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Thinking about Fulltiming

Spailpin Fanach

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Hi all.


My name is Brian and this is my first post here.


Following a recent conversation with a friend, I'm seriously thinking of buying and living in a motorhome for the next year or so.


I have just returned home to Ireland following many years working in Holland and the UK. I am now living in Dublin, my home town. I am paying €1,000 a month to rent a wee house while waiting for social housing. This should take a few years to materialise. I also started a business in Dublin and, fortunately, this is very successful and its growth is greatly exceeding my very optimistic expectations.


As I had started saving for a camper-van; I was thinking of a VW T25 Westfalia California; I thought to myself, why not think outside of the box and consider a larger Hymer and also consider using this as my main residence. My first response was to reject this thought as preposterous but it took root in my subconscious and is slowly becoming a viable proposition.


There are many arguments in favour. I could get a cheap loan from the Credit Union and pay this off within 2 years with the savings from rent. I want to travel the Wild Atlantic Way and see as much of Ireland as possible while I can and I want to do this sooner rather that later. I would prefer a rural to an urban environment but work, family and friendship networks tie me to Dublin city, and that's absolutely fine, but a motorhome would provide both options.


Arguments against include my age, what others might think and also the practicalities of fulltime motorhoming. I have turned 60 and should have more sense and embrace my inner cardigan and slippers. Well, to hell with that. I'm in perfect health and although one should never encourage the gods to laugh by telling them of your plans, I nevertheless (whispering) hope to die in perfect health, a long time in the future.


Travelling in caravans or motorhomes in Ireland has a long history but also a dark shadow. It seems to me that many of the unwanted and unacceptable feelings in some Irish people are focussed on travelling people who are the recipients of some dreadful prejudice and discrimination. I don't want to be part of that but on the other hand, I don't really give a damn what people think about me so long as I'm clear and honest about my own motivations and behaviours. Some robust Anglo-Saxon expletives spring to mind!


The practicalities of fulltiming provide a lot of food for thought. Thanks to the Internet, especially Youtube, I have done quite a lot of research and currently a 15-18yo Hymer B584 seems the best bet. I like the layout and it's just under 6 meters in length. The price is also feasible. I can imagine living in one. I would be very grateful for any advice or personal feedback about this.


My intention is to find a safe and secure parking space near the end of either the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) or LUAS (Tram) systems to allow easy access to my clinic in Dublin city centre. This would also provide easy access to the rest of rural Ireland. I would really only need access to a water supply as I'm hoping solar panels and a small generator would meet my electricity needs. I thought that if I fitted a SOG upgrade to a standard cassette unit, I could bury loo waste in a local field or flush down WC. Again, I would be very grateful for any advice or personal feedback about this.


Thanks for taking time to read this and allowing me a space to clarify my thinking and sorry for wittering on a bit but, hey, why use one word when ten will do!

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This crops up a few times and you aren't the first and certainly won't be the last to dream of 'fulltiming'. I even considered it myself at one time but aren't one for 'jumping through hoops' (UK doesn't like anyone it sees as trying to fly under the radar!!).


You need a residential address in order to insure your MH. Some people use a close friend or relatives address as a 'dodge', but this can prove difficult should the event of a serious claim arise. Insurance companies collect premiums. Something they do not like doing is paying out big money. When faced with a big claim they will leave no stone unturned in looking at ways to reduce the pay out. Quite how anyone who has given a residential address which is not theirs stands at this point, i have no idea. That's something you really need to look into and consider.


Tax and MOT is simple by comparison so no problems there.


It would also be wise to go for an insurance which includes 365 day breakdown cover. Some only cover 6 months.


Something else worth mentioning, and this isn't to put you off either but more as a warning, i know of two British MH'ers (one of which does 'fulltime') who experienced a break in during the night by French youths. The guy who 'fulltimes' lost all his money, bank cards, and i-phone. The other who are a couple lost nothing but in both cases it was in the middle of the night and the thieves had managed to disable the alarm system before breaking in.


They woke to find someone standing inside their van......not a very nice experience. In fact it affected the couple so bad that they found they couldn't carry on MH'ing, sold up and now bought a Caravan. But of course they also had a house to come back to......the guy who 'fulltimes' has no house. His MH is his 'house'.


