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Old 02-20-2012, 09:23 AM   #1
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A mobile holiday home in Ireland?

So... I have a dream...or maybe a calling...whatever..it doesn't matter... the result is the same: the need to figure out a family-friendly cost effective way to explore Ireland.
The secario: small young(ish) family (2 adults, 1 child), a long-time dream of exploring Ireland, own a 1965 Overlander in need of total reno...also own a 1975 20' Argosy Moho in need of reno, have already renovated one vintage trailer (Spartan--now an office work space)--so can handle process, would like a solution that would allow multiple trips and exploration for many years to come.
The idea: reno Overlander (or Argosy) here, ship it to Ireland, use when there at different campgrounds, place in secure long-term indoor storage when not in use. OR ship there, reno there to EU standards, and use then store there. OR buy vintage AS there, have reno there, and therefore no shipping costs or risks.
PHEW!!!
Many options...not sure which is the best way to go.
I'm also concerned about the issue of towing over there. Is it possible to rent an SUV or van to tow a trailer (or caravan) in Ireland? May be the moho is a better way to go...but then you've got an engine sitting for extended periods of time without use --and the associated problems with that.
Any thoughts would be appraciated. This has got to be possible--just not sure how to approach it.
Kathleen
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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Hmmm, we have been to Ireland 3 times. Ancestral home for both of us. Love, love, love Ireland. Were there most recently in 2009, I believe, when the Euro was so low.

We have always rented a car. I would contact the major car rental agencies who have kiosks at the Dublin airport and have them do a search for you for the type of vehicle you need. Enterprise, Hertz, etc.

There are trailers (caravans) and campgrounds over there, there must be a way to pull them. We saw a number of Sprinter vans over there, such as our Interstate is on.

If you have never been to Ireland, be aware that the roads are more narrow and curvy than you can imagine, other than the few major "highways", such as between Dublin and Galway. You would be rather limited, I think, in where you could safely tow.

We met a couple from England a couple of years ago, who had bought an RV on the east coast, spent 8 weeks or so traveling the US and were shipping it back out of Brunswick, GA, I believe. Cost was by the foot, I believe, and pricey. They owned a campground in England somewhere.

Sounds like your first issue is where to buy and renovate, which I can't speak to. I do like the idea of buying something over there. Might be a campground owner in Ireland who could give you some tips.

Might want to take an off-season trip, which wouldn't be horribly expensive, and go look around a bit. We always did B&B's, other than for Dublin. They are nice, clean, and reasonably priced.

Do envy you this trip, something we would love to do.

Good luck and keep us posted.


Maggie
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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Maggie makes a valid point; Ireland's roads are ill suited to any caravans (trailers) or motorhomes, let alone an Airstream; they're very narrow for the most part and can be twisty. It it were me I'd be looking at renting holiday cottages and using a hire car, or even one you'd bought there for the short term, because the cost of the Airstream plan would pay for quite a few years holiday lettings.

On the other hand, if you use Ireland as base to explore the UK and Europe, then the cost of getting your Airstream set up and shipped over would probably be worthwhile. Just a thought.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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MrUKToad,
Using the AS as a base to explore Ireland and the rest of Europe is exactly the plan. My son is young and exposing him to Ireland and Europe as he grows up is something that I think would be wonderful. That's why I would really like to work out a long-term arrangement--plus, I have the two AS's sitting here just waiting for something like this. I don't really plan on moving the trailer/moho much...just to the selected campground for the visit. Then tool around in a more suitable vehicle. It may be challenging, but it just seems like, with the right plan, it could be.
Kathleen
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:35 PM   #5
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MrUKToad,
Using the AS as a base to explore Ireland and the rest of Europe is exactly the plan. My son is young and exposing him to Ireland and Europe as he grows up is something that I think would be wonderful. That's why I would really like to work out a long-term arrangement--plus, I have the two AS's sitting here just waiting for something like this. I don't really plan on moving the trailer/moho much...just to the selected campground for the visit. Then tool around in a more suitable vehicle. It may be challenging, but it just seems like, with the right plan, it could be.
Kathleen
Well, ya' know, if you really, really want this, work diligently toward it and, if it is meant to be, it will happen.

