Are you a Motorhome Full Timer?

Ffion

Free Member

Messages
68
I am and looking for top tips on how to stop my tanks freezing which are underneath the van.I have ehu at the moment.
 

Deleted member 24

Guest
Ffion;n1363 said:
I am and looking for top tips on how to stop my tanks freezing which are underneath the van.I have ehu at the moment.
The only way is to insulate and or fit tank heaters!
For the waste, just leave the tap open and place a bucket under the drain!
You could fit a new tank under a bunk, but you would not want any fresh water pipes running under the van

If you do insulate and they freeze, it will take much longer for it to unfreeze
 

Phillybarbour

Full Member

Messages
856
Ffion;n1363 said:
I am and looking for top tips on how to stop my tanks freezing which are underneath the van.I have ehu at the moment.
being a regular user of our van in ski resorts I have quite a bit of experience on cold weather. First point is it will be the feeder pipes that freeze first not the tank, if you concentrate your efforts on this and move the fresh tank inside you should be ok in the UK. On the coldest of UK nights leave background heating on all night.

 

John Thompson

Full Member

Messages
21
Our Hymer had the waste pipes inside the heated area feeding into the top of a tank outside. We had a very cold snap in the South of France and Northern Italy (Bolognia) where it was minus 11c during the day and dropping to minus 15c at night. The outlet froze so I was unable to drain the tank. We were able to still use the tank but it didn't thaw until we got back to a CL near Birmingham. The tank contents didn't freeze just the tap on the outlet pipe.

We did 8 years full timing spending most winters on the Spanish Costas, Going down slowly October/November and returning March/May. The trip to Italy was to get a generator repaired at the factory. The system wasn't 100% even after the generator was replaced so we decided to return to the dealer in Birmingham who had fitted a B2B before we set off, rather than continue down into Spain that year.
 
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Clunegapyears

Full Member

Messages
706
Our top tips have mostly been covered elsewhere, but here goes ....

Go for the largest LPG tanks you can fit.
Same for solar panel.
Sine wave inverter.
Add a few more USB sockets around the van.
Sacrificial wallet / laptop.
Scan all docs and store in email folders.
Have a UK address if possible: someone to scan post and email it to you, AND register with Electoral Roll ... it can affect you insurance premiums.
Be honest with insurers about full timing ... but do get lots of quotes, as we were quoted anything between £650 and £1700.
Take more warm clothes and layers than you think you'll need.
And conversely don't pack your whole wardrobe ... you won't need it or have room for it.
Cancel all junk mail and go electronic for statements months before you set off.
Pressure cooker ... saves gas and tenderises meat. Can't recommend enough.
We have pics of family on the wall, but change glass to clear perspex.
Work out how to give your travelling partner space ... we all need it at times.





 

Ffion

Free Member

Messages
68
Clunegapyears;n5109 said:
Our top tips have mostly been covered elsewhere, but here goes ....

Go for the largest LPG tanks you can fit.
Same for solar panel.
Sine wave inverter.
Add a few more USB sockets around the van.
Sacrificial wallet / laptop.
Scan all docs and store in email folders.
Have a UK address if possible: someone to scan post and email it to you, AND register with Electoral Roll ... it can affect you insurance premiums.
Be honest with insurers about full timing ... but do get lots of quotes, as we were quoted anything between £650 and £1700.
Take more warm clothes and layers than you think you'll need.
And conversely don't pack your whole wardrobe ... you won't need it or have room for it.
Cancel all junk mail and go electronic for statements months before you set off.
Pressure cooker ... saves gas and tenderises meat. Can't recommend enough.
We have pics of family on the wall, but change glass to clear perspex.
Work out how to give your travelling partner space ... we all need it at times.
Good advice. All learned over the 9 years I've been full time. Now without a partner so have all the space that I need.
 

Erneboy

Free Member

Messages
10
Been full timing for around eight years now. My best tip is to have as big a van as possible, it makes the experience enjoyable as opposed to just tolerable.

There are lots of good tips above, but one I can add is to make yourself an inline water softener which you can use when filling the tank, or as in our case just have it in the line when on city water. Some of you may not understand city water, it's an RV thing mainly but is a connection from a hose to the van bypassing the water tank and pump, going straight to the boiler and taps, just like your water supply in your house.

Many of the places we stay in the UK and in Spain and France have very hard water which furs up the pipes, hot tank and kettle with limescale. It also means you need a lot of soap to get a lather.

