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Post by Juliejuel on Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:16 pm

Hi 
Being a new be to motorhoming (about to get my first in a couple of weeks & never used one before) 
Can anyone advise me if there is such a thing as a list of essentials I should always have and things that should always be done prior to setting off. 
Thanks 
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Post by Dutto on Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:54 am

Hi there,

Apart from First Aid Kit, Maintenance Kit and kitchen utensils everything else is done on the basis of season, where we are going and for how long.

Two key elements are:

1.  "One on, one in the wash and one spare." covers clothing.

2.  There are supermarkets everywhere so don't bother taking food other than basics such as tea, coffee, sugar etc.

The key is to start your first trip by taking everything you think you may need .... up!

.... then be brutal when you get back and remove everything that you didn't usetap_fingers

Hope this helps. allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Post by Backtrax on Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:42 am

best to have a list of things to do before you set off, much like the check list pilots use.
I have mine taped to the back of the sun visor.
Check items include: Electricity disconnected and cable stored : Windows closed & secure : External doors closed & secure : Rear steadies raised : All loose items stored : Internal cupboards closed : etc etc.
Re items to take as Dutto says - depends when where & for how long you going.

Make sure when you loaded up you know the legal weight limit of your van, what it weighs and that you have the tyre pressures set accordingly. There are plenty of threads on the forum about this - just search 'tyre pressures'.
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Post by repoort on Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:41 pm

...before we set off - even if it's just a short run - we say aloud, DREG...that's doors, roof (ours is a pop top), electric, gas.
We have learnt the hard way that not locking the fridge when it is full can mean the contents being suddenly emptied on the first sharp bend that you come to - not good for your blood pressure or your carpet, now patterned with half a tin of baked beans.
It is easy to forget levelling blocks - the first time you try and live and sleep on the tilt, with cupboards flying open, sink water at an angle, and slowly sliding across the bed, you won't be without them again.
We use the big Fiamma ones - an awkward package in a small van - but have found the small ones not high enough and a bit narrow. I have seen big motorhomes with wide tyres trying to perch on the small blocks - can't do the tyres any good, for a long period.
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Post by Sue68 on Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:08 pm

We have never used levelling blocks, or needed them. How do you get the van on to them without driving right over them?
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Post by inspiredron on Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:30 pm

Sue68 wrote:We have never used levelling blocks, or needed them. How do you get the van on to them without driving right over them?

VERY CAREFULLY!
Judy always watches me going up. Our Fiamma's have 3 tiers and she shouts 1 -2 -STOP. The biggest problem is that on STOP you hit the footbrake hard, pull the handbrake up and, if it was not up hard enough, the van runs back a little.

I would add to your check list for starting off - RAMPS. I have never driven over the end but can imagine that their flipping up would do no good to wheel arches.

Cross chanel ferries have a big notice on the Bridge - FINS OUT - because it is embarrassing to go alongside in Calais with them STILL out! hugegrins

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Post by daisy mae on Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:39 pm

I have never used or needed levelling ramps, as long as the drinks don`t slide of the table    hugegrins   no problem, don`t do faffing about, I like simple and easy, fridge has always worked fine,

Drive up handbrake on engine off, connect UHU if using, walk into hab area, get drink and food. always carry water in tank and 2 x 5litre containers for drinking water, 5 mins max.
I always keep the things in the van all year round, so prepared if suddenly decided to have a trip out, it is my every day van as well.

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Post by rogerblack on Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:19 pm

When using ramps, we try to ensure we use them in such a way that we can drive straight off the pitch, especially if muddy or sandy where there's any possibility of getting stuck.  So if facing outwards, reverse up the level ramps; if facing inwards, drive up in first.

In most cases we also use Monster Mats under the ramps - stops them sinking in if the ground is soft; on gravel or hardstanding, stops the wheels failing to grip or shooting out the ramps.  If the pitch is level but soft, we still use the mats under the wheels

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Post by Juliejuel on Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:56 am

Should I only use low watt kettle etc?
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Post by Paulmold on Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:14 am

Take a look at these C&CC checklists and print them off if you need to...

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and this one is particularly useful if you aren't sure what electric items you can use..

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Post by Quilter on Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:09 am

Make sure you always have the makings of two straighforward meals in hand.  You never know where you might finish up for the night and you might not be able to shop on the way.

Always service the water, waste and toilet waste when you can, even if it is not necessary at the time. See above !

We had several breakdowns when our last van was new and had to call on insurance. They will ask endless questions involving chassis number, date of registration, insurance policy numbers, mobile phone numbers etc and this at a time when you might be stressed enough that you can't remember your name clearly let alone anything else.  We now carry a list, with all these numbers and names printed out, for just such a situation.  Make sure your mobiles are charged when you can too.

