Set-up £’s

This is what it cost to set up Twernt (our Autotrail Chieftain G SE motor-home).

This information may be of some use to folk considering a similar move but there isn’t a ‘standard’ set-up, mostly because, as they say, it’s different strokes for different folks.

This information is periodically updated to reflect changes that occur for whatever reason – it may have been an item upgrade, an equipment failure or maybe just on a whim – I ‘need’ a custom trailer to haul a car and 2 or 3 motorcycles at some point in the future Money Crying face Martini glassMartini glassParty smile Martini glass Smile Martini glass Open-mouthed smile Martini glass Martini glass Rolling on the floor laughing

Updated: 1 October 2014:

– Lenovo C470 All in one desktop 21.6″ screen.

– Samsung Galaxy TAB S 10.5″ tablet

– Logitech Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10″ keyboard/case

The cost of the above is £964.97 including VAT. Actual carriage cost has yet to be notified so the total has been ‘posted’ as being £1000.00. This will be adjusted once the actual figures have been notified to us. The ‘outgoing’ Sony Vaio will ‘wipe it’s face’ once we are back in England, hence the above being regarded as a set-up cost and not running costs/maintenance.

Updated: 30 Aug 2014:

Scalibor Collars

Telescopic waxing brush (Piece of crap as per NY song)

12v/TV/satellite sockets

– Sealey Inverter

– KewTech Digital Multimeter

– Telescopic brush/accessories

– Sikaflex/Sugru/Scotch Blue masking tape

Setting up ‘Twernt’

1. Acquisition

Item Comments Cost – £’s
1.1. Autotrail Chieftain G SE on Fiat Ducato X250 3.0 160 Multijet 6 speed manual with Al-Ko 40 Heavy tag-axle chassis (5000kg max gross weight: H=3.073metres: W=2.31metres:L=8.686metres):

2009 – 12900 miles – extras include 1 x Gas-Low 11Kg LPG tank – 1 x 6Kg propane bottle – SOG system – Seagull IV water filter – Tow-bar/electrics – Safe – Custom made memory foam mattress – Bespoke oak corner posts, chrome railings, curtains to ‘curtain-off’ the cut out area that forms the over-cab bed – Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Smoke Alarm – Garage shelving – Tumble drier (now removed) – 240v power outlets in garage (2), kitchen, bedroom, wardrobe, microwave cupboard (no microwave) and rear of passenger seat – 12v power outlet in bedroom and cab (vehicle battery/needs ignition on) – Multiple anchor rings in garage – Chairs retention section in garage – Garage vertical and horizontal poles facilitating cycle clamps – Status aerial. Everything else is standard Chieftain SE, e.g. Reversing camera/dvd/TV drop-down, outside shower, gas outlet, etc.

Cost includes Bank X-fer cost 37,525.00
1.2. Collection from Bristol Taxi/train 54.90
Total Acquisition Cost   37,579.90

2. Fix-up

Item Comments Cost – £’s
2.1 Valet   80.00
2.2 Replacement Power Inlet Plug/Housing Original came broken, replacement yet to be fitted 17.98
2.3 Wheel Nut Covers Bought 2 x 4 wheeler packs – Twernt is a 6-wheeler 27.90
2.4 Oil/Water Coolant Both were below par 29.98
2.5 Habitation Door – Inner Door Handle 3rd set in 5 years! – Known Autotrail weakness 152.46
2.6 Mudflaps eBay specials, originals are £80+ – now Black WOW’d and looking good! Not yet fitted
2.7 Replacement Bosch Wipers Blades on passenger side were detached 26.93
2.8 Re-fresh Tow electrics Replace broken socket and bent electrics mount – will probably get bent again when ‘tunnel loading’
2.9 Cleaning/Polishing products Should last a while! Products include Collinite 845/850/855, Black WOW, Renaissance Wax, acrylic Window Spray, Applicator’s and more
  Total Fix-Up Cost 555.54

