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23,512
MH
Converted people carrier
Exp
Newbie
I'm a newbie who just paid the tenner. Needless to say I don't share Treehouses sentiments. I've been reading MHF for a while and decided today was time to sign up.

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