TRAVELING IN A MOTORHOME: WHAT TO EXPECT

Chris Grad - Aug 1, 2021
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If you want to buy or rent a motorhome to go on vacation this summer, you need to be aware of certain rules for a safe trip.

Traveling in a motorhome is a very popular option in the time of travel restrictions due to the pandemic. There are many advantages of motorhomes, provided you are well organized and ready for the journey.

How Much Does It Cost?

For many vacationers this year, renting a motorhome is the preferred option. It is possible to rent the vehicle from a professional company or an individual owner. Both options have their pros and cons. It is always advisable not only to compare the prices but also the condition of the rented motorhome.  

There are several websites to compare the rental prices which range from €700 to €1,600 per week. The price of course varies greatly depending on several parameters: the time of year, the region where you have chosen to rent the vehicle, or the category of the motorhome (campervan, low profile, overcab, or integral).

Regarding the additional costs, there is of course the fuel to plan when traveling in a motorhome. Depending on the model of the vehicle it is necessary to count a consumption ranging from 8 to 12 liters per 100 km. 

Moreover, if you plan to use the highways, the toll fees need to be included in the budget.  If the vehicle does not exceed 3.5 tons and 3 meters in height, it falls into "category 2" of the pricing of tolls ("category 3" for those over 3 meters high). Internet sites like ViaMichelin or Mappy will allow you to obtain an estimate of these costs, depending on your route.

Finally, once you arrive at your destination, you will surely need to park in a camping area, some are free, and others are paid. The cost ranges from €8 to €15 for a day (24 hours), depending on the location: in fact, some packages give you access to services, which will allow you to fill up with clean water and empty your tank of wastewater, or even access to electricity.

Be Prepared

If this is your first time traveling in a motorhome, you must plan your route well, manage your resources (water, gas, electricity and gasoline), ensure the safety of your vehicle and its occupants, and adopt a code of conduct. If you must cook, choose products with a long shelf life.

Before you leave, you should make a list of the accessories and tools you must take with you. For example, you will need:

  • a wedge to correct the inclination on a slope;
  • an extendable hose, ideally retractable and flexible as well;
  • fittings for your taps;
  • jerry cans with spouts;
  • a folding cart.

You should know that energy sources and water are not inexhaustible when you travel in motorhomes. You must be prepared to save money by managing your resources as much as possible. For water, you should consume between 7 and 25 l per person and have two types of tanks, one for clean water and another for dirty water. Don't forget to deactivate the water pump and to have the right habits to save.

For electricity, it depends mostly on the weather. To satisfy your needs, you must not forget to recharge the battery regularly. Check the lighting as regularly as possible. For gas, a 13 kg cylinder can last about 6 days. If you can get another bottle in advance, you will be better equipped. As for gas, if you want to save money, just try to drive fast and get to the next station on time.

TRAVELING IN A MOTORHOME: WHAT TO EXPECT

Precautions to Take

It is wiser not to travel overnight in a motorhome, especially if it is your first time. Instead, it is advisable to find a safe place to spend the night. For example, you can keep a roadmap with all the motorhome service areas and make sure you get there before nightfall. Mobile applications can help you with your journey. Alternatively, you can always camp with a local.

Although you have the highway code and a B license allowing you to drive a motorhome, this type of vehicle is not the same as the one you usually drive to work. Its size alone can be a source of problems, especially since on the road, you can be caught by the wind. Be sure to write down the height of the vehicle and its dimensions so that you can remember them. Be aware that you must read the road signs carefully and react instantly.

Another useful tip is to take a break at least every two hours and not to drive too fast. Be sure to check your tires before you leave and ideally halfway through. All your cupboards, side bays and skylights should be securely closed, and the refrigerator door locked.

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