Central Locking problem

Central Locking problem

From time to time we found that the habitation door won’t lock when you press the central locking key. We found out what the problem was and a quick and easy solution to fix it.

 

Dometic fridge latch repair

So, we went round this roundabout and the fridge door swung open and a load of salad bags fell out. Good job it wasn’t the greek yoghurt eh? Could have been right messy. We taped it up until we could find a quiet spot to investigate the problem

First Step Starter Kit

First Step Starter Kit

Click HERE for free and immediate access!  First Step Starter Kit – for newbie motorhomies

The motorhome and camper community is growing exponentially and figures from the National Caravan Council say that this is only set to increase.  Life in a camper is incredible and we are loving our full-time travels and have no regrets about our decision to leave UK back in March 2016 or the motorhome we bought.  Although the journey to reach this point was not all plain sailing and we coursed up and down that familiar old rollercoaster.

Seeing so many more adventurers start out on their journey through the Facebook community has inspired us to share our experiences.  And so we are pleased to share our First Step Starter Kit for newbie motorhomies.

This free to download Guide covers five motorhome purchase essentials:

Step 1 – A process that gives you a really solid starting point and helps you clarify your needs before you even think about searching for the right motorhome or van.

Step 2 – Five key questions to ask that will help you prioritise the style of motorhome or camper that will suit your lifestyle.

Step 3 – Research resources to help you finalise your choice

Step 4 – The Technical Bits you will need to ask the salesperson helping you spend your money

Step 5 – The Practicalities that covers essentials like accessories that will make your life easier, insurances and memberships and lessons that we’ve learnt along the way.

And of course whilst you may be at any one of those junctions already, having a reference document might give you a golden nugget that you hadn’t thought about.

We recognise that a Guide like this will only ever be based on our own experiences from our particular journey and others will undoubtedly have their own perspectives and inclusions.  Although we genuinely hope that this might help you along the way as you enter this exciting journey.

If you need any support or advice, then by all means drop us a line at themotoroamers@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help if we can.

Karen and Myles

Click the book image below for immediate access!

First Step Starter Kit – for newbie motorhomies

 

 

Other free resources you might like…

Top 10 Toolkit Essentials

Top 10 Toolkit Essentials

Earlier this year we were asked by a new motorhomie what were the most essential items that she needed to pack in her new home.  It prompted a blog on this very topic, which had a very purposeful female slant – The Top 20 Motorhome Essentials for Ladies.

We promised to draw up a male influenced Essentials List, which I delegated over to Mr Smilisie.  Now clearly, I recognise that there are plenty of solo ladies out there, although we hope you will forgive the masculinity of the topic and get some benefit from our list.

* Affiliate disclosure – some of these items have a link to Amazon, with whom we have an affiliate partnership. If you click on these links and decide to purchase, you will not be charged any more – we just get a small commission from any purchases you make.

1. Duck tape

There will always be little incidents and accidents whilst you’re away and sometimes things may need holding together until you can get it repaired.  One of our essentials is Duck Tape that is either translucent or the same colour as your van.  It deals with a multitude of sins and allows you to hanging things together whilst you’re away and before you can get to a garage to get it fixed.

 

 

2. Velcro ( heavy duty and standard) rolls

This has been a god-send to us, as we constantly look to evolve the organisation in the garage.  Having the Velcro allows us to keep everything in place especially in the garage and more importantly easily accessible.  It has so many uses, we could go on and on and on!

Keep some on board, you’ll not regret it.

 

 

 

3. Zip ties

Who would have thought that ZipTies could come in handing whilst living life on the road?  Buy a variety pack, you never quite know when they will come in handy.  And yet they do.  We’ve used them in so many different weird and wonderful ways. Now then; gripping a tyre when we were stuck on soggy ground, holding things together……. Not always with successful outcomes, although none-the-less, a great garage accessory to have.

