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Travelling as a couple with a small dog, we really enjoyed our week in Clare's motorhome. We stayed on campsites each night and managed to visit Loch Lomand, Loch Ness, Inverness, Mallaig & spent 2 days on the stunning island of Skye. Unlike many other Goboony rentals, it comes with no hidden extras or restrictions to worry about, is very comfortable and well appointed and Clare was very communicative and easy to deal with. Absolutely everything you could need except food & clothes is provided - it had towels, toiletries, toilet roll, kitchen roll, cleaning products, coffee, tea, sugar, cooking utensils, a cafetiere, BBQ, awning, outdoor chairs & table... basically you just need to bring clothes and food!
We are both definitely glad we decided to hire in Scotland and drive to the van by car rather than hire down here and drive to Scotland in the van. We basically got 2 days longer in some of the most beautiful remote parts of the UK for the same duration hire.
Some useful facts & tips about the motorhome!
The length is 7.4m, you will need this if using some sites to book overnight pitches.
The motorhome is left hand drive. This was not an issue for us, but you need to refer to the mirrors regularly at first and look for the lines to make sure you get a good feel for road position if/when hitting the narrow roads in places like the Highlands or the Lake District.
The engine is a 130hp diesel which copes well with the hills & has a shift indicator on the dash when it wants you to change down or up for economy. On our trip, it averaged 28mpg.
240v is only available on hook-up to run the outlets & 240v appliances. These include a good microwave, a kettle & a toaster. The hobs, oven & fridge all run on gas (fridge also 12v capable). The 12v battery system that runs the lights etc... when off grid has solar charging as well as charging from the engine, and seems to have plenty of capacity.
Being a bit of a geek, I looked up the tank capacities. It carries 100L of fresh and 68L of grey water, so a couple could go off grid for a couple of nights in this with daily showers if they were careful.
The toilet is the common Thetford cassette type. We didn't use it, but chemicals and instructions are provided if you want to do so.
Things I liked about this motorhome:
The heating & hot water systems are quiet and very effective. Showering in it is surprisingly comfortable and the hot water is fine for this on the Eco setting.
The Ducato suspension is excellent - I've driven loads of 3.5t vehicles but this was the first on this platform, and I would probably rate it as the best ride quality.
Excellent cooking facilities with 3 burners and a combined oven & grille. There is a sink cover and a pop-up worktop extension. Lots of pans, utensils, crockery & cutlery. The only thing I could possibly think to add is a small camping kettle for the hob as well as the electric one, and an ice cube tray for the icebox. I was still finding new useful things in the cupboards on day 2.
The slimline tall fridge is a really high end unit (I have seen them used in luxury horseboxes costing £500k+) with great capacity and easy access.
It is bright and airy in the day, but easy to completely black out at night, which also means full privacy when dressing etc...
The beds are far superior to anything you need to assemble and make each night. We slept in the back, which is effectively two decent fixed single beds with additional cushions between that allow you to spread out a bit if you want, half of which can be removed to make it easier to get in. I am 6'1" and had plenty of room to lie flat and found it warm and comfortable. The headroom over the bed is a little tight but perfectly sufficient.
The front drop-down bed still had sufficient headroom for me to stand under, and not having an over-cab bed means you aren't pushing all the extra air from a high roof. Great design.
The rear "garage" is huge - you could simply bring full sized suitcases with your clothes, unpack them into the cupboards, and store them there, a real plus.
The living area is a good size & the table rotates and slides in every direction.
The control panels are easy to use and quite intuitive - Clare's husband gave me a rundown of how everything works, and I didn't need to go to the manual.
My tips for happy trips in this motorhome:
I realised on the last day that I could make effective use of the bathroom as drying / airing space simply by getting hangers out of the rear cupboard (which isn't really tall enough to hang clothes in anyway) and hooking them on the bathroom skylight. It took me 5 days to think of this, duh! If I rented this motorhome again, now I know just how big the rear storage is, I would be tempted to take a small fold-up clothes airer - but you can use the bike rack as a towel rack when it's sunny as we did.
The heating & water heating comes on/off with the ignition. You need to set heating to the desired level on each park up, and turn the water from "off" to "eco", likewise, you'll need to turn on the water pump at each park up.
The (very high end) fridge has a rather persistent alarm that seems to go off every time the ignition is turned on/off or the 240v is connected or disconnected. Just leave it in auto mode, make sure it has moved over to 240v when plugged in & otherwise basically just ignore the bleeping!
If I did this trip again, I'd take some of my own DVDs for the evenings or a laptop/tablet with some downloads.
If you want to watch TV, make sure you get Clare to explain how to use it, as I never did work it out other than for DVDs!
Pay attention to the explanation of where the 240v trip is - they do pop when you hook-up at times. Only happened to us once.
It is worth making use of the levelling chocks when you park up.
General trip planning tips for Northern Scotland:
Sites on Pitchup are about 30% cheaper than non-member prices on the Camping & Caravan Club, with no difference in quality. Sites seem to be listed on one or the other rather than both, so check both before booking. We booked the first 2 in advance and sorted the others out on the road.
There is a very remote campsite near the Fairy Pools on Skye that has no pre-booking. It is a pretty epic spot to stop (see the two outside pics below), and the people who run it are lovely. We arrived at about 7pm and got the last but one 240v pitch. It would have been worth it without the hookup too.
If you're planning to visit Inverness centre for up to 3 hours (worth it), set your SatNav to Morrisons for stress free parking. Other options for motorhomes are scarce / poor, and road signage is pretty lacking. We had no issues finding suitable parking anywhere else.
Research your routes - there are single track with passing place sections on some main roads in the Highlands which slow you down quite a lot in a motorhome, but can also sometimes be avoided by going a slightly longer way.
In the Highlands, you'll be able to find suitable parking bays to off grid if you want, but not in the National Parks south of the Highlands - however, if you search well beforehand, you can find pre-bookable allocated space motorhome parking in the Loch Lomand National Park, and public carparks that allow it in the Cairngorms National Park. I found and booked a spot near Loch Lomand for our last night in case we needed it on the way back for £4.
I hope the tips might be useful for anyone who has already booked the motorhome and started trip planning. If you read this far without booking, I definitely recommend booking with Clare!