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The Motorhome Blog

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The story so far.  Quite where it all started is something of a mystery to Susan and me but to cut a long story short, we got the motorhome bug!

So, this blog will chronicle our exploits as novice motorhome owners, aka grey nomads, as we venture out onto the open roads as we make the most of our new life in retirement.  From time to time we will also add posts about our other travels and interests.

Not that we have a motorhome; not yet at least.  We plan to buy one early next year, so stayed tuned!

We also aim to provide useful information about motorhomes so check out our Motorhome Site Directory and the articles in our Motorhome Topics feature.

Decision Made!

October 19, 2017

For the final part of our research we re-visited the annual Caravan and Motorhome Show in Birmingham this week and, as a result, have finally settled on the make and model of the motorhome that most suits our needs and our pocket!

As we said in the article Try Before You Buy research is everything and so it proved again at the show.  It's the little things that you need to be alert to. For example:

  • We found some motorhomes that did not have a passenger airbag fitted as standard.  I know you don't always fit one in cars but that is for carrying infants, which I wouldn't imagine happens very much in motorhomes!
  • A number of motorhomes don't have an electric hob, only gas rings.  If you get one without an electric hob you are missing out on the hook-up electric you have already paid for!
  • Then there is the seat belt thing!

After all our deliberations, we have decided on an Elddis Encore 255. 

Measured against our Must, Need, Nice check list this fits the bill better than anything else we have seen in our price bracket, c £50000 new.

Now it is just a question of waiting until early next year to strike a deal with our local dealer!  

I will keep you posted on how we get on.

 

Diary Reminder!

October 14, 2017

The Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC Birmingham starts on Monday!

The Motorhome and Caravan Show.

it's £2m. it's ugly!

October 7, 2017

Although this is the world's most expensive motorhome at a cool £2m it surely has to take the prize for the world's ugliest.  For that money I would want something that looks really really good - not a cross between a Vent-Axia and an oversized sundial!

 

The Ultimate Motorhome?

September 20, 2017

Yours for a cool £1.4m!

Check it out here.

DID you know?

September 16, 2017

There are 180,000 motorhomes in the UK and 13,000 new motorhomes are sold each year!

Test Run - July 2017

August 9, 2017

Try before you buy seemed to us to be the obvious thing to do before lashing out hard earned cash on a motorhome as we didn’t want to rush headlong into the purchase only to find we really didn’t like it!

After doing some basic research we narrowed down the type of home we wanted (fixed bed, four berth, etc.) and then set about finding one we could hire that was similar.  As luck would have it, we found a company with an Elddis Impressa 155 almost on our door step and did the deal.

On the day of the pick -up Mike at BTL Rentals took us through the basics and we were on the road in just under an hour.  Driving a 7.1m vehicle was fine, just like driving a large van, and the manoeuvrability was a pleasant surprise at just how easy it was.

Our first stop was our drive, where we immediately discovered that, although it fitted on, it was a bit of a lump and certainly an attraction to all passers-by!  In one conversation with our neighbours they told of us of a caravan storage facility in the next village and within day I had booked a provisional place for the planned motorhome as it was clear the drive was not going to work for either aesthetic or security reasons.

Next day saw us head off to Thetford in Norfolk for our first ever overnight stop at Puddledock Farm.   Considering our experience levels at this point were zero we found the whole set up process easy and completed in about half an hour.  We had chosen a hard stand pitch with electric hook-up so didn’t feel the need to level the home as it was level enough to use.

If you like walking in woods then this campsite is for you as Thetford Forest is just thorough a gate in the fence!   Toilet and shower facilities here were good – which was another pleasant surprise as I had imagined the worst – although the site shop catered for the essentials only.

Departure the next morning was just as straightforward but it was then that we made our first big rookie mistake!  Using Doris, our sat nav, we selected a route and set of in sheer ignorance of what was to come!  Doris had been programme to find the fastest route for a car and doesn’t have a function to select a route for larger vehicles.  Consequently, we soon found ourselves driving down a B road that was getting narrower and narrower by the mile, and at one point found ourselves driving through the centre of a small town in what seemed to be a pedestrian area; it wasn’t but it felt like it!  At times, the road was so narrow we had only an inch or so either side of the vehicle to squeeze down.  Being our first time, it probably felt worse than it was but had we encountered any low bridges this tale could have been even more interesting to tell!  Note to all, get a sav nav you can programme for larger vehicles!

Arrival at our main stop, the West Runton Caravan and Camping site, was down an interestingly narrow lane with lots of overhanging branches but by now we had mastered the ‘driving down small roads malarkey’!

Setting up here was a little more involved as we had opted for a grass pitch with a hook-up (so as to compare the two types of pitch) so we had to level the vehicle – which once again we accomplished without incident.  We were joined by our best friends in their monster long new 6 berth caravan and had a fabulous few days in glorious British weather – wall to wall sunshine! 

West Runton is an ideal spot to explore the coast between Cromer and Sheringham, from where you can ride on the North Norfolk Poppy Line steam train - highly recommended.

The site was great, with excellent shower and toilet facilities, although the shop was again limited in what it offered.  There is a very well stocked caravan and camping store in West Runton which was handy for our friends as stuff on their new van seemed to be a tad fragile!

Overall, we learnt an enormous amount about life in a motorhome during the trip and returned one hundred percent agreed this was what we wanted to more of in our impending retirement. If you are thinking of getting your first motorhome then trialling this way huge sense as it informs your decision on what you want, from size of water tanks to size of fridge!

On balance, the week we spent was one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever been on – and we have been on some holidays in our time believe me!

Stats: 

Total distance travelled: 186 (split into one hour or c45 mile sections)

Cost per night:  Between £19 and £21

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Events Diary

Please see below a schedule of forthcoming motorhome events for 2017 and 2018 to add to your diary. 

The Motorhome and Caravan Show

17 - 22 October 2017.

NEC Birmingham, B40 1NT.

 

The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show

20 - 25 February 2018.

NEC Birmingham, B40 1NT.

 

UK Spring Motorhome & Caravan Show 2018

17 - 18 March 2018

Newark Showground, NG24 2NY

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