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Post by Jaytee on Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:02 am

Very good idea that Quilter. I keep a note pad in the cab with lots of useful details  noted in the back cover  including relevant  load Vs tyre pressures so will now add chassis number etc as well up!

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Post by Dutto on Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:15 am

Hi there,

We used Checklists extensively to make sure that we forgot nothing before setting off. allthumbz

However, I abandoned them after we returned from a six month trip to France and Spain .... up!

.... to discover that I had forgotten to lock the back door before leaving! tap_fingers tap_fingers

I now prefer a well practised and much rehearsed routine! allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Post by daisy mae on Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:24 am

I use an ordinarily house kettle, also have one for the gas when not on EHU. you will need similar things , pots/pans/ bowls, buckets etc that you have in a house. ,
don`t forget electric cable I have the artic ( blue one ) it is easier to roll up and doesn`t go hard in the cold, the heavier cable is recommended, I have food grade hose for filling water tank, I  fill up at home, then top up every other day or so , depending on usage, with a watering can, saves moving MH, I also have a waste water container, I leave my waste water tap open on site I may add, ( not open when travelling, dropping waste water on the go is a no go, and then the water drains into the wheeled container which is then easier to empty, and the toilet cassette straps on to that so both are done at the same time, I use bio washing tablets in toilet cassette and the washing liquid in the flushing tank.
Hope this is of some help. you will learn as you go along and find the things and ways that suit you.Everyone has their own ideas.

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Post by CC on Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:55 am

As Daisy Mae has already mentioned make sure you get 'Artic Cable' electric hook up leads, these are more flexible and easier to roll up and put away. (Find them on eBay) You'll need a minimum of 25m but I prefer to have 2 or 3 shorter leads and join them up if needed as most sites you'll find a 10m lead is usually adequate in most but not all situations.

For a kettle just get a small travel kettle from somewhere like Argos, they hold 3 or 4 mug fulls which is more than adequate and they are only about 800 or 900 watts.

You'll need a whistling kettle for the gas hob when away from electric, available from any camping shop for a fiver or less, also you want a 5 ltr water container / carrier for filling your kettles.

The best toilet fluid by far is Elsan Organic, I've tried lots and this is without doubt the best. (I can't get into using bio washing tablets like others here)

Get yourself some insulated screens from Silverscreens or Taylormade these are essential. And the other recommendation which I could never be without is a Duvalay to make sleeping much more comfortable and snug.

Try and avoid filling up your van with all manner of things you'll hardly if ever use, when I see some of the junk motorhomers and caravaners carry around and have scattered all around their pitches it astonishes me! What a palava packing and unpacking must be for some folk! Travel as light as you can...

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Post by Paulmold on Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:42 pm

Just a point about joining cables together. In the latest CC magazine it is stated that joining cables is not accepted on CC sites. So either carry both a 25metre and a 10metre cables or simply just a 25metre and lay it up and down the ground, never leave it coiled up.

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Post by -mojo- on Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:19 pm

Interesting - I don't recall ever seeing that as a written rule before. I wonder if a join would be acceptable if covered by a purpose-made plastic clip-on cover?

Only an academic question really - I too carry both a 10m and 25m cable (and annoyingly often find I have pitched 11m away from the post...).
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Post by bikeralw on Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:28 pm

If you only buy one motorhoming book I recommend GO MOTORHOMING EUROPE from Vicarious Books. It really does cover everything you need to know, and all the stuff you thought was complicated is explained in simple terms.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:51 pm

Paulmold wrote:Just a point about joining cables together. In the latest CC magazine it is stated that joining cables is not accepted on CC sites. So either carry both a 25metre and a 10metre cables or simply just a 25metre and lay it up and down the ground, never leave it coiled up.

Are you referring to Dec 2014 issue page 94, titled"Cable Talk"? If so it says "club advice is always to use 25m cable etc." It doesnot say that joining cables is not accepted on CC sites, just that it is not a good idea as the plug/socket is only splashproof. Provided the join is raised so not sitting in a puddle I can't see any great problem.

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Post by cyclo on Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:51 pm

Some very good advice so far. If you have a site near home I would suggest that as your first outing.

If you have gone without any essentials you can soon collect them.

Enjoy your trip wherever it is.

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Post by Paulmold on Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:45 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:
Paulmold wrote:Just a point about joining cables together. In the latest CC magazine it is stated that joining cables is not accepted on CC sites. So either carry both a 25metre and a 10metre cables or simply just a 25metre and lay it up and down the ground, never leave it coiled up.

