Chris, Gill and their motorhome Honu

Travelling Europe in a Motorhome | Chris & Gill Guest Blog

August 12, 2020

Chris & Gill bought their motorhome Honu from us in 2017, they have been travelling across Europe for many years and were kind enough to pass on these great insights to help the next camper take the plunge!

About Us

Chris, Gill and their motorhome Honu at the beginning of travelling Europe

Chris, Gill and their motorhome Honu

Like many “van life” people we named our vehicle. “Honu”, or H.O.N.U. (Home Of Nomads Underemployed) is the name we gave our motorhome. Honu is also the Hawaiian word for green sea turtles, a place we have often visited.

Honu is a 2017 Knaus Van TI 650 and registered in France through Euro Camping Cars. The process was a bit complicated but they helped us every step of the way and we really appreciated all the work they did.

Why we chose a motorhome to travel Europe

Whereas cycle touring and hiking is great, camping most of the time can get draining. Some years we were tent camping for multiple months. When we occasionally rented or leased cars, issues like rain still presented travel problems.

Some of our best life memories are in Europe; so very early in our European travels, we knew we needed to sort out some of the issues and set ourselves up for a long term engagement travelling in Europe. Having a camper would predictably resolve a number of issues:

Campsite noise: Generally OK but occasionally a real issue.

Rain: Well, as every cyclist and traveller knows rain is a game changer – especially day after day. Now we say “rain, what rain?”.

Logistics: By having a camper Chris could set up a work station and work at times while on the road.

Freedom: Tent camping reduced our options and forced us to stay in designated areas – not least was the cost of even a basic site.

Travel to Europe: Our flights to Europe were becoming complicated with bikes, camping gear etc. Now everything is with Honu and we can travel light.

We guessed that a camper would open up a whole new way of travelling and freedom. And yes it has!

Our thoughts of the Knaus motorhome

Knaus motorhome at sunset

“given the option to buy again we would stay with Honu, as is”

Honu started life with the standard layout – we added some manufacture packages (ie larger wheels, sunroof etc) and dealer options – for example, two roof-mounted solar panels and related electronics, Thule Omnistor awning, security locks and more.

We like the Honu for a number or reasons:

  • Good German quality.
  • Well designed with no wasted space whatsoever = actually it is amazing use of space.
  • A large “garage”: with large left and right side entrances. More than enough to store our two bikes, chairs, table, ground mat, bike gear, tools and more.
  • Solar panels and 3 batteries allows us to keep off the grid indefinitely.
  • Excellent fridge, with freezer; heating system, hot water system and great shower pressure.
  • 3 burner hob – works well.
  • More storage space than we can use.
  • Outstanding insulation = no need for living area air conditioning.
  • Ventilation with 4 sunroofs + shower ceiling vent.
  • Attention to detail.
  • 2 full length fix beds with lots of space
  • A convenient hanging closet.
  • under bed space and lots of shelving
  • No more – no less that we need!

The base is a Fiat Ducato: 7 meters. 2.3 turbo diesel; 6-speed manual gear shift; Euro 6 emission standards. Enough power but not outstanding – Honu will cruise comfortably at 110 km; but Chris generally drives about 95 km. We average 8.2 litres to 100 km. Considering Honu weights in at about 3000 kg (max 3500 kg) that is pretty good. The dash layout and controls are very good – basic but effective. Usual stuff like cruise control.

We think the Honu is a good looking camper and right in the European sweet spot for size. To date, Chris and Gill agree, if given the option to buy again we would stay with Honu, as is.

There is lots more info and photos on our website. If are are thinking of buying a camper or touring Europe, do no hesitate to contact us with questions if we can help:


Find a spot for lunch is never very difficult…

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