Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Motorhome / RV - A list of essential items for outside the vehicle

Fourwinds 5000 motorhome

When buying an RV/Motorhome it can be hard to know what to buy initially.

Generally we find it better to manage without things and buy later rather than overload the motorhome with things we don't really need and believe me there is a big difference between what you do need and what you might think you need.

Having had over 10 motorhomes we now feel we have a pretty good idea of what you really might need.    

This is a list of things for inside the RV/motorhome .

Here is a list of the external items we like to have, obviously this list is subject to the amount of storage space and payload available.  Other considerations are the number of passengers, countries to be visited and expected weather.

Leveling blocks
Solar panel or 2 if you can afford it and have space for them

Monday, 28 July 2014


You may have heard that London public transport has now gone cashless.

Any contact less card can be used but if you buy an Oyster Card you also get discounted fares.

All the info is on the website but remember that you have paid a deposit on your card so if you are not returning in the near future you may want to get a refund on your balance and the card before leaving.

Swipe the card each time you start and finish a journey.  You will either do this at a barrier or find a machine nearby.  You must do this even if the barrier is open as you are automatically charged the maximum day rate if you miss any swiping.

TAKE CARE Even doing everything correctly the system sometimes fails.  Travelling as a couple we noticed our card balances were different and found out one card had double swiped on exit.  After taking the matter up with Transport For London we eventually got a refund and in fact found out that both cards had been overcharged on another journey.  Best thing is to keep an eye on the balance that is displayed on the machines.

Sunday, 27 July 2014


I am a fan of Sky Scanner but think I have gone one better with Jet Cost

This site is a beauty if you have some flexibility in dates or airports.

Once you have keyed in your preferred dates and airports the search results come up with exact matches but also lists (in price order) things that are pretty close.

This may be slightly different dates or a combination of airports close to the chosen departure one, close to the arrival one or even both.

Select the flight that suits you and this will re-direct you to the website where you can make your booking.

Whilst I now prefer Jet Cost here are a few other fare checkers you may want to try out - however when I did my "test" search they were all more expensive.
Which budget
Charter Flights
Flight checker only trips up to 31 nights or one way
E Dreams
Cheap Air mainly USA & Canada

Please leave a comment if you find a website that comes up with better prices than Jet Cost.

FREE Passport photos

If you have access to a computer and printer then this is a way to get FREE passport  and visa photos.

Log on to E Passport Photo website

Select the country and type of photo you require and click "get my passport photo"

Now scroll down the page until you see the "free do it yourself service".

After uploading your photo you can re size to fit the regulations, then save and/or print.

Even if you don't have a printer you should be able to save it back to your memory card then take to one of those machines that print out a 6x4 photos. In Australia we paid 49c at K Mart for instant prints and each photo had 7 pictures on working out at just 7c per passport photo - bargain.  In fact if you go for the 1-hour photo is is only 19c and the 24 hour processing 15c. 

This could be a boon to backpackers -  if you save a photo on your memory card, computer or even E-mail one to yourself you are in a position to quickly whip up a new photo for those unexpected border requirements etc.

Or before you set out on a trip why not be prepared and print off any sizes that may be of use, they weigh so little and take up almost no space that this could be a big time and money saving thing in the long term.  

Motorhome / RV - A list of essential items for inside the vehicle

Inside our Fourwinds 5000 American RV

Having bought and sold many motorhomes / RV's we now have a pretty good idea of what is required as opposed to what would be nice to have.

This is a list of the things we feel are the basics for use inside the motorhome.  Obviously the quantity of some items will depend on the size of the motorhome, how many berths and whether you anticipate having visitors.

Broom (handy when you are washing the outside of the vehicle)
Dustpan and brush
3 household buckets of different colours that stack inside each other  (I use one with a carrier bag inside as a kitchen bin)
Selection of pans, (good non stick type save on the washing up water)
Frying pan
A few plastic storage containers (a round one can be used as mixing bowl)
Set of wooden spoons
Plastic potato masher
Can openers (one always breaks or gets lost!)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Lost ? Think outside the square

If you are ever completely lost in a town/city and in your own vehicle here are a couple of suggestions to get you to your destination.

1 - Find a taxi and try asking the driver for directions.
If the destination is far away or complicated you next ask him how much the taxi fare would be.  
Assuming the fare sounds reasonable you then explain you would like to follow in your vehicle and will pay him the regular taxi fare once you both arrive.  By doing this you ensure that he doesn't drive too fast or lose you on the way.

2 - In some ways I like this one even better as you get a feed out of it.
Find a fast food place that offers a delivery service as they obviously know the area.
First try asking them for directions.
Again if it is complicated or far you could ask them that if you order some food could you follow the delivery vehicle to your destination.