Home from Home

I am a frugal type of traveller, prefering to sleep in basic hostels or camp and packing a picnic rather than splash out on expensive restaurant meals. So, it seemed to me that the best way to tour Europe would be in a motorhome or campervan: transport and self-catering accommodation in a neat package.

Hiring a motorhome/campervan for up to six months would be very expensive so I decided to buy one. I had a strict budget and some basic requirements.

  • Small enough to be maneouvrable – under 6m.
  • Big enough to have a fixed bed and shower/toilet.
  • LPG gaslow system for heating and cooking (much cheaper and more practical than butane/propane gas tanks).
  • LHD (Left Hand Drive) as I would be spending most of my time in Europe.

welcome-50By some twist of fate the perfect vehicle appeared, and well under budget. this left me enough money to install the LPG gaslow system and buy all the necessary equipment.

chausson 50 layoutWhat I love most about my motorhome is the bed construction. Like a 70’s bedsit, it folds down out of the back wall. So when the bed is up, the lounge/dining area feels very spacious. I don’t know why more motorhomes don’t have this feature.

kitchen

The kitchen has a 3 ring gas hob and a small sink with a mixer tap. There is no grill or oven, but as I hardly use these anyway it’s not much of a problem. I did install a microwave, but I can only use this when I have an external electric supply. There is also a spacious 3 way fridge with an icebox.

As the motorhome will be my travel companion for the next 6 months she needed a name. I decided to christen her Trixie as there was a T and X on the number plate.

 

7 thoughts on “Home from Home

  1. brian ritts

    Delighted to have found your blog. I have not yet read through and seen all your posts but decided to write you a note in response to your “home from home” entry. As soon as this spring, I have a similar tour planned of about the same duration and like you I plan to travel solo, except for my Australian Shepherd Rio.
    The major difference is I am starting from Seattle, USA. Like you I determined that a six month lease of a camper was just to expensive. Even if I have to buy a camper here in the states and ship it to England to start my trip and in the end ship it back to the states it will cost me less than a lease. The cheapest I found was $14,000.
    A lease is less complicated for sure but for now I’ve chosen to either buy a vehicle like your little Trixie in Europe or as I mentioned, ship one over.
    My problem with searching for a vehicle in England or where ever, is I haven’t been able to find insurance as I don’t live in Europe. I’m continuing to check for other company’s that will insure me but for now all I have found is USA company’s that will insure a USA registered car.
    I stumbled upon the UK camping site and your blog while searching the web for places to camp while touring in England. It has been a great resource so far especially the inexpensive options to camp at road houses or pubs. It was in looking further into travel on the continent that led me to your blog.
    I will continue to read and follow your blog and catch up with your experiences but in the mean time I’m curious what approximate percentage of the time you have spent camping or at least sleeping in Trixie and where. Also I’d like to know your fuel costs.
    .Thanks,
    Brian

    Reply
    1. A Nomad Post author

      Hi Brian,

      I’m glad that you are enjoying my blog and hope it is giving you some useful information for planning and some ideas of what to visit when you take the plunge.

      Not sure I can help you with the insurance aspect. Having travelled abroad for many years, and lived in several different countries, I have had the same problem with travel insurance. If I find any useful info, I’ll let you know. It’s worth talking to the Motorhome Dealers because if they want to make a sale, I’m sure they’ll have contacts who can help with this sort of thing.

      As for fuel and camping:

      Fuel – I budgeted £200 per month and have currently spent approx. €600 (more than my budget) having travelled 5,350 km. Will publish a breakdown of my costs when I’ve completed the trip.

      Camping – Well I sleep in Trixie the whole time using a mixture of Campsites (22 nights), Aires (9 nights – paid, 24 nights – free), French Passions sites (6 nights free – €26 to join) and occasionally car parks (free). I’m planning to add a list of all the sites I’ve stayed at, when I get the time.

      I haven’t decided yet if I want keep hold of Trixie and do similar trips in the future, but if I decide to sell her in March, when I complete my trip, I’ll let you know.

      A final piece of advice – do your homework. I spent 6 months researching and planning before I even bought Trixie, So far everything has gone smoothly. The only thing I hadn’t anticipated was -8 deg C in Avila (watch for a post on this).

      Keep me posted, and good luck.

      ANomad

      Reply
    1. A Nomad Post author

      It’s a Chausson Welcome 50 from 2002. I haven’t seen another model like it either and it’s such a great idea. I love how much space I have with the bed up and how easy it is to set up in the evening.

      Reply
    1. A Nomad Post author

      Unfortunately I’m not travelling at the moment, but actually earning some money while planning my next winter tour which will be to Venice and the islands of Sardinia and Corsica.

      Reply

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