Getting ready to hit the road again

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With a new year upon us we have embarked on another adventure in Boris. Last year saw us travel in a different way, following a winter recess of 3 months in the Far East, our time in Boris was more for functional reasons than travel. 2018 was a time for re-grouping and getting our life in order again,so he served as our UK base whilst we were house hunting. Once our keys were in hand though Boris became a little neglected and has stood in storage for most of the last 6 months whilst we have renovated our house and caught up with family and friends. With the sun shining on the UK for once we certainly chose the right summer to be there and everything about it has felt completely right. For us one of the hardest parts of travelling was leaving our nearest and dearest behind, so the period we have spent at home as given us the opportunity to have cherished time together.

With winter well and truly upon us though and our house renovations completed, we had itchy feet once more, so with the channel tunnel booked for early Sunday 6th January it was all systems go post new year.

We’d have loved to be able to just jump in Boris and drive off, but there was prep to do,having emptied him of his contents whilst he has been stored and having drained him down for winter there’s been lots to do to get ready. With the dreaded “B” word in mind we plan to travel this time for around 3 months and will keep a close eye on proceedings in case of a no deal which may mean things kick in from 29th March onwards. For those of you that would like to know what this could mean for future travel, the guys from Our Tour have summed it up perfectly in this recent blog which you can read by clicking this link https://ourtour.co.uk/home/the-death-of-the-year-long-motorhome-tour-of-europe/

So with packing to do, motorhome insurance to renew, breakdown cover to take out and travel insurance to sort it’s been all systems go. Our previous packing list came in very handy, so we have now updated it and it can be found by clicking this link https://followourmotorhome.co.uk/2015/10/19/equipment-and-essentials/

A summary of who we have used for insurances is below:

With an increased renewal quote from Safeguard, I felt it necessary to shop around, eventually settling on cover via Advance insurance services (Tel 01373 822369), Advance are a broker, but they managed to find us a deal with the same insurer at £75 less than our Safeguard quote and they were also able to include European breakdown cover with the RAC.

For our travel insurance I tried to get us an annual multi trip policy, but found that they all restricted the amount of time per trip we could spend away on one trip, so we have opted to take insurance just for this trip. After shopping around on line and being quoted ridiculous prices in excess of £220, I eventually got a quote from Alpha travel insurance who came in at a much more reasonable £67.00. Most of the cover we don’t need or will never use, but its good to know we are covered in a medical emergency.

We also needed to make sure our house insurers knew we were away for an extended period. After a recommendation from a fellow motorhomer we’d insured with SAGA (there are some benefits to being 50), they allow us to go away for extended periods as long as we inform them if it’s over 60 days and follow some basic conditions and they don’t even make a charge.

Our initial intention for this trip was to head south for some winter sun to Portugal’s Algarve then as the weather warms up make our way north, then go via the ski slopes on our way back through France. For this though we needed to be able to carry more weight in the motorhome as at 3500 kgs we didn’t have the payload. As the chassis is built to 3850 kgs essentially this was just a paper exercise. After some investigations we decided to use JR Consultancy to get the paperwork in order for us to send on to DVLA to change the log book, the charge for doing so was £180. Having commenced the process in October we thought we had plenty of time. We were wrong. JR Consultancy didn’t get the paperwork back to us for over a month, so we finally got it to the DVLA on 1st December. On the 20th they sent it back as we needed to fill in another form to change the tax class (JR had not informed us that we needed to send this). With the now impossible deadline, on 31st December we had to get them to agree to cancel it all and send us our original log book back so that we at least had one to take with us. So alas this time around the skiing was not meant to be.

News of our adventures coming soon.

Andi & Paul x

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. ken@vincentvangone says:

    Good luck with your new adventure – sooo envious..! Like you guys, 2018 was a year without any travels for us as we too sold up and moved to pastures new. Our renovations are still going on d’oh! We’ll be back in Vince in March tho, the Bilbao ferry is booked and we’ll be following you down to the Algarve then trekking home through Spain & France over ten weeks. Can’t wait! We’re really looking forward to following your posts real time 🙂 Safe travels!

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    1. Hi there,

      If you’re anything like us you must have seriously itchy feet by now! Still March is only around the corner and at least you will get the wonderful spring temperatures then.
      Like most things, we threw ourselves into our renovations and didn’t really stop until they were done. There’s still things on our “To Do” list back home, but they are things we want to do rather than must do. To be honest we were both ready for a break too as if we haven’t been doing renovations, then we have been entertaining friends and family. I don’t think we’ve ever had so many overnight guests.
      Keep focusing on that March goal it’ll be here before you know it.
      Andi

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  2. Paul Quirke says:

    Have and enjoy your travels and adventures, look forward to seeing the places you go.

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    1. Thanks Paul, I hope life is treating you well. Best Regards Paul

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  3. Hi there, I realise this is too late for you, but might help anyone else who’s going through the painful weight upgrade process.
    We upgraded using a letter from Hymer (costing 300 Euros) Then we sent this letter with a scan photo of the new and old plate with the log book to DVLA. We got sent our log book back with no changes! Then they said the same as they did to you about another form for the tax class. A friend had been through this, so we knew this request was wrong and that they should do this automatically without the form. We asked the person we spoke to at DVLA to ask their supervisor & sure enough they came back and said no problem they would make the change to the tax class without the form. So in fact you could have had your log book upgraded.
    Hopefully this might help others in the same boat, as there seems to be a lot of confusion at the DVLA about the upgrade process.

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    1. Hi There,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience, this may very well help someone else in future. We found the DVLA rather frustrating as each time we spoke to someone they each gave us different information. They couldn’t even find our details on their system even though they’d written to us! Anyway we now have it all ready for another time.

      Thanks Again
      Andi and Paul x

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