 

4. Toolkit Essentials

For any garage, motorhome, cyclist or camper, there’s always a mini tool kit lurking somewhere in a tiny space somewhere.  Whilst you may not be able to bring all your beloved tools away with you, well not if you want to keep within your payload, there are some essentials that you just can’t do without.  Here are our vitals:

  • Multi-screwdriver
  • Small adjustable spanner
  • Stanley knife
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Good quality torch
  • Bungies
  • Pliers
  • WD40
  • White Spirit

 

5. Assortment of fuses

This has been one of most recent purchases, as there’s something about our 12v charger point in the kitchen that keeps tripping out the fuse.  So we’ve got a neat little box of fuses to replace the duffers.

 

 

 

 

6. Araldite glue

You always gotta have glue, it’s amazing the number of things that come unstuck that need putting back together again. If it works for Humpty Dumpty, then surely it must work for us motorhomies too.

 

7. Baby wipes

Now who would have thought that Baby Wipes would have got a mention on a blog like this!  Yet these little babies are fantastic for cleaning off the bugs and grime on the outside of the van, as well as helping sterilise stuff on the inside.  Marvellous.

 

8. Solar panel with pure sine wave inverter

This is one of our best ever purchases and whilst not a specific tool as such it is a great resource, especially as we do a lot of wild camping.  It’s a 120W Solar Panel that together with an extra Leisure Battery gives us all the power we need to run some household appliances, like the Nutribullet and Juicer for the Mrs and keep our devices powered up.

 

 

 

9. Power Packs

Whether you are travelling as a family, solo or as a couple, you will undoubtedly have devices that will need constant charging.  If you’re like us and do work on the road, these little bundles of power pack a right old punch and keep us connected both with the work we do and our family and friends back in UK.

They’re not expensive or difficult to store although essential pieces of kit.  Just make sure you get enough of them – we have three and sometimes even that’s not enough.

 

 

10.  Ratchet Straps

These straps are great multi-taskers and are just one of these pieces of kit that you need to keep in your garage somewhere.

We use ours for a bit of safety when we’re wild camping, strapping the two main doors together – it might not stop them getting in although they’ll certainly wake us up trying!

 

 

 

As always, not an exhaustive list, although these are the items we believe have been essential to us.  There are other items we carry, although perhaps more nice to haves – which is a whole different post altogether.  So for now, we hope sharing our experiences is helpful.  Kx

Simple Solutions

Simple Solutions

So here’s the thing. When you’re travelling Europe and it’s hot, we tend to head towards the coast to cool off and drink in the amazing views that inevitably the sea gifts.  As romantic and lovely as it sounds though, that strategy brings with it some challenges, namely salt and sand.  Sand I guess we can live with – get the hoover out and bosh, it’s gone.  The salt is a bit more tricky, as it’s a silent enemy that plays mischievously with your van and implements.  For a few days or so, that’s no major issue, although over a prolonged period, it could be more troublesome, as we found out this week.

After visiting some of the most amazing coastline on the Peloponnese, followed by a stay on the island of Crete, which is famous for its northerly winds, we started to experience some difficulties with our fly screen. Albeit an intermittent problem, a problem none the less. Now on a day to day basis that doesn’t sound too much of a challenge, except when someone turns up the thermostat and starts to melt you.  Open windows and vents just don’t satisfy the insatiable need for heat relief – you got to get that door open. ‘So just open the door’, I hear you scream!  Well you could be right, although then there’s that delicate balance between airflow and mosquitos!  We value our sleep far too much to risk having the door open without that little netted barrier.

So what’s a girl to do?  Well you call in the services of your very own DIY Superhero, aka Myles.  I had a fancy that our sticky screen was due to the onslaught of salt, brought in on the afternoon Greek winds.  Over five weeks that salt had accumulated and built up on the flyscreen fibres and just clogged it up.  Well that was my theory anyway.  And given that Myles loves fixing things, what better a challenge than to get him to solve our little predicament – and quickly.

