Thought I would put together a post on Frosty – our means of transport and our home for the year.
Simply put, we love him! We committed to him ages ago without really knowing what we were getting into. There simply aren’t any comparable motorhomes in Australia and it was really hard to know exactly what would best suit us for the year.
Anyway, Frosty is an 8m Hymer B680 Starline. It’s an integrated or class A motorhome which means it’s all built together rather than a body fixed to a truck or ute base, if that makes any sense. This means it’s better insulated, more streamlined for drivi9ng and, one of the best things, gives a huge panoramic vision through the front windscreen.
Taken ages to learn the ins and outs though. So complicated compared to a car – we’ve spent hours decoding all the various beeps, lights and dials to work out what’s what and we’re still not there. One of the worst things is the way everything rattles around when we set off. Despite best efforts, there’s nearly always something that goes skedaddling down the floor when we hit a bump or turn a corner. One lesson was learnt early on day 2 - don’t keep liquids high up – when a half bottle of red wine in the top cupboard uncorked itself and emptied itself completely on top of the kids! By the time we could stop and race down the bottle was empty and the kids were soaked.
Took 1 week to work out the waste water, 2 weeks to work out the hot water, still working out the gas and the toilet… well it’s worse than it sounds. We try to minimise using it – every stop for fuel is a toilet stop too, bribe the kids to do poos in public toilets etc. As you may know in motorhomes, the toilet empties into a ‘cassette’ which needs to be emptied before it fills up (and well before – very risky leaving it too late – the consequences if someone just has to go in the middle of the night if it’s full are dire!). Anyway I do the toilet duties and am getting better at it. It’s also the time when we fill up with fresh drinking water and usually empty the ‘grey water’. But there have been some moments – notably when the drinking water hose pops out whilst filling up and flips around like unrestrained hoses do and it’s a (wet) battle to grab it before it touches the…. human poo!!
The other essential thing for us is the garage – we have a great storage space at the rear which, like garages tend to do, is already looking like a disaster zone. However without it, we’d be really in trouble as it keeps the big things like tables & chairs, bags, unused cushions and the gas bottles of course.
Driving Frosty has been challenging at times. Obviously the first few days were difficult just because it’s new and so much bigger than a car. On a narrow road (of which there are many in Europe!), it feels like every time you pass someone coming in the opposite directi9on, thee are only millimetres to spare. All the worse when you are lost or get sent down an inappropriate road by the sat nav (actually had to upgrade the sat nav to a special campervan one as the basic TomTom we started out with just kept sending us down goat tracks!). Parking when we’re out and about hasn’t really been a problem. At the supermarket, we just park well away from the entrance and take up 3 spots. In town we just take or time and simply move on if there’s nowhere to stop. In Barcelona we stayed in a campsite 15kms out and caught the train in each day. Where it can be tricky is the campsites in Spain. Some of the places we’ve had to manoeuvre into are so tight – eg last night took us about 15 mins to park up. Luckily there are always plenty of neighbours who hop up to help direct around the poles, posts and trees and inch by inch we’ve always managed to get in.