Author Topic: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?  (Read 20524 times)

Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« on: May 17, 2017, 08:16:52 pm »
My train of thought has been sidetracked. A friend of mine bought a shit old shitheap VW campervan thing. The square looking ones not the silly round nosed ones that cost far too much money and are shit. He paid £4500 for it. Its from 1987 and it smells.

He said I should get one and initially I rejected the notion out of hand. I slept in my car once when I was 21 and it was awful. But then I started thinking about it, and the thought of getting somewhere and not having to set up camp was quite appealing. Then I noticed that you can pick up one of those Luton van style motorhomes for about 10k with reasonable age and mileage. They have a shower and a bog in them. Problem is, once you get to wherever it is you wanted to go, you are sort of stuck there because you cant really use them to nip into town. In which case maybe a caravan would be better.

Anybody know the answer?

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 08:25:32 pm »
Get one, use it to transport bicycles, cycle into town. Lots of people do, and I can certainly see the attraction of not having to pack a wet tent. If you want to do multi-stop tours then I think they are a very good idea, especially for going longer distances with small children - you can break up the driving into small person friendly chunks and have a loo handy at stops. You can also stop at C&CC temporary sites which are often lovely, cheap and don't have facilities.
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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 08:27:25 pm »
One of my firends recently bought one that was quite big and used it to travel to the lake district and Wales from Kent over Easter with her family. I think that journey was much better with a motorhome.  :)
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 08:41:30 pm »
I'm waiting for there to be a decent fully electric one. There's a place in Derby which is converting Nissan EV200s into motor homes, but they cost about £30k and the range on a single charge is only about 70 miles. I'd want it to be over 100 before I got one.

VW are talking about bringing one out with a range of over 300 miles, but they've ben talking about it for about 3 years.
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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 08:44:01 pm »
Had one of these

brilliant little fun. 

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 08:48:20 pm »
A friend bought a VW brick.
Used it for 3 years.
Sold it for the same money as they paid for it.

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 08:54:27 pm »
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 09:03:54 pm »
They chew fuel.
They are loads of fun, you find you don't save much money in some ways as campsites are really expensive and fuel costs . .

But it is it nice to take your home with you and if you have a partner who doesn't cope with camping in a tent then they are a good compromise.
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Torslanda

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 09:30:16 pm »
No. You're not too young...

...but

If you're going to do it then do it properly.

Don't buy something you can't stand up in.
Don't buy something you can't stretch out full length in either. Your body in the van and your feet in a tent just won't cut it.
Don't buy something obsolete, particularly if you're visiting remote areas.
Don't buy something that 'just needs . . . to finish', it's a money pit.
Don't buy a diesel that isn't Euro VI, old shit will be legislated or taxed off the road soon.
Don't buy one if you can't reverse a truck.
Don't buy something that was a DIY conversion unless you're very handy with spanners and don't mind fixing gas leaks at 4 AM in the pissing rain. Ditto electrical problems on the M5/bank holiday weekend.
Don't go anywhere without adequate breakdown cover, particularly in Europe.
Don't buy anything that you can't keep your bike inside while you sleep.

Other than that - freedom awaits!
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 09:35:30 pm »
Motorhome + bicycle seems like an eminently sensible combination.

I reckon this approach has definite merit, particularly if you find tent camping difficult, or you're simply using it as a base to do muddy mountain sports or something.

You can get a lot of tent (and indeed n+1s and things) for the money, thobut.

Car + caravan vs motorhome is beyond the scope of my experience.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 09:40:23 pm »
Yeah. We've got an amazing tent. A 7 metre cotton one that we love...but...we can only pack up when it is dry, packing up takes a good half day, setting up a good 3 hours to finish, so it's not practical to move sites. Plus if you get a few days rain it's pretty miserable.

4/5 berth vans with shower, bog, cooker etc cost about 10k for 1998, and 14k for 2004...with 30-40k miles.  I quote like the notion of wild camping in Scotland and doing a tour of france/Italy.

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 09:51:15 pm »
Quote
Problem is, once you get to wherever it is you wanted to go, you are sort of stuck there because you cant really use them to nip into town.


Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 09:52:42 pm »
The boxy VW campers are generally known as "wedges" and have a proper engine, not an asthmatic and raucous air-cooled thing that isn't really powerful enough to move a Beetle, let alone your home on wheels.  The first generation are "splitties" because of the split windscreen, and the second generation are "bay windows".

I used to sit next to a VW camper nerd in work.
Never tell me the odds.

Kim

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 09:55:23 pm »
Quote
Problem is, once you get to wherever it is you wanted to go, you are sort of stuck there because you cant really use them to nip into town.