3. Cycling Set-Up

Item Comments Cost – £’s
3.1 ‘Raleigh Pioneer 4′(x 2) – one Gents & one ‘Step-through’ ‘Euro’ style cycles, a bit like the ones folk rode around Cambridge when I was a lad, maybe they still do? Price is what we paid as dealers for these bikes
3.2 Witter ZX210 Towbar Mounted Cycle Rack We originally planned to house the cycles in the garage but it became apparent that we needed the garage space for all the other “must have’s”, therefore, cycles, ‘one step backwards, if you will’ – ‘Thank you’ – ‘As you were’
3.3 Fiamma Bike Cover and Rear Warning Sign Google, Google, Google, what would we do without you? – I am now further educated regarding Rear Warning Signs on vehicle rear-end ‘overhangs’. The sign has to be ‘slanted’ to the left when driving in the UK and to the right when driving in mainland Europe. Google has to be the best educational tool of the 21st century – Google can make a beggar a King and people you know it! 39.05
3.4 Fiamma Block Pro-1 and Pro-2 Clamps The oracle concluded that the included Witter cycle clamps were inferior to the Fiamma offerings hence additional expense.
3.5 Burley Nomad Trailer We originally intended to get 2 Nomads for the dogs but, once tested, felt a DoggyRide would be more suitable and will accommodate both hounds. The Nomad is being retained to test usefulness for shopping trips, laundry trips, day trips, etc. 247.74
3.6 Nomad Hardboard Base B&Q hardboard bought and cut to size for the Nomad inner floor, may not need now that we have the DoggyRide but will be re-used to custom fit the garage shelving outer’s to retain shelf contents when on the move 10.52
3.7 Sundry products to ride/’pimp out’/maintain the cycles As with most items for cycling we were able to buy in our former capacity as cycle dealers, 3.1, 3.5 and all of this stuff were bought at trade prices. The sundry items bought were: RSP USB Light Sets (2), Rear USB LED Lights (2), 12mm Combo Lock, Cruiser Bag, ‘Mission’ Helmet, RSP ‘Quest’ Helmet, 100ml Lube, P/Zone Pump w/guage, 700 x 35 tube, Lombok Basket, 48mm Combination Lock, Patch Kit, Tool Bag, Slime-8(2), Poncho (2), Double Loop Security Cable (2), 8 mm Combo Lock (2)  228.47
  Total Cycling Set Up 1337.78

4. Dogs Set Up

Item Comments Cost – £’s
4.1 Re-register ‘Shakey’ chip to new address   6.00
4.2 Register ‘Tilley’ chip to new address First time registration 10.00
4.3 ‘Tilley’ operation Operation to de-ladyify Tilley – Puppies and Full-Timing in a Motor-Home = No thank you  94.50
4.4 ‘Shakey’ Pet Passport Annual booster inoculation and passport update 90.29
4.5 ‘Tilley’ Pet Passport First time issue of Pet Passport with annual booster inoculation 143.79
4.6 Sundry items Safety muzzle for occasional use should it ever be required to silence the Tilley tendency to bark at fast-moving objects (especially children), balls and every strangers face she sees – Ground spike to tether Tilley to as she does like to wander – Harness to stop Tilley from wrestling free of her collar. Shakey of course, being Amanda’s hound, is perfect and doesn’t have any of these hound deficiencies. Just don’t try picking him up or stealing anything that he has an interest in. 2 x Scalibor 48cm Collars for ticks/Sand-flies/Mosquitos = £32.50 57.49
4.7 Doggyride Original Trailer with Stroller Together, our hounds weigh between 20-25Kg. The DoggyRide trailer will take up to 45Kg. Both fit comfortably into this trailer. Tilley is a Cocker Spaniel (Show, not Working variety) and Shakey is a CockerPoo (X twixt Cocker Spaniel and Toy Poodle) 184.00
4.8 Cushions 2 x ‘Pets At Home’ cushions for the DoggyRide Original Trailer inner ‘floor’ – we deliberately bought 2 separate cushions because they’re easier to handle when being laundered 29.98
4.9 Doggyride Trailer Safety Flag No idea what the law is regarding these on cycle trailers, the Burley Nomad came with a flag but the DoggyRide didn’t have one, hence we bought this aftermarket flag. 9.95
  Total Dog Set Up Cost 626.00

