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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Caravan to Motorhome



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 24th 10, 10:26 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
david coleman
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Posts: 16
Default Caravan to Motorhome

Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

Dave Coleman

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 24th 10, 11:02 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
bill lord
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Posts: 2,533
Default Caravan to Motorhome

On Sun, 24 Jan 2010 11:26:13 -0000, "david coleman"
wrote:

Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

Dave Coleman


I wonder if a motorhome would be any improvement? I would think that a
motorhome is great if you are going out and touring, staying an odd
night two in one place and then moving on. But to go to somewhere and
want to stay then I do not see what advantage you get from one since
if the motorhome is large enough to be able to be a good substitute
for a caravan then it is too large to use as a vehicle on a day to day
basis whilst you are away so you would be left to walk hither and
thither or have to tow a small car which to me defeats the object of
having a motorhome. You still have to load the motorhome and unload
it, they still need parking and levelling, you still have to make some
provision for fresh and waste water. I went looking at larger
motorhomes last summer and was horrified at how difficult many of them
were to get into, the steps up to them were quite daunting.

I would have thought that making your caravan more user friendly would
be a better proposition. First I would be making sure that I had a
drill driver with attachment to wind the steadies, then using a mover
to hitch and unhitch the caravan, then I would fit an alko hitch
stabiliser to get rid of the bending and stretching that fitting a
blade entails, this meand that you will have removed virtually all
the physical activity in setting off and arriving. Don't even consider
carrying water wheeled containers are much easier to handle, the
smaller Aquaroll is much easier to handle than the larger one, and
emptying the waste a couple of times a day ensures that the
wastemaster ( or whatever wheeled waste container you choose ) does
not become too heavy. If you use a TV then the more recent Staus
directional aerial which you manipulate from within the caravan is
very easy to use and puts no strain upon you. You have the electric to
connect whether you are in a caravan or a motorhome. The next thing I
would do would be to ask whenever I booked a pitch for one that was
close to the water, explaining that I had difficulties carrying water,
I know that all CC sites will try to accomodate this if at all
possible.

I appreciate that as a 30 year caravanner I am probably trying to
teach my grandmother to suck eggs but there may just be something you
have not thought of.
Bill Lord
I've taken a vow of poverty To annoy me send money

e-mail messages to bill dot lord at uku dot co dot uk
( Get rid of the spaces and use symbols for the hyphen at and dots )
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 24th 10, 12:34 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
The gods have made us mad
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default Caravan to Motorhome



"david coleman" wrote in message
...
Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

Dave Coleman




We went from caravans to a succession of motorhomes (all new, each more
expensive than the last - because that's the ethos of MH industry!) and then
reverted to a caravan, and were glad to do so.

Mh's are fine - and you'll certainly feel suitably proud, sitting high up
behind the wheel of 50K palace - but the disadvantages soon start to be
felt.

Parking wasn't *too* bad - although, in holiday hot-spots it was sometimes
impossible to find a suitable space, either in car parks, or on-road.

Packing up in order to go out from the camp site wasn't too onerous either -
we tend to be quite tidy, so that helped.

The main problems we found we


1] It's a vehicle (obviously) and a very insecure one at that. Much
emphasis is placed in the cab door deadlocks - which conveniently overlooks
that fact that all coachbuilt's have at least one 'caravan' type door (and
very often a flimsy 'garage' door as well) which can be forced by any
self-respecting 10 year old with a screwdriver. Thus, vehicle security is
effectively non-existent.

This is also true of caravans, of course - but the big difference is that a
claim on your caravan insurance has no effect on your car no-claim bonus.
With a MH it will. Because the MH is a vehicle, any claim (even for a break
in to the 'caravan' part will count as a whole vehicle claim, and will
adversely affect your NCB

What's more, it's self-evident to would be thieves that a parked MH will
contain the whole gamut of possessions that people take on holiday with
them - there's nowhere else to leave those cameras, laptops, jewellery,
etc - so if you're away from your MH, and haven't got the items with you,
then they are inside - behind that flimsy door.


2] Windscreens - especially on an A-Class model can create all sorts of
problems if they break. First time out in new Hymer we got a fairly large
crack caused by a stone spun from a car going too fast on a newly gravelled
road. No windscreen company could help as it was a Hymer part, and it took
Bownhills over three weeks to get one from Germany.

In this case the damaged screen was intact and useable - but if it had
shattered, that would have been the abrupt end of a holiday. With
chassis-cab models, of course, this probably wouldn't be so much of a
problem - but, even then, it might take them a while to locate a suitable
screen.

3] Despite being smart and modern, the MH's never looked 'cosy' in the
evenings. The cab space was always a bit gloomy, and the presence of the
steering wheel, dashboard, etc, seemed to make things worse. Some people
curtain off the cab area, nut that (imo) looks tacky, and reduces space
considerably. There is simply no comparison between a caravan and a MH
when it comes to looking and feeling comfortable in the evenings.