I once had the pleasure of sharing the delightfully narrow-laned bit of the M60 around stockport with a proper USAnian RV, complete with enormous SUV and a motorcycle on a trailer behind.

I expect they got as far as the next petrol station.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

rr

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 10:08:15 pm »
It seems to me that they would be great for one or two people who move around a lot. Once you get more than that, you start getting awnings and stuff and I struggle to see advantages over a car and caravan. And as for towing a car

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 10:18:08 pm »
One of these is often parked around the corner from me, and I keep coveting it. It's so cute and has just enough space for me and a bike. :D



I like the idea of just picking a weekend with nice weather and heading off into the Highlands or something. Sadly I can't actually drive! :facepalm:

Torslanda

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 10:26:33 pm »
The boxy VW campers are generally known as "wedges" and have a proper engine, not an asthmatic and raucous air-cooled thing that isn't really powerful enough to move a Beetle, let alone your home on wheels.  The first generation are "splitties" because of the split windscreen, and the second generation are "bay windows".

I used to sit next to a VW camper nerd in work.

At the risk of outraging every VW Camper owner, just don't.
Split screen. Good for 1950s - utter shite in modern traffic.
Bay window. Ditto. Better than anything made in Birmingham at the time but still shite.
Wedge (T25) The only engine worth having is the diesel. 50bhp on a good day. The youngest is now nearly 30 years old. Obsolete, underpowered and dirty. Petrol engines were stretched flat fours with watercooled barrels. You will become your local VW specialist's best friend.

The best modern campers generally use a Fiat/PSA chassis cab with custom bodywork and rear chassis conversion by Al-Ko. Clean, relatively powerful and spacious. See also Ford, Mercedes et al. Van conversions are vans, motorhomes are body units mated to a chassis, the only recognisable bits are in the cab.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 10:43:09 pm »
Modern = £30k+

I have £30k+ but I don't want to spend it on a motorhome.

What I'm looking at seem to be based on a Fiat Ducato or a Peugeot Boxer

Torslanda

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 10:46:53 pm »
Why not take a holiday or two hiring one? Not cheap but not an expensive mistake if it doesn't work out.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 10:50:14 pm »
That is a very good suggestion, and one that I had thought about, but two weeks hire = £1000. The weird thing is, these things seem to hold their value, so I would get a sizeable chunk of money back.

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 10:51:48 pm »
Ok, I'll be honest. Quite apart from all the family fun stuff, when I look at photos of motorhomes what I am seeing is a massive mobile mancave.

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 11:18:41 pm »
Ah the gadgets.

We've rented 3 times, once for the tdf in Yorkshire, twice in the counterweight continent. Each time led to feelings of "wouldn't it be nice" which passed fairly quickly.

Chief among my reasons were the knowledge (from one dodgy van on Australia) that I would not be happy with a £10 one,, in London I have nowhere to keep it, plus the size of the damn thing. Bike is fine for errands and solo bike, but Mrs Ham can't manage rides any more.

The idea of the freedom offered is very appealing, though. Oh, and stuff like BBQ, packaway tech and other cave stuff.

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Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2017, 11:21:55 pm »
Campervans  :demon: :demon: cloggingup the roads, being driven like an old person and not contributing to the community.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 07:11:46 am »
I'm waiting for there to be a decent fully electric one. There's a place in Derby which is converting Nissan EV200s into motor homes, but they cost about £30k and the range on a single charge is only about 70 miles. I'd want it to be over 100 before I got one.

VW are talking about bringing one out with a range of over 300 miles, but they've ben talking about it for about 3 years.

There's a place in Surrey also iirc.

I'm not convinced that the Nissan is wide enough internally once they atart installing 'cabinets'.

Re: Motorhomes. Am I too you young?
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2017, 07:28:56 am »
Had two VWs

1. an orange, 1.6 air cooled petrol job.  The VW garage that sold it me had done a really crap job on the engine and it kept breaking down.  I wrote to the head of VW UK who kindly replied, got in touch with the garage and arranged for it all to be sorted out at a different garage at VW's expense.  You could do that back that then!  I had it for 4 years as a student and was rarely able to afford to refuel it and one day when it was parked in a dodgy part of Manchester some drug dealers deliberately drove into the back of it.  This turned out to be a good thing as the insurance company paid for it to be rebuilt thus curing a lot of rust and enabling me to sell it (thank god) for a ludicrous amount of money.

2. my father had a square VW camper that I kind of inherited.  It too was rusty and had appalling fuel consumption.  It turned out the top of the fuel tank was rust-riddled and if you filled right up, much of the petrol ended up on the road.  After a bit of work on it I sold the thing, also for a ludicrous amount of money.

I will never, ever buy a camper or motorhome again, much better to have a good tent and camp where it's sunny.

Sic transit and all that..