5. Computing Set Up

Item Comments Cost – £’s
5.1 Google  Nexus 7 Android Tablet Primarily bought for battery life virtues, as our Skype ‘comms’ with the world at large and to anchor a satnav app. The Nexus 7 has become Amanda’s ‘tool of choice’ and she has virtually discarded her Lenovo T400 laptop. Amanda also has a Kindle. 177.65
5.2 Chargers USB Mains Charger & USB 12v Charger (cheapo’s – not a good idea)
5.3 Lenovo C470 All in one desktop 21.6″ screen plus a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5” Tablet with a Logitech keyboard/case/cover Started out as a Sony Vaio VPCF1 laptop that ‘lost’ the Recovery disk sector, the Sony will retrieve its’ cost price and this large (ish) screen desktop reverts me to something that is more in my comfort zone. I am a keyboard/mouse fiend!. We did consider a tablet/laptop hybrid – a Pro Surface 3 – but this all-in-one better suits my requirements now that we have added a Samsung Galaxy Tab S for surfing duties.We also have the Nexus 7 and our i-phone 4S. We will need heavy-duty use of Microsoft Excel to re-start the business plus we have many NTFS based apps and files, hence the Windows bias 1000.00
5.4 HP Envy 120 All-in-one Wireless Printer We needed to replace our large and heavy all-in-one Brother printer with something smaller for use in Twernt. The price includes additional ‘original’ ink cartridges – 2 x black and 1 x colour 165.53
5.5 iBoost Omni-Directional WiFi Booster System We live in hope of getting some use from this and we’re certain that it will happen judging by reports from others. The iBoost Antenna will bring wifi signals into Twernt from afar (something like 1 kilometer?), the signal is received by an iBoost Personal Hotspot (a router) set within Twernt and a URL address displays the application page from the router which reports any hotspots available to the user (providing you have the password, if needed, for the hotspot) 282.94
5.6 iBoost System – Fitting Charge Paul from Rhino Installs was visiting us to fit the solar panels that we bought. We also asked him to fit the MaxView Satellite Dish. This cost was just for the iBoost during that visit. A visit to fit just one device would obviously cost more. Paul knows his ‘onions’ and produces quality results very quickly 50.00
5.7 Netgear Aircard/Antenna NetGear Aircard 4G Mobile Hotspot Wi-Fi (MiFi) plus a 4G/3G MIMO Mobile Antenna with TS9/TS9 connectors. I have fitted the antenna to one of the over-cab side windows and the NetGear ‘box’ is kept on the side shelf part of the over-cab area. We have a ‘3’ Monthly Data Contract (so we can dump it at one months notice) that costs £15/month for 10GB of data. We have a 2nd contract for our 3G Hauwei 5756, giving us 20GB of data per month. Once 4G Euro-wide coverage improves, we will dump the Hauwei. Interestingly (or not if you don’t give a …. chew), 3 have VERY recently announced that the data contract can now be used in France without roaming charges. So we’re all set for UK and France. Come on 3, give me Spain and Portugal as well! The ‘3’ deal, called ‘Feel At Home’ does cover some 15 other countries, none of which I am interested in for our imminent winter escape. For anyone who doesn’t know, a Netgear or Huawei MiFi box is something like a mobile phone, similar size and looks (no input screen/keyboard though) and it takes a sim card the same as your mobile but the box is designed as a mobile router so your sim contract is typically for data only. 124.98
5.8 Huawei 5756 MiFi 3G MiFi device – see above – we have a ‘3’ monthly data contract costing £15/month for 10GB data download 44.50
  Total Cost Computing Set Up 1859.61

6. Television Set Up

Item Comments Cost – £’s
6.1 MaxView B2590/85cm Next Gen Satellite Dish  Supply of dish only 514.95
6.2 MaxView Fitting Cost Fitted by Paul of Rhino Installs, during testing the dish Paul discovered that we had been supplied with the wrong model Avtex TV – no satellite lead input on the Avtex L186DR, make sure that you get the DRS version if you want both FreeView and FreeSat built in on the TV 175.00
6.3 Co-ax ‘Y’ Splitters Used to split the Status terrestrial aerial input into 2 aerial leads. The first being the original aerial lead to the bedroom area TV point and a new terrestrial aerial lead to the over-cab area where we have ‘loose’ installed the Avtex TV. The original Autotrail feed to the built-in drop-down TV/DVD/Reversing Camera Screen is fed from a scart lead out of a TechniSat DigitMod Freeview box which isn’t working – the scart feed needs checking out through to the drop-down unit. The drop-down doesn’t have a scart output so a yet-to-be-found converter must exist. 3.47
6.4 MaxView MXL013 Terrestrial Digital TV Signal Finder Used to find the best available signal when positioning the roof terrestrial Status aerial (twist and fiddle around on the aerial ‘stem’ located in a habitation cupboard) 17.00
6.5 Status Aerial Digital Amplifier Signal booster for the Status terrestrial aerial, also has a finder but not as good as the MaxView dedicated one above 35.99
6.6 Avtex L186DRS TV
18.5″ Mains/12v power efficient TV with FreeView and Freesat built-in. Also has DVD player and a record facility by using a USB ported external storage device (memory stick, large capacity backup disk drive, etc.) 345.50
6.7 Avtex AK854 Carry Case Hard case that stores and ‘cossets’ the Avtex TV when on the move 34.99
   Total Television Set Up cost  1126.90

