Hello to my Old Friends

Rob Hall

Well-Known Member
Haven't checked in for a while and just wanted to have a catch up with some old friends from the past. Hi to VWAlan, hope you are keeping well. Just been reading BigMommas post, hope it all goes well for you. What you up to Aikidoamigo?Coolasluck...are you still full-timing? We sold our MH about 8 years ago now, but we have been talking about returning ever since. In reality, we think we will be back on the road in the next 3-5 years. The happiest times in our life was spent roaming around Europe with no agenda and it will happen again. Our first MH was far too big to enjoy all the tiny villages and towns with weight and length restrictions and with no small car in tow, we missed out on a lot. Let me know what you are all up to, I have a lot to catch up on, especially with Brexit and the changes in the law.
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
hi. glad your ok.
all ok down here in the sun.
dont know what happened to the storms that were forcast. had a bit of rain friday night but yesterday cleared up ok and today is great.
soon be ride out time on my little m,bike.
not too busy down here at moment , dare say it will get busy now schools are on holiday.
let us know when you get the camper. hard to know whats best these days.
have moments when i think of going back to a vw t2 .
dont like the modern build qualities of most vans .
old fashioned simple and easy to fix seems best to me.
mind if you want best quality buy chinese not anything from europe these days .
 

Rob Hall

Well-Known Member
I have to agree Al, modern day stuff is crap. Glad you are ok. I am sure Devon and Cornwall will be busting at the seems very soon!!
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
Hello Rob, glad to see that you are still alive and kicking :giggle: As you will have gathered from reading my Post, we are back at our ‘bolt hole’ here in Spain, we retired from being Campsite Managers for the Caravan & Motorhome Club on 1st October last year, still living fulltime in the van, nearly 8 years now, when we are not in our bolt hole in Spain that is :D We downsized from the 9 metre long ’Bigmomma’ to our new 6 metre long ‘Little Fokker’ in July 2017 and it was the best thing we did, although it is a modern European van so not sure that I would agree on the use of the word ‘Crap’, although I can certainly see the distinct advantages of having a self-build for very practical reasons:thumb: Brexit is not as bad as everyone made it out to be, provided you are willing to travel outside of the Schengen Zones between the 90 day periods, lots of people now discovering the beauty of ‘other’ European Countries, I think the biggest game changer for freedom of movement has been the Covid 19 pandemic and that will not last forever.
 

Rob Hall

Well-Known Member
Hello Rob, glad to see that you are still alive and kicking :giggle: As you will have gathered from reading my Post, we are back at our ‘bolt hole’ here in Spain, we retired from being Campsite Managers for the Caravan & Motorhome Club on 1st October last year, still living fulltime in the van, nearly 8 years now, when we are not in our bolt hole in Spain that is :D We downsized from the 9 metre long ’Bigmomma’ to our new 6 metre long ‘Little Fokker’ in July 2017 and it was the best thing we did, although it is a modern European van so not sure that I would agree on the use of the word ‘Crap’, although I can certainly see the distinct advantages of having a self-build for very practical reasons:thumb: Brexit is not as bad as everyone made it out to be, provided you are willing to travel outside of the Schengen Zones between the 90 day periods, lots of people now discovering the beauty of ‘other’ European Countries, I think the biggest game changer for freedom of movement has been the Covid 19 pandemic and that will not last forever.
Hi BigMomma. Sorry, I will rephrase...The crap I looked at when I was looking for our first one tended to be a particular make/brand that cost a small fortune. The fittings wobbled when we stepped in the van, so god only knows what the rattles would sound like rumbling through Belgium with their roads!! :wasntme:...anyway, you now have a little fokker, what did you get? Where are people venturing to when they need to 'vacate' when their 90 days are up? Which part of Spain did you buy in?
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
We bought a Hymer Exsis t-414 on a FIAT Ducato chassis. The favourite alternatives have been Bulgaria, Turkey and Macedonia. We bought our ‘bolt hole in 2015, down in Southern Spain just 30 minutes drive North from Gibraltar, perfect Winter retreat :thumb: but this is our first Summer here.
 

chrisjones18

Well-Known Member
We bought a Hymer Exsis t-414 on a FIAT Ducato chassis. The favourite alternatives have been Bulgaria, Turkey and Macedonia. We bought our ‘bolt hole in 2015, down in Southern Spain just 30 minutes drive North from Gibraltar, perfect Winter retreat :thumb: but this is our first Summer here.
Have you had any problems with the build quality on the Hymer.
The new Chausson's have problems with water ingress . Though our 2013 model has only let water in the nearside front window but rattles like hell with most of it from the double shower/toilet door.
We will be looking for a 6 mtr motorhome at some point in the future.
Sally was have none of me wanting a 1950's Merc saying I'm too old to get under it to fix it... and modern garages won't have a clue.
(A 2hr job fitting rear air suspension to our Fiat took nearly 2 days)
Not wanting to butt in on Robs thread but theres not many of us left here.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
I don’t know wether we have just been lucky again with our purchase, but apart from a glitch with the external step within the first couple of months and a door spring breaking on the habitation door, we have had no further production or build quality issues and are very happy with it. Hymer had a reputation with the older vans for being very well constructed and high quality workmanship, although to be honest we have read of some issues on the Hymer Forum with more of the more modern ‘A’ Class models, but to be realistic, with the amount of Hymers that there are being produced and purchased, you are always going to get the odd few that have issues, same with any mass produced products I suppose :wasntme: Perhaps because our van is so compact we do not get the usual rattles that you experience with much longer and spacious vehicles, we certainly had a few more rattles with our previous 9 metre long van. The only other issue that I have had with the Hymer was self-inflicted (cheap diesel) and not attributed to build quality or technical/mechanical production problems ? Hope that answers your questions:thumb:
 

