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KEEF & ANNIE's TRAVEL BLOGS NUMBERS 1-67

MotorHomeTravels

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By keef & annie, May 28 2012 08:35PM

Dorset and North Devon, Motorhome trip No2 : May 8th -21st 2012


NOTTS->CAMBRIDGE->NEW FOREST->DORSET->NORTH DEVON->NOTTS 1000 miles


Apart from our trial run for a couple of days to Clumber Park, Notts (in the rain) this was our 1st holiday in our brand new van. Our lovely Autosleeper Clubman Anniversary (nicknamed ‘Gav’, sorry can’t tell you why but it makes us laugh :))


We stocked up and set off to visit my friend Kev in Linton, Cambs and parked the van at the Caravan Club (CC) site at Cherry Hinton, Cambs. Quite a nice site but with differing levels and a rather sereve one-way system which meant you had to queue up at the gate to be registered and then ferried in one at a time, still very convenient for Linton, which we must say is a lovely traditional English village, give it a visit if you have not been there.


We then set off the next morning after a lovely meal, wine fest and sleep at Kevs for the Centenary CC site in the New Forest, Hants travelling round the outskirts of London, it never stopped raining so we were glad to arrive at the site (one of CC’s best) based on an old airstrip. Very modern and well laid out but guess what it never stopped raining. The setting for the site is brill and just out of the gate to see New Forest ponies. We will certainly go back again and maybe spend a little longer there next time.


We travelled from the New Forest to Knoll beach Studland one of our fave beaches in all the world to meet up with Annie’s 3rd cousin to ‘do some’ genealogy. Alas no beach today as a washout but nice coffee and lunch in the café. We then went off to Hayman’s Cross , Dorset and stayed at Haycraft CC site for 2 nights. Just opposite Dunshay Manor, originally owned by one of Anne’s relie, way back. Rather fortuitously our Thurs / Fri stay there coincided with the Railway & Beer Festival, 5 mins walk from our site, now what more could one ask for, well ‘no rain’ really is the only answer! Went into Swanage on the steam train and visited the family tree research centre on the pier to finally meet up with the wonderfully helpful David Haysom who runs it.


After leaving Haycraft we spent the day as getting sunny on Studland beach and did our first walk in the sand dunes. Even read our books on the beach. After this we checked into Crossovers CC site near Bovington. Best site in the UK we have been to so far, like being in a Canadian outback forest site, but with eco long drop toilets. Not as bad as they sound (honest!) The Sunday we spent walking and sun bathing and reading, bliss!


Monday morning did some shopping in Tesco’s on the outskirts of Dorchester then visited Athelhampton house in the rain. Not NT but privately owned. Interesting history and gardens, never stopped raining alas BUT local uni students shooting a movie there, medieval costumes, swords etc what a hoot .


We then travelled on to almost Sidmouth / Honiton and a rather nice CC site at Putts Corner where we met a German couple on the next pitch who had bought their hired van over for Hannover for 3 weeks in the uK, claiming it was cheaper to hire and pay the ferry costs that hire in the UK, now that worries me . What are our UK companies doing? Our new pals had difficulty in getting the electrics to work, nothing too difficult, it was just the usual CC site electric ¼ twist to get it to lock in. How many others have suffered form that 1st time – I know I did


We then moved onto visit NT house at Killerton, been there before but love it, especially Tom the bears house. After Killerton it was onto Minnows campsite at Sampford Peverell, Devon. Lovely walk out the back of the site along the Grand Western canal, and such a lovely evening stroll ending up with a pint of Otter ale in the local pub.


We then had a lovely drive across Exmoor via Bridgetown. We both fell in love with Exmoor and are ashamed to say it is the 1st time we have visited but we will definitely be back again. After Exmoor we visted the delightful medieval village of Dunster and the NT castle before moving back into Somerset from North Devon and stayed at the Minehead CC site. A nice 3 levelled site with easy walking into town, we even went to see the outside of Butlitz (hehe), actually I was expecting minehead to be quite tacky and tasteless in a Scarborough sort of way but it was surprisingly nice, in fairness I’m sure Scarborough is now, it’s just memories I have from my childhood (Discuss!).


From Minehead we went off to Selworthy up a very interesting narrow road, not ideal for Motorhomes but do-able and visited the NT Holnicote estate (pronounced Hunnicutt), now this is what quaint English thatched villages are all about.


After Selworthy it was the prospect of Porlock hill (1 in 3), I chickened out and we went along the Porlock Manor Estate toll road (£4 for a van) and so glad we did and the views are tremendous. You can stop at the top and look out across Porlock Weir and the coast, yummy and those Exmoor ponies ahhh!

