Hi to All.
Name is Jean going by sobriquet of “ Soon Traveller “ due to early planning towards our dream year away. My wife Lesly and I live in Mauritius, just retired but slogging on towards the trip. We are aiming to do a UK / European adventure in early ( Feb ) ’18, Yes big shock to the system from a tropical summer. As such I would really appreciate your experienced input in helping us getting started with the planning , thus the following queries.
1) Driving Licence. I suppose that I will have to take an international licence. Does it affect the 3500 Kg gross ? Is 3500 enough to live comfortably for a year’s travels? Is it a big hassle to upgrade? Would like to attach small mobilette.
2) Buying. We would be kicking off from Truro aiming to do UK fully and then onto Europe working our way towards the south and through Eastern Europe back up. Recommended to buy from dealer in UK or private? % resale value after a year’s travel?
3) Layout. Have been looking @ 2nd hand sales and leaning towards 4 berth low line , fixed bed type Rapido / Pilote but wary about load capacity and size of bed. We are not overly big but want a comfortable night’s sleep ( Bed over garage ?? ). Sizable vehicle to be able to wild camp accessibility and driving ease.
4) Costs. As most we will be on a tight budget but would enjoy the occasional local restaurant and wine. Following some blogs it seems that at the moment an average of 60 Euros daily ( UK / West / East Europe all told ) covers the expenses including diesel and the occasional camp site or am I being delusional?
I am sure that as the planning goes along I will have lots more questions and in the meantime if anyone has any useful suggestions / tips / advise, please forward on as I am a total novice to the community.
Well we did a a year out trip backing 2009, so can offer some tips from then.
We visited France, Holland, Germany, Poland, Hungary Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Italy, Greece Spain and Morocco. 16,000 mile in total. We restricted ourselves to 300 miles a week (average). Our budget was £300 a week, (all in) which was OK. We like buying market food and doing our own cooking. We did eat out once a week.
For us, a fixed bed was a priority (making up the bed is a pain) A drop down on a A class is also easy living. I think you would find it tight in a 3.5 tonne motorhome, space and weight wise. Others have done it I know, but we like a bit of space, especially in the winter. If one wants to go to bed early (or unwell) then the other can sit in the lounge and read etc.
In the UK you would probably need to do a few camp sites, CL'S or CS's from the two big clubs would keep the price down as well as Club Motorhome Stopovers of course.
Many campsite abroad would be closed during the winter months so the aires would be your option.
I will check out about licences for you and dig out some more info from our trip.
Thanks for the reply and info.Seems like we have same thinking lines. All countries and route that you mention are on our list ( had not looked at jumping onto African continent but seems attractive ).
If we started off in UK and then onto Europe what would be the general route to take so that we would not freeze solid but still enjoy some winter ( Skiing may be? )
I gather that for a 3500 kg licence it is a straight car one whilst heavier needs heavy duty licence ?? When buying what category weight would you recommend bearing in mind that I would like to be able to hitch on a small mobilette type transport.
£300 weekly nearly 10 year's later ( aiming for Feb .18) will probably inflate to a whack but will have to be OK. Thanks for info it gives us a good starting point for the budget'.
Reading your reply to " Tankerpaul50"
about batteries and the likes which at the moment is double dutch and shows how much I have to learn. Would reputable dealers be able to advise at buying time ?
Thank you for your input and patience. Will have lots more questions later and be be looking forward to buying you a few brews when we eventually meet ( any idea of Indian Ocean holiday sometimes? )
Hi Jean and Lesley.
As you will be on a steep learning curve I thought I might point you towards a recent email communication that I had with a novice friend of mine. I have posted it on here as a guide in the "How to" section. You may already have come across it. (Hope the link works!)
Anyway, when you have some time on your hands, have a read through, perhaps some of it will be of help in the future.
Inflation in Europe has been pretty low over the last few years, so I don't think £300 would be to far out even after 9 years.
Yes I think you are correct about the licence. Here is the link https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence. What weight limit do you have on your current licence. In the UK, depending on when you took your test, you can drive either up to 3.5t or 7.5t on a car licence.
A dealer would be able to advise. However, they are more likely to sell you what they want rather than what you need!
If it was me I think I would be considering something like a Hymer, or a Hobby say around a 2004/6 model most are fully winterised, eg double floor and plenty of secondhand ones around. You could pick one up for around 25/ 35K probably cheaper for a left hand drive, and get a good resale as well. By the way, motorhomes are cheaper in mainland Europe than the UK.
We followed the sun during our trip and set of on April 1st!! Skiing is easy with a motorhome but can be expensive and crowded around Christmas and school holidays. My advice is not to book anything as the snow can be a bit unpredictable, even in the Alps!!
Thanks for the lookouts. Hymer seems interesting but more attracted to the type with permanent bed at the back preferably full width over garage ( Ford? ) or type 3/4 width with toilet/shower adjoining the bed ( Rapido? ) Still a lot of time to actually get going . As mentioned carrying working for the next year to save towards the purchase of the vehicle and hoping to go for a budget of 15 to 20K max. Seems like on Ebay for that price you can pick up about a 2003 onwards?? Sometimes very interesting deals with many extras ( leisure batteries , pannels , tent attachments , cuttlery etc... )
Seems like car licence allows you up to 3500kgs and most looked at so far are 3500 on the road , what does one do for carrying weight? Do most travel taking a chance or do you guys have a C class licence? ( As per your link govnmt info ) even though C class seems to refer to commercial vehicles?
Pete reading in thanks for the super interesting beginner's compilation , yes I had previously gone through it. Follows some scary U Tubes about new buyers being taken in ( Water ingress etc.. ) I imagine that getting an habitation check by a professional is money well spent at the time!!
Lots of organizing on this side as well ahead ( House / dogs ..... ). Getting good info from early part of Bloggers as well.
Club motorhome has been a fantastic source of info and makes me all the more keen to join you guys on the road.
Thanks for all the help
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