7. Other Set Up Costs (Hab/Camping/Miscellaneous)

Item Comments Cost – £’s
7.1 Varta Hobby 110Ah Leisure Batteries (x 2) Came highly recommended, I had to fit them semi-diagonally but they do fit. All good and they’re sucking sun power every day as I pen this (so are we!) 219.98
7.2 Battery Harness AutoTrail provide a feed for a 2nd battery but that feed then requires a harness to connect from the feed to the battery. It would be cheaper to make your own lead. 24.99
7.3 Solar Panels Kit including fitting ‘on-site’
Cleversolar 90W Professional Slimline Solar Panel Kit x 2 (Total 180 Watts) – CS-90 x 2 and all associated kit required to fit the panels (Cabling, Mounts, Sikaflex, etc.). The kit included a dual battery Fox 320/220 Charge Controller with a Fox MD-1 separate display unit (enables controller to be close to batteries and whilst the display unit for the controller is installed inside the motor-home habitation area). The display allows the incoming solar ‘feed’ to be directed to either the leisure batteries or the vehicle battery or to both; a % can be user-keyed into the MD-1 display unit  to select whatever % solar charge the user desires to be directed to the leisure battery and the vehicle battery (e.g the user can opt for, say, a 90% solar charge to go to the leisure battery (or batteries) and a 10% solar charge to go to the vehicle battery).The CS-90 is a mono-crystalline solar panel of professional grade that uses advanced high-efficiency solar cells and they are the most efficient on the market (21.5%); The blurb states they are the panel of choice for ‘off-grid’ applications (such as caravans and motor-homes) throughout mainland Europe. It also says ‘Don’t be fooled by ‘copycat’ imports from Asia’; if in doubt, always check the efficiency rating and if it’s less than 21.5%, it’s not the real thing. These quality manufactured panels are up to 50% smaller than others and are available from 30W to 135W.The supplier was ‘CleverSolar’ and they organised fitting by Paul of ‘Rhino Installs’ who visited us in the walled garden to fit the panels (and, in the event Paul also fitted our Satellite Dish and iBoost system on the same day). The price includes all product required and the fitting.You pays your money……..!!! 1000.00
7.4 Anker Astro E5 Charger This a a re-charger that will charge smartphones, tablets and more. They state it will charge a smart phone around 6 to 8 times. Bought to ease the load on solar when wild-camping and to enable us to charge all manner of USB devices, e.g. iPhone, iPod, Nexus 7 tablet, Camera, Shaver, etc. 46.95
7.5 Camera Should I include this here? We upgraded our Sony Cyber-Shot camera for a newer version, the DSC-HX200V – Update: Having decided that the Sony is too cumbersome to haul around we have sold it on & now purchased a Panasonic Lumix GX1 245.95
7.6 SD Card Our old sd cards weren’t up to the spec required for the DSC-HX200V, this one is a 16GB Extreme SDHC 45MB/Sec Class 10 Memory Card – also works fine for the GX1
7.7 Sony i-device Speaker Dock Sony Speaker Dock for our i-Phone and i-Pod. Best not to dwell on this as I bought the wrong one. Will be useful when/if i upgrade my iPod and i-Phone to the latest versions (different connectors!). However, there are 2 consolations, firstly, it works using an audio-out lead and, secondly, I have a cupboard FULL of music CD’s! 49.99
7.8 Roberts SolarDAB Radio The SolarDAB radio is powered from mains or rechargeable batteries. The batteries can be recharged via a solar panel incorporated into the radio. Amanda’s ‘weapon of choice’ for entertainment  79.99
7.9 Co-Pilot SatNav for Android This is the Co-Pilot Premium SatNav for Android Tablets (our Nexus 7) – I have now dumped this app as our ‘prime’ satnav due to conflicting on the Nexus 7 with Skype calls. I bought the Nexus 7 primarily for Skyping with family and friends and have a ‘land-line’ number on Skype plus a contract with Skype to make free calls throughout most of Europe to mobile phones and land-lines.We may also progress to using the Nexus 7 for incoming business calls.The conflict with Co-Pilot arises when, for example, you are SatNav reliant whilst traversing, say, the Boulevard Périphérique and an incoming call arrives. GRRRRR! Co-Pilot will be retained (I’ve paid for it!) and will be useful for cycle and walking outings (he says more in hope than certainty). We shall see   27.99