Then onto the lovely UK’s little Switzerland at Lynemouth & Lynton. Loved the place. The old funicular railway still runs but seems to be no longer water powered, which was its claim to fame. Nice place, nice Devon pasties. Oh and the Glen Lyn gorge is well worth a view.


We stayed the night at Willingcott CC site (no one there) having been through Coombe Martin and Ilfracoombe, not really our cup of tea I’m afraid, but Woolacoombe we loved. Voted 3rd best beach in the UK and I can see why.


Went to visit NT Arlington Court and the National coach and cab museum, all very interesting especially the convoluted link to Sir Francis Chichester.


Then stayed our last 3 nights at Damage Barton associated CC shared between the Caravan Club and Camping and Caravan Club, nice site, great sea views would thoroughly recommend it.


We had trips out and visited the charming Appledore and had fresh fish and chips whilst overlooking the sea. We gave Clovelly a miss as probably similar and just too packed /steep for the van. We did visit Bridport / Barnstable/ Broughton & Westward Ho as well.


Since the Olympic torch was being run thru our area causing 6 hour delays we got up at 5am on the last day and were well clear of the hold ups by the time the procession started. We made pretty good time back to home here in Notts.


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels


192 Photos available, go on you know you want to look *smile*, see SLIDESHOW. You just need scan down a bit to see them.

By keef & annie, Apr 25 2012 07:30PM

There are a bewildering set of types and names associated with Motorhomes / RV. We have trawled the internet and offer these types below. Clearly there will be more so feel free to add to the list via the comments below, thanks in advance for your help!


Motorhome: Always a coachbuilt and never a Campervan.


Panel van conversions: These motorhomes are based on a commercial metal-panelled van, sometimes known as Campervans.

Coachbuilts: Here, the manufacturer takes a chassis and cab from the commercial vehicle manufacturer, but fits their own (usually fibreglass) body to the rear.


'A' Class : A completely custom motorhome body (including cab) mounted on a chassis supplied by a truck manufacturer. Normally the most expensive motorhomes. A purpose built body with integrated cab provides the maximum spaciousness and usually includes beds which can be left permanently made up such as an over cab 'pull-down' double bed above the front seats.

'C' Class :A custom motorhome body mounted on a conventional chassis and cab supplied by a truck manufacturer, usually with a fixed in place bed or storage area over the cab, although this space can sometimes be to claustrophic for Adults as headroom is limited and may be more suitable for children. Also known as C-Class. The manufacturer uses the chassis & cab of the base vehicle and builds a new body onto the back of it, these make up the largest proportion of motorhomes at present although A Class ownership numbers are rising fast. The part of the body extending over the cab is known as the 'over-cab' or 'luton'. An alternative, called a 'low-profile' has a much smaller over-cab space that is used purely for cabinets & storage purposes

Campervan : A smaller motorhome with either a fixed roof (high-top) or an elevating roof (pop-top / high-top). Broken down as follows:- High Top The alternative motorhome, which takes the whole of a kombi base vehicle, kits it out with an assortment of necessary fixtures and fittings and then adds standing room via a high roof.

Elevating Roof: The elevating (or raised) roof motorhome also uses the equivalent kombi base vehicle to the "high top" and has a similar layout and equipment. The roof can be raised when on site to allow the use of the available standing room and then lowered for travelling and storage.

Demountable / Slide-on : A demountable motorhome shell, usually with wind-up or hydraulically operated legs, installed on a ute, truck, or flat-tray. A dual purpose motorhome, a standard 'pick-up' type vehicle with a specially made body that fits onto the pickup bed. These have the advantage that you can 'demount' the body at a campsite and then use the pickup for day trips etc.

5th Wheeler : An extension on the front of the motorhome section extends over the tow vehicle, and usually mounts onto a turntable, or "wheel" - hence the name "5th Wheeler"


RV (Recreational Vehicles): These are the huge American equivalents to their European cousins. Usually much larger in almost all dimensions. Some have accompanying popout/slideouts (Hydraulically operated sections of the motorhome that expand) which allow for increasing living space when the vehicle is on site / stopped.


I'm sure they are more! but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels

A-class ? read our blog and find out, thanks
A-class ? read our blog and find out, thanks

By keef & annie, Apr 18 2012 07:35AM

Came across this wonderful pin board with links to all manner of useful and sometimes antique guides to Rv-ing. Just so much useful information, especially if you plan a motorhome anywhere in North America.


Find the one that interests you and click on the link below it. I learnt loads.


Want to follow our Motorhomes pinboard on Pinterest?


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels.

