Newbies looking to start our van life soon - going semi-full time?

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Mar 19, 2021
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A dual monitor setup is definitely nice and I enjoyed them when working in real offices but I have managed very well in the last two years having a single 27'' setup. It's one of those compromises I'm happy to make if it makes life easier in terms of power consumption, space and weight. Maybe having one monitor also helps me focus and doing less multitasking which I consider to be a good thing (no Slack interruptions).

I also do Python for data analytics / data science type of stuff and very rarely some C / C++ (I've worked in low latency stuff in the past and some components were built in C). Kotlin and Java are getting nicer and you can certainly build really good stuff with them. Tools like intelliJ are really good too ;-) I'm not too fussy with the programming language as soon as the teams are able to deliver value to the business and most of the time any general programming language will do it IMO. I found lack of domain expertise, lack of an ubiquitous language and team dynamics play a bigger role in the results you get but those are probably my bias showing.
 
Feb 25, 2018
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Welcome to the House of fun !!

I have a Netgear M2 which is brilliant for receiving weak data signals, it might be worth considering? Hope all goes well for you
 
OP
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Mar 19, 2021
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Thank you for the welcome, good wishes and the feedback MisterB ! I'll definitely consider and research the Netgears.

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Sep 16, 2013
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Some great advice in this thread (y)

We are fulltime and I work online (atm).

We have a custom i5 PC, low power with integrated graphics (good for anything up to editing 1080p in Prem Pro) and a 27" monitor. Plus a Dell laptop as a backup.

Although I'm seriously thinking of canning the PC and getting the new Macbook Air M1 to use with my current monitor (Gromett is now blocking me :LOL:).

Internet wise, a good router and external antenna (similar to the motorhomeWiFi one) and like others, a few backup PAYG sims. I also keep our WiFi contract on a different network to both our phone contracts, so can flick to hotspots in a pinch.

Power wise, we have 400Ah of LiFePO4 and 540w of solar, but would have more solar if we had the roof space. It's enough to be completely self sufficient for about 9 months of the year, but with a 90a B2B, charging is pretty rapid if driving as well. Parked in the dark with everything running and no charging, we have 3 days of power.

Anyway, welcome to Fun (y)

Not tempted to self-build a van to exactly what you want?
 
OP
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Mar 19, 2021
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Thank you for the detailed spec Wissel

Those numbers will help us understand what we will really need to be able to work from the van. Do you think that £3k - £5k it's a reasonable budget to make sure we have enough solar and batteries to be able to guarantee that we can always work on the go? We are planning to follow the sun to a great extend, April to October in UK and the rest of the year in France, Greece, Portugal, Spain and maybe Morocco.

Self-building is not in the cards at the moment, we don't have a place to do it and I don't think I'll enjoy putting sooo much effort into the van. I'm happy to do some minor DYI and maybe set up the solar and batteries with some expert support but I don't want to spend 6 months building a van from scratch. Also, I think we will be financially better off if we spend that time working on what we are good at and the results should be better, I guess we can't achieve A-class quality on a first self-build by two like us.
 
Sep 16, 2013
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Thank you for the detailed spec Wissel

Those numbers will help us understand what we will really need to be able to work from the van. Do you think that £3k - £5k it's a reasonable budget to make sure we have enough solar and batteries to be able to guarantee that we can always work on the go?
I'd say that's a realistic budget (y)
Self-building is not in the cards at the moment, we don't have a place to do it and I don't think I'll enjoy putting sooo much effort into the van. I'm happy to do some minor DYI and maybe set up the solar and batteries with some expert support but I don't want to spend 6 months building a van from scratch. Also, I think we will be financially better off if we spend that time working on what we are good at and the results should be better, I guess we can't achieve A-class quality on a first self-build by two like us.
Makes a lot of sense.

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cmcardle75

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Whilst you say you are limited to 3500kg and you might just find something suitable for your needs, you should consider taking C1 tests as well, as you'll find much more is available given your need for office space as well as full timing. Personally, although I've never full timed, I'd want a fixed bed. I very quickly get bored of making a bed up every night. I'm sure you could find a solution where the fixed bedroom has a door into the other space so that you have seperate spaces when working. You just need to find a way of making the fixed bedroom useful for working in.
 

Helen Ariel

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It all sounds reasonable to me. Have a look at Dethleffs motorhomes too. We have rear island bed with a door to close off the bedroom from the rest of the van. Bought our pulse last year and love it been full time for a year in Europe, us plus dog, mtb bikes, body boards and just manage to stay under 3.5 t. 6.9m van. Check out our thread Beech's 1st motorhome adventure for pics of the van and the amazing places we've stayed. Had great Internet virtually every where we went.
 