7.10 Snooper SatNav Snooper S6450 Ventura Pro Caravan Club Edition – bought on eBay at well below list price (to counter the Co-Pilot cock-up) – lifetime updates is better than my old Tom-Tom satnav 222.50
7.11 Guides/Maps They still make real 20th century campsite guides and maps in paper versions! For reasons of nostalgia and in fear that we could lose TV, radio and music entertainment sources I purchased a number of publications that may prove to be of interest in this nomadic lifestyle. Specifically they are: – All The Aires: France – All The Aires: Spain & Portugal – CamperStop Europe – Road Atlas Spain & Portugal – AA Big Road Atlas Europe – AA Big Road Atlas Britain and AA Big Road Atlas France 100.96
7.12 Hama Dual USB 12v Charger The ‘cheapo’ that I bought (mentioned at 5.2, above) was ‘not good’. I replaced it with this Hama version. Used for more than just computing (camera, i-Pod, etc.) so the cost belongs here; the cost for the cheapo remains in the Computing Costs as we IT’ers always get the blame for every cock-up known to man. 28.03
7.13 Fitted Seat Covers Definitely a great buy – we drove to SB Seat Covers in Stockport and they did their magic on the driver and passenger seats and on the 2 long lounge seats.We opted for cream faux leather fitted covers because, having dogs, they are easier to clean than fabric covers. Also, we didn’t want a dark cover that would hide any marks, etc. – If it’s soiled we want to know about it and sort it out. We also didn’t want a 1930’s cottage-like look using ‘throws-to-go’; we started out in Twernt with that solution and found it depressing.You could improve on the seat covers we now have by opting for leather but that will cost over 3 times more. Maybe later.The guys (and gals!) at SB Seat Covers in Stockport are professional and the team worked hard all day with caring attitudes. The best cleaning/polishing solution that we have found, so far, is to use SupaGard Leather Cleaner (which is diluted in water and can be applied to quickly clean the surface areas) followed by Collinite 855 Leather & Vinyl Wax to produce a protective finish.I have included before and after images of Twernt’s interior 659.99
7.14 Bedding We needed to get a custom-made mattress protector (the bed is 7′ long), this then extended to Duvet covers and Egyptian cotton sheets 109.75
7.15 Sundry Kitchen Draw tidy, Kitchen bowl (28x32x32cm) and a door mat 19.10
7.16 Kettle/glasses Apparently we needed a low power consumption kettle (Swiss Luxx) and MoHo-friendly drinking glasses 31.85
7.17 Dyson Vacuum We had very recently bought a new ‘Henry’ but apparently we needed this Dyson DC34 Animal cordless vacuum and accessories just for Twernt
7.18 Magma S/S 10 piece Saucepan Set Next we needed stainless steel non-stick saucepans so we bought this Magma 10-piece nestable set with Cerama (non-stick?) – Update: we got stung for £41.76 import duty – saucepans are the business though.
7.19 12v Endless Breeze Fan Endless Breeze (Fantastic Vent) 12v Fan – Initially weak due to weak 12v connection, now fixed and operates well. 74.99
7.20 Polar Silver Screen It’s a silver screen, made by ‘Polar’ but you’d already guessed that, hadn’t you?
7.21 Cab Dash Mats Rubber mat inserts for multiple cab dash storage areas 15.49
7.22 Milenco Quattro Levels (2 sets) So far, we have only had to use one set of levels (on the front wheels) and that is all that is needed if you have a 4-wheeler. It’s a little different if you have a tag-axle 6 wheeler.When you need to level-up at your rear-end (careful with that axe, Eugene) you need 2 sets of levels with the ‘deep-ends’ of the levels adjoined in the middle of the tag wheels. So, 2 levels on each side (1 set) = 2 sets of levels for both sides of your rear-end.Also see 7.23 below for the ‘Jointing’ Plates, I would have called them Fixing Plates to avoid any confusion as they’re definitely not smoking material (I’ve tried! – only joking!) 82.75
