I was going to take my Wisper 905 Torque bike with me on an up and coming adventure in the motor home, but after stumbling across a post about the campsite booked for the first night all plans to take the 905 Torque have been shelved.
The campsite in question is Clumber Park, near Worksop. The site looks stunning and picturesque, which is why we booked it, but from what I have read it is lacking in security and there are problems with bike theft.
I have read that Clumber Park campsite have built a lockable store to keep bikes away from the bike thieves, but that this secure compound gets full very quickly, especially in peak times, and there’s no guarantee there will be room which means you have to leave your bike on/close to your unit. I am not prepared to take a risk with my Wisper 905 electric bike and I would be gutted if some thieving scum decided to get their grubby hands on it.
On most campsites locking a bike to a bike rack is generally all that’s needed but this doesn’t appear to be the case at Clumber Park. A member on a motor home FB group I am active on commented that he was disturbed from his slumber and when he investigated he found his bike was currently in the process of being cut off his bike rack with a set of bolt croppers.
Based on these accounts, and confirmation from the CMC that there have been issues with bike theft I have decided Clumber Park is not the site for us and subsequently cancelled the booking. If there are problems with bike security I do have to wonder what other security issues there are at Clumber Park. Whatever, I am not going there and I never will go there, which is a shame because it looks like a really nice campsite. I am so glad I stumbled on the “Bike thieves operate here” review about Clumber Park when I did.
The revelations of Clumber Park security issues did get me thinking. Clumber Park is a large CMC campsite that is well known, advertised and used. Clumber Park appears in the CMC campsite directory and has a large, professional looking page informing CMC members what the site is like. Because of this I naturally assumed Clumber Park campsite would be safe, secure and have no security issues.
I do wonder how many other CMC campsites in the directory have issues with security, bike theft and criminal damage when thieves are stealing bikes. The problem is I will never know, unless I do extensive research on each and every campsite, which is something I am not prepared to do. The issues surrounding Clumber Park campsite have taken the shine of the CMC campsites for me, and I will never feel 100% comfortable that the club sites I book to stay on are going to be safe and secure.
The bike theft issues surrounding Clumber Park have opened my eyes and that the only way to beat the bike thieves is to either not take a bike on my motor home adventures (which I am not going to do) or take a bike that I can keep inside the motor home when not in use, i.e. a folding bike.
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I have been a member on a particular motor home Facebook group for a while now, and judging by recent posts it appears the summer 2018 motor homes are now complete and being shipped to customers, which given the recent change to good weather is awesome.
Many of these new owners are putting up photos of their new vans, as you would, and commenting on the dealer used and the location. This is where I start to fear for some of them……………
I know nothing of the dealers, and am sure all the dealers used are honest and reputable, but many people are buying from motor home dealers several hours drive, and hundreds of miles from their live. An as example, the first post I saw this morning was from a chap who bought his new motor home from a dealer in Hull. I thought nothing of it until I read the comment, “it was a long drive back to South Wales, and the van was a little noisy, but it was well worth it”.
This chap drove the breadth of the UK, and a little North as well, to buy a motor home. I don’t know his exact location in South Wales, but if I put “From: Hull (UK) To: South Wales (Newport – the top suggestion)” in AA Route Finder I get a distance of 234 miles and a duration of 3hrs 59mins! This may not seem like too much of a drive, and in the big scheme of things it isn’t but when you have to take the motor home to the dealers for those niggly problems that will happen, the distance will become an issue.
Many things go wrong with brand new motorhomes and, as much as you don’t want it to, it will happen to you. Several things went wrong with my motor home (parts missing on collection, habitation door problems, and a leaky skylight to name just a few) meaning a trip back to the dealers for remedial warranty work. Based on the motor home forum I am not alone with my motor home problems and all motor home owners have them.
