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wild camping and other things in R40

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    wild camping and other things in R40

    We bought a year old R40 in June, husband is very pleased with it, not least because he is 6 ft 4inches and he can stand up in it. We loved our Duo, but it was cramped for him and we found it difficult to do long trips in it
    The single bed behind the passenger seat makes a 7ft long bed if you put the front seat right forward and fold the back of the seat forward.
    Just returned from two weeks touring Scotland - total of 1900 miles from Bristol and back! would not have chosen to do quite as many miles but weather was not good for walking so we did a sight seeing tour. Had a great time and did lots of wild camping even the night of the BIG STORM where we were parked in the shade of a number of 3000ft plus mountains and though it rained for 36 hours non stop we hardly felt any wind. This was in contrast to some folks we met who had been driving in their motorhome from Glasgow to Oban and said they had been terrified with wind and rain and trees falling. We count ourselves very lucky!
    In contrast to hubby I am only 5 ft 4 and want to say that I find the Luton extremely comfortable to sleep in and no problems as long as I remember not to sit up !!!!
    Lots of cupboard space and kitchen is great. Can cook all that i would at home having taken enough food in the spacious fridge to do us five days without having to buy anything.

    As we bought second hand from a dealer, we did not realise that the instruction manuals for the appliances were missing. this has not proved too problematic apart from the television/DVD which we have not quite sorted out. Dont know if anyone else has this model (Sovos) and could help us out. We didnt use it much as signal was very poor in most remote parts of Scotland we visited. Lots of other people seemed to get signal when we couldnt, so perhaps other members know what we could do to boost our signal.

    One thing we really missed that the Duo had was a 12v plug in the main body of the van that worked from the battery when the engine was not running. Wasnt a problem this trip as we drove every day due to the weather; however it would be useful for charging phones, cameras etc when we do not have hook up which turned out to be most of the time this trip.
    ]The one little problem we had in driving was to be very careful on small bumpy roads as the van has some parts that are very low with not a lot of clearance from the road. We dd however go many miles on single track roads with passing spaces and found good power on the hills. Imperative to be good at reversing large van as we did have to do plenty of this! but width of van was no problem.

    Hello Hazel

    Nice to hear from you and good to hear about your adventures with your R40, we do have other R40 owners on here so hopefully someone may be able to help you out with regards to the problem with your television.

    Happy camping.
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      Hi Hazel and welcome. You'll find this site really excellent for getting answers to your queries. As Graham said there may well be some who can answer your question about your t.v.

      Your trip sounds really interesting; have you any photos? As Graham once said 'we're a nosey lot and love seeing other's photos'.

      Enjoy the site and hope to see you at a meet sometime.




        Re the TV. Not a lot of people know that every new place you stop, you will need to retune the tv (go into set up - search for channels, then save what it finds) and search for the channels as they vary from place to place. If you tuned it up at home before you set off, it could just be that. A lot of people also find a signal booster very useful.


          Hi there Hazbax and a big welcome to the forum


            thank you JJ, yes we did that but unfortunately there were many places where we could not capture anything and database rmained empty. Did try analogue signal as well and in Yorkshire we did get analogue at some places that we could not get digital. We do have a signal booster but it is not enough to get a good signal in many places in west Scotland. We noticed many people had satelite dishes and obviously did get a signal. We really only wanted it for the news and most of the time we were able to get radio 4 when travelling but sometimes we could not even get that! I suppose that is what you call wild camping!
            Thanks so much for your help


              Welcome Hazbax
              We have had an R40 for over two years and share your sense of happiness with the van, apart from the electrics. But we had the demonstrator and the electrics were 'modified' on later vans I understand. The other problem of ground clearance, at the lowest point was the exhaust flexible pipe from the diesel heater. Having flattened it twice we have recently had Ant (Avon Motorcaravans) re route it and replace it with copper tubing for most of the length. The other low point was the clean water emptying hose and tap and this has been replaced with smaller hose and the tap tucked up behind the bodywork.
              On the subject of TV in Scotland we have tried before and the signal is so bad over most of the wilder parts that we bought a satelite dome for our visit this year, and it works, except in places where trees are in the way. The TV is fine when you can get a signal, the problem is always the arial and the 'flying saucers' are pretty hopeless, a directional arial is much better, but where to fix it so that it is above the roof? Hence the satelite. For the TV user manual, you will find it here:

              We were given a stack of manuals on everything so if you need anything else just PM me and I'll see if I have it.

