2018 European Trip Review
Motorhome miles: 4861
Motorbike miles: 296
Total miles: 5157
Motorhome MPG: 24.4 which is about 2 mpg better than any other trip due to us taking our time.
Countries visited: 10 (UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Netherlands)
Site fees: £827.63
Total: £4,270.50 (average of £79.08 per day)
Our spend was a fair bit higher once we decided this was a 2-month holiday rather than a motorhome full-timing trip. We used Aires a fair bit but were mostly in campsites - originally we'd planned to spend more nights at free locations but cost management wasn't really a concern with the shortened trip. When we do a longer trip we intend to use Aires and free locations like France Passion a lot more. We'd also do a lot lower average daily mileage which would also reduce the daily costs a lot. On a longer trip we're sure we'd be able to get down to under £50 per day and possibly as low as the £35-40 we've seen other folks do.
Another factor in using sites more was that some of the changes to the motorhome we're really necessary e.g. uprated battery capacity, the solar panels and the LED lights. As we don't use a lot of electric when off EHU we didn't see the battery report anything lower than about 12.6v - which is pretty much full. They're useful things to have for the future though, and we now know they all work fine. The LPG system was needed though as we'd have struggled without it once we started really burning through gas when we headed back north. We had no issues getting the LPG filled and the Gaslow system worked great. We never used the backup Calor bottle we had and for future trips I'll probably replace it with a 2nd Gaslow bottle.
Despite getting on a bit now the motorhome coped with the trip very well. The only issue we had was a minor leak from where the solar panel cables entered the van (fixed by the installer when we returned to the UK) however it didn't rain that much on our trip so wasn't a serious issue. Other than that the van was faultless.
We didn't use the little 125cc motorbike as much as we'd expected - partly due to the dud battery that plagued the early part of the trip, and partly because we were often in walking distance from the places we wanted to visit. It was useful having it though and it did the job we wanted it for very well and even managed about 130mpg with the two of us on it.
One question we had was how we'd cope as a couple being in such close proximity for an extended trip but we didn't have any issues at all, which is good news for future trips which might be a lot longer!
High points of the trip for me (amongst very many!):
- Santiago de Compostela and the Camino pilgrims
- Monsaraz in Portugal - a real find
- Finally getting to Gibraltar
- The over-winter site at Santa Pola - we plan to be back for an extended stay
- Sarlat being as wonderful as always
- Finally visiting Aachen and finding out it's really nice
High points for Fiona were:
- getting to Santiago de Compostela
- going to a service in Lincoln Cathedral
- visiting Newtons house and using apple's from his tree to make a crumble
- Al fresco lunching on ficelle bread in the market in Biarritz, looking over the sea
- Finally getting to Monet's garden at Giverny
- winning the fight for her rucksack with a Barbary ape in Gibraltar