What happened? Where did the time go? Where did I go?
The truth is, we’ve been so busy getting on with having a clear-out, I’ve not had the time to update.
But I’ve a very important new years resolution to keep, I must organise myself better so I can put a bit more time into this blog. Good luck with that I tell myself, then Christmas got in the way & I was forced to sit back & relax a bit. Phew.
So here I am, with a bit of time on my hands & loads of news to get up here, so here goes.
End Oct.2014 – Charlie has been found !
So we start, at the very beginning shall we say, at the beginning of the future.
Now, it’s all very well ‘talking the talk’, visiting MoHo (MoHo = Motorhome from here on in) shows, buying a few bits & bobs for life on the road & way of life that doesn’t actually exist yet, but it’s a very different feeling when you are investing a vast amount of the money you’ve both slogged for over the past couple of decades into a box on wheels, your primary residence for the forseeable future. Not a decision you can take lightly. Hours & hours have been spent (& many wasted) trawling the web for MoHo’s who ‘tick all the boxes’. So before we get into introductions, the following are our list of ‘The specifications’, in no particular order.
- Must be a robust make/model.
Having spent hours reading & researching travel blogs & forums, (thanks go out to all) one name seems to be coming forward a lot, Burstner. Based on opinions & the MoHo’s we have seen first hand at shows, Burstner would be a preference, but not essential. The base unit will be dictated by the following:-
Easy, once I’d confirmed a few things with other trailblazers.
Weight, Sub 3500kgs. Accessibility & cost issues over 3500kgs.
Length, Sub 7m. Again, the “sub 3500kgs” would rule out most MoHo’s over 7m anyhow.
Height, sub 3m would be preferrable, as a few tolls do charge more for vehicles over 3m, ….not many.
- Driving position:
MUST be LHD. End of! With experience of driving in Europe & due to the fact that my passenger has a habit of dropping off, sweeping right hand bends, with a give way, are nearly impossible to negotiate in a RHD anything & suicidal in a van without a left side ‘traffic spotter’. Must be LHD.
I thought about the space we ‘use’ at home & our habits, sure some habits would change once we were on the road, but being an ex-tugger, we have a little experience about what space we need. A BIG issue which people seem to either not require ( I don’t get it) or forget about entirely is, the ‘Crash out lounge’ area.
Imagine: It’s raining, or your both a bit down or ill or have just come back from a 10km walk & you just want to crash, put kettle on & watch a good film. I don’t mean in bed, I mean a type of sofa, each. Somewhere to crash of an evening & watch a bit of TV if you wanted to. Not so easy in a MoHo sub 7m, most of the lay-outs seem to be too short. Most of the time, my preference would be outside, but realistically this will not always possible, rain, cold, insects, space available & ground conditions may confine you to the van for a few days from time to time. Plenty of this type of lay-out utilising twin beds or over 7.5m, neither of which we want. Mmmm…this, one may be a problem. On the subject of a bed, a fully made up double (none French type) is a must for long-term traveling. I also don’t fancy an “A Type” pull-down, I don’t think I would sleep so well if I was constantly worrying about falling out. A transverse bed made sense to me, at a typical 2.3m wide, most vans are the perfect width for a bed & so cutting down on the length of the van or simply generating more usable space in the living area.
We like to get around a bit, maybe a bit farther than push bikes would alow sometimes, so the decision was made to get a moped & ped-rack on the back, so we calculated the pay-load would need to be in the 500kgs + range to allow for the 100-125kgs of ped. & push bikes, add to that an underslung tank for LPG, extra batteries, satellite dish, all the toys, (kayak, tables chairs etc) plus your provisions & you will soon be reaching the top end of your allowance.
So all-in-all, it’s not too much to ask is it? But I’m glad to report ‘most’ of the ‘boxes have been ticked’.