505-509 – Friday 14th to Tuesday 18th October 2016: Friends on the South Coast
Not a lot to report, other than we heard that some friends were in the area, so we met up with them for a meal on Saturday and a coffee on Sunday. As you can image, it was pretty boozy, and fortunately Oscar was allowed in their hotel bar and restaurant, the staff having taken a bit of a shine to him.
We’d started to plan (well, think about) moving all our stuff into the new motorhome, so we’d booked a few nights at Coxbridge Farm near Farnham. This is near my Aged P’s house, or more precisely, their attic! They weren’t in residence again … being on holiday! We sorted a LOAD of stuff that we really did not need and shifted it in … we tidied up the attic a little so it does not look like we’ve added to it … much!
510: Wednesday 19th October 2016: Chepstow and Dentist
J had booked a dental checkup so we drove across one of the Bridges he used to run (he still dreams about work sometimes. I was less concerned about part of the latest dream where a woman took his desk wearing a pin stripe suit, and more concerned about the other colleague who wore nothing but a pair of red knickers!!!). J’s pearly whites had a check up and polish … by a female Dentist (no idea as to the colour of her knickers!), I took Oscar for a walk … and came back laden with large storage boxes. Fortunately someone took pity on me carrying this large and heavy load and being simultaneously towed by Oscar and took the boxes for the last leg .. they refused to be hauled along by Oscar!
Chepstow Castle – Leaves here just starting to turn.
511 – Thursday 20th October 2016: Packing Up
We put just about everything into bags to lift easily into the new van or into the large storage boxes to go in the garage. We were not sure how much storage space Jez has compared to Chardonnay … but most of it is in the garage and we have just about filled every spare inch in Chard over the 4.5 years we’ve had her. Will it all fit?
Don’t quite know what the other people on the site thought was going on … lots more still inside!
J had a brainwave. He rang the motorhome dealer and asked it we could gain access to the garage towards the end of the day, so we could load up the boxes, twin tub, BBQs etc. We had a bit of a wait whilst the cleaning was finished off … but it did mean I should have been able to sleep. I’d been having the odd ‘unsettled’ night worrying about where AND IF all our stuff would go in. We filled the garage .. a few inches to spare. really lovely to have a good poke over our new home. Then Stephen and Kay fed us … I was just delighted not to have to cook as a tad weary, but S is an amazing cook and always gets St Agur in for me …. my fav. Don’t know if it was the wine, cheese or excitement, but I snored and was then awake from 2.00 … head spinning despite the garage being loaded.
512 – Friday 21st October 2016: JEZ Day
We arrived before the dealer opened … all keen and eager. The hand over complete we spent another couple of hours trying to stuff our belongings into unfamiliar places … I moved houses 5 times in 5 years at one point, so became a past master, but this was different. We had to get on the road to meet Maddy in Canterbury – her father was driving her home for the weekend at 6.00, if not before. We ended up just throwing bags and kit on the bed and the the floor. We couldn’t tell if the rattles were the van or our stuff.
Stephen and Kay came to have a look at Jez at the dealer and brought a soft dog crate for us. I’d been trying to buy one from shops as we were too short of time to have one delivered … Thank you.
We met up with Maddy for all of 30 mins at Cobham services as we travelled in opposite directions … at least I got a squidge with her, as I shan’t see her now until December. The most excellent Canterbury aire was our overnight stop. For tomorrow we cross to France … only a month and a half later than originally envisaged … a new dog and motorhome having delayed us … but worth it.
The old and new … Chard served us well.
The proud new owners. TY Kay for the pic.
Flowers from the dealer, along with a lovely bottle of Fizz. Improvised vase … I was a Girl Guide until I was chucked out!
Kay, this one’s for you … so J can get outside at night to water the trees, we lower the table and Oscar hops up into his new bed. He took to it really quickly, although we’ve not shut him in it at this point.
For the Motorhomers amongst you, or those just interested …. reflections of our Adrian Sonic Supreme I 170 SBC
- Jez is a totally different beast to Chardonnay. He is an A Class, which means he is built totally as a motorhome, not on the back of a Fiat van.
- He is fully winterised … with a double floor, which acts as good insulation. Even the garage is heated. The heating is pretty much the same as Chardonnay Alde radiators, but we now have underfloor heating too. Lovely under the tootsies and Oscar seems to find the best spots.