Are you referring to Dec 2014 issue page 94, titled"Cable Talk"? If so it says "club advice is always to use 25m cable etc." It doesnot say that joining cables is not accepted on CC sites, just that it is not a good idea as the plug/socket is only splashproof. Provided the join is raised so not sitting in a puddle I can't see any great problem.

In the paragraph before that it states ''Joining two shorter cables when required is not an acceptable alternative. The regulations do not allow for intermediate connectors, and the specification of the connectors doesn't guarantee sufficient water ingress protection for use on the ground - they are 'splash-proof' only''. I read that as not accepted on CC sites.
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Post by CC on Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:47 pm

Paulmold wrote:Just a point about joining cables together. In the latest CC magazine it is stated that joining cables is not accepted on CC sites. So either carry both a 25metre and a 10metre cables or simply just a 25metre and lay it up and down the ground, never leave it coiled up.


Hi Paul... To be honest I very rarely join them up as I carry a 20m 15m & 10m cables,  it might seem a bit excessive but it covers me for all circumstances. I generally only use the 10m but on occasions I've used the 15m on Caravan Club sites. 

Also, it's a good idea not to rely on just one cable when touring incase it gets damaged or worse still stolen, we stayed on an Aire in France and a couple in an A Class motorhome had theirs stolen then tossed into a nearby river presumably for a laugh! (Obviously the yobs were oblivious to the inconvenience of their ignorance or stupidity action)


Good point about coiled cables... 

I frequently see this on sites yet the wardens appear to say or do nothing about it? I've had people have cable coiled up on those plastic drums at the bollard point directly behind our Motorhome on occasions and have been less than happy, are people totally stupid!


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Post by Paulmold on Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:51 pm

Perhaps a timely reminder then of the 'sticky' we have in 'Motorhome and Camping Chat'..

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Post by repoort on Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:29 pm

....behind the sun visor there is a sheet of paper with length, width (mirrors in/out) and height - all in feet and metric.
As for levelling blocks, I find that we use them about 50% of the time...but then we do tend to use more rural sites - if you frequent commercial or CC sites they are usually level enough to do without.

I must confess to driving over them once....it was in the isle of Arran; muggy, calm, drizzling, and adjacent to woodland - absolutely perfect midge weather. I quickly got the blocks out, the highest position was needed...up and - over ! what a bang !
On inspection, the blocks were now jammed at 45 degrees between the tyre, and the exact spot where Autosleepers put the clip for the water tank draining hose outlet. I had to get the toolbag out of the back (letting another swarm inside) and dig into the ground with a screwdriver to try and release the block before the tip of it broke off, it was under a fair bit of pressure.
Not a good start to the holiday !
But don't let me put you off, they are useful.
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Post by Paulmold on Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:41 pm

I have copied the checklist that I use below. Feel free to copy it if you wish. Not all items apply to everyone, amend it as you want. Many items stay in the van all the time but I still like to check them off and some I remove depending on the season and length of holiday.

Sleeping bags

Tea & Coffee

Pillows & cases

Sugar & Sweeteners

Chairs

Bread

Mallet

Milk

Torch

Cereal

Lighter/matches

Butter/Marg spread

Water container

Shampoo & Conditioner

Waste water container

Hair Dryer

Gas

Curling Brush / Straighteners Gas & Elec

Toilet Fluid

Soap & Shower gel

Levelling ramps

Shaving gear

Spirit level

Towels (washroom & kitchen)

Water purifying fluid

Flannel

Pump for water filling & filling hoses

Toilet paper

Wash-up liquid

Tissues

Plates/bowls/mugs

Medicines

Wine/beer/spirit glasses

Specs (glasses)

Cutlery

Books

Kitchen Utensils

CD’s

Storage containers (empty)

Mobile phones/chargers

Dustpan & brush

Cameras/batteries/charger

Gas kettle

NT member cards/guide

Electric kettle

Maps

Salt/pepper/oil

Booking confirmation

Pots & pans

Cash & credit/debit cards

Bottle opener/corkscrew

Wine/beer/spirits

Tin opener

Shoes/trainers/boots

Chopping boards

Sunhats/Woolly hats

Grater

Coats/fleeces

Sieve/colander

Sunglasses

Teapot

Sat. Nav.

Toothbrushes / paste

Fridge food

First Aid Kit

Other food

Binoculars

Storage tent

TV

Marmalade

Playing cards

Spare keys

Tool kit

Dish cloths

Instructions folder

Tea towels

Ice cube tray

Clothes – socks, tops, trousers pj’s

Hook-up cable

Bin bags

 

Laptop/dongle/DVD/leads

 

Work diary

 

 
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