Originally, I was planning to travel in the UK during the month of March to test everything out, and then head to France in April for the real adventure. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I’ve had two major obstacles:
The sodding British weather!!
One of the reasons I want to travel is because I really hate our weather. This last week just reinforced this point with temperatures dropping well below freezing and having several days of snow!
Currently I have a blue Calor gas bottle in the motorhome (I’ll need to change this for France) and this type of gas will freeze in these conditions. I need gas for cooking so I decided to put the travel plans on hold for a while and go and spend a week with a friend.
She gave me a superb present – a floor mat for the motorhome. I love it 🙂
Electrics not yet done
In order to be able to camp ‘off-grid’ and not be restricted to parking in places that provide an electric hookup (which gets very expensive!), I need a way of running off my own power. I thoroughly researched the options, did a lot of calculations and decided that an investment in solar would be my best option.
I’ll go over the details of that in another post. I have found a local company to do the work for me but the first full day they had available was the 23rd May!! That did not work for me so they offered to do it over two weekends – 17th and 24th March.
That’s much better but it means that I only have short gaps for travel trips for the rest of this month. Originally I wanted to stay in the New Forest for a week or so and then spend around 3 weeks in the Lake District. I’ve had to change that so this is my new plan for the moment:
Using the motorhome as an office
Currently it is parked on the driveway of a family member and one thing that is very convenient is that I can hook up to his electricity via an external socket in the porch. Combined with the mobile Internet I can now get using my phone, I can work on the motorhome now so that’s what I’m doing for most of this week.
I will still sleep and shower at my Mums, have breakfast and then come here (I’m on the MH now hehe) for the day. I can cook, use the loo (though I can’t empty it!), work and do anything I would do at home. This is getting me used to being here in this small space for extended periods.
I can’t empty the toilet however because it contains special chemicals that are harmful for regular drainage systems and that has to be emptied at a designated chemical disposal point. All campsites have these which brings me to phase 2:
Quick 2 day local camping trip
On Sunday it’s Mother’s Day and with my mother’s age and current health, I want to be here for that as I just don’t know how many I will have left with her! I also have plans with family a couple of evenings in the week.
I have a gap at the end of the week so I have booked myself into a local campsite, just around half an hour away for Friday and Saturday. That gives me two sleeps on the van. The electrics won’t be installed yet so I’ve opted for hookup for those two days.
Two more short trip opportunities
For the two weeks after that the motorhome has to be back at home for the electric work but I’ll have a few days in between that I could use for slightly longer trips. I haven’t booked anything yet; I’m going to just play it by ear nearer the time.
After the electrics are done, I will want to do a trip of at least one week, ideally without hookup, so I can properly test my new solar power system. I really want to visit the New Forest but this is not the best option for testing solar as trees block the sun! So, perhaps I’ll go to the New Forest in one of my ‘in-between’ weeks and go somewhere else after.
So that’s my plans for now. I still have to do a few things before going to France such as applying for an EHIC card, brushing up on my French highway code and some other bits and pieces but I feel well prepared now and I’m starting to get excited! 🙂