IS THAT A LIGHT I SEE AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.... OR IS IT SOMETHING COMING THE OTHER WAY WITH ITS HEADLIGHTS FULL ON
So what to do now? All the vans I had seen didn't fit the bill. They would be fine if it was me, or me and someone else, or me and a smaller dog, or even several small dogs, who could curl up under the table or leap lightly onto the bed or sofa. But leaping lightly is not in Phoebe's portfolio, and even getting part of her under the table was not an option, and though she can curl up quite nicely she still needs a fair chunk of space to do it in.
I must have looked at thousands of different types of campervan and motorhome, none of which would do what we needed. Those RV's came up on line fairly regularly but not only were they big they were far, far more than I had thought of paying. Mind you any motorhome seems to be far, far more than any normal person would consider paying.
I am not quite sure why that is. I know there are lots of fittings in them but basically they are only vans with some bits of kitchen cabinets and a bed in there. But after looking at enough overpriced fitted vans you start getting brainwashed and expect to see prices with an excess of noughts on the end.
Various folk buy things like ex-police vans or retired library buses and fit them out themselves, but I am afraid my days of diy are past and even bending down to pick up something which I have dropped on the floor is a task which requires forethought. If I actually kneel down then it is pretty well impossible for me to get back up again. So with diy not being an option I started to explore the possibility of buying a vehicle and getting a professional firm to convert it for me.
Now if I was restoring a house I would know exactly what I wanted, and how to go about getting the work done, and where things needed to go in order to work in the most effective way, But this being an entirely new field to me I just didn’t know where to begin.
I did contact a couple of firms, but not only would their prices have made the finished product even more expensive than an “off the peg” model, but they were quoting months rather than weeks for doing the job. So back to the drawing board again
Lots and lots more research and looking went on, and I found and joined several online forums for Motorhomers. It never fails to amaze me how generous the online community can be with their knowledge and willingness to answer the (to them inanely basic) questions that are posted by newcomers to their specalized field. Though most of my questions seemed to be more on the housekeeping and home decorating side of motorhoming than what the horsepower of the engine was, or how the electrical and fuel systems worked, they were all answered with patience and kindness (with the occasional exception - but there has to be a few of those on any forum ! )
Each time I did some googling I was drawn back to the RV type of vehicle and eventually I decided that it was better to get a “bus” that I would be happy to live in and which might be more difficult to drive rather than get something marginally easier to handle on the roads, but so small and cramped for Phoebe and me that a few weeks would see us fractious and unhappy, and packing the whole thing in and going back to the bungalow option.
Please bear in mind that this is written before the act, so there may have to be amendments to my thoughts later on down the line, but eventually the decision was made and I got the smallest RV that I could find which gave me the sort of internal layout I thought might suit, and which was not too old so would hopefully be reasonably reliable whilst on the road.
The plan was that it would arrive before Christmas so I could play in it and try to find out how the various bits and pieces worked, then it would go back to the dealers to have a hydraulic ramp fitted to the back to hold the mobility scooter. The earlier idea of a so called garage space wouldn't have worked for me as mostly whatever is going to go inside needs to be manhandled to get it into place which was never going to be possible for me, as generally these "buses" are really quite high off the ground, and the battery weight alone of a scooter is surprisingly heavy. And unless it had a full height garage, which takes a huge amount of space and involves a much longer vehicle, it would be impossible to use ramps to get the scooter in.
But I have been getting ahead of myself on the other parts of my story. All this relies on me selling my property, and as I have said my house is huge with barns and outbuildings, and I already mentioned that I have been here over twenty five years, but what I haven't mentioned is that over the years not only have I been a collector of beautiful antiques, but I am also a hoarder of those “useful” things that one always needs when one keeps poultry, does a bit of farming, loves gardening, and is endlessly working on the house and grounds.
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