26/05/2015
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Presentations from the National Motorhome Show

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If you went to the free MMM expert seminars at the National Motorhome Show, Peterborough in April, then you will have had the chance to benefit from the experience of a wide range of speakers on everything from getting internet in your motorhome to how to prepare for long-terming in a campervan

You can now download the presentations from each of the speakers to read on your own computer, and watch the video highlights of the entire presentation package.

Here are the speakers and their subjects. The presentations are in Microsoft PowerPoint format.

• Adam Blacklin on getting internet in your motothome

• Alan Manton on towing a car with an A-frame

• Barry Norris on towing an A-frame with a motorhome

• Clive Mott on living without a hook-up

• Dave Hurrell on buying a motorhome

• Dave Newell on surviving off-grid

• Ali Kingston on preparing for an extended trip


If you want to listen to more expert seminars for free, remember to book your tickets for the National Motorhome Show in 2016, which will take place at the East of England Showground in Peterborough on 16-18 April.

Now, if you missed the presentations yourself, this is what they were all about:

Adam Blacklin on getting internet in your motorhome
There are three ways of getting connected to the internet in a motorhome – WiFi, mobile internet and satellite internet, although satellite, because of its expense, is really only for people for whom having an internet connection is a mission critical requirement.

You need to know first about data. Roughly speaking, 1MB is 20 seconds of video, 1 minute of audio, 1 web page (although not the Daily Mail with all its photos) and one page of the outandaboutlive website. You need to realise that watching TV via the internet is probably going to use up between 240 and 600 MB per hour.

A WiFi booster could increase your iPad’s WiFi range ten times. You can also get a single connection with many devices. This is an important consideration, as on Caravan Club sites if you are already connected with one device and you switch on another one, they bump off your first one. You need to realise that all you are doing with a booster is improving the strength of your signal.

A Mi-Fi device is going to be your most likely option. Three currently have a good offer on a MiFi that gives you the same rates as the UK in a number of countries, but if possible try and get a factory unlocked MiFi (ie not one somebody is offering on eBay) because then you can use a foreign SIM card if you go abroad which will probably work out cheaper. One with an antenna can help you overcome shielding issues. Do remember that it must be a data SIM.


Alan Manton on towing a small car using an A-frame
This is a very contentious subject in Europe. Alan explained the main types of braking systems, including mechanical over-run, electronic with brake buddy and electronic with servo assisted power. The presentation then covered DVLA and UNECE regulations and where they conflicted with the Vienna Convention. The Department for Transport issued an update on how they were implementing the regulations in December 2014. The next slide covered the driving licence rules and what you are allowed to tow. If you passed your car test before 1 Jan 1997, you are entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8.25 tonnes!




Ali Kingston on living in your motorhome full-time or planning an extended trip in your motorhome
When going away for an extended period in your motorhome there are a number of problems that have to be addressed. The first is what are you going to do about your home? The options include leave it empty, rent it out, sell and downsize or sell up completely. The there’s the issue of security, bills, the central heating, damp and the garden. One solution is renting your property out which create an income, though this is taxable. It also brings in a number of other concerns, including non-payment, breakages, neglect, repairs, annual bills for gas and electric certificates, insurance and agency fees. You will need your post redirecting, your banking to be done online and to ensure that your vehicle is going to be legal all the time you are away.




Barry Norris on towing an A-frame with a motorhome
Back to towing again, this time with Barry Norris and an A-frame construction. Again, the presentation went through the basics of the driving licence, the legal situation where A-frames might or might not be legal, the DfT declarations and then the types of braking systems used. The conclusion was that A-frames are almost certainly legal in the UK, subject to compliance with regulations outlined by the DfT. In Europe though, there is the possibility that the police will stop you and make you carry on with a driver in each vehicle.




Clive Mott on living without a hook-up
When you go off the life support of an electric hookup you start to play the numbers game with power usage versus available power from batteries, gas and solar. Clive explained the most efficient way to heat your motorhome, use a fridge, cook and even use lighting systems. Top tips included using two batteries in parallel, rather than one after the other, so they shared the load and worked better to give you more capacity. Of course, not all batteries are the same but do you know the difference between them? Clive then discussed the roles of regulators and solar panels.




Dave Hurrell on buying a motorhome
Buying your first motorhome is a massive financial commitment so you don’t want to buy the wrong kind of vehicle. Dave Hurrell explained the different types of motorhome from van conversions to A-class and then the variation in layouts and what suited different types of motorhomers. Do you need a winterised motorhome, a rising roof campervan or will a panel van conversion tick all the boxes? At the big end of the market, you can even take bicycles, scooters, motorbikes and cars with you. Of course, your driving licence will also dictate exactly what you can drive. If you got your licence after 1997, then it's up to 3,500kg only.





Dave Newell on surviving off-grid in your motorhome
Out in the middle of nowhere, can you survive off the grid? Which fuel will you use, what is most efficient? According to Dave, the best choice is LPG for heating, cooking, cooling and even lighting. What kind of canisters do you need though? Exchange cyclinders or refills? The pros and cons of both were discussed.





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