By keef & annie, Apr 15 2012 12:16PM

We have always had the desire to travel the Baltics by Motorhome having seen some of it via a cruise in 2004 and Keef has relatives from Riga, Latvia so imagine our surprise when we were reading our latest Practical Motorhome to come across this article.


We are now totally inspired to do it sometime soon. How about you, its not the usual route, have any of our readers out there been to the Baltics by motorhome , if so please share your experiences.


Some useful sites are

Estonian Tourist Board

Latvian Tourist Board

Lithuanian Tourist Board


The lovely folk who did this trip (adam & sophie) spent almost 450 days travelling thru 30 countries in their motorhome and travelled over 36k miles. We only travelled 47k miles in our year away in the southern hemisphere and thats a much bigger land mass and 12.5k across Canada which is the 2nd largest country on earth, so it shows how far they travelled. Big respect to them. If you would like to learn more about them them please visit their website.


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Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels.

Adam and Sophie's updated site
Adam and Sophie's updated site

By keef & annie, Apr 5 2012 09:07AM

We found this great set of people with a lovely history of the classic VW on Facebook.


Why not give them a look, and maybe even a like, if you are that way disposed.


Some brilliant pictures.


Quoting their synopsis "VW Samba: VW Bus history, stories, culture & evolution. Join us and celebrate the most iconic vehicles ever produced. " Have your say, were they? We like them a lot , they are classic to look at and whilst our motorhome is a VW autosleeper , which we love, we are just not sure that we could cope in an old classic on a long trip now that our hippie days are over *smile*


The VeeDub is a classic! FACT


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Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels.

at the seaside
at the seaside

By keef & annie, Apr 1 2012 05:36PM

We met these lovely people at the #sbs small business sunday event in birmingham on 30/3/2012 run by Theo Paphitis (Dragons Den) and Rymans for Annie's small business Serendipity Girls Designer Dresses


Just love this vw conversion aptly named 'theo'


If you want to learn more about Harrogate Motorhomes please visit their website.


They are RECOMMENDED by motorhome-travels


Maybe have a look at theopaphitissbs.com as well to see what its all about!


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Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels.


double vision - theo!
double vision - theo!

By keef & annie, Mar 26 2012 11:12AM

Came across this wonderful little gadget . It shows the level of gas in a cylinder. Safe, reusable and accurate. Attaches to bottle using magnetic strip.


We have one and its been so much better than memory or turning on the cooker ring and finding it has 'stopped'.


Here is a place we got one from but there will be others on eBay.


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Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels.


2016 Update: Many of the modern light weight bottles now have a red / green indicator on the top, may be worth using as well assuming you can get to see it



Gas Bottle Level Indicator
Gas Bottle Level Indicator

By keef & annie, Mar 26 2012 09:41AM

With special thanks to Brian (anne's brother) for this article / response from MMM.


Are you confused about how the hose pipe bans ,currently only in the south of England, may affect you this summer as a Motorhomer.


Read this

"Dear Brian

With the confusion over whether motorhomers in the south of the country can or can’t fill their water tanks using a hosepipe we have successfully petitioned two of the water companies in the affected areas to exempt motorhomes from the hosepipe bans that are coming into force early next month.However, there are still several water companies that have either not yet clarified the situation or are still in consultation. Readers are advised to check with their water supplier after April 5 before filling up using a hosepipe. Meanwhile, it is not all bad news – the former Brownhills site in Preston is now under new ownership, which is great news for motorhomers in the area. And, Ford is starting to let details of its new – and much anticipated – Transit to come out ahead of its official launch next month.In addition, those of you heading north of the border this summer are in for cheaper ferry tickets after the Scottish government agreed to reducing prices after a successful trial. Read on for more…

Happy motorhoming!

Daniel Attwood "


Our view was that as it is in essense for domestic use it is exempt however but its worth knowing / checking


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Drought, what drought?
Drought, what drought?

By keef & annie, Mar 23 2012 01:28PM

A wonderful place to see lots and lots of motorhome and RV's and share photos and videos.


Our current set of motorhome / rv / van picks are listed here on Pinterest.


Why not have a look, put your own photos up there and share them with us. We always repin great motorhome pics


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Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels.


Maybe have a look at this blog as well

Like this one!
Like this one!

By keef & annie, Mar 17 2012 01:05PM

Worried about your payload? Want to squeeze in a little something extra, maybe another book to read on those long lot summer days, a slightly better (but heavier) BBQ, a few more bottles of wine or beer....?


Well if you don't already know about these it may well be worth taking a look and either buying one or trying at the next bottle exchange to swap, could save you a bit of travelling weight.


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Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAGs or using the SEARCH, thanks, motorhome-travels.