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Which Motorhome with Garage? (The Result)


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Now then......I posted on here a few weeks ago in search of some advice in regard to which motorhome with Garage people could suggest.


In the end I have gone for a Swift Sundance 630G, (a new one,) so looking forward to collecting it next week, once the alarm and TV (12v specific) have been fitted!


As my user name suggest I do a bit of bike racing, so I'll be off in it (having never been in a motorhome before!) over Christmas racing in some big Cyclo-Cross races in Belgium, probably not staying on specific sites, just in a car park in the towns of race venus (Loehout, Middlekerke & Tourhout)


So as a total Motorhome "Virgin" I'm pretty excited (read apprehensive!) as we'll be roughing it in a Brand New Van!!


Insurance & Recovery etc is all taken care of, bedding and platic plates etc are arriving on a daily basis, but......can anyone recommend a book or article that can give me some top tips so that I don't blow the electrics or flatten the battery, and some basic do's & do's and do nots!!!

I'm hoping for a decent handover for some vehicle specific things, but it's the general stuff.......


I'm sure this kind of thing has been asked before, so thanks in advance!


Keith Murray


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Suggest you weigh the van axle by axle with your bike, spares, clutter, pots,pans, bedding, food, BBQ,gas water and fuel on board.

You might get a rude awaikening!

Good luck though,

The only MH with a garage capable of carrying our two motorcycles and all our clutter is on a 6 tonne chassis.



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For a wide choice of motorcaravanning-related books visit:




From the Motorhome Books section of the website I can personally recommend John Wickersham's "The Motorcaravan Manual" (Haynes Publishing - £16.99).


"Go Motorhoming - Europe" (£11.99) has received good press, but I haven't read it.


Having splurged a small fortune on a new motorhome, why not buy both?

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Not trying to be funny but, re operating the van, just settle down and read all the manuals, and make sure you are clear about what they say.  After that, attack the van!

First, turn on the gas at the bottle, sniff carefully for leaks in the locker, and then open all the gas cocks to all appliances and have a good sniff around inside.

Next, if you can, connect the van to mains and test the RCD trip on the mains panel.  Check that all circuit breakers are "on".

If your van has the Truma DriveSafe system fitted, make sure you have opened the two gas safety cut outs, then try lighting the hob/cooker and check it works correctly.  You may find the DriveSafe cut outs "trip" the first time, so re-set them if necessary.  Leave the gas supply on, but continue sniffing!

Plug loads into all 240V sockets and make sure all work.

Then, run all the interior lights for a while with the mains off, until you can see the habitation battery has dropped voltage, and then bring the mains back on to make sure the charger is working.

Fill with fresh water, purge the air, make sure you operate all the taps/shower, and then have a good look round everywhere for water leaks - including under sink and washbasin.

Then check that the Truma dump valve is closed, and fill the water heater and purge the hot water system of air.

Turn on the water heater to max, and make sure the water heats up properly on all energy systems.  Expect it to "fault" several times before all the air is purged and the gas supply fully established.  Again, with DriveSafe, it may trip the safety cut outs sevarel times in the process.  There will be some odd smells as it heats up, which are best got rid of before you occupy the van!

Then turn the space heating on and give that a good blast.  More funny smells!  Check that heat is coming from everywhere it is supposed to come from.  Repeat for alternative energy supply if installed.

Then turn on the fridge on mains, and check it works.  Overnight is best.

Once that is established, switch to gas and do likewise.

Then, empty the waste tank, the hot water system, the fresh water tank and make sure the Truma dump valve is open to drain.  If you don't, and the weather turns cold, you may risk a freeze up but more likely, the Truma valve will open for you and dump the lot anyhow.  Fill and purge the water systems again just before you leave.

All that then remains to prove is that the 12V system charger the battery and runs the fridge while driving.  You can't really establish that fully until you are loaded, provisioned, and on the road.  Good luck at the races!

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I didn't check the van spec that far, but it looks as though you're right. 

How odd that the Ultrastore doesn't have the dump valve, yet the Trumatic C does.  Looking at the number of warnings they give about allowing the Ultrastore to freeze, and noting they will not accept frost damage as a ground for a warranty claim, it seems both have the same vulnerability. 

Makes you wonder if fitting the automatic dump valve to the Ultrastore, in lieu of the manual drain valve, should be considered.  Ultrastores aren't cheap, either!

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The Ultrastore boiler's design does not allow it to be linked to the electrical safety/drain valve used on Truma's C-Series appliances. If one wanted to protect an Ultrastore boiler against accidental frost damage, I guess it should be practicable to employ the non-electrical valve fitted to the totally new model Truma "Combi" heaters. However, I don't know how this valve is operated or functions temperature-wise.


Me, I'd opt for a simple manual drain valve every time, particularly as (like so many other motorcaravanners) I treat the electrical valve on my motorhome as a manual one and jam it to prevent it inadvertently opening.

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Being a new user it may be useful to make a check-list of what appliances, etc., are switched on / connected up, so that you can make sure everything is disconnected or switched off before getting back on the road.

There may be a listing supplied with the M/H.


It is very easy to forget to do something in the excitement to make a quick getaway, only to find something ( water hose or electic hook-up, etc..) is trailing behind the M/H or left on-site.


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