It's been an exciting start to the year! The latest and biggest news is that we have finally decided that 2019 is the year we will start this great adventure we've been talking about for years. There is still a lot of planning to do, so we won't be going anywhere for a while yet, but now that the decision is made we can start putting the pieces of this puzzle together in earnest. The first of which is the vehicle...
So on a rainy Friday morning last we week we took a drive up to Go European Motorhomes in Gailey to collect the latest member of the Ted family - a 2019 Carthago Liner-for-Two. We've admired the Carthago brand for a while, and love the concept of this particular model - a vehicle with standard motorhome size and appointments, but with only two-berths, ideal for people like us who know they will only ever travel two-up (or three if you include Taylo). We were extremely lucky that GoEuropean happened to have one of these vehicles in stock and available for immediate delivery.
It has taken us a while to finally decide on a vehicle type, layout and specification that we want to use for our trip. Ultimately we used a fairly simple metric to navigate the various compromises inherent in such a choice: select the vehicle that will be least compromised for 90% of what you expect to be doing in it. So whereas we loved the idea of having a go-anywhere ruggedised and completely self-sufficient vehicle like an Actionmobil or an Earthroamer, in truth for our travels these vehicles would be wildly over-spec'ed as off-road vehicles and less spacious and more expensive than what we will be needing most of the time. The equation would be different if we were going to somewhere like, say, Africa, but as we see the majority of our travels being in North America (at least initially) we have settled on something that will give us all we need to happily explore that part of the world.
Obviously there will be much more to follow as we get to know this vehicle and discover what works and what doesn't, so watch out for some updates and doubtless a video or two. For now though, we just want to say a big thank you to Dan and Dave at Go European, who are genuine experts at what they do and made the whole process very straightforward and enjoyable - there was even a bottle of something nice to celebrate thrown in! If you are looking for a new motorhome we couldn't recommend them highly enough (link at the bottom of the post).
As a sidebar, it is interesting to note that there is sometimes another option for owners whose current motorhome can be driven on a standard car license but who want more payload without having to switch vehicles. The base platform for many European motorhomes is usually an HGV - Fiat Ducato, Mercedes Sprinter or suchlike. The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) or Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) is often 'plated down' to 3500kg, which enables these vehicles to be driven by someone holding only a basic car license, which was the case on our Fleurette. If you have an HGV license already it is possible to have your vehicle re-plated to its actual GVW thereby giving an instant uplift in payload. Often this is just a paperwork exercise, but could also involve inspection and/or modification of some of the running gear. Either way, it can be a cost-effective alternative to buying a new motorhome.