Rob Hall

Well-Known Member
Have you had any problems with the build quality on the Hymer.
The new Chausson's have problems with water ingress . Though our 2013 model has only let water in the nearside front window but rattles like hell with most of it from the double shower/toilet door.
We will be looking for a 6 mtr motorhome at some point in the future.
Sally was have none of me wanting a 1950's Merc saying I'm too old to get under it to fix it... and modern garages won't have a clue.
(A 2hr job fitting rear air suspension to our Fiat took nearly 2 days)
Not wanting to butt in on Robs thread but theres not many of us left here.
Rob doesn't mind anyone butting in, the more, the merrier!!
 

Rob Hall

Well-Known Member
Hello again Peeps. Hope everyone is keeping well. We are seriously thinking about another van. NO, I mean SERIOUSLY thinking about it. Having done 2 years full-timing, we want to do it again before they chuck us under the sod. I haven't kept with all the rights, wrongs and euro legislation, or red tape and bureaucracy as we would all probably refer to it. I note that the 90/180 rule is firmly in place, so whats everyones take on that? Do you all actually stay for 90 days in EuroLand and come back for 180? Or have I got this totally wrong? When we did it last time, we travelled and lived off savings, however, this time, we think we will rent the house out and (try) living off the money from the rent. Realistically, how much are full-timers spending weekly/monthly? I know these questions have been asked a gazillion times but times change and the likes of Diesel has shot up.
 

chrisjones18

Well-Known Member
The euro tunnel has gone up, we just paid £321 for a return crossing, it included £44 for the dog....
We built a house over covid lockdown and will sort out renting it out as a holiday let when we get back in UK at end of March. No idea with who yet,,, bit of a choice ... trying to keep our savings, or what's left of it.
Its 90 days in any 180. There is a few apps to help work it out. 90 out and 90 in, ...
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
Didnt expect a reply! I will ask the next young Brit vanlifer I meet they seem to be more in the loop.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
Didnt expect a reply! I will ask the next young Brit vanlifer I meet they seem to be more in the loop.
Hi Mike, just seen your post as I have been travelling to Spain since Thursday. Not sure about the process for entering the EU from UK via the Tunnel. However, via Ferry, upon arrival they put your Passport into an electronic reader, which I am assuming makes a record of your arrival, then they put a wet ink stamp into your passport. They do the same upon departure, so not sure wether any overstay will flag up when they place the passport back into the electronic reader or wether they check the date on the entry stamp before putting in the exit stamp. They put both entry and exit stamps on the same page. So, who does the counting I cannot tell you with any certainty, but the information is there for the officials to check, wether they do, or do not, physically check I cannot say as we have always travelled in and out within the 90 day period.
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
What do you think would be the case drive from Spain to France to Italy. No border controls there.? So entry stamp for Spain but no exit stamp at French border or am I wrong?
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
Just looked at my passport. 3 years ago left Germany to go to Turkey. Swiss in and out no control apart from Turkey in and out only one unintelligible from I dont know where
entry and exit stamp. We went overland thru 3 non EU countries. Our entry to Greece from Turkey was not noted. So much for border control. Still here in Greece after 2 and a half years!!
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
What do you think would be the case drive from Spain to France to Italy. No border controls there.? So entry stamp for Spain but no exit stamp at French border or am I wrong?
You are right, enter Spain and you get an entry stamp in your passport, you can then have 90 days in Schengen Zones, so you can drive to or through any other mainland EU Country within the Schengen Zone without any formal border procedures. It is only when you leave a Schengen Zone country into a non-Schengen Country that you will encounter a border control point where your passport may, or may not, be stamped. Unless you get stopped by local police who check your passports, you could stay as long as you like, the problem is when an individual does decide to return and has to go through a Schengen border control, eg. France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain back to the UK. If a person is married to an EU National, or in a Civil Partnership, that makes a difference to their freedom to travel within a Schengen Zone in the company of that EU citizen.
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
Thanx for the info much appreciated. Heike and I would appreciate any link to the travelling with common law spouse who is a holder of an EU passport.
 

chrisjones18

Well-Known Member
Thanx for the info much appreciated. Heike and I would appreciate any link to the travelling with common law spouse who is a holder of an EU passport.
Does this help
When we visited our family in Spain we flew into Gibraltar. Straight out of Airport but at the Spanish border we had to use a lane to get our passport scanned and stamped. Got told to make sure we got it stamed and scanned on way out of Spain or the days after we had left would count towards the 90....
This did happen to a woman who tried to get into Spain with a technicality on a overstay.... she had kept her flight tickets to prove she left ,but they did fine her before it all got sorted... kept her in Gib until it was sorted.q
Edit....
This is not the one I knew about, but the same sort of thing
 
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Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
You cant blame the border officials. She was leaving the zone and should have seen to it that she was stamped out. Her only excuse was her age and lack of awareness of the rules.
 

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