Dec 31, 2020
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Hi and welcome you do seem to have the start of a fantastic life and as your spending a lot if money on a van would it not be worth upgrading your driving licence then you won't be so limited to the type of van you can buy
 
Jun 1, 2019
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Hi!!
Welcome the geeky part of MHF :eek:

My 3p
AWS is good for on demand computing.
There are services specific to Kubernetes
Deploying code at scale is right up their street too. (y)

Gromett mentioned the CodeBuild service. That is great for building & testing code. It can use (or needs?) CloudFormation. The latter is a template deployment service.

Going back a step to just the raw compute part, there are some pretty powerful low level AWS computer building blocks (EC2). They can start simple and scale up to a higher spec EC2 instance. Or scale out to give more EC2 instances.
You can build an EC2 instance from simple Linux, Windows & Mac Amazon templates or choose from the marketplace (of AWS EC2 Amazon Machine Image examples (AMI)).

Lightsail is a wrapper for EC2 giving you a simpler compute building block - like build EC2 via a wizard rather than menu feel.
Lambda is a serverless compute service. I still find that service works like magic.
With AWS Lambda, you pay only for what you use. You are charged based on the number of requests for your functions and the duration, the time it takes for your code to execute.

Nots so good for you could be that:
1. AWS can be expensive for just on demand pricing.
You need to make a reservation commitment of 3 years to get the best pricing. One year gets a decent discount.

If time to complete a task was flexible you can use Spot pricing for your compute. For that you choose you max price & AWS will start your configured EC2 if the price of spare capacity compute is low enough.
When the price rises AWS will stop your EC2 instances and you pay for the actual time. If you stop your instance time is rounded up to the nearest hour.

2. You need to have a computer to manage your AWS account and to remotely connect to the services.

Do you have the right resources now but they're not portable? So it stays at "base".
And is remote desktop / ssh connection to "base" not adequate?
Working with AWS could be a similar experience to connecting to a remote dev centre.

If you have a hardware & software requirement plan, calculator.aws will help you compare onpremise to cloud costs.

My connection to AWS is on their media services side. And my role is still based 88% On the onpremise Elemental servers. AWS bought the media encoding company that provided the technology Amazon Prime is built on. Elemental.

Long short, I'm happy to try steer you to Dev help but prefer you to have problems with the ABR stack &/or ad playback timing control :p :)

You can get a year of AWS use for free. There are free tier services that are always free but a few that just last the first year. Details here
 
Feb 25, 2018
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I think the new Bailey Adamo has a model with front lounge and rear lounge, but also features an electric drop down bed in the rear lounge, so if you need two separate living areas, but don't want the hassle of making up a bed with cushions every night, that sort of layout might help? If you're not 'working' for a few days, you could leave the bed down as a fixed bed ...

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OP
A
Mar 19, 2021
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Renault Kangoo not somewhat pequeno?

Si, muy pequeñita (see picture :rolleyes: ) .
pequenita.jpg


But... it has allowed us to go on many really cool (2-3 days) adventures for 14 years and still going strong!

1(11).jpg


Pura vida!

1(12).jpg
 
OP
A
Mar 19, 2021
35
45
Funster No
79,888
MH
small van
I think the new Bailey Adamo has a model with front lounge and rear lounge, but also features an electric drop down bed in the rear lounge, so if you need two separate living areas, but don't want the hassle of making up a bed with cushions every night, that sort of layout might help? If you're not 'working' for a few days, you could leave the bed down as a fixed bed ...

Thanks for the reference to the Bailey Adamo MisterB . I love the 75-4DL. That one was not on my radar and it has a huge garage, something that the similar ones that were on my radar didn't have. We saw on a show this layout in the McLouis 330 and it is the one we most loved although the garage of that specific caravan is small (it might work for us thought if we can fit the 2 folding bikes).

I believe that layout tick all our boxes if I was able to understand if....

a) those electric drop downs are reliable enough to go full-time for months at a time. Does anyone knows if they can be operated manually? I guess it will not be a huge inconvenient if one breaks as there are 4 berths and we only need 2. We essentially have a backup plan.

b) are those electric drop downs comfortable? anyone with experience on Bailey's electric drop down beds? We are small and fit people, I believe we are quite easy to please but still expect a comfortable bed for long term full timing.

c) the most important bit... payload! The MIRO is 3160kg and it includes

- Vehicle driver = 75kg
- 90% fuel tank capacity = 81kg
- One full gas bottle = 14 kgs
- Fluids in ALDE heating system (when fitted) = 10kg

We have 340kg left. I believe we can make it work even on 3500kg if the figures from Bailey are correct (big question mark, maybe someone has one 75-4DL?).

