Facts and figs

Here's a collection of facts and figures which might help existing owners or prospective purchasers.

Our current insurance is through the Caravan Club, run by Devitts; one of the UK's biggest brokerages. The policy is actually with Equity Red Star.
When I took it out in Sept 2010 the annual premium was £447.30, including uninsured loss recovery and legal expenses. Excess is £300. Chrissie and I can both drive but there's no cover for commuting, which means she can't use it for work (I'm retired).
We live in a rural are on the edge of the Peak District; postcode SK22 and I'm 57 years old. I have 3 years NCD.
I'll update this info on renewal (or not) in September 2011.

Fuel consumption:
Difficult to give a simple answer, but I'll tell you what I know - all these figures are fom the dash computer.
On our Alps trip in easter 2011 the overall figure was 32mpg. that, as you'll understand, included a fair bit of steep mountain roads but also a lot of steady N road driving. The trip was around 2000 miles. We didn't use autoroutes.
I hardly ever exceed 55mph and use cruise control (or Autopilot, as we like to call it) whenever possible. On longer. easier roads I try to use 5th gear as much as possible. On motorways (only in the UK) I haven't found any advantage to using 6th gear as opposed to 5th at speeds up to 55mph.
On our recent Pennine Way jaunt the overall fuel consumtion was 29.9mpg. This trip, as you can read, involved lots of to-ing and fro-ing up narrow roads and lots of 2nd and 3rd gear driving. We did around 700 miles.
I've used expensive fuel efficient diesel on occasions, but am not clear about the difference it makes with the van. We didn't bother trying to find it in France at Easter but I'm going to try harder on our next trip in July/August, in the hope that I'll get a useful comparison with the 32mpg figure at easter. We've been using expensive diesel in our Subaru Forester for some time and I reckon, in the car, it gives a 10% improvement in fuel consumption for around a 5% increase.
I'm philosophical about all this though. If we get a minimum of 30mpg I'm happy. The van's not properly run in yet; it's done just over 7000miles (June 2011). In any event, we view this as part of the cost of our travels/holidays and, overall, it's cheaper than travelling and paying for hotels, B&Bs and the like, not to mention air fares. We've taken our summer hols in the US for many years up to 2009, so you'll appreciate that we're saving at least £1000 on air fares each year already, cos we always travelled in school hols.
Further to the above, having filled up with Shell V power diesel, on the trip to the N Yorks Moors in July 2011, over around 300 miles the van averaged 34.4mpg. On the following weekend in the Dales over 200 miles, we again managed an average of ... 34.4mpg. Both trips included motorway stretches at 50mph on cruise control, as well as steep moorland hills climbed in low gears.
Update on fuel - on our summer 2011 Pyrenees trip we stuck to Total Excellium diesel (again, the expensive option), which is easily available en France, and after 2500 miles, including motorways in the UK, 50 mph max on French through routes and mountain roads we got an average of 34mpg again. We're happy with this and plan to stick the premium diesel for now. Compared with our Easter trip that's a 6% improvement for a 3% increase in purchase price. The differential in price is now lower since fuel prices rose this year.

We had the first habitation done by Spinneys and it cost £183 with Spinney Club discount. The Peugeot service is due after 2 years or 20,000 miles. I reckon we'll hit 20,000 miles before 2 years is up. I'll have to see how that works out for our Arctic Circle trip next year. We might have to have it serviced before the trip.

In common with many smaller motorhomes, our van has a MTPLM (maximum technically possible laden mass - ie as heavy as it's legally allowed to be, including everything you carry, that's driver and passengers too) of 3500kg.
We visited our local weighbridge, prior to our Easter 2011 trip with everything packed, including a full water tank, our usual load of food and a full tank of diesel, Chrissie & I in the van, and added the weight of the hounds, who weren't with us and we got a gross vehicle weight of 3250kg.
Driving the front wheels off the weighbridge revealed that the rear axle was carrying 1550kg (maximum allowed, 2000kg) and the front axle, 1700kg (maximum allowed,1850kg).
Because we didn't know what to expect in the Alps at easter we were carrying winter mountaineering gear - alpine boots, crampons, ice axes etc - and snow chains.
So, in short, we have around 250kg payload spare, when fully laden; plenty left for wine and gifts bought en route.

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