Good luck,


Maggie
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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That would be awesome! I am planning our 30th anniversary trip to Ireland right now for next July. We will B&B it with a rental car, but it would be really cool to Caravan it in an AS! (BTW, my ancestral home is Mountmellick. As far as I know, no one has been back since Nicholas Newlin left in 1680 to join a friend of his, William Penn in a place soon to be known as Pennsylvania. They were Quakers, of course.)
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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I've lived in Ireland--if you want to do it badly enough, it can be done, for sure! But people are right, most of the roads in Eire really really aren't suited for RVs, at least the majority of them as opposed to the newish highways. Especially US spec RVs, they're much too wide for most of the roads; heck, half the time, they're not wide enough for two cars to pass. (My UK partner's sister's first night living in Ireland--they grew up going there every year to help family on the family farm--someone knocked the driver's side mirror off her car while going the other way!) I think a Sprinter-like van would be a better bet, myself, but that could be a bit of a chore too. (I'm trying to imagine going up the Conor Pass road near Dingle, Co. Kerry in a Sprinter and failing utterly--a lorry driver who had never been went up that road, wedged his truck into the rock wall, and closed that way into Dingle for about a week and a half! Luckily, the road the other way is just fine for it, and after all, Bus Eireann gets through, so you should be able to as well, though the Bus Eireann drivers are well hard!)

It sounds like you've never been to Eire before? If it were me or someone in my family, I would seriously consider a short trip there before making plans that would be expensive to cancel; drive the roads, take a look at the campgrounds before having to stay in them, that sort of thing.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Also, remember you'd have to probably freight all reno items INTO Ireland. That could get...pricey. To say the least.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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And all that said, here's the Camping Ireland website if you haven't found it already!
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:43 AM   #10
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It sounds like you've never been to Eire before? If it were me or someone in my family, I would seriously consider a short trip there before making plans that would be expensive to cancel; drive the roads, take a look at the campgrounds before having to stay in them, that sort of thing.

Yes. Really do consider this.

Rent a tiny car and poke around. You could take a look in a week, a pretty good look in two.

Find campgrounds and figure out how you could get there. Once you are off the major highways, it is very slow going, and not unusual to find sheep in the roadway. It's not like the U.S., which is part of the country's charm.

We never saw RV's of any kind on the road, as I recall. I suspect folks tow to their vacation spot/caravan campground and leave it there.


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Old 02-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #11
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If you intend to tour UK and Mainland Europe you might be better thinking of using the UK as a base. There would more back up for your projects as most items can be sourced here.
For touring in Eire we use the B&B network. Much easier exploring by car and you do meet more locals that way.
Yes the main routes are good but they are far and few between. The remaining roads would shake out the best teeth fillings! And really not suitable for the full size and width RV.
Our family come from Ireland and we go over several times a year, and yes, you do see trailers and small campers but not that many, although there are more now than 45 years ago....
Finding somewhere secure and with reasonable access would be better in the UK. Ferries are expensive for the distances involved, and if you do decide to go mainland then there are two ferry trips or one very long (and generally very rough) ferry. It is always said..."If you can sail the Irish sea you can sail anywhere!"
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #12
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Rent a tiny car and poke around. You could take a look in a week, a pretty good look in two.

Find campgrounds and figure out how you could get there. Once you are off the major highways, it is very slow going, and not unusual to find sheep in the roadway. It's not like the U.S., which is part of the country's charm.
if you flew into Shannon or Kerry, you'd likely get a look at the kind of roads we mean very very quickly, in three or four days--from Shannon drive to Kilfenora, drive through the Burren, then if you have more time, down past the Cliffs of Moher, through Lahinch, and take the ferry to Kerry, drive to Dingle, than circle back by the land road. Then be aware that those ARE the major national roads.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #13
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if you flew into Shannon or Kerry, you'd likely get a look at the kind of roads we mean very very quickly, in three or four days--from Shannon drive to Kilfenora, drive through the Burren, then if you have more time, down past the Cliffs of Moher, through Lahinch, and take the ferry to Kerry, drive to Dingle, than circle back by the land road. Then be aware that those ARE the major national roads.

And all of these areas are splendiferous, beautious, grandilicious Irish lands. The seas are greens and blues in colors you cannot imagine.

Take a pause and a ferry to the Aran Islands for the day if you get a chance. Rent a van there with a Gaelic-speaking driver who will trot you around for a good and very fun look-see.

Makes me want to go back---again.


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Old 02-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #14
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And all of these areas are splendiferous, beautious, grandilicious Irish lands. The seas are greens and blues in colors you cannot imagine.

Take a pause and a ferry to the Aran Islands for the day if you get a chance. Rent a van there with a Gaelic-speaking driver who will trot you around for a good and very fun look-see.

Makes me want to go back---again.


Maggie
When we were younger we did the van camping, with the new gear, I would almost consider it now. Air mattresses, van, small tent would get most of what you are think of doing without the grand expense of shipping, after a couple of trips you would know if the original idea was sound, also you would know exactly where to ship and where it will be stored, and how the vat tax they have, would change prices.
Definitely would chose trailer over MH, from experience of trying to keep a motorhome for occasional trips, I sometimes feel I spend more time maintaining than camping. Ireland is green for a reason, rainy season and if close to a coast watch out for salt air. Might be good to inspect a few in campgrounds and see how they are holding up.
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