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KEEF & ANNIE's TRAVEL BLOGS NUMBERS 1-67

MotorHomeTravels

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By keef & annie, Oct 5 2013 09:44AM

Stamford Caravan Club Site, Lincolnshire


Motorhome trip No12 : September 28th – 29th 2013


NOTTS->FINESHADE WOODS, NEAR STAMFORD, LINCOLNSHIRE ->NOTTS 140 miles


A weekend of truly wonderful weather, incredibly hot when one considers it was the end of September. We only stayed the one night at the Stamford Caravan Club site as Keef is now back at work. Lovely site and we were lucky to get an end pitch against the sloe bushes with uninterrupted views across the woods. Fineshade woods is a Forestry area set aside for walkers, cyclists etc with a café and a few cycle / walking paraphernalia shops. It is lovely and tranquil and because the weather was so good we sat out reading until quite late with a spot of collecting sloes at the same time for the trad family sloe gin… 6 bottles this time, hic!


One drawback of the site is there is no amenities block but that is adequately compensated for by the stunning price of £13.60 for the night , plus the café 5 minutes walk away has a loo but beware it shuts at 5pm.


Did mesquite chicken, new potatoes & veg for tea all washed down with our scrummy and very alcoholic plum wine. Oh and I confess the odd beer throughout the afternoon, heaven!


Then on Sunday after a leisurely breakfast we packed up and travelled off to Burghley house via the lovely village of Duddington, who has heard of this hidden gem? Weather at Burghley was again

fan-tab-e-dosie. House , gardens, gardens of surprise with water features for the kids (and us), sculpture garden and the lake with sculpture & boathouse were all wonderful.


Drove back through Rutland and stopped at Frankie & Benny’s for tea in Notts.


All in all a fab relaxing weekend!


See our pictures on the slideshow tab for more details as well as the embedded slideshow here if you prefer


We loved the area so will be back again soon, we hope. Anyone else been there and want to share their views on the campsite or the area?


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


86 photos in the SLIDESHOW



Sloes for Sloe Gin @ Stamford Caravan Club site
Sloes for Sloe Gin @ Stamford Caravan Club site

By keef & annie, Aug 12 2013 07:13PM

This is a retrospective post as I came across a few pictures of our first ever trip away in our then new motorhome. Ahhh the days. It was a very wet few days at the Caravan Club site at clumber park, not too far to drive but a great way to try out all the things that one is seeing for the 1st time since the demo when you bought the van and a great learning experience it is.


We had issues with some leaks and a few other grumbles / things we couldn't remember how to do them but as it was all under warrenty and our sellers were not far away we got most of them sorted.


We would wholeheartedly encourage any one buying a new van to do the same, just a few days away initially to try it all out. As the UK is still cold at this time of year we even tried out all the fires, hot air blowers,gas & electric operations.... do the lot .... create a snagging list and get back to the seller /garage straight after and get them sorted then your 1st real trip away in your new van will be a pleasure.


Hope it helps let us have your feedback via the comments below


See SLIDESHOW


We returned again in 2019 and were on Pitch 9. CLICK HERE to see the return


Rgds Keef & Annie

clumber park site,nottinghamshire
clumber park site,nottinghamshire

By keef & annie, May 18 2013 06:25PM

Malvern Hills, Worcestershire


Motorhome trip No8 : May 14th – May 17th 2013


NOTTS->BLACKMORE CAMPSITE, HANLEY SWAN->NOTTS 180 miles


Our first trip away in the campervan of 2013.


What a fabulous area of the country and apart from Great Malvern not an area we have ever been to before. Stayed at the Caravan Club site called Blackmore at Hanley Swan , Worcestershire. This site has a twinned Camping & Caravan Club site and a Girl Guides site all with great views of the Malvern Hills. We were on pitch 140, hard standing but there are lots of pitches that are grass as well. It is a very big site as 4 or 5 times a year caters for visitors to the Malvern Show Ground which is only 2.5 miles away. The days we were there people were prepping for the Quilt show.


We stayed for 3 nights and visited Worcester, Great Malvern, Hanley Swan and the fabulous Upton-upon-Severn. The 363 bus conveniently stops outside the site going to Worcester in one direction (£3 return fare) and Upton (£2 return fare) in the opposite direction. To get to Great Malvern and the hills by bus suggest walking about a mile to the crossroads at Hanley Swan and catching the 42 bus (£2 return fare) although you can catch the 43 bus at Upton to save the walk but it was so pleasant with great views.


After 3 months away in the southern hemisphere it was great to see some really old English traditional towns. Worcester’s Friar Street and Art Gallery / Museum are well worth a visit and the Tudor house (free). The oldest pub in Great Malvern the Unicorn offers fab food and a lot of it as well as some very interesting and unusual real ales. Remember Malvern is quite steep as built on the hill side. Upton is just great with 17 pubs and some lovely little quirky shops and medieval architecture plus the great views from the river side. It also holds one of the biggest free Blues weekends in the UK. Step aside Glastonbury!


We had 1 free night voucher kindly given to us by our dear friends Pete & Joy for Xmas plus as a mid week booking pitch prices were half price, so all in all good value. The wethaer was mixed but considering the forecast said rain all 4 days that was a real bonus.


We loved the area so will be back again soon, we hope. Anyone else been there and want to share their views on the campsite or the area?


