Novice advice required

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by goneoff, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. goneoff

    goneoff Funster

    Aug 19, 2009
    I am new to owning a motor-home and would like some advice from seasoned travellers. I am hoping to purchase a Rapido 997M auto on a Mercedes base. I will need to purchase the following:-

    • A satellite dish which we need to work well in Europe
    • A awning which ultimately I would like to fully enclose with both sides and front panel
    • Advice on a small quiet generator
    Could you please advise which is the best brand a model I should purchase for either or all of these items. All brands claim they are the best but there is nothing better than other peoples experience. I am sure I will be asking for further help down the line but this is enough for now.
    Many thanks.
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

    Jul 19, 2007
    Sutton on Sea
    Hi, Nice motorhome you have chosen:thumb:

    As for your questions, Europe is a very big place so before you choose a system you should decide where in Europe you would like it to work. Try looking here or here for good no nonsense advice.

    There are lost of different awnings, some allow you to drive away, others are fixed to your wind out awning. A great choice can be found here

    IMO The best and widely acknowledged as being the quietest are the Honda Suitcase range. The 1KW is very small. Any gennie under load will be anything but quiet, so you might be better going for a larger genny. The Honda 2KW is superb, and compact but it is heavy so if payload is a consideration it might be too heavy. Take a look here

    Meanwhile, welcome to the Fun:thumb:

  3. Brisey

    Brisey Funster Life Member

    Sep 4, 2007
    Tropical Bar,Benidorm.
    Hi goneoff and :welcome:to MHFun.:thumb:
    Good advice, as always, in Jim's post.
  4. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Nov 17, 2008
    The most important bit of advice I can offer, and this cannot be over-stressed, is do not buy anything until you have been out in the van for a while and got used to how it works and what you expect of it. It is very easy to assume you need lots of accessories, then find they stay at home in the garage.

    If TV is important to you throughout Europe, then look at RoadPro's website for lots of useful help. Or phone them for advice.
    Concerning a generator, be quite clear when you would need to use it. If you are on campsites, they are often not allowed, and hook-up is more effective. If on aires / free camping, how long will you stop? Because if you move every 2 or 3 days, the engine will re-charge the battery. If you need 230V on aires, some of them have hook-up or consider an inverter as an alternative to a generator. Usually, the first step in increasing electrical independence is to fit another battery.
    Regarding awnings, a good roll-out version (Omnistor or Fiamma) will do the trick. Side panels are available for both to create an enclosure but again, see if you really need them first. If on aires, you generally should not put out a full awning and in many cases there will not be room as continental motorhomers expect to park quite close together. When on campsites they are of course usable, but make sure there are no gas exhaust points on the wall of the motorhome where the awning will fit. Often the heater and fridge vents are adjacent to the habitation door. This is not a problem with a simple roll-out awning, but as soon as you enclose it, there is the potential to collect CO in the room.

    Hope this gives some food for thought and welcome to the fun.


    p.s. another supplier of generators that I has been commended is Edge Technology

    >>Edge Generators<<
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    YO11 2BD
    that, Philip, is the most sensible caution iv heard for a long time and one i, and im sure many others, never even considered when giving advise.

  6. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Eastbourne East Sussex
    If your Rapido has a similar layout to mine (999M) then the fridge vents are within the awning area and should not be enclosed. I should take note of the earlier advice regarding being sure you need this, as the front and side walls are heavy and bulky to store and take some time to erect and dismantle. I had one some years ago and although the space was useful, it interfered with the ability to move at short notice which is one of the advantages of a MH over a tugger, so it was usually left at home:thumb:
  7. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

    Jan 5, 2008
    East Sussex 01-580-881288
    Hi and welcome to Fun, if you need any advice on awnings etc, please give Darren a ring, he is the expert. Dont forget to mention FUN and get the Funsters discount:thumb:



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