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New (to me) motorhome - basic questions

(25 Posts)
Swannykazoo Mon 13-Feb-17 16:08:34

Very very excited. Inheritance money turned into something my little boy and I can enjoy. Have rented a fair few over the years and have just recently left twat DH. Hoping we'll be away once a month for the weekend and some longer trips for hols in the Uk.
So - I have a few daft basic questions.
Can I just chuck my bedding in and leave it or will it get fusty?
How do I charge my leisure battery - can I plug it in at home with some sort of a special plug like the site plug thingy?
Will I need to empty my water tank every time (though will of course only br drinking water in coffee as holidays are for gin based fluids.)
What else should I know about looking after it?

PossumInAPearTree Mon 13-Feb-17 16:25:06

Bedding should be fine. Though over winter I tend to use those vacuum bag things.

Are you keeping it on your drive? I used to run a camping ehu lead out my cat flap and plug the camper van in as if I was on a campsite. There's an adapter you can buy so the other end plugs in a normal wall socket.

Got a caravan now which is stored away from the house so need a battery charger and bring the battery into the house and charge it.

Yes, empty the water tank every time.

Swannykazoo Mon 13-Feb-17 16:41:36

Aha- its the adaptor I will need to buy. Excellent! Thank you

Milliways Mon 13-Feb-17 20:34:01

If you can afford it get a solar panel fitted, means you can go to really cheap non EHU sites, we have survived several days with just the solar topping up the leisure battery.
Refillable gas canisters pay for themselves very quickly, about £12 to fill a large tank at the lpg pump, much cheaper than swapping the canisters.
We change the bedding on return and leave the bed made up ready for a quick getaway. Even leave some clothes on too, along with food staples, then just need to fill the fridge and wine rack before leaving.
Happy travelling smile

Swannykazoo Tue 14-Feb-17 09:49:52

How sunny does it need to be for the solar panels to work? (Highlands of Scotland so might be better to invest in a windmill....or midge power)

Milliways Tue 14-Feb-17 15:52:05

They work when it's overcast, it's amazing. We use our Camper all year round and it's only when darknthey stop completely as being on the roof they pick up any light going.
We took a plug in Mozzie killer to Scotland last year, and the electric racquet killers to zap any strays that got inside. You do need EHU for those though, unless you have a converter so can run off the 12v .
We carry 12v converter plugs, a battery jump starter that also charges phones etc (lasts for days if take it fully charged and only tun small things off it) all lights are LED bulbs so they run ok off grid with solar.

Swannykazoo Tue 14-Feb-17 16:40:39

This is brilliant! I'll make sure I have bulbs cahnged to LEDS - that is definitely one of the easy switches and will add 12V converter plugs to my list.
Could I be very nosy and ask roughly how much a solar panel has cost to fit?

Milliways Tue 14-Feb-17 23:01:57

It was already on the first 2 vans we had and we got them to throw one in to seal the deal on the current one (along with sat dome and tow bar!)
I can ask DH later, but they really vary by size, get the biggest you can fit on your roof and get it fitted for you. If you go to a show they have deals and often fit them there. If you are in the South then the Southern Motorcaravan show at Newbury always has panels there and you can take your van, park in the field (or camp) and get lots fitted.
We have had loads of accessories from that show each year, and it's the only one we have near that has loads of second hand (as well as new) vans you can look around, trade in, get ideas from etc. But is is local to us.

Milliways Tue 14-Feb-17 23:02:43

It's in May if you are interested.

katymac Wed 15-Feb-17 12:27:49

This is fascinating - can you just change ordinary bulbs for LED ones, that's a great tip

We are going to the NEC next week fro a show & I can't wait!!

Swannykazoo Wed 15-Feb-17 12:51:47

Oooooh. Very exciting. Am lucky that I'm in the north of Scotland as there's lots of lovely places to visit with a van but it does limit my exposure to NEC type things!

Milliways Wed 15-Feb-17 16:16:10

We did KatyMac. But we got them online as wanted a job lot, most sites will tell you which leds are needed if you know what your standard bulb fitting is.

katymac Wed 15-Feb-17 16:34:18

I'm a bit scared of the whole toilet situation

That sounds so stupid doesn't it

katymac Wed 15-Feb-17 20:31:50

Can we see some pictures of your Swanny?

Swannykazoo Thu 16-Feb-17 09:25:21

Pictures from my brochure - picking up start of next month!
My friend always had a "mellow yellow" rule for her van toilet so emptying it was totally non gross. Definitely worth a hire to see if its not as bad as you imagine.
Every hire van I've had has had dire warnings about not draining tuna into the sink as apparently that has to be smelt to be believed after a few hot days....

Swannykazoo Thu 16-Feb-17 09:25:40

Sorry - shite use of MS Paint there!

katymac Thu 16-Feb-17 10:18:08

Eek - I may just stay in sites with toilets & use a ot of supermarkets!!

Tuna - good tip!

I can't wait to start looking - we hope to buy in March/April

katymac Thu 16-Feb-17 10:19:41

What layout it yours - I am looking for a fixed bed (ideally a french bed I think) and at least 3 berth (& 3 seatbelts)

Nongoddess Thu 16-Feb-17 10:23:12

Ooh, I'm envious. Would love one. What a great use of inheritance money! Watching with interest as I'd like to dream of this too...

Swannykazoo Thu 16-Feb-17 10:25:36

Not sure what a french bed is! It has a fixed double at the back, above a storage space aka "Garage" and a make up bed behind the drivers seat. We have 4 seats, but only 2 seatbelts. I did look into retro fitting them and then found out side seats really shouldn't have lap belts etc. Its realistically just going to be me and the sprog though. I definitely wanted a fixed bed, made a massive difference not having to pack anything away at night

katymac Thu 16-Feb-17 12:01:18

It has a corner cut off so one side is shorter

The shorter side has to be on the left as you stand looking at the bed from the bottom as I sleep on that side & DH is taller than me wink

Milliways Thu 16-Feb-17 19:46:19

Our first had a fixed transverse bed over a huge garage. Our 2nd was a huge tag axle with an island bed. This one has a French bed, so we have tried them all. I wouldn't want to be making a bed up from sofas every day though.
The loo is fine if you put the right stuff in it. We only wee in it, until we get to a festival! Emptying your own chemical waste is better than festival portaloos!!

katymac Thu 16-Feb-17 20:11:31

What model is it milliways? And which corner is short grin

I will adapt to the loos - I'll bloody have to for 4 months!!

Milliways Thu 16-Feb-17 21:00:42

We have an Autosleeper Kingham now, so just a luxury 2 berth and a perfect size for us. ae also have a drive away awning that friends/family can stay in if they want to- but on camp beds!
Our last van was an Autotrail Cheyenne, 8.6m beast, the first was a Swift Sundance. This one is a panel van conversion, 6.3m.

katymac Fri 17-Feb-17 15:36:16

I don't know what they are but I'll need at least 3 seat belts becaus eof transporting DD so I assumed 3 berth grin

Who knows what we will end up with

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