If you have a 4 hour, 235 mile trip to the dealers every time something goes wrong, and then a 4 hour 235 mile trip back home you’ll find your new motor home will soon end up costing a lot of money, and you won’t recover this. Remedial work is obviously covered and not chargeable, but you don’t get reimbursed fuel costs, time off work, accommodation costs (if you’re van is going to take a few days), travel costs (taxi/train/bus home etc. if you have to leave your van) or anything else like that. A trip back to the dealer for a snagging item can end up costing a lot of time, effort, money and hassle. This is palatable for significant problems but smaller problems you can’t sort yourself that take the dealer ten minutes to sort out bite, and they bite hard. I’ll use my habitation door issues as an example of this.
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I bought my motor home from a dealer just over a hundred miles away, so it could have been far worse for me. I have found a local dealer just over 20 miles from where I live who is prepared to take on remedial work and keep my motor home running sweet, so I am fortunate in this respect. This is also an authorized dealer so I can keep the warranty valid. Had it not been for this local dealer I would have been stuffed.
When my other half and I were looking at motor homes the thought of having to keep taking the motor home back to the dealer for snagging and remedial work didn’t cross our minds. We were naïve and thought that if you buy a brand new vehicle everything would work exactly the way it should and it would provide a few years of trouble free use. Neither of us had ever purchased a brand new vehicle, so we didn’t have anything to compare it to. We just thought that a brand new van would give no problems, and would only need to go the dealers for the annual service.
When we were looking at buying a motor home we were also going to travel to a dealer on the 222 miles and 4hrs to buy one of their “Magnum” dealer specials because it was £2,000 less than a similar spec van from the dealer we ended up buying. I am so glad we didn’t let our wallet rule our head, and that we actually spent the extra. The final decision why we bought from the dealer we did never actually came down to money, it came down to the fact I fell in love with the black cab. Thank goodness I did.
If you are buying a motor home my advice is to buy local if you can. You will have problems and issues and buying local will make getting things sorted out quicker, easier, cheaper and less stressful. If you have your heart on a dealer special located miles away I would recommend looking around your local area for an authorized dealer and ask if they will be able to sort out any snagging and issues that may arise. Most authorized dealers will do this, even though you didn’t buy one of their motor homes because they will still be getting money from you. Once you get an authorized local dealer on board you can then go to whatever part of the country and buy the dealer special, and then get any problems sorted out locally.
Other articles that may be of interest:
Below are other motor home related articles that may be of interest:-
Smaller 6m coach built motor homes are gaining in popularity, and being an owner of a 6m Elddis Accordo I can see why. Being a little smaller and a little narrower than the larger motor homes, and also some long wheel base van conversion for that matter, means you can take a 6m motor home down small country lanes, in secluded woodland and around towns and cities among other smaller and tighter places.
A 6m motorhome isn’t big enough to have a dining area, rear lounge, garage and/or large locker space, so if you think you’re going to get all of these with a 6m motorhome I’m afraid you are going to have to think again. When you buy a 6m motorhome you are going to have to make a compromise and choose the features that are going to suit your needs the best. There are compromises to be made with a 6m motorhome regardless of the manufacture, make, brand or model.
6m motorhomes are available in several different layouts, so there is something for everyone. The various different layouts comprise:-
The 64 million dollar question is “what is the best layout?” The answer to this will vary from person to person, and will depend on individual wants, needs, desires and also the intentions for the motor home.
From what I have read and heard the most common perceived disadvantage with a 6m motorhome seems to be “a lack of living space and feeling crammed in and claustrophobic”. If you have never spent a few days away in a 6m motorhome I can understand this concern but I can assure you, these small coach built motorhomes really aren’t that bad.
When you think about it 6m (or 20ft in old money) isn’t that big, and if you stick your head in a 6m long wheel base van it doesn’t look big enough to swing a cat in, let alone spend a few weeks at a time living in. A 6m panel van and a 6m coach built motorhome are two totally separate things. When I was looking to upgrade the folding camper, i.e. before I bought the Elddis Accordo, I had my heart set on a panel van conversion and went to have a look at a Trigano Tribute. As soon as I set foot inside the Trigano is felt dark, dingy and I wasn’t sure buying a converted van was the way forward.