4] Probably just a personal foible - but having spent several hours driving
down to Cornwall overnight, it was slightly dispiriting to park up on a
site - and *still* be in the MH! - much nicer to leave the car and go into a
caravan, but again, that's just a personal thing.

5] MH's are hugely overpriced - and the caravan element is often flimsy when
compared to the base vehicle mechanical's

6] If you're carrying passengers, that necessitates them sitting in the
'caravan' part for travel. The Hymer had full belts - but I was also aware
that it was a flimsy as an eggshell, and that if disaster had struck those
in the back would have come off very badly. Again, no comparison to all
travelling in a steel car with a compliment of airbags, etc.

7] MH dealers expect an average mileage of about 6,000 - 7,000. If you
exceed the average (hard not to do, if you actually want to *use* the
thing!) the trade-in value will plummet dramatically.

8] The practicalities don't really differ from a caravan. Few sites
(especially CL's, etc) have provision for driving a MH up you the tap for
filling the water tank via a hose - and even fewer have the facilities for
dumping the grey waste. That means using an aquaroll to cart the water to
the MH, and then pumping into the tank with a submersible pump. Grey waste
will need its own portable container (unless you dump it while out and
about) while the toilet cassette with still need carrying in the usual way.
So, all in all, not much (if any) labour saving.

9] Modern turbo diesels are becoming increasingly troublesome at far lower
mileages than they used to. Things like Dual Mass Flywheels are posing very
expansive problems - and it's much harder to change the MH if you run into
trouble, than it is to get another car.

In summary, MH's are probably better for a couple than a family - but even
then, they are wildly expensive and have numerous disadvantages that might
not be immediately obvious.

They were great for days out to theme parks, etc - but not as good as a
caravan for holidaying, at least, not for us.



  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 24th 10, 05:37 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
david coleman
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Posts: 16
Default Caravan to Motorhome

Thank you for the advise I appreciate you views and will take onboard the
fors & against.

Dave
"david coleman" wrote in message
...
Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

Dave Coleman


  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 24th 10, 09:09 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
The gods have made us mad
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default Caravan to Motorhome



"david coleman" wrote in message
...
Thank you for the advise I appreciate you views and will take onboard the
fors & against.

Dave
"david coleman" wrote in message
...
Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

Dave Coleman



Forgot to mention that you have to keep your hand your ha'penny when using a
MH on wet CL sites - no 4WD, and easy to get stuck.

You'll generally find somewhere suitable - but it might well not be the
nicest pitch - which, with a caravan & 4X4, wouldn't be a problem.

On the plus side, you'll find MH people much more tolerant of generators
We went to a MH show last year (just for old time's sake) and it was quite
refreshing to see everyone cranking up their gennies - quite of lot of the
'full frame' ones, which they left roaring away until after well 11pm.

We have a small 'suitcase' Honda which was inaudible amid the din of Chinese
3KVa generators! - but I never feel comfortable using it on a caravan site
after about 7pm at the latest. It was a treat to leave it running late into
the night with all the other machinery.



  #6 (permalink)  
Old January 25th 10, 07:22 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Andy R
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Posts: 821
Default Caravan to Motorhome


"david coleman" wrote in message
...
Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

We went from caravan to motorhome a few years ago and with 2 youngish
kids, both of us in full time jobs and using it mainly for weekends/single
nights away it beats the caravan hands down. Insuring it costs less than
the car (300 pa comprehensive) and fuel consumption is similar to a car +
caravan. For convenience and speed of getting away it's much quicker, setup
on site or wherever you go is also much quicker, switch off the engine, open
the door and it's done. If you arrive somewhere
late just climb in the bunks and sleep. Cycles are quickly attached to the
integral rack, water's already on board and waste takes a few days before it
needs emptying. The other big pros are the ability to decide at the last
minute whether to stay out for the night if you only originally went for,
say, a day on the beach and as a daytime picnic wagon for
days out.

The big downside is not having a car to tour around in while you're away.
It's not the hassle of packing up cos there is none, lock the fridge, wind
in the awning and drive off. If you like where you find yourself after the
day out just stay there. What you get fed up with is driving a big
motor around country lanes and hunting
for big, safe parking spaces to leave it when you're wandering around the
town, bearing in mind that it's easy to break into
it and even the dimmest thief realises that there's a good chance a
motorhome in a holiday area has got some good stuff on board. This only
really comes to the fore when away
for a couple of weeks but as we only do that once a year we can live with it
because of how easy/possible it makes all the shorter trips throughout the
rest of the year. Once we're too old and crotchety to ride push bikes, when
the kids stop coming on hols with us or when we both stop working full time
we will most probably go back to a caravan but while time's tight and
convenience is essential we'll stick with the camper. Having it on the
driveway with all your clothes
etc in it ready to go all the time is where it comes into its own.

