Mothership II

Mothership II or ‘Eff Off’ as Selina has christened her (EF18OVV so it does make some sense) is a Dethleffs Alpa. The Alpa is a cracking layout that has a large garage, but still has a rear lounge. It has a big bathroom and twin fixed beds over the cab. It’s a tall beast with a double floor – meaning plenty of storage, good insulation and plenty of carrying capacity. The compromise is no dinette, but we worked out that in three years we only used the old one for additional food prep.

There are three alpas in the range – ours is the ‘baby’ alpa. It’s a lot more cost effective then the next model up and we have used the savings to have various upgrades fitted based on advice from other alpa owners.

The Alpa is meant as a couples luxury tourer and has only two belted seats as standard, but we think that’s a little selfish, so ours has two extra ‘jump seats’ fitted in the rear lounge. This costs some under seat storage but means that we can move family and friends when we need to!

This is one advantage of buying new – extra seat belts can’t be fitted as an aftermarket option due to safety reasons, so they have to be ordered from new.

We have seen ‘baby’ Alpas both new and used and have never yet seen the jump seats fitted, so we knew that we would be buying new to get the layout we wanted.

In terms of spec, she has twin leisure batteries and twin solar panels. Dethleffs have an inverter option as part of the enhanced electrical package, but it was £4K so we couldn’t justify that.

We have the Gaslow twin refillable system fitted so we should be good for cheap LPG on the trip.

There are a few bits and pieces like air suspension, awning, tow bar, external gas point etc, but we’ll go into that another time!

Mothership is (unexpectedly) an Automatic. Neither of us like autos and we ordered a manual, but having taken her for a spin, we think it will be fine. The automatic box fitted to the Alpa is an Iveco unit and it’s actually a manual box with a added servo shift mechanism and clutch rather than a viscous coupling. More on the Mothership soon. Hopefully less than two weeks to go before we pick her up!

Seville, Spain

Seville has been on our list for years.

We arrive at our (un)intended stopover – we had been looking at a paid stopover location but sally satnav has an out of date ‘Points-Of-Interest’ database and took us somewhere else! So we ended up at  a free car park first where there are around ten other motorhomes. We wandered down the road to the formal stop and it’s in a horrible industrial estate so we decided to stay put – we didn’t need water or sewage emptying – we always try to travel full/empty respectively!

The decision to go free nearly bit us on the bum though: On the second night we were relaxing in the van early evening when we heard a thump and the van shakes.  It was part way through ‘Love Actually’ and we were onto the second bottle of wine. T went out of the van and two scrotes are hanging around the back of the van and they immediately wander off trying to be nonchalant.  They were trying to nick the push bikes off the back of the van and had not realised were were home, duh! Tuggers. It’s no mean feat they were attempting – The bikes are six feet off the ground and are locked to the rack. But we put the second lock on to be safe. We alerted the guy in the van next door and he says he has stayed in the same place for ages (He works in Seville and lives in his camper) and it’s the first issue he’s seen.  It’s probably our own fault TSE, the bikes are expensive and not bagged.

This puts a tiny downer on Seville – in three months it’s the first trouble of any kind that we have spotted despite many warnings about specific places we have been from various people we have met.  We plan to be out on the bikes the next day so we decide it’s fine to continue in the same car-park and we think the tuggers won’t come back having been caught in the act.  All the other vans will be on the lookout now too.

In the end, the next morning, we go for caution and move the campervan to a paid location where we can also water and charge up the battery.

In fact, although we will use hookups less, this site gives us a chance to try out our electric hob.  It was a 20€ purchase from the supermarket and should save some gas on those occasions when we have already paid for the hookup!

We cycle the length and breadth of the town taking in the many wonderful sights such as Plaza de España, Maria Luisa Park, Real Alcazar of Seville and Seville Cathedral.

Next we fancy some Sherry, so it’s south towards Jerez!