Welcome to 'Motorhoming with NEILMAC', our blog which is our way of recording our motorhoming adventures.
It's 12 years since we bought our first motorhome, a 2002 Swift Bel-Air 730 and started our European travels. 60,000 miles on we changed to a 2006 A Class Carthago and 30.000 miles later we downsized to a 2018 Challenger PVC - we are still loving every trip!
A New Year and a revival of our blogging!
Downsizing - We planned to do this at sometime in the future but circumstances brought our plans forward some years.
Our previous van was a 2006 7.8mtr Carthago A-class and we now have a 2018 5.99mtr Challenger PVC and our first impressions of the change are as follows:
Drivability - much like a car.... Easy to manouver and park
No additional speed limits to abide with so faster journey times
No additional weight limits to consider
Much less affected by crosswinds
Better fuel economy
Quicker to heat internally
Very comfortable ride
No special categories required on driving licence
Standard glass/bodyparts should replacements be needed in future
Less problem getting on tight fuel forecourts
No need to consider waving to other motorhomers because they don't realise you are driving one until its too late :)
Obvious size related issues - small, cramped, (but serviceable) shower
Less storage space
Mind your head when moving into the cab area!
Inevitable sliding door noise (more of a problem to neighbours!)
And apart from all that....
Our first experience of using the van was 1 simple night out at a local Aire. We only packed bedding and toothbrush etc so was really just to see how the features (heating, control panel, seating etc) worked in practice - all of these things passed with flying colours. It was a little cheat though as we ate a take-away pizza and ducked out of showering!
Shortly that first experience after we had our first trip which was up from the middle of France to the UK for Christmas and New Year visits which is where I'm writing this....
We used 3 Aires in France on the way up and temps were around freezing for the whole time. The Webasto diesel heating working superbly, warming the van throughout and was very easy to regulate and whilst I'm not sure how much diesel it uses there's no obvious change of level in the van's tanks overnight.
Once crockery and utensils were arranged suitably the ride was remarkably rattle free and added to the overall enjoyment of the journey.
Accommodating 32kg Digger, our dog, was a major concern beforehand but we need not have worried as he instantly commandeered the under table area as his space, which we're very happy to let him have and we were able to find a nice new padded bed for him that fits the space well.
At the time of writing we've spent 10 nights actually in the van and first impressions are great!
I'll update and add to our new blog as we go along.