7.23 Milenco Quattro Jointing Plates 2 x ‘Jointing’ Plates to fix adjoining levels together when used on a tag axle vehicle – my tip is don’t try smoking them
7.24 Kampa Quick Step Folding Double Step Used instead of the skinny built-in step, folds down and is kept inside the hab door during transit. A double loop security cable and combination lock attempts to keep it in our rightful ownership 43.79
7.25 Sunncamp 4 Arm Portable Rotary Clothes Line & Carry Bag Item title says it all really 32.95
7.26 White Knight 2800rpm Spin Drier Clever cylindrical device that extracts water from freshly washed clothing, etc. Can you detect that I’m getting bored with typing all of this stuff. Someone, somewhere needs to find some of this information useful, just one person/one item will do it! 89.00
7.27 FlexiPlus Multi-Purpose Ladder Folding ladder, kept in the garage, which can be a ladder, step-ladder or, my favourite, a platform taking a 150kg load.150Kg would be me and all of my cleaning paraphernalia plus a PORG to save me from bending down to pick stuff up from the platform 81.88
7.28 Thetford C200 Refresh Kit A 2nd Thetford Toilet Cassette to facilitate longer wild-camping stays.Ideal for when you’ve got go and you’ve got to go when you’ve already been….too many times 79.70
7.29 SOG Extra Connector for 2nd Thetford Cassette As it says really, without this for the 2nd cassette you’d be all over the place, well some of what used to be you would be all over the place, if you get the drift and the drift is something you definitely wouldn’t want 16.30
7.30 10mm Cooker Hood Carbon Filter This is en-route to me as I write. The SOG replacement carbon filter costs £9.50 and is no bigger than 10cm x 15cm.The cooker hood carbon filter is 57cm x 47cm, so you can get 15 years worth of filter changes from one sheet.15 years @ £9.50/year vs £4.85 gives a saving of at least £130.You do need to make sure that you get a Charcoal Cooker Hood Filter as it’s the charcoal that does magic on whiffy-ness. Update: Now fitted and, due to thickness, it requires ‘triple’ filters to replace one SOG filter. 5 years for £4.85 is still better than £47.50 from SOG.
7.31 Gas Items Gas-Low Euro adaptors for 1. France, Italy, Portugal, Germany – 2. Spain – 3. Austria++, USA also: Cadac Tail Piece and hose (for connecting to the external AutoTrail gas outlet) and Camping Gaz regulator/hose/907 refill (independent use of Cadac). 94.94
7.32 Water Items 15m Flat Food Grade Hose/Reel – 5m Food Grade non-kinking, non-toxic, 12mm hose – Watering Can – Various sized Hozelock tap connectors, hose connectors, hose-end connectors, Hozelock 2674 Jet trigger Spray and a Hozelock spares kit 109.56
7.33 Hi-viz Vests Replacements for our AWOL Hi-viz vests and needed for travel in some Euro countries. Also needed, but we already have, are a Warning triangle, Vehicle bulbs kit, Headlight adjusters and a breathalyser kit 5.80
7.34 Inverter Sealey Sine Wave Inverter PSI300 300W 12v – 230v 50Hz 77.38
7.35 Digital Multimeter KewTech KT115 Digital Multimeter 44.90
7.36 Sundry Items Other sundry items purchased: 20A/30A/40A/50A maxi-blade fuses, assorted mini-blade fuses, already had standard blade fuses, battery top-up de-ionised water, funnels, a few extra tools such as files and a couple of mini-pliers (end+side-cutters), Reich O-ring spare tap washers, Shur-Flo Trail King Water Pump 2095-204-412 (as a spare) and half a dozen male & female 12v plugs to make-up 12v leads. Telescopic waxing brush (useless! puny handle bent and snapped on 1st use. Not China’s best. £12.50 from eBay) – Surface mount 2 x12v sockets, 12v TV+Sat+cig socket, fuse holder, terminals – Telescopic brush & accessories (marginally better handle than the useless one – £27.95 from eBay) – Sikaflex – Sugru used on window corner to stop door hitting the window when both are open – Scotch Blue masking tape 255.34

