Taking Possession of our New Motorhome (Knigel)
Shiny New Motorhome
Our new motorhome, Knigel was born in March 2016 so the Fuller family arrived at Lowdhams full of anticipation at this new addition to the squad. He was bright and shiny so we all managed to be rather impressed with him. At this point, I should warn you that we have never been motorhomers or caravaners……….
Lowdhams arranged for us to have a demonstration on that day, which is usual with a new motorhome. To be frank, I unhelpfully zoned out from almost at the end of the first sentence. Greg did his best to be attentive, which given that this was the equivalent of an instruction manual being read out wasn’t easy. Juno probably heard more about the workings of the Knaus on-board heating system that either of us did…and she gets distracted by the smell of other dogs butts, so really showed us up! We then left our new motorhome, named Knigel in Lowdhams capable hands for a few more weeks.
In the meantime, we threw ourselves fully into the new motorhome world. We bought lots of different magazines. Recommended “stuff” managed to come into our possession, even though we had no idea what they were for. We also spent a fair amount of time, mainly in pubs, discussing how best to load Knigel when we collected him.
Around 6 weeks passed and we headed back up the M42 to collect our new motorhome, Knigel and spend our first night on-board.
We had planned to stay in the field next to Lowdhams so that they would be on-hand should we need some assistance. Our vision of the day and evening went something like this……. arrive, set up the new motorhome quickly, head off to the pub for lunch, followed by a river/canal side walk, back to Knigel for further orientation, then back to aforementioned lovely pub for a nice relaxing dinner.
What actually happened was……….
We arrived at Lowdhams full of nervous energy and drove Knigel the 200 yards to the field. After purchasing a gas bottle from the shop, we spent a while connecting it.
Filling the Tank
Off we went to the tap to fill the tank with water. First of all, Greg tried to manoeuvre Knigel with the handbrake on much to the amusement of passing experienced motorhomers. Then our water hose wasn’t long enough so we had to continue to manoeuvre Knigel back and forth to get close.
Greg stood at the tap end but we had no connectors so ended up soaked. Once finished we pootled off (wet) back to our pitch and started up the heating.
Nothing happened. I should mention that it was a pretty chilly day, so it was not an option not to have the heating on. We tried for an hour or so before admitting defeat and calling on the services of Paul, the Lowdhams salesman.
He (embarrassingly quickly) worked out that we hadn’t put enough water in the tank so back we went to manoeuvring and Greg getting soaked. Two hours later the heating still wasn’t working, so back to Paul. He thought we’d done everything although looked pretty horrified that we hadn’t bothered reading the instruction manual and couldn’t remember anything from the demo!
Paul told us to turn everything off and wait 30 minutes and try again. That’s what we did – well we waited an hour to be sure. There was a message in German on the heating system that roughly translated to overheating – this seemed to be taking the micky a little bit given we were sat there in our coats freezing!
We started to talk of giving up and going to Greg’s parents for the night, who live in Nottingham. By this time, Lowdhams had closed for the evening, our romantic ideas of the day were, by this time, dead and buried with a strong drink now being yearned for!
We had an emergency number that we could call for help, so that’s what we did. It appeared that we hadn’t closed one of the outside taps and as a consequence we were trying to heat a wet boiler system up with no water in it, so the boiler had overheated. How could we have missed that?? The lovely man on the phone told Greg how to turn the boiler off, let it cool down and reset it. It worked!
Now it was past 6pm. Juno hadn’t been walked. We hadn’t been fed and how we had managed not to have a family row was unknown to us all.
So all in all the set up of the new motorhome anticipated to take 20 minutes took 6 hours in total!
Well Deserved Drinks
We headed out for a short walk along the canal. Managing to go to a lovely pub for dinner and drinks in the evening (well rather a lot of drinks, to be honest). Wobbling back to Knigel we slept pretty well. The only disturbance of the night occurred at 3.30am when Juno decided that she wanted to sleep with us, took a run up to our bed. She must have realised mid jump that it was too high for her to reach, bounced off the side of the bed and crashed onto the floor!
So what have we learnt?
- Video the new motorhome demonstration so that you can watch it back at a later stage.
- Actually listen to the demonstration in the first place and perhaps take a few notes about how to set up your new motorhome.
- Ensure that you have all the right water tap connectors.
- Make sure that the new motorhome isn’t leaking water when you are trying to get the heating on – you may find that you burn the boiler out otherwise (oops!!).
We would definitely recommend the pub “The Unicorn” which is also a Britstop meaning that you can stay there for free if you eat in the pub.
If you are looking for a new motorhome or about to take ownership of one, please get in touch. Let us know if you have been as silly as us!