Journey of Discovery
PUBLISHED: 10:16 29 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:16 29 March 2016
With people of all ages embracing the motorhome, Shaun Lowthorpe and family take a trip to north Norfolk to find out why
I NEVER really noticed when it started but, at some point in the journey that is life, I found myself paying more attention to motorhomes parked in driveways or passing me by on the open road.
Maybe it was turning 40, settling down or moving to the suburbs, where large driveways and big berths parked in them seem to be the norm. But somewhere along the line, dreams of traversing down Route 66 had given way to thoughts of holidays in a motorhome in much more domestic locations, like Thetford Forest or Kelling Heath. I found myself drawn to these mobile beasts of burden, the traditional tent envy I felt on camping holidays morphing into staring at the four or six berths in their pitches.
So when the chance came to get behind the wheel of one, I stepped up to the plate. And so it was the family headed to Kelling Heath Holiday Park, near Holt, for three days of road-testing what it was like to holiday in one.
Picking up my borrowed four-berth Elddis Autoquest 165 from Simpsons Motorhomes in Great Yarmouth, I was given a run through of the essentials of getting started; what to do with waste water, how to use the gas, toilet cleaning arrangements and “auxiliary controls”. And then I was off. The hardest bits for me were adjusting the wing mirrors, navigating out of a very busy Yarmouth, and backing out of the garden before heading out to north Norfolk.
For non-technicals, like me, there was a double bed at the rear, a shower room/toilet, four-seater dining area, kitchenette/oven, plus a connection to plug in a TV if you had one. My son, who is two, loved climbing up and down the steps to get in and out, and my 10-year-old daughter enjoyed the fact that the driver and passenger seats can rotate.
Of course, our trip to Kelling coincided with some seasonal showers, so I struggled to hide my feelings of smug satisfaction when we could get away from the damp and simply “go indoors”.
And do you know what I really loved? Simply unplugging the electric cable when it was time to leave and driving off while my fellow campers were struggling with their tents.
Elddis builds its motor homes on Peugeot engines and they are a popular starting point for those looking to buy. The one we tried, for instance, would cost just under £35,000 to buy used.
But, hold on a minute, a motorhome is a luxury item, isn’t it? Not the purchase of choice for those with mortgages and young kids? Not so apparently. According to Steve Sewell, from Simpsons, there is growing interest from younger customers in owning a motorhome.
“It’s a popular model for families,” says Steve. “Over the past three or four years we have been getting a much younger fraternity, people in their thirties and forties, coming in now. We have got people who have had caravans making the step up, or there are people selling up their homes who want a motorhome so that they can go around the British Isles.”
There is also the newly-retired or mortgage-free who are either using their new-found pension freedoms to buy a motorhome or down-sizing their property. In fact, this kind of migratory customer is frequently hitting the road for months on end, or heading over to warmer climes such as Spain to overwinter. And who can blame them?