I hadn’t even considered a small coach built motorhome, but there was a 6m Hymer something or other (I forget the exact model) a few vehicles down from the Trigano which my other half persuaded me to take a look at. Even though the Hymer was the same length and only a little wider it felt so much bigger inside and there was so much more space. I think a lot of it was due to the increased daylight inside the Hymer and the layout. Within seconds of being in the Hymer I had no intentions of buying, or even looking at, any van conversion and decided to investigate small 6m coach built motor homes instead.
6m coach built motorhomes may appear small on the outside but on the inside they are like a tardis and there’s loads of room. I should caveat this by saying there is plenty of room if you are a single traveller, a single traveller with a four legged friend or a couple. My wife and I have no problems with space and can stay out of each other’s way when we are both in the motorhome but I don’t think this would be the case if there were a third person. I also think taking a dog with us would cause a few issues, unless it was a very small breed of dog, however I am aware there are campers out there (members of the Elddis Owners Facebook Group) travelling around as a pair and also taking not one, but up to four dogs when they go on their adventures. In my opinion living space, or lack of it, is not a problem with a 6m motorhome.
There is only one disadvantage with smaller 6m motorhomes and that is you have to compromise on the layout. My ideal motorhome would have a spacious lounge and large storage lockers or a garage, which isn’t possible with a 6m motorhome.
With a 6m motor home you can have a spacious rear lounge or you can have a garage, but you can’t have both. When choosing a 6m motor home you need to decide what is most important for your needs and run with that, at the expense of the other. I choose the rear lounge because of the wet UK weather means a lot of the time I’m going to be spending in the van. A garage, or at least a larger locker would be useful to store dirty boots, wet cables, outside furniture etc. This is the only situation I can think of where a larger motor home has the advantage over a smaller 6m motor home.
Can't wait to get to Holland - Photo courtesy of Pixabay
My other half has never been that keen on going abroad, and has always used the “there are loads of beautiful places in the UK” as an excuse. Given that her parents never wanted to go abroad I suppose this is to be expected.
Since owning the Accordo we have discussed going abroad, and whilst my other half will humour me and listen about how I want to break myself in with a week in the Netherlands before embarking on a trip visiting Switzerland, Germany and Austria, and then doing a trip through Denmark and up to Scandinavia, she has always made some excuse.
Last year I managed to get my wife across the Irish Sea to the Republic of Ireland, where we spent two weeks taking a trip from Dublin across country to the west coast, along a bit of the Wild Atlantic Way, around the Ring of Kerry (stopping off at a site for a few days half way around) and then driving back east to Rosslare. The trip was a success and whilst it wasn’t what I would consider abroad it was pretty close.
The other day my other half announced that we should go and spend a week in September in the Netherlands. This was totally out of the blue and not what I was expecting to hear, so when she went on to say that catching a ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland seemed the best way of getting there, I was totally dumbstruck. My other half had not only said she was keen to take the Accordo abroad, effectively giving me the green light to start doing some planning, but she had set the wheels in motion looking at how to get there, sailing times and how much it was going to cost.
It seems the plan has been laid and that September 2018 we are going to take the Accordo to mainland Europe and spend a week in the Netherlands.
I have to say that I am not totally convinced that taking a ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland is the best way to get there, as driving to Dover and getting a ferry to Calais or Driving to Folkestone and picking up the Euro Tunnel and then driving through France and Belgium seems to be a popular route. I have to say that I am not overly bothered how we get to the Netherlands at the moment, just as long as we get there.
It’s strange but many people seem to have the opinion that small motorhomes, i.e. those of 6m and less, are a waste of time, money and are not “proper” motorhomes. Smaller motorhomes are becoming more popular, and the range is increasing as more manufacturers are starting to make small motorhomes, but there are still people out there who seem to struggle to see the point of small motorhomes.
I have owned my Elddis Accordo, a 6m coach built motorhome, for almost 2 years now so I thought it was time to write a post clarifying and explaining the advantages of 6m motorhomes, which are as follows:-
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home