              As for sleeping in the roof, that is where the spare wheel resides. We said we wouldn't buy it without one and so they gave us the one which came with the chassis, but that is the only place to put it. You can drive for miles in Scotland, Wales and wilder parts of England without a mobile phone signal if the 'glue' doesn't work, what then? And I dread to think what happens if you shred a tyre abroad.

              Look forward to seeing you at a meet sometime, but don't hesitate to PM me with any questions.


                Thank you!

                thank you Colin, have just picked up your post and am in the process of printing off the TV manual. Thank you so much for your helpl

                Also very interested in the modifications you have made and when my husband comes in later i will show him what you have said.

                Do you turn the gas off every time you drive and when you go to bed at night? We have been troubled by a smell from it though it has been checked twice and we are assured that there are no leaks.

                Again thank you so much for making the TV manual accessible to us
                Best wishes



                  We have one of these Sovos TV's in the van.


                  Let me know if the same and you can not get the manual, although looks like Colin nailed it .

                  We had hit and miss reception on Freeview from the rooftop aerial, so bought an Aldi portable satellite system. Touch wood, never had a problem getting a picture since, even in France.
                  Also we religiously turn off the gas at the bottle during travel and sleep, leaving something on the driver's seat to remind us before we drive off.

                  Tony Anchorman
                  Last edited by anchorman; 14-10-2011, 00:25.


                    Hi Hazel
                    We always turn the gas off for travelling but never at night. I have only smelled gas when changing bottles and the unit is sealed from the inside of the vehicle so the drop out grill in the base should be the primary safety feature should there be a leak. If it has been pressure tested you should not be able to smell anything but there is a small hiss as you turn on which is quite normal. We had a faulty valve on a propane bottle on another van and the whole lot dropped out in two days without any smell in the van. If you are getting a gas smell in the van then you need a qualified gas fitter to thouroughly test it.
                    Good luck


                      thank you Colin and everyone else for helpful info
                      The people down in Southampton tested it twice as there was a problem initially because somebody had mis-labled the inside taps that turn everything off. This meant that the gas supply to the stove had been isolated by the testers who assumed we did not need the outside barbecue and turned it off after they had tested all three pipes (fridge hob and external barbecue) We had to return to them after we cold not get the hob to work and they spent hours taking the oven out and checking everything before realizing that the barbecue outlet was actually going to the stove. They did check everything after that but it could well be that they disturbed some connection with the stove because there is a problem that we never had with the Duo; tho of course this is propane and we were using Butane before and perhaps the smell is different.
                      We do of course have CO alarm but this is not a problem with combustion and I think there may be a small leak somewhere that we have not been able to access with soapy water. We are going to try to find time to go down to Southampton again as it is all under warranty until June but it is a bit of a nuisance. We always turn the gas off at the bottle when not in use now.
                      thanks everyone for your comments.
                      Very pleased we have the TV manual downloaded and safely in the van for future use.
                      Hope to get along to a meet sometime


                        Hi HazBax
                        You are near Bristol, as a personal feeling I would go straight to Ant at Avon Motor Caravans and have the gas checked, never mind the Southampton connection, he will sort out anything to do with a Romahome, just look at the 'Ask Ant' secion on this Forum. And I am sure he will be accepted by Freeborn if there is work to be done.


                          Thanks Colin
                          You will be glad to know that when we were getting our gas boiler in the house changed recently I got the engineer to put bubbly stuff all round the joints in the cupboard under the sink in the Romahome. He found the leak straight away and fixed it. It was due to a fitting on the pipe being misthreaded and he undid it and then put it on properly. Pretty annoying that when we were told the system had been thoroughly checked for leaks twice!. Glad to find that it was not just my imagination. No probs since that was done but we will still turn it off at night and when driving.
                          Best wishes


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