- He is a little wider (Jez, not Oscar!), and we notice it particularly inside, as we have more room to pass each other, but possibly less fun as we got accustomed to a pat on the bum.
- Driving is a much more stable ride with much fewer rattles. The engine is a 3ltr Fiat Iveco; a truck engine, so it should have fewer issues than a Fiat Euro 5 and is is chain driven so no expensive cam belt changes.
- There is one can door for the passenger and the habitation door is on the European side.
- Our insurers insisted on both an alarm (with motion sensor, which can be disabled) and a tracker.
- No microwave, but I only ever used to use it for storage. Toilet, hob and F/F are Dometic, which is better quality than Thetford.
- The control panel tells you everything: inside and outside temperature, voltage and % charge of both leisure batteries and engine, fresh and grey water %. And huge LPG bottles.
- 140 ltr of fresh water. So far we’ve used it for 6 days, and only filled then as we were on a site. So good to be able to dispense with bottles and containers to supplement our supplies in Chardonnay.
- Driver and passenger seat are a LOT more comfortable … with a lot more adjustments. I don’t climb out of the cab and spend 5 mins trying to walk normally. They even have weight sensors to work out how much damping they need to do.
- We have a large double island bed at the back, and a drop down bed over the cab. When this is down, the table and bench seat are still usable. Kerstin, who tested the over cab bed said it is firm but comfortable … she managed to stay there till 9.00 ish most mornings.
- The bottom half of the main bed lifts electronically and lifts a hanging rail. It also gives access to a large well for all our shoes and boots.
- The table moves out, up / down and swivels (not sure why the last is needed, but, we may find a reason for it).
- Sitting at the table is a lot more comfortable, as it is closer to you, so we’ve ben able to dispose (the Aged P’s attic again) of some cushions we used to use to prop ourselves up to prevent back ache and tennis elbow flare ups.
- Extractor fan
- We’ve had a whopping solar panel put on, along with a 1400 watt sine wave invertor and two Gel batteries (slow to charge but slow to go and no acid burns should we crash!)
- 4 holes in the floor for additional storage, some are quite large. If we’d not put the carpets in the Attic, they would have been concealed, but then what a lot of inaccessible space.
- The bathroom can be shut off from the living area and the bedroom, so a guest can reach it without having to walk past us (Chard had a rear bathroom).
- Kitchen drawers, including a pan drawer and another deep one for tins / herbs etc. Much better than the revolving stand, I had before, where things fell off the back. Oh, and they are all soft close.
- LOTS of LED lights, so much brighter at night.
- And of course the really solid build quality.
THINGS WE MIGHT CHANGE / IMPROVE:
- The bedside and under bed wardrobes are not full length so long skirts, dresses and trousers get a bit scrunched.
- The hab door needs a really hard slam to shut it.
- The BIG one is that we’d wanted a bike rack on the rear wall. Adria designed the van with the intention that the garage is used for this, so built a ‘floating’ wall, which is not compatible with a bike rack. As we have filled the garage, we had to leave the bikes in my sister’s garage and the bike helmets and kit in … the Aged P’s attic.
- Would have liked more kitchen work space … but then this is a common complaint unless you go for a really looong motorhome. And our draining board has to sit over the closed hob, whereas there was room for it in Chadonnay with the hob in use.
- Getting use to the changes of floor level from the washroom to the bedroom.
- There is a lot of white / off white faux leather … which is unlikely to stay its original colour. Despite the throws over all the seats, we already have ‘christened’ them with red wine! The table is white and high gloss … Oscar’s crate is here overnight, so we’ve covered this too.
- The lounge area over window lockers are pretty big up … at almost 5’8”, I can just reach in most, otherwise I have to stand on the seat. And before you remind me Mum, I know I’d shrunk half a cm last time Dad measured me!
- Most of the light topologies work from a switch by the door … the parallel rows in the living area are only touch sensitive. There are 6 of them, which is a bit of a pain to have to ‘touch’ them off individually.
- As the bed is high, it is closer to the wall cupboards and there is insufficient room to sit up in bed to read with a morning cuppa.
It’s in Danish, but this YouTube the same model as Jez…