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Good news and bad news - insurance

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    Good news and bad news - insurance

    In view of the difficulties people with motorhomes and conversions have with insurance, I thought I should report my experience with our High Roof Fiat Doblo.

    Good News:
    We are now insured with Adrian Flux as a motorhome although we continue to be registered with the DVLA as a car (MPV). I think the terms are good including foreign travel. Registration as a car hasn't increased the premium. The service has been excellent.

    Bad News:
    Adrian Flux, in common with another firm approached, doesn't accept accommodation that can be removed from the vehicle. I made a virtue (as I thought) of making our entire outfit, which is in any case confined behind the rear seats when not in use (Mode 2), removable with four wing nuts. This isn't acceptable, so we now have to regard and use the outfit as a fixture. We would do this at least most of the time anyway, because the outfit takes up so much space in the house when unloaded. Use of the vehicle as a van has been very useful recently, in connection with our allotment, but those jobs are now done.

    Further Bad News:
    The RAC motorhome breakdown service which is very expensive (we are about 3mm too high for the car breakdown service) cannot be cancelled with a refund. So we will shift breakdown cover to Adrian Flux, who gives much better value, when the current RAC policy expires.

    Our vehicle is illustrated with my article "Self Build Doblo" under "Other Small Motorhomes" in the Index on the Small Motorhome Home Page. I clarify my (former) Modes 1, 2 and 3, there.

    Now I can cut through (and reinforce) the gas drop-down vents and sink waste, set in train the other remaining tasks and complete the conversion. All the joinery is complete and I wil add pics when we get them.

    By the way, a diesel heater is acceptable (I'm undecided whether we will fit one, yet).

    No icons: just much reduced anxiety.

    Seek to make a virtue of necessity.

    We had a quote from Adrian Flux which was ENORMOUS!!


      RAC Recovery

      Paul I think you said in another post you were a member of the C & CC if so you would or should be covered for recovery for most motor caravans certainly your size under the RAC Arrival scheme for C & CC members you need to give them a ring and check.



        Originally posted by alf39 View Post
        Paul I think you said in another post you were a member of the C & CC if so you would or should be covered for recovery for most motor caravans certainly your size under the RAC Arrival scheme for C & CC members you need to give them a ring and check.

        Agreed!! They covered our Motorhome without extra cost just by phoning and giving them our c&cc membership number ( I think!! Swmbo did it).
        Why not have a look at my latest wildlife photos, habitat projects and general natural world related shenanigans?


          I understand your worry about insurance,but your constructional skills are awesome.
          Even in my younger fitter days I could not do what you have done.

          I hope you get out and about before winters cold sets in,good luck for happy camping,see you in the spring.
          Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.


            Breakdown services

            Can I add a word of warning about services such as Green flag that use local garages as I have been 'burnt' more than once by such services. They have a vested interest in 'selling' you things.

            Now it is either the AA or RAC for me which are excellent in my view. I get my RAC currently through the C&CC and of course caravan club use the AA.


              I have just renewed the insurance for my Dimension. I was with the caravan club but their renewal quote was 25% higher than anyone else despite being the cheapest last year.

              I was recommended to Caravan Guard who were the most competitive of the places I tried and very helpful. Breakdown cover for the motorhome was included with the policy free of charge, (does not cover any additional vehicles).



                Hi Teresa it might be worth ringing them up and pointing out you have cheaper quotes. My car insurance this year with Tesco had increased... I rang them up and queried.. they dropped the quote by £40. I then decided I needed a higher milage allowance so rang them up again expecting it to rise.. but guess what the quote came DOWN another £30. Apparently, the girl told me, this sometimes happens when you change circumstances even if it is worse.

                It seems that they expect you to renew automatically so you need to really ring around for the best price when you come to renewal it is so annoying.


                  After picking myself up off the floor after the caravan club quote I did ring around and spoke to friends who recommended Caravan guard who quoted £115 less than the caravan club and included breakdown cover so I changed to them.

