What's the story behind this obsession?
I think I just love the principle of looking at the TV, seeing where the sun is shining & taking my home & possessions there for a while. Its not as simple as that but its a dream to aspire to. Maybe I have gypsy blood or I have travelled a bit & I got injected with the bug. As I can't afford one, I just dream & join in the fun. I recognise that laying in bed reading the MMM magazine and marking up MH you can't afford, is a sickness. Surely its no worse than going the shows & torturing yourself, is it? (Yes I do both!) This is the time to recommend the website Motorhomefacts If your into the thought of Motorhomes, log in here. Its a great site full of fun, informed & welcoming people (and a few nutters like me). They even welcome people without a Motorhome and treat you like a long lost brother, at their rallies and meeting.
I have learnt early, that the secret to buying a Motorhome is the layout. Think what you need before you worry about cost. Do you need one vehicle to use everyday? How many will use it? Do you want winter and summer use. Research first, buy later.
Like everything, Motorhomes come in different guises. The classic Volkswagen boogie bus or surfing camper is high on everyone's idea of a campervan. Its that or a van converted to be more comfortable & made to live in for a while. They usually have seats that make a double bed, a table, a one or two ring cooker, a fridge or cool box and a porta pottie (for midnight emergencies only!). Often they can have heating and mains hook up. Newer models have front seats that turn round & become part of the lounge area.
The next motorhome is called a coachbuilt. This usually uses a larger van & graft on a caravan-like structure on the chassis. They can have anything your wallet can stand. Proper bathrooms with showers & toilet, full sized cookers, fridges. They can sleep up to six, have separate lounge & bedrooms. Air con, flat TVs, microwaves all able to run off either battery or the mains hook up on a site. Now-a-days the batteries can be topped up with a solar panel. The main reason go down this route is the choice of size you have on offer. You can decide on the amount of room you need. On your own? A couple? Married with kids & two dogs? It's your choice (and your wallet). One of the latest coachbuilt Kon Tiki is going for £50k. Sheer luxury!
A more expensive option is the A class or Integrated. A motorhome built from the chassis upwards. Using all the space it can find, it is a stunning European idea. Extra cab space, a huge drop-down bed that is stored above the front seat. It all gives a feeling of extra room. Equipped to a high standard to start with, these are superb luxury camping home from homes. More space usually means more goodies. Lack of space isn't a problem, but the cost maybe. Again its up to you & your wallet. Even an older Hymer of about '89 to '93 could cost £10k. Hymers are a German company living off their reputation of bombproof reliability and an expensive well built, classy outfit. They are now up against many more competitors, all straining to capture a lucrative market. One of the latest Hymers is on the market for £93k!
Then you go on to the American RV. (recreational vehicle) A small block of flats on wheels! Coming from the land of big skies & wide roads, these wonderful machines are built on domestic proportions. The equivalent of three piece suits, full sized fridge & freezer, air con, massive engines capable of the enormous mileages they may have to cover. Across the pond is a big country. The slight hitch is the fuel consumption, don't get one if you concerned about that, you could end up grey with the worry! Full sized bedrooms, bathrooms & real sized kitchen areas. Generators are common, self levelling systems, some go as far as washer/dyers. Living it on the wild side ... in comfort!
RVs are only limited by your bottle to drive them, getting them onto smaller sites & negotiating some tiny English roads. Often considered as prefect for full timing living and undoubtedly comfortable in the extreme. The more modern ones have "slide-outs" where the bedroom or lounge area (or both) move out sideways to give another couple of feet walking area. It can transform your living space.
I've tried boats on canals (other kinds of boats go up & down & you stand a chance of getting wet and/or seasick). Luckily at 70, I love driving still, (some people think that's a bonus in today's traffic) and I think I dream that a Motorhome will give me the fun & freedom that a petrol head would love.
Just think, drive anywhere your heart desires (& the MH can fit), pull up, put the kettle on & you can eat that West Country cream tea you organised earlier at the farmers market. In the evening watch the sun go down with a glass of Merlot in your hand. Kip in your own bed & off next day to God knows where.
Heaven with the gates shut!
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