Wife 60kg
Bikes 30kg
Kayak 20kg
Clothes and electronics 50kg (weighted this week as we are traveling back to UK)
Batteries and solar 100kg?

That will leave 75kg for food and water and cutlery/kitchen. Enough?

Thanks everyone for you help!
 
Feb 25, 2018
2,567
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Essex
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52,564
MH
Adria 670 SLT
Exp
enough to know i shouldnt touch things i know nothing about ....
Thanks for the reference to the Bailey Adamo MisterB . I love the 75-4DL. That one was not on my radar and it has a huge garage, something that the similar ones that were on my radar didn't have. We saw on a show this layout in the McLouis 330 and it is the one we most loved although the garage of that specific caravan is small (it might work for us thought if we can fit the 2 folding bikes).

I believe that layout tick all our boxes if I was able to understand if....

a) those electric drop downs are reliable enough to go full-time for months at a time. Does anyone knows if they can be operated manually? I guess it will not be a huge inconvenient if one breaks as there are 4 berths and we only need 2. We essentially have a backup plan.

b) are those electric drop downs comfortable? anyone with experience on Bailey's electric drop down beds? We are small and fit people, I believe we are quite easy to please but still expect a comfortable bed for long term full timing.

c) the most important bit... payload! The MIRO is 3160kg and it includes

- Vehicle driver = 75kg
- 90% fuel tank capacity = 81kg
- One full gas bottle = 14 kgs
- Fluids in ALDE heating system (when fitted) = 10kg

We have 340kg left. I believe we can make it work even on 3500kg if the figures from Bailey are correct (big question mark, maybe someone has one 75-4DL?).

Wife 60kg
Bikes 30kg
Kayak 20kg
Clothes and electronics 50kg (weighted this week as we are traveling back to UK)
Batteries and solar 100kg?

That will leave 75kg for food and water and cutlery/kitchen. Enough?

Thanks everyone for you help!

Thanks for the reference to the Bailey Adamo MisterB . I love the 75-4DL. That one was not on my radar and it has a huge garage, something that the similar ones that were on my radar didn't have. We saw on a show this layout in the McLouis 330 and it is the one we most loved although the garage of that specific caravan is small (it might work for us thought if we can fit the 2 folding bikes).

I believe that layout tick all our boxes if I was able to understand if....

a) those electric drop downs are reliable enough to go full-time for months at a time. Does anyone knows if they can be operated manually? I guess it will not be a huge inconvenient if one breaks as there are 4 berths and we only need 2. We essentially have a backup plan.

b) are those electric drop downs comfortable? anyone with experience on Bailey's electric drop down beds? We are small and fit people, I believe we are quite easy to please but still expect a comfortable bed for long term full timing.

c) the most important bit... payload! The MIRO is 3160kg and it includes

- Vehicle driver = 75kg
- 90% fuel tank capacity = 81kg
- One full gas bottle = 14 kgs
- Fluids in ALDE heating system (when fitted) = 10kg

We have 340kg left. I believe we can make it work even on 3500kg if the figures from Bailey are correct (big question mark, maybe someone has one 75-4DL?).

Wife 60kg
Bikes 30kg
Kayak 20kg
Clothes and electronics 50kg (weighted this week as we are traveling back to UK)
Batteries and solar 100kg?

That will leave 75kg for food and water and cutlery/kitchen. Enough?

Thanks everyone for you help

Thanks for the reference to the Bailey Adamo MisterB . I love the 75-4DL. That one was not on my radar and it has a huge garage, something that the similar ones that were on my radar didn't have. We saw on a show this layout in the McLouis 330 and it is the one we most loved although the garage of that specific caravan is small (it might work for us thought if we can fit the 2 folding bikes).

I believe that layout tick all our boxes if I was able to understand if....

a) those electric drop downs are reliable enough to go full-time for months at a time. Does anyone knows if they can be operated manually? I guess it will not be a huge inconvenient if one breaks as there are 4 berths and we only need 2. We essentially have a backup plan.

b) are those electric drop downs comfortable? anyone with experience on Bailey's electric drop down beds? We are small and fit people, I believe we are quite easy to please but still expect a comfortable bed for long term full timing.

c) the most important bit... payload! The MIRO is 3160kg and it includes

- Vehicle driver = 75kg
- 90% fuel tank capacity = 81kg
- One full gas bottle = 14 kgs
- Fluids in ALDE heating system (when fitted) = 10kg

We have 340kg left. I believe we can make it work even on 3500kg if the figures from Bailey are correct (big question mark, maybe someone has one 75-4DL?).

