Friday, 18 August 2017

The motorhome is ours!

Well, there we were down in the Hambles - at the Riverside Holiday Park to be precise, 'moored up' next to my cousin Gordon and his lovely wife Sharon.

At the time of writing, we were three nights in to our shakedown trip and slowly getting to grips with this new beast.

There are a few things that need to be sorted when we get back to Surrey. And the list grows and shrinks and grows again, depending on what we have sorted in the meantime and crossed off the list. Well, to be brutally honest, it's the stuff David sorts rather than me doing it. Who is the one with the patience? Well, it's the one with actual gonads, not the one popularly but mistakenly identified as having them.

In the last minute, he has worked out how to turn off the external light ... I tell you, it's a voyage of discovery 👴👵😅 and I think we are almost holding our own! To be honest though, it's not as stressful as when we first took over Waka Huia. I have only once said that I am taking the motorhome back and demanding my money back - so that is an improvement then!

Before we first picked it up on Friday we had the briefing on Thursday arvo - 2.5 hours (far better than the 20 minutes we got with the boat handover) - and then drove up to Gordon's place to transfer the contents of the car into the motorhome. Luke the dealer drove the rental car up, and was pretty complimentary about my getting up the narrow lane to Gordon's and passing a jeep illegally parked in the passing bay. That was points to me, I gather.
Luke is explaining something to David. You will note that the reg plate ends with ALO - given I am an Angela (known by my cousin Gordon as Angel) he was pleased to tell me I have an 'alo. Appropriate, eh?

Demo of the outing of the awning. Easy for him - he's quite tall

We stacked most stuff in the body of the motorhome (to keep the weight above the back axle rather than behind it - stability, you know) and some stuff in the 'garage'.  Then I locked the garage and checked it was locked. Ah no, I could open it even in the locked position. David tried and had the same result (lucky for him ...) So back we went to the dealer. The receiving plate needed packing out to make the catch lever actually catch. That done, off we went, through the tiny lanes of Surrey out to the A3 near Guildford.
We had to bring it back to get the garage catch sorted so I got a photo taken.

Over a cup of tea before we left, my cousin Vince (Gordon's older brother) had given me the advice that:
  • if there was contention for space, just stop and let the other vehicle/s through - no worries, of course I'll be doing that
  • aim for the middle of low bridgeholes because the motorhome is taller than I will remember as I am driving - correct: being aware of height is something I have not had to contend with in previous driving
  • watch out for low hanging branches - they will take the TV aerial off the roof or whack the windscreen - good point
  • if the space is too narrow, pull the side mirrors in - we have a fabulous two way camera: in reverse it shows me what is just behind the motorhome, and when I am in forward it shows me the traffic following, so I can do without the side mirrors in extremis - another good point
 The drive down here was fine - the narrow A25 was a baptism of fire but I kept an eye on the white lines either side and I was always inside them, even though it didn't feel like that. The A3 felt spacious by comparison.

The biggest hassle has been the gas linkage. In the UK, no one, and I mean NO ONE apart from a Corgi certified technician-tradesman-engineer-scientist-astrophysicist-surgeon is allowed to fit a gas pig tail to a gas bottle. So we left the dealers with the gas bottle unconnected. We get down to the holiday park, and David tries to connect the gas bottle. The pig tail won't fit. after a time of much trying, David and Gordon have a joint look. No, still can't make it work. My suggestion, offered a few times, is to go and ask another Bolero motorhome owner to come and check it. After I had said that it was clear testicles would be at risk if either of them went to ask for help, I said I would go. That seemed to spur some action, and off they went.

The guy came over and he couldn't make it work, and nor could Phil, a guy Gordon had met a few weeks ago.

In the meantime, I was a bit stressed, as I had to make a potato salad and a lettuce salad for our contribution to a BBQ dinner with Gordon and Sharon. Fortunately there is one electric element and the power was switched on ...

So potato salad, lettuce salad on the go, bags unpacked and things stored in cupboards that I promptly forgot the location of, the mattress unpacked from its giant plastic condom, bed made and collapse was imminent - chardonnay to the rescue.

So we have coped without gas for the last few days. It means no toast, no home made bread, no cheese tart and no cheese scones - Bugger!!

But we do have hot water courtesy of the electric. And water is an even more significant issue in the motorhome than it is on the boat. On the boat we have a 450 litre tank and in the motorhome it's 90 - 100 litres. Frugality is key. We can drive about 50 metres to re-fill but that means unhooking the electric and then being able to re-position ourselves on the pieces of wood which are keeping us on the level ...

It's going to be fine, but as always, getting to grips with new things is a bit of a stressful journey.

Friday 18 August update:
I tried the shower before we set off back to Gordon's - and it is lovely with plenty of pressure, not the jets, but plenty of pressure to know you are getting clean.

We got our money back on the gas bottle and a new pigtail has been fitted - both the pigtail and the bottle were faulty apparently, but I am not convinced as it didn't work on Gordon's bottle either ...

We are now back on the boat, the day is sunny, I have returned the rental car, and we are about to head back to Nantwich for my osteopath appointment.

More later.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely fabulous, looking forward to following your escapades in your new motorhome which looks very posh.
Don't worry about the smaller water-tank capacity, just buy wet wipes and drink Chardonnay instead, lol.
Ann and Keith xx

Jennie said...

Many happy travels to you both. I will follow your travels with interest. I can fully understand you not knowing where things are - the times we stand in either the boat or house and wonder where something is - however why is it we always know where it is in the place we aren't!! Jennie x

Carol said...

Where do you plan to travel in the motorhome Marilyn?

Marilyn McDonald said...

Ann & Keith, I thought about wet wipes but forgot to buy any - our friend Merril always had them in the camper that she and Jeff toured around France in every summer. The trouble with chardonnay is that it takes up space too - although I did get Julia to buy me a dozen of the chardonnay from Lidl (yes, Lidl) that I tried courtesy of a fellow motorhomer at Riverside.
Jennie and Carol, the motorhome is going to NZ and we will travel around while we are home - not full time, as on Waka Huia, but for out and backs (or round trips). Lots to explore there.
Jennie, I now know the motorhome is empty, apart from dishwash liquid, two cleaning cloths, two tea/hand towels and the dustpan and brush! And at this point in time, and from a long way away, I know exactly where they all are. However by the time we go down to clean and ship it, I am sure I'll be wondering if they are there and if so, where!

Jenny and Robin said...

Hi there - fabulous news so many congratulations on your new motorhome. Water shouldn't be as issue - you just keep topping up the tank and emptying the waste, at the appropriate waste disposal units of course. Have you got a decent hose for filling the water tank? You need a food quality hose, not a common garden hose which will taint the water.