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Featured Our First Motorhome Trip

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Zhed46, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. I recently bought an old (1990) Transit based motorhome, primarily so I could trailer my bike to trackdays, but also because I am entirely averse to planning things and then sticking to those plans, it makes taking holidays a hell of a lot easier and less stressful.

    My sons and I went on a 4 day trip to Wales over the bank holiday weekend and I’m now a fully signed up devotee of vanlife. My only regret is that I didn’t get into this earlier. Subject to how the girlf gets on when we do a trip to Cornwall in a few weeks, she and I are also now strongly considering storing most of our stuff and becoming what the cool kinds refer to as “digital nomads” for a while between New Year and Easter as working remotely while wintering on the Cote d'Azur is very tempting indeed.

    Thurs: Hertfordshire to Bath for a bit of a wander round then on to the Brecon Beacons, where we wild camped at 2am by the side of a lake. It was so dark the only way to know we were next to it was by looking at the map, but when we woke up, this was the view from the van.



    The world’s most contented cocker spaniel on account of him finally being allowed to sleep on my bed.

    Friday: Brecon Beacons to a campsite on a farm near the Ceredigion coast via Elan village and the dam. It was chucking it down and when we arrived we found that access to the site was near impassible due to the track being flooded and so potholed it looked like it had been comprehensively shelled. In the end we made it but not before I smashed the lip of the van’s front spoiler when I put a front wheel into a hole that turned out to be almost a foot deep.

    The camping ground/farm was a sight to behold because it looked like, to quote my youngest son, “a refugee camp” as it was mud, mud and yet more mud as far as the eye could see. The farm also basically doubled as a kind of off grid miniature hippie commune with various people and couples living in dilapidated caravans and converted horse boxes. They didn’t seem to grow anything apart from marsh grass and there was no livestock to be seen apart from a few chickens, 3 horses and a very bad tempered sheep that refused to let us in one of the fields, most likely because we had our dog with us. However, the sheep also appeared to live in the farmhouse as it would come and go through the front door more or less at will! Everyone was friendly and welcoming and we will probably go back there again as I gelled with the informal "do as you like" ethos of the place.

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    Toasting marshmallows and biscuits using a really useful multi-function shovel/tool which breaks down into 3 parts which are small enough to fit in a 6” x 4” pouch.

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    Saturday: a (chilly) day on the beach at Aberystwyth, which was memorable because I was undefeated over 6 rounds of wrestling with both my sons (20 and 18, both very fit) and my youngest got a stone stuck in his ear which required a visit to the pharmacy in order to flush it out. This was followed by a fire and fry up on a rocky outcrop just outside the town (where the arrow is on the pic). Climbing there was easy enough on the way up but slightly precarious on the way down in the dark with a few cans of beer inside us while carrying the dog.

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    Sunday: bbq and ball games on a beach which was kind of tucked away at the end of a narrow track in the middle of nowhere, followed by the drive home.
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    Good times. :)
    #1 Zhed46, Sep 8, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
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  3. Shhhhh….Mate, welcome to the club.

    We bought a motorhome 18 months ago and its a blast. I also had a trailer to tow the bikes about behind us as the kids can now fit on the bikes but it turned out to be a bit of a logistical nightmare, plus the weather is usually shite, so I sold it. Trying to combine two pastimes didn't really work out; you have to give it a try though.

    Your campsite looked interesting...

    Here are a few links for you that you might find helpful in finding places to stay.

    Also the mootorhomefun site is a mine of information about the pastime in general. I would encourage you to join to get the full benefit of it, its only £15/annum and also, like me, you might help to bring down the average user age quite a bit as they really do need an injection of relative youth!

    If you need any advice or help just drop me a line and you can benefit from my mistakes!





    Happy camping.

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  4. Been all over Europe at all times of the year I love it !!