I can post about where to get the parts and how to make your own very effective inline softener if anybody wants to know. You use a little dish washer salt to recharge it manually about once a week. The unit just looks like an inline filter but works in the same way (reverse osmosis) as the larger domestic ones. The main difference is that the domestic ones are a good deal more complicated because they recharge automatically.
 

Les Haro

Free Member

Messages
43
Erneboy;n14601 said:
Been full timing for around eight years now. My best tip is to have as big a van as possible, it makes the experience enjoyable as opposed to just tolerable.

make yourself an inline water softener which you can use when filling the tank

.
[h=1]Softening hard water[/h]
The damaging effect that hard water can have means that it may be beneficial to soften the water. Methods for softening hard water involve the removal of calcium ions and magnesium ions from the water.

There are two methods for softening hard water:
  • adding sodium carbonate to the water
  • using ion exchange columns
[h=2]Adding sodium carbonate[/h]
Sodium carbonate, Na[SUB]2[/SUB]CO[SUB]3[/SUB], is also known as washing soda. It can remove temporary and permanent hardness from water. Sodium carbonate is soluble but calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate are insoluble.

The carbonate ions from sodium carbonate react with the calcium and magnesium ions in the water to produce insoluble precipitates. For example:

calcium ions + sodium carbonate → calcium carbonate + sodium ions

Ca[SUP]2+[/SUP](aq) + Na[SUB]2[/SUB]CO[SUB]3[/SUB](aq) → CaCO[SUB]3[/SUB](s) + 2Na+(aq)

The water is softened because it no longer contains dissolved calcium ions and magnesium ions. It will form lather more easily with soap.

However, the calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate precipitates to form limescale. As well as being unsightly on your taps, it can also clog up pipes in heating systems (causing them to break down). This makes treatment with sodium carbonate suitable for softening water only in certain circumstances - such as softening water for hand washing clothes.

Where it says 'only in certain circumstances' (last line) do you have any experience of what they are saying?
 

Erneboy

Free Member

Messages
10
The system I use uses salt only to recharge the ion exchange medium. To free it of the calcium and magnesium it has trapped. The salty water passes through the medium and is then flushed out of the medium and the water containing the salt it is discarded before the water produced is used for any purpose. In effect the medium is rinsed after recharging. It's exactly the same science that domestic units employ to soften all the water entering a house from the mains except that they do the recharging and flushing automatically, normally during the night. Cheap domestic ones are flushed at regular intervals usually using a timer which the user can set. More expensive ones monitor water quality and recharge when necessary.

Where salt in the water does not matter you could, I suppose, have salt in there all the time and use all the water coming out. I have no experience of that as ours is treating all our domestic water, including drinking water. We would not want salt in any of that.

To anybody looking at it it's visually just the same as a filter. It's just that the process going on is not simple filtering.
 
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Tony Lee

Full Member

Messages
66
Trouble with using the sodium replacement method is you will end up with more sodium in your diet and that won't be beneficial
 

Graham Holmes

Free Member

Messages
12
Regarding gas, I’ve decided to have refillable LPG bottles fitted in my Moho to cut the cost dramatically from what Calor charge. Several companies quoted me between £659 and £750 to supply and fit two 11kg bottles and the associated pipes, filler point etc, then I discovered Dan Barker who owns DB Sport and Leisure Vehicles at Honley near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire who quoted me £500 including VAT. Dan specialises in converting Mercedes Sprinter vans into luxury motorhomes to customers precise requirements. He currently has a 2015 Sprinter fully converted for sale at £35,000, and recently delivered one, costing £135,000 to a customer in Düsseldorf, even staying with the buyer for five days to make certain he was entirely happy with his purchase. That’s the sort of care that wins my trust and ultimately my money. Dan can be contacted on 07426 034070.
 

Pugwash69

Full Member

Messages
49
Pop some anti-freeze in your tanks, that should do it :)
I'll leave the room now.
 

MOJO

Full Member

Messages
245
LWell this will be a test for our motorhome communities to come up with ideas for the full timers to stay on private land.We are recently sort of in that position.
In our case we live with our sons family who just had their second baby last week. In our wisdom we decided to leave two weeks ago to stay on a site with the purpose to sit it out in virtual isolation. Thinking this would work for them and us but now will probably have to return.
 
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