Rgds

Andy R


  #7 (permalink)  
Old January 25th 10, 12:33 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Liz Hall
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Posts: 370
Default Caravan to Motorhome

Our friends have one but he is disabled and SHE does all the carrying, so we
are definitely not getting one!
Seriously when we go with them it doesn't seem that much different but they
have been so limited going out in the daytime they bought a little car to go
about in which they tow behind the mh. I don't know why but they all seem to
be very slow on the roads, does it make the cups rattle or something.

Their mh doesn't seem very roomy to me to move around in, and I would not
like climbing up into bed. I think you would still have to take away waste
water etc. and I don't know if they all have inboard water tanks, something
to think about.

I would suggest first of all you try and assist your mobility problems with
the caravan by buying perhaps a caravan mover and seeing if there other ways
you can help to set up, is it carrying the water etc. take half loads!
is there any sites with helpers for the disabled I wonder, park near taps
etc.
Liz

"david coleman" wrote in message
...
Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

Dave Coleman



  #8 (permalink)  
Old January 25th 10, 06:57 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
hugh
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Posts: 1,616
Default Caravan to Motorhome

In message , Liz Hall
writes
Our friends have one but he is disabled and SHE does all the carrying, so we
are definitely not getting one!
Seriously when we go with them it doesn't seem that much different but they
have been so limited going out in the daytime they bought a little car to go
about in which they tow behind the mh. I don't know why but they all seem to
be very slow on the roads, does it make the cups rattle or something.


Depends on size. Look very carefully at towing a car - there are all
sorts of legals. Also max towing weight can be remarkably small
especially for the very large MHs paradoxically.

They are slow on lesser roads but then so is a caravan outfit. C of G is
quite high so they can roll a bit if slung around corners, but modern
diesels have plenty of power to propel along at 70 on motorways if you
wish - I tend to sit at lorry speed on motorways as it saves quite a bit
of fuel. Yes things do rattle if not stowed properly but usually it's
the glass cover on the hob, I discovered on mine the rubber stops were
set too low and the glass actually rested on the hob.
Their mh doesn't seem very roomy to me to move around in, and I would not
like climbing up into bed. I think you would still have to take away waste
water etc. and I don't know if they all have inboard water tanks, something
to think about.

Most have on board water and waste tanks - presence and size is
generally a reflection of price.
I would suggest first of all you try and assist your mobility problems with
the caravan by buying perhaps a caravan mover and seeing if there other ways
you can help to set up, is it carrying the water etc. take half loads!
is there any sites with helpers for the disabled I wonder, park near taps
etc.


If you are in the CC or use their sites get a "Helping Hand" sticker.
That is a sign to others that you would appreciate some help
Liz


We have the best of both worlds BTW. We use the motor caravan for days
out (with dog) and short stays and van which we keep on a seasonal pitch
for longer holidays.

Hugh

"david coleman" wrote in message
...
Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute, but due to back
problems begining to get harder to set up. Has anyone experienced the
change over I would welcome any advice.

Dave Coleman




--
hugh
It may be more complicated but is it better?

  #9 (permalink)  
Old January 25th 10, 10:55 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Harry Bloomfield[_2_]
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Posts: 278
Default Caravan to Motorhome

the gods have made us mad pretended :
In summary, MH's are probably better for a couple than a family - but even
then, they are wildly expensive and have numerous disadvantages that might
not be immediately obvious.

They were great for days out to theme parks, etc - but not as good as a
caravan for holidaying, at least, not for us.


Those were some of the most well reasoned arguments I have seen for not
buying a MH. I do keep fancying giving one a try, but when I next get
the urge - I'll just read your list of reasons not to give in :-)

--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
http://www.ukradioamateur.co.uk


  #10 (permalink)  
Old January 26th 10, 01:41 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
JTM
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Posts: 54
Default Caravan to Motorhome

In article , david
coleman wrote:
Hi been caravanning for over 30yrs loved every minute,
but due to back problems begining to get harder to set
up. Has anyone experienced the change over I would
welcome any advice.


Dave Coleman


Seems very quiet these days but uk.rec.motorcaravans might
get more info (although many folk read/post to both groups.
I assume you are talking about uk use. If you were thinking
of France or Spain, for eg the replies could be quite
different as they are more geared up to 'le camping car'
here, even with supermarkets often having MH parking bays.

Ours is ready to go in minutes, has fixed bed, seperate
shower, wash basin and bog, with adequate water and waste.
Just come back after a trip around Spain where it handled
well in the fairly heavy snow and was cosy in v. low
temperatures.

How about borrowing / hiring one to try? But layouts vary so
much that maybe you could borrow / hire several to get a
better idea.

John

--
John Mulrooney
NOTE Email address IS correct but might not be checked for a while.

Nostalgia just isn't the same these days
 



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