Some good sites of interest for you if you haven't already found them;







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Many people fulltime in Motorhomes and Caravans, lots of info on the internet,and fulltime forums for info,Google them,I am not surprised that Irish people don,t like full time travellers, we don,t like them much here in England either,because of the mess they leave behind when they are eventually moved on, and the majority seem to be Irish,but we must not tar everyone with the same brush.Living in a van is a good alternative to bricks and mortar, but it is not without it,s difficulties,getting water is easy, use service stations where you buy your fuel,cemeteries usually have a water tap and some public toilets too,you can empty your cassette there too, I understand that Ireland is Motorhome friendly and tolerate wild camping,I hope so as we are planning to tour Ireland for six weeks and attend the MCC club national rally in Belfast whilst there,have a look at the Camping and Caravanning Club info,they have five van Certified locations in their spec and you can stay on those for about a fiver a night and some have electric available, many farms would no doubt allow you to stay on them for a charge too, you may be better of with a caravan as then you would have a car to travel about in when pitched up somewhere,Motorhomes must be kept taxed, insured and MOT d and you need an address for this and your licence etc,full time insurance is available but costly,many full timers use relatives addresses but this can be a problem if you make an insurance claim and it is found to be a false address,you wont be covered. Laundry is easy with the launderettes about, Disposal of rubbish is easy with bins everywhere,but I have read that bins are not as accesable in Ireland as here in England,so good luck to you, we don,t full time but spend many months touring in our Motorhome each year and love the life.
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Guest pelmetman

Everything is in your favour Brian ;-).......................No ties.... so enjoy B-).............






We are trying to do the same thing, but unfortunately have the ties of a garden that I have strangely missed :-S..............





What is it with lawns and the need to mow? 8-)..............

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pelmetman - 2014-04-26 11:23 PM


What is it with lawns and the need to mow? 8-)..............


Apologies Brian for being off thread and good luck.


No idea Dave, but for the first time in my life I'm employing a gardener, cheesed off at returning to unkempt lawns, borders and privets.


Percy Thrower :D

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Is it possible to hire a MH just to see if you will like it?


There are pros and cons and it is up to you if you can adjust. I have had two spell in Spain, September, October, November and March, April both at a time when the weather suited us. Even in Spain it can be cold and dreich and then in the summer the motorhome is an oven.


Many full time so the hurdles are easy overcome and if you do not try you will never no.

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I'm just wondering, depending on the nature of your business, whether it would be practical to go one step further, and use the van as your business premises as well - thus also escaping the cost of (presumably) rented office accommodation.


IT and wireless communications should make this a reasonably practical proposition for most administrative functions, and the right van, with part equipped as an office, should enable you to travel to your clients in most locations. Clearly this would be dependent on having a postal address for some purposes, but I assume this could be arranged in some way via the Irish Post Office, or by some alternative commercial arrangement?


The greatest overall risk, in either event, would seem to be break-in and theft, or vandalism. Motorhomes are not generally built to resist break-in, so some research, and possibly modifications, may be required to achieve the required level of security.

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My wife and I fulltimed for about 11 months until she decided she 'needs a base' so we are back in a house now.


As Bulletguy says, your first port of call should be www.motorhome365.com where you be able to get any advice you need.


Might give you some ideas to read a couple of fulltimers blogs, some of my favourites are:




http://www.motorhomelifers.co.uk/ - packed full of information for prospective fulltimers.


I don't know what the situation is in Ireland but we had absolutely no problem getting insurance (from Comfort and expensive), using our son's address for driving licences and vehicle registration, or dealing with the bank who didn't bat an eyelid.


Security is always a worry of course, whether you live in a motorhome or a house. We did a 4 month tour of France (mostly) using aires the majority of the time and had no security worries at all, you just have to take sensible precautions.


Good luck.





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Once the house has sold I plan to full time. I will be 60 next year. Looking at Hymers for me and the dog. Probably head slowly back to Andalucia, where I lived. Will use my sister in the UK as my address. Thinking of putting a copy of a 'Caza' mag on the dash and some shooting and dog stickers on the van. Will come and go to Insure, MOT and avoid the 6 months rule.

If all goes well may then sell the van in the UK and buy one in Spain as I will end up spending more time there than here.

I'm lucky as I still have friends over there and know the area well, speak Spanish and have a N.I.E. number.




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I had a Hymer B694 tag axle with a large garage with a fixed double bed over the garage,it was the ideal full time / long term van as it was fully winterised,large payload and huge storage,and full sized seperate shower, and I could get 2 x13kg gas bottles in the locker,all of which you need for fulltiming,it was 4500kgs gross weight so you  need the 7.5 tonne licence to drive it though.
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