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  5. Thanks for that info. I booked the site through pitchup, so I already know about that, but thanks for the other links as they will certainly come in handy. :upyeah:

    I also considered taking one of my bikes and my youngest son's with us on a trailer but I wanted to see how we got on with just the motorhome first as, like you said, I thought it would all be a bit much. Also, some of the roads in the Brecons would have been impossible and dangerous with a trailer attached and we almost came a cropper as it was on a very narrow and steep road which also had the sharpest V shaped uphill hairpin I've ever seen which the van almost didn't get round/up.
    #5 Zhed46, Sep 8, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  6. You didn’t go up over the ridge between Pontsticill and Talybont did you?

    There’s a good route across to Pen-y-Fan from there (On foot).
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  7. I have a problem with the way you treated those Hob Nobs. I cannot for the life of me see how you can improve them by scorching them on a shovel.
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  8. Excellent post, welcome to van life.
    The family and the dog all look contented, perhaps the cocker more so though!!

    I went up to Wales for a bimble with some mates last weekend. Here’s my outfit
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  9. No worries mate, anytime.

    We just dived in after I had spent a week on the KTM doing a camping circumnavigation of Ireland. After a hard day in the saddle I would arrive at my campsite and have to find a pitch, food, BEER and erect my tent in the inevitable blowing gale; all whilst being watched -and giggled at- by people enjoying a cold, refreshing, lager beer out side their motorhome in a comfy chair with their feet up. I was jealous and whilst riding the next day I concocted a cunning plan...

    So on my return I suggested to SWBMO (Aka the accountant) that Daddy just wasn't up to camping in his fifties, bad back, bad knee, security, scared, noisy etc you get the picture; kitten eyes as well. Blow me didn't it all work!

    We rented our first for a long w/e to make sure we liked it and could cope with the kids in a small space.

    We then spent six months finding the perfect bus for our needs, we required a biggy so the kids could be imprisoned at one end and we got the nice separate room at the rear; works a treat. Had to go to Manchester to get it and then two weeks later were off to Holland; great times.

    Attached are of our recent trip South where we overnighted at Hadrian's wall on our way to York. The site was an isolated car park a few miles off the A69, but clean, empty and actually on the wall. It also had a brand new toilet block all for a tenner a night, good value, you pay at a machine. IIRC It was an English National Heritage/National trust site and these little gems are all over. Well worth a look. IMG_1838.JPG IMG_1840.JPG IMG_1842.JPG IMG_1846.JPG IMG_1851.JPG
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  10. 2 chocolate hob nobs roast a marshmallow on an open fire and when its gouey and caramelized squash it between the hob nobs !! Oh yea !!
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  11. Caravans motorhomes... I’d rather stick pins in my eyes!
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  12. Sounds perfect :)

    Love Iggy :heart_eyes:
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  13. All that and they're still on their phones.
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  14. Strokes for folks innit !!
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  15. It was a very narrow and steep road from Talybont to Rhayader and from there we went on to Elan village and dam(s). The first part was ok. I can't recall the name of the road but it has a lake on the left and there is a tea and bacon sarnie cabin which, at least when we were there, was frequented by bikers. In fact it was a very nice couple touring on a KTM who put us on to the idea of visiting Elan.
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  16. Lovely area
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  17. But that’s the main road between South and North Wales! Some of it’s got a grass strip up the middle, so it’s almost a motorway.
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  18. Since posting, I remembered that the very narrow/steep road was before the much wider 2 way road with a cabin on it. We set off from where we were parked at the side of Talybont Reservoir (see map) and it got tricky within a few miles but then got much easier.

    I don't know if this pic rings any bells? Unfortunately it was he only pic I took on that particular stretch, which was just before it got treacherous. One other thing I remember is that we passed a tea shop (not the same one where we met the bikers) on the left and then soon after turned left over a narrow bridge spanning a gorge and then left again, which is where it all became a bit hairy


    #19 Zhed46, Sep 8, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  19. Got into this a few years back
    Bought a T5 VW panel van and had it converted.
    Have been over to France, Spain on a couple of occasions Ireland many times and of course Wales.
    Hoping to get to Cornwall next week to make the most of our Indian Summer!
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