The BIG surprise – Part 1 – We’ve sold Louis the McLouis!

The BIG surprise – Part 1 – We’ve sold Louis the McLouis!

After just short of 11 years owning Louis the McLouis, we have now very reluctantly sold it. Louis was a fantastic investment, allowing us to take many holidays of all durations, culminating in the 6 month European Road Trip we have just completed over the winter of 2017 / 2018.

A couple of punctures aside, the van has never once let us down, started first time, every time, and has travelled over 62,000 miles up hill and down dale in all weather conditions, taking us all over the UK and Europe. Not only did it cope with the often terrible road conditions at home and abroad, but also the vagaries of the weather including snow, ice, hail, rain, hurricanes, through to baking heat.

It has taken us to Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland, where it went over the St Gotthard Pass and the Grimsel Pass, both over 8,000ft, twice the height of Ben Nevis!

We have parked it in the middle of cities, towns, villages, forests, on top of hills and mountains, beside rivers, lakes, lochs and the sea. From very expensive campsites in Switzerland to free wild-camping spots (as often as possible), we have sampled all forms of stopovers.

The decision to sell Louis evolved over the past few months as we toured Europe and spent so much time in it. In evaluating how it was performing, it became evident there were aspects that did not lend itself to long term touring or long term stopovers, as at El Campello over the festive period. The driving performance was perfect, it was the living accommodation and equipment that needed upgrading. In Spain we went to motorhome dealers in Malaga and Seville, as well as getting a tour of their van from a couple who had a model we were interested in. That, coupled to searching online, reading articles, watching YouTube videos and talking to more experienced long-term travellers, led us to this decision, one I hope we don’t come to regret!

In homage to Louis, here are some of the highlights of the past 11 years.

We bought the van in June 2007 and I took it away for a test run to Shrewsbury for the weekend…

Shrewsbury - 2007 - Louis's first outing...
Shrewsbury – 2007 – Louis’s first outing…

The Navigator had a major operation in 2007 and this was her first time away in Louis in August 2007…

Louis at Carsington Water...
Louis and The Navigator at Carsington Water, Derbyshire…

In September the girls joined us for a tour around Scotland and this picture was taken at the top of the Rest and be Thankful in Argyll – little did we know then that we would pass this spot regularly to get to our new home in Mid Argyll…

Louis on top of the Rest and be Thankful in September 2007...

In October 2007 we went to Kasell in Germany to visit my Grandfather’s war grave…

Louis at Kasell in October 2007...
Louis at Kasell in October 2007…

We used the van in all weathers – here at Mablethorpe on the east coast in early 2008…

A Bank Holiday at Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast...

If that was one of the coldest nights in the van, the following picture shows one of the warmest places we ever stayed at, over 35 degrees near St Tropez…

Probably the hottest place Louis has been - near St Tropez...

We’ve stayed on farms – here in the Derbyshire Dales…

We've stayed on farms - Castleton and Hope in the Derbyshire Dales...
We’ve stayed on farms – Castleton and Hope in the Derbyshire Dales…

We’ve slept to the sound of the waves coming ashore – here in Dorset…

In 2008 we met a relation of Louis in Co. Donegal on the west coast of Ireland and it too was bought from Don Amott in Derbyshire!

We met a relation of Louis in Co Donegal on the west coast of Ireland...
We met a relation of Louis in Co Donegal on the west coast of Ireland…

We’ve been on ferries – large and small – here the Corran ferry just south of Fort William…

Emma was a frequent guest – especially if there is a chance of a BBQ…

Louis amid the dramatic scenery on Skye...Louis amid the dramatic scenery on Skye…

Over the years Louis was upgraded to be more self sufficient with a solar panel, twin leisure batteries and re-fillable gas tanks and we have parked for free all over Europe but this spot on Islay is probably one of the best…

Probably the best wildcamping spot Louis ever parked in - on Islay...

Having said that, this spot beside the sea at Duror is another favourite wildcamping location…

Another favourite wildcamping spot at Duror...

Maybe not the highest viewpoint Louis has ever stopped at but this site overlooking Bilbao was spectacular, especially after dark with the lights of the city twinkling beneath us…

Looking over Bilbao...
Looking over Bilbao…

Bilbao was a great view but a couple of months later Louis would take on two of Switzerland’s most spectacular Passes on the same day – the Saint Gotthard and the Grimsel – both over 8,000 feet!

The highest Louis has ever stayed at - the Grimsel Pass, Switzerland...
The highest Louis has ever stayed at – the Grimsel Pass, Switzerland…

Louis has parked up overlooking some of Europe’s great rivers, the Loire, Seine, Rhine, Moselle and this next picture shows the ‘Love Boat’ passing Louis on the Moselle, this was a great location to spend a few days wild camping.

The Love Boat passing Louis on the Moselle near Remich in Luxembourg...
The Love Boat passing Louis on the Moselle near Remich in Luxembourg…

Parking up beside water, whether a river, lake, loch or the sea has always been a favourite location and this next picture shows Louis killing time in Belgium before heading for a nightime ferry at Dunkirk…

Louis beside the North Sea in Belgium...
Louis beside the North Sea in Belgium…

Over the years we have met some lovely people on our travels and we were lucky to meet Astrid, Phillippa and Joel at El Campello, Spain and we spent Christmas Eve 2017 with them…

Astrid, Phillippa and Joel join us on Christmas Eve...Astrid, Phillippa and Joel join us on Christmas Eve 2017…

Louis has enabled us to see new places all over Europe and spend time relaxing and enjoying life, and it as one of the best decisions we have made to purchase it back in 2007. It was intended to be the van we used in retirement to carry on with the journey….

However, this last long 6 month trip exposed some little areas where we think improvements could be made, hence the reluctant decision to sell this fantastic machine, in fact it is far more than a mere machine, a true home from home, and we are sure Louis will give another couple, or family as much pleasure in the coming years as we have enjoyed with it…

Coming soon – The BIG surprise – Part 2


If you enjoy these blog posts you can show your appreciation by buying us a coffee.

Click on the logo below. Thank you.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com


You can subscribe to read new blogs as they are posted online. Enter your NAME and E MAIL ADDRESS in the subscription box before clicking on the SUBSCRIBE button. You will receive an e mail when a new blog article is posted online. You can unsubscribe at any time.

6 thoughts on “The BIG surprise – Part 1 – We’ve sold Louis the McLouis!

  • 27th March 2018 at 2:32 pm
    Permalink

    This surely is a van you both have loved. It certainly has served you well. I’m now entrigued as to what Part 2 is about ….? Loved your diary of travels. Keep the wheels rolling on and on and on!!

    Reply
  • 27th March 2018 at 4:15 pm
    Permalink

    Thank goodness it is Louis and not the house!! Haste ye back.

    Reply
  • 27th March 2018 at 4:34 pm
    Permalink

    loved your diary of travels too. and all the pictures to go along with it!! looking forward to hearing about part two. Welcome home by the way x

    Reply
  • 27th March 2018 at 10:45 pm
    Permalink

    Have enjoyed the trip down memory lane with Louis the Mclouis. Not difficult to guess what part 2 will be about, I look forward to that!!

    Reply
  • 3rd April 2018 at 3:40 pm
    Permalink

    Good blog Angus, I hope you enjoy your new motorhome?

    Reply
    • 3rd April 2018 at 3:56 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Paul – I enjoyed doing it – both for our own benefit and for others to follow us and hopefully visit some of the places we went to as well. We will have a few trips away in Scotland to get to grips with the new van and then maybe sneak away for another trip later in the year.

      Best wishes

      Angus

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: