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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:00 pm 
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Location: suffolk
Car Model: 1993 9000 2.0 cse
makes sense to have a distintive van much less chance of it being nicked

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:25 pm 
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Location: Bristol
Car Model: '99 9-3 ex-LPT '55 Diesel SW
Be wary of going big- we hired a "camper" to go from Bristol to Skye in, when mrs Jules was pregnant with our little one.

We picked a huge Ducato based 3.5 tonne twin rear axle monster, cost a fortune for the week. Was a great idea until I picked it up and saw 15 MPG at 50 MPH. Cost about £600 in diesel to get to Skye and back.

Then the leisure battery was either dead or not charged so we ran out of juice almost straight away, then the gas was empty so all our food spoiled in the fridge. So find out if you have a separate leisure battery (and if so whether it's full and new), and whether you have option to connect to electric hook up (both on the van, and where you plan to stay). Then treat power as if it were gold- if you're not using a light at that moment turn it off, don't cane the stereo for hours on end without the enging running.

If you have gas check it's going to be full (and remember if you need to change it, it will be reverse thread so tighten to undo!).

Retrospectively it was one of the most stupid things we've done. We could have driven to Scotland, got a helicopter to the wedding, and stayed in the Ritz Carlton, for the same cash. But it was fun driving that massive bus around (even if I did have to fork out £300 for a new mirror after trading mine with a coach on a Scottish rural road, further adding to the financial misery).

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:53 pm 
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Location: Shropshire
Car Model: 07 93 convertible
we have been to Australia twice, both times hiring campervans for a month or more. Both times we used Mauii, not the cheapest but a big group. They have a range from a VW campervan sized Toyota to a box bodied 6 berth on Sprinter or VW chassis.
There are other companies such as Britz and Apollo. The multicolored ones are Wicked Campers saw lots but some were a a bit rough!
We opted for a 6m van conversion as there is only two of us. First year was a VW Krafter, second a brand new Sprinter, both vans same similar layout.
They were diesel, about 2.3 litre I think, automatics. Pretty economical and easy to drive.
They are fully equipped with cab aircon, mains powered body aircon. Cassette loo ,shower (cramped but ok) TV and stereo. Even a pull out gas bbq on side of the van! Satnav too!
Given the length of our trips we prefered the slightly bigger van.
We tended to leave the rear bed made down and turn the front seats round with small slot in table, although we mostly sat outside!
Australia is great, loads of good reasonably priced campsites and friendly people. Has to be done!We may go back next yera and explore WEstern Oz.
We have a touring carvan for home and Eu use so well used to the life, being retired itt gets used a lot. Just back from 5 weeks in France.
Only came home because its peak season, too busy and prices go up!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Finally!

Been at a camp site all weekend, today at long last another interesting van turned up. Not sure who the coachwork was by, but it's based on a Talbot Express.

The little Merc is working pretty well for the two of us. Though next time we might leave the dog at home as he takes up far, far more than his fair share of space! At least until we get an enclosed awning so we have a bit more floor space to play with!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:44 pm 
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Location: trossachs
Car Model: Turbo xx
In 5 years of owning a motorhome ,here is some things I have learned
A campervan ,ie the VW /bongo type things ,you live outside the van mostly and only sleep inside it ,A motorhome is where you can exist completely inside a van
If you want to have a shower ,then you need a separate shower /loo ,too yucky for anything else imho
They are complicated things and need careful maintenance ,a dodgy water pump will ruin your holiday
reasonable modern mohos will give you 30 mpg ,ours does even when towing (fiat based Burstner a-class 3.5 tonnes ) We only use the cassette toilet for no 1's ,you have to know your 'van and you need tools and bodging stuff to keep you going .We have a fixed bed in the back ,great when doing long distances ,feel sleepy ? get in the back ...,The fridge is your best friend ,make sure you know how it works and if it is a three way ,make sure you switch it over
Check your tyres ,a lot ,you will be running fully loaded so your tyres will take a hammering .If you have a water tank ,never drive with it full ,you will lose at least 1/4 on your first bends ,wild camping is fine but you will have to use a campsite every so often to empty/fill your tanks
Do not use your fresh water tanks for drinking unless you are ABSOLOUTELY SURE that there is no contaminants ,we carry the big 5 l bottled water for drinking/cooking .Your leisure battery will run out ,watch it like a hawk and do not let it run out (screws up the battery )

Oh I could go on for another 20 pages ,there is a haynes manual for this .....

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:46 am 
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Car Model: '99 9-3 ex-LPT '55 Diesel SW
Most of that mirrors our caravan experience Ylee. The problem with hiring something will be lack of knowledge of the foibles of the vehicle- you won't find them out until they have caused a problem. Just as you get to know the thing it'll be going back!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:18 pm 
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Location: trossachs
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I would hire from a company that only hires new vans and changes them every year ,and are prepared to spend half an hour explaining how things work ,this would be at the expensive end of the market ,I guess but anything else may be a false economy

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:08 pm
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Location: West Sussex
Car Model: 9-3 9000 Aero 96 V4 Yamaha FJR
I prefer a small caravan for touring which is bigger than most camper vans (not one of those things where you are towing a useless fixed double bed around). Takes 20 mins to set up and 20 mins to pack up and hitch up for the next destination. On arrival you can leave your caravan and just drive into town without fear of being burgled, can park anywhere with no height restrictions in your car, get up narrow lanes with your car, etc etc and you don,t have massive depreciation, mot,s, servicing etc that you do owning an extra vehicle I.e. A camper van. The VW fad has attracted people to camper vans but they are such an expense and PITA. A light little van gives you simple freedom. You see these people towing a car behind their campervan :roll: defeats the object really :wall:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:08 pm 
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I would disagree ,we had a caravan before we bought our motorhome and yes it has a double bed in the back but a svelte 6.6 m long Set up/break down in 20 mins ? I do not think so ,We timed an Austrian couple setting up ,it took them 90 minutes and that was with no awning ,unless you have an inboard water tank it take at least 20 mins for that alone ,then there is connecting your waste ,your manouvering it into place ,getting the jacks down ,turning the gas on ,hooking up the electric
Towing is an acquired skill and quite daunting if you have never done it before ,You always need to find a campsite ,wild camping in a caravan is simply not done
Depreciation ? Our 'van is worth as much as we paid for it 5 years ago
Vw type camper vans are hugely expensive for not much space ,for the same money you can get a decent motorhome
But at the end of the day the choice is yours ,but for us we would not go back to caravans ,they are too much hassle ....

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Car Model: 9-3 9000 Aero 96 V4 Yamaha FJR
Think you have hit the nail on the head. Campervans are easier for those that are not so skilled/practical in towing, winding up legs, turning a gas tap off and plugging in electrics. Trouble is everytime you want to go anywhere in a camper van you have to pack everything up just to pop into town tripping over each other as there is no room in them and once you have found a place you can park with height and width restrictions you then have the worry of not being broken into :wink: Avoiding the maintence, depreciation, rust, insurance, MOT,s and TAX of a camper van sitting on the drive for most of the year unused is a definite plus for me. You could use it as a greenhouse, they become as hot as one. Our caravan cost £800 and we sold it 7 years later for £500 just putting new tyres/brakes on it in that time. We toured Scotland, Irleand, France and every county of the UK in a simple little 750 KG Avondale caravan. Yes Blimmen ridiculous carting around a fixed double bed with all the unnecessary length and weight involved when all you have to do is pull out your bed :roll: KISS! 6.6 m long is not necessary, you have not got that now I bet! Caravans are so simple and hassle free and yes 20 mins to pack up, hitch up and drive off with the ease of just driving around in your car to explore the area. We usually spent a day in one place at a time unless it was worth stopping for two days. Most weekends we would hitch up on a Friday night and get out to de stress from work within a two hour drive radius of the house... Then the kids came along and the peace was shattered :lol: we will return to caravanning when we retire in a few years time.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:58 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
I guess I'm a bit odd in that I find it enjoyable to drive a large vehicle around. Aside from planning ahead for somewhere that's not blocked off by height barriers it doesn't stress me out any more than driving a car would in an unfamiliar area.