Wife 60kg
Bikes 30kg
Kayak 20kg
Clothes and electronics 50kg (weighted this week as we are traveling back to UK)
Batteries and solar 100kg?

That will leave 75kg for food and water and cutlery/kitchen. Enough?

Thanks everyone for you help!
Simon-Alan Kerr will answer all your questions, We have an Adamo on order from him! You can upgrade the weight for less than £300 i understand, if your driving license allows it - might be a good option especially if full timing?
 
Nov 19, 2019
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autocaravaner even when we are "wild camping" for a few days at a time, we like to try and keep our fresh water topped up as much as possible and I would imagine this would be the same for full-timing. I would guess the fresh water tank on that van is in the region of 100 litres or so? If so, bang goes your 75kg for food etc. Also look for the really small print as I would imagine that the gas bottle included in that weight is an aluminium one, not the steel that regular bottles are made out of. Also, a second gas bottle (again fairly high up the list of wants for full-timing) is going to take another 20kg or so as well. It soon adds up. Our van also has a pretty restrictive payload and some hard decisions on what to take (apparently SWMBO isn't optional!) need to be made at times.
 
OP
A
Mar 19, 2021
35
45
Funster No
79,888
MH
small van
Hi and welcome you do seem to have the start of a fantastic life and as your spending a lot if money on a van would it not be worth upgrading your driving licence then you won't be so limited to the type of van you can buy
We will consider it. Initially we want to be as nimble as possible to be able to have access to as many adventures as possible and do wild camping. We also love the challenge of being minimalistic and having really the essentials that make us happy. We will rent a few motorhomes before buying and test different layouts and if we can really live under 3500kg. I think we can live under 3.5t but I reserve the right to change my mind :RollEyes:

Thanks for the suggestion, make us think how realistic we are with the payloads!

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OP
A
Mar 19, 2021
35
45
Funster No
79,888
MH
small van
autocaravaner even when we are "wild camping" for a few days at a time, we like to try and keep our fresh water topped up as much as possible and I would imagine this would be the same for full-timing. I would guess the fresh water tank on that van is in the region of 100 litres or so? If so, bang goes your 75kg for food etc. Also look for the really small print as I would imagine that the gas bottle included in that weight is an aluminium one, not the steel that regular bottles are made out of. Also, a second gas bottle (again fairly high up the list of wants for full-timing) is going to take another 20kg or so as well. It soon adds up. Our van also has a pretty restrictive payload and some hard decisions on what to take (apparently SWMBO isn't optional!) need to be made at times.

Thanks RubyOptics . Yeah, a second gas bottle sounds something very helpful for full-timing. Not sure if aluminium bottles are really available to the public and how much price difference there is but maybe that's where we can find the compromise (becoming poorer to keep being nimble :LOL: )
 
OP
A
Mar 19, 2021
35
45
Funster No
79,888
MH
small van
It all sounds reasonable to me. Have a look at Dethleffs motorhomes too. We have rear island bed with a door to close off the bedroom from the rest of the van. Bought our pulse last year and love it been full time for a year in Europe, us plus dog, mtb bikes, body boards and just manage to stay under 3.5 t. 6.9m van. Check out our thread Beech's 1st motorhome adventure for pics of the van and the amazing places we've stayed. Had great Internet virtually every where we went.
Wooooow Helen Ariel ! Just wow! I'm in love with your motorhome and your two SantaCruz ;-) . Will definitely check Dethleffs.

What an interesting thread you wrote describing your adventures! I just looked quickly at it but next week we will be doing 10 days of self-isolation in London so I'll use some of that time to read it carefully and take some notes of places to visit. Just showed a few of your pictures to my wife and we are both very very very jealous! :giggler:

Our little dog Leonardo says hi to Beech!

OWkn7WaPVyk3M1_1607902478596_high.JPG

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cmcardle75

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Thanks for the reference to the Bailey Adamo MisterB . I love the 75-4DL. That one was not on my radar and it has a huge garage, something that the similar ones that were on my radar didn't have. We saw on a show this layout in the McLouis 330 and it is the one we most loved although the garage of that specific caravan is small (it might work for us thought if we can fit the 2 folding bikes).