After a bit of research that brought up no immediate solutions, Myles took off said door and saw no evidence for our sticky issue and so he turned to his old faithful!  WD40 – the cure-all juice.  No traveller should be without it.  So with a bit of a spray in the mechanisms and a bit of a dab on the horizontal guide strings – hey presto it works a treat.  I think we probably need a bit of warm soapy water to just finish off the job and make it a smooth operation, although so far, so good.

So if you’re ever having problems with your screen, check that there’s no sand in the bottom track and then work the material with either some warm water, or in our case WD40 and see if that makes its movement smoother.  Be mindful if you’re camping a lot by the coast that salt will have an impact on your entire vehicle and not just the fly screen.  Whilst salt may not be your particular issue, it’s worth checking it out before the costly journey to your dealer.  It’s been an interesting lesson for us.

Quick update on 10 June, whilst the WD40 certainly helped, it was still causing us some problems.  So out came the soapy, warm water and hey presto.  Problem is now well and truly resolved.  Keep it Simple!

Kx

Travellers’ Challenges – gift giving

Travellers’ Challenges – gift giving

Travelling in any form has its joy, delight and its own fair share of challenges, as we are finding out as we enter month 18 of our full-time, nomadic lifestyle.  Although to every challenge there is always a creative solution that often provides a far better outcome.  This first report in our Travellers’ Challenge series offers an alternative view of gift giving when you’re living life on the road.

As a proverbial giver and people-pleaser, one of my greatest joys is presenting gifts to people.   I love finding, choosing and giving meaningful presents that show people how they matter to me.  So you can imagine how this aspect of my personality has been seriously challenged as we continue to commit to our lives travelling around Europe in our motorhome.  Both getting gifts to my loved ones back ‘home’ and finding gestures of kindness for fellow travellers that we connect with along the way, is tricky.  After all when you are living in a small home, have a weight and space consideration or are moving around a lot with perhaps just a backpack or small camper, having any more ‘stuff’ than is absolutely necessary is just not practical, despite the gratification it creates.  Consider the added fact that with umpteen culturally diverse local shops enticing you with their handmade wears, it’s so hard to resist their goodies as you know how impractical it is to package things up and send them home.

So what’s a ‘giving sort of girl’ to do with this conundrum?

Well three things strike me as I write about this travelling challenge.  First is how to use your imagination to make lovely gestures to your loved ones.  Second is making use of the internet and the third is being inspired by the creativity of others you meet along the way and being motivated by their gifting perspectives.

Imagination and creativity

Travel has been one of my greatest teachers and no more do I look to the commerciality of gift giving – practicalities guide me to seek out my inspiration from nature and ‘out of the box’ resources. One of the skills I am fortunate enough to have is being creative and using my imagination to conjure up gifts that come from the heart and that are made with love.  A long time ago I learnt that giving is not about price or volume, it’s thinking about someone and finding a way to expresses your love. We gave up buying presents for annual celebrations years ago as it is so easy to get caught up in the marketing trap that invites us to spend money on meaningless gifts because we are conditioned into think that is the right thing to do.

Travelling has taught me otherwise.

So now I use my creativity to look at gift ideas in a different way;

  • Good Luck Charm

    As a child, one of my dad’s friends told me that whenever you are walking along a pebble beach, look out for stones that have a hole going all the way through, as this comes with good luck blessings.  So now beach combing takes on a whole new perspective for me as I search for said stone with said hole.  Then add a bit of unwanted ribbon cut from one of my tops, hey presto I have an instant SAFE TRAVEL and GOOD FORTUNE charm.

  • The beach has so many sources of inspiration for me.  When I lived in a house, I used to pick flat stones, varnish and paint them with meaningful words for my recipient.  These days without the room for varnish and paint, I use my Sharpie pens to write messages of love on small stones, which carries the same sentiment.

 

  • Pruning wild rosemary and making it into a little bouquet can be as lovely a gift as a shop bought bunch of flowers that will die within a week.  Rosemary has so many healthy properties that it comes with two-fold advantage.

 

  • Colouring book wrapping

    I use my Art Therapy Colouring book and my Sharpies to give me my sheets of wrapping paper.  I’ve even been know to decorate the paper that protects my morning bread from the bakery to cover my gifts.