                  I "upped" the mileage as it made no difference to the premium and I am toying with the idea of a tour around Scotland next year which would significantly increase my usual mileage.

                  Having moaned about the Caravan Club insurance I do still love their sites, just had 10 lovely days at Treamble Valley in Cornwall. Nice site, good facilities, excellent walks all for about £10 a night


                    Originally posted by Tentpeg View Post
                    Can I add a word of warning about services such as Green flag that use local garages as I have been 'burnt' more than once by such services. They have a vested interest in 'selling' you things.

                    Now it is either the AA or RAC for me which are excellent in my view. I get my RAC currently through the C&CC and of course caravan club use the AA.
                    I just wanted to mention a couple of bad incidents with the RAC recently.
                    First about 8months ago our old C15 Roma wouldn't start after a trip out.
                    Split fuel pipe. Took 2 hrs to arrive.
                    Bad enough sat outside a pub
                    Next 3 months ago major engine problem with our Duo on M5 hard shoulder for 2.5hrs. Arrived with tiny car transporter not big enough to get us home to Manchester. Took to services asked transporter company HQ when larger vehicle available told don't know. We could put it in a secure compound for a couple of days and then try to get it up to you in Manchester.
                    Not suprisingly we didn't like that so they took it 8mls to Ants and then just drove off leaving us stranded. After 1.5 hrs on Ants phone they told us a hire car was waiting at Bristol airport Ant took us there thinking everthing was ok.
                    (Thanks once again for everthing Ant).
                    Euro cars rep said we don't have any cars and don't deal with RAC on weekends that was all the help we got from him.
                    After 2 hrs more of calls to RAC they said we could use Avis hire car if we paid and would get a refund. This we did and still had a 2hr drive home. Got the refund 3/4 weeks later . Needless to say we won't be renewing with RAC and thats after being with them since 1988. Only our 5th call out in that time.


                      good news and bad news - insurance

                      If I can repeat Paul's experience with insurers that seems like a way forward.
                      We want a small car/MPV as our only vehicle to provide a van for moving stuff, 5 seats for us and grandchildren, and the basic facilities of a car camper for 2, sleep, cook, sit, and (the problem) heat to drive off condensation. We are averse to relying on hookups as we do not expect to have anything to plug into very often. We would like to leave the front 2 seats unused on occasions when we want stealth.
                      I am trying to put all this in one message so that people can tell me which bits are wrong
                      According to , found on this site
                      We need to design "permanent" camping facilities . These facilities must include 2 seats and the foot of a table, a storage cupboard and a 2 ring cooker unit all bolted down. It appears that the cooker and the cupboard must be independent (although I am not sure Paul's are). The provision of a bed based on fixed base units is is no problem if the other fixed items are used as the bed base units, at least in part.
                      If we can "permanently" secure them behind the back car seats then we can use the back seats on occasion as a 5 seat MPV and remove or move them to roll out the camping to cover the whole rear of the cabin when it is a camper.
                      There is some "apparently theoretical" problem in Paul's design in having permanently fixed items like the table base and one chair move forward to fill the space left as the rear car seats move forward. I can only assume the insurers have some flexibility. Paul are the disabled rails critical do you think to the ability of these items to move whilst still being permanently fixed?
                      There is no mention of water and sinks.
                      The 2 ring cooker does not require remote gas but apparently it must be bolted down to its unit and the more it appears permanent the better.

                      If we can achieve motorhome status in this way as far as insurance is concerned (DVLA documents can be left as MPV with no disadvantage?) we should be legal to install proper gas storage with downward venting and or diesel heating with downward exhaust and combustion air inlet

                      To follow Paul we appear to need to tell a different truth.
                      Nobody need know but bolted down "permanent" facilites can be removed (by just undoing a minimum of wing nuts along with the rear seats if a clear "van" is needed to move other stuff. If the services unit is kept together and out of the way then this most difficult removal can be avoided nearly all the time.


