France tomorrow – Without our motorhome, and a weight issue!

I’m writing this blog article whilst sitting in our temporary accommodation on the last day before our exciting holiday to Provence in France tomorrow. This is a planned holiday that we booked before deciding to buy a motorhome to tour Europe so it will be an opportunity for us to relax a bit before heading off to Scotland and then back to France again in September when our touring begins.

It’s great not having to think about work anymore. My mind is occupied with planning for our French holiday and also thinking about how we are going to fit all our stuff in our motorhome, and whether we have too much weight. A few weeks ago we made a pile of things that we wanted to take with us on our travels. Clothes, kitchen ‘stuff’, BBQ, chairs, camping table, cameras, bedding, gadgets, and many other things. We have since then gone through this pile twice to try and reduce the amount of things we are taking with us and the pile still looks too big! I’m having a mini panic about this and keep trying to convince myself that this will fit in our motorhome. There has been a couple of minor disputes with Anne, who thinks it will all fit in. Her  role is the chief organiser and packer, so I can blame her if it all won’t fit in!

Will this fit in our motorhome?

We have hired a van to take our belongings to the motorhome dealer in Kendal, Cumbria and I can’t wait to see their faces when we rock up with our van full of stuff. Our motorhome has a payload of 522kg but we have had extras fitted such as an additional 11kg gas cylinder, and leisure battery that weighs about 30kg. so we should have enough spare payload to stay legal hopefully! For the non motor-homers amongst you “payload” is the maximum legal weight a vehicle can carry.

So, our motorhome is still sitting at the dealers waiting for us to pick it up on the 15 August after our holiday. It seems ages ago that we decided to spend a year touring Europe in a motorhome but the start of our adventure is very close now and then the fun really begins!

A life changing day – we bought our first motorhome!

Today was a life changing day. In fact it’s been a life changing week! We bought our first motorhome at the Yorkshire Motorhome Show in Harrogate. This is my blog article about why we have decided to buy a motorhome.

It’s been a life changing week because we have also decided to sell our house that we have lived in for 32 years so next week it is going on the market and hopefully it will sell quickly.  For some people this might sound like a drastic decision so let me explain why we are doing this. The main reason is that we want an adventure before we get too old. Next month I will be 62 years old. I’m fit and healthy with a young outlook on life. I’m a travel and tourism teacher at an FE college and my wife is a midwife at a large teaching hospital. Both are stressful jobs and we both feel that the time is right to follow our passion for travel.

Prior to becoming a qualified teacher only 6 years ago I had my own travel agency that I ran with my brother for 19 years. Travel is in my blood and I want to do more of it. My wife Anne and I have explored Europe by rail on several occasions in the last few years and we love the scenery, history, architecture, the food and the people so we have decided to tour Europe the slow way in a motorhome and then if we get bored of that we intend to live in France or Spain for a while. We are fed up of the British weather and want more sun and warmth.

We wanted to move house at some point soon to try living abroad for a while so all we are doing is having an adventure first. If we find somewhere to live in France or Spain whilst we are exploring by motorhome we might take the plunge and rent or buy there. Alternatively, we might come back to the UK and live in a different part of the UK other than Leeds, where we live now. We shall see how things work out.

This whole plan might sound crazy to some people especially when I tell you that we have never actually driven or stayed in a motorhome before, but we have thought long and hard about this over several months and we are very confident that this is the right thing to do.

Our plan is to spend a few weeks in the UK testing the vehicle and getting to know how things work. We are then going to get on a ferry and drive through France to Spain and Portugal before heading north again in May 2018 to Norway and Sweden before heading south again through Germany to Italy and Croatia. We might be on the road for 12 months if things work out well.

We have visited several motorhome dealers over the last few months and done a massive amount of research. We soon decided that we wanted fixed beds in the rear and a big garage to store food and motorhome essentials in. We ended up buying a Hobby Optima DeLuxe T65GE from ES Hartley at The Yorkshire Motorhome Show. The motorhome has a good specification and I also negotiated a few more extras in the price too such as a Cat 1 alarm, solar panel with extra battery so that we can wild camp and be self sufficient, a bike rack and a TV. It’s made in Germany and is just over 7 metres long, 2.8 metres high and 2.33 metres wide. This is a high quality vehicle – a bad boy motorhome!

I’ll be adding blogs, photos and video on a regular basis when we hit the road to bring you all the highs and maybe lows of our adventure.

Here is the photo I took of our motorhome at The Yorkshire Motorhome Show before it’s stored for us for a few weeks.

Our first motorhome