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


53 pictures in the SLIDESHOW


mr elgar great malvern
mr elgar great malvern

By keef & annie, Jan 20 2013 11:36AM

So glad we invested in the breathable cover. See earlier article for further details


One extra tip. If its gonna be a long harsh winter, which alas it probably is with snow, is to ensure that there is charge to your engine battery. We have the van plugged into the garage with a timer, set for a few hours each week just to give a trickle charge to the engine battery, with the internal switch set to engine rather than habitation as one would when in normal mode at a camp site.


Hope the tip helps.


Have a safe and secure winter.... best wishes from motorhome-travels blog!


See the photos on our SLIDESHOW page


Additional thoughts...remove any curtains they can mould, bring them indoors and ensure all security systems are fitted. We left the power to the engine on via the garage at 6hours once a week, enough to keep the engine ticking over, oh and rolled the van back and forth monthly to stop the tyres from getting excessive weight in one place. Hope it helps.

Breathable cover
Breathable cover

By keef & annie, Nov 5 2012 01:59PM

Winterisation (is that a word really?!)


Motorhome put to bed now for 2012 especially as the ice is drawing in.


There are some pictures of the van all packed up and covered for WINTER 2012 available under the site photos and slideshow tabs. In order to see these it is necessary to login using either your Facebook login / password or set yourself up one for our site, which will mean supplying your email address and accepting the automatic link that is sent to your inbox. EASY


Luckily after our last trip away we happened to find a mega car wash on the Ashbourne road just outside Derby which had the facilities, staff and equipment to wash the motorhome. Only £15, a good deal for over 30mins of work. It looked immaculate! Plus it brought up shine again after the yacht waxing I’d spent all those hours doing during the year on the monocoche shell and the cabin waxing.


After we had driven it home, we took all the bedding, food cans etc etc out and stored them inside the house, well actually the food will obviously be well and truly eaten by next season.


I open all water taps up fully , inside and out, including the hot water pump inside to drain out ALL (hopefully) the water. LEAVE THEM OPEN ALL WINTER. I then took off all taps inside. Be careful so as not to damage the threading. I then used the pump to blow out any remaining water in the pipe work and it was surprising how much there is even though the outside taps had stopped draining.


We also made sure that the fridge was off and cleaned out, including any ice remnants in the freezer box. Put the plug in the sink to stop bad smells (if any). Connected up the electrics with an RCD / timer and wire cover into the garage and the engine switch on to allow a weekly charge just to ensure the engine battery doesn’t flatten over Winter, and probably more importantly turn off the Cat 1 alarm system.


I also put all manner of security locks on, 2 on the tyres, one on the steering column etc etc. We will shift it a few times over the Winterisation period just to ensure the rubber on the tyres doesn’t sit in the same position for too many weeks / months.


Finally we put the breathable cover completely over the van. Note this is not an easy task even for 2 with ladders, and brooms. Suggestion: Maybe get a few friends around to help.

Anyway that’s it. It is our first winter with the van so we will no doubt learn and let you know what we discover good and/ or bad.


Anyone else care to share what they have done to winterise their van or plan to do if anything. Is it a good idea or a waste of time? Have your say here in the comments under this blog. Let’s get a discussion going.


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


96 Photos available in the SLIDESHOW

See you next spring!
See you next spring!

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, Mar 17 2012 01:26PM

RECOMMENDED by motorhome-travels.


We have just had our autosleeper clubman spruced up by having all the fabrics re-upholstered.


Barrie & Mick at Regal Furnishings are lovely guys and make you feel welcome and extra proud of your motorhome / rv. They love it when folk see their updated & refreshed vans for the first time and go WOW!


People travel to them from all over Europe and it generally just takes a day. You can leave it with them and then come back to a great surprise.


Want to see more of what they do, click here


Want to follow our motorhome-travels' 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.


PS if you have a way to come Barry & Michael will let you park up overnight, power hook up as well!

Regal Furnishings 2016
Regal Furnishings 2016
old logo c 2012
old logo c 2012

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.


Want to follow our motorhome-travels' 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, Feb 24 2012 12:40PM

Even if these just need washing to freshen them up after a few years of travelling taking down your curtains in a VW motorhome and /or van can be a nightmare. Even delicate female fingers found this a challenge and as for my porkers well I wasn't even at the races.


We had had some advice from a guy who worked on upholstery for autosleepers for a long time and his advice was DON’T or be very very careful, the track holders are fiddly, small and inaccessible and each end has 2 minute fitted metal screws to hold the last one from either sliding off the rail or right across when you pull them.


So we approached our new VW Autosleeper Clubman Anniversary with some trepidation. He was almost right, DON’T but we had to as we are replacing the fabric covers in the van as well and need something to match. Sure enough one of the little metal ends fell on the green carpet at the front and was hell to find, we did eventually.


So getting them off was hard. Putting them back on eventually we guessed would be a breeze, nope almost impossible. I was hunting the internet to see if it was possible to find a replacement set of hook & eyes to make the job similar to hanging normal house hold curtains and low and behold l found VW curtains dot com, we have compared the two side by side and tried them out, perfect and although we haven’t made the new curtains yet or hung them in the van my guess is we won’t be calling up the divorce lawyers *smile*


We will let you know here via commentary how it went when they are finally up.


Does anyone else have any experience of this ‘problem’, if so we would love to hear from you. One of our aims of this website is to start meeting more people and sharing ideas for a better ‘motorhome’ life. i.e more time to enjoy the travel / place than concentrating on the motorhome, which of course is fun anyhow.


LIKE to join our Facebook community? or have a look at all our great "motorhomes" on our pin board


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.

replacing old with new on a vw anniversary clubman
replacing old with new on a vw anniversary clubman