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TV show Million Pound Motorhomes comes to Inverness and Brora

By Andrew Dixon

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Sharon Davidson and David Dowling. Picture: Callum Mackay
Sharon Davidson and David Dowling. Picture: Callum Mackay

An Inverness couple with an almost insatiable spirit of adventure will be sharing their passion for life on the road when season four of the TV series Million Pound Motorhomes launches on Channel 5 this Sunday.

The show followed David Dowling, group chairman of Highland-based Cairngorm Group, and his partner Sharon Davidson, on a trip in a rented RV in Louisiana, and in their own motorhome between Inverness and Brora.

And while they have not yet seen the footage, they are both excited to be featuring in the popular show.

David met his partner Sharon via an online dating site 10 years ago this autumn. Within months they had purchased their first motorhome, nicknamed Eve by the pair, and were soon enjoying adventures around Scotland and into Europe.

Eve was traded in for Dasha (the name short for ‘David and Sharon’s Motorhome Adventures’), and two years ago the couple splashed out on their current beauty, a Carthargo ‘Liner-for-two’ that they call Carly. In the past 12 months Carly has taken the pair, with their well-travelled spaniels Monty and Milo, as far as Morocco and Lapland. Carly didn’t quite set them back the million pounds of the show’s title, but she certainly packs a luxurious punch.

David Dowling and Sharon Davidson.
David Dowling and Sharon Davidson.

“Everybody takes a bread maker with them when they go camping, don’t they?” laughs Sharon, as she shows us round the twin-axled, 4.5 tonne home-from-home on wheels, as they are packing to head off for a night away.

Another cupboard in the spacious interior houses a coffee maker, a third has a microwave, and there are full-sized ovens and a fridge-freezer too. The fridge door opens from both sides, easy to reach from the kitchen area, but also so that David can access it from his leather recliner while watching the football; a huge flat-screen TV pops up out of the side of the opposite sofa at the touch of a button.

“It’s a win-win for both of us,” laughs David. “I don’t have to interrupt Sharon while she’s cooking to ask her to pass me a beer!”

David Dowling and Sharon Davidson's Carthargo. Picture: Callum Mackay
David Dowling and Sharon Davidson's Carthargo. Picture: Callum Mackay

So how did the pair get involved in the TV show?

David takes up the story: “One of the producers put a post on a motorhoming Facebook page, asking for people to take part. We didn’t see it, we were in Morocco at the time, but someone who had followed our adventures in Namibia, Botswana and Japan tagged us in the replies and the producers got in touch.

“We had to drive to a nearby town the following morning to do a Zoom call on the supermarket Wi-Fi, and they liked us.

“They liked our back story, the fact that we met online, and the adventures we’ve had, and they liked that we can both talk!”

Sharon picks up the tale: “When they asked about our availability for filming this spring, we told them that there were some dates we definitely couldn’t do because we’d be on holiday in America, and we had committed to be cooking burgers for all the golfers at a competition in Brora over Easter weekend. We thought that might be an end to it, but when they heard we’d be hiring an RV in the US, and I was cooking the burgers in Carly, they loved it, and filmed us in both locations.”

A barometer to signal what to expect.
A barometer to signal what to expect.

David and Sharon haven’t seen more than a few seconds on the footage, which was filmed in the US, Inverness, and Brora, but they are really looking forward to watching when it airs.

They are no strangers to sharing the stories of their adventures; they run the successful ‘Global Glampers’ Facebook page, and David has written about their on-the-road adventures in Japan, Argentina and southern Africa for Practical Motorhome Magazine, and also for the Carthargo website.

But what, for them, are the best bits about motorhome life?

“It’s the freedom, and the adventure, plus the people we meet on the way," Sharon said. "We mostly travel without a plan, which allows us to be spontaneous about where we go and how long we stay. If we like somewhere, we’ll stay a few days longer, if it doesn’t suit us, we’ll move on.”

With stories about wild cats, alligators, seals, breakfast empanadas in an Argentinian family’s home, and stumbling upon spotless free facilities in the wilds of Sweden, this couple could talk about their adventures for hours. They also share stories of the other travellers they have met, like the couple who drove across Pakistan in a Morris Traveller in 1967 and are still on the road.

Next on Carly’s travel itinerary are Sardinia and Corsica (in the footsteps of the Hairy Bikers), to Germany for five weeks to take in the Euros, and then to Cuba. They’re also tempted to travel through Mexico to Panama.

But for tonight?

It’s the Black Isle. The bikes and golf clubs are packed, the dogs are eager to go, the wine is chilling, and there will be dinner in a favourite restaurant.

“If we’re not travelling, we’re planning trips,” says Sharon.

Season four of Million Pound Motorhome starts on Channel 5 8pm-9pm this Sunday. Catch David and Sharon in episode two on July 23.

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