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Motor home help

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Carole, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Forumite

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    We’ve bought a motor home and we’re picking it up on Tuesday.
    Rather hasty and spontaneous because we’ve never actually been in one before, never driven one, never had a holiday on a campsite. However, this came up for sale and it’s a year old but the guy who bought it only went to Bath and back in it twice so it’s practically new but at a decent price.

    Anyway husband is beyond excited and is watching every you tube video going about what you actually do when you get to a campsite and I’m busy googling bedding, soft furnishings and kitchen bits and bobs.
    We’ve also joined the camping and motor home club and we’ve booked 3 nights somewhere not too far away to see how we get on.

    If you’ve got a motor home is there any advice you can give us that you’d wish someone had told you before you set off on your first journey? Things to do or not do, or things that I might forget to pack etc?

    All helpful tips and hints very welcome.
     
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  3. Perrier

    Perrier Well-Known Forumite

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    i know it may sound strange but try and get some security fitted , you can have cameras fitted around the van and a good alarm system. as well as the security , its also handy if you hear noises around it at night when you are trying to sleep and want to put your mind at ease.
    also handy as a 4 corner dashcam too.
     
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  4. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    @PeterD & @age'd parent both have some considerable history in this sphere...

    Facebook has been awash with motorhomes being stolen over the last year.

    Always consider the height whilst it's moving - even start doing it in 'normal' vehicles. I used to drive a van a few times a year and it is surprising just how many times you go under things that could be awkward in a higher vehicle. Even go as far as measuring what the real height is - in metric and imperial. Your front is flat enough (if that's not too personal!) to do this quite accurately.
     
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  5. Thehooperman

    Thehooperman Well-Known Forumite

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    Learn what all the switches and settings do before you set off. If they give you a demo of what everything does before you buy take a video so you can play it back if you need to.

    Stay at sites where the roads to get there are reasonably wide until you get used to driving it.

    Some of the best sites aren't always listed in the various camping clubs and are often a lot cheaper.
     
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  6. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    A lot of the advice depends on how big your motorhome is and what toys it comes with but there are a few common things.

    Firstly never approach a junction at an angle or you'll never be able to see whether it's safe from the drivers seat to pull out. Secondly unless your mh has reversing cameras and ideally a 360° system, avoid reversing unless you know for a fact that there's nothing you can hit and, ideally have someone behind who you trust to give you accurate directions. Thirdly when you're parking up for the night make sure it's parked on dead level ground unless you have a leveling system built in. There is nothing worse than a mh or caravan that isn't parked level. Fourthly be very picky about the locations you book if you're not keen on noise going on until the early hours.

    Fifthly security. Store your van somewhere secure that has good quality CCTV and decent quality security fencing. Mine is stored at work most of the time, where I can keep an eye on it 24/7 with our security and it isn't visible from the lane.

    Sixthly check the height carefully on petrol station forecourt canopies.

    Seventhly drive with consideration to other road users; NEVER EVER overtake a bike unless you are 100% that you can get past before anything comes the other way and give bikes a huge amount of room. Also don't let queues of traffic build up behind for too long if you're not driving to the speed limit. Pull over.

    That'll do for now. Shout out if you want more detailed advice.
     
  7. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Forumite

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    Thank you.

    We’ve watched a few videos of how to drive it but we both intend to get quite a bit of practice in on local roads before we actually take it on a weekend away. We might go on a driving course as well.
    It’s not huge compared to some, 7 metres but obviously it will feel massive until we get used to it.

    Talking of parks, we are really looking at 5 star sites and don’t mind paying more for this. We’re not interested in the big ones that attract loads of kids.
    We’ve found this company

    https://www.morris-leisure.co.uk/

    which seem like our sort of place so does anyone have any recommendations for similar upmarket sites anywhere within a few hours drive.
    Anywhere lovely that you can recommend please?
     
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  8. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    I've used Llanberis Touring Park which I see is on that website as it's handy for trackdays at Anglesey Circuit. It's a good site. Not sure I'd give it 5 stars but it's certainly way better than the underground car parks, autoroute service stations or racing circuit fields I normally park on. It's a long slog in a mh mind, especially if it's your first proper outing.

    I always do my shakedown visit overnight at Uttoxeter race course camper site. It covers all the bases including a twisty road to get to it but it's close enough to get home quick if it the night has turned out to be a disaster.
     
  9. c0tt0nt0p

    c0tt0nt0p Well-Known Forumite

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    Get signed up to the main motorhome forums. Loads of good people and advice to be shared (parents have had a motorhome for years)...
     
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  10. PeterD

    PeterD ST16 Represent.

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    Carole if you are on Facebook sign up to one of the groups that are specific to your motorhome. It will have experts that will know it inside out.

    i have an older motorhome but some of this will be relevant.
    Driving it, its about the journey, so take it easy.
    Have an in van tool kit. Just some basics in case you need them.
    Awning. If you have one set up with one leg lower for run off. If its windy wind it in.
    if you leave it unused over winter, open cupboard doors etc. Condensation is unavoidable so have as much airflow as you can.
    Caravan and Motorhome club is a pretty good one to join as the club sites are immaculate. Saturday I am at Carsington over night.
    I am trying to think of things I thought I wish I knew that. As has been said, learn the switches. Once you understand them life becomes easier.
    Before you pull off on a journey, pop your fridge on to battery. The last task before you drive away. That will then work off the car battery and be nice and cold for the journey. At the destination then switch it to hook up or gas.
    Hook up, if your hook up cable is in a reel, when in use unroll the entire cable off the reel. Also set aside an old hand towel/ tea towel for wiping rainwater off the cable.
    Water is your enemy. Any sign of any ingresse, don’t ignore it.
    I will think of more a little later, but I have had a van for some years and I would not be without it, so good luck and safe travels.
     
