Making the wrong decision with big purchases is a costly mistake. This is fine if you have loads of disposable income laying around and don’t need the money, but how many people are in this fortunate position? I know I’m not, and I also know there are thousands, if not millions, of people who have to watch the pennies, just like me. If ever there was a case for a “try before you buy” the following episode has to be it………..
I can remember a couple of years back me and the better half sat in the Conway folding camper, in the pouring rain looking at the motor homes parked on the pitches opposite, thinking how good it would be to own a motor home, i.e. a unit with a hard roof that won’t get soggy and (eventually) let the water in. At that time buying a motor home was not practical, however it did get us thinking about the future.
Over the last two years, since that day, the conversation of owning a motor home has ended up in us buying one, an Elddis Accordo 120, however it was a long journey getting there. I have been told that I “think” about things too much and rather than devising lists of pros/cons, advantages/negatives and researching to the nth degree I should just “get out there and buy”. This is all well and good, however I am not frivolous and neither is my better half – which is probably why it has taken so long to buy a motor home.
The people who accuse me the most of “over thinking and analysing” things are my work colleagues, and one lady in particular. I have to admit that I get on really well this lady, and since we both have a passion for camping we do have a common interest. Up until a few months back this lady owned (and always had owned) a touring caravan however one day, whilst browsing on the internet she stumbled across a VW camper van somewhere in the north of England, called the dealer and put down a deposit (which was refundable) to hold the campervan for a viewing.
Long story short, the lady went to view the campervan, bought it, returned home and immediately sold her touring caravan and tow car and purchased a small “run around” car to get from A to B. In the blink of any eye this lady had got rid of the old and in with the new, a process which caused her a lot of time and hassle, and also a lot of money.
I have to admit that when I found out about the campervan I was stunned and thought she had been a bit rash, after all she had never set foot in a campervan before let alone driven one or stayed away in one. I have to admit that I thought the whole thing was ludicrous, but then who am I? Besides, each to their own and all that.
When me and the better half decided the time was right to seriously start looking at a motor home the first thing we did was hire one and take it away for a few days to see if we could live with a motor home and see if it was all it was cracked up to be. The hire went really well, better than expected, and that trip away convinced us not only that we could live with a motor home, but also that a coach built motor home was the way to go, rather than a trendy campervan or one of the modern panel van conversion vehicles (such as the Adria, Trigano and the like).
My work colleagues were well aware of our search for a motor home, and the preparation we were doing before making such a big commitment and throughout all I got were comments like “just go out and buy one”, “you don’t need to use one first – you like camping so buy one”, “it’s only money – you could always sell it if you don’t like it” and other such flippant remarks. Most of the comments were from the lady who bought the campervan, and once she had made her purchase she really started to apply the pressure to just go and buy one. In fact, this lady couldn’t believe that we bothered to hire a motor home and go away in one – a holiday that (compared to other types of holiday) was very expensive, but worth every penny and stopped us making a huge mistake.
Whilst chatting with the lady the other day she finally admitted that she had been “stupid and rash” and shouldn’t have jumped in both feet first with her campervan. In fact, I actually got an apology for the flippant comments and remarks, and the hard time she had given me over the last several months about being over cautious. The conversation wasn’t pleasant and it wasn’t enjoyable at all. The lady opened up and said that she had made a huge mistake selling her car and caravan and plowing all the money (plus a lot more) in to a VW campervan that hasn’t lived up to her expectations. During the conversation the lady actually confessed that she had been “more like me”, exercised some caution and hired a campervan to see if it was going to be suitable.
I know many people would have the “I told you so” attitude in this situation, but I am not like that. I know that if the shoe was on the other foot and the roles were reversed, i.e. I was the rash one and my work colleague was the cautious one, she would have quite happily given me the “I told you so” because that’s the way she is and her personality. Despite this, I couldn’t be harsh and for a little while I really felt for the woman. With me being very cautious and analyzing/researching as much as I can (and some) before I do anything significant and my work colleague jumping in both feet first it is clear that we are the two extremes.
So, if there ever is proof that you should hire a motor home or campervan, or at least stay in one for a night, this episode is it.
I hired a motor home from Motorholme (also trading as Unbeatable Hire), and whilst there are quite a few negative reviews about the company I can honestly say that I had few issues and would highly recommend them. Okay, some of their practices are a bit naughty, such as the extortionate card fees (6% on both debit and credit card) and the fact they deduct a 6% card fee when refunding the damage deposit, but on the whole they are a good motor home hire company. If you want to read about my personal experience hiring a motor home from Unbeatable Hire take a look at this article.
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