I believe that layout tick all our boxes if I was able to understand if....

a) those electric drop downs are reliable enough to go full-time for months at a time. Does anyone knows if they can be operated manually? I guess it will not be a huge inconvenient if one breaks as there are 4 berths and we only need 2. We essentially have a backup plan.

b) are those electric drop downs comfortable? anyone with experience on Bailey's electric drop down beds? We are small and fit people, I believe we are quite easy to please but still expect a comfortable bed for long term full timing.

c) the most important bit... payload! The MIRO is 3160kg and it includes

- Vehicle driver = 75kg
- 90% fuel tank capacity = 81kg
- One full gas bottle = 14 kgs
- Fluids in ALDE heating system (when fitted) = 10kg

We have 340kg left. I believe we can make it work even on 3500kg if the figures from Bailey are correct (big question mark, maybe someone has one 75-4DL?).

Wife 60kg
Bikes 30kg
Kayak 20kg
Clothes and electronics 50kg (weighted this week as we are traveling back to UK)
Batteries and solar 100kg?

That will leave 75kg for food and water and cutlery/kitchen. Enough?

Thanks everyone for you help!
Remember the MIRO is usually a complete lie. They have an +/- allowance and it (with a few exceptions for some brave manufacturers) is always pegged against the end that does not favour you!

They should really replace it with a contractural maximum weight as supplied. Then anything delivered lighter is a bonus. Normally they supply it, you weigh it and find you're much heavier than expected, as they basically lied.
 
Nov 19, 2019
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Challenger 287GA
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I really hate to say it, but I do think running through the numbers that the payload is going to be too small, especially for full-timing in.

You start with 340kg, then as you say, you have :
Wife 60kg
Bikes 30kg
Kayak 20kg
Clothes and electronics 50kg (weighted this week as we are traveling back to UK)
Batteries and solar 100kg?

That already adds up to 260kg, leaving you 80kg in the very best case scenario. But then...
2nd gas bottle 20kg
decent length EHU cable and water hose, lets be optimistic and say 5kg
full water tank 100kg

Just my opinion of course, but i think you would at the very least need to consider getting it up-plated to something like 3800kg if possible?
 
OP
A
Mar 19, 2021
35
45
Funster No
79,888
MH
small van
I really hate to say it, but I do think running through the numbers that the payload is going to be too small, especially for full-timing in.

You start with 340kg, then as you say, you have :
Wife 60kg
Bikes 30kg
Kayak 20kg
Clothes and electronics 50kg (weighted this week as we are traveling back to UK)
Batteries and solar 100kg?

That already adds up to 260kg, leaving you 80kg in the very best case scenario. But then...
2nd gas bottle 20kg
decent length EHU cable and water hose, lets be optimistic and say 5kg
full water tank 100kg

Just my opinion of course, but i think you would at the very least need to consider getting it up-plated to something like 3800kg if possible?

Yep, I think you are right. It looks like we need a minimum of 550kg of real payload. The good news is that there seem to be a fair amount of options under 3500kg, my list of models to look at is long but the most interesting ones at the moment seem to be Eura Mobil Integra 650HS, Itineo SC700, HYMER B Class Dynamic Line 534 (if I can find it!) and Buerstner Lyseo TD Harmony Line 590.

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Helen Ariel

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Aug 20, 2019
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We will consider it. Initially we want to be as nimble as possible to be able to have access to as many adventures as possible and do wild camping. We also love the challenge of being minimalistic and having really the essentials that make us happy. We will rent a few motorhomes before buying and test different layouts and if we can really live under 3500kg. I think we can live under 3.5t but I reserve the right to change my mind :RollEyes:

Thanks for the suggestion, make us think how realistic we are with the payloads!
We've found it doable. It's amazing what some people consider important to take with them. I don't take a hair drier for example and I've heard of people who even have a washing machine onboard! 😳
 

Helen Ariel

Free Member
Aug 20, 2019
967
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Wooooow Helen Ariel ! Just wow! I'm in love with your motorhome and your two SantaCruz ;-) . Will definitely check Dethleffs.

What an interesting thread you wrote describing your adventures! I just looked quickly at it but next week we will be doing 10 days of self-isolation in London so I'll use some of that time to read it carefully and take some notes of places to visit. Just showed a few of your pictures to my wife and we are both very very very jealous! :giggler:

Our little dog Leonardo says hi to Beech!

View attachment 479199
Good luck with the isolation! We're on day 6. Our motorhome had about 590kg payload if i remember correctly. it's tight for full timing with the sports equipment and dog but there's a few bits we decided we could leave out for the next trip and future trips will be about 4 months max.
 
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