That said, I'm one of those oddball tyoes who finds driving stuff like buses fun, so I'm not everyone!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:22 am
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Location: West Sussex
Car Model: 9000 Aero......GM900i
Ugh to caravans
ImageDSC_0983 by Steve Moss, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:18 am 
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Car Model: 9-3 9000 Aero 96 V4 Yamaha FJR
There you go, I rest my case with Mossys monster example :(

Gaz38 wrote:
Ask Mossypossy's advice on camper vans & do the exact opposite :lol:


:lol:

Have you seen Wheelynuts Mk 2 transit camper Mossy? Si's old one. Pricey but I think it,s great, he's making it look Habitaty inside, shame the original engine isn,t in it. Its got a VW diesel in it now. James thinks it,s doing 60 mpg but we all know that VW engines only do 20 to the gallon :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:35 am 
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Car Model: 9000 Aero......GM900i
Transit camper eh?
Just a tin tent on wheels if you ask me.
I actually DO get 30mpg from mine. 5 tonne six wheels. Cheaper to run than my auto GM900 vert! (28mpg)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:45 am 
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Car Model: 9-3 9000 Aero 96 V4 Yamaha FJR
Yeah but you can buy seventeen GM900s for the price of that recon engine :o or a lot of hotel rooms :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Here's ours last weekend.

Image

External water carrier will no longer be needed once I've got the onboard tank recommissioned. I'm also setting up a means to allow me to pump water into the onboard tank from an external one using the onboard pump, which will make refilling it less tedious. Just a couple of extra pipes and valves.

I'm staggered by the fact that it's returning close to 30mpg on diesel.

Also surprised by the number of modern campers that I seem to breeze past on the motorway seemingly struggling with even slight gradients, I was expecting that to be me, not the other way about. Or is that a classic case of spending so much on the camper that they've skimped on the underlying van showing itself?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Location: Frome, Somerset
Car Model: '91 T16S 'vert & 9-5 Aero
Zelandeth wrote:
Also surprised by the number of modern campers that I seem to breeze past on the motorway seemingly struggling with even slight gradients, I was expecting that to be me, not the other way about. Or is that a classic case of spending so much on the camper that they've skimped on the underlying van showing itself?

Nah, it's coz they're full of superfluous cr@p we wouldn't have dreamt of 20 years ago.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:26 am 
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Modern motorhomes are built right up to the weight limit.
Any more than a cup full of water in the water tank and an extra toilet roll and you will be overloaded.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:22 am 
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Car Model: 9-3 9000 Aero 96 V4 Yamaha FJR
The same has happened to yachts. Instead of strong hulls able to withstand all sea conditions the hulls have been widened and flattened to accomodate walk in showers, fixed double beds, kitchens not a galley fitted with microwaves, flat screens etc :roll: and the boats are so flimsy you can see the side bend in when people come up to a pontoon. You slam and crash over the waves not through them due to the flatter wider hull.

Camping used to be about getting into nature on quiet locations but now you are all put in rows, each with a radio or TV and BBQ happily smoking away. It,s like a scene from coronation street in the UK sometimes. Going abroad and choosing sites is a definite plus. We have gone back to a family tent, kids love it, I love it because it,s cheap :lol: (5 nights on a quiet site just above a beach for £72 :wink: ) and my wife isn,t fussing about with a dust pan and brush trying to sweep up grass you have just walked into the caravan carpet :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:54 pm 
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mossypossy wrote:
Modern motorhomes are built right up to the weight limit.
Any more than a cup full of water in the water tank and an extra toilet roll and you will be overloaded.

Sorry but that is stretching things a bit ,
Typically the "better manufacturers " calculate payload with 80 % full tanks so the payload is normally very useable ,modern 'vans have large rear garages with the associated payload ,you can take loads of stuff
Typically a van will have at least a 500 kg payload
that is when it is new ,unfortunately owners add things which eat into the payload
Ours has an additional leisure battery a big FO towbar ,solar panels ,tv, bikes ,bike rack etc so our payload is compromised to about 300 kg ,so when we tour in Europe we tow a small trailer for all the wine we bring back :D

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