  • Although I’m very careful where and how, sometimes a little bunch of wild flowers can be a lovely gesture.  We were in Greece for May Day, where the tradition is to pick wild flowers and make them into a wreath or bouquet.  And so I got up early and found such an array of brightly coloured, spring flowers for my dashboard and our convoying friends and it gave me so much joy to do it.
  • Food is a great way to show appreciation or gratitude.  Even in the smallest of kitchens, baking, juicing or cooking up a meal for someone can be a beautiful gift that is wrapped with time and love.  We met a guy who shared some wine with us a couple of weeks back and in return, the next day, he had made us some beautiful flapjacks.  Thanks Colin, wherever you are.

 

  • Pebble Art from Spain

    Back to the beach – make it a sandy one this time – why not draw messages in the sand and then take a photo?  You can either leave the messages for someone you are travelling with to read, or email or WhatsApp the photo to a friend who is back home.  Alternatively, make a heart with pebbles and stones and fire this over to them instead.  They will be so happy that you have thought about them in this way.

 

 

The internet is a great ‘gifting’ resource

These days, being remote doesn’t have to mean that gifts can be sent in time for celebrations.  In fact it is such an easy way to remind people that you are thinking of them.  Shopping and sending creations remotely can be done so effortlessly these days; with a bit of a signal, the press of a few buttons and hey presto; gift chosen, purchased and sent.  Here’s some of the ways we send gifts remotely;

  • I love taking creative photos, whether with my Samsung phone or my DSLR Camera.  I then use a Photo Editing App – Pixlr to add text or to create a collage that I then email to friends to convey our happy times together.
  • I love to upload photos into eCard websites such as Funky Pigeon or my favourite is Moonpig so I can send personalised love through the post for Anniversaries and Birthdays.  And Snapfish to create photo albums of memories for special occasions.
  • I also use the web for gift and flower deliveries just to let people know I’m thinking of them or for saying thank you.  Big stores, such as Marks and Spencer or John Lewis are great resources for our UK friends or Amazon for UK and worldwide deliveries.  Liberty Trading is also great for different gift ideas that you can send from afar.  (See the side bar for a link to their site.)

 

  • I have started to use on-line florists, Bloom&Wild who are a letterbox flower delivery company and they are fabulous.  Really lovely, organic flowers and bouquets, suiting all budgets.  And ordering can be pretty much ‘next day’ in case you’ve forgotten that all-important date because you’re too busy having fun or in the midst of travelling.

 

Other’s inspirations

Isn’t it interesting how you sometimes remember a place for its crystal blue waters and crashing waves and other times it stays in your mind because of the people you meet and their gestures of kindness.

  • Sarah’s Mats

    One such memory is of Belpech, France with the Pyrenees as our backdrop, where we met Sarah and Keith.  After a delightful evening with them, Sarah gifted us these gorgeous table mats that she had made by hand, whilst on her travels.  She used scraps of material that she collected along the way and made blankets, bedcovers and placemats.  Such an inspiration if you have that skill.

 

  • Andi’s Canvas

    Another friend Andrea, made this amazing picture from stones she had picked up from the beach and stuck to a canvas that she bought from a Chinese Shop in Spain.  This now travels with us everywhere.

 

 

  • Magazine Flower

    Penny, who we met in Dénia, Spain used old magazines that she no longer needed to make these beautiful paper flowers.  What a lovely and creative gift that leaves you with such warm memories of a time, place and people.

 

 

 

So you can travel, stay in touch with loved ones and give gifts of love – it’s just about looking at presents and sharing differently and without the commercial edge and expectation.  And the best bit?  Making something, crafting something with your own fair hand gives the giver so much joy and pleasure; so everyone’s a winner.  There are so many resources at our fingertips, so much simplicity – we just need to see giving to others in a new light and boom! From a Traveller’s Challenge to a creative solution; a gift from your heart to theirs that will have so much more meaning and value.

Happy gifting travellers. Kx