  11. Thehooperman

    Thehooperman Well-Known Forumite

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    I'm not sure what you deem to be a 5 star upmarket site but I used to have a static van at Henstent caravan park Llangynog which also has touring pitchs.

    It is at the foot of the Berwyn mountains with a small river and is on the edge of a small village with two decent pubs doing good food and beer.

    The site has a small shower/toilet block, mini library, fridge/freezer/washing room. It is usually a quiet site but it does get busy at bank holidays though.

    The roads there are fairly wide and relatively traffic free as long as you avoid Shrewsbury ringroad at rush hour.

    The address is
    Henstent Park
    Llangynog (Nr Bala)
    Powys
    SY10 0EP
    United Kingdom
    Tel:+44 (0)1691 860479
    Email: info@henstent.co.uk
     
  12. Thehooperman

    Thehooperman Well-Known Forumite

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    A top tip to help combat condensation when overwintering is to leave a large bowl of salt in each room. About a third of a saxa salt bottle is usually enough.

    The bowl needs to be large enough to absorb a lot of water as it will expand about four times the size of the salt.

    Probably also worth doing if the motorhome isn't going to be used for long periods as well.
     
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  13. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    So .... @Carole has become a Pikey ?? ... :P:buddy:
     
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  14. c0tt0nt0p

    c0tt0nt0p Well-Known Forumite

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    Don't forget to get the obligatory bumper sticker @Carole ... Screenshot_20200628-132314_eBay.jpg
     
  15. That-Crazy-Rat-Lady

    That-Crazy-Rat-Lady Well-Known Forumite

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    Congratulations!

    We have a camper van so a bit smaller and we built it ourselves so i'd be very concerned if I didn't know what the switches do - but more than happy to give you a female perspective on the important things!

    It's like buying a second home, everything you have in your kitchen you'll need to buy again - bedding and cushions obviously are a top priority!

    I also purchased a mini hoover which is just fantastic! Our van is over a year old but looks as good as the day we finished it as I keep it meticulously clean! After shopping around I opted for a Shark one which does a brilliant job!

    Not sure if you get condensation issues in motor homes but our windows can get wet if it's particularly cold outside so I picked up a Kartcher window vac which does the job perfectly!

    As we holiday in Scotland a lot we are often faced with hordes of midgies! So we made some nets that cover the windows and roof light - you can probably buy them made to measure for your van! It's nice to be able to sleep in peace knowing your bug free!

    Invest in some nice slip on wellies / waterproof shoes to keep by the door if you need to nip out and the grass is wet! A good doormat that soaks up moisture is also a must!

    Oh and make sure it has a fire extinguisher and blanket on board!

    Think that's everything?!

    Can't wait to hear about your first holiday! X
     
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  16. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Forumite

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    Wow, so many helpful replies, thank you everyone.
    It’s got reversing cameras. Husband has been watching Bob Earnshaw on you tube who goes through everything for beginners. So on his advice husband is going to buy levelling ramps.


    We’ve booked near Shrewsbury for our first outing but at some point in the future when husband has retired we intend to drive through France and Spain to Costa Del Sol so we’re going to have to get used to long journeys!

    What is a shakedown visit?
    I’m not on Facebook but we have joined The Caravan and Motorhome Club.
    Some very helpful tips you given me, thank you!


    Regarding a 5 star pitch, we are looking for something lovely with immaculately kept grounds, exceptionally clean toilets and showers and serviced pitches.
    That one looks nice and handy for the pubs!
    Thank you! Yes after getting a good deal buying the Motorhome were now realising that’s just the start of it! Bedding, kitchen equipment etc and all the other bits and bobs. Mind you we’ve barely spent a penny over the last 3 months.
    It’s got built in window fly/bug screens that slide down.

    I would have forgotten to pack a mini hoover so thanks for that.


    Does anyone give their motor home/ camper vans names?
    Ours was built in Grimsby so we’re calling it Kevin (you have to watch Strictly to understand the connection)


    So first trip booked, 3 nights here.

    https://www.morris-leisure.co.uk/caravan-parks/oxon-hall-shrewsbury.htm

    It’s exciting!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  17. That-Crazy-Rat-Lady

    That-Crazy-Rat-Lady Well-Known Forumite

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    Ours is called 'The Tardis' as it's a big blue van!
     
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  18. Perrier

    Perrier Well-Known Forumite

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    Do your rats get to go on hols in it too ?
     
  19. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    Don't forget a large wicker basket to keep the clothes pegs you're going to sell in. :heyhey:
     
  20. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Forumite

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    Behave yourself or else I might be tempted to put a curse on you. :twisted:
     
  21. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Oh, now I'm worried about asking you for a quote to tarmac my drive.




    It's just like icing a cake, only a bit bigger.
     

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