Total Other Set Up Costs (Hab/Camping/Miscellaneous)

Freshly covered Twernt lounge seat -courtesy of SB Seat Covers of Stockport

Freshly covered Twernt lounge seat -courtesy of SB Seat Covers of Stockport

Picture taken by SB Seat Covers upon completion of re-fit to Twernt

Picture taken by SB Seat Covers upon completion of re-fit to Twernt

My perch - note the steering wheel cover a complimentary gift from SB Seat Covers - Thanks guys! Love it!

My perch – note the steering wheel cover a complimentary gift from SB Seat Covers – Thanks guys! Love it!



Reference Category Total Category Cost – £’s
Other (Habitation/Camping/Miscellaneous)

Total spend to acquire and set up Twernt ready for our winter/eternal escape



Please bear in mind that we are newbies/novices at full-timing; we have been full-timing since mid-May 2014. We have listened to advice from more knowledgeable and experienced full-timers and most of the products that we have bought are the result of this. For other products, we have made extensive use of Google and numerous UK and USA forums.

Many existing full-timers will probably espy products that they consider unnecessary but, at this time, we don’t.

Only time and experience will reveal what is right for us.

Right now, we are running at 86.3% of budget so we’re happy with our progress to date.

Updated (30/August/2014: We have further items on our ‘wish’ list but they will now have to wait until 2016:

– Screenhouse/Safari room/Windbreakers

– TV relocation/Hama bracket

– Mudflaps (bought some useless ones, will replace in 2015)

– Twernt awning needs some attention

– Tap spares – need to resolve brand issue – some say AutoTrail use Reich others say they don’t – need to call AutoTrail

– Cycles – do we need to get a cycle rack to free up the towbar for a trailer/Smart car/Bike & sidecar?

We ran out of time on some of these issues but deliberately chose to postpone others to see how we progress during our first winter away.

If there’s anyone out there with a serious interest in this lifestyle please bear in mind that the above ‘list’ is not exhaustive as we came into this with some items that were ‘left-over’ from our previous vacationing motor-home, a Hymer B574.

Salient items were:

– De Longhi Bambino Speed Warm electric fan

– Folding loungers (Lafuma style) – now sold and raised enough£’s for 2 x Quest Elite Ragley chairs

– ‘Director’ style chairs – now archived

– Canvas camping chairs – now disgarded

– Tripod and foot stools

– 10L water container with base tap

– Cadac Carry-Chef gas BBQ and numerous accessories

– Sleeping bags, but I don’t know why we’re carrying them!

After the camping related stuff we also ‘imported’ to Twernt items such as:

– Our office ‘must-haves’ – these are kept in a couple of ‘Tesco’ storage boxes in the overhead cab area

– Kitchen-ware as deemed ‘cannot be without’ by Amanda

– 1st Aid Kit, includes my must haves for dealing with mosquito’s; Avon ‘So Soft’ is touted as being ‘fit for purpose’; from our business past we were ‘gifted’ some NikWax products for the same purpose and we will be testing those out as and when. I have been known to suffer ‘above and beyond’ from these little critters.

– Bedding – some replaced (as listed above) due to bespoke size of Twernt’s bed

– Garage tools, too many to mention, considerably pared and still too many to mention

– Clothing – again reduced considerably but I note that we’ve only used about 10-20% of what we still have in Twernt (may have something to do with Amanda’s love of gypsy-style washdays!).

13 thoughts on “Set-up £’s

  1. Nice job here. Can’t wait to be doing this for our transition to the mobile life. As my work involves quite a bit to do with mobile in terms of managing/marketing towns an cities…I will truly be the “mobile consultant”.



    • Thanks Guy, I can think of a few towns and cities that need your help! Perhaps you could convince them to start with providing ‘aires’ for motorhomers!! Cheers, Roy


  2. Roy
    That’s definitely on the agenda under “destination marketing”. A good friend of mine has just taken a tenured position at University of Greenwich (really) and is running a series of degree and post-grad courses covering DM. It’s all part of getting towns and cities to adapt to a changing world. More and more people are getting into that phase of the Boomer demographic that is “active retirement”…significant enough numbers to warrant the attention of place managers. I think that places like Canterbury, Lincoln and most Welsh county councils have figured out what MoHo people need. Maybe we should attempt a rough calculation of the economic impact of motorhomers!
    I am looking forward to the vicarious thrills from the reading of your continental perambulations!
    All the best


  3. Having just found your blog we are looking forward to seeing how you get on. We start our own ‘great getaway’ next April. so will be very interested in your experiences especially as we have a similar sized MH and seeing what troubles, non we hope, that you may have. We have travelled extensively in Europe and just got back from a six week taster living on Aires and german Stellplazas to live a more frugal existence. Your cost planner will be interesting to read. Have a safe trip and look forward to hearing from you both.
    God bless.


    • Good to hear from you Peter. Thank you. I think you have way more experience than us of Aires and Stellplazas so you’ll probably get a laugh out of how us newbies fare! There are many ‘small’ things that I hope to cover in the blog; the one thing we have noticed in just the few days that we’ve been on the road is about TV use – During the 3 months we lived in the MoHo whilst getting set-up, etc., the TV was ‘perched’ near the front edge of the overcab bed area (we removed the mattress to use the overcab area for ‘office’ storage). For tavelling We have an Avtex case to store the TV in. So far, we haven’t been tempted once to set the TV up (remove from case, fix aerial and mains leads) whereas if we had installed a corner bracket it would have been a simpler task to just switch on and view (once the sat/land aerial has been fixed). We’re thinking that it’s not a bad thing to not fall into ‘TV-as-wallpaper’ though and we don’t miss it at all. Having said that we’ll probably get a bracket fitted next year though!


  4. We too have the Avtex TV. I put a swivel arm bracket that screws to the back of the TV and then slots into a bracket that I secured on the bulk head behind the passenger seat. The TV is then removable from the bracket when travelling. I had wiring for TV arial 240v mains and 12v next to the bracket.
    I always use the 12v power lead when using the TV as the cable does not have the transformer part which is needed when you use the 240v. This makes it very tidy and quick to take out of the bag. We never got a Avtex bag I used an old soft computer bag because when you take it of the bracket you still have the swivel arm. Can send some pics if you wish


    • Thanks for that info Peter, have been looking at a Hama bracket which sounds very similar to what you describe. We’re leaving re-kocating the TV until we return next year now. We do have a 240v lead and a 12v lead, I’ve bought sockets to fit 12v at the front and will get that done once we get into France (still working on other things that need doing!). I think the location we currently have the TV in has put us off setting it up (fiddly to get leads into the side of the TV), but we are now using it…..1) Because the weather wasn’t good at Ladram Bay and 2) Because England are playing! – am off to watch that now!


  5. hi, nice reading. thanks.—
    As for them mozzies you could try RID. you can get it on line in the UK, i’ve seen it in London, but buy the cream not the spray. i found out about it in Australia. it is banned in certain country’s but i don’t care about that as it stops them getting me.


    • Hi Chris,
      Many thanks for that, I’ve bookmarked that website and agree with – just stop the friggin things by whatever means.
      I suffer above and beyond from their bites. Too late for me to source RYD for this trip but will find it next year (if the mozzies let me survive until then!).
      Good luck with your MoHo hunt (Carthago!), saw a nice GiottiLine today.


  6. Found your blog via facebook and have to say a great write up and love the detail.
    You may find my site usefull which lists motorhomestopovers and campsites. Can I use any of your photos in exchange for a mention and link to your blog?


    • Hi Maggie, glad that you found our set-up stuff to be of some use! I used to trawl blogs looking for pictures of how others set-up when abroad and that was why I documented our set-up and is also partly why I photograph them and blog them on – that plus I’m nosey and it all interests me!
      The only bespoke parts of our bedding are the mattress – the previous owner had a custom made memory foam mattress made and no matter what else happens on our travels we’re always certain of a good nights sleep. I think you may be referring to the bedsheets that we use – because the bed is something like 7′ long – they are from Autotrail and can be found on their website – but you could also gets these custom made. Our duvets are a little too short (maybe 2″) – but they are regular sized. Hope this helps some. Regards, Roy


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