                        insuring 'adapted' vehicles

                        In my experience as far an insurance is concerned (and having also worked for an insurer) a vehicle is either a car, van or motorhome with no overlap. If it's a car then a gas installation and other camping adaptations can make the vehicle uninsurable. You could simply not declare the alterations made (I never declared the side windows fitted to my van) but then you run the risk of finding yourself uninsured in the event you need to make a claim and simply receive just a refund of the premium paid.

                        I looked into this in some depth over a period of many years and concluded the options were either:

                        - a very simple and basic car adaptation to provide bunks for sleeping but no leisure battery, sink and definitely no gas installation. My husband followed this option and made a bed to fit in his Renault Kangoo.

                        - a van with fitted units which could create a bed but this wouldn't be immediately obvious. A sink could be fitted with pumped tap (I carried animals and needed to wash my hands - to explain the sink to insurers but it wasn't an issue) and potentially a diesel heater, roof vents, side windows (for camp sites) but still no gas installation. I followed this option 2004-2011 by adapting a Kangoo van (iKangooCamping -Google it!).

                        - a self-build motorhome: no restrictions and fully insurable providing the work was carried out to meet required standards and regulations. There can be some insurance issues - some insurers insist you must be employed (not self-employed) and must own another vehicle for your work).

                        - a campervan: no restrictions but sometimes difficult to obtain business use insurance or commuting cover as not all insurers will allow this. Some also require you to own a second vehicle for daily use. I didn't find any which would allow 'carriage of goods in connection with the policyholder's business' which was important for me at the time.

                        I don't mean to be negative in responding to your ideas. I've just been where you are in considering the options and am merely sharing my findings.

                        Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


                          good news and bad news -insurance

                          Hi Karen, I do see you as just sharing your knowledge of problems you have come across before me.
                          We would like more than the first option. But the only thing I really need that I cannot quite see how to get without adaption is a diesel heater or any heater!. I suppose we could just run the engine and put a blank over some of the outer radiator whilst stationary.
                          We do not really want a fixed sink or anything for cooking other than a (non fixed) 2 ring camp stove run off disposable canisters the type we carry now. We do not need a leisure battery unless we can get a fan driven heater. We do want rain proof and midge proof ventilation but we coulg probablr get that without destructive changes
                          We really want more seats than a van when we are not in camper mode.
                          What is the real difference between your third and fourth option I thought motor home and camper van were synonyms.
                          Do you know when people insure an MPV and then convert it to a motorhome what the insurance premium is liable to do?
                          Last edited by Derekoak; 12-06-2012, 22:21.


                            I was also in your position re the heater. As per my post last night re the cost of having one fitted together with the depreciation on the vehicle, it became more economic to buy a campervan/motorhome (yes, I use the term synonymously) instead.

                            Generally motorhome/campervan insurance tends to be cheaper than a car/van/mpv. Such vans tend to cover a lower mileage, are driven carefully and at leisure and tend to be well cared-for as a 'second home'.

                            I can see your dilemma - it's very similar to that which I faced for years although I didn't need to carry rear passengers.


                              good news and bad news -insurance

                              Hi Karen,
                              I undestand why insurance companies guard motor home status now. Before I thought motorhomes cost more so it would likely be more expensive to insure them. They want camper vans as second vehicles to keep the miles per year down.
                              Your third option was self build and fourth option buy a ready made camper van.
                              I do not know a small camper van ready made that is economical enough to use as our only vehicle say 45mpg and £7000 say to buy and can carry 5 passengers and be a nearly empty van too carry other stuff.
                              If that does not exist we need option 3. A self build camper van "just" that can also have 5 seats. Down play the empty van as it will only be infrequent short trips. Check the cost like you did to see if it is reasonable. Whether a successful